Wednesday, February 8, 2012

That Coffee Was a Little Fishy

You know how different fish tend to live in different parts of an aquarium? Like Whiskers and Zoidberg the albino catfish, Cord, our loach and Creepy and Crawly the ghost shrimp. They were bottom feeders and rarely ventured from the bottom. Then the tetras tend to stay in the middle of the tank along with the guppies and the mollies are always up at the top, sipping air and blowing bubbles and having a grand ol' time.

Well, I was reminded of that the other day while drinking a cup of coffee. No, it didn't taste fishy, nor were there bottom feeders in the cup, nor was I watching anyone in particular when the thought crossed my mind.

Instead, I was at a Starbucks at Barnes and Noble. I've been there many times before, and I'm usually a fairly observant person (or so I thought), but I somehow managed to overlook, in all the times I've been there preparing my coffee, at that very same counter, the fact that there are several little spice shakers. There's the usual creamers and milks, a slew of different varieties of sugars and artificial sweeteners and right there along with the rest of it there is cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla powder and chocolate. Right there in front of my nose. Basically waiting to be noticed. Doing everything but jumping up and down. And somehow I missed them. WTF!

But anyway, I noticed them on my last trip and was very excited. I love cinnamon! I love nutmeg! I often add them to my homemade hot chocolate and bake with them all the time. So, in my excitement I added cinnamon AND nutmeg AND vanilla to my coffee along with the usual sugar and creamer. I guess I'm one of those people who drink coffee under the pretense of liking coffee, when I actually only like covering up the flavor with other flavors. But in any case I was just so excited to see them that I went a little crazy and added a bit of everything. It's a good thing the onion powder, garlic powder and minced peppers weren't out.

But anyway, I added the cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla. It smelled heavenly!

And now you're expecting me to say that it tasted god-awful and I couldn't even drink it, aren't you? Aren't you? I know you are. But you're wrong. It was actually delicious! Hot and slightly spicy (not in a cajun, hot pepper way, but in a hot baked cookie fresh from the oven way).

And to tie things up, why on earth did that make me think of fish? Well, by the time I was done I noticed that the cinnamon had a tendency to float on the top in the first few inches of the coffee, whereas the nutmeg sank towards the lower 1/3 and formed a gross  nice sludge on the bottom, along with the undissolved sugar. It was an unexpected surprise - it was like two coffees in one! I was jumping up and down with excitement. Just when I began to bore with the cinnamon coffee, I reached the nutmeg layer. It was intriguing. It was entertaining. It was delicious. It was downright fascinating! But truth be told, it was a little fishy.


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