Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Yes, I Read Ingredients Labels.

I think we've been in this relationship long enough to talk about the important, heavy topics.  Religion?  No, I'm not one to fret about personal beliefs.  (I'm Catholic, for the record, so I really don't have any room to tell other people what to think, considering we killed people on that whole Crusades thing a few years ago.)  Politics?  Nah, I've already rocked that boat.  I'm talking about the fundamentals of this blog.  The fuel for my fire.  The very element of my daily survival.  Coffee. 

Ever since coffee became trendy and fancy thanks to Starbucks, everyone else has been trying to catch up.  The problem is, most of these imitations, and even Starbucks themselves, aren't coffee.  Go ahead, I dare you to read the ingredients label on any instant at-home iced-coffee-mocha-latte-blend you can buy at the grocery store.  Or even the Starbucks blended frappaccinos they sell in the little glass bottles.  Ask 7/11 what's in their french vanilla cappuccino from the little machine at the coffee station.  More likely than not, in all of the above situations, "coffee" will be listed somewhere in the middle of that ingredients list.  Right behind "milk, cream, sugar, whey, corn syrup, food coloring, caramel flavoring..." and maybe before "and less than 2% of: biomethanzalene (preservative), monosodium glutamate, and other natural flavors."  For crying out loud, a frappaccino at Starbucks isn't even made with coffee.  It's espresso.  Like a whopping 2 shots of it blended with a cup of milk and then poured over ice that fills the entire "Venti" cup.  (By the way, using Italian words for your cup sizes doesn't make the product more Italian.  It would be more legitimate for me to label my bra size in Italian... at least these tatas are 50% from the Old Country.)

Don't get me wrong, I love whatever that French Vanilla "cappuccino" thing from 7/11 is.  But when I need caffeine to get my day going, I'm going straight to Dunkin or the old-school carafe on the metal burner full of extreme-strength black coffee.  I'll add in some flavored "non dairy creamer" which is another issue, all together.  But at least I know that cup is 95% coffee.  (Cream is dairy.  At least it's supposed to be.  Is that what the Chick-Fil-A cows milk out?  Non-dairy products?) 

What sparked all this was seeing a commercial for International Delight's new iced coffee drink.  It comes in a carton, like milk.  It looks creamy and yummy, and it would be way faster on busy summer mornings than brewing my own and sticking it in the freezer while I get dressed to cool it off.  I'm pretty sure it would be guilty of the above issues, though, and end up being coffee flavored milk-and-sugar.  Maybe I should just move to Hawaii and live on a Kona farm.  That would seriously be heaven to a caffeine addict like myself.  (Although everyone is so laid back in Hawaii I wonder if I'd even need it.  And I'd have to learn to like Spam.  Hmm, I'm rethinking this move.)

Has anyone tried that iced coffee concoction?  Am I the only person crazy enough to read ingredients labels?  (Probably.)


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