Hello again from Home!
Today I have a serious issue to discuss, Nutters. Neither Obama nor Romney have raised this issue during the presidential debate, Canada has not launched a formal inquiry (to look into the previous formal inquiry) about the issue, and Bono has not held a massive fundraising concert to raise awareness of the issue, but it’s only a matter of time. I am talking, of course, about ‘beveragism’.
I live in a coffee town.
Turn your head and spit, and you will hit an independent coffee shop here in Nelson. There are, in fact, so many coffee shops that they are easily classified by their clientelle. In Oso Negro, you’re bound to find at least one set of dredlocks and one customer wearing snowboarding pants and boots (in July), any time of the day. Despite the facelift, Jigsaw continues to attract the showerly-challenged, while Sidewinders could be voted “most likely to have the only guy wearing a suit in Nelson as a customer”. The Java Hut, located in Nelson’s one mall, (and I use the term ‘mall’ loosely, having been to Edmonton), is a natural magnet for the over-80 crowd. And the list goes on.
Coffee, coffee, coffee, Nelsonites love their coffee.
And if you don’t love coffee? If you actually detest coffee and would rather pluck out your own eyeballs with a toothpick than drink coffee?
Well, some of these bean indoctrination centers do have some good tea. But, honestly, tea? I can buy my own good tea and I have completed the four year Tea Makers Training Course, wherein you learn to pour boiling water into a pot and wait a few minutes before removing the tea and drinking.
No, when I go out to enjoy a beverage, when I plunk down my hard-earned four dollars for a little taste of heaven in a cup, I want…hot chocolate.
You would think in a city that has all but declared the hours between 10am and 3pm “Official Coffee Break” time, there would be some room for that other bean, the cocoa bean. But no. Nelson coffee shops pay about as much attention to the quality and selection of their hot chocolate as the average Canadian pays to a live parliamentary session on C-Span.
The aforementioned Oso Negro, the Vatican City of coffee shops, is the worst offender. I’m pretty sure their hot chocolate is just heated, no-name brand chocolate milk or Nestle Quick.
For the unenlightened, (and apparently that consists of 98% of Nelson’s population), there are two words in hot chocolate. The first is “hot”, meaning the beverage should be served above room temperature. The second and most important word is “chocolate”. Not “milk”, not “sugar”, but chocolate. A hot chocolate should not taste like a glass of warm milk that somebody accidentally dropped a Hershey’s chocolate bar into for five seconds, it should taste like an Aztec god has cast a spell on your tongue, it should taste like Willy Wonka’s sweat, it should taste like something Darth Vader would drink when he was in an exceptionally good mood after having successfully long-distance strangled four people in one day. Hot chocolate should be dark, sinful, with just enough sweetness to lure you back again, and again, and again, and…
But I digress.
In Nelson, if you have at least one friend or acquaintance, there is a high statistical probability that you will be invited out for coffee at least once per week. For coffee. Perhaps for tea. But never, not in all my many 3 + 1 years in this city have I been invited out for my drink. For hot chocolate. And even if I were, where would we go? The only good hot chocolate in this town is at the Starbucks in Safeway. The cult of coffee reins supreme and we, the minority, the lowly cocoa-loving minority, must tag along and smile and pretend to enjoy our warm, sugary, vaguely chocolate flavoured milk.
This is beveragism, my friends, and it’s ugly.
I know you’re asking, “But Princess, what can I do to stop the prejudice and the inequality?” Good question, person I have made up in my imagination! I would suggest an email campaign, perhaps something on Facebook that you can send to all your friends and ask them to share (something with a picture of cocoa beans, an angel or puppies, and promises of good luck that increases exponentially with every person who re-shares it), a plastic bracelet that says “Cocoastrong”, a coffee boycott, a phone call to Bono? Any of those things, or all, (preferably all), would be sufficient.
Together, we can end beveragism. Together, we can make the world a more chocolatey place.
Brought to you by the Coalition Of People Who Live In Places Where There’s No Good Hot Chocolate Except At The Safeway Starbucks But Who Wants To Hang Out In Safeway Get Real Are You Freaking Kidding Me.
*The subtitle of this post is a metaphor and is in no way meant to suck anyone into reading this post through misleading and/or inflammatory language. But if it does, the author is OK with that.
Until next time, I hope this finds you healthy, happy, & lovin’ hot chocolate and life!