This Iced Caffe Latte wasn’t my idea.
You see, there is one very lovely young woman here at work who is both very pretty and quite smart. (And before I get in trouble with opening line let me say there are actually quite a few young women here who fit that description but right now I”m thinking of one in particular.) This young woman’s high energy and bright smile are deliciously infectious to say the least and that way she is always right there in the morning with her special brand of cheerful hello never fails to put me in a great mood.
I need to avoid her at all costs.
It isn’t that I don’t appreciate pretty, smart and cheerful young women. I certainly do as much as the next guy. (You know what I mean.) These jewels make the world a far better place if you ask me — but with this one I have to admit to myself that I need to go cold-turkey. The slightest contact leads to trouble of some sort and I am powerless against her charms; charms which are made dangerous when they get accompanied by her helpful but not-in-my-best-interest suggestions.
Yes, she is a Bad Influence.
Perhaps you know her too? Bad Influence is the office friend who invites you out for a “quick drink” after work and then ends up sending you home at midnight drunk and in a cab. When you ask for her advice on which pair of expensive Italian shoes you should buy she thinks on it a moment, and then convincingly suggests you should buy both — which you end up doing because her reasons for doing so made such perfect sense in the moment — but get you in trouble back home when financial reality sets in.
Yeah, that’s her. This Iced Caffe Late is her fault.
Bad Influence and I meet up more often than not in the office kitchen where we invariably find ourselves standing in line at the coffee machine. We are both avowed coffee junkies who must regularly get our fix every few hours lest too much blood gets into our caffeine streams. Even though there is no actual coordination of effort going on between us, the measurable and constant half-life of caffeine serves to ensure we bump into each other several times a day, like clockwork, and always in the kitchen next to the coffee machine.
That is until recently when I finally decided to cut back the joe to just two cups a day. Two rather large cups but two nonetheless. I did this for no particular reason other than it just seemed a prudent thing to do after successfully cutting back the diet soda to barely traceable levels Coffee seemed like a natural next temperance target.
I had been having a degree of success with my weaning efforts and had managed to curb my daily intake considerably. This I achieved mostly by limiting coffee intake to my morning cups at home and then snapping my wrist with a rubber band the rest of the day whenever the impulse to ‘brew-up’ crossed my brain.
All was going quite well until one afternoon when I ran across Bad Influence in the copy room. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of weeks. She said she had missed seeing me and assumed I had been sick. I explained that I was cutting down my intake and that I had never been that much of a fan of afternoon coffee in the first place and never felt quite comfortable drinking what I had always perceived as a morning beverage in the afternoon. That just didn’t seem very warm-climate appropriate at any rate so it was the afternoon cups that were the easiest to give up.
Bad Influence seemed remarkably understanding. I guess I had expected her to respond to my admission in the same manner my sister did when I had to tell her I thought Xena: Warrior Princess was a stupid show. Instead she was quite supportive. She agreed that the office coffee wasn’t all that appealing anyway and suggested that if I was going to limit myself to only one or two cups of coffee a day I had better make sure they were worthy cups. Where they espressos or lattes? What beans did I use?
We dished on our favorite blends, what methods for brewing we liked best and how much better a home made cup of espresso was than that crappy Nespresso machine we had at work. Sadly I confessed to her that I rarely had espresso at home. I did not have any counter space (or cash) for a decent machine and that my Bialetti stove top espresso maker was the 6 cup model and not the three cup model so it sat unused in the garage unless company was over. To make good espresso in these machines you really need to make a full pot and I didn’t want to waste the shots I didn’t use just to make a cup for myself. (You can only make so much espresso graninta with the overflow after all.)
“Why don’t you just save your “overflow” in a mason jar to use as iced caffe lattes later in the day?”
Um, because I never thought of that before. Because I didn’t know how fantastic an ice cold caffe latte in the late afternoon would be. Because if I ever knew how good a home made iced caffe latte made with premium espresso and a rich, fresh cup of whole milk would be I my coffee intake would spike right back up to my pre-semi-abstinence levels right then and there. Immediately.
That’s why. Dammit. And now that I know all these things its unlikely I’ll be revisiting my caffeine withdrawal for at least a little while longer. I’m too busy pouring off my morning espresso overflow into mason jars and mixing up lattes every afternoon to worry about it. And its all her fault. Again.
Iced Caffe Latte
Thanks a lot Bad Influence. Its all your fault.