The other time it was tea. Now, it’s coffee. There was a time in days of yore that I loved coffee. The smell, the color, the taste! But all that changed with the advent of the omnipresent coffee dispenser in my normal working life.
Picture this: You have a splitting headache, and you have work to do. What’s the first thing you try? Coffee, ofcourse. And what if that coffee is such an abomination that you start to hate the very beverage? Or maybe I should thank my stars that I’m not a coffee addict because of this! Unlike my parents and friends, I don’t need coffee to keep me going. But once in a while, one does miss the golden brown brew.
The problem is not with the coffee per se. It all boils down to the milk (no pun intended). Milk and not milk powder. I don’t know much about the dispenser settings to control just how much milk powder, sugar and coffee flows into one cup, all I know is whatever is there in the cup finally looks a lot like dishwater. If it weren’t for the fact that I do not know what dishwater tastes like, I would’ve loved to say the coffee tastes like dishwater. (And this is to prevent any smart-ass comment on me knowing what dishwater tastes like. Tell the truth, you did think of that, didn’t you? Ha, gotcha!)
To make matters worse, it’s not just the regular coffee. The options on the dispenser are very very misleading, mind you. Let’s take it one by one – first, there’s Cappuccino. Any resemblance to any coffee, good or bad, is purely co-incidental. And I did the greatest mistake of having cappuccino from an authentic little cafe in Rome, after which cappuccino from even Cafe Coffee Day or Qwiky’s or Barista is nothing short of..well, dishwater! So that just made the whole thing even worse. Second comes Mocha. Again, pretty much a big fat brown lie.
The same goes for Hot Chocolate – it looks all nice and chocolatey, but the moment you taste it, well, it transports you approximately 15 years into the past when your Mom had to run behind you with a huge steel tumbler filled with yucky-tasting Complan. And if you’re trying to calculate my age based on this piece of information, give it up – ain’t gonna work, ‘coz I’m totally lying about the 15 years.
The lesser of the evils in the dispenser seems to be ‘Nescafe’. Don’t let the name fool you into thinking it’s the authentic Nescafe that your parents so hate (because they are staunch filter coffee addicts and drinking instant coffee is a sin by itself) and you so love (because you can’t stand the after taste of filter coffee and the color is so much better for instant coffee). Lesser evil, but evil nonetheless.
So the only other option left is good ol’ hot water. I once tried using them Bru sachets (instantly instant coffee, mix in hot water, add sugar and voila! dishwater ready!), but that didn’t work either. Which brings me back to my original rant – there’s nothing like fresh coffee. And there’s nothing called fresh coffee in some workplaces.
If you’re one of the lucky few who can smell the coffee brewing, sitting right at your desks, count your blessings ‘coz there are a lot of us who do not have that luxury. But ‘us’ are also glad that ‘us’ are no longer coffee addicts, thanks to the omnipresent coffee dispenser.