Oh, how the latte has fallen from grace

You guys aren’t going to believe me, but I’m going to tell you a sad truth.

In the past month, I’ve had four — four — pumpkin spice lattes since my most favorite of all drinks was re-introduced at Starbucks, Panera, Borders and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Four.

Four drinks. Total.

I used to go through two or three drinks in a week, easy peasy. Lots of caffeine and syrup happening over here. When my coworkers would head over on the morning Dunkin’ run, I’d throw in a few bucks or be generously treated by my friend Kelly, a total latte enabler, and find a delicious steaming beverage waiting for me in no time. Not every day; I mean, I’m not an addict or anything. Heh. Um. But, you know, at least two times a week. Three, max.

But this year? This year I got one on Aug. 30 with Spencer at Starbucks, then put up a tweet about it. Considering it was still 90 degrees out, we’ll let that be an indication of my dedication to this drink.

And, you know? It was good. I liked it. As good as I remembered, sure, and I sipped it while watching Spencer’s face as he tried his. Considering he’s not much of a latte/macchiato/espresso drinker, he was brave to give it a try. And was lukewarm on the experience.

For me, pumpkin lattes are all about the thrill of tradition. It’s so exciting to realize that yes, autumn is here again! And all of those exciting, fall things are available! Like choosing pumpkins at our neighborhood patch or seeing Halloween-shaped Peeps, it’s a harbinger of the holiday season to come. The pumpkin spice latte is, basically, how I mark the passing of time.

Last year I called myself a modern latte Goldilocks, flitting through the countryside and trying every restaurant’s offering. This year I even added Borders to my sampling plate, so to speak, and  enjoyed the pumpkin creme latte available at their Seattle’s Best Coffee cafes.

But this year? I couldn’t tell you which one I liked best. Because I’ve had exactly one from each location, drinking them passively as my mind was on other things.

What’s happened to me? How has my enthusiasm for something I once loved with all my heart waned so greatly? Did I just officially burn myself out on the pumpkin spice? The last time I dashed into a Starbucks on my way back to the office, I ordered tea. A chai tea latte.

I love tea, but am I seriously cheating on my pumpkin latte with chai? Something I can get all year long, no complications? No anticipation?

I don’t know what to tell you, friends. I’m pretty upset about this.

And I think I’ll go drown my sorrows in another chai to take my mind off it.

Drinking on the job

drinksIn keeping with my recent thoughts on vices, I have yet another confession to make: I like to drink.

But not alcohol, mind you — oh, no. Not interested. I mean flavored tea, sparkling water, diet cola, Red Bull, hot tea, coffee, espresso, lattes, fruit punch, Sprite, and . . .

I’m sure you can see where I’m doing with this!

On my desk at any given time, you’ll see a littering of cans, bottles and mugs. I’ve tried to keep this under control — honestly — but, well, I get a smidge lazy about my recycling and have a tendency not to dispose of things as fast as I should! Since we don’t have a designated recycling program at my office, I store everything until I can drag it all home in bags for curbside pick-up. And that process can take months — especially when I have something like the above snapshot on my desk daily!

I guess I should be thankful that I’m not a chronic work snacker. I purposely don’t keep any junk food within arm’s reach, choosing instead to shove a mug of tea into my grasping fingers. Any nearby crackers, chips or popcorn would be swallowed whole in a matter of seconds — and that’s why I have to keep all forms of delicious candy away from me, too! (I’m sure my incredibly good-looking dentist would approve.)

And now I’ll return to guzzling my kiwi watermelon spring water from Archer Farms, followed quickly by half a can of Red Bull. Good day to you!

Must have sweet tea

I’m somewhat of a tea fanatic — hot tea, cold tea, even lukewarm tea. White, green, black. Sweet, unsweet, fresh brewed, canned, bottled . . . All delicious. All equally appealing.

One of my favorite lunch break treats is the 23 oz. can of Arizona “Southern Style” Sweet Tea. Yes — 23 whole, delicious ounces. This is a seriously large can of tea. Even still, I plunk it down on my desk and ration out my sips appropriately. If I grab lunch from a local sub shop at noon, picking up my usual roast beef sandwich and Arizona tea, will the can last me the four or so hours left in the work day once I get back?

Disappointingly, the answer is no. I think I’m going to have to start getting two cans. Or rinsing out my office mug more so I can actually have hot tea in the afternoons . . . That would actually be quite pleasant, I think. Hot tea? You can could freeze whole slabs of meat in our office. It’s the balmy temperature of a subzero freezer . . .

And as further proof of my tea obsession, please see the below photographic evidence from a recent outing with my mom and sister:

Before . . .

Before . . .

. . . After

. . . After

And we drank straight out of the pitchers. That is dedication! Hey, it was a barbeque place . . . Before you start thinking I completely lack decorum . . .