It Is What It is
IT LOOKS LIKE ST. ARBUCKS HAS A BIG NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN UNDERWAY. From deep within the secret laboratories in Seattle 91825 comes something they are calling, “Blonde Espresso.”
I have no idea what that means.
I do know the meaning of “Blonde,” and I know what “Espresso” is, but I don’t understand the pairing of the two.
Blonde Espresso? Is that like “Jumbo Shrimp” or “Governmental Efficiency?” The two words clearly seem to contradict each other. I’m a bit “Profused” as opposed to being “Confused.”
“Blonde”: Having hair that is, more or less, kind of, sort of, yellowish in nature or instead of nature a result of artificial coloring. Approximately 16% of the people in the United States are naturally blonde.
“Espresso”: A Noun. Strong black coffee made by forcing steam through ground coffee beans.
“Blonde Espresso”: A yellowish coffee made by suggesting, but by no means forcing, anything through ground coffee beans.
That last one is my definition and does not come from St. Arbucks or anybody else.
The St. Arbucks official definition is: “Seriously Smooth, Subtly Sweet Blended Coffee.” All capitalizations are theirs, not mine.
I don’t know what their definition really mans. All of those adjectives could equally apply to Anti-freeze.
When this advertising campaign began I was offered a free sample of the new coffee. I reluctantly agreed to play the role of lab animal for the Store Manager. He is a nice guy who doesn’t mind all of the guff that comes from me and the other geezers in the corner. I felt that I owed him.
I should have known that it was going to be a triumph of form over substance when the logo on the paper cup had blonde hair. I said nothing and took a sip. The Manager was smiling with a hopeful look in his eyes.
When it comes to coffee I am not a snob. I’m not even that picky. I grew up drinking Sanka for God’s sake. There were even times when I was reduced to having a hot cup of “Postum.” That’s not even real coffee. It is made from some sort of grain. No caffeine either.
A lot of people don’t like the coffee from St. Arbucks. They say that it is too strong, burned even. I kind of like it that way, but I have a feeling that this new “Blonde Espresso” is a concession to those people who want a weaker blend. If I want my cup of coffee to be weaker I just add some water or Half n’ Half.
The Manager handed me the cup with the blonde haired logo and I took a sip. It was definitely coffee – no doubt there. The cup held only about three fingers of the coffee. I took the rest of it in one good gulp to let it assault my palette and taste buds. I’ll be honest with you – I didn’t care for it. There was nothing wrong with it if you like your coffee black (which I don’t) and with a decidedly bitter aftertaste.
Taste is a very subjective thing. Otherwise how else could you explain why anyone would deliberately eat Lutefisk or anything from Long John Silver’s restaurants? So I try to be kind in my reviews when asked for my opinion.
“Well, do you like it, John? What do you think? How does it taste?”
“I think that it really doesn’t taste like Espresso, which is both good and bad. I don’t care for straight Espresso anyway. It is too bitter. This has a sweetness to it that reminds me of the smell of a freshly opened can of motor oil.”
“Does all of that mean you like it or that you don’t like it?”
“I guess it means that I can take it or leave it. I probably won’t consciously ask for it, but in a pinch I’d take it over a hot cup of Postum. I hope this has been helpful.”
The Manager scratched his head and said, “I don’t know, John. I honestly don’t know. I’ll let Seattle figure that out.”