Michael Delahoyde, PhD

Professor of English

Jessica Greene: Essay

Jessica Greene

When the city of Seattle is mentioned in conversationthe first thing that comes to most people’s mind is the SpaceNeedle, but the second is probably coffee. Seattle is filled withcoffee: Starbucks, Tully’s, Seattle’s Best Coffee, and many othercoffee shops. So what is it like to live in Seattle and not liketo drink coffee? Well I know that answer to that question first-hand.I can count on one hand the number of times that I have tastedcoffee, and each time I had the same response: “Yuck!”I do not like coffee, I have never liked coffee, and I do notthink I ever will like coffee.

In Seattle, coffee is not just a drink withcaffeine that is made in the morning to get the day started; coffeeseems to be a drink that people cannot live without. People drinkcoffee with breakfast, with lunch, with dinner, before bed, andwhenever they have a free moment. In Seattle, drinking coffeehas become a social event. I cannot count the number of timesthat my friends and I have gone out for coffee, as if it is thesame as going to the mall or watching a movie. I do not understandthe fascination. I like to drink Diet Dr. Pepper, but I do notever invite people to go out and drink some Diet Dr. Pepper withme.

I do not understand is why I am looked uponas strange because I do not like coffee. Coffee is just a drink.I know a ton of people who prefer diet sodas, to regular sodas,but neither group is considered odd by the other; yet the factthat I do not chose to drink coffee is unthinkable to coffee-drinkers.My mom has told me that I will grow into liking coffee, but whydo I need to grow into it? I am not lacking in nutrition by notdrinking coffee, and I certainly do not feel like I am missingout on anything in life by not drinking coffee. Yet many peoplehave tried to change my mind. Many of the times that I have “goneout for coffee” with my friends one of them has tried topush his/her drink on me with the notion that there is so muchadded flavor of vanilla, or chocolate, or hazelnut, or any otherflavor one can think of, that I would not even be able to tastethe coffee. Well, I know that of the few times that I have actuallytried one of the drinks, I do not taste any vanilla or chocolate;all I can taste is that wretched coffee.

Just to make things clear, I have also livedin New Jersey and so I know that it is not just a coincidencethat Seattle is this way. In New Jersey whenever my friends andI had nothing else to do, we did not “go out for coffee”;we would just go to the local diner, where each person could havewhatever made him or her happy. However, living in Seattle onemust either learn to enjoy coffee, or learn to cope with the strangelooks given when people hear that someone does not drink coffee.I have gotten used to “going out for coffee” and notordering any coffee. I will always love to sit around a tableand talk with friends, but I cannot wait for the day when thetable is not in a coffee shop filled with the horrible stench.

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