Having spent a week in May in the San Francisco Bay area, I have these observations to report:
* The weather is consistently cool and comfortable.
* The locals are unfailingly polite and helpful.
* Colorful flowers grow easily and in abundance.
* The restaurants are diverse and the food is fresh and flavorful.
* It has accessible, far-reaching mass transit.
There is not a Dunkin’ Donuts in sight.
I’ve never visited a place so inhospitable.
For me, DD is the purveyor of chalices of liquid gold.
Even my wife knows to refer to the familiar pink-and-orange logo as “the holy of holies.”
Indeed, coffee for me is not merely a hot, caffeinated beverage, it is a religion.
I worship at the Church of DD where the first commandment is “Thou shalt have no other coffee before DD; thou shall not brew for yourself any false coffee.”
My wife is dedicated to drinking Starbucks, which I find pretentious and foo-foo. (The coffee, not her.)
She even goes as far as to ascribe certain qualities to Starbucks patrons.
On a recent afternoon, for instance, she was driving and was waiting to make a turn when a considerate motorist yielded so that she could turn.
“Oh,” my wife said. “You are such a nice person. You must be going to Starbucks.”
Sure enough, that is exactly where this driver was headed.
I love my wife but we have a real divergence of opinions when it comes to DD vs. Starbucks.
For me, I do not want any artisanal, free-range coffee beans collected by white-gloved hipsters wearing skinny jeans who put the beans into a satin-line burlap bag and then grind them by hand.
I also do not want my coffee orders to sound like some form of pig Latin: “I’ll have a veni, vidi, vici grande soy latte with a half gainer and a twist.”
Yes, I do in fact own — and proudly wear — a T-shirt that reads “Friends Don’t Let Friends Drink Starbucks.”
I tend to be pretty proletariat about coffee.
It is a commodity for the masses and rightly ought to be treated and marketed as such.
Coffee is too important to the public well-being to be treated as some upscale elixir that only coffee cognisanti can order.
Recent news coverage affirming once and for all that coffee is not harmful to your health and can actually be beneficial was cause for rejoicing.
So for the sake of your health, and to demonstrate you have good taste, raise a cup of DD coffee to your lips.
If you really must drink Starbucks, treat it as you would a wine tasting: Sip. Swish. Spit.
And then keep on spitting until you’ve reached a Dunkin’ Donuts.
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