Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How Tall is Tall?

I spent a few hours this morning with a couple of friends at a local coffee establishment. Okay, it's not really local since it's a worldwide chain that has created millions of loyal customers who believe, actually believe, that "good coffee" should be burnt to the point that the individual and often quite phenomenal characteristics of the various beans are imperceptible ... all flavors simple melding into a homogeneous sea of blackness so that a customer can get the same cup of coffee in Beijing, Bentonville, or Brussels. What a travesty! But I digress.

So, we were at the coffee shop, but one of my friends wanted tea. The conversation with the barista went like this:

Friend: "So I'd like some tea."
Barista: "What size would you like?"
Friend: "What size do you recommend?"
Barista: "Tall."
Friend: "How tall is tall?"
Barista: "Short." At this point she showed him the "tall" size coffee cup which, evidently, is short after all.

I thought this whole exchange was quite hilarious, reminiscent of Steve Martin's cafe exchange in LA Story:

Tom: I'll have a decaf coffee.
Trudi: I'll have a decaf espresso.
Morris Frost: I'll have a double decaf cappuccino.
Ted: Give me decaffeinated coffee ice cream.
Harris: I'll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.

Now, if you really want some great coffee that celebrates the specific nuances of each bean, go to http://www.coffeefortheworld.com/.

[For further hilarity: LA Story.]

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