Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Out With the Old, In With the Subpar

My boss decided he was tired of paying for Starbucks every day, so he ordered a Keurig Vue V700 machine online using his bank rewards points. When the order was cancelled because they didn't have it in stock (Christmas was right around the corner), he ordered gift cards so he could pick one up. My mom and I were the ones who made the initial trip to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick up the model he originally ordered. Turns out, it wasn't the same one he had at home and he couldn't buy the Vue cups at Costco (only the K cups), so he said it wouldn't work and he took it back to get the model he has at home. Now we officially have an office Keurig machine and I absolutely hate it.

Why do I hate it? Well, to be honest, I haven't exactly tried it. Although the feedback I heard on the hot chocolate was not good. I took a couple of the Vue cups that were bought in anticipation of the original machine, poured in the correct amount of hot water, tasted it, and YUCK. If you enjoy artificial sweeteners like Sucralose, it's not a biggie, but I for one, don't care much for them. Trust me when I tell you that the Chai beverage I consumed was unpleasant. To be fair, the very initial taste was so-so, but within half of a second, the aftertaste turned sickening sweet. And not even in a real sugary way. In a chemical way. I've been ordering Chai lattes at Starbucks for the past few months and this particular variety doesn't hold a candle to my beloved drink. 

In all honesty, it's not even that the Keurig Chai is poor quality or that I may have to resort to drinking coffee again; it's that my routine is now spoiled. For the past two and a half to three years, I have been making daily trips to the famous coffee chain. They know my name. They know my drinks. I know the regulars because I am a regular. I let them write on my reusable cups because I go there ALL the time. Now I'll be stuck at my desk without my frothy Grande-six-pump-no-water-Chai. Do I care that my delicious sweet and spicy drink has 240 calories and upwards of 42 grams of sugar? NO! I just want the delicious hot drink on these cold winter days. I know Starbucks and grocers sell the Tazo Chai Tea Latte Concentrate, but it is definitely not the same. A good alternative? Perhaps, but still not the same. 

Ultimately, I'm going to miss the friendly faces. I'm going to miss the short, but sweet conversations. I'm going to miss walking into work with a tray full of drinks. I'm going to miss it all. I certainly cannot afford to go there every day, but I guess I'll be budgeting for a few drinks per month now to get my occasional Starbucks fix and see some familiar faces. So it's out with the old tried and true, and in with the new subpar brewing system. C'est la vie.


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