New York Lesson No. 325: Coffee

When getting coffee from a deli, bear the following in mind:

“Coffee” is two sugars and milk. You have to ask for cream if you want half & half instead of milk. You have to ask for “regular coffee” if you want it black, but regular coffee still comes with sugar. You have to specify “one sugar” if you want less or “no sugar” if you want none. So, what I think of as just coffee is actually “regular coffee, no sugar.”

I used to get a coffee and a muffin on the way to work every morning at the bakery/pizzeria on the corner where I enter the No. 7 train. The first time I did it, I watched the guy behind the counter slosh two heaping spoonfuls into the cup before pouring on the coffee. It was more like coffee-flavored candy. So, started the next day, I became more specific. Then I tried taking no sugar at all, which is now my habit — and not a bad habit, come to think of it

I stopped going to that bakery for two reasons. 1.) They changed muffin suppliers, and the crusty raisin bran muffins I love were replaced by soft, oily shadows of raisin bran muffins. 2.) I just drink a cup of coffee at home in the morning while I’m making lunches.


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