Tuesday, February 5, 2013

That Fancy Coffee

This report from a reader:

I tried a fancy "artisanal" cup of coffee the other day from one of those places with the lines going out the door. It's in the East Village, but I don't want to say where, because the guys who run it seem like cool people.

The coffee was terrible. Bitter and muddy. No amount of milk and sugar could make it drinkable. I said to my wife, "How can people drink this? They line up for this? Do they really like it or do they just think they like it because it's popular?"

We passed an old homeless man begging for change so he could get a cup of coffee. We offered him the fancy coffee and warned him, "It's fancy but not very good." He took it, tasted it, and spat it out on the sidewalk. "Awful!" he says.

Then he says, "People drink this kind of coffee because someone tells them to drink it. No one could like this shit. And Starbucks? Awful. I never drink Starbucks coffee. I like the Mud Truck at Astor Place. I'd pay $5 for a Mud Truck coffee, but not this crap."

Smart guy.



66 comments:

David said...

buy a can of bustelo and brew it on a stovetop espresso maker then keep it in a thermos, you'll have great coffee all day. since when do transplanted middle world sheep know anything about coffee? when corporations tell'em where to line up that's when.

suzanne jenkins said...

I miss buying coffee in the city. I worked at 41st and 3rd back in the '80s and there was a vendor right before I got on the train down by Wall Street. It was light and sweet and had a wonderful coffee flavor. I can almost get it right at home. I would get a bagel with seeds and butter. Oh my God.

John M said...

I'm with the homeless guy. The Mud truck, sure. Just about all the others, yuck.

Romy said...

Back in the 80s I had a coffee wagon downtown. The main orders were: "Black," "Regular" & "Light and Sweet." If you know what went in a "Regular Coffee," the velvet rope is lifted for you!

Anonymous said...

This trend of people, young people, waitng on line for food or coffee is infuriatingly absurd. Really? You're going to take that much time out of your day waiting for that shit?!

Leave it to the Baby On Board 20-something robots. This is what happens when entire generation was told over and over that drugs are bad. I'm not condoing or promoting being a burn out, but the drug culture did offer more than just doing drugs.

randall said...

The power of marketing can get people to do just about anything.

Personally, I drink Folgers. It tastes like coffee and it's the best part of waking up.

Anonymous said...

When I am forced to patronize a Starbucks I love saying "gimme a regula "

Their look of horror is priceless

Eddie Punch said...

"This coffee tastes like mud!"
"Yes Sir, it was ground this morning."

ddartley said...

I HATE--HATE HATE HATE people who drink fancy coffee!! And *I* KNOW why they drink it: they are stupid, bad sheep!

Now, didn't I sound a little crazy there? All I did was summarize the blog entry. It's irrational and nasty. Calm down. Things change. And you will die. And it won't be because the old fashioned NYC coffee cup is gradually replaced by "fancy coffee." Your bitterness is way greater than that of "fancy coffee." Stop spreading it around.

Stephanie said...

I concur with ddartley. Not all fancy coffee is overbrewed, burnt, expensive crap and not all bodega/coffee cart/deli coffee is really good (or even decent). It all depends on the beans, the brewing method, and whether the pot at your local deli or diner has been left on the burner for ages. Of course, the best and cheapest coffee is what you make for yourself at home, but sometimes that's not always feasible.

Some of us can think for ourselves, thank you very much (said the 40-something who sometimes samples the pricey stuff).

Utherben said...

Bustelo FTW! a 10-ounce brick costs less than one of these fancy coffees, and it's a vastly superior brew.

maximum bob said...

Long live Chock Full O' Nuts

Anonymous said...

Would you rather the space be another 7-11 or chain? Even when new tenants are independent coffee shops everyone gets their tits in a knot. Rents aren't going down and businesses have to offer something that will sell. Unfortunately the demographic and their needs have changed, but you have to adapt to keep going.

It's sad that you can no longer open up a fun novelty shop or something really affordable, but blame the greedy landlords.

Filmatix said...

You hear that, Jeremiah? It's really time to give up all this invective against that persecuted minority, fancy coffee drinkers. With all that blogging, how do you find the time to go troll about their coffee on their fancy coffee blogs? How do you find the time to stand on lines at Shake Shack and Artichoke?

James said...

In a post about people acting like sheep, it's funny that you got a lot of agreement without even mentioning the name of the shop.

Jeremiah Moss said...

"that persecuted minority, fancy coffee drinkers." thank you for that, Filmatix.

esquared™ said...

Apropos of nothing:
Last week, I was on a long line for the B62 bus on Bedford and 7th, bus running late during evening rush hour, and when the bus came, it was packed and the ones waiting to board had to first let out the ones getting out, etc. Meanwhile, another B-62 almost empty pulled-up behind the first bus, so I did a 180° and boarded that bus. To my amazement none, not one, of those still waiting on line to get on the first bus did the same and still waited on the long line to board the first bus. Bus driver waited a couple of minutes to see if anyone else would board and when no one did, he just took-off.

It's FOMO and a Pre-Glasnost NY.

Jeremiah Moss said...

great example, esquared. similarly, ever watch people come out of a crowded movie at Union Square and take the escalators down? two escalators go down, but they all cram into one. i take the escalator less traveled--the totally empty one--and maybe one person follows me. never ceases to amaze.

Jeremiah Moss said...

another good example of people consuming what they're told to consume? Mast Brothers Chocolate. $10 a bar for something that tastes like a bitter twig, and people clamor for it. but it's artisanal, it's made in Williamsburg, it has a whole romance to it. and the packaging is quite attractive.

Neil J Murphy said...

I'm amused by Starbucks' ads for their new 'Blonde Roast'. Listen, guys: If you have to advertise that your newest coffee doesn't taste like burned rabbit poop, then there was something wrong with your original business model.

Brendan said...

I used to point to New Yorkers' utilitarian relationship with coffee--as opposed to places like Portland--as an example of why I like it here. I guess not anymore though.

vzabuser said...

Porto Rico & Empire are the NY roasters to support.
F*ck stumptown coffee!

Anonymous said...

...and can you believe people wait in line at Russ and Daughters when you can get smoked salmon at Key Foods.

Goggla said...

I like fancy coffee and I like cheap coffee. There is good and bad in both categories.

There is a particular neighborhood place with a line out the door that serves, IMO, terrible coffee. However, their iced version is awesome. It just depends on the drink and who makes it.

If you want a surprisingly good cheap cup of coffee, I recommend Yankee II Deli on Ave C.

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful for the rise of independent coffee shops that serve the "fancy" stuff. I hate starbucks and bodega coffee is just ok - though cheap.

I'm sure some of the fancy stuff is truly awful, but some of it is also great.

Anonymous said...

Try drinking the coffees (or chocolate) like wine, and develop a palate for them. Smell the coffee before you take a swig. Swirl it on your mouth. Swallow and pay attention to the tastes on your tongue.

Bitterness are similar to tannins or acidity with wine, they can enhance or overwhelm, depending on the skill of the roaster and brewer. And the cheap stuff dials them down for mass appeal so you just taste, well, wine.

Or not. You can keep drinking the (perfectly fine) mass produced wines in the "recommended" bin at the front of the wine store, and you can drink (perfectly fine) Bustelo or (often horrific) bodega coffee.

But perhaps, just perhaps, there's something actually behind the artisinal coffee trend, and those people are lining up for a reason. And it's not for a "better" cup of coffee, it's to treat coffee as an intense sensory experience.

Anonymous said...

abraco is likely the place being referred to....and the coffee is awesome. every single person i know that has tried thinks it's amazing. the lines are there for a reason.

Anonymous said...

Must have been Abraco, the only EV coffee joint small enough to have lines out the door. The diminutive size and unjustified hype can be the only reasons for those lines, as the coffee was HORRID.

I have worked years in the coffee industry, and I went with a coffee-fanatic friend, both of us hoping for the best. We could not even finish the results. I would describe my coffee as "dirty dishwater" and he described his espresso as "bitter" and "I would have a hard time even identifying this as coffee if I hadn't been told it is". The staff attitude was also the unpleasant and off-putting "too cool for school". I'll stick with La Colombe. I've had better coffee than this at Veselka.


- Serge

Little Earthquake said...

Why spend your time worrying what other people consume? Who cares? You're not them and can't know why they like what they like the way they do. You can tell yourself that other people are all brainwashed idiots who deep down actually share your values and opinions 100%, but that will not make it true. The only truth you can really know is why YOU like what YOU like. Hating on the choices of others has got to be the single most colossal waste of time and energy.

Rather than try to change other people's opinions and choices, stop worrying about them and embrace your own. If you don't like Starbucks et. al., don't go there. It's pretty simple and leads to much greater personal happiness.

Ken Mac said...

My biggest complaint about "fancy coffee" is not the taste, but the PRICE! $2.50 for a semi small cup? WTF!! I know they have crazy rents and they have to pay schmucks for "vintage signs," but it's robbery, plain and simple. And only Middle World (love that) rubes pay for it. All so they can say "Yes, I drink there..." Gimme a regula!

Anonymous said...

And now the guns have been turned on Abraco, which replaced a falafel star across the street from Blue & Gold that was basically a late night drunk food spot for the frat contingent. Sorry, but most bodega coffee is crap. So is starbucks. Some of these "fancy" coffee shops produce mediocre brew, but not Abraco. A lot of people who go there are trust fund hipster scenesters, but so are a lot of the people shopping at the strand or Russ & Daughters at 2 PM on a workday. The owners are great, and live on the block.

The wine comment is apt - it's like somebody who can't appreciate a good wine because they're used to super sweet and fruity crap from trader joe's. Which is not to say a cheap bottle of wine can't be good, but that someone who isn't into wine doesn't have the palate to make an informed judgment. Like NYU transplants who prefer glass-and-steel crapitecture to brownstones because their only frame of reference is suburban strip malls.

BabyDave said...

Anon. 1:06 -- Do not ever even remotely disparage Russ and Daughters while I am within blogshot. Coming up on 100 years old, it's worth the time and money.

Anonymous said...

Would have to agree with :

Try drinking the coffees (or chocolate) like wine ...

I know it's a little snobby, but I for one get angry and depressed drinking bad coffee. For example, at The Bean on 2nd Ave., the coffee tastes like poison.

I can't say I enjoy the place on 7th St. I think we're talking about, but have to say, they make a very fine cup of pour over / drip coffee, as well as espresso drinks.

You may need more milk, assuming you drink it, to smooth it out, because it is so bold. I believe they use Counter Culture, which I find to be the best roaster. Fresh coffee, that's ground to order, and brewed properly, beats any other.

The place is way too small to be in when you are caffeine deprived (or anytime for that matter), and to my mind, on the cold and unfriendly side.

Regarding Bustello, well I think that tastes like poison too.

My favorite bodega style cheap coffee is from Moishe's bakery. A decent place for a fancier coffee is the place in the new Cooper Union building.

Anonymous said...

I'll have to go to the Mud Truck next time I'm in New York (a long way from Milwaukee) and check it out.

Can someone leave the NAME of the homeless bum who likes it so much?

onemorefoldedsunset said...

I have been known to spend money on fancy coffee, but a lot of it is way overpriced & not very good. And the guys making it can be very snotty (not serving certain drinks in paper cups, etc.). Nothing wrong with a good cup of coffee - it's just when the process gets fetishized & precious. Agree about Porto Rico - about the cheapest fancy cup in town - & Bustelo, which I like drinking at home.

Anonymous said...

@BabyDave, funnily enough the best coffee I have ever had was from a Russ and Daughters gift package. I think it was a special blend for Russ and Daughters from the Brooklyn Roasting Company.

Big Tsunami said...

Why spend your time worrying about what other people blog? Who cares? You're not Jeremiah and can't know what's on his mind aside from what he blogs. Hating on his opinion and what he blogs and commenting on it has got to be a colossal waste of time. Rather than change JM's opinion and telling him what to do, stop worrying about him and stop being a contrarian and an angries and perhaps start your own blog. If you don't like his blog, don't come here. Plain and simple and leads to much greater happiness in you.

DrBOP said...

WHOA......you hit a nerve with this post, eh J?.....LOOK at all the comments.
Thanks for ending my day with what I took to be a HILARIOUS post....I almost did a spit take myself when you said "He spit it out.....AWFUL"
Same situation up here in Canada, looking at all 'da yoots lining up.....3 cups of overpriced Starf*cks = 1 lb. of fresh ground which will last a week.

Shawn G. Chittle said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_mentality

laura said...

i buy coffee & grind it @the store. a nice light non bitter coffee. sometimes the hazel nut. then i make it w/a filter & a little plastic melitta. i put rice milk in it. does that make me a yunnie or artsanal or something. i dont like normal milk. i used to buy the coffee @ that little shop on 2nd between 13th &12 or was it on 12 & 11 st. the small gourmet groser w/the bench in front w/the indian owner. s.side of street.

Anonymous said...

Oh, thank you, Culture Minister Jeremiah and his Authenticity Police, for defending The People against the menace of imperialist coffee.

This is why you all are a fucking laughingstock. Coffee? Low wage workers getting screwed left and right and you're worried about coffee? Really? Middle class families getting squeezed out of the city and you're going to make your stand at the fancy coffee stand?

I love this blog. It's great. It's full of valuable information. But ultimately, the curmudgeonly "The city is going to hell" stuff is all indulgent bourgie "I got mine" bullshit. Y'all don't care about the actual things affecting non-rich people materially in this city. You are, just like the hipsters you claim to despise, instead completely obsessed with symbolic shit and this notion of what's authentic and what's not. Give it a rest, already.

mch said...

Love it. Coffee (like chocolate) has been some kind of barometer of civilization since Europeans "discovered" both. After more than 40 years of coffee-drinking (and still more years of chocolate eating and drinking), I wouldn't downplay changes in what the stomach can take as the years go on....

A few milestones for me. Italian coffee in NYC in my earliest years of drinking the stuff (teens), having observed my father drinking both coffee at home (another matter, though good, in its way, too) and the real stuff, in the proper Italian way.

Going to the upper midwest and discovering that Nords have coffee rather than blood in their veins. Who knew? Good, strong, wonderful coffee. Not NY Italian, but of the same ilk.

Years later, the abomination of Starbucks. So, some Washington Nords think that the Italians or NYC knew nothing about coffee? (A younger Seattle friend who was Starbucks proud, this in the early 1990's, dear as she is to me, really didn't know that NYC had heard of espresso before Starbucks -- hell, way before I was born.)

All that said, for a while I ordered my coffee from Peet's in SF, before it went national (to survive at all, I assume).

To finish this off: as I get older but still continue to need LOTS of coffee, I have found that milder is better, for me. The trick is (and I think of truly fine cooking: simple but exquisitely good), well, to keep it simple but good. "Milder" as in properly, freshly seasoned, rather than over-seasoned. (Again, Italians are the masters here.)

Jeremiah Moss said...

so, really, what is it about "fancy coffee" that gets everybody so heated? the response to this post seems a bit outsized. as DrBop said, it hit a nerve. a coffee nerve?

Little Earthquake said...

Big Tsunami -

I don't hate Jeremiah or his blog. I come here to read posts because I find them interesting and educational even when I don't agree with their opinions. I'm just sharing the notion that I don't worry about other people's choices - I do what I want because it makes me happy. So you're right that I oughtn't worry about someone's choice to complain about the masses and THEIR choices. If people enjoy that more power to 'em.

You've learned something about happiness today!

John M said...

This is, hands down, the weirdest reaction I've ever seen to a Jeremiah post. And there have been some pret-ty weird reactions.

Gojira said...

Thanks for your takedown of Mast. I received half a dozen of them as Christmas presents - the majority wound up being melted down and doctored to make some very expensive hot chocolate, but one - Black Truffle flavor - was one of the vilest things I have ever tastede, and wound up gracing a trash can somewhere. Ugh. As for coffee, go the the little coffee store on 2nd Ave. and 12th St., buy something from their amazing selection, have it ground, take it home and make yourself a great cup. Altho for takeout coffee I still miss the little old Puerto Rican bakery that used to be on the southwest corner of 8th and C, THE best Spanish coffee ever. Ever.

Anonymous said...

BabyDave,

The Russ and Daughters comment was clearly an analogy. R&D puts a lot of love into their product, and the place packs out on a Sunday morning as a result. Some people have tried it before and know that it's worth the time and money compared to the industrial product at Key Foods. Some of the people in line want to know if it's worth the hype. They're not easily deluded sheeple, or whatever the point of the post was.

BabyDave said...

Fair enough, Anon 11 a.m.

Pat said...

The little coffee store on 2nd & 12th, that is the Open Pantry, isn't it? I get the complaint about Black Truffle flavor coffee. "These people" have to put truffle flavor in everything, chocolate, mac & cheese, hamburgers, they cannot leave well enough alone and have to goose it up to raise the price and make it affected and precious and that is what so many of us object to. I grew up with Chock Full O' Nuts, both at home and in the many locations of that chain. When I was a teenager I went to the Colombian Coffee booth at the 1964 World's Fair and tasted Colombian coffee for the first time. It was a revelation, the first thing I noticed was I did not have to put sugar in it to make it taste good. As for Russ & Daughters, I hate long lines and don't know if I would make the sacrifice for them, but I have had their Nova Scotia on a bagel and LOVE it to pieces. One thing they taught me is I don't have to squeeze a slice of lemon on my smoked fish, which I used to do. They said we don't do that and they are right. It is an ongoing learning process. Good luck to all in your quest for the perfect balance of quality and affordability.

Anonymous said...

I've worked at a "fancy" (or as we called it, specialty) coffee shop for 6 months and there are reasons why specialty coffee is more expensive. Whether everyone needs to drink specialty coffee every day is something that can be debated (there is a time for $2 Chuck and a time vintage wines), but many specialty coffee shops in this town are not throwing fancy marketing on crappy beans. There is a lot of time, skill, and effort spent on finding and tasting beans, roasting consistently, and developing and tasting constantly when brewing or pulling espresso drinks.

Again, the amount of specialty coffee you want to consume is up to you, but specialty coffee has some real skill and passionate people behind it.

Michael Simmons said...

I'm with Jeremiah.

One of the scams of The Twenty-Worst Century is to reinvent the wheel and then quintuple the price.

If I want an intense sensory experience I'll run headfirst into a wall. Or get drunk.

Little Earthquake admonished Jeremiah for "hating on the choice of others." HATING??? The Westboro Church commits "hating." (I'm hating "hating on" -- it's an abused phrase.) Jeremiah & co. are bristling at the habits of trendy suckers who've turned New York City into an overpriced paradise for their pretentious conformism.

As for the Anon. who accuses Jeremiah and those who agree with him of being "fucking laughingstocks." (To who -- you? An alleged human named Anonymous?) The clamor for overpriced coffee by the overpaid is "symbolic shit" because it symbolizes the screwing you referenced of low-wage workers and middle-class families.

Furthermore, I support Jeremiah Moss for NYC Culture Minister. Let's get the petitions rolling.

laura said...

1) yes pat, it is the store on 2nd/e.12th. but they have all kinds of plain coffees too. & the people woho worked there were very sweet. the mexican man would even deliver water for me. yes they are pricey, i would do my regular shopping @ grististes on 14th st. 2) anon 1:29, jeremiah writes about all kinds of things. sometimes the absurdness of people. he is like a social scientist. ive watched people line up for the most stupid things too. know what im thinking? "why didnt I THINK of THIS" ??? theres a great vid on youtube, jackie mason gives his take on starbucks! hilarious, & so true. then there is another vid from micheal savage, seems the coffee trend brings out the sheeple. considering there are 49 comments here, i have concluded: a good cup of coffee is hard to find.

Jeremiah Moss said...

thanks for having my back. i am seriously curious about what happens for foodies when their favorite food and/or drink, and the behaviors surrounding it, are criticized. i think there's something about food/drink that foodies are fiercely protective about, and also take deeply personally. it might be like the way i feel about books, i don't know. i don't quite get it.

Tree said...

Drip coffee is pretty hopeless; there's no such thing as fancy drip coffee. Assuming you are talking about Abraco, their espresso drinks are generally good, but nothing is worth waiting in the line they get on weekends and busy days. I only go there if I happen to be walking by, don't see a line, and want espresso.

Brendan said...

Foodies get angry when you make fun of their food because they're using food as a social status marker, and they're really insecure about their social status. I think it's that simple.

Do you get angry when people criticize books you like? I enjoy a good argument about a book.

Joe Blow said...

I get free coffee at work so I never have to buy a cup. I get PR or Fairway beans for the weekends..

but I grew up on Ferry Coffee from the deli in St George. The used to have a extra cart for the AM rush by the waiting room doors and boom boom they would bang out the cups.

regular tasted fine to me! although at some point they started putting sugar in regular.. where as before it only refered to the color.

good to the last drop said...

Point of this post is that if a food product, whether it's coffee or whatever, is labeled fancy and is overpriced, regardless if it sucks tepid ass,in today's NYC, Bloomberg kiddies will line-up for it. If you artinalize it, sheeple will come.

Anonymous said...

Ehhh-- coffee is coffee; the main thing is, does it keep you awake? Everything else is just commentary, as Rabbi Hillel said about the Law.

Anonymous said...

while i like good coffee, it doesn't have to be fancy. yes, porto rico has always been here and was / is genuinely artisanal in the original sense of the word. they have the best, and cheapest. i hear folks on bustelo and i've tried it but it just doesn't taste good.

what i really don't understand tho, is why can't people just make their own coffee? sure we have those times where you are in between places but when you wake up can't you just wake up a tad earlier and make your own? what's the big problem? i know, time, but still. i mean how hard is it to learn to buy regular good beans from porto rico, you can just have a basic grinder, nothing fancy, and any basic coffee maker, and viola! you have your own coffee in the privacy of your residence and make your own light and sweet. i grew up working class/lower working class in a dirt road poor area and sometimes when the comments get going on these topics it feels like what is sadly one of those usually unjustified nyc stereotypes (i say this saying that i moved away from the small tow with barely any resources to survive by tooth and nail here, probably the last of the mohicans of this type, as patti smith says you really can't do it anymore).... and so i digress, in a coffee post about new yorkers saying all this when to the truly working class you just make your own, see what i'm sayin'? make it in the morning. if you are stuck somewhere, go to Porto Rico. there's nothing else justified if you want the "good" coffee. i've tried moishes, gem spa, and all the delis, but nothing is really good good.

and that's my digression on coffee, entitlement, class and well, digression. sigh.

Anonymous said...

After my last drip maker died and I bought a new one that reeked and tasted like plastic, I switched to a French press for a while. Then I discovered pour over brewing, basically drip coffee that you make by hand. When done right, it makes a superior cup of coffee, at home.

I'm sure many people don't know how most of the corner carts brew their coffee. They use fewer grinds, brew the coffee, and pour the brewed coffee through the grinds again a couple of times. Sorry, I'll take starbucks or the bean over that any day.

It may be fancy, and the hipsters working their kind of give me douche chills, but Joe the Art of Coffee on E. 13 st bet 5th and University Pl makes an excellent brew. Open Pantry is pretty good also, I used to stop in there years ago.

laura said...

i make my own coffee 99.9% of the time, as i usually dont drink past the morning. & i make the best cup of coffee it's custom for me. but, once in a great while i will have it outside. the pantry as a nice little place i am glad people agree. starbucks is only OK @ an airport. as the other stands are gross, i dont sit in airport restaurants. you can sometimes hide the starbucks burnt effect by ordering a "flavor". most coffee anywhere (5 star restuarant to corner deli) tastes bad if it sits in a metal pot. you kind of have to get there when they first make it, AND it has to be good quality coffee. good luck w/that one. this is a really popular post!

Anonymous said...

Sorry, this working class Joe doesn't want his coffee when he first wakes up several hours before the crack of dawn. Thankfully I can also afford to splurge the extra dollar for a fresh strong cup, whether it be at Starbucks or at one of the local trendy joints. I prefer the local places, but unfortunately many don't open until 7 AM, and Starbucks is open at 5:30 or 6.

Anonymous said...

"The coffee was terrible. Bitter and muddy. No amount of milk and sugar could make it drinkable. "

Perhaps the author doesn't really like coffee as much as they like a hot caffeinated beverage with milk and sugar, as is the case with many people who like "coffee".

It's like people who like chocolate, but don't like dark chocolate because it's too bitter.

laura said...

sixty two comments. only jeremiah can create that in a new york minute.

Dave - Everywhere said...

It must be a genetic deficiency but I can drink very nearly any kind of coffee (OK - not the instant stuff) and it all tastes good to me. Because of this, my only objection to "artisinal, hand crafted, blah blah coffee" is the price. There's no point in paying $2 for a "tall" (read "small") when the $1 cup tastes just the same. My only exception is when I'll pay extra to get the WIFI.

An don't dump on Jeremiah! His job is to report - so you can decide, not complain.

Michael Simmons said...

I've found the solution to this coffee dilemma and thy name be Sudafed. While recently enduring the ubiquitous cold/flu, a friend hipped me to the pill that clears up nasal drip and puts a pep in your step. Its secret? Pseudoephedrine - a speed-like substance used in the manufacture of methedrine, which is why one is required to sign for Sudafed so that the DEA knows if you're buying 103 boxes at a time to take back to your meth lab. Spill the coffee and take Sudafed! Your sinuses will thank you and no more muss and fuss about that pesky coffee bean harvested on the backs of underpaid laborers in Third World countries so that overpaid First Worlders can glug that sludge.

This is not a paid commercial announcement. All views are those of the poster and not Jeremiah's Vanishing New York or McNeil Consumer Healthcare, makers of Sudafed.