I’m an avid coffee drinker. Okay, that’s a lie, I used to be an avid coffee drinker but I’ve been drinking less coffee recently (it’s no longer the first beverage I have on a morning) but I still enjoy a good cup of coffee during the day. In the past I’d have a minimum of 5 cups of this luscious drink a day with 3 of them being before 10 am, but now I’m down to one or two cups on a bad day.
My love of coffee transcends into my love of coffee shops. I make a point to visit cafés and coffee shops whenever I travel, much like persons who collect t-shirts or shot glasses on their adventures. For my trip to be considered successful and to say that I’ve had coffee in a particular country there is one criteria which must be met: I must have sat down and drank the coffee in the place where it was bought. Of course sitting down to coffee usually means it’s served in a beautiful ceramic cup, served by (hopefully) a perky but not too chatty person and ideally I’d get to sit close to a window where I can people-watch and savor the flavor of the hot liquid running down my chest.
Today, unfortunately, this desire has been challenged.
I visited Café Blue – a coffee shop chain in Jamaica – and I sat sipping a latte and studying for my final exam next week. Luckily I got a seat near the window on a high chair and there weren’t too many people at the shop to distract me. As I sipped my latte and tried to make sense of the information I was consuming I looked up and to horror I watched a lady lick the outside of her cup each time she took a sip! What the hell? Why would she do that? Why did I have to see?
I immediately started side-eyeing my own coffee cup wondering how many persons licked it before it got to me.
I know you’re probably scolding me inwardly for behaving like a germaphobe and some of you are pointing out the obvious – they wash the cups before serving other guests in them – but I couldn’t help it.
The thought of drinking from a cup that’s been licked by a stranger disturbs me. I honestly wish I never saw it because now I’ll probably only be comfortable drinking from “to-go” cups or I’ll become the weird lady at coffee shops who sanitizes the exterior of her coffee cup before consuming her begerage. This strange woman has caused me to revaluate what was a perfect relationship between me, coffee and coffee shops.
In trying to understand why someone would lick a cup in a public place I’ve concluded that maybe it’s as a result of force of habit or maybe she was so engrossed in her conversation with her companion that she did it absent-mindedly. All the same, I’d like to make a plea to public-cup-users every where; please, for the love of all things sacred, do not lick your cups!