Jessica Greene

When the city of Seattle is mentioned in conversation the first thing that comes to most people's mind is the Space Needle, but the second is probably coffee. Seattle is filled with coffee: Starbucks, Tully's, Seattle's Best Coffee, and many other coffee shops. So what is it like to live in Seattle and not like to drink coffee? Well I know that answer to that question first-hand. I can count on one hand the number of times that I have tasted coffee, and each time I had the same response: "Yuck!" I do not like coffee, I have never liked coffee, and I do not think I ever will like coffee.

In Seattle, coffee is not just a drink with caffeine that is made in the morning to get the day started; coffee seems to be a drink that people cannot live without. People drink coffee with breakfast, with lunch, with dinner, before bed, and whenever they have a free moment. In Seattle, drinking coffee has become a social event. I cannot count the number of times that my friends and I have gone out for coffee, as if it is the same as going to the mall or watching a movie. I do not understand the fascination. I like to drink Diet Dr. Pepper, but I do not ever invite people to go out and drink some Diet Dr. Pepper with me.

I do not understand is why I am looked upon as strange because I do not like coffee. Coffee is just a drink. I know a ton of people who prefer diet sodas, to regular sodas, but neither group is considered odd by the other; yet the fact that I do not chose to drink coffee is unthinkable to coffee-drinkers. My mom has told me that I will grow into liking coffee, but why do I need to grow into it? I am not lacking in nutrition by not drinking coffee, and I certainly do not feel like I am missing out on anything in life by not drinking coffee. Yet many people have tried to change my mind. Many of the times that I have "gone out for coffee" with my friends one of them has tried to push his/her drink on me with the notion that there is so much added flavor of vanilla, or chocolate, or hazelnut, or any other flavor one can think of, that I would not even be able to taste the coffee. Well, I know that of the few times that I have actually tried one of the drinks, I do not taste any vanilla or chocolate; all I can taste is that wretched coffee.

Just to make things clear, I have also lived in New Jersey and so I know that it is not just a coincidence that Seattle is this way. In New Jersey whenever my friends and I had nothing else to do, we did not "go out for coffee"; we would just go to the local diner, where each person could have whatever made him or her happy. However, living in Seattle one must either learn to enjoy coffee, or learn to cope with the strange looks given when people hear that someone does not drink coffee. I have gotten used to "going out for coffee" and not ordering any coffee. I will always love to sit around a table and talk with friends, but I cannot wait for the day when the table is not in a coffee shop filled with the horrible stench.

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