On Tuesday, Starbucks launched a new espresso roast, the first espresso choice in four decades. It’s called Blonde Espresso, and you can order it any number of ways: as a shot, in a flat white, in a latte, whatever your caffeine-addicted, jacked-up heart desires.
But here in Miami, we’re not sure we need it.
Granted, the roast is considerably less vile than the terrifying Unicorn Frappuccino. It is coffee-based, after all, and all things coffee-based are wondrous miracles that enrich our souls.
And don’t worry – you can still order Starbucks’ signature espresso (though there’s no decaf version of Blonde Espresso, and what’s wrong with you that you’d order decaf anyway?)
But Blonde Espresso – which is lighter and less bitter than Starbucks’ regular espresso – is dangerous. It’s a gateway drug, intelligently designed to lure the unsuspecting into the hard, glamorous life of caffeine addiction.
For those of us with a four-shot-a-day habit, Blonde Espresso is far too bland. But for the non coffee drinker, it’s light and smooth. A shot of regular espresso or even one of Starbucks’ Americanos may be too bitter for them. They might try the odd Peppermint Mocha during the holidays, but they won’t shake and tremble with the desire of a true believer.
But after a few Blonde Espressos, they may well end up running straight into the arms of the brown dragon. They might spend their paychecks on expensive, limited edition blends and stuff their pockets with Keurig pods.
Here in Miami, though, we’ve been ingesting caffeine since the womb. We don’t need a gateway drug. Cafecito fuels our city, which explains our driving, the decibels at which we talk and the way we wave our arms around a lot no matter what our nation of origin is.
We don’t need a smooth entry into the maelstrom of caffeine. We live there, every day. And we’re happy to be here.