“Americano. Grande. Extra room.” The emphasis was crucial. Failure to include it and “extra room” could easily become mere “room” resulting in three shots of espresso hopelessly diluted in excess hot water with no room for cream. It was a delicate balance, one that I thought I’d secured by the carefully placed emphasis.
“Americano. Grande. Extra room.” the barista replied as she punched in the order. Exactly right, I smiled to myself.
I paid for the drink and then walked over to pick it up from the barista.
“Grande Americano. Extra room.” the barista said as she set the drink down and pushed it toward me.
I looked down and … stared in disbelief at a cup filled up to just below the rim, like the one pictured here.
Extra room? I thought. Is she kidding? That’s not more than an 1/8th of an inch.
Why didn’t you ask me when to stop adding water like a responsible barista?! I screamed inside. Why are you pretending that’s extra room?!
And then I made a fateful decision. My hand reached out and took the cup without a word of complaint.
I walked over to the condiment kiosk, dazed, and added cream. Right up to the rim.
Then I sat down, hopelessness filling my soul, as I took the first sip.
Watery. Insipid. Hateful.
I looked down at the beverage and felt the psalmist’s desperate call welling up within.
How long, O Lord? How long?
How long must I deal with incompetent baristas, and watery Americanos? How long?
I looked out the window sadly and wondered how many other suburbanites had suffered the injustice of botched beverages?
Lord, I cried, when will your kingdom come to suburbia?