We shuffle into The Golden Bear Cafe en route to our 8 a.m. lecture. Not but 11 short minutes ago, we had been fast asleep in our rickety bunk beds, dreaming of the therapeutic sound of grinding coffee, the sweet scent of freshly brewed bean. So when the piercing vocals of The Bangles’ “Walk Like an Egyptian” wakes us up at 7:50 a.m., we have no choice but to spare an extra few minutes in front of the mirror in exchange for a quality cup of joe.
Fast-forward to Sather Gate, a warm and steaming cup of Peet’s french roast rests in our left palm. The time is 8:07 a.m. We inhale deeply from our cup, hoping that this sudden whiff of caffeine can make up for the five hours of sleep we got last night. Unfortunately, as we go for that first gigantic gulp, we are quick to realize that this is simply not the case. Sour-faced and disillusioned, we enter Dwinelle Hall. We robotically take a left and soon find ourselves trapped in the bowels of Dwin-hell.
By the time we finally reach lecture, six minutes late and five sips in, we grudgingly erase that preconceived vision of what coffee ought to be. We accept the fact that consuming the ominous liquid that lies in this compostable cup will bare no more significance to us than as an unpleasant means of caffeination. We throw back another forced mouthful, grimacing at the sprinkling of coarse coffee grounds that scrape down our throat. Now the brew has cooled to a lukewarm sludge even less appetizing than its sweltering sister. Is it worth the agony? The pain? The ulcers? MUST WE SWITCH TO TEA?!?
Triumphantly, at 9:02 a.m., we dunk our now-empty Peet’s cup into the nearest compost bin (an off-trail trek all the way back at GBC …) and swagger to our next class. We daydream of Cafe Blue Door and Strada, Brewed Awakening and Sack’s. But we know in our hearts that the war with Peet’s still has many battles left to fight. We will again succumb to the manipulation of convenience and meal points. But it isn’t over, Peet’s! Wherever you are, we will find you, and … we will still drink you.