In defense of complicated coffee orders

The following post is sponsored by Little, Brown and Co and the new book Penguins of America -- written by bestselling author, James Patterson and his son, Jack, who came up with the idea for this book when he was five years old. Congrats, Jack and James! 
I wasn't always one of those high maintenance complicated coffee order types. When I started drinking coffee in my early teens, my drink of choice was a cafe mocha (AKA gateway coffee). I, like most beginner coffee drinkers, transitioned rather seamlessly from hot chocolate to... hot chocolate coffee and stayed with that for a beat until... I went ICED. An iced mocha turned into a coffee Frappuccino.

It wasn't until late in high school that I started experimenting with lattes and cappuccinos. I liked SAYING cappuccino aloud because the foam made me feel sophisticated.

"Hi, yeah. I'd love a cappuccino, thanks," I'd say, in a slight accent.

It wasn't until I dated a Vegan barista that my orders started to change... I went from milk-based coffee drinks to RICE MILK based coffee drinks (which were disgusting but impressive to my fellow vegan coffee-going peers). I hoped to acquire a taste for RICE DREAM but sadly, never did. So, after pretending to be someone I was not, I stopped faking and started getting real. 

With soy milk. 

The "soy latte" was my drink for at least a decade before it became too weak for my blood. As a mother of four children, I needed an extra shot of espresso to make it through weeks/months/years of sleeplessness, so my "soy latte" became a "soy latte" with an extra shot.

And then, about two years ago, I discovered whole milk -- and my coffee-drinking life suddenly changed.  WHERE HAD WHOLE MILK BEEN ALL MY LIFE AND HOW HAD I DEPRIVED MYSELF OF SUCH LUXURIES?  Certainly, I could at the very least have some whole milk with my coffee, no? 


The whole milk latte with an extra shot was delicious for a week or two before it started feeling too rich... I'm not big on dairy but also the soy milk was just so... soy-y... I didn't want to go back. SO? I COMPROMISED! 

One day, while making my own coffee at home (which is what I do 99% of the time), I came up with the genius idea of MIXING the two. 


The soy was too soy-y, the milk was too milk-y, but the soy + whole milk? WAS JUSSSSSST RIGHT.

I rejoiced. Soy + whole milk in my coffee was EVERYTHING I had hoped it would be and more. 

And just like that, I became the lady with the complicated coffee order. 
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The first few times I felt like a jerk ordering said beverage. I didn't want to be "one of those people" who's like, "can I get a skinny frappy no-whip extra-foam extra-hot extra-shot two-cup no-straw decaf half-caf knee-cap..."

But then, something changed... 

I realized, after apologizing profusely the first few times I ordered my complicated coffee drink, that nobody really cared. And beyond that, it made for interesting conversation with strangers about the nature of humans and our various complexities and compromises. 

I was always someone who liked to make things my own, so I learned to embrace my "weird" order and in time, to OWN it.

"Yeah, I'll take a latte, extra hot with an extra shot of espresso and for the milk can you mix the soy with the whole milk, please?"  - except this time, I don't care that I don't sound sophisticated. I'm NOT sophisticated and that's okay.

One of the joys of growing up is finding WHAT WORKS for you and then OWNING it. And while this post is really just about coffee, it's also about so much more. 
Because EVERYTHING is. 

For so many years, when I ordered something and the wrong thing came, I would eat it. Or I wouldn't eat it and starve and say nothing... because "I DON'T WANT TO START DRAMA, YOU KNOW? I want to be liked. I want to be EASY GOING and V. CHILL about all of the things." 

I don't feel that way anymore. 

Now, I just want to be myself. My half whole/half soy/extra hot/with an extra shot SELF.

Because finding something that works for you and then ASKING FOR IT is life-changing stuff. And I feel like, in this weird way, learning to (unapologetically!) ask for what I want instead of going along with what I'm given has become my mantra, not only at the local Starbucks, but EVERYWHERE.
To passivity being a thing of the past... (Cheers!)


Penguins of America is an elaborately illustrated book that features penguins doing absurd yet necessary human things such as... placing complicated coffee orders. If you would like to enter to win a copy AS WELL AS a $50 Starbucks gift card... 
... Comment below with YOUR complicated (or not so complicated) coffee order. I'll choose one winner at random next Wednesday June 7th. Good luck!