I always spell it lattee first. Then I realize, nope, that’s not right. Late. But that’s a different word. Now I’ve got it: two t’s, one e. Latte. What I realized yesterday was that although a latte is a coffee drink, it does not follow the double letter formation of the word coffee.
That’s why I get confused. Latte. Coffee. Although the two are linked, they couldn’t be more different.
Coffee can stand alone, but lattes are always a concoction. Coffee demands only the die-hards, but lattes welcome newbies. Coffee repulses its enemies, but lattes negotiate peace-treaties.
I love both coffee and lattes. It’s interesting to me, though, that some people claim that they HATE coffee… but they will drink a raspberry white mocha latte if someone takes them to Starbuck’s (I made that drink up, don’t look for it on the menu). Then there are others who claim they are COFFEE ADDICTS… but when you glance in their mug, the liquid is definitely coffee plus many other ingredients, most likely half and half, sugar, chocolate syrup, regular syrup, and corn syrup. And other things that will most likely cause you to rupture even though they are delicious.
What constitutes a coffee drinker? Is a latte considered real “coffee?” I’m inclined to say, if you like anything with coffee in it, you can claim to be some level of a coffee-lover. Like the coffee roasts themselves: “mild,” “medium,” “dark,” “fruity,” “smooth.” I think it could work well: What kind of coffee-drinker are you? Oh, I’m the fruity kind… you know. Can’t drink it plain, gotta add all the ‘fixins. You might call me a mildishly fruity coffee-drinker.
Yesterday I went to Lemonjello’s, one of two coffee Meccas of Holland for Hope students. It’s cool, inventive in its drinks, and environmentally-friendly. Lemonjello’s has mastered the art of
lattee latte (see, I do it every time). The latte of the day was “Chocolate Chai.”
“Do people like it?” I asked the barista, who I think owns the place but am never sure.
“Yeah,” he said. Knowing that my question had been unhelpful and that I was probably still needing his guru-help, he asked, “Do you like chocolate?”
Duh, said my face.
“Do you like chai?”
Well, easy enough. I ordered that
lattee latte. And it was delicious. But it got me thinking, what if we asked the same question of people who drink lattes but not coffee, those strange folk that I don’t really understand. Do you like milk? Yes. Do you like espresso? Well, I can’t say that I do… I’ve never had it. Do you like coffee, then? Not really. Okay, then you probably won’t like a latte.
But many of them do anyways. It’s baffling. Whatever.