To say I’m not a coffee drinker is an understatement. Since I was a child I have found both the taste and the smell of coffee completely unappealing, and as my peers’ taste palates have matured, I find myself stuck with the drink preferences of an elementary schooler. Unfortunately for me, being a non-coffee-drinker in college feels strikingly similar to being a vampire in one of the Twilight books. I am an anomaly, something whispered of in myths but rarely seen in public. My rarity has not manifested itself in skin that glitters in the sun or in an ageless complexion, but in the inability to take part in a conversation dissecting the newest Starbucks menu items. I’ve tried a lot of coffee drinks too, and even those that are about 60% icecream, 39% whipped cream, and 1% coffee don’t do it for me.
Obviously I’m exaggerating the social implications of drinking coffee in college, but I’d be lying if I said it hasn’t set me apart from the majority. Coffee-drinking is an inherently social activity. You’d be hard-pressed to find a time when Starbucks is completely empty or when there isn’t a line for coffee in one of the Cornell cafes. Even those who share my taste preferences tend to temper the taste of coffee with caramel rather than own up to their distaste. I’m endlessly fascinated by those who would rather stomach a beverage they don’t enjoy than stray from the norm.
I’ll admit, there are times when I admire the inherent “adultness” of being a coffee drinker. There’s something so sophisticated sounding when people vent about long nights of work fueled only by their favorite espresso or discuss meeting up with friends for their daily caffeine fix. Meanwhile, should I glory in my own late night work session fueled by Mountain Dew, I’ll most likely have to listen to a lecture about how Dew is going to give me cancer. Why, pray tell, is my caffeine fix less socially acceptable than yours?
As a defense for the non-Starbucks drinkers, my coffee-less state is arguably more cost-efficient because of the amount of money I save on the daily drinks that I don’t buy. As a non-coffee drinker, I also don’t spend my mornings feeling like a zombie until I’ve had my first sip of coffee; the coffee dependence of some of my peers is like something out of a horror flick. Still, these perks only console me slightly.
Alas, I’m left to pine for the day when I can buy a juice at Starbucks without feeling like the biggest dunce on the planet, or when I can schedule a meet-up with my professor and buy a soda, instead of ordering a more socially acceptable beverage that I have no plans to drink. What a world it shall be, when “Coffee Culture” is no more. I long for a day when all beverages are created equal…