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Friday, November 04, 2005

The art of the Wawa latte 

I really have to give the credit to my good friend Bob Henn. In the fall of 2003, I went on my first road trip with Bob to the National Youthworkers Convention in Arizona. He stopped at the Airport Starbucks and ordered two lattes... extra-hot, double-cupped, triple-shot, half-fat, no-foam, with two sugars. He asked me to carry one, which made me realize the importance of the double-cup. Now, mind you, I've never been a die-hard coffee drinker (I endulge in the occassional social cup now and again) but Bob invited me to taste of the fruit of his labors (remind me to post at some point about the art of ordering lunch with Bob Henn) and I have to say I was extremely impressed. Later in the trip, I was treated to my very own latte.

Still not necessarily a convert, I did branch out into the espresso drinks in the year that followed. I took my second road trip in the winter of 2004 with Bob to the Shepherd's Conference in California. They had a coffee trailer on campus that served up complementary lattes. I became skilled in the ways of ordering drinks through that experience.

Meanwhile, back at the local Starbucks, my budget was shrinking but my cravings for the Caramel Macchiato was rapidly expanding. This was unfortunate for both my wallet and my waistline. When my staff position at the church ended in January, I went on yet another road trip to the CBInternational conference and enjoyed this luscious concocation during a heart-to-heart with their president, Hans Finzel.

Enter the new job with Forthright Consulting, and I am again a mere minutes walk from the local Dunkin Donuts. Somehow I had staved off the temptation at Bethel often enough to keep from pushing to 300 pound mark, but then along comes the Turtle Nut Latte. At more than three bucks a pop, I feel very constrained on my consumption of this sinfully delicious beverage. That is, until the new Wawa opens up at the corner of Philadelphia Pike and Harvey Road. This is where I discover the self-serve latte machine.

Here's how it works (in ten easy steps):

  1. Acquire one 20 oz cup
  2. Apply a cardboard cozy (this drink comes out pretty hot)
  3. Insert into latte & steamer machine; position immediately below nozzle (duh)
  4. Press and hold the "caramel" button on the right (latte) side until 1/4 full
    *Beverage will continue to dispense for a second or two
  5. Press and hold the "mocha" button on the right (latte) side until 2/3 full
    *Beverage will continue to dispense for a second or two
  6. Remove from latte & steamer machine; proceed to coffee bar
  7. Top off cup from pot labeled "vanilla cream"; proceed to fixin's bar
  8. Add one packet of sugar and one of "pink" artificial sweetener
  9. Stir vigorously and add black dome lid
  10. Pay $1.19 at register

I will be anxious to hear if anyone comes up with a better recipe for bliss.

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Bliss [noun]: (1) A perfect state of being. (2) Getting both the girl you like and her boyfriend out in Dodgeball within 7 seconds of each other. It's a joy unlike any other.

Just messin. Hope I didn't ruin your comments section.

At some point, Russ, we will have to indulge in this fine beverage together.


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