But First, Coffee – On the Go

It’s a belated But First, Coffee post today┬ábecause that’s the way things are going lately.

I usually share posts which highlight recipes from my e-book, Coffee: The New Cocktail. (Click on the But First Coffee link and you’ll see.)

But today, I thought I’d share my go-to order when I’m out and about.

This is the original Donna Special. I get one every Monday morning on my way to do errands and my grocery run.

It’s a trenta cold brew iced coffee, with 4 pumps of sugar free vanilla syrup, 3 pumps of sugar free cinnamon dolce syrup, and light heavy cream. (That means a couple tablespoons of heavy whipping cream, not the halfish cup that most baristas like to dump in there if you don’t specify. Because I like coffee with my cream, thanks.)

I started calling it The Donna Special because I felt sorry for the poor barista who had to read off that paragraph on the side of the cup. Plus, when you live in a small Idaho town full of rednecks who visit the Starbucks inside their local grocery store to ask for a ‘medium’ coffee, it makes you sound a little, hmm, extra when they take more than a minute to read back your gol’dern highfalutin drink order. And if there’s one thing this temporarily transplanted Californian didn’t need, it was another reason to feel like an outsider in that little town. So, The Donna Special it became.

I’ve undergone many evolutions since I shook the dust of that little town off my boots last July and headed back to the Bay Area. But this is still my coffee drink of choice.

With a slight modification.

Not sure if it’s because I turned 50 back in October, or if it’s just a difference in the Starbucks in Idaho and the Starbucks here in California, but lately I’ve found that this drink will keep me alert well into the night and disrupt my sleep. So I started asking for extra water.

I mean, as a writer, I’ve spent many late nights tapping away at a keyboard, either to finish an assignment, make an editing deadline for a client, or just flex my fiction muscles. But that doesn’t mean I want to be up late, with my brain running circles from too much caffeine if I don’t have to be. Extra water keeps me from spazzing out as I reconsider every conversation I’ve had in the past week before getting into a sleepy state sometime before 3 a.m.

And I have to give a shoutout to my regular barista, Kayden, who knows how to make it just right. When I see Kayden behind the counter, I know my drink is going to be perfect.

And now … back to work. Hopefully I won’t be up until 3 a.m. Here’s to a productive week.

Are you a cold brew coffee fan?