Welcome to Consumerism Reports, a recurring series about all my devices. I’d like to clarify that it is NOT a tech column — it’s about spending money to speed up self-transformation, and then buying more stuff when that doesn’t work. And so I have acquired an endless array of devices: from products that promise to make my face look more triangular and the skin around my eyes less purple to ones that shrink specific parts of my salt-logged body. Do any of them work?
I made cold brew at home the other day for the first time this season with a dedicated cold brew maker I got for my birthday last summer. I ground up a whole bag of Variety beans coarsely at home and let ‘er rip for 24 hours while I blogged about the Queen’s weak constitution. The result the next day was terrible! It was bitter and took on a bright orange hue when I diluted it with water and added a touch of half and half. I could barely choke it down. I shoved the carafe in the back of my fridge and went to Dunkin eight times in one week even though I don’t like their iced coffee, because it’s near to my house and I find it utilitarian in nature, in terms of efficient caffeine reuptake in the bloodstream.
Days later, I happened across a new-to-me product. It was packaged in the same semi-opaque brown bottle that many commercial cold brew concentrates come in, but this one had a catch on its orange label: it was a coffee syrup — Dave’s Coffee Syrup, specifically, and a major component of Rhode Island’s official state drink, “coffee milk.” “Coffee milk” is milk mixed with coffee-flavored syrup, often using a brand called Autocrat, which sounds legitimate and deserving of respect, even if I can’t attest to its taste.
I like Rhode Island, and as my loved ones know, I love coffee. The last time I was in Rhode Island for a wedding weekend, I actually had to sleep in Seekonk, Massachusetts and I remember specifically there being a deficit of coffee at the Holiday Inn Express continental breakfast and a sign on the microwave that advised against microwaving whole hard-boiled eggs.
It is the only photo I have left on my phone of the trip, as I was there with a boyfriend with whom it didn’t work out, and I had to do some hard drive clearing when my phone kept making sweeping photo collages of us in formal wear that I didn’t consent to five years after the trip. Also, my dress was ill-fitting in all the photos, which was almost as painful as the dissolution of our union.
So I bought the coffee syrup. I was sure as hell not going to stir two tablespoons of it into a glass of milk, as the label suggested, because I'm a working woman who can't be lulled into a dairy nap. So I mixed it with seltzer and just a touch of the bad cold brew in my fridge.
Oh my god, I am a genius! This is the best drink I’ve ever had, and I suggest you make it, too. It made me hyper and a little nauseous, but only because I went through an entire quart (serving size suggestion is 2 tablespoons, 16 g of sugar per serving) in one week. I was also funnier, faster, more beautiful, less delusional, and better at writing than ever. I’m out here eating hard boiled eggs, microwaved whole even though it goes against conventional advice, and still grinding. This column has been dormant for awhile, and its newfound wakefulness has Dave to thank.