To be honest I’m not in the best spirits to write today… One reason being a tragedy in the family, and the other… reading about the Asian American violence in America.
Despite all this negativity, in the spirit of Frozen’s (now queen) Anna, I decided to write something nonetheless, and something timely.
There is another reason why I particularly chose a decaf today – which would be mentioned somewhere in today’s article.
Nespresso in Volluto Decaffeinato
Well, the nice thing about Nespresso is that the pods are pretty straightforward. The flavors are distinguished by color and/or print. The decaf (called “Decaffeinato” because, Italian) versions normally have a bright red dot in the middle so it’s easy to distinguish them. The pods come in sleeves of 10 online or in physical stores.
Why I Drank It
This is gonna be an ugly story: Once upon a time, I went to a coffee tour and had a particularly nasty encounter with the guide, who was of Asian descent. I complained to his manager – an old, white guy… who then told me, “I’m very sorry for his behavior… but you know how Asians are.”
I was so glad I managed to catch my hand because it quickly shot up, and I knew it would have landed on his face… Thank God I ended up pointing at him, asking, “What do you mean, what are Asians like?” He was quick to apologize for that statement, but it left a bitter taste in my mouth (which had nothing to do with the coffee we were having that afternoon).
The thing is, people who have seen me know that I don’t look completely Asian (I’ve got a bit of colonial Spanish in my genes), plus I like experimenting with hair color… I do believe my hair was a very light shade of brown at the time.
Anyway, reading about all these Asian hate crimes reminded me of that day, which kinda made me crave a latté… but was too lazy to properly brew one, which is why Nespresso was the way to go. As for why it’s a decaf, I’ve minimized my caffeine intake since what I fondly call “The Great Gastritis Attack of 2019.” I sometimes miss coffee flavors and I figured an occasional cup of decaf wouldn’t kill me.
I digress. I’m glad I never was on the wrong end of the violent aspects of Asian hate, but the nature of my work plus my predilection for travel has exposed me to little “jabs” here and there:
- “It’s a shame that you lost the accent,” said a white guy during a wine conference abroad. So shood ay eespeek layk dees tu meyk yu happee mamsir?
- “I wish we could go back to simpler times…” said an old lady during a project I did in Santa Barbara after hearing me speak Taglish to my husband (for the record, she wasn’t from the winery, she just happened to queue behind me as I was buying stuff for myself). It morphed into me telling her Catholic self that Mama Mary knew what’s in her heart whenever she prays (loooooong story which involved a Miraculous Medal pendant she was wearing).
- The old lady behind the counter in DFW asking me, “what arrrrrrre you?” with a Southern drawl and a head tilt… Some sort of subhuman species, lady. Nothing to worry about.
- An old white lady from Idaho insinuating that Filipinos were ignorant about food because they’re “from the islands” and “eat nothing but gigantic bowls of rice…” PS, she didn’t even get Philippines right, she initially said “Puerto Rico,” and again couldn’t tell that I was pinay myself… I really should stop coloring my hair and eespeek layk dees.
- “Do you have tables, or chairs?” Uhm, no, I’m wielding a wine opener like the savage I am. Run.
- “How come you speak good English?” Uhm, we had cable TV and I was left in front of it for hours on end…? I got my sarcasm, vocabulary, and now-defunct coffee addiction from Gilmore Girls and Dawson’s Creek, thankyouverymuch. #childofthe90s
- The huff and disdain a white tour guide gave me after I dared to make a reference – as a Southeast Asian woman surrounded by my Asian American family – on technical wine terms…
…and many, many more. That coffee tour, however, was the biggest highlight of my non-white, not-quite-Asian life.
Sweet, smooth, round, kinda biscuity (ooh, it’s a word!) and very light. I like using the Hazelnut cream we got from S&R… something I developed a liking to during our recent SoCal trip. It gave it a creamy, subtly nutty dimension to the latté.
4 espresso cups out of 5. I would prefer the real deal Hazelnut creamer available everywhere (and in a plethora of brands) in the US because that one tends to get more integrated to the latté… but it does the trick.
I mean, it’s coffee. I’d pair it with anything I’d find on a breakfast table: breads, tapsilog, bacon and eggs… or have it for dessert, since I’m not really a fan of sweets and I find coffee a great way to get rid of all the rich flavors left behind from a meal.
Here’s hoping for a safer tomorrow for Asians all over the world.