I have recently been diagnosed with an addiction - to coffee. And I am not alone. This is a problem among Americans of all ages. The coffee shop has become a social staple in our culture. Its enticing aroma, cozy and inviting atmosphere, and sophisticated-sounding menu are difficult to resist, especially if you struggle with an addiction like mine.
But, when you look past the leather couches and coffees named after European cities, all you’ll find is coffee, milk, and a little caramel sauce. Anyone can buy an espresso maker and a container of CoffeeMate and create the same drink that, say, Starbucks does, for a lot less. The only difference between your homemade coffee and Starbucks is that they put it in a cute cup and throw on some whipped cream to convince us that we are treating ourselves to a well-deserved respite from the rigors of everyday life. And we believe them, too, and buy into the idea that drinking their coffee improves our quality of life.
So, next time “white chocolate mocha” begins echoing in your mind, you’ll have to make a decision: will you continue to be one of the millions of brainwashed Americans who live for their next trip to Starbucks, or will you rise above it? My advice: dare to resist and just say no.
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.