How I Panicked About Shit Coffee

Back in August, when I was feeling particularly adventurous, I decided to take a long two week vacation for Christmas. The plan was to spend a week in Denver with my family and then fly to Salt Lake City for five days of rest and relaxation.

Now don’t get me wrong. I had a lot of fun on the trip, experienced a lot of new things, and found valuable perspective, but man, was I glad to come home.

So that begs the question, why did I miss home so much?

Well, altitude sickness always puts a damper on the best of plans. Severe nausea, headache, breathlessness, and a boat-load of exhaustion are not very conducive to holiday fun, and while the worst of my symptoms lasted only a couple of days, my Vivofit was a regular reminder of just how much harder my heart was working every single day to do the simplest of tasks, like walking to the bathroom or eating.

The other issue that I experienced on this trip was that Salt Lake City is weird and not in a good way like it is for Austin or Portland. It’s a little hard to explain (although, I have found that I am not the only one to feel this way), but Salt Lake City’s vibe can best be described as stiff and stifled. Creative energy was just dead there, and I certainly didn’t appreciate having to go into a hidden, sketchy state-owned liquor store where they scanned my driver’s license into their system just to get one bottle of wine. I mean, how can you not feel singled out and judged with that?

But honestly, that wasn’t the worst of it. No, the worst came about two days away from the end of my trip when I couldn’t find a decent cup of coffee.

While I was in Denver, despite the altitude sickness, I did enjoy some delicious java. My mother and I were able to check out Downpours Coffee and Hunter Bay Coffee Roasters when we had a free moment, and my sister has made the switch from K-Cups to the Aeropress, greatly upping her home brew game.

Salt Lake was a different story though.

I rented out a cute little Airbnb, and while the owner provided about four different coffees for consumption, all of them were dark roasts and pre-grounded. Most Americans can enjoy such coffee, but for a snob like me, I had to douse the stuff with almond milk to make it drinkable.

You bet your ass that’s almond milk in that coffee.

So by mid-week, I was desperate for a good cup of coffee.

After a quick Google search, I found myself packing up my laptop and heading for Jack Mormon Coffee Company, which was within walking distance and had great reviews. The trek took a mere fifteen minutes, but by the time I arrived, the altitude had sapped me off all my strength and breath. I staggered over to the door, ready to sit down with a cup of Joe, and that’s when I saw it: A sign alerting anyone who approached that the store was closed until the next week.

I’ll admit it. I cried.

Using the anger and desperation within me, I somehow trudged back up to my Airbnb and promptly collapsed on the couch, wheezing and mentally fuming, How could they do this to me?!?!?!?

It wasn’t one of my better moments.

Eventually, I pulled myself off the couch, and after about an hour of furious pacing around the apartment and then panic-driven Google searching, I was able to find another nearby coffee shop, Publik Coffee Roasters, which irritatingly is located literally a block away from Jack Mormon.

Could’t have shown me that in the first place, Google?

Anyway, thank God the shop was open and full of delicious coffee and toasts. I honestly might have killed someone that day if it wasn’t.


So moral of the story: Don’t go to Salt Lake City.


The one and the only Pookachino

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