I am rarely crabby. My friends can vouch for that. Oh, I would complain about politics and showbiz and about my pesky officemate E. I would whine about clogged toilet bowls and people who don't know their biodegradables from their non-biodegradables. I would object to careless, if callous remarks. But to rant about something for three days in a row? So very not me, definitely. Unless we're talking coffee.
And we are.
At the grocery over the weekend, I grabbed a big bag of instant coffee that had "new and improved" or something to that effect proudly bannered on the package. The tag alone was enough to conjure--where did I get the phrase?--coffee-clouded dreams. In my mind I pictured myself out on the garden chair, waiting for sunrise and warming up with a steaming, heavenly mugful.
Alas, "new and improved" is relative. One sip, and I thought how do you improve something that is already perfect as it is? I mean, this is the same coffee that serves as official pasalubong to an equally coffee-loving sister in NY. And now, it's no longer distinct from the nicely packaged but otherwise unremarkable "stateside" instants. Boo hoo.
The blah-ness of it all urged me to e-mail customer service. No, I did not rant. The "new and improved" version is much too weak to make me raise hell. I did tell the company that the coffee is much too sweet. Adding water makes it taste more like sweetened caffeine-spiked water.
I know, of course, that coming up with something new and improved takes months of experimenting, of brewing this and mixing that, of research and stuff. I imagine test tubes and flasks and supermarket kiosks with blindfolded housewives choosing between Brand X and Brand Y.
My mind and my tastebuds scream for the old "original," though. I have already raided the grocery for the old stock. Pretty soon, I know that I'll have to do my version of the Brand X and Brand Y debacle.
Better yet, I'll go back to brewed. In which case, I'll have to go to the store for a new and improved coffee maker.