Welcome to the Wonderful World of Noz

Ready for tasting. 

After seeing the growing, the processing and the roasting, it was time for the tasting. Like tasting w
Ready for tasting. After seeing the growing, the processing and the roasting, it was time for the tasting. Like tasting wine, proper coffee tasting is a detailed and specific process, starting with breaking the foam and inhaling the aroma of each. Then tasting, making sure your palette is neutralized (usually via aqua con gas). Super and fun and tasty! The plantation roasts their own coffee, picking (one by one by hand, seriously) just the best of the A-grade beans making a real great coffee. The Colombia beans are quite mild and sweet, not needing sugar or milk.

Noz accelerates cars in the same way that energy drinks amp up our bodies.

Our obsession with high octane energy has turned us into jittery cartoon characters, accelerating like the Road Runner with nowhere to go. We don't stroll; we spring. We don't rest; we crash.

Yesterday, I saw a guy jump out of his car at a convenience store. He sprung out like a jack-in-the-box finally released. While his buddy pumped gas, he ran inside as if he were being chased by a bear.

I kept an eye on him and moved toward the door for a quick escape. He went straight for the drink area and grabbed six energy drinks.

He sprinted to the front counter before he realized there was a line. He tapped his foot and breathed heavily.

Suddenly, he screamed something incoherent at his friend even though the doors were closed, sounding a lot like the Wookie in Star Wars. He put down his energy drinks and charged out the door.

He returned and we all let him pay for his energy drinks, because God knows he needed them.

He threw two bills on the counter and yelled, "AND ADD $25.00 IN GAS!!" as if he were Bob Goldthwait's grandson.

Amped up people are everywhere. I observed the mannerisms of real junkies years ago in a tough community in California. I see similar mannerisms inside of Starbucks.

People stroll in casually, but you can sense their need for speed. When someone takes too long to order their drink, customers behind them begin to twitch. They tap their feet and stare at the coffee cups for sale, trying to remain calm. And that's just my behavior.

I rarely go in our Starbucks without observing at least three people in line. And, yes, my husband and I go every day. I'm a junkie, too.

It amazes me that parents are dragging in their children and buying them caffeinated drinks. Why would you voluntarily get your kids all hyped up and hooked on six-dollar beverages? When my kids were little I supplied drugs like Benadryl, which was inexpensive and sleep-inducing.

Once it is our turn in line, we smile. We joke around with the cashier, because she's got the goods. We stand and wait 10 minutes for a plastic cup filled with liquid, and yell out, "THANK YOU!" like the guy in the convenience store when it's delivered.

We do a little dance, because we've been jonesing for a Mocha Frappuccino, and it's now in our grasp.

I would love to video us junkies walking into a coffee shop, all slumped over and fussy, then juxtapose it to our walk after receiving our drug of choice. Suddenly, we are strutting like John Travolta in the first scene of Staying Alive.

We are smiling. We have the syringe and it's got a straw.

I watched the old "Dick Van Dyke Show" the other night and noticed the size of their coffee cups. Rob and Laura drank from shallow, delicate china cups that allowed about five ounces of coffee.

The days of minimal black coffee are over. Now we add chocolate, caramel, whip cream, sprinkles and more caramel.

We walk out with something that resembles what we used to get at Friendly's ice cream called "the trough." Once you finished, you got a button that said, "I Made a Pig of Myself at Friendly's."

Perhaps Starbucks should start handing out those buttons. It worked for Friendly's.

Might I say that as I write this, I spy an empty Starbucks Mocha Frappuccino cup to my left, a diet Mountain Dew bottle to my right, and a Starbucks Doubleshot energy drink on the desk behind me. I am one of them.

The only difference is that I'm 54, and this amount of legal speed only gets me to a normal range of energy. Without it, I would be at home in bed, losing my job.

But no excuses. I'm the person in line at Starbucks freaking out as the woman in front of me asks for a description of every food item offered before deciding on a plain bagel. I'm also the one who groans loud enough to embarrass my husband when the cashier tries to cross-sell something.

Do the employees not know how dangerous it is to hold up a line filled with junkies?

Obviously, hard drugs pose a bigger problem, but for fewer people. We now have thousands of very jittery, nervous people on our roads and in our schools and in our houses.

Let's reconsider our caffeine addiction. Perhaps we take it a little more seriously.

I say we do a 10-year study so that I can slowly wean myself from my Mocha Frappuccino Light.

Otherwise, this could become a situation that is less "The Dick Van Dyke Show" and more Dick Van Dyke starring in "The Morning After." Because I'm in love with my noz.