Cheap coffee is one of America’s most unsung comfort foods. It’s as warming and familiar as a homemade lasagna or a 6-hour stew. It tastes of midnight diners and Tom Waits songs; ice cream and cigarettes with a dash of Swiss Miss. It makes me remember the best cup of coffee I ever had. Even though there was never just one best cup: there were hundreds.
I have been doing a lot of distance driving recently, and I find great fun in stopping at McDonald’s for a $1 coffee (any size) or at QT, my new favorite all-in-one gas station, for a visit to their coffee bar. Somehow drinking their coffee makes me feel happy and humble and home. I love grabbing the insulated cups that are still too hot to handle easily, popping off the lid so that the heat can escape, and then slurping them slowly over a scalded tongue. Its better than the bloating of a high fructose corn syrup carbonated Coke. I use discretion with my legal drugs . . . caffeine better than concentrated sugar syrup!