On our drive up to Maine, Kish wanted to grab a cup of coffee, so we stopped at your basic 7-Eleven in a small town in western Massachusetts. It’s the first time I’ve been in a 7-Eleven in years.
It’s safe to say that the current 7-Eleven coffee station, even in your basic 7-Eleven in small town America, is . . . elaborate. In fact, incredibly elaborate would not be an exaggeration. Whereas there used to be one little area with a few coffee pots where you could pour yourself a generic regular coffee or decaf coffee and add your standard creamer, sugar, or non-sugar sweetener, now there is a long row of different coffee options, depending on your preference in strength and flavoring, and then an extensive choice of creamers and additives that apparently is offered to allow you get your 7-Eleven cup of coffee as close to what a high-end coffee house barista might serve you.
My mind reeled at some of the flavoring options. There’s hazelnut, of course, but cinnamon? Marshmallow? There had to be more than a dozen different creamer flavors, and that doesn’t even account for the dry materials you could add to your cup. The standard creamer bin was totally outnumbered by a host of sweetening alternatives.
Coffee is increasingly becoming less like coffee, and more like candy or ice cream or dessert. Americans apparently have such a sweet tooth that even the old cup of joe from a 7-Eleven store needs to be gussied up into some frothy, hyper-sweet concoction. Is it any wonder that we’ve got an obesity problem in this country?