When I’m at home, weak coffee in a Styrofoam cup tastes like… weak coffee. And I don’t even have any Styrofoam cups at my house. In short, it’s not good.
When I’m at the YMCA, weak coffee in a Styrofoam cup tastes like accomplishment. It tastes like “hey, way to actually GO to the gym this time” mixed with muscle fatigue. It doesn’t taste so bad, really.
When I’m traveling from gig to gig, as I am right now, weak coffee in a Styrofoam cup (most likely pumped or poured from a carafe in the lobby of a two star hotel) tastes like adventure. It tastes like renewed independence and the thrill of actually making a living as a musician. Occasionally, if left on the burner for too long, it has a hint of homesickness. Sometimes when the lid doesn’t fit quite right I miss my pillow (you know, the good one) or having dinner with friends at a place I know well. It can't all be good.
But then, I take another sip. And another. By now the coffee has found a home in the cupholder beside the driver’s seat, and I am on my way. That’s when, homesickness aside, I remember how much I do love weak, crappy hotel coffee in a Styrofoam* cup, with that unmistakable flavor of “where next?” that Starbucks has never quite mastered.
*Of course, I’d prefer a paper cup. Styrofoam is the devil. Somebody tell the hotels and the folks at the Y.