Have I mentioned how I like my coffee?
I learned the hard way that, in New York, if you want a black coffee, you have to specify ‘black coffee, no sugar’.
‘No cream’ is implied in black coffee, but, unlike elsewhere, ‘no sugar’ is not. You must be clear.
(‘Light and sweet’, by the way, means hop that hot caffeine up on cream—and it will often/always be real cream—and multiple scoopfuls of sugar.)
If the coffee slinger doesn’t know you, s/he’ll repeat this back you, skeptical: ‘Black coffee, no sugar?’
Again, this must be confirmed: ‘No sugar.’
If you buy coffee often enough at the same place, your java dealer will remember you by saying ‘black coffee, right? no sugar?”, then grin when you confirm this is so.
I very occasionally drink coffee and cream—a shot of Bailey’s in a mug of joe is a lovely winter drink—but sugar makes it unpalatable. I once threw out a large cuppa because I had simply ordered a black coffee, and the server helpfully included the sugar.
That was a sad day.
It was also instructive, as I never made that mistake again.
I think I’ve mentioned this story before, but it’s good enough to repeat: A former editor of mine at The Daily Cardinal once said ‘I hate coffee, but when I drink it, I drink it black, because real women drink it black.’
Now that’s a role model.