We place a certain level of trust in the people we ask to pour our coffee – perhaps more trust than many of the people who pour coffee for a living are capable of handling.
I drink decaf most of the time, almost all of the time. I have a sensitivity to caffeine that can trigger medical problems. I know when and how much caffeine my body can tolerate, and consume it intentionally only when I am almost positive it will be fine. When I ask for a decaf, it’s not to be special, prissy, uptight, or a pain in the ass, it’s because I enjoy coffee and want to be able to still drink it without concerning myself what sip will send me to the hospital. And for anyone who has the attitude “what’s the point of decaf, you can’t make that statement and have any understanding whatsoever about coffee other than it happens to have the drug caffeine and perhaps it is your preferred vehicle to consume that drug.
I happen to enjoy a cup of coffee, the flavor, the aroma, the ritual of it; caffeine does not lend itself to any of those things. I no longer patronize Starbucks because they decided that it is not cost effective to brew decaf for their customers. They are no longer willing to dedicate nine square inches of counter space for an air pot of decaf that turns a profit after a single pour – they can go fuck themselves!
Here’s another problem though, you go into a coffee shop, or a diner, or wherever to have your coffee and especially when it very busy, the employee’s seem to work on autopilot. You ask for decaf, all they hear is coffee – instinct takes over and they grab the regular pot, pour, and walk away - there is a game of potential Russian roulette. I have developed a habit now that after I get my coffee, I ask the server, “this is decaf, right?” I bet you would be surprised what percentage of time the response is –“Oh, sorry…” or some variation of an inexcusable fuck up. I assure you, it’s way more than half the time.
Should it be so difficult to get a cup of decaf coffee? I think not.