She's missing her Orange Cappuccino moment

JANET'S WORLD

November 01, 2009|By Janet Gilbert | Special To The Baltimore Sun

Lately, I haven't been able to enjoy my preferred International Coffee moment in the afternoon, and I'm getting a little cranky.

I like a particular flavor called Orange Cappuccino. It lacks that freshly ground aroma and isn't particularly citrus-y, nor does it have the foamy head of a true European cappuccino, but what can I say? My pedestrian tastes find it pleasing. I always have some on hand so that I can trick myself into experiencing what the commercials promise: a cosmopolitan me, sitting on my fashionable tuchis at a sidewalk cafe with a nice cup of pick-me-up.

Oftentimes, the potential for a coffee moment could get me through a stressful situation, such as the elementary school carpool pickup lane during inclement weather. I'd smile and think to myself: 'Once I get through this interminable line and drop everyone off and arrive home, serve the children a snack, vacuum the remains of Little Debbie off the floor, do 15 minutes of math facts with each child and marinate the chicken for dinner, I'll sit down with the newspaper and a cup of Orange Cappuccino.'

Rarely did my coffee moment materialize in those days, and I've probably only managed about two per week in the ensuing decade, but my point is I've been rewarding myself with thoughts of relaxing with a cup of Orange Cappuccino for quite some time.

For the past month or so, though, I have been unable to purchase Orange Cappuccino in any of my area grocery stores. I've bought Cafe Francais and Cafe Vienna, Vanilla Bean and Mocha Latte, but I'm just amassing a pantry of International Coffee moments for other people because I really only like Orange Cappuccino. Come on over for instant coffee; I could serve Central Maryland.

At this point, I've even queried the customer service managers at various grocery stores: The disappearance of Orange Cappuccino is a mystery to the grocery professionals, too.

Finally, I did some searching on the Kraft Food Web site to find a question that most closely matched my question: "What the heck happened to Orange Cappuccino?" I ended up spending a half-day online, my interest piqued by such unrelated questions as: "I've had my Kraft 100% Grated Parmesan Cheese in my refrigerator for a while now. How can I tell if it has expired?" This reminded me of the time my Aunt Hazel brought out her Parmesan cheese canister from the Spanish-American War and, over my brother's polite objections, made him shake the green flakes on his pasta. As a result of this culinary experience, I insist on using only cheese in packaging I can see through.

The question "What is the history of jet-puffed marshmallows?" led me to delve into the serious side of what heretofore I had considered a light, fluffy subject. I cannot wait to regale my children with the history of the jet-puffed marshmallow at our next backyard campfire.

I must admit I found question No. 48 a shocker: "How do I clear my browser cache?" This made me realize that Kraft foods is really super-knowledgeable. We're thinking they're all about Cheez Whiz when in fact they are probably designing computerized kitchen-based missile interception systems for the U.S. government.

Eventually, I came across a question that approximated mine, and I learned that in July, the International Coffee flavors known as "cafe" were changed to "latte," and that Orange Cappuccino has now become "Orange Spice Latte." That product has still not appeared on my local stores' shelves, so I'm going to have to go back and search the Web site for a close match to my next question: "When the heck is Orange Spice Latte going to be available?"

But first I've just got to read the answer to No. 106: "I see 'new great taste' on the can. What does that mean?"

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