A stimulus plan you can drink

March 19, 2010|By Ben Krull

"Fed up with government gridlock, but put off by the flavor of the tea party, people in cities across the country are offering the alternative: the Coffee Party." The New York Times, March 2, 2010 ƒ} We the caffeinated, sick and jittery from bitter-tasting, overpriced beverages brewed in too-big-to-fail coffee chains, present our plan to wake up America!

Quality Coffee for All: Thirty million sleep-deprived Americans lack access to coffee, or can only afford instant. To ensure that everyone gets the coffee they deserve, we will mandate bottomless cups at all diners and establish a "java"-assistance program for caffeine-poor citizens. The assistance program will be funded by a luxury tax on coffee drinks costing more that $3.50.

Drink American, Not Americano: The traditional cup of Joe is under assault by frappuccino, cappuccino and espresso. We support legislation that renames Colombian coffee Columbus Ohio coffee, and makes English the official language of all cafes (to be renamed coffee bars).

Fresh Coffee in Every Pot: There is no excuse for lousy coffee. Delis should be fined for selling coffee that has been left standing for more than 90 minutes, or for brewing a pot that has more than three micrometers of grinds. Criminal sanctions will be applied to any vendor who, after 8 p.m., says a cup is decaf when it is really high-test.

Drink Responsibly: We favor laws that hold baristas (to be renamed coffee-bar tenders) responsible for the acts of customers who drink more than three cups of any caffeinated beverage. Half-caff should be made available to recovering coffee addicts suffering from withdrawal, and coffee ice cream should not be sold to anyone under 16.

Brown Is The New Green: Unlike the pollution-loving green tea crowd, we will fight to protect iced coffee drinks from global warming. We will require the recycling of used grinds, and fund research to develop caffeine-powered coffee makers.

An Educated Work Force: Many baristas don't know the difference between light with skim and black, no sugar. Coffee-bar management courses should be offered at all community colleges, and a large selection of coffee-table books must be available in public libraries.

A Caffeine-Stimulated Economy: We will cut taxes for coffee-cart vendors and pass a stimulus plan to create 3,000 new coffee shops. The stimulus will be funded by (what else?) a tea tax.

Ben Krull is a writer living in New York. His e-mail is ben@krull.com.

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