Alex Wicker is used to odd looks from baristas when he stops by his local coffee shop. His order is unusual: black coffee.
“Asking for just ‘coffee’ with no added context, without going through a round of 20 questions with the server, has become impossible at this point,” said Mr. Wicker, a 23-year-old student from Shelbyville, Ind.
In a nation awash in Pistachio Cream Cold Brew and Iced Chocolate Almondmilk Shaken Espresso with Chestnut Praline Syrup, black-coffee drinkers like Mr. Wicker are becoming a rare breed.
Hold the extras. Yes, really.
What lovers of straight black consider simple, easy-to-pour orders can wind up stuck behind a jam of customized, multipump concoctions, they said. Sometimes their pristine black joe is lightened with sugar or cream anyway. Some baristas seem bewildered by the concept of coffee taken plain.
Mr. Wicker said his purist take on coffee makes him feel like an outcast. “I don’t know a single person within my age range that enjoys drinking black coffee,” he said.
A tip for Mr. Wicker. I have finally watched a Harry Potter movie and I can report that the proper Starbucks incantation is and long has been “Venti bold, no room.” If they’re out of “bold” (dark roast - which they tend not to brew in the afternoon), they’ll tell you and you can get a Pike Place — or you can wait for a “pourover.”
I know no further incantation for getting your coffee quickly, ahead of all the frou-frou drinks of people who don’t really love coffee and who drink it only for fashion. But there’s no reason why the person who takes your order can’t fulfill it on the spot.
Or just order this and make it at home.