The Iced Coffee Dilemma: To Stay or To Go

city flower

iced coffeeIced coffee is one of my favorite warm weather pleasures. Truth be told, I’m not too picky when it comes to icy drinks.  When I lived in the South I guzzled more sweet tea than should ever be admitted and I’ve never said no to a tangy glass of lemonade. If I don’t do something about my fondness for cocktails soon, I’ll find myself without a roof over my head. My relationship to iced coffee is a whole different animal. For me, an iced coffee isn’t something that I make a plan for. On an August morning, I might plan to make a pitcher of sun tea to enjoy in the afternoon. If I have a hankering for the latest elderflower-infused cocktail, I’ll make plans with friends to enjoy it with. Iced coffee? It just happens. The mood strikes and I need one. This usually happens when I’m not at home. When my energy is languishing after a morning’s trip around the town, I’ll get a little rumbly in my tumbly for an iced coffee (with cream and sugar, please). These sudden cravings are mostly manageable. A girl can get a cup of iced coffee approximately every 4 paces in this city. But at most of these places, the coffee is to-go and it's served in plastic. Enter my dilemma.

Take a walk around New York City on a warm day and you’ll notice green trash barrels filled, mostly, with clear plastic to-go cups. On average, it takes me about five city blocks to guzzle down an iced coffee.  After such a short walk the indignity of trying to discretely balance my garbage on an already overflowing pile is almost too much to bear. I know I should really just bring my own reusable cup, but the likelihood of me having one at the ready the moment an urge for iced coffee strikes is slim to none.

And so, I've chosen abstinence. This summer I'm making a pact not to enjoy coffee on the go. That's right. Either I’ll make my own cold brew to enjoy at home, or I’ll take a minute to sit in a cafe and enjoy an icy cuppa. The trouble of course is finding a cafe that actually serves their iced coffee in glasses, even if I'm planning to stay. Lucky for me, there’s an little spot in the neighborhood that I can duck into if the mood strikes and the cold brew isn’t ready. Still, it might be a very long summer, indeed.