Parting shot: the daily grind

But there’s a giant shock – with the rapidly deflating dollar, a cup can cost me way too much.

Starbucks used to be my opium den. Not only is it too expensive, but their stuff’s weaker than the pansy I beat up in kindergarten.

I’ve made a decision. It’s finally come down to this. I hate the brown and green devil, so this is my divorce.

You’ve become a snarky reminder of commercialism. You sit on every corner reminding me that ‘it’s OK to pay five dollars for two shots of espresso and two ?cups of sugar.’

Futhermore, you’re a just starry-eyed creature, clingy to every cause and one-hit wonder, always selling crap in your store. I think your over-saturated nature (and oversweetened coffee) has led to your demise.

I don’t understand why you serve sandwiches or lame emo hipster music. I don’t understand your self-mutilation. Back in July 2008, you announced you were killing 600 Starbucks stores. I’m glad – that’s 600 less stores to blast the latest pathetic Sufjan Stevens album.

Fortunately, I’ve found a new love.

When I can, I prefer to brew my own batch of aromatic awesomeness. I just purchased my first French press and I’m experimenting with my own gourmet batches of coffee home brew.

I’m avoiding the drip; every sip of the Folgers is one wasted sip that could’ve been a finely settled Turkish coffee, brewed from freshly ground organic Sumatran beans.

But such fantasies are simply too far to reach on an ordinary day. Life is too busy to wait the five minutes to extract all ?the positive flavors out of my press pot. What to do?

California State University, Fullerton Professor xtine burroughs, the iconoclast with a cool artsy name lacking capitalization, invented a solution a few years back.

Delocator.net is an anti-Starbucks Web site that is not about hate; it’s about finding your local coffee shop. The idea is simple: enter a zip code and find a local jiving java hot spot. After submitting your query a new page shows two columns. On the left, it lists all of the local shops in a five-mile radius. On the right, it notes all of the Starbucks in the same area. The well-known mermaid witch easily outnumbers the mom-and-pop shops.

The site, however, has become neglected.Burroughs notes that it’s set for re-launch next year.

It’s all about finding a local shop, so I’ve found two brilliant havens for coffee connoisseurs located in walking distance from Fullerton College.

Monkey Business is just south on Lemon. Run by a nonprofit organization that helps emancipated children, it serves two different coffees of the day. They’re cheap – $2 for a large brew cup. This place is always a delicious drip, they don’t monkey around. Monkey Business also has vintage records and other lingering junk for puchase, as well as random musical instruments like banjos and keyboards to play on.

McClain’s, Just south of Berkeley Avenue on Harbor Avenue, is just as homely and tasty. The dark walls serve as a display gallery for rotating local artists. Macabre decor and servers just pissed off enough to make the best coffee ever make this retreat from your fast-paced life a must.

There’s a reason why I choose local. There’s a reason why you must. Demand satisfaction from your shop. We all need quality coffee, not blackened mermaid piss that sits there, dripping from ?re-burned beans.

Futhermore, I am an artist. Every art scene has their vice. Rock musicians bounce on nights of their booze and cocaine. Those painters use up their heroin and opiates. Us graphic designers, we have our coffee. (Cigarettes too, but those taste like burnt coffee.)

And as we artsy types progress, we demand the better fix. We don’t want to burn out, you know. Substandard substance will not do. We’ll make it clear, top quality in mass quantity.

I demand you find a local shop. Santa Ana has its Gypsy Den and Orange has its Ugly Mug.

Who is your neighborhood bean brewer? Do you even know? Or do I have to knock your jazz-hating ass back ?to kindergarten?