I hate Starbucks.
Not because the word "Starbucks" has come to mean anything so popular and prevalent as to find it on every street corner. Not because they’ve taken the idea of luxury coffee and turned it into a readily-accessible commodity. Not because they charge almost five dollars for a coffee.
I hate them because they stopped making Chantico.
What is Chantico? I could use the superlative: "hot sex in a small cup", but even that doesn’t quite cut it. So I’ll give you the actual definition: hot whole milk, ground chocolate, a bit of flavour, made really thick. It’s drinking chocolate. It’s like heating up a Dairy Milk bar and sucking it back before it resolidifies.
It’s not for everyone. I know a few people who can’t stand it. It’s strong. Really strong. It’s like a kick to the head compared to regular hot chocolate. (Especially when you ask for a shot of peppermint syrup in it!) But to anyone who loves chocolate, it’s pure heaven.
And incidentally, I’m not referring to people who like chocolate who say they love it. You don’t have an obsession for it. You don’t start drooling uncontrollably when you see a box of Lindt Lindors. You don’t go into convulsions when you enter a Bernard Callebaut store. The scent of quality dark chocolate doesn’t cause blackouts.
I should join Chocolate Lover’s Anonymous. I know I should. But I can’t. I don’t want to wean myself off of chocolate. When I see the episode of the Simpson’s where Homer daydreams that he’s in the Land of Chocolate — I identify with that! I think how wonderful a place like that would be! Damn the implications of malnourishment and tooth decay — it’s all about the gratification!
That’s what Chantico is ... or rather, was, for me. It was the little land of chocolate in a small paper container. I weep for the loss, as I know of no replacement for it. My life will likely change now as I embark on a journey to find that replacement. I will search high, low, in, out, up, down, forward, backward, under, over, through, and around every single place I ever happen to be, searching for a recipe, a scrap of knowledge, even a hint of a whisper that I might yet again experience the sheer ecstacy that is drinking chocolate.
So if you do one day come across a poor, broken man on the side of the road who asks you for a chocolate bar, give the poor man pity. It’s not his fault. The chocolate made me do it.
That is why I hate Starbucks.