The search for the next ‘pseudo mocha’

Coffee is a national mania. The National Coffee Association says that, in 2018, Americans drank more coffee than ever before, amounting to a whopping 400 million cups of coffee consumed nationally per day.

With specialty gourmet brews becoming more popular at coffee shops and in Keurig form, Americans have become a caffeinated group ever on the search for the next latte, McCafe iced coffee, or, as I sit at my computer to write this column, a steaming cup of home-brewed joe (milk and sugar, please).

A prime example of a coffee-obsessed American is my husband, John. For many years, John has been drinking the little bottles of Starbucks Frappuccino “chilled coffee drink,” which was introduced under the Starbuck’s name in 1995. At first, due to the expense, he would only imbibe on the weekends. But his 31 years as a high school teacher have taken their toll; he now needs a “mocha,” as he affectionately calls these beloved drinks, every morning. Some days, he needs two.

Yes, this runs up an expense, so, for a while, I made a pitcher of iced coffee to have on hand in the refrigerator. But John then turned to sampling the many cheaper varieties of bottled coffee drinks available on the market to supplement his growing need. He finally settled on the knockoff, or “pseudo-mocha,” known as Caribou iced coffee, which was sold at dollar stores.

“It has a fine pseudo taste,” he says. He says the drink stands up to its motto: “Life is short. Stay awake for it.”

But then tragedy struck: Caribou Coffee was removed from the local dollar store’s selves. Desperately, John searched dollar stores everywhere for the last bottles of Caribou, dented and shoved to the backs of the refrigerators. He wrestled with the dilemma of whether to consume the lingering rejects that bore outdated expiration dates. Mournfully, he sent an email to the Caribou Coffee Company, only to find that the distributor, Dean Foods, decided to discontinue the product. He drank his final Caribou on January 4.

So, as the New Year continues, the search is on for the next “pseudo-mocha,” and John is branching out, looking for the next best knockoff. Dear readers, do you have any suggestions?

 In the meantime, we may have to head to one of the local up-and-coming coffee shops like Café Adella Dori in Callicoon, The Tusten Cup in Narrowsburg, or Black and Brass Coffee Roasting Company on Main Street in Honesdale, PA. The roasting company opened in spring of 2016 and offers customers not only a really good cup of joe, but also the experience of watching the coffee roasting process up close.


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