Sure, go ahead and tell me that you’re putting skim, 1 percent or 2 percent milk in your coffee because you love it. Actually, you don’t have to justify your food or drink consumption to me or anyone else at all, but I’m wondering if you’re drinking it because of marketing or shame or because you honestly believe it’s “healthier” or what. I say this because it does not taste good, and I want you to have nice things. It’s “milk” only in the most depressing sense, and it’s like a mouthful of self-denial, a potable hairshirt, sensible woven wool worn next to the skin. Just drink the damn whole milk and feel alive.
Or better yet, half-and-half or cream if we’re talking coffee. How much are you putting in there, a few tablespoons at the most? Two tablespoons of skim milk works out to 11 calories, while that much half-and-half is 40 calories if that’s what’s concerning you. Yes, that’s nearly four times more, but it’s still a difference of 29 calories. Feel free to dance for five minutes to make up the difference and hey, a dance party is always and forever a great thing to do with your time, but sweet, fancy Moses, just let yourself enjoy the dairy. (Whole milk is 18 calories, BTW.)
It’s none of my business, I know. It’s just that I go through phases where I think, “I will be very healthy now!” and one of the first moves I make is downgrading my coffee dairy to some percentage less than whole, and I feel a little angry and cheated all day for what? A sieving of basic pleasure from my day. The palpable flavor of dysthymia on my tongue. An argument could be made that I would be slightly less agitated if I also removed the coffee from my daily routine, but to that I say, with love: Bite me. I grow old, I grow old, I’ll drink my cream-dolloped coffee ‘til it’s cold.
But the fridge at work is stocked with all manner of milks from nut (which is a lie) and soy (lactose-free and vegan people, fist bump respect) to skim, partially-skimmed, whole, and half-and-half, so I gather there are imbibers of all of them. I surely don’t want to be that person in the office, a creepy dairy looky-loo, lurking behind the condiment and utensil stand to pop out and grill people about their coffee lightening habits, but I wish to understand.
I need more people to know that whole milk isn’t some system-clogging gorgon, served in pint glasses on the docks of the River Styx. It’s just milk as it comes out of the cow (well, after it’s pasteurized, homogenized and fortified) without the cream stripped out. The grand fat tally? It’s around 3.5 percent. Yup—not that much above 2 percent, 1 percent, or even fully skimmed. Recent studies even suggest that whole milk might be healthier for kids than skim or partly-skimmed—but kids probably shouldn’t drink coffee, so let’s leave them out of this.
Honestly, there are so many personal austerity measures to take that wouldn’t have as much daily impact on your bliss. Paring down your coffee milk just seems like self-torture, and to so very little effect. 2017 is already stacked up against humanity, and small comforts are what will get us through. Eat the peach. Carpe the dang dairy. Pour the whole milk—or even cream!—into your coffee. Life is just too short to filter out the minor joys.