Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Udder Coffee: Portland, Maine

About a half mile from where the Concord Coach (perhaps via Megabus for, like, a dollar) drops you off in Portland, Maine, there's a cute little coffee shop called Udder Coffee, in case you're like me and like to explore a bit by taking a circuitous route around a town instead of heading straight for the center of its downtown.

I mean, how can you not love walking through cute New England neighborhoods on a 73 degree day in August?

Look at that sky, mmph!
 There are posters and flyers for comedy shows, music gigs and home businesses on the walls, counters and bulletin boards, and you can pick up a copy of one of those adorable small town-type newsletter/papers, Coffee News, from this cute bookshelf:

They had Guess who, Connect Four and one of those 7 game set boxes to choose from.  Not pictured, they also have coffee beans for sale, for instance: Marakesh Espresso.



 I read an illuminating article while I was there, for instance:


I could make fun of how un-novel, sad, and basically insulting her advice to chew sugar-free flavored gum instead of eating dessert is, but I'll just move straight to the point that I've totally tried that plan many times, and the bull shit they put in those things fucks up your, most likely, especially if you're a dieter, already fucked up digestive system.

My Macbook likes to find faces in all the photos I upload and then save close ups of just the faces in their own files.

Yikes!  Back up!  Back up!
But back to Udder.  They have the same stuff every coffee shop has, except they change all the terms to their own cute little names.  

For instance, they called my red eye a "Jerry's Jolt."  It was delicious and effective, no matter what you call it.
One thing I love is that their iced drinks come in 16, 20 or 24 ounces.  I believe that 20 ounces is the perfect size for iced espresso beverages, especially lattes, and even though I almost always only drink black coffee drinks anymore, this pleased me.

There were a few little pastries there, and they all looked just okay, but of course I had planned to get one in order to review it and to have a pastry to pair with my coffee, even if it was iced, so I asked the cashier for her suggestion.  She enthusiastically recommended the cinnamon twist:


Perhaps if it had been fresher out of the oven it would've been better.  As it was, it was fine, a little too sweet, not very flaky or soft or dense.  Perhaps the blueberry scone, the cherry almond scone, or the almond croissant would've been better.

Udder Place Coffee Co on Urbanspoon


While I was there I overheard part of a conversation between two men that made me a bit curious, though mostly perhaps because that's what caffeine does.  Either way, once one man left, I engaged the other in a conversation, which is how I learned that he's a salesman for some kind of company that sells all kinds of "wellness" stuff.

"Wholesome" cleaning materials bore the shit out of me, so I latched on to one area I find interesting: multivitamins.


Watch the whole thing really, but from minutes 10-12 he talks about what he calls "Big Placebo," which is the pertinent part.

But this salesman said that particularly in the case of minerals, we need supplements because our soil is all but depleted of minerals.  Furthermore, most mineral supplements, apparently, are similarly bereft of the right stuff.  Only his company is selling what we need.  I asked how long he's been taking his company's regimen, a $60/month habit.  Seven years.  And.. has it made a difference?  Oh I definitely feel better, definitely more energetic.  If nothing else, it seems to be an effective placebo for him.

Another guy joined the conversation for a minute, a customer who also definitely feels better, having used the company's products for years ("the cleaning materials really work!"), and he assured me that the products were great on their own, that I didn't need to join in on the selling front.

Oh.  "So, what you're saying is, you wouldn't call this a pyramid thing?"  I was being polite by censoring the word "scheme."  I had thought he was just a salesman peddling crap of which I was already skeptical, so now that I realized there were triangles involved, I was in full cynicism gear.

Salesman McGee said something about "multi level marketing" and then assured me that being "just a customer" was also a great path in life.  He wanted my information.  I gave him the url of this blog, the same as I do for most guys who hit on me and ask for my number.

My take away?  We're all selling something.