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Caffeine…

June 3rd, 2008 · 6 Comments

I’ve never been a coffee drinker. I can’t stand the taste of the stuff, actually. Some types of coffees even smell horrid to me while they’re being brewed. Starbucks, for instance, always smells to me like it should be sealed in fifty-gallon drums by rubber-suit-clad hazmat workers, trucked to a remote location in a Nevada desert, and buried deep underground in cement bunkers so that it can’t harm human beings.

On most mornings, it doesn’t take any more than a small breakfast and a cup of orange juice to get my brain moving. But, since I’m an early-riser and AM flyer, I do need a bit of help waking up in the morning every now and again. I don’t drink very much caffein in the first place (compared to other people I know, anyway), so it doesn’t take much for me to feel the effects of it. Typically, I’ll grab an iced tea with a little lemon in it and that will be enough. But if I’m in an extreme morning rut, I usually head towards the diet sodas.

Yeah, I know carbonation isn’t all that great for me (especially early in the morning), and neither are the artificial sweeteners. But the amount of caffeine in a Diet Pepsi is enough to give my brain the jolt it sometimes needs.

And yes, I prefer Diet Pepsi to Diet Coke. Diet Coke, to me, tastes very acidic, not at all sweet, and has a wicked aftertaste. Diet Pepsi is crisper, sweeter (though not syrupy sweet), and has no aftertaste. My preference for Pepsi products is so strong that I will seek out a Pepsi vending machine (sometimes paying outrageous airport prices) rather than raid the galleys on my own airplane for a Diet Coke.

Because of that strong preference, I have a mental map of every Pepsi-selling vending machine, airport restaurant, and hotel in our system. In Boise, there’s a machine that sells 20-ounce bottles under the terminal. I can get a bottle from the burrito bar in Oakland. In Portland, there’s a machine that sells cans in the operations breakroom. The Drury Inn in San Antonio serves Pepsi products in it’s restaurant and vending machines.

But I guess there’s a reason I’ve stored such a truly unimportant piece of information like that in my head. Pepsi vendors are rarer than you’d think. Many airport’s food services are operated by a single management company. That company probably negotiates soft-drink service contracts, and if they go with CocaCola Company’s products, then the entire airport will serve only Coke products. And Coke appears to be bigger than Pepsi in terms of distribution.

I’m such a soda snob that I frequent restaurants at home more often if they serve Pepsi products. Abe’s Deli gets my business over Brent’s Deli for that reason (among others…the food is good at both places).

I’m mostly a water drinker who throws in the occasional iced-tea and has a soda maybe once or twice a day, so I don’t drink as much soda as it may sound. But when I do, I drink what I like.

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6 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Jeannen // Jun 5, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    But you introduced me to Dunkin’ Donuts coffee!!! Mmmmm. And I love it when you’re home and make me a cup of coffee before I head out to work. Even though you hate the smell and don’t drink it yourself.

    :)

  • 2 gcalvin // Jun 5, 2008 at 4:56 pm

    Everybody I fly with raves about Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. People get really excited when we get to overnight on the East Coast and they can get their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee in the morning. And I admit, it does smell good (especially the cinnamon roast).

    But I get excited about their donuts.

  • 3 Faucett // Jun 16, 2008 at 3:26 am

    I understand the Pepsi snob thing – I often find myself gravitating towards certain joints that serve Pepsi as well. In my experience, the further into the South you go, the less Pepsi there is to be had.

    Thanks for the great blog – I discovered it the other day, and have found great inspiration in your words and the career you’ve made for yourself.

    -Faucett

  • 4 gcalvin // Jun 16, 2008 at 3:53 am

    I’m glad you’re enjoying things, but please take everything I say with a grain of salt. Your results may vary.

    And if you happen to be Farah Faucett circa 1978…call me!

    Yeah. So I was five at the time. What of it?

  • 5 Faucett // Jun 16, 2008 at 7:47 am

    Faucett is a tiny town in MO, just a couple miles North of KMCI. Sorry to disappoint!!!!

    And yes – all results are indeed variable.

  • 6 gcalvin // Jun 16, 2008 at 1:11 pm

    Again…grain of salt. :)

    No disappointment, here!

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