Coffeshop Crushes

This zine, full of caffeine addictions and stories of unrequited love, addresses an issue that I did not know was so widespread: crushes on those cute yet aloof workers at local coffee establishments.  This topic actually seems to fit perfectly into the zine world, and I guess most zinesters have had this common experience because of the volume of the responses to this issue.  Most zinesters seem to be loyal customers of coffee shops, and therefore have experienced this phenomenon.  This zine opened my eyes to this prevalent sub-culture with these stories of intense but often short-lived obsessions. They are equal parts of sweet and bitter, like a cup of coffee.  There are stories of secret admirers, crushes gone wrong, desperate wishes for a simple word from the object of affection, and even a few successes (although these are rare).  This collection also include some from the viewpoint of those who work at the coffee house and have had crushes on customers or have strange and funny stories of what customers who have had a crush on them have done.  Many of these tales are hilarious, a few embarrassing, and some are slightly sad, but they are all very entertaining.  The zine is even printed on paper that is the same color as a cup of coffee with a lot of milk. It also includes occasional drawings and comics, which definitely add to the appeal of this zine and help the reader to imagine some of these ridiculous situations, which at times resemble a soap opera.

I thought it was interesting how these various zinesters tried to rationalize the reasons they have such passionate and fleeting crushes on the barista at their favorite local coffee place.  One girl even relates the tale of a boyfriend who told her that one of his two life goals had come true: he had a girlfriend who worked at a coffee place.  Once I thought about it though, the idea was not so absurd; we have all had that crush on the worker at our favorite clothing store, the waiter at the restaurant we frequent, or the bookstore clerk we see every so often.  And I do have to admit, baristas do seem to have a certain allure.  Maybe the coffee industry has a secret conspiracy to tease the customers by hiring overly attractive people.  In any case, all across America in coffee houses there are hipsters pining over their lattes and their unrequited affections.  These over-caffeinated, wistful dreamers focus their intense devotion on the one in charge of their daily caffeination and then usually forget their crushes until the times comes again for them to venture into the dangerous temptations of the coffee shop.  Their secret desires and wishes are recorded in this zine, for all of us to know we are not alone.

Sentaniz Palmer

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