Coffee is a delicious and indulgent treat that I have huge appreciation for. The experience of going out for coffee, whether it is alone or in a group, is a common trend found in Vancouver. It is a universal spot because there can always be one found while on the go. For me, meeting at coffee shop to catch up with friends is convenient and easy as it is not always feasible to host a gathering at my place.
Having severe allergies, I tend to avoid restaurants as a meeting place with friends and they understand and respect my circumstances. But I do love meeting and going to coffee shops for my usual caramel latte. (Working in the back of a cafe spoiled me because I got my lattes served to me in my favourite cup every morning*teehee*)
It was shocking when one day a few years ago I had a mild allergic reaction after a sip at a local coffee shop. I knew from the first sip that something was wrong. My analysis of the situation was that there was peanut butter flavoured syrup on site and somehow there had been cross contamination. I was blown away that something like that would happen and now take better precautions when ordering my coffee.
Here are some steps I take when I order my coffee:
- Go to a coffee shop where you can develop a relationship with the owner and/or workers
- Look to see if they serve peanut butter syrups or baked goods
- Look to see the contents of their readymade food for example how many peanut or seafood related items they sell. For me, it is a judgement call of whether I feel comfortable ordering from the drink menu at all.
- Assess the general hygiene of the coffee bar and condiment areas. I never use stainless steel utensils that can be washed, I only used individually wrapped stir sticks (it is usually straws).
- I bring my own mug!
- If I am sitting at a table or bar, I never touch the top with my hands. I place my mug onto a clean napkin so my mug never touches the surface of the table.
- I wash my hands once I leave the premise if I have touched any unnecessary surfaces.