So I'm up in Seattle this week, staying at a hotel some blocks from the original Starbucks (which, it turns out, isn't REALLY the original, but rather the second location, which was situated better for marketing purposes, but who's counting). So I bought some ground coffee, took it back to my hotel room and threw it in the French press at my coffee station, just above the mini-bar with the lasers that detect even the slightest movement - as if tiny Ninjas are going to descend and try and make off with a Snickers bar.
When the coffee was ready, I reached for the little half and half creamers and then stopped dead in my tracks: Seattle is cold this time of year, but how long have these things been sitting out here at the coffee station and what if they've soured? So I did a little research and this is what I discovered:
The average little half and half has a shelf life of about 6 months or more. That's because, in essence, the dairy has been "canned." All bacteria is killed during the canning process (heating it up, mostly) and then they seal it up quickly, so it can sit on your shelf for half a year before it starts to solidify. If you open up one and it's a little chunky, probably best to toss it.
Now then, any requests for the busker when I go back to Starbucks this morning? Yesterday, he was doing a mean version of "U.F.O." by Coldplay - not a song I would have thought made it into the busker repertoire yet. I'll leave you with one other shot I took, of the interior of the Starbucks, which, as you see, looks nothing like the 9 zillion other Starbucks that came after this one.