How Acoustic Java Will Ruin Your First Date
Don’t Doom Your Date to Mediocrity
At the risk of sounding “uncultured,” I’ll just come out and say it: Acoustic Java is terrible.
Really? What’s so special about it? Sure, if you’re eye-deep in a caffeine hole and need a fix, it’s a two-minute walk away from campus. Although, so is the Bistro, Jazzman’s, or Saigon (if you enjoy the condensed milk iced coffee), and they’re all cheaper. Whether you’re looking to catch a buzz or need another espresso to go with your Adderall and final-paper binge, you can do much better than Acoustic.
Acoustic’s coffee excels at mediocrity. Their only distinguishing features are gimmick drinks. Seriously, who drinks the “Shark Attack”? If you want to stop your heart so urgently, it’s cheaper to find a stray hypodermic needle, fill it with air, and plunge it into your chest a little left of center.
The food is nothing to gush over. The pastries taste like week-old Costco leftovers and the sandwiches are edible, but normally out of my price range. If you’re really hungry, head in any direction. You’re bound to find a restaurant that’ll serve you affordable eats, rather than just slap a bunch of nutritionist buzzwords on a sandwich and shake you down in-house.
If you’re desperate for that “coffee shop” feel because you can only pump out pages of your screenplay in such an environment, then you should take your pretentious ass over to Nu Café. It has a much nicer atmosphere, unlike Acoustic, a brick-and-mortar dungeon lined with hardcover books and dated jazz CD’s that no one has ever touched. It feels like the lovechild of a deceased eighty-year-old’s estate sale and a Starbucks.
Alas, I’m spewing this vitriolic hatred of Acoustic Java for really one reason: to urge others to steer clear of the shop as a default first date spot.
I’m slightly ashamed, yet, not afraid to admit that, yes, I once went on a coffee date at Acoustic. Before I learned to hate the shop, I, a sexually frustrated freshman, fell for its faux-chic drinks and close café setting.
From what I remember, the date felt terribly awkward and forced. She and I were not compatible when we interacted sober. I knew it, she probably knew it, but the deep ache in the pit of my scrotum forced me to try and salvage whatever animalistic spark we’d mustered previously.
I made the wrong first move by ordering a coffee AND a sandwich, which I learned later is taboo. According to sitcom writers, the first date is strictly a beverage date. She, I can only assume, had known this and ordered a small coffee. By ordering my sub-par sandwich, I’d unknowingly smashed through conventionality and sent us both down a road of awkward interaction. She tried to maintain conversation, god bless her, while I shoved food in my mouth. Everyone’s fantasy date. Right?
Another thing, and this really isn’t Acoustic’s fault, was that my date smelled a bit. Now, in all fairness, I’m not the nicest smelling guy, but this girl reeked of week-old beef stew. Her aroma stirred powerful mental images of pouring rotten soup down my trash compactor at home—clearly not the most romantic imagery. Even now as I slog down memory lane, I can still recall the smell.
Wow, getting bogged down a bit. So, she’s talking, I’m eating my sandwich trying hard to ignore her perfume a la beef bouillon when I just snapped. I needed to get out of there. The struggle between my upper and lower brain had been settled and my more primal thoughts had been stifled. I finished my panini and we parted ways.
The gracelessness of our social tango must have been obvious to students around because when I got back to my dorm, my friends had already heard of my failures. Snakes live everywhere, in tall grass and in barista’s man-buns, and their word travels fast.
If your date violently flames out at Acoustic, you will likely be verbally flogged by your friends. Do yourself a favor and go somewhere else for coffee, literally anywhere farther than a five minute walk. Instead of subjecting yourself to the extra social pressures of Acoustic, escape campus and enjoy your date.
-First published in The Scarlet.