I am, but a cup of coffee. A simple pleasure enjoyed by many - addicts, workaholics, entrepreneurs, and procrastinators; however, the old will enjoy me with their dessert and breakfast, and the young will thirst after me till have come of age. For a barista, I am a completely different story. I am not longer the means to an end (books, meetings, the day... etc.), but I am the end and the mean. I am not just the black and foam found within 10% biodegradable cup, I start before that. If you were to meet me from the beginning, I come in a 100% recyclable bag of coffee beans. Before I am ground, my beans are oily, fresh and the aroma of rich flavor makes your tired eyes perk up. I am then poured into a coffee grinder that finely grinds me and other hundreds of other coffee beans into what appears to be brown dust - the finer the grind the bolder the taste. Today I am being ground into espresso, for a caramel macchiato. Yummy. I am tightly smashed into the handle, so that all my flavor and aroma can stay intact as water rushes over me. As the water pours through the handle I begin to leak through as well, but now I am coming out black with a light caramel finish. That’s how you know my existence, as a bean was fresh by the caramel-light foam that rests on top of black espresso. Inside my cup, before I am poured, is a vanilla syrup and a thick layer of caramel; however, before I am poured inside milk must be steamed. Steaming milk is harder than it appears. Every type of milk (either soy, 2% or otherwise) steams differently. So one must be careful. Steaming milk not only raises the temperature, but also brings all the flavor up to the top in a foamy-like existence. After the milk is carefully steamed and poured into the cup, I am the last thing to go. I am a delicate process that gets people through their finals, that interview, the headache, or a long night. I am, but a cup of coffee.