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The glory of the mocha shiznit: it only took a few weeks as a barista to defile the craft.

Years ago, between more serious jobs, I was a barista at the kiosk at the local airport. Not actually liking coffee only made that slightly difficult, generally when people would ask what I would recommend.


Even more years before that, the ridiculous movie "Malibu's Most Wanted" had the unfortunate effect of injecting the even more ridiculous word "shiznit" into my vocabulary for a period of years. I used it as a joke since it ought not to leave the mouth of a North Dakota farm girl, though one summer, through joke abuse, my friend Sarah and I almost tragically came to use it as an actual word in serious conversation on a very very long drive through Wyoming to Utah.


A lot of bad things happen to people on that drive through Wyoming. We were just lucky, I guess.


These two things—the job and the word—collided one day.


So I texted my friend Naomi:


"Nome, I invented a new drink. I call it the Mocha Shiznit!"


At the time, Naomi had to pay for her texts; they were not part of her plan. That was all part of my plan, however. I called it the "Friendship Test."


The Mocha Shiznit was simple and meant for carbon-based life forms that do not really like coffee.


  1. Put a scoop of Big Train mocha powder in the bottom of a 16 oz. cup. Scoops vary.

  2. Slap in a bit of sugar-free Bavarian chocolate syrup and pretend you’re trying to reduce sugar intake.

  3. Throw in some sugar-free vanilla, since you can never have too much vanilla. (Except when you do.)

  4. I'm going with sugar-free, here, because the Big Train powder seems to consist of 105% sugar.

  5. Add a little chocolate syrup. I'm not going to discuss what we used at the coffee kiosk, since it was a great disappointment to me.

  6. Add the "zinger" flavor: I like coconut, though you could use any other syrup.

  7. If you have actual zinger snack cakes, I envy you, though I wouldn't put them in the drink. You could put them by it, and invite me to your party.

  8. Hot milk. Not too much foam.


I didn't actually add coffee, since the mocha powder was enough of a hint for me. However, you could add a shot of something. I guess.


Mainly, I just liked saying "Mocha Shiznit." If anyone actually ordered it (besides my friend, who did order it and said it was pretty good), I would collapse into a pile of giggles. I called it the "Maturity Test" which I think we know how well I would fare.


Because, you know, "Mocha Shiznit."


I’m desperate to have other people say it out loud, in earshot, so my day can be made merry.

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