“What is a tripio? I don’t know what a tripio is”
This was first brought to my attention at a class on memoir writing at the Indiana Writers Center. I knew what a tripio was. I had known what a tripio was since the fall of 1990 when I started at Starbucks. Actually, I had worked at a couple independent, hippy coffee houses even before that. I assumed everyone knew what a tripio was. Also creating my false sense of security was the fact that there are thousands upon thousands of Starbucks on this earth. Surely, everyone who’s visited a Starbucks has had a tripio…right? Starbucks is, or was at one time, a coffee house…right?
I’ll break the silence and continue. In Tripio, the book, Jay describes his tripio, the drink, as “my crutch, my momentum and my solace”. That is no help I am sure. A tripio is defined as three shots of espresso which is usually consumed immediately after it is brewed into pre-warmed demitasse cup. The tripio can then be customized by adding sugar, a dollop of milk or whatever one wants to add. In Tripio, the book, Jay always drinks his tripios over lots of ice in a plastic cup. Jay needs the caffeine from the three shots and the ice keeps the drink alive and refreshing as he goes about his hectic work day at an early Starbucks location.
Three shots, and three plots are better than one.
Of course, I did not choose to title the book Tripio based solely on the fact that the main character drank lots of triple espressos over ice. There are three plot lines that intertwine and collaborate as Tripio progresses. Jay has three life options facing him as he goes about his increasingly complicated days. A triple espresso, or tripio, is made complete after three separate shots of espresso are brewed into a cup to make a wonderful and satisfyingly coffee drinking experience. I sincerely hope that the novel works in the same way as well.
To read Tripio you will first have to buy it. Before you do that, you will examine the cover and see that subtitle includes a partial definition of the word tripio. Which brings me back around to the class I mentioned above. The instructor of the class helped me a tremendously in selecting the title and subtitle. Thankfully, he was one other person in the room that day who knew what a tripio was. And now, I hope, you do can say to yourself, “I know what at tripio is.“