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Don't Know What I Expected: Beka’s Chemistry Café Served Me 1M HCl


Photo (with edits) by Ian Ong / The Daily Pennsylvanian, Arkadius77 / CC BY-SA 4.0, and Jaeger5432 / CC BY-SA 2.5

Guys, I’m sorry. I really don't know what I was expecting here.

At about 3:23 p.m. Eastern Standard Time last Friday, I ordered a latte from Beka’s Chemistry Café. The service was quick enough, but I began to sense that something was fishy when I noticed that my coffee cup was kinda melting. I didn’t think much of it at the time, so I took a sip, and what did I get? Nothing other than a mouthful of volatile, concentrated hydrochloric acid.

I don’t get it. No really, please help me understand. Was all of this for the bit? Am I just the punchline to your cruel, pedagogically-oriented jokes? Beka, answer me!

And no, I don’t care that you offered me a bite of “sodium bicarbonate” to “neutralize” the acid. What the hell? And then did you seriously try to give me “litmus paper” and suggest that I measure the amount of “corrosive hydronium ions” sitting in the folds of my trachea? Jesus Christ, what were you thinking?! I’ll sue you bastards!

Guys… I’m really kicking myself right now. In retrospect, it was obvious from the name that something bad was bound to happen. I mean, “chemistry”?  Major red flag.