Interior Department’s idea of belt-tightening: skinny venti mochas


DOI workers are shunning the agency’s pricey coffee. (istockphoto)

The Department of the Interior recently debuted a fancy coffee-and-smoothie kiosk in its basement cafeteria area, where hardworking feds can pep up with an afternoon dose of caffeine. But this is no average joe: the state-of-the-art cafe dishes up delicacies like mocha fraps and killer cappuccinos. The deluxe setup, we hear, set DOI back more than $300,000.

An agency-wide announcement from deputy assistant secretary Andrew Jackson boasted that the beans served at the cafe are from Counter Culture, a brand he said “is committed to greening and sustainability practices” and “the most exciting, authentic, and delicious coffees in the world.”

Despite the allure of the gourmet offerings, a spy tells us that the place is rarely busy. That’s because penny-pinching workers would rather buy their coffee — the regular, cheap stuff — at the department’s cafeteria.

Emily Heil is the co-author of the Reliable Source and previously helped pen the In the Loop column with Al Kamen.

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