If you listen to A Gaming Podcast About Nothing, you might know that my current pet project is running a campaign set on the various communities in the Oort Cloud of some future time. Probably using Machinations of the Space Princess, although it started off in my head as a Dogs in the Vineyard hack, I've been making notes, creating tables, even a sample grid of space two light-minutes by two light-minutes across.
At 3:30 this morning while I was waiting with my daughter something just popped into my head: Baristas.
At the edge of the solar system, alcohol isn't so much banned as it is severely frowned on. There's a time and a place for a good time, and you can buy beer if you want it - but it's not the done thing. Coffee on the other hand - well, it's a natural stimulant, keeps you alert, and even in the safest of safe places, there's always a chance of a micro-meteor causing a hull breach, or a cometary ice storm to weather. Coffee is good.
And the Exalted Order serve the best coffee. Some people scoff and say that the machines they use are a sham, that the taste and smell from the resulting coffee is all about perception. Others say that the machines came from Earth, have been lovingly restored or preserved over many generations, and that the Baristas are near-alchemists, turning dials, grinding beans just-so and applying water of the correct temperature to two decimal places without computer aid.
You pay a price for this devotion, but it's often rewarded. The movers and the shakers, the high and the low, they all pay at the temple-cafes of the Exalted Order. There are even stories of the Baristas of the Exalted Order, in their simple black shirt and trousers (forearm sleeve tattoo optional) entering trances, uttering things about patron-worshippers that they couldn't possibly know. Who knows?