Friday, November 9, 2007

Excuse me...Can you repeat that?

Been into Starbucks lately?
(or as my friend likes to refer to it), "FourBucks"

Talk about a comedy show. "Yes, I'd like a venti, two pump, low fat, real caramel, tepid, half-caff, Macchiato without whip." Are you kidding me? Hearing that once is bad enough, but then the cashier repeats the whole thing to the barista (the person making the drink). Then if you're real lucky the barista will repeat it again just to confirm the order and once more after it's been made and put up on the bar. It's truly a bonus day when the customer says, "Is this my venti, two pump,...blah, blah, blah, no whip?"

There's more dialog about this one cup of coffee than what you get from a carny at the county fair.

By the way, who the hell orders anything, especially coffee, tepid? You might as well say, "Can I have a cup of caffinated bath water please?" Can you imagine Clint the cowboy out on the range looking at his buddy and telling him to take the kettle off the campfire for a while because he'd like his coffee tepid? No, coffee is supposed to be hot, I mean surface of the sun, scorch your upper lip, hot.

But you may say,"By heating it too much you'll upset the delicate balance of flavors and disturb the the superb aroma." This is exactly the kind of horse hockey that enables our keepers of the java to command $4.00 +/- for a cup.

Here are a couple of descriptors I saw on some packaged beans for sale:
Multi-Region Blends- "Superb interplay of aromas and flavors"
Africa/Arabia- "Floral aromas with citrusy and exotic flavors"

Why do I have a feeling these are word combinations Juan Valdez never thought of while out in the hot sun picking beans one-by-one with his stinking burro by his side.

Listening to the drink orders and watching people as they order is always cause for a chuckle too. I love the embarrassed guy who has to order a foofy drink that he'd never be caught dead drinking. It always starts off with, "My wife/girlfriend asked me to order her a ..."

Then there's the penis extender in a paper cup? This is when a guy walks in and orders his beverage at precisely 185 degrees. I'm always waiting for this guy to reach into his pocket and pull out an instant read thermometer to verify. Let go man, there'll be plenty of time to push your subordinates around when you get to the office.

Women on the other hand have some magical gift about being able to blurt out twenty-seven adjectives and fourteen descriptors spread out over five different drink orders all the while maintaining a separate conversation on their cell phone. Amazing!

When placing my order I find myself saying something like, "Oh, I'm just having a venti coffee." Like I've just committed some kind of mortal sin by not ordering something with a little more pizazz. Then I realize I've just paid $1.85 for a cup of coffee and think I've done enough for the stockholders of Starbucks.


katherine. said...

I do not cross a starbucks threshold.

Peets...medium with a shot. period. Peets sumatra at home.

I have no idea how hot my coffee is...or exactly what it is extending....laughing...As long as it is almost too hot when I take the first sip.

Mel said...

..k....We do Starbucks on rare occasion. House coffee, black--with a shot of espresso.
Or two..LOL....depending on the kinda day I've had.

I prefer hot.......and nope, I've never taken it's temp, though the Brit's threatened to take mine when I turn down a cuppa java. ;-)

That fancy schmancy froo-froo coffee---
G'head and knock your socks off if that's your deal.
But do NOT mess with my deal...thanksverymuch...

Mom Unplugged said...

Funny post! Personally I think Starbucks is overpriced and over roasted. I like strong coffee, but I find it bitter.

I too find the "lingo" annoying, as you also do. On the rare occasion when I do go to a Starbucks (it is better than going to the local gas station for coffee when there is nothing else around), I always make a point of ordering a "small of your mildest coffee with room for cream" and watch the sneers about how I must be a coffee novice!

Oswegan said...

I like to say "graandie" instead of grande just to piss them off.

Hey what ever happened to those free drink tickets they used to hand out when they were slow to make your drink? They're still slow, but no free ticket.

I go to peets.


Jeff B said...

Katherine- Is the "do not cross a sb threshold" a matter of personal preference or is it more of a statement against, "the man"?

Mel- I did the extra shot in my coffee once. Thought I was going to grind my teeth down to the nub.

Mom Unplugged- Thanks for comming by. I'm with you about sb being overpriced.

Oswegan- Those tickets do seem to be harder to come by. I generally go to sb as a matter of convience, maybe I'll search out some alternatives.

Gene Bach said...

Tepid!? Whoever ordered that was, and always will be, a LOSER!

Whatever happened to just plain coffee?

Latharia said...

*grin* Not being a coffee drinker has its advantages ... not being chained to Starbucks is just one more of them!

Travis said...

In defense of the coffee industry, there's more than just Starbucks.

Having said that, I agree that it sometimes gets out of hand.

The thing that bugs me most about coffee houses like this is the cups. Tall is small, grande is medium, and WTF is Venti?? Can we just have small, medium, and large?

Jeff B said...

Gene- Agreed, tepid orderers please leave the planet immediately.

Latharia- I'm pretty sure not drinking coffee here in the northwest is class A felony.

Travis- S M L would be great, but where's the sex appeal in that? The foofy names have got to be worth at least $0.25 a cup right?