Saturday, January 10, 2009

Starbucks Challenged

To me coffee is coffee as I usually don’t care for the stuff. I only love the smell, because the first time I ever tasted it, that person, gave it to me black. I tasted it and it reminded me of the awful bitter medicine that I had to take as a child in China and I never accepted it again until I ate some over sweetened cake and drank it to neutralize the sweetness.

I have never tried Frappucino or Cappuccino and I don't think I even have them spelled correctly. Just give me some regular old coffee that smells good and I'm content. I don't need anything with stuff on top, or anything that has to be mixed in a blender, but for sure I have to put in plenty of cream and sugar. My friends and family call it cream with a little coffee.

One day when I got in line at Starbucks before a meeting, a young man was in front of me and he ordered something like a "Starbucks moccha latte iced with a double shot with cream whipped shaken not stirred." He said it so fast I didn't quite make out exactly what he wanted but the smiling woman taking his order didn't miss a beat. She put the concoction together in no time.

My turn - "Good morning !!!! Welcome to Starbucks!!!! How can I help you?" "I want some coffee, please." I replied.

She paused and with a confused look on her face asked me if I wanted a "tall." Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there is a good reason they don't call them small, medium and large, but that is my gauge for drinks. Asking me about tall and short and whatever comes in between is like talking to me about liters and kilometers. I'm just guessing at some sort of conversion into measurements that I didn‘t learn..

I usually frequent those places that gives you a cup and pours it in front of you or gives you a cup and let‘s you help yourself. "What kind of coffee do you want?" She said, the smile now absent.

"Just regular coffee," I said.

"We have a "Wild West Jamaican Dark Roasted Morning Wakeup Call or the Costa Rican Spring Break Restful Medium Blend," she said.

"Just give me the medium thing. A small one."

"OK, I need a short Costa Rican Spring Break Restful Medium," she said to no one in particular but a blond college age girl sprang into action. "That will be $6,359 and 23 cents. Do you want that on your credit card?"

Now I know why so many people get so excited when there is a Starbucks gift card in the gift exchange at Christmas.

They need to have special classes for ordering at Starbucks. How do all these people know what this stuff is? All I know is that you drink coffee and some people put sugar and/or cream in it.

I'm Starbucks challenged. I think I'm past learning how to order at Starbucks. So its back to the old haunts where you just ask for coffee. They don't give you options about the size of the thing. You just get a cup and the waitress comes around occasionally and asks if you want it warmed up. They put a chrome mini-pitcher on the table with cream in it and a glass sugar jar with the floppy lid from which it comes out. Its pretty simple and it usually only costs about a buck and a half. And I remember when it was only a nickel a cup and how everyone howled when it went up to a dime.

Incidentally, I notice that Starbucks ends with a buck in the plural form - "BUCKS." Aptly named I’d say.

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