Sunday, November 10, 2013

Starbucks Is Ridiculous

That's right, I said it.

Now wipe your non-fat, no-whip, no water, half caff latte foam off your nose and listen up.

I feel like such an utter idiot when I walk up to order coffee at Starbucks.



I know it's supposed to be like an authentic cafe experience, with the barista and fancy Italian-ish names, but, let's be honest here, you started in Seattle.

And the worst part is that when I just ask for "the smallest size" or "a medium", the barista almost ALWAYS shoots back some foreign-ish, totally meaningless word back at me. I glaze over, much like a terrified deer in headlights. I usually explain at this point that, well, I'm not sure. Which cup is that?


I can already hear the snickers of the seasoned coffee-goers behind me in line. It's like I'm wearing a neon sign labelling myself "STARBUCKS NEWBIE. BE GENTLE."

I ask to see if I can get something without milk (since I am currently off of dairy for the baby, and her rapidly pooping bum). "Can I get it with soy milk, though?" I ask, fearing the barista may lean over and slap my foul mouth for requesting such an atrocity.

Instead, she gives me a smile that says "Oh, you pathetic little soul, OBVIOUSLY you can. You PAY for crazy requests here. It makes you feel special!"

I'm not sure... do they only have one kind of coffee? Is there decaf drip coffee, for us elderly fogies who shouldn't consume caffeine after 3pm if we want to have any hope in hell of sleeping? (The answer to that around these parts of BC is that, no, they DON'T have decaf coffee which is weird. Decaf Americanos are always offered instead, at a higher price. They are watered down decaf espresso and I personally think they taste like poo, and I'd rather lick my dog's butt. Probably).

Anyway, if I have to drink the caffeine, I want a nice dark roast. I always ask "Do you have a dark roast?" and I never get an answer, just that weird, knowing barista smile again. It almost feels like I ask about 6 questions at the register, yet leave even more confused than when I came in.


So, I finally figure out the puzzle, (Not really, but I order SOME type of hot beverage [I assume]) and ask for hot water in a cup to warm up Baby D's milkies.

We sit. I warm. She eats. I drink my coffee.

And I listen to the throng of people coming through. And here is where it gets even more odd.

I listen to people bark out orders like the barista is THEIR BITCH. I mean, total cool ignorance, haughty even. I've never ever heard more complex beverage orders in my life. And EXPENSIVE ones at that!

One lady ordered herself a tea (I think) that consisted of about 6 special thingies, and the two small children she was with got some soy hot chocolate specialty drinks. They were very young. And her order was over $13. SAY WHAT?! I'm pretty sure she ordered something chai, with no water, with extra foam, with possibly the tears of an angel mixed with a smattering of sugar-free methadone. Something like that.

I told the Hubs that Baby D gets no-name brand hot chocolate out of a packet when she's older, and she's gonna love it. F_ck this $6 hot chocolate bizznazz. You know the kids will have that liquid gold spilled before they even get to the car.

Another lady bought 8 vanilla bean scones. I'm pretty sure she had to take out a second mortgage on her home.

But yeah... so after this weird social observation, I came home and relayed it to the Hubs. He was equally perplexed at the complexity of some of the drinks I spoke of.

Fast forward two days, and we walked down to the Starbucks not too far from our house. I run through my gamut of confused-question asking clarifications.

"Can I please get a caramel brulee latte please?" (Already I feel pretentious, those are fancy-soundin' words, y'all).

I also say it with a lilt in my voice in case I am pronouncing it wrong.

"In the largest size, please?"

She replies "Venti?"
I shrug and nod.

"But could I please get it with soy milk instead of regular milk? I can't have dairy."
"Oh and would it be possible to just get it half decaf stuff? And half regular?"

She says some words that don't make sense.
I nod again.

"Half sweet?" She says.
Who me?

"Did you want it half sweet, too, or just half caf?"

I explain I didn't even know half-sweet was an option, but no, thanks, I want full sweet. This ass doesn't keep its commanding size with half-sweet. Word.

Then she asked if whip was "still okay?". I had to pause and think for a moment. Whip... hmm... are we talking like some kinky sexual coffee stuff? I drag my mind out of the gutter (albeit briefly) and realize she PROBABLY means whipped cream. Unless she winks at me.

I wait a moment. No wink.
Whipped cream it is.

I clarify that I can't have that either.

I FINALLY get my drink. Don't even get me started on how many cup lids I have to try and fail at before I finally find the one that fits my cup.

I go back outside and reunite with the Hubs and the dog (baby's been on my chest and embarrassed at my lack of Starbucks-lingo skills all along).

He asks me what I got. I stop myself from rambling through my entire series of questions... and then I realize I am just as bad as everyone else. I have BECOME ONE OF THEM.

Carefully, I explain that I ordered:

"A half caff, venti caramel brulee latte, no dairy, soy milk, no whip."

The Hubs smirks.

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  1. Starbucks tried and failed here in Australia. Not sure why but there are plenty of other pretentious coffee shops that use fancy words and charge the earth
    Hope you enjoyed it after all that :)

    1. @Mynx - I did enjoy it quite a bit. I fell victim to the mentality that if it costs more, it must be yummy! lol

  2. The hubs likes Starbucks, but not as much as Dunkin Donuts. I can't bring myself to spend that kind of money and honestly the only word that I can understand on that menu is the word mocha :) half venti's and blah blah blah... :)

    1. @Hey Monkey Butt - Here in BC we don't really have Dunkin Donuts. But now I'm craving donuts, dammit. And mmmmm, mochaaaa....

  3. You and me. I only get stuff at Starbucks when someone else is buying, or a whole bunch of people I like insist I meet them there. *I* order a large (really a large) hot chocolate, with no whipped cream on top. I say it loud and proud. When they repeat it back to me in Starbuck-ese, I look down my nose at them, projecting the thought that I admire Starbucks for helping the mentally handicapped and will cut them the slack required, then I'll repeat my order exactly as I gave it. Louder. Slower. More clearly.

    1. @Keith - You made me lol. It must be a part of their training to suck you into the lingo. I went back again today and the Hubs tried the salted caramel hot chocolate. He's a fan.

  4. aww, now those baristas are just doing their jobs. and they don't make a lot of money. i mean, really, they're coffee jockeys.

    having said that, i'm a starbucks snob. i have a gold card. i order things soy with no whip and extra hot and know what a steamer is.

    sorry. i know i just lost all of your respect. but i enjoyed the hell out of my grande gingerbread latte, soy milk, no whip, with drizzle yesterday.

    1. @steph gas - Oh, I know, I don't envy them. I would burn the hell out of my hands, drop the coffee, and cry whenever someone was mean. I just hate the condescending glances I get 80% of the time (i just pulled that stat out of my ass, BTW).

      What, my dear, is a GOLD card? How much do you spend on coffee in a month?!?! ; )
      I actually ordered the same thing, but venti and no drizzle. What is drizzle? I think I need DRIZZLE!?!?!!!!! hehe.

  5. I don't like coffee (and I don't like Starbucks hot chocolate---it's not chocolatey enough for me), so whenever we go there, I get a tall nonfat vanilla bean frappuccino with 2 pumps with cinnamon dolce syrup and no whip. It took me a year to figure out how to order that.

    Now my husband is appalled at how much money he spends at Starbucks, and we bought a Keurig thingy instead. That hot chocolate is so much better. Mmmm...Swiss Miss.

  6. I do not enjoy going into a Starbucks. First off it is an assault on my nose. It's terrible. I only order hot chocolate, meaning I only order from them in the winter months. Maybe twice a year. And I order like an idiot. "Can I get whatever your smallest size is, hot chocolate, no whipped cream?"


    anyway, a gold card is awarded after you register a starbucks gift card online and link it to your email address. then you buy 30 or more cups of coffee in a certain amount of time (it's like a year or six months or whateverthefuck). and then you're supposed to get special things. like free soy upgrades or extra pumps of stuff. and every 12 drinks you buy, you get one free. and they keep charging me for soy and shit and that reminds me to write an email and get back all my sixty cent charges.

  8. Ha.

    Fortunately for me, I just need to say "venti dark & an oatbar", and get rid of some pocket change :)


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