Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I am sitting here at Starbucks, [as usual] listening to the bustle of people ordering extravagant coffees, while I drink the same old standard…. a Grande Bold.
I am simple.
I am here for the coffee, not the fancy stuff that it takes a team of engineers to create with their mixers and blenders and syrups and potions and pump-squirters!
Just coffee is fine with me.
With some half-and half creamilk, and a swirl of honey. Just a touch.
Just like Winnie-The-Pooh would have it, you know?

I know I’ve mentioned my theories on the phenomenon elsewhere, but seriously, I love how the baristas bark out what they are creating…
“Venti no-foam, no-whip, caramel macchiato, with calorie-reduced water!”
“Grande non-fat lactose-free vanilla-bean latte without vanilla and/or bean!”
“Tall nonfat skim-milk half-syrup sugar-free caffe mocha, hold the whip!”

I’m looking around, wondering if this last thing means that with some orders, they whip people?
But seriously, there are [literally] over 20,000 drink combinations at Starbucks when you factor in the milk options, number of shots, various syrups, and choices of whip or no-whip…. not to mention the half-gentle, almost pleasant flagellation!
If you listen long enough to people ordering their drinks [and I’ve been doing this every day for years] it doesn’t take long to realize that the world is obsessed with avoidance of fat and/or fat-related products.
And I suppose this is a good thing, overall.
Starbucks is willing to help you avoid your own obesity, if you have the willpower to cooperate!

According to their own literature on the subject, the “hold the whip” option, [along with the lack of welts on your back] will save you anywhere from 80 to 130 calories and 8 to 12 grams of fat!
Saying “reduced-fat and skim milk” → 140 calories and 19 grams of fat.
Saying the word “light” while ordering your frappuccino will save up to 140 calories and 2.5 grams of fat.
And remember, they’re telling you ahead of time, → each pump of syrup is loading your saddlebags with an extra 20 calories and 5 grams of sugar.

Having said all of this, I have this sick, sicko-secret desire to one day [just once would be enough] overhear someone order the following, at a Starbucks:
“Venti extra-fat, nine-pump, quadruple-sugar, udder-still-attached hyper-creamy, vanilla-caramel-hazelnut, 100% lard-based, triple whipped caffe mocha…… please!"

I will applaud.
Then, just before they collapse on the floor, I want to get up out of my chair, walk up to that whale and shake its misshapen dorsal fin, and congratulate it on boldly going where no one else dares to go!



Tea & Margaritas in My Garden said...

On a sugar attach day I`m afraid I may be just the one you see doing that LOL
Thanks for visiting my blog :0


Merisi's Vienna For Beginners said...

I can't help but thinking how fun it would be to translate all these coffee variations into Italian or Viennese. ;-)Every time I read "tall" on the coffe menu at Starbucks (yes, we got Starbucks in Vienna!), I start translating. First into plain English, then ....
... aw shucks ... just hand me a Venti (plain English spoken here!),
high on caffein,

Lisa said...

What a great post.

Stefanie said...

Oh, I'm still laughing!

My order is always the same too, grande soy no-whip mocha. Sometimes I have them add an extra squirt of mocha or an extra shot of espresso. And for the record, the only reason I go no-whip is because I'm vegan and dairy is not on my list of edibles. When Starbucks invents a vegan whip topping, I am so there!

cipriano said...

Tea: Please, if you order the doozy, record the barista's expression on a digital photo and send it to me.

Merisi: No kidding, I've never thought of Starbucks in any language but English. How provincial of me.

Lisa: Thank you.

Stefanie: If Starbucks does go vegan, we'll have to get together for a Broccocino, or... a Grande Carrot Latte [no whip!]