Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Starbucks Snob Becometh I Am

So, the bagging job at Pavilions (a slightly snootier Vons/Safeway grocery store) upgraded to an in-store Starbucks position. Which means I get to learn how to make Starbucksy drink and deal with Starbucksy customers and learn all about why Starbucks is the BEST FREAKIN' COFFEE PLACE IN THE GALAXY. I'm a very loyal employee, you see. But (before you ask), I'm still a Safeway employee technically, so I don't get free coffee, discounts, health care, or tips (yeah, I think it sucks too. As do the customers who don't want to put their change back in their wallets but would rather gift me with it)

It's kinda scary, actually. Work five hours straight making yummy sweet milky frothy awesome whip-cream topped espresso confections, and one all of the sudden begins to crave coffee. Even if you're a Tea Nazi, like me. I find myself needing coffee fixes during breaks. Scarier still, I find myself MAKING COFFEE AT HOME! And drinking it! Coffee! Me!!

In addition to actually liking and/or drinking coffee, I find myself becoming one of those annoying people who takes pleasure in the fact that she is initiated into the Mysteries of Starbucks Awesomeness. So I'll go into a Starbucks, rattle off an order for a "Triple-Grande 7-pump upside down non-fat caramel machiatto with extra caramel" and then smile obnoxiously at the person behind me, as if to say: "You WERE just going to order a "medium latte," weren't you? You were GOING to betray your uninitiated status! But now you're going to stand there for an extra 30 seconds coming up with an extra adjective or two to throw in there, trying to recall which size a Tall is!! BWAHAHAHAH!!"

I think Starbucks may actually be evil. It's brainwashed me. But I'm not that evil. In fact, I'll let you in on a few really yummy drinks that aren't on the menu, so that you, too, can feel like a Starbucks snob. I came up with the names. The quoted portions are what you should say while ordering. I figure grande is a pretty neutral size, so that's what they all are...

1. The I-Don't-Care-About-The-Calories Mocha: "Grande Breve Black & White, Extra Whip". This will give you a mocha made with both regular mocha sauce & white mocha sauce, (it also goes by the term "tuxedo" or "zebra" and, maybe, legend has it, "penguin") The breve means they make it with half-and-half instead of 2% milk. And, yeah, we do put vanilla syrup in our whipped cream, which is why it tastes so good. Yummy!!!

2. The Holiday Mixer: "Grande Soy 2-pump Pumpkin Spice Latte with 2 pumps of peppermint" Some of you may not like the taste of this one, but it's interesting, and you can only order it during the Fall when we have our PSL syrup (but we DO carry peppermint year round, so, feel free to ask for it in almost anything). I recommend you guys try adding soy instead of milk to any of your drinks - it's different, but not radically out-there as far as taste goes.

3. The I-Seriously-Hate-Coffee-But-I-Need-Caffeine-and-Sugar-NOW Frapaccinno: "A Venti Cinnamon Dolce Frappaccino with an added shot." If we have a flavor, you can basically get a frap made with it, so NEVER be bound by what's on the menu. If you don't want ANY caffeine, you can also order a Creme Frap in any flavor (no coffee involved - just yummy milk products).

Other Helpful Starbucks Tid-Bits:

a.) You can get espresso added to anything for 55 cents. Except Iced Tea...and I mean, if you REALLY WANTED TO we'd do it for you. But that's just gross, so don't.

b.) You can order a drink in a size-larger cup in order to accomodate things like extra ice or (my favorite) extra whip cream (we don't charge any extra for this, but you do run the risk of the cashier making a mistake and charging you for the bigger cup)

c.) Ask what flavor syrups we have. We have alot that aren't on the menu, and they're all interchangeable.

d.) You can substitute nonfat, whole milk, or half-and-half for regular if you wish. Soy costs a little extra, but I recommend trying it sometime.

A little later I'll post one of my traditional "Things Every Hourly-Wage Laborer Wish the Person Across the Counter Knew About Being a Decent Human Being" posts, which will pertain both to my Starbucks job and my bagging job (which I still do from time to time for the extra hours).

Happy Wednesday, People! Go spend money you don't have and fatten Starbucks' evil corporate coffers!!! :-D


  1. Or become a teacher and use the Starbucks gift cards that your students give you at Christmas. :-)

  2. Wow, the way you put it almost tempts me. Hey, Taylor (oh, latte boy), can I get a triple decafe mocha latte frappe? ;P Can you explain to me why mocha and latte are mutually exclusive? Then we can properly initiate Laurie.

  3. I have to relate to the scary experience of a tea-drinker starting to partake of coffee...(not yet making it when at home though). We'll see if I actually drink Starbucks when I get home from France. :)

  4. Wow....I have recently become one of those sad and lonely authors that lurk in the local Starbucks and write...but ordering always scares me. There are so many options and I so do NOT speak the language.

    I have discovered though, all the best drinks come when I tell the lady at the counter I have no idea what I am doing and ask her what she drinks. :-)

  5. So basically, I need someone to A) tell me about a really delicious drink with no coffee in it of any kind... and then explain what the heck all those words mean.

    "A Venti Cinnamon Dolce Frappaccino with an added shot" -- sounds kinda interesting, but the only descriptor-word I actually know the meaning of is "Cinnamon." (Assuming no evil genius in the Starbucks lab has redefined that one?)


    (For the record, in spite of my snide tea-drinker remarks, I'm glad to see you posting again.)

  6. I'm so proud of you! Drinking coffee, I mean. ;-) When you come visit us, I will take you to our favorite coffee shop here, which is a "wine and coffee bar," but actually it's their mochas and hot chocolates that are my favorite. My writer-friend from church introduced me. Yummy.

    Incidentally, I'm so glad you posted. It's been a long, quiet summer.

  7. Hah. _I_ don't even know what "Venti" means. *googles it* Oh, I get it now. LOL. It's Italian for "twenty." The Venti size is a 20oz. cup. That's hilariously hoighty-toighty. Gotta love it.

  8. I miss you, oh hourly-waged Maggery. I have my very own espresso machine with a little steamer on the side, so whenever you come to visit I can make you some tasty concoctions (such as the raspberry mocha).