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Coffee House Lingo. My first visit to Starbucks!
I have heard about these people. The Mom’s groups or book club members. Or maybe groups of co- workers. When the urge hits to get together, they meet for coffee at Starbucks. There is one on practically every street corner. Through the windows, the tables always seem full. The outdoor seats usually crowded with people who just finished a running group, or college students exchanging notes, all sipping on coffee. I guess I have never been in a circle of friends who have developed this habit.
I am embarrassed to say, I have never stepped foot in a Starbucks!
Recently I had to meet a colleague of my husband’s to exchange some papers. He lives on the opposite end of town, and when trying to decide a good meeting place, he suggested Starbucks. My curiosity peaked! No one has ever used that expression in earshot of me. Of course, I obliged.
We arrived at roughly the same time. As per my expectations, the outdoor seating was packed. We walked through the door and I instantly felt relaxed. The atmosphere was great. A fireplace was on, a nice mix of leather comfortable chairs and bistro sets. Young, happy people socializing over a cup of Joe. We made our way up toward the counter. A reasonably large line had formed, but with all of the scenery to take in, I was surprisingly not put off. My eyes gazed over the array of baked goods, and items for sale. I was mentally picking out the mug I would purchase if this became my new ritual.
I was so distracted by the experience, I suddenly realized the sound I was listening to was my friend ordering his coffee. I only caught the tail end of his six to eight word description. Was he speaking Latin? The young kid behind the counter obviously spoke the same language, because he hustled away, and in mere seconds produced a large Starbucks coffee.
I was mesmerized by what was taking place before my eyes. Suddenly I realized the Barista, as it were, and my friend were staring at me! Waiting for my order. Latin words started running through my head. My eyes frantically scanned the menu boards above. I was bewildered. Some words reminded me of anatomy class. I could feel my anxiety level rising. Beads of sweat were forming across my brow. In my head, I envisioned this moment. I would just ask for a large coffee, and the Starbucks kid would say “cream or sugar?” This was not how the conversation was going to go down. I could tell. I could feel the piercing stares of the people in line behind me burning a hole in my back.
I quickly blurted out, “I’ll have what he is having”, my voice half cracking.
My friend awkwardly starred at me. I could tell my cover was blown. Must be easy to spot a rookie!
We sat and made small talk while we sipped our coffees, but I wasn’t paying attention to the conversation. I was studying the menu, listening to the customers reaming off their orders. I felt like I was learning a new language!
- Smart Choices at Starbucks
If you do go to Starbucks, here are some good beverage choices to keep your waistline in check!
- Caramilk Fudge Recipe
A decadent dessert to go with any beverage Starbucks serves up. Or brew your own coffee in the comfort of your own home. This fudge is made entirely in the microwave for an easy recipe.
- Mock Skor Bars - Yummy Dessert for a Crowd
These treats taste just like the original Skor bar, and can be made at home with only 4 ingredients. Tastes great with a Starbucks coffee.
- Old Fashion Molasses Cookies
Make these tasty ginger spice molasses cookies to go with your next Starbucks coffee!
As far as I could tell, this is what I learned:
1- Hot or Iced. Many drinks apparently can come cold, but if you don’t say anything, the default is hot.
2- Size. Short (8oz), Tall (12oz), Grande (16oz), Venti (20oz)
3-Type of drink. This is where you have a lot of choice. Some I remembered.
Coffee- chose light, medium or dark roast, flavors change daily
Latte- espresso and steamed milk
Americano- espresso and hot water
Espresso Machiatto- espresso with foamed milk on top
Caramel Machiatto- as above with caramel syrup
Misto- otherwise known as café au lait, coffee with steamed milk
Cappuccino- 1/3 each espresso, steamed milk and foam
Frappaccino- espresso, foamed milk and chocolate syrup
Teas- many to choose from- can be turned into a latte, cappuccino etc
Many other choices- hot chocolate, white hot chocolate etc…
Seasonal drinks, like Pumpkin Spice Latte, or Candy Cane Latte
4- Wet or dry. More milk means wet, more foam means dry.
5-Number of espresso shots. Single, double, triple or quad.
6- Milk or cream. Default is 2%. Skinny is skim milk. Can specify cream or soy.
7- Extra instructions. Extra hot, No foam, Splenda or sweetener, etc., syrups, leave room for cream, some mentioned specific temperatures.
Some examples of drinks I overheard people ordering:
Tall Green Tea skinny Cappuccino
Double Tall sugar free vanilla bean latte.
Venti no Whip White Mocha
Grande skinny Pumpkin Cappuccino
Decaf Double grande skinny extra-dry cappuccino.
Venti Vanilla bean frappaccino
I don’t know if these people were ordering correctly, but they definitely spoke with confidence. Now I feel armed and ready, for the next time someone suggests we meet for coffee at Starbucks. I will memorize the name of a drink, and repeat it to myself over and over the whole drive over!!