Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Starbucks Order...and why you should care

This morning I was making eyes with a cute barista when I found myself wishing that I was one of those people who was known by name and regular order at "their" Starbucks. Truth be told, I would be one of those people if I had a Starbucks to call my own. I do order the exact same thing (in the exact same fashion) every time I go. Unfortunately, I'm always on the road between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, and my routine isn't quite conducive to loyally frequenting the same location.

As I awaited my order, I pondered Starbucks culture and was hit by a lightning bolt. Everything you ever wanted to know about a person is summed up in their usual Starbucks order. For instance, I always go for the same thing: "Trenta-sized, iced, green tea, not sweetened...and a spinach wrap."

Let's break this down:

Trenta-sized: I lead with the size so that the barista knows I'm getting down to business. A person who orders a "trenta" is a "Go Big or Go Home" type of individual. Right up front they're saying, "I'm freakin' thirsty...and the only thing that can quench that thirst is 31 ounces of whatever delicious liquid I'm about to request..."

Iced*: Certain circles of Starbucks aficionadi would argue that this is a superfluous word in my order. Everyone knows that the trenta size is currently only available for iced drinks at The 'Bucks. However, I'm thorough. Sometimes I give more information than is necessary just so I know that everyone is on the same page. Ask anyone that I've been in a relationship with and they will tell you that I often tend to "overshare" my feelings. I also have a tendency to be a real dick under the banner of "just being totally honest." I allow these characters flaws to manifest themselves in the word "ICED."

Green tea: I am a Zen Master. Zen being the flavor of green tea that Starbucks uses for iced drink orders. It's far superior to their other hot green tea flavor, "China Green Tips," which I believe carries a bit of a soapy taste. While I'm on this tangent, I often wish Starbucks would offer a rice-ier green tea. Something along the lines of a genmaicha flavor.**

Not sweetened: I like a strong, bitter tea. I need full flavor to wake up my taste buds in the morning...no hiding behind a sugary pump of syrup. I'm the kinda guy who likes his whiskey neat, his salsa muy caliente, and his music cranked to eleven. When I make tea at home, I never read the "recommended steeping time." I leave the bag in until I've finished off the whole damn cup. There's nothing quite like that last gulp, which I would describe as a gang of rabid antioxidants having an orgy in your throat.

...and a Spinach Wrap: I can't maintain this svelte figure on pumpkin bread and old fashioned donuts. Clocking in at 280 calories, the Breakfast Wrap (with its spinach, egg whites, and feta cheese) is a surprisingly delicious and nutritious way to kick start a morning. Thank you very much!

So, that pretty much sums up my order. Now the trick is finding a "grande, iced Americano with a veggie, artisan breakfast sandwich" or maybe even a "tall, extra coffee caramel frap, with soy milk and no whip" with whom I can share a lifetime of happiness and jazzy music.

Meh. With my luck, my soul mate probably spends all their time at The Coffee Bean...

*Can I just spend a moment on how much I love the ice chips at Starbucks? By the time the drink is finished, they have melted down to just the right amount of thickness for a totally enjoyable ice crunching experience. That's right. I'm an ice chewer. Always have been and probably always will be. In high school a friend of mine told me that chewing ice is a sign of sexual frustration... Indeed.

**Knocking your socks off with my knowledge of green teas here!


Anonymous said...

Nice writing, Mr. Sherrod. I, too, have the tendency to lack loyalty to any one caffeine distribution establishment. However, my order is consistent with a variance of only what the location calls a large: coffee, black. Psycho-analyze THAT. ;)

Tim Driscoll said...

Grande. Iced green tea lemonade. Little ice.

Darcy said...

Tall coffee in a Grande cup with two pumps of sugar free vanilla please. This order makes me sound like a high maintenance bitch, but I'm really just a semi-sweet kind of a gal who likes lots of room for milk :).

ChillwithWill said...

Psycho-analysis begins NOW:

@Mat: I was about to say that your order represents a proclivity for minimalism...except that you always order a large ("venti" at the Church of Starbucks). So I'm going to say that you have an appreciation for simplicity (a character trait too often overlooked in our iSociety). No fancy bells or whistles...just good ol' fashioned coffee (from any establishment it seems) gets the job done for you.

@Tim: I'm gonna refer to this as the "Goldilocks order." It's not too big (venti/trenta) or too small (tall)...it's "juuuust right" (grande). 50% herbal refreshment mixed with 50% sweetened juice gives you the perfect blend of liquid bliss. Little ice means you want your drink chilled, but don't want to sacrifice extra room in that grande cup. Is it possible that deep down you wrestle with feelings that you MIGHT be a venti?

@Darcy: You know yourself (and the Starbucks menu) well! No psycho-analysis needed. But I must say, if you think that "tall coffee in a grande cup" makes you sound like a high maintenance bitch you should totally accompany me to Subway. I'll show you how to REALLY "diva out" when placing an order.

jerry said...

hot tall coffee.

and i'm surprised you know about genmaicha. 500 mL botlle sets you back about a dollar here.

Isaac said...

Venti iced coffee with four pumps of classic, and whole milk. Go.