I am not much of a coffee drinker. I don’t have anything against coffee. I just don’t drink it. Mostly it’s because the coffee world has its own special language and apparently, I don’t speak it. It used to be you walked in and got a cup of Joe. Now you get a lean grande latte with sprinkles. I have absolutely no idea what the hell that means. Does anyone have any idea what that means?
Recently, I was in a Starbucks and I order something simple, a hot chocolate. The Barista asked me what size I wanted. The Barista, I have learned, is the name for the person who actually pours your cup of coffee. I believe it comes from the latin words, “I used to be a Vice-President at a failed dot.com.” Anyway, he asked me what size I wanted and I said “small”. “We don’t have small,” he said. “We have tall.” “I don’t want a tall”, I said. “I want a small.”
“Our tall is small,” he said.
“This makes absolutely no friggen sense,” I thought.
“So what are your other sizes,” I said.
“We have Vente and Grande,” he said.
Good, two words in a language I don’t speak.
Having had this experience, I have started to learn more about coffee. For instance, I have learned that the word “latte” is French and it means, “I just paid way too much for a cup of coffee.
The other thing I recently learned is that in whatever language Starbucks is speaking, there apparently is no word for “free refill”.
When I was a kid, every place advertised the bottomless cup of coffee. Starbucks has adapted this slightly. At $4.00 a cup, they now believe in the bottomless bank account.
I think the reason they are able to get such high a price for a cup of Joe is because they have a machine that makes really cool sounds. It sputters. It spurts. It is really, really interesting. I really want one of these.
Frankly, though, I don’t think it does a damn thing. I think it’s just the entertainment you get when you spend $4.00 for a cup of coffee. Hell, it’s a lot cheaper than a movie. Go to the movies and you pay $10, plus the popcorn, and of course the $4.00 cup of coffee.
Starbucks also offers about a million varieties of coffee. For instance, when I was in Starbucks, the Barista asked me if I would like to try the caffeine free espresso. Which led me to reply, “What’s the friggen point?” I thought the reason people drank coffee was to get a buzz. $4.00 a cup and no buzz? Again, I ask, what’s the friggen point?”
Starbucks also sells a lot of things that are not related at all to coffee. At Starbucks, you can buy greeting cards. You can buy books. You can buy CD’s. Last week, at Starbucks, I got a latte and had my refinanced my house all at the same time.
Which I only really needed because I had to pay for the latte.
There is one advantage to the Starbucks method though. I heard last week a robber held up a Starbucks. Apparently, they were able to capture him when he ordered the Barista to put all the money in the bag and the cops were able to show up before he had decided on the Tall, Vente or Grande bag.
I have just learned that in Indonesia, they have a coffee which sells for $250 a pound. Apparently it is so expensive because of how they make it. They take the coffee beans, feed them to animal and then extract the beans from the waste. For this, there are very rich people in the world willing to pay $250 a pound or roughly $20 a cup of coffee at retail. This, I believe, is God’s way of telling you, that you make way to much money.
Copyright 2004 – 2008, Glenn G. Millar