Thursday, November 11, 2010

Tall, Grande, Venti, TRENTA!

As a native New Englander, my caffeinated loyalty most certainly lies with the pink and orange, but, like a butt-guy whose wandering eyes venture up north when the view is just too good, I do enjoy a Starbucks bevvie once in a while. There's different ambiance in a Starbucks, one that makes you wish you didn't conform to cultural norms in the ironically uniform way that all the other societal rebels do, with black-rimmed glasses, vintage t's, skinny jeans and a iPhone from mom and dad. Well, either that or a big-sunglassed, big-pursed celebrity in full makeup who's running into the 'bucks for a venti carmel macchiato for herself and a venti non-fat, no-whip mocha for some unnamed character who is inevitably less famous or not famous at all and probably on her payroll, sitting in the parking lot calling the paparazzi with the big news that today in Hollywood, a reality TV persona is not going to suffer from a headache due to the lack of espresso. But hey, a girl's gotta get on the glossy Stars are Just Like US pages somehow.

Or a sextuplet?

Or a former presidential hopeful?

Okay, so whatever mold I feel the pull to fit when I go to Starbucks, I want to do it with a whole 'lotta fancy schmancy coffee drink in my hand. Now, we know Starbucks wouldn't be so lame as to name their sizes in English, oh, well, except the tall (which conveniently rimes with small, a little cheat I used when I was first starting out at S'bucks), they've got to go exotic with grande and venti. And, you can't just order latte with skim milk, you've got to follow the form. It goes as follows:
(iced) (size) (milk preference) (no whip) (number of pumps of syrup) (drink choice) 

There's probably more to it than that, but that's the gist of their counter-intuitive ordering system. For example, I order like so, "May I please have an iced venti non-fat no-whip three-pump mocha?" Which is much more complicated, although about the same length, as my Dunk's order, "May I please have a medium iced Dunkin' dark with skim milk and sugar?"

But, today at Starbucks, I was let in on a little secret. No, no, a huge secret. I stopped in before work to grab just an iced coffee, just like the man at the register next to me. I heard him order his drink the same way and I was sort of dreading the moment the first coffee was ready, like that awkward, "oh you take it," "oh no no you take it" exchange when you both really just want to slap the other one in the face as a distraction and then take the coffee and run. But, instead, both coffees were conveniently ready at the same time and, believe you me, there was no confusion about whose was whose. My venti was elfin next to his! Stunned, I turned to him and said "What is that?" And, with his simple response, he changed every Starbucks experience for me from here on out. He said "It's a trenta. A secret size. And, you're welcome." Still a bit in shock, I gave a meek thank you to his demanded gratitude and scurried away to my office, where I ran right to my friend's cube and exploded with the good news. Starbucks is now giving its people more, more, more!

Well, "give" probably isn't the best word to use. Maybe like, "Starbucks is now charging its people an disproportional amount for more, more, more!" Regardless, I'm thrilled. You can consider my order changed officially to "May I please have an iced trenta non-fat no-whip three-pump mocha?" Sweet java joy!

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