A Cure for Starbucks Stagefright

Starbucks logoYou know how it is… You’re waiting in line at Starbucks and the self-appointed “guru of the ground roast” in front of you is rattling off the order for his signature morning java fix, “Double-tall, non-fat, half-caf, sugar-free vanilla, extra-dry cappuccino with caramel drizzle.”


Not only do you not have a clue what half of what he just said even means, but most of the terminology defies conventional use of these words in the English language. Oh sure, Starbucks has little information booklets on the counter to help newbies learn how to order, but you don’t want to be the doofus standing around reading while everyone else is already enjoying their awesome drink, do ya?

RTFM? No way!

Your turn at the counter comes up, the ultra-hip barista eager to take your order, but you just freeze. Yup, you’ve got Starbucks Stagefright.

If you often find yourself stumped at the Starbucks counter, jonesin’ for some awesome, self-indulgent beverage (cuz, after all, Starbucks is freakin’ delicious!), but clueless because you don’t know the secret code or have a decoder ring, there’s hope for you yet… wikiHow’s How to Order at Starbucks guide will educate you on all the proper lingo so you’ll be able to order drinks just like the cool kids.

As for me, I’ll take a “Grande, 2-Splenda, Sugar-free Vanilla Breve latte, extra hot!”

Java Junkies Beware…

Turns out that Starbucks may be America’s biggest drug pusher according to Roger Downey’s article in Seattle Weekly, This Is Your Brain on a Frappuccino. According to Downey:

The U.S. government allocates many billions of dollars a year to the War on Drugs, but it spends hardly a penny on the most insidious, most omnipresent psychoactive drug of all. I refer, of course, to caffeine (C8H10N4O2), the little alkaloid that made [Starbucks].

On Becoming a Starbucks Barista

I stayed home from work today with a very nasty sore throat and a mild antibiotic-induced buzz.   After sleeping straight thru most of the morning, I finally mustered the energy to check email & such.   Came across Natalie MacLean’s wonderfully descriptive article “Calling the Shots” on her introduction to life as a Starbucks barista:

The store is filled with the cacophony of caffeine: the whirr of grinders, the rap-rap-rap of metal tampers, the crinkle of coffee bags opening, the steam-locomotive hiss of the milk frothers, the clink of spoons against mugs and the sighs of customers taking their first sips. Two baristas stand in the steam between the grinding and espresso machines, pulling levers and pushing buttons. They look like characters in a Dickens factory.