3.12.2008

What Ever Happened to a Cup O' Joe?

There have been many achievements that divide generations. It was indoor plumbing for my Grandparents and parents, it was cable TV and computers for my parents and me and it is Starbucks for my children and me.

Starbucks are everywhere. They are in malls, stores, business offices, dentist offices, high schools, college commons, train stations, airports, bus stops, suburban corners, city corners, and even on the corners where the prostitutes hang out. Poor prostitutes... having to compete now with Starbucks.

Yesterday we were at Target and my oldest daughter announced that she wanted to go buy a "Frapo." I had no idea what she was talking about. I am Starbucks illiterate. I can honestly say that I have never taken more than a sip or two of coffee. I just don't like the stuff-never have. My son then said he wanted a "Frapo" as well.

Eventually they explained to me that they wanted Frappuccinos from Starbucks. Ohhhhh-I understood. Well, really I did not understand because I could not figure out how they even knew what a Starbucks was let alone have a favorite drink from there. It must be that Starbucks that was recently placed in our Parish Hall at Church.

I stood in stunned silence as I watched my son go up to the "barrister" and order a "tall double chocolate chip frapo please." I was about to tell him to get a short one (because in Beer terms-something I know about-a tall is a large and a short is a smaller one. Coffee talk is apparently not as simple as beer talk.) My daughter then sauntered up to the counter and ordered a "Venti mocha frapo." Venti is large-or if you are Transilvanian it means "I vant you venti much."

I handed over a week's pay to the cashier, or excuse me, the barrister (and here I always thought a barrister was a person who practiced law in London) and my children happily drank their growth-stunting, heart attack inducing, 500 calorie drinks. It was a proud proud moment let me tell you.

I started reading the menu and realized that I had no idea what the hell they were talking about! Do they really sell coffee at Starbucks or are they just there to mock you? I don't know, but here are some of the things on the menu. I actually wrote them down and then flipped off the college girl who looked at me as if I were the stupidest person on the planet because I had no idea what a Macchiato was, let alone how to pronounce it.

I saw these words:
Breve
Chai
Con Panna
Demitasse
Doppio
Misto
Ristretto

They sounded like magical spells from the Italian Harry Potter. The only word I understood was "skinny."

What ever happened to the Icee and the Big Gulp from 7-11? Now those are drinks! Maybe they just need a fancy name in order to make a comeback. Next time I go into a 7-11 I am going to ask the cashier for a "tall red and blue low-fat with a doppio of purple." The impressive part is that I will do it all in Arabic.

20 comments:

Kathryn said...

Too funny!

Momto5Minnies said...

You are too RETRO ... SLUSHIES and Big Gulps. LOL!

No coffee for you? I guess if you don't get hangovers it is just not a necessary drink.

Laura said...

Bring on the Yoo Hoo...now there is a beverage.

Beth said...

I am a coffe drinker - just regular coffee. And you should see the looks I get when I order a coffee at Starbucks. Kind of like...look at the old lady ordering a coffee, a regular coffee....

That's probably why I prefer the coffee at Dunkin' Donuts!

Mama DB said...

Your kids are so hip! Starbucks coffee is too bitter for me but I do love the Chai Latte. You should try it out.

Order: Tall Chai Latte, non-fat ('cause I know you are on a crash diet). You'll love it.

Kasia said...

My fiancé is a coffee-holic. I'm like you, though, Cris - I need a pop in the morning to get me going.

That said, my fiancé will happily admit that he doesn't like Starbucks. He doesn't like the taste of their coffee (prefers Tim Hortons or Dunkin Donuts), and thinks the stuff they come up with is kee-razy. And he loves quoting Martin Crane and saying "Hey, I'm a regular Joe, and I like my joe regular."

And isn't there some connection between Starbucks and Planned Parenthood? I buy maybe two Starbucks drinks a year, tops, and those only because I'm with someone who wants to go to Starbucks, so I didn't really pay attention, but I'm sure someone told me something about that...

Bekah said...

My husband is a barista. In layman's terms a "Barista" is an espresso shot pulling, milk steaming and frothing, coffee drink maker. yeah, Barista is easier to say...

Kasia said...

He wouldn't be a "baristo"?

Mary Poppins NOT said...

I actually avoid Starbuck's all together because I can not make heads or tails out of their menu. Silly. Give me Dunkin Donuts anytime. Actually, Caribu Coffee is my favorite splurge.

Anna B. said...

I don't care for coffee either,

Venti Green Tea, Zen 2 bags for me..

Irenaeus said...

I avoid starbucks for this very reason: their menu is pretentious and intimidating. So I go to Caribou or brew at home.

Jen M said...

I wuv Starbucks! Okay, so any espresso-based coffee place in vicinity will get a visit from me, just ask Kasia. Mmmm. Iced venti no-ice mocha! Even the barista stares at me for that one! There's a Starbucks right by church, so Sundays after Mass, that's where you will find me, although in the cold months I tend to get a Venti Pepperment White Mocha or during Christmas a Venti Gingerbread Latte (venti is the ONLY size, of course).
But, I'll go to Espresso Royale after morning Mass on the weekdays and Caribou after filling up my gas tank. I have about 10 different coffee cards in my wallet, and am so VERY glad that God didn't ask me to give up coffee this Lent. :)

Tina said...

Here's how to really get a rise out of the "baristas" at Starbucks: Order a "small," "medium" or "large." They will have to run for their dictionaries.

Pinks and Blues said...

This post cracked me up!
I love it.
I'm so used to the Dunkin Donuts... small, medium, large! Period. Nothing else beyond that. It's easy. It's there. It's pretty straight-forward!
Ahhh...
I love how your kids knew... so funny!
- Audrey
Pinks & Blues

Diva Mom Vicki said...

Biggest parenting mistake I made with my first was allowing him to take a sip of a Strawberries & Creme Frappicinno when the Barista was passing out samples.

At just shy of 4 years old my son would march up to the counter and proudly order a "tall strawberry & creme frap, hold the whip because Mom says it has too much sugar."

My husband was forced to get a second job to fund our coffee habit.

His prayers were answered when I found myself called to give up coffee for Lent.

Obi's Sister said...

I think you meant 'barista.' 'Barrister' is a British lawyer. They generally have to be fat, scurry like rats and wear funny wigs. BTW, I like that commercial about coffee shops and "fra-talian."

Cris said...

"Barista", "Barrister"... I prefer the word "bartender"

~June

Susan said...

You really need to be paid to write stuff like this. Hey, maybe when you write something as brilliant as this (which is often) you should include a paypal link next to it!

My husband loves you, btw. I don't know what to think about that, except I get a kick out of you too!

God Bless,
SQ

G said...

Starbucks is part of Dr Evil's plan to take over the world, you know!

That's a joke from Austen Powers, of course, but I tell ya, ever since I learned about the Starbucks in the Forbidden City in china, I think there might be something to that!

g said...

re: barista, here is the wiki entry:

When using the term in English jargon, "barista" refers to one who has acquired some level of expertise in the preparation of espresso-based coffee drinks. Within certain circles, its meaning is expanding to include what might be called a "coffee sommelier"; a professional who is highly skilled in coffee preparation, with a comprehensive understanding of coffee, coffee blends, espresso, quality, coffee varieties, roast degree, espresso equipment, maintenance, latte art, etc. James Hoffmann of Britain is the current World Barista Champion.