Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Coffee Dazed

I think it is official I am a 'Coffee Dazed, Tea Tottler'. If there was an exam on what I know about coffee would I fail? Well I just had to find out after my latest visit to Starbucks.

My dad often gives me a Starbucks gift card for my birthday and to tell you how often I use them, I have had one card for a couple of years - ok so you now know I'm not a big coffee drinker. That being said, I still felt I knew a bit about coffee. Surely I would know enough on how to order it, wouldn't I?

Yesterday I had to run to the store to get some cream for our delightful supper of southern fried chicken and cornbread...mmmmmmm good! Anyways, while I was at Safeway I decided to get myself a coffee. I had one a few weeks back that I truly loved. A nice mocha coffee was just what the doctor ordered. So I negotiate my way through the checkout line, get my 2 year old gift card out of my wallet and wander over to the in-store coffee shop.

I'm trying to remember what coffee it was that I had last time. I know it was mocha and it had some whipped cream on top, hmmmmmmm! Looking at the menu, I didn't see anything that even remotely resembled what I had last time. There's lattes, frappucinos, tea gosh!

I must have looked completely lost as the coffee Barista came to my immediate rescue.
"May I help you?", she asks with a big smile. "Yes, ummmmm I would like a coffee. I think it was a mocha latte or frappicino." Then she stares blankly back at me. Hmmmm, this isn't a good sign. Did I ask for the wrong thing, is there something stuck between my teeth? She then proceeds with a few more questions to find out what exactly I want. "Was it a hot beverage?", "Yes!" I reply, she doesn't think I'm a total idiot. "Did it contain coffee?", ummm isn't this a coffee shop? "Yes, it contained coffee." "Ok, did it have whipped cream and chocolate drizzled on top." By George I think she's got it! "Yes!" Finally she gets down to the brass taxes, "That is a mocha". Great, I'm going to get some of that delicious coffee after all. "What size would you like?" Now this is where it gets a bit trickier, the sizing at Starbucks isn't as simple as small, medium and large - why that would be just too easy, but I know this, I've ordered coffee before. "Can I have a verti please?" I say all smugly that I finally got something right. The Barista looks a little puzzled and finally says "Did you mean Venti?" Of course that's what I meant - now that I am totally embarrassed. Struggling to maintain some of my dignity I exclaim, "Yes, that's what I meant." Did I leave it there....oh no, I had to finish with the big explanation, "You see I rarely order coffee, I'm a tea drinker!"

I'm not sure if the Barista needed the extra info or not, but it helped me feel better about my inability to order coffee without needing assistance. Now if I would have taken this quiz prior to ordering coffee I would have known I was way out of my league. I'll let you pop on over and see how well you do. I myself got a whopping 32% on the 'Coffee Quiz'. This may explain a bit of my problems.

What is your coffee IQ?


  1. Oh no...you are too funny! You write the best posts!!

  2. I won't even look at that coffee quiz, I would fail miserably. I can't even stand the smell of the stuff. When I go to Starbucks i always order tea and I always say large. I couldn't be arsed to say venti or grande or whatever they are. Some of those Starbucks people are pretty insistent though that you use the proper terminollogy.

  3. That is very funny. I remember the intimidation I felt going in to Starbucks the first time. Sirdar and I actually read through the little coffee ordering guide. I have found I like that Americana. It is made with 2 shots of expresso in hot water and is very strong, but very smooth. I still don't use the size terms unless I have been standing in line long enough to figure it out. However, I do take in my own mug and they have a special term for that too, which I can't remember.

  4. Just ignore that Starbucks snobbery, gal. Your money is green, and that's what they want. You can order tea there. I get mochas all the time (and yes, they are delicious). But, I told you before not to go to Starbucks. Find yourself a locally run coffeehouse, and you'll get a lot better flavor! Starbucks tastes burned to me. Good post!

  5. THEY'VE been trying to complicate the whole tea-drinking process too. It's a global conspiracy and it. Is. Evil.

    To paraphrase a former US president, I feel your Starbucks pain. Or at least your embarrassment; been there, done that. ;-)

    And thanks for visiting the other day. Sorry I didn't get over here sooner to say hello!

  6. What a great post! I love coffee, and I love Starbucks...the place...NOT the coffee! I feel like it's a pretty laid back place to relax, but the only thing I will drink is frapuccino...any flavor (frozen) or ice tea....they have GREAT iced tea!! Unfortunately, I did REALLY bad on the quiz....I prefer to brew my own light brand at home. I do not need to fill my brain with useless information about coffee production. Guess it's a good thing I don't work at Starbucks! Love your site! FABULOUS MotorHome and GREAT TT~

  7. I would't feel too bad because I am definately a coffee drinker and I did Horrible on this quiz. I took it twice.. the first time my coffee IQ was 37% and after some very careful reading of he questions I recived a whopping 42% the 2nd time. Who the heck would know that about coffee?? Now ask me how to brew it, what temp the water should be with what grind of coffee and maybe just maybe I would pass the quiz.
    BTW, I also have a hard time ordering from Starbucks. They make it all way to complicated..just give me a coffee, maybe throw a flavor shot in it. Plus they charge way too much for coffee that always tates like it has been sitting too long ( both before and after it has been brewed).