Monday, November 28, 2011

Starbucks: I Guess I Don't Know All the Terms Going In

I love coffee.


You didn't know that, did you?

On Thanksgiving Day, we decided to stop at Starbuck's before heading to the movies. You should know, and probably already do, that I am not a frequent customer of "St. Arbucks" (coined by my friend, Melody). It's not that I don't like Starbuck's. I just prefer the independent guy. And gal.

So we pop in to get a drink.

George asks me to order him an Au Lait.

"Hi. Can I get an Au Lait, please?"

"A what?" is the answer I receive.

"An Au Lait."

"Well?! What do you want in it?"

"I'm sorry. I don't understand. Coffee, steamed milk . . ."

"No, I mean, how many shots?"

"Oh! Sorry. Do you make yours with espresso? Ok. Um, just one."

She leans over to the barista and says, "She says she wants an Au Lait."

Followed by "mumble, mumble", and then, YES, I kid you not: a visible eye roll.

Why? Did I do something wrong?

She turns back to me.

"By the way. What you ordered? It's actually called a Misto."

Hmmm, well, yes, it can be referred to as a Misto, (most notably at Starbuck's), but, actually, it's an Au Lait. Coffee and steamed milk. It was Thanksgiving. I didn't get into terminology with her. She was working on Thanksgiving - and probably not too happy about that. I gave her a pass and chose not to give her my husband's resume . . .

George returned.

"Here's your Misto."

"My what? I wanted an Au Lait."

Are there any other "fancy" newfangled terms I should know about? Either at Starbuck's or other establishments?

1 comment:

Daniel Donovich said...

I would say, as a principle, I don't like someone coming into an established realm and creating new language, then demanding everyone else use that language. Starbucks is a great example, I discover as I go to a real coffee shop, order a macchiato, and am (thankfully) told: "that isn't the macchiato you get at Starbucks; this is a REAL macchiato." Followed by a precise description of what a real macchiato is. And it wasn't what I wanted.

I know this doesn't help with your question, but I'm only trying to commiserate.