I don’t make it much of a secret that I love Starbucks. I think they put out a superb product and I have always had excellent experiences with their service. (Coffee not quite hot enough? Here, have a coupon for a free drink next time. Had to wait a few minutes too long? Coupon.)
Much of my first novel (and the sequel, in progress as we speak…) was written in Starbucks. In fact, I thank them in my acknowledgments for sharing their office space with me. Plus, my story is mostly set in Seattle (including one scene within a Starbucks cafe), so…well, you get the picture. Maybe I should approach Starbucks for sponsorship.
Anyway, today, with 6 days to go before book launch, I’m going to do a little primer on ordering the heavenly liquid known as coffee, from my favorite coffee people.
It’s impossible for me to discuss coffee sizes without including this hilarious clip from the movie Role Models.
If you’re as confused as Paul Rudd, here you go:
I usually drink good ol’ brewed coffee. Especially if they’re brewing Caffe Verona that day (love). But occasionally I treat myself to something different. Your exotic options, beyond brewed coffee, include:
Americano. A shot or two of espresso, with hot water to fill the cup.
Latte. Steamed milk and espresso mixed together, with just a very light layer of foam on top.
Espresso. Just a straight-up shot of espresso. With a nice layer of crema on top, if they’ve done it right.
Macchiato. Steamed milk, then hot espresso poured through the center of the frothy layer so it mixes and forms a “mark” on the top of the foam (hence the term Macchiato, which means “marked” in Italian. See–you’re learning something, right?) At Starbucks, they top their Macchiato off with a crosshatch of caramel or other flavored syrup.
Cappuccino. Espresso topped with a thick layer of dense foam.
Mocha. Hot chocolate mixed with espresso, topped with whipped cream.
Here’s where things become complicated, and where you get to sound like a high-maintenance princess at the coffee counter. Especially if you order multiple modifications.
Vary the caffeine. Every espresso drink can be made decaf or half-caff.
Ask for “room”. Which means you want room to add your own milk or cream.
Request nonfat. Other milk choices: 2% or whole milk.
Opt for soy. Soy milk, that is. Although why anyone would want to muck up their coffee this way is totally beyond me.
Add a flavor. There is a bewildering number of flavored syrups to spice up your coffee concoction: cinnamon dolce, caramel, hazelnut…and some of them come sugar-free, offering even more customization.
Top it with whip. Or not. Or, if you want just a little whipped cream, ask for “easy whip”.
Truth be told there are way more modifications you can make (double shot, extra hot…) but I’m feeling a little exhausted. I think I need a coffee…
PS. Did you know I’m doing a giveaway contest on June 6, book launch day? True story. Click below for the details.
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