Tuesday, 17 August 2010

Foamy coffee.

I never visit Starbuck's. They won't let me smoke with my coffee and even if they did, it is a silly place. When I feel like a coffee, most of the time I just want 'a coffee'. Often, I'll define it as an espresso (always a double), once in a while a cappuccino but the volume in those things is usually a bit much. Mostly, when I ask for 'coffee', that's all I want. Just coffee. No fancy names, no special cups, no logo and no frills. I don't even care if the mug is cracked as long as the coffee is hot and the mug doesn't leak.

So I would probably react in much the same way as a certain Professor Rosenthal, if faced with staff who insist I learn a language so local it only exists in their shop and if I don't, they won't sell me anything.

Not quite the same way. There would have been no need to call the police to get me to leave and promise never to return. That part would have been automatic. I don't want an espresso in a 'tall' cup, I refuse to regard a medium sized cup as 'grande' and I have no idea what 'venti' means. So I never visit Starbuck's. There is a small Italian deli in Aberdeen with outside tables and coffees named with Italian names - because the owners are Italian. Not because it 'sounds good'. Damn good espresso, too. They don't have 'venti' and they don't have corporate speak. They speak English to the customers and rage at each other in Italian.

I really should get around to learning Italian. Everyone speaking it sounds annoyed, all the time. No other language seems to express rage quite so well, in fact they can get so annoyed that they run out of words and have to extend the language into hand signals.

These modern chain cafes seem to be staffed with the obsequious and the insane. You have to speak their lingo or they'll ignore you, and it's unlike any language anyone learns in any school anywhere. I think they just make it up on the spot.

Well, it's their premises and if they want customers to learn Orcish before getting served, that's up to them. I don't like it so I won't go there. That's the full extent of my reaction, I don't want them pressured into letting customers relax, I just won't buy my coffee there. There's another place just around the corner.

Now I come to think of it, I haven't actually been to any cafes for a long time. Months of cold winter followed by a wet summer haven't left many days when I'd be willing to sit at an outside table - and I'm not allowed to smoke inside, so I wait until I'm home for my coffee.

If the fine weather returns, I'll stop off for a coffee somewhere. It won't be Starbuck's.

I'll let Foamy explain...


sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

They're bloody expensive. Went in one with a friend just recently, had two coffees, one muffin and one tiffin and the bill was over £12! Good job he was paying.

Chris said...

Starbucks, eh? Went in there once. Full of pasty-faced, sub-beatnik androgynes displaying Mac products at one another. I won't be returning.


Leg-iron said...

They were never cheap but it sounds like their prices have rocketed since my visit (some years back).

And if it's seen as 'fashionable' then it's not for the likes of me.

Budvar said...

Oh yes the old "Can I have a large bog standard white coffee without all the moccha-chocca-frappachino crap please?"

"Yes Sir, would you like that "Latte style"? It's made with hot milk"

"No thank you, just a good strong coffee with a splash of milk, that's all."

"Ah you want a double, would you like a syrup with that, we have hazlenut, almond..."

"No thank you, just your basic run of the mill coffee with a splash of milk will be fine."

"How about a danish to go with that?"

"No thanks, just the coffee."

"Can I interest you in one of our chocolate chip cookies the size of a dustbin lid?"

"No, just the coffee"

"We also do a nice line in..."

"Look luv, what part of just the fucking coffee don't you understand?"

"Hmm, not a morning person are you?"

"Give me fucking strength. No I'm not a morning person, all I want is a nice hot cuppa coffee with just enough milk to muddy the colour to kill 3/4s of an hour until my 10:00 appointment."

"That'll be £4.35 Sir."

"Look hears £5, just give me my coffee"
Think to myself now where's my baccy tin.

"Oh thank you very much Sir, but you can't smoke that in here.."

They then wonder why Starbucks share price dove off a cliff and why their shops are closing with alarming regularity.

JuliaM said...

This time, my sympathy is with the shop:

"The academic, who is in her early 60s, particularly resented being to forced to state that she did not want butter or cheese on her bagel.

Many cafes ask customers whether they would like such extras with their orders in an attempt to boost takings.

She told the New York Post newspaper: "I refused to say 'without butter or cheese.' "

Look, love, if you want to make a fuss over something like that, you've officially lost the plot. How are the staff supposed to know what you want or don't want? Telepathy?

Sniper said...

Georgetown, St Arbucks just down the hill from the HI. After only 3 days of training the guy got the "just a coffee with a dash of milk". As he said, "you're paying, you're getting".

Obnoxio The Clown said...

I'm with Starbucks on this one, Leggy. I've been to Starbucks everywhere and I've never had a problem with small, medium or large, or anything else. I think Professor Cuntface was just being a hormonal cunt.

Anonymous said...

Was in St Arbucks in Dundee once:

"Coffee, black, inna mug"

"Nae bather pal"

It was shite-flavoured dishwater, never been back (to any of 'em).

St Arbucks Dundee - 10/10 service, 0/10 product.

JuliaM said...

A bit old for hormones?

No, the Prof is just one of those wackademics who can't bear to go unnoticed - if she had a problem with Starbucks, she should have written to the HQ of the company. Taking out her ire on someone serving her food/drink is not only contemptible, but somewhat unwise...

Michael said...

Never had a problem with Starbucks apart from the usual expensive pricing and Mac products as mentioned above. Either you look at the board behind the person who's serving you or you just ask for a medium/large coffee or whatever, seemed to work fine when I was there, maybe just a Scottish "nae messing aboot" thing...

John M said...

You missed the point of the article. Starbucks didn't call the police because of her refusal to request a "Grande", the argument started because she ordered a fucking bagel or something and they failed to mind read that she didn't want it buttered.

The Professor went into a botfit at the inability of minimum wage Starbucks staff to read her vastly superior mind and eventually (correctly) called the Police.

Frankly I would have punched the pretentious bitch right out, but I understand Starbucks staff aren't allowed to do that to valued customers, regardless of how much of a wanker they are.

Leg-iron said...

The way I read it was that she went off on one at this:

Prof Rosenthal added: "The barista said, 'You're not going to get anything unless you say butter or cheese!'"

Maybe I misread it. It can happen.

This Royal Throne of Kings said...

Oh I don't know, LI; I always think Chinese (or Cantonese, you get the picture) speakers sound more perpetually annoyed than Italians...

By the way, what's the Cantonese for frappochino...

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