The Tale Of The Baffling Barista

My wife and I work the same shift at the same company, and that shift starts at 5am.  As a result, we’re usually very sleepy during the drive into work.  I have to say, it makes the other drivers nervous when they look over and see us both snoring, heads back, drooling.

This morning my wife felt the desire for Starbucks coffee and she asked[1] if we could stop at a drive through [or ‘drive-thru’ for all my American chums out there].

Of course.

We pulled up behind a car already in the queue [line] ordering their coffee.  Soon enough, after a brief 3 hours, the car finally moved and we rolled up the microphone.

The speaker crackled into life.

“Welcome to Starbucks”

“Hi”, we both replied in sleepy unison.

“Yeah, we’re actually not open right now.”, came the lacklustre response in that inimitable style that made it sound like a question.

“Oh….OK. Never mind, thank you”

We looked at each other, shrugged and started to drive off.  Unfortunately we couldn’t go far as the car in front of us was at the next window waiting for their coffee.

We couldn’t get around them and, despite my wife’s insistence I beep my horn and ‘urge’ them to move the fuck out of the way, I decided to reverse back along the drive through lane as there were no cars behind us…..at 4:30am on a Monday.

I wonder why.

Anyway, as we reversed back past the microphone/speaker we could hear the woman babbling something over the intercom, so we stopped.

“Welcome to Starbucks, can I take your order?”

We looked at each other again, but this time in total confusion.  My wife leaned across me and said, “Wait….I thought you said you were closed.”

The speaker crackled back into life, “No, I said we we’re not open right now.”

Wait, isn’t that the same thing?

The speaker continued to crackle with attitude as the woman told us why they weren’t open yet; something about waiting for something or whatever….I don’t know.  Anyway, her tedious tale concluded with her asking if she could take our order.

Maybe it was the fact we were half asleep and devoid of caffeine, but she made no sense whatsoever.

So if you’re reading this and you’re not from the USA, take note…..’Not Open‘ and ‘Closed‘ mean different things over here….apparently.

Just like ‘Starbucks Barista‘ and ‘Testy Imbecile‘.

He he, ‘Testy’

[1] Demanded

You are what you eat (and you’re full of shit)

Before moving to America, my wife told me how many chemicals and additives there were in American food.  It seems the USA doesn’t have the strict regulations that Europe has regarding the shit that companies can inject into what we eat and drink.

I had no idea to what extent she was not kidding!

I first noticed how much sugar there is in stuff over here.  It’s in everything, but to the Nth degree!  Bread has been the biggest surprise; if you open a bag of bread and smell the loaf [insert toilet gag1 here], it smells like cake.  And cakes here are so sweet they’ve surpassed the maximum sweetness possible by the laws of nature and have shifted into another dimension entirely.

But it doesn’t stop with sugar (ever!).  The adverts (commercials) here use the addition of unnecessary chemicals and additives to promote and sell their foods.

Ice-cream is advertised with “No Growth Hormones!“, burgers promoted as having “No hormones, antibiotics or steroids!” and even dairy products brag about their milk having “50% less sugar“, or cheese being “100% cheese, not 51%“.

51%?  Bit random.

Now, I know this is a scare tactic to make you question their competitors’ products, but was I delusional to assume these products wouldn’t contain this shit as standard?

“Hey! Try our new coffee, made with 100% coffee and absolutely no wood screws or powdered glass!”.

Mmm, delicious.

It’s on a level my wife could never have prepared me for.  Even salt here is packed full of additional ingredients and chemicals, the names of which baffle and terrify me in equal measures.  I mean, it’s salt!  Surely the ingredient of salt should be salt?  I understand the need for an anti-caking agent, but outside that….it should be just salt, right?  Or am I overthinking this?

This unnecessary use of additional ingredients reminded me of something my wife showed me back in England; it was the list of ingredients for McDonald’s french fries in the UK and the USA.  Check this out…

fries-uk-vs-usa

Potatoes, oil and salt.  What more do you need?

And it doesn’t stop there.  Check out this seasonal favourite!

latte-uk-vs-usa

Nothing in red can be good!

So let’s take a moment to digest (or not) that the US version of this beverage has ‘Caramel Color’ in it…twice.  This is an ingredient that has been considered carcinogenic by the Agency for Research on Cancer!

So….Fuck. That.

Now, I’m aware these images have been pulled from the internet and could be utter bullshit….but they’re not.

Or are they? 2

So here are a couple of photos I took of products I’ve seen at work that defy the laws of sense and responsibility.

Recognise these, America?

bottles

I drink a lot of coffee….and it says ‘mate’…what’s not to love?

They’re sat next to the coffee machine looking sweet and innocent (and boy are they sweet!).

They look like cream and they taste a bit like cream….but they’re NOT cream.  They are so far from cream, they might as well be a car.

The fact they’re not stored in the fridge should have alarm bells ringing in your head.  In fact, the word ‘cream’ doesn’t appear in the terrifying list of ingredients at all!

ingredients

Do you notice the first (and therefore largest) ingredient is sugar? It appears BEFORE water!

This shit doesn’t even have milk in it, although there is a milk derivative.

A derivative?  What’s a derivative?

Well, Google defines it as:

Adjective – (typically of an artist or work of art) imitative of the work of another person, and usually disapproved of for that reason.

Or

Noun – something that is based on another source.

So yeah, it means ‘something that resembles milk, but isn’t‘.  I suppose that’s why it ends with ‘Not a source of lactose‘.  That’s great for those who are lactose intolerant I suppose.  But in all honesty, lactose is probably less harmful to those people than the cocktail of sugar, water and oils in this easy-pump jizz.

Yes, it looks like jizz.  You’ve all thought it.

And it doesn’t stop there.  I saw these packets on a shelf yesterday!

popeyehoney

Wait…Corn Syrup, Fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup? What the actual fuck?

It seems Popeye’s took honey and added crap to make it sweeter (what??) and more ‘honey-coloured’!  I can’t get over the lunacy here!  Why not just leave it as honey?  After all, isn’t honey sweet enough?  I didn’t taste it because I didn’t want to be sucked into another dimension.

Also, did you notice the appearance of ‘Caramel Color’ again? Those aren’t pictures of hexagonal honeycomb cells on the packet; they’re human cells dripping with cancer.

soapbox

1 Pun/Play on words intended
2 They’re not

Auschwitz to decaf

My wife and I were in Starbucks again this morning.  We’re always so tired in the morning and it’s just around the corner from work.  In fact, there are two Starbucks around the corner from work, practically across the road from each other, but i’ll come back to that later.

As I was stood there looking up at the menu of coffees (despite already knowing what I wanted before we went in), my wife gestured at something behind me and said “Oh my god, would you look at that.”

I turned around and saw this.

Starbucks MS
(actual photo taken)

“It’s just fucking coffee” she said, rolling her eyes.

I must admit, it was a bit much.  I understand that a business, especially one as large as Starbucks, will have a mission statement.  Yes it’s only coffee but I can appreciate the need to direct the focus of their global brand through ideals that will benefit both the customer and themselves, but come on!

They want to inspire and nurture the human spirit?  Do me a favour!  The only thing they want to nurture is my wallet; have you seen the prices of their drinks?

And with regards to ‘one neighbourhood at a time”, I have to agree; these fuckers are everywhere.

starbucks escher

In fact, according to Wikipedia:

“Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, with 23,305 stores in 65 countries and territories, including 13,049 in the United States, 1,909 in China, 1,555 in Canada, 1,089 in Japan and 927 in the United Kingdom”

Yeah, I’m not surprised in the slightest.  I’m convinced a majority of these are in Tottenham Court Road.

After reading that entry from Wikipedia, I decided to Google some interesting facts about Starbucks and  I came across this interesting list of 15 things about Starbucks that will blow your mind.

It’s crazy to think how successful their global domination has been, and let’s be honest, it IS a global domination.  At least, that’s how their Mission Statement reads.

Don’t believe me?

Replace the words ‘inspire and nurture’ with ‘destroy’ and you have something that wouldn’t have been out of place in Nürnberg in 1934.

But that’s possibly a little unfair methinks.

Make no mistake, I am NOT drawing direct comparisons between the largest coffeehouse company in the world and one of the most evil men in history (That would be like comparing a blowjob to sticking your dick in a blender), but Starbucks have succeeded where Adolf hadn’t.

Maybe he should’ve sold coffee instead of drinking it.  All that caffeine made him a bit ‘shouty’.

Just be honest Starbucks, we all know what your mission statement is.

“To make as much money as we can and spread like cancer;
one person, one cup,
and one neighbourhood at a time”

Don’t sugar-coat it with this cheesy and cringe-worthy bollocks.

Oh, and get your punctuation in order; that was one thing Hitler got right.

Then again, he was a bit of a grammar Nazi.

nurnberg starbucks

UPDATE – 29th August 2014

My wife and I went into the same Starbucks this morning and the Mission Statement has been painted over.  It’s not there anymore!

I’m not big-headed in any way, but I can’t help hoping thinking it’s because hopefully maybe someone working there read this post!

Twink-le Twink-le little Star (bucks)

The effeminate young guy behind the till* in Starbucks this morning was more camp than a row of tents as he took our orders and passed them to the young, sour faced girl lurking behind the machinery.

While we were all stood there waiting for the miserable barista to emerge from behind the steam with our coffees, a middle aged, slightly overweight, greasy haired man came in wearing a trench coat and a creepy smile.

He ordered a coffee and started really flirting with the young guy behind the counter. It soon became evident they knew each other.  There was some giggling, some pouting and the young guy’s eyelids were being batted more than cricket ball.+

It was becoming uncomfortable to watch so I started looking around the café at anything to distract me.  My eyes eventually rested on the supermarket plastic bag that the greasy man was holding.  There was something written on it.

“Enjoy Every Mouthful”

Of course.

man eating sausage

* Cash register (for our American friends)
+ Baseball (for our American friends)

Confusion at the coffee house

There was confusion in Starbucks this morning.  The woman who was calling out the finished beverages at the collection area had the loosest grasp of English.

“Vebbi capparan cheeno fomackle?”

There was no response.  Instead we were all looking at each other baffled as this small woman held up a large paper cup full of mystery.

“Vebbi capparan cheeno fomackle?”

Still nothing from us.  It didn’t help that we were all in need of coffee, which may or may not have been ready.

The small woman looked at the name scrawled on the cup and carefully shouted, “Mackle?”

The man next to me said “Michael?”

“Yes, dis is faryoo”.

“Is that a cappuccino?” he enquired.

“Yes, vebbi capparan cheeno”.

And as Michael picked up his not-so-hot-anymore cup of coffee and left, I realised that ‘Vebbi capparan cheeno fomackle’ meant ‘Venti cappuccino for Michael’.

It didn’t stop there.

“Gradday hansel nub skinnle latty foserra?” (Grande hazelnut skinny latte for Sarah)

“Smor mericano wiz is press shotten exta hor mik fomerry?” (Small Americano with an espresso shot and extra hot milk for Mary)

“Lar feeter coff foffipp?” (Large filter coffee for Phillip)

“Tea fomanderlin”.

Actually, this was the easiest one to understand.  After all, it was tea.  It didn’t matter what words she murdered after saying ‘tea’, the owner (Madeline) knew it was for her.

There is always one who goes to an American coffee chain in England to have tea; the most English of hot drinks.

“Wozdee wul kuh mintoo?”

coffee cat