The simple act of ordering coffee these days is akin to traveling in a foreign country, it would seem.
I was going on a mid-afternoon coffee run the other day while at work and my colleague asked me to pick something up for her, as well.
"A tall chai tea latte with skim milk." She said. "No wait, a tall non-fat chai. I think that's the proper way to ask for it."
"A chai latte though, right?" I said, writing it down.
"Well, I think the reference to 'non-fat' implies that it's creamy." She said.
Where do I sign up for the foreign language course in 'coffee-speak'?
I'm no better. Here's the verbal dance I do when placing my typical coffee order.
"A tall, extra hot mocha in a grande cup, with extra whip, please."
Between you and me, the coffee is really just a method of delivery for the whipped cream and provides me with an acceptable excuse to lap up the sweet dairy confection in the middle of my day, but I digress.
My coffee order is nothing compared to some that I've heard. Comprised of so many layers and nuances they are essentially complex ingredient lists for a gourmet recipe.
They're like signatures or fingerprints, unique to each individual. In fact, I happen to know that my local coffee joint knows its customers, not by name, but by their coffee order. There are worse ways to be known, I suppose.
Personally, I think the people, excuse me, baristas who interpret these requests are deserving of some form of public recognition, like winners of a particularly challenging spelling bee. I can hardly keep my own drink order straight, never mind having to deal with the pressure of several fired off to me at once while the customer taps an impatient finger on the counter (not me) and watches my every move (me).
For all the times I've ordered my favourite caffeinated concoction, I still find myself repeating it in my mind like a mantra while waiting in line, lest I stumble over it like a novice actor unsure of my lines in the crucial moment of delivery.
A day did finally arrive, however, when I was greeted at my preferred coffee haunt with a smile and the words, "The 'usual'?"
Is someone missing their contraband chicken?
1 hour ago