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Anna Papachristos | December 11, 2013

Milkin' It: A Starbucks Story


starbucks72334573768.jpgStarbucks has become the unofficial official refueling station of the holiday season. Yes, it's quite likely that you will spend more time waiting in line for a peppermint mocha whatchamacallit than you will for any of the must-have items on your shopping list. Yet, while standing in line for an overpriced, holiday-themed beverage may be frustrating to many, for those with simple tastes, the experience can be rather comical and mildly entertaining.

Last week, while on an average holiday shopping trip, my mother and I decided to stop by Starbucks to get a quick snack. (The key to a successful outing is to maintain your energy supply, of course!) We've become big fans of splitting the chocolate marble loaf cake, but instead of chasing that with some fancy frappuccino, we ordered milk. It's on the kids' menu, so it's not like our request was out of the ordinary. Plus, I'm often confused for a 12-year-old, so milk would be a logical choice in that case. However, in this instance, I believe our barista's head nearly exploded.

When we got up to the counter, my mother placed our simple order, at which point she asked for a "tall" cup of two percent white milk. This is how the conversation played out:

"Mocha," said the barista.

"No. Milk," my mother repeated.


"No. Two percent white milk."

"Oh... Milk!"

Meanwhile, this entire interaction transpired as I attempted to withhold my personal thoughts. Milk. You know, that white stuff you pour in the coffee? Yes, well, we want an entire cup full of that. Minus the coffee, of course.

Our barista proceeded to ask if we'd like the milk steamed, but we opted for cold. (They steamed it anyway.) Eventually, we managed to get our order straightened out, but not without a few stifled giggles. I'm not sure what was more baffling--the fact that no one in the coffee shop listened, or that they've become blissfully unaware of the basics. I understand that Starbucks stands as a status symbol more than anything, but have we really distanced ourselves from the simple things in life that badly? This barista's mistake may have been the result of a random miscommunication, but her confusion was nothing short of hilarious. Maybe our order served as a wakeup call? Because not every item on the menu requires 40 descriptive words in exchange for one small cup of caffeine.

Do you have any silly holiday shopping stories to tell? Share them in the comments below!


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