Friday, November 20, 2009

Don't Be One Of These People

This video is an advertisement for Dunkin Donuts, one of Starbucks chief competitors. This advertisement makes it seam impossible to order a drink at Starbucks and pokes fun at the use of Italian in the menu. But don't fret, you won't need to "order drinks in English, not Fritalitan." Starbucks offers customers a pleasant experience above a great cup of coffee and the lingo as all a part of the recipe. This Starbucks Dictionary will put the ordering power in your hands.

Monday, November 16, 2009

It's Your Turn: Tell Me the Craziest Drink You've Heard Of

We have all been in this situation before: the person in front of you in line just listed off a drink title that took 2 full breaths it was so long. Well, I am here to help you Starbucks-lovers, so feel free to post and ask me about any drinks you've heard of and are interesting to you. Come on! Don't be shy

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A Nice Chart

This chart shows many of the drinks Starbucks offers and shows simple illustrations with the ingredients. I found this chart on

Caramel Macchiato

Finally! We will be able to understand this crazy looking drink that no one can pronounce.
Let's start there, pronunciation: CARE-AMEL MACH-E-AH-TOE

This drink is on of the most popular drinks we make and yet I've found no body really knows what is going on inside the cup, so here we go...

1.) Start with vanilla syrup (NOT CARAMEL, this is a common misconception)
2.) Steam up milk, and make a bunch of foam, as if you are making a cappuccino
3.) Use a spoon and scoop out the foam and place it into the cup until it is 1/2 full
4.) Pour the milk into the foam (it won't rise that much because the foam is not very dense)
5.) Once the milk/foam is about 1 inch from the top of the cup - then add the espresso
6.) Top the foam off with a nice lattice of caramel and that's all there is to it

The espresso will sit between the milk and the foam and you can either mix it, or drink it the layered way.

NOTE: "Macchiato" is Italian for "marked" and it makes sense because the foam is marked by the espresso as it passes through into the cup.

IF ICED: the drink will be made the same way, just with cold milk and ice added before the espresso.

Click for nutritional facts

"Breve" Is The Soul of Wit

So, if you are standing in line and you hear the woman in front of you order a "Grande Breve." Hmm. You say to yourself, what is that? Well folks, the breve is the simplest variation on an Latte imaginable. When you order a latte at Starbucks they will make it using 2% milk (unless you request otherwise). All that a Breve is is a latte made with Half & Half.

That's it, people. Espresso. Half & Half. Foam. Bingo!

Whats the Point? Well, when you make a latte with Half & Half it is WAY creamier and tasty (ignore the fact that it has a bunch more calories).

So there you have it. Breve. Simple.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Thanks a Latte (not clever, or original. . . I know)

The Latte. One of the most popular choices in a Starbucks (for as you will see down the road, most drinks are variants on lattes; ex: White Chocolate Mocha, Pumpkin Spice)

Lattes are very simple - the most simple drink to make in my opinion. Here is the short, but sweet steps to making the drink so many people enjoy daily.

1.) As always, you begin with espresso
2.) The barista steams up milk, just like for a cappuccino, however this time we insert the steam wand all the way into the bottom of the milk pitcher (rather than steaming the top). This keeps the milk in a liquid form, rather than aerating the milk and turning it into foam.
3.) the steamed milk is poured on top on the espresso and BINGO! thats all there is to it.

NOTE: For an iced latte, all you do is mix the fresh espresso with chilled milk and add ice (very simple)

S0, if you are a frugal person, you may be thinking, "Hey, I can make these at home!"
You are absolutely correct. If you have a press (espresso or French press) then you are set. Just use a pan on the stove to heat your milk up, or for an iced drink, just pull the milk out of the fridge. Just as easy as that!

Here is a video illustrating someone making a latte at home (Note: she refers to it as a cappuccino, but with that lack of foam - it's a latte to me)

Click for Nutritional Facts.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

What's Really in My Cappuccino?

The Cappuccino (or 'Cap' if you are the one wearing the green apron) is a very popular espresso drink. At the same time it is one of the simplest drinks Starbucks has to offer aside from regular drip coffee. So what is in it? I'll show ya

1.) you're cap begins with fresh brewed espresso
2.) next the barista (the coffee maker) uses a wand to shoot steam into a pitcher of milk
3.) the steam is concentrated onto the top of the milk, making it turn to a frothy foam
4.) we fill you cup halfway with steamed milk, then we fill the other half with the foam
5.) so basically we go: espresso - milk - foam

*The example on the right is topped with a little cinnamon for some extra kick

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Start Small

So the first thing that people can get confused about the first time they walk into a Starbucks is the sizes of drinks. Starbucks doesn't use the terms small, medium, or large. Instead, they utilize an Italian system of sizes:

-"Short" (8 0z.)
-"Tall" (12 oz. and this is what you get if you ask for 'small')
-"Grande" (16 oz. pronounced GRAWN-DAY)
-"Venti" (20 oz. pronounced VEN-TEE)

Note: If you order an iced venti, it is actually 24 oz.

Many people get confused about this sizing system, so it's good to have the knowledge going into the store

Below is a clip from the film "Role Models" that shows Paul Rudd being upset about the sizing system of a unnamed coffee shop (presumably parodying Starbucks)

What Is This?

So you are here. You made it!
Now you are wondering what this blog is about? Well, this blog will serve as a dictionary for all the terminology that Starbucks uses and expects consumers to know. I mean, when you walk up that counter, those green apron wearing people (I am one of them, mind you) will be weirded out if you use words like "small" instead of "tall" etc. There is no explanation of this jargon in any of the stores and I couldn't find anything online anywhere, so here come's this blog: The Starbucks Dictionary. Together, we can give you the confidence you need to order a quad cafe con leche (and know what it is!)