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!)