What Kind of Coffee Do You Unwittingly Resemble?
This weekend, I stopped into Inversion for a caffeine infusion in my preferred format: a cortado, which is a shot of espresso cut with an equal amount of steamed milk. No foam on top, nothing fancy, no flavorings -- just the facts, ma'am.
You look like...a grande mocha, no sugar, no whip, extra dry, half skim, half whole milk with caramel. Sugar-free caramel. Jerk.
When it was my turn, I stepped up to the counter and placed my order. The barista behind the counter regarded me with some confusion. He, in a red hoodie with the hood raised over his head, was the proud owner of a fantastic beard, many tattoos and a prominent captive bead ring through his septum. I, in my Talbots jeans and Anthropologie necklace, likely looked hopelessly bourgeois and suburban -- always have, always will.
"I've gotta say, that's not what I expected," he finally said.
"I'm sorry?" I responded, equally confused.
"That's not at all what I expected you to order," he replied with a laugh.
I turned to the guy behind me in line, who'd chuckled along with the barista. "What kind of drink did y'all expect me to order?"
The other customer -- who, like the barista, looked every bit the "typical" Montrose resident (whatever that means anymore) -- responded with: "You look like a pumpkin pie latte kind of girl."
The barista nodded his agreement. "I honestly expected you to get a pumpkin pie latte or something like that."
I didn't know what to say. Was it my ginger-esque hair? My waistline? Did I resemble a pumpkin? Or did I just look like the kind of clueless suburbanite who stumbles into a "serious" coffee shop and orders the most dessert-like item on the menu?
When Starbucks first rolled out the Frappuccino, two of my best friends at the time were managers at Starbucks stores in Houston. They lamented the introduction of the frozen drink that both required the use of a noisy, time-consuming blender and required them to tolerate the gaggles of teenagers that ordered the coffee-shakes ten at a time and took over the coffee shop while sucking them down.
Needless to say, Frappuccino-spotting became a popular pasttime in their Starbucks stores and hundreds of others over the years.
"One learns to instinctively know who's going to order a Frappuccino, and dread evil frap rushes," wrote one Starbucks employee on an Ask the Barista FAQ. "The closest analogy I can come up with is being a bartender and dealing with a constant flow of orders for little blended girly drinks."
I felt as if I'd been Frappuccino-spotted that morning in Montrose: instantly pegged as the type of customer who neither knows nor respects their coffee, and relegated to a second-tier consumer with a single glance. It was both insulting and intriguing.