I'm blogging at www.melaniedorsey.com . Please join me there.

Oct 5, 2010

My "Big Girl" Coffee Adventure

(Part 2 of "College Girl Meets Southern Boy" will resume shortly.)
 Big Girl Coffee Adventure

I consider myself a bit of a boring coffee drinker. I like my 2 cups in the morning and maybe a decaf in the evening. However, I do not like sweet coffee. My preferred cup is a robust or extra bold coffee with a splash of real cream.

Take me to a coffee house and I get anxious. It seems everyone around me knows how to order a frappe, latte, mocha, ccino-thingy and I stare blankly at the menu board and ask about the "house coffee."

At the Tampa airport a few weeks ago, I asked for my usual "robust" and ended up walking out with a Tall Italian. (I still laugh to myself about that one. I just think that's funny.)

On facebook I kept seeing references to Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte. Apparently Sbux fans wait all year for this seasonal offering of pumpkin pie with whipped cream in a cup!

Never do I, rarely have Isometimes I don't back down from a challenge and for someone like me who is menu-challenged, ordering a mixed coffee would be quite the personal accomplishment!

I know some of you really don't get it. But you would have to be in my head (a scary place at times) to understand how BIG is this idea of marching up to the barista and casually rattling off my coffee order that included more than ONE ingredient.

Last night I decided that this morning would be THE MORNING.
There is a Starbucks 7 minutes from my house and after studying the online menu many times, I was ready. By the way, do you know that a blueberry scone from Sbux has 460 calories?!

I was amazed at the calorie counts of the blended coffees and realized that my simple cup o' joe has saved me millions of calories over my coffee drinking years. Sure, I enjoy a delicious coconut cream pie and I know a lady who makes the best up in Baltimore. But I guess I enjoy chewing my calories!

That being said, a new friend of mine who knows all about barista-ing at Sbux suggested I actually converse with the expert at mixing coffee flavors behind the counter. Hey...there's a concept worth pursuing. And that's exactly what I did.

But first, to arm myself with caffeinated courage this morning, I fixed myself a cup of coffee. Robust with a splash of cream (20 calories). Yes, I had a cup of coffee BEFORE going to Starbucks for coffee. That just sounds so wrong. But I enjoyed it so much.

And then I gathered up various and sundry items for my errands that I would run with my PSL (that's how we coffee connoisseurs refer to Pumpkin Spice Latte) in the cupholder of my Terraza. (That's my Mom van.) Latte. Terraza. I'm suddenly feeling very Italian. Prego. (Not the spaghetti sauce; they say that a lot in Italy and it means lots of things.)

When I arrived at Sbux and parked the Terraza, I took a deep breath and I think I actually said to myself, "You're a big girl now. You can do this. Go get your latte! And don't forget your purse. And double check that you lock your door."

I marched right in and hovered between disappointment and relief that no one was in line. I told Mr. Barista Man that I had heard tell of these pumpkin drinks and I wanted one. But not too sweet.

And he said, "Ok. Then I'll put fewer pumps in it."
Yeah...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. Fewer pumps. Which is exactly what my Baltimore Barista FB Friend told me I should request.

Wow. That was easy.
And then he asked what size. I could have gotten nervous here.
But I was cool. I had studied the menu, remember.
Cool as a cucumber or an Iced Caramel Macchiato, I remember my Tall Italian in the airport ~ Ciao, Baby ~ and I reply, "Tall."

And then he hit me below the belt. He offered to give me my drink for free if I purchased the new Via. Did he know who he was talking to? I am the queen of the Publix BOGO. Of course, I'll buy the Via if he is going to buy my Big Girl Coffee! Hook me up, baby. And then he admitted to me that he, too, prefers the flavor I picked ~ cinnamon spice! And I think he meant it.

It was a good deal.
And that was it. Well, almost. I hovered at the ordering place instead of the pick it up place and another barista had to wave me toward the tall round counter. Hey, I was wearing running shoes...and at 5'2 1/2"...all the counters are tall.

I got my PSL and headed toward the Terraza. I sipped and drove and sipped and drove and felt very much like a Big Girl. And for the record, I enjoyed every calorie of my Pumpkin Spice Latte from the Starbucks! I may have even tried to chew a little. Ciao for now!
I'm a Big Girl now!


  1. So terribly proud of you! Secret: I'm not all that experienced at ordering either. I have my favorites I generally stick to. And get this: every morning, just like you, at home, I have a cup with a dash of cream--no sweet stuff. Isn't that wild? I enjoy the baristas at our Sbux immensely. Management must pick the creme of the crop (or pot) for hiring! Good job, Big Girl!!

  2. I AM SO EXICTED! I just send this to my district mgr cause I know she will get a kick out of it. And by the way you need to try skim milk with no whip next time...A LOT less calories so it will be guilt free. GOOD JOB! I am so happy you had a great experience. We work really hard to hire great people and keep our customers happy and coming back.

  3. I have my coffee with sugar & 2% milk every morning at home. BUT for coffee dates with my girlfriend's it's all about the Sbux. I recently tried their new flavor, Mocha Toffee. Mmmm.

    Pumpkin Spice is always too sweet for me, so I'll try it your way. I never special order, so that will be a "big girl" thing for me.


  4. Wow, you have made progress!! Haha.....I'll have to order mine, too, with fewer shots. And I'm also with you...I do like to CHEW my calories. So, we share that in common!
    Every once in a while, I do get a mixed drink at Sbux but most often, it's a non-mixed! I like mine with cream and splenda.
    Have a good day, big girl! :D


  5. Oh Melanie! I just adore you! I am with you 100%! I like my coffee strong and robust but like you I must have my cream and NO FROOFROO stuff! I am plain jane too and I am very proud of it ;) All my friends order their froofroo mocha's or latte's or whatever else they call them, but it's all good because no matter what each of us drink.... we are still together fellowshipping with one another!!

    Love you friend! Looking forward to your love story continuation :)

  6. I am so proud of you! HA. I adore Starbucks and my friends laugh as I rattle off the same drink every time, word perfect. Grande Peppermint White Mocha Frappucino Light with whip. OH yeah.

  7. I've always felt awkward ordering from Sbux...the whole 3 times I've done it, that is! I do enjoy the Pumpkin Spice Frappucino Light, no whip cream. It's a cold, blended coffee drink so it reminds me of a pumpkin smoothie with coffee....so fall!

  8. So funny. I don't drink coffee....but it sure sounds like fun! What happened to the hunky Italian????

  9. Too funny! I saw the YouTube video of the guy at Starbucks. Melanie, I love my two cups of strong black coffee in the morning. Years ago Greg purchased one of those single cup coffeemakers. I love the taste of French roast coffee with no sugar and cream. I only need two cups and I'm good to go.

    But that pumpkin one does sound interesting. After all, it's fall and that time of year for all things pumpkin.


  10. Awesome!! I'm a BIG (no pun intended, lol) coffee drinker. This post had me grinning from ear to ear.

  11. You MUST try the Toffee Mocha next time:) The pumpkin spice is good (just tried it myself on Saturday!) but I must say I'm sold on the Toffee. I get a grande made with skim milk and it still tasted decadent to me. I try to limit my Sbux runs since it's a pricey indulgence, but am looking forward to my treat on Friday:)

    I didn't realize what similar coffee drinkers we are - I'm also a "2 cup with cream only" in the morning and sometimes an afternoon "half/caf" - I must be doing that a little too much because I skipped my afternoon cup yesterday and I felt a slight headache when I woke up this morning:(.....1 cup of regular coffee and I felt fine. That speaks to my reliance, I guess!

    I am trying to complete my "running mom" interview....and still trying to get a picture of me - the hardest part! So silly, I know.

    Talk to you soon:)

  12. I am impressed for sure...hahaha...I can so identify. I can't even drink coffee anymore (how I miss it too) as I have to stay away from caffine, but I have wanted one of those Pumpkin Spice things for just forever. My daughter does a beeline to a Starbucks whenever she is in California as they don't have them in New Mexico. I went to pick one up for her to pick her up at the airport last time she was here and I made somewhat of a fool of myself at the place, but I DID it, haha...My daughter was downright giddy. I should have at least taken a sip, but I was afraid I'd be weak. Loved this. Hugs, Debbie

  13. Hahaha! I relate to the intimidation of those places. Braveheart Melanie!

  14. Woo Hoo, very happy for you sis.