Two of me blog mates have been pondering Starbucks lately, so I’ll join in the fun. There’s no doubt about it, the Starbucks system of nomenclature inspires confusion and more than a bit of rebellion. DB can’t bring himself to utter “Grande” and asks for a medium instead, to the consternation of his “Barista”. Here in New York, you are apt to hear people trying to order a “Vente”. Not “Venti” (as in Italian for 20, as in it’s a 20-ounce coffee, so what is so confusing about that?) but “Vente”, suckered into a false rhyme by the aforementioned “Grande”. Of course “Tall” starts to make sense when you think of it in terms of a long espresso. (And it’s been a long while since I’ve heard “expresso”, oddly enough.) Where I draw the line is ordering a “drip”. No, for me it’s a “Venti coffee” in the morning and, if I’m so inclined, a “Tall red-eye” in the afternoon.
The red-eye (on no Starbucks menu anywhere, but they know about it in every city–try it!) is a bit of an approximation of the special undergrad brew I used to tote around the UWO music faculty in a thermos. It was a full pot of good dark roast French press coffee topped off with a small pot of espresso. I was a tad intense back in those days.
And before that was PT and his famous “musico coffee” that he would brew for his band-mates. To give you an idea of what that was about, it was based on instant coffee and came in three grades: musico regular, musico strong and my personal favorite, musico paste.
And if we reach back even further we find me and the self-same DB drinking strong black coffee back in the eighth grade. I was already into the coffee, but it was DB who showed me how well it went with peanut-butter toast. (Ask us about the great “egg-off”.)