Local Starbucks Fights the Ghetto Latte

Now that it’s getting cold outside hot coffee is starting to sound good to me again.  I usually only drink hot drinks in the winter while preferring cold any other time.  I’ve enjoyed iced coffee all summer since its easy to make using a concentrate I get at the local store.

meh_coffeeRemembering I had some money on my Starbucks account I stopped at the location near my office.  It’s been a while since I’ve been in here because the service is well below average.  They seem to dedicate all of their staff activity to the drive-thru and, even today, they were serving 3-4 people in the drive-thru to every one person in the store.

After I ordered my plain coffee & walked over to the condiment bar for a splash of half-and-half.  Wait a minute, the stainless steel thermos is missing!  The guy standing next to me saw what I was looking for and said “you have to ask them for it”.

So back to the pickup counter I go and I waited to get someone’s attention.  The employees were too busy tripping over each other to get the orders out the little window to notice me standing there.  After a few moments I got one of the worker bees attention.  “Cream?” I asked.  She was already reading my mind and grabbed a little paper cup and proceeded to pour out a couple of ounces of the heavy moo juice.   I asked, “do you have one you’d like me to put out on the station”, thinking I would be a nice guy and do them a favor.  “No” she said.  “We keep it back here now so it doesn’t run out as fast”.

Then it hit me.  The Ghetto Latte has gotten so bad they have to ration out the dairy to keep people from cheating the system.  I assure you this is a real thing.  I’ve seen it time and time again where people turn a couple of shots of espresso over ice into one (or in some cases when they ask for an extra cup) two Lattes saving themselves a few dollars in the process.

cheap_coffeeWay to stick it to the man cheap skate.  I’d be willing to bet that’s your idling car parked crooked in the handicapped spot too.  Bonus points if you’re talking on your speaker phone while oblivious to everyones personal space the entire time you’re in the store.

So once again, those who take advantage of things make it inconvenient for others who go with the flow.  Say what you want about Starbucks.  I know it’s over priced and there are better options out there.  In this case it was a choice between office coffee (usually empty), a small Keurig we have in our area (meh, I don’t get the pod thing), or something slightly better.

I’m curious if this practice of keeping the half-and-half behind the counter is a isolated thing at this particular Starbucks or if this is a common practice at other coffee shops too.  Anyone else witness a Ghetto Latte in the making?  I’d love to hear your stories!

One thought on “Local Starbucks Fights the Ghetto Latte”

  1. When I ordered my usual venti iced breve double dirty chai/extra ice (just like that), the baristas making my drink always dumped a ton of half-and-half in it. So I started saying “just a splash” (for the “breve”) to the order-taker. Another barista actually told me I should order an iced double espresso with 8 pumps of chai in a venti cup instead, and add my own half-and-half at the condiments bar. She said not only would I be able to control the (high calorie/fat) half-and-half portion, but I’d cut the cost of my drink by at least half. Several months later, a relatively new barista making my drink, for maybe the 2nd time in the space of a week or two, only put one shot in and I asked her to put the other shot in. She said to me, “Oh…YOU’RE the one who adds your own cream.” I didn’t say anything to her, but I wanted to bite her head off. Instead, I emailed Starbucks and relayed this same story and said that if Starbucks has no problem with a customer adding their own half-and-half to their coffee (usually a splash or so, right?), why should I be shamed by an employee for wanting to do the same thing, in the same quantity. Especially when their staff cannot add the right amount themselves (and charge me an extra $2+ for it). Starbucks replied with an apology and a bonus star on my card. (Of note, after you put in 2 shots and 8 pumps of chai in a venti cup then add it completely full of ice, there’s not much room left for creamer, so it’s not like I’m adding 6 oz of creamer!)

    That being said, as to your original remark about the missing 2%/Whole/1/2-and-1/2 on the condiment counter, yes, I recently noticed that both the Starbucks stores that I go to now only put out a single container. Fortunately, the only time the half-and-half wasn’t there, the 2% that had been put out was empty, so I handed it to them and requested one for half-and-half – and put my 2 TBSP of creamer in my $2.55 morning drink.

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