Let's just get it out there: I'm insane about Starbucks. I know this may come as a bit of a shock to, well, anyone who has never met me or read my blog before. (At this point, I was going to subtly slip in a link which shows if you Google this site and the word "Starbucks," you get six pages of results--to reiterate my point. But instead, I did it in a very non-subtle way: subtle link.)
**See footnote for a slightly funny, but mostly rambling, story about the beginning of my love for Starbucks.**
One thing I do not love about Starbucks is their wasteful nature. Sure, paper cups are necessary for a coffee shop. But the java jackets? The java jackets! They pass those out like STDs at a high school party. You know, Starbucks, my hands are tough. In fact, they are long-standing champions of the Holding Hot Stuff For a Really Long Time competition. I don't need java jackets and, my friend, neither do you.
When I think about it, I take the time to remove the jacket before leaving the store or quickly say, "Oh, no, I don't need one" before the barista slips one on. Most of the time, however, I simply don't notice until I'm throwing it away and thinking, "Sigh! I wish I could figure out something to do with all of these."
Well, the time has come. I figured out a way to reuse these stupid java jackets. I borrowed a tag puncher from Kortney, pulled out a single-hole puncher and an ink pad:
Then I ordered my very own Bitter o'Clock stamp:
Then I punchpunchpunched:
And stampstampstamped...and voila! Hat tags:
This serves several purposes. Not only did it alleviate my consumeristic guilt about needless waste, but I also needed some kind of tag since *cough* my hats will be carried at several local boutiques this year.
But does this mean I'm going to slip into a Starbucks and steal their collection of java jackets to keep this marketing ploy going? Of course not. If I were going to break into a Starbucks, I'd steal their supplies for making tasty beverages. And maybe a barista.
Since I made the decision to keep the jackets instead of tossing them, my collection has grown extremely fast. This collection--which has taken over my desk at work, my purse, and my workspace at home--serves as a reminder to decline, for the love of god, just decline the java jacket.
So, upon moving to Colorado, I had never had coffee or tea before. (Remember the whole Mormon thing?) At 18, I started working at a Borders with an in-store coffee shop. This was before Seattle's Best took over and brought in their own employees. Back then, Borders employees were cross-trained all over the store, so a typical day would have me working in the coffee shop for a few hours. It was around this time that I finally tasted tea. It tasted like crap.
Well, I eased into with all the milk and syrups at my disposal. I grew to love it and eventually found I liked it without all the frou-frou-ness added in. From there, I tried coffee. It tasted like crap.
Nevertheless, I saw the possibilities. Being a barista, I got to experiment to my heart's content. My crowning achievement (no, not like while giving birth...gross) was the Vachocochalatte: a mixture of chai, espresso, milk, vanilla syrup, and pumps of Ghiradelli's chocolate. It was amazing. From there, it was on. Like a child who never gets candy will overindulge at Halloween, I was overly caffeinated from that moment forward.
Now, working at a coffee shop had its woes (and its whoas). Namely: Starbucks customers. These people were always very snooty, very uninformed, and very demanding. These were the people who got mad when a drink did not taste like it did at Starbucks. These were the people who ordered four large drinks, filled with nothing but a shot of espresso and foam. I grew to hate them.
You could pick them out by the way they ordered a "venti macchiato," then yelled when you informed them that a macchiato was just a shot of espresso with a dollop of milk. They insisted I was an idiot. Because of these people, I was determined to never go to Starbucks. Well, and because there were six (yes, six!) Starbucks within a square mile of my cafe. This fact irritated me, since I was sure at least four of those must have put an independent coffee shop out of business at some point, right?
But then one day, I had to meet up with some classmates to go over a school project. Where did they choose to meet up? Starbucks. I grumbled but relented...however, I would not order anything. Of course, once I got there, droopy-eyed and unmotivated, I realized I needed a fix. Blame me if you want, but could you work on a Statistics project uncaffeinated? I don't freakin' think so. I ordered a mocha-something-or-other. And god dammit, it was delicious.
I still resisted Starbucks for a long time after that, but my resolve wavered month by month. Within a couple years, I moved into an office job. The cafe was no longer there for me to swipe free drinks or to create bold new masterpieces. I was forced to go to coffee shops like everybody else. And what was the most convenient? Well, if I sneezed and accidentally passed one Starbucks, I could just stop at the next one. Then when I discovered their five-pump chai, I became the fiend I am today. Despite my love of Starbucks, though, I refuse to use their stupid lingo. I can't help it. Years of dealing with those jerky Starbucks customers forced me into a permanent rebellion. I am now the jerky customer you will find asking for a medium chai with--oh wait, can you make that nonfat?--yes, medium, um, with whip cream. Ha, take that, Starbucks.