The Most Eccentric Thing You Can Order At Starbucks

Short, medium roast coffee in a single cup. This can be a confusing order that often causes frustration for all involved. Really it is surprising since this same order would be called a "coffee to go" roughly ten years ago.

First, the size of the order may throw people off because it isn't listed anywhere on the menu. It is a secret code word for what was once a regular sized coffee. Second cup has one of these as well called the extra small. Probably the only store in the world that has both an extra small and extra large. Recently I was told by a Second Cup employee that the extra small has been removed as no one was ordering it, to which I didn't reply "probably because it isn't listed on your menu". There really isn't any point arguing or pointing things out to mere peons, as the most impact that can achieved would be to hold up the line or cause unneeded frustration for the server. Actually, that's the point of ordering eccentric beverages so disregard what I just said.

Ordering medium roast certainly doesn't add any jazz to the order, but I have noticed that ordering plain coffee has gone out of fashion. The fancy drinks are all the rage extending out the name of the order as much as possible for the perceived effect of adding self-identify and importance. Little do these unique snowflakes realize that a simple order of coffee at a coffee shop is all that is required to throw the whole rhythm off in the ordering line and will elevate their order to avant-guarde status. Extra points for insisting that the size of the coffee is to be short when encouraged to pick medium, light or dark roast.

Every time I have made a nuisance of my self with this order the part that really hits home is insisting that only one cup is used. The short order is the only cup with a diameter smaller than every other, so the regular heat sleeve will not fit. To resolve this issue, both Second Cup and Starbucks use two cups instead of one. Since I enjoy the feeling of birch wood nestled firmly between my loins, I am naturally against this extra waste. Usually after I give my order the server will pause after taking two cups off the stack, separate the two and then hold one up to confirm. Once we both agree on how to count to one, I am instructed that the coffee is hot and I should be very careful not to burn myself. At this point I can either turn back and pretend to be shamed at my ignorance, or go on a pointless rant about how this is completely unnecessary waste. Should I choose the latter, I can point out the proper way to hold a coffee cup so as not to risk injury.

  1. Hold the top of the coffee in place over the perimeter of the lid with the thumb
  2. Using the pinky, ring, and middle finger hold the base of the cup right in the first join of each finger
  3. The index finger can be extended out as much as possible to give that extra bit of eccentric flair
  4. The base of the cup has a rim around the outside that serves both to protect against condensation damaging furniture and to allow for the fingers to hold up the cup without risk of injury
  5. Use enough pressure to prevent dropping the cup and not enough to squeeze coffee all over your hands.