Ordering, brewing and drinking coffee has become an art form. For years, I was not interested at all in the beverage and preferred to consume only water and once in a while a cup of tea. When I was pregnant with my second child I became hooked on the taste of coffee and drank the odd decaffeinated drink. When I was pregnant with my third child I craved coffee and over the last year it has become a staple in my diet.
I don’t think I am unique in my change from scorning coffee to falling in love with it. It’s hard to walk more than a few steps in a big city without passing a large franchise like Starbucks, Second Cup or even Tim Hortons or a small boutique that offers its own exclusive roasted beans. Coffee is everywhere, and in a society that is always on the go, when we all feel there are not enough hours in the day, coffee has become our fuel.
I was at a party a couple of nights ago and this topic came up in the conversation. We were a lively group, enjoying a beautiful summer evening outdoors, so when one person pulled out his smartphone to share some Starbucks secrets with us we were game to hear.
Have you ever looked at the colour of your Starbucks barista’s apron? By the way, until a few years ago, had any of us ever heard the word “barista?” Starbucks recently revealed the meaning behind some special edition aprons. Most of us associate Starbucks with their signature green apron, but oh, there are other colours too!
If you see a rare purple apron, for example, you must be at a Starbucks in Europe, and it means your barista is a winner of the Europe, Middle East and Africa Barista Championship. In the United States, there is a Starbucks College Achievement Plan, and those graduates get a mortarboard embroidered on their green aprons. Then there’s the black apron, which is more common than the coveted purple in Europe, and it is given to baristas who are Coffee Masters.
So, I learned a Starbucks secret. Then I wondered, are there other coffee secrets? Are there secret menu items at my local coffee establishment to which I was not privy? A quick search on Google and I learned a few things.
I found an article from a few years ago from Yahoo that gave me some ideas of secret menu items that I will have to try. I like the “Red Eye” at Second Cup, which is their brewed coffee with a shot of espresso. Regulars at Starbucks sometimes order the “Marble Mocha Macchiato,” which is “white mocha on the bottom with no whip, shot on the top and mocha drizzle.” It is popular at Tim Hortons to order half-half drinks, such as a drink that is a half-brewed coffee and the other half cappuccino. The Yahoo article also mentions that officially, a “Double-Double” is not on the menu!
What are some other coffee secrets? Are there classified menu items that I should whisper to my barista the next time I visit my local café? I really would love to know. Post a comment here or on Facebook or tweet me @AliciaRichler.