My Starbucks order has become embarrassingly complicated: Grande extra hot skim Chai tea latte, no water (the Chai taste is more potent without the water, a friendly Starbucks employee explained to me after I sent a drink back for another splash of syrup). If there aren’t any other customers within earshot, I might also ask for an extra shot of Chai.
I would never have ordered this in the UK. Complicated orders don’t go over well there. In London, I would get funny looks if I even asked for an extra hot latte. Starbucks patrons in Europe seem to be less picky than their American counterparts. Maybe that’s why I’ve witnessed tipping at shops here, which I rarely saw in London.
Ironically, as I placed my super-involved order earlier today, I noticed a large sign and huge display table promoting Starbucks’ new Via instant coffee. Yahoo! Finance reported today that instant brews are more popular in the UK than they are here in the US, confirming my theory that simplicity sells abroad.
But here in Atlanta, I am not the only demanding customer vexing Starbucks employees. I apologized today for the length of the order. The barista told me it wasn’t a problem; in fact, there is another patron who orders the exact same drink! I need to meet this person…