Archive for the ‘Decaf Posts’ Category

I already explained how I’m all football, all the time these days (when I’m not talking about important things like soldiers in Iraq), so even Starbucks trips are framed in thoughts of football. So since we’ve already tackled the NFC, it’s time to hand out drinks to all of the AFC teams playing this weekend. Without further ado…

  • Chargers:  Some days you think they’re that special pick me up on a hot day and some days, you think there just isn’t that much substance. But since this team sometimes seems delicious and other times leaves you wanting more, I’m handing them a Coffee Frappuccino Light
  • Titans: Anyone who knows me knows that there is nothing I hate more than an athletic black quarterback. How am I supposed to get googly-eyed about someone like that? So in honor of a team captained by Vince Young, I’m giving them my least favorite Starbucks drink. A drink that makes no sense and tastes terrible: the Orange Mocha. Take that!
  • Jaguars: This is a cold weather team trapped in a warm weather body. They have the power, the panache, the substance and the all-American style I’ve come to love. So, I’m giving them a warm strong drink trapped in the cold weather iced category: the Iced Caffe Americano.
  • Steelers: They’re barely removed from their superbowl victory, they’re an underdog at home and people are giving them no respect. But they’ve got some underrated style and a flair for a little creativity. Call me crazy, but i’m going Vanilla Latte on this one. A solid underrated drink for a solid team.

So there you have it. Now when you think Starbucks you think NFL playoffs and when you think NFL playoffs, you think Starbucks. See, there’s been a method to my coffeenerdness madness all along!



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Since the NFL playoffs are the only thing on my mind these days, I couldn’t help but look at the Starbucks menu and think of each team. So in honor of the playoffs, I’m dedicating a drink to each team!
  • Redskins: They’re a success story that didn’t really kick off until December and then it was all anyone wanted. They have the bittersweet element (Sean Taylor RIP), so this one is pretty much a no-brainer: the Egg Nog Latte
  • Seahawks: This team is pure Seattle. There’s nothing too spectacular about them, but they’re a vintage roast. So Seattle, have this grande original coffee on me!
  • Bucs:  In the warm weather town of Tampa, we need to pay homage to the weather. But this is also a flavorful and resourceful bunch with the added kick of a little Jon Gruden. They’re getting the Iced Caramel Macchiato
  • Giants:  From Tiki to the softening of Coach Coughlin to Eli to Brandon Jacobs doing a Christian Okoye impersonation, this team has been nearly impossible to read and impossible to predict all season. So handing them a tasty beverage is no easy task. But for a Starbucks veteran like myself, there is a similar feeling whenever you’re standing in a long line of lattes, iced coffees and caffe americanos and then some unpredictable joker steps to the counter and orders a drink that is solid, but seems out of place. One that has earned its spot on the Starbucks menu, yet seems like it’s a horse of a different color. One that seems to have all the right pieces (flavor, substance, originality), but something is missing. Ladies and Gentlemen, the New York Giants are a….Chai Tea Latte!

Enjoy the playoffs, I’ll hand out some AFC drinks later this week.  

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Roger Clemens Steroids

I was picking up a venti chai non-fat extra hot mocha latte this morning before getting to the studio to tape Inside the NFL when the Clemens news broke. Far be it for me to inject my moral judgment into this debate, but am I the only one who is sad to see Clemens on the list? Maybe I’m a Red Sox fan, but nothing means more to me than using my bully pulpit to take circumstantial evidence to indict people (like Bonds) for years while allowing Clemens to go off scott free. Having him named really takes so much of the fun out of my grand gestures of moralizing. Oh well, at least the Packers have another game this Sunday!

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I’m not sure when Christmas became a six-week holiday in the US, but I’ll tell you one thing I do like: Christmas cups at Starbucks. Nothing puts me in the mood for the holiday season like those puppies and if you’re not tempted to order an Egg Nog Latte at least once during the Christmas season, you’re more cold-hearted than the Turk at NFL training camp. 

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I know some people have felt like the selection of Brett Favre as SI Sportsman of the Year is totally unmerited, but those people have never been to Sheboygan, Wisconsin. I was in town to write my fawning profile of the greatest human of all-time and I stopped into the local Starbucks. Now, we know that Howard Schultz doesn’t like to allow individual stores to depart from the menu, but the baristas at the local ‘bucks drafted a petition to rename every drink in honor of Brett. So instead of the hazelnut caramel latte, we’ve got the Brett Favre slant. Instead of a frappachino, we’ve got the Brett Favre hail mary. This might sound a little confusing, but they’ve memorized each one and get this–so has every customer. There hasn’t been a single person to order the Favre hail mary when they wanted the slant.

Come on, can you really argue that Favre isn’t the deserved winner of Sportsman of the Year?

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On Thanksgiving day, I had this absolutely crazy idea to improvise a “Thanksgiving Latte.” Now before you go thinking I’m crazier than Michael Irvin and TO combined, I had no interest in a turkey and gravy latte. Instead, I ordered the pumpkin latte, bought some pecans and sliced apples and threw those in there. Voila! I had my thanksgiving dessert, pumpkins, pecans and apples transformed into my own Thanksgiving Latte. Looks like Brett Favre and Tony Romo aren’t the only people who were able to improvise success on Thanksgiving.

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On Sizes and Etymology

I’ve always thought the names of Starbucks’ sizes were confusing and I know I’m not alone. ‘Tall’ is the the smallest size available? I guess that makes Wes Welker a ‘tall’ wide receiver in the World According to Starbucks.

Grande is the medium size? First off, you’re mixing languages, Starbucks. And secondly you’ve got proverbial apples and oranges here! You see, tall is an adjective that describes height, while big (‘grande’ is Spanish for ‘big’) describes size. Makes no sense.

And for years I was ordering my favorite size, the ‘Venti,’ without even knowing what language ‘venti’ is! Until now, that is. While Wikipedia doesn’t have an entry for ‘Venti’ (get with it, guys!), I was able to find that ‘Venti’ means ‘twenty’…in Italian!

Apples, oranges and…cumquats!

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