POOR man's latte?

Monday May 07, 2007 @ 11:59 PM (UTC)

There’s a petty little custom I was taught at Queequeg’s Qoffee Qasa to call “the poor man’s latte”. Someone comes in and orders a few shots of espresso, but over ice in a big cup. He then fills the cup the rest of the way with half-and-half from the condiment bar, usually shielding it with his body because somehow he thinks the Queequeg Qrew doesn’t get precisely what he’s doing. He thus gets an iced breve latte for significantly less money.

Some people say, “Where’s the harm?” It’s worth debating, perhaps. It cheeses off the brewed coffee and americano customers (for whom the half-and-half is provided) to find the pitcher empty constantly because some yabbo took 16 ounces of it. It creates more labor for the Qrew to constantly replenish the condiment pitchers because of this (which probably, unless the company higher-ups are very clever, will eventually result in the brewed coffee prices going up.) It also signals an amazing lack of self-awareness (“I am totally the first person to think of this, and those Queequeggers have NO idea I’ve hoodwinked them!”) and self-respect. Really, guys, you aren’t Jean Valjean stealing a loaf of bread. You’re not Robin Hood stickin’ it to the man. You’re trying to get a fancy-ass espresso drink for cheap. How petty.

And in case anyone thinks, “Oh, they probably really can’t afford the drink they want! Poor bebbies!” I’d like to share my amazement. The other day a guy ordered a poor man’s latte in a particularly annoying way. He asked for straight shots of espresso with flavored syrup, then asked the Qrew-member at the handoff for a cup of ice; thus an extra cup was expended so he could feel as if he’d deceived the Qrew. At the condiment bar, he hid his drink with his body as he poured the shots and syrup over the ice and filled it with half-and-half. So wily!

Then he threw out the wasted cup and carried his drink to his Hummer H3.

I weep for humanity.


It makes you wonder what kind of business ethics made this man able to purchase a Hummer H3.

There’s no accounting for the spending or cheapskating habits of the wealthy. But that is a funny story!

Okay, for the record, I do make myself poor man’s French Soda’s, but only because I am poor and I only use like a tablespoon of half-and-half. Also, it means I don’t get some crazy barrista’s idea of how much cream it needs, which probably saves the coffee shop money overall. So there.

By French Soda, we mean…Italian soda with half-and-half?

Obviously. Didn’t you have some experience in the coffee shop industry?

I’ve never heard that called a “French Soda”. And believe me, in my pre-coffee days (you know, ages when the parents control your caffeine intake) I consumed a LOT of Italian sodas, with and without cream. No one ever called them that!

P’raps it’s regional.

Anyways, I don’t control a master list of what drinks are allowed to have a tablespoon of half-and-half. If someone wants to put an inch of half-and-half in their iced green tea, I will not stop them, tho’ I will judge them silently for their strange tastebuds. It’s just using ginormous amounts that deny all subsequent tablespooners their tablespoon that offends.

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