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Words: Coffee Language

All I wanted, this morning, was coffee.


I sleepwalked towards the nearest authorised dealer and staggered into Starbucks.  "Flat latte", I mumbled through my somnolent haze.


The trademark cheerful foreign language student in the green apron didn't react.  I had entered the wrong combination.  It was the flat that was wrong.  That was Prêt-à-Manger terminology.  I stammered, my pre-coffee brain searching for the correct pin.  "I - I mean - A - a wet latte".  


There.  I had managed it.


"What size?" - the Korean student, not missing a beat.

I began pointing at a stack of paper cups, unable to emit a human sentence.  The student picked up the largest cup.  "No - small!"

"Tall", the student corrected me, patiently.  He scribbled some obscure symbols with a black marker on the side of the cup, then passed it down the assembly line, shouting, "Tall wet latte!"


That was it.  Tall wet latte.  The access code for a small, milky coffee without the froth on top.  As opposed to a dry latte, which has a fluffy head of milk froth on top (when I first heard another customer order that, I expected him to walk away with a sachet of ready-to-make beverage in powder form.)


Then, there are the size names.  Tall.  Grande.  Venti.  Tall - why can't they just call it short? Is it politically correct to spare the feelings of the midget coffee?  I am also puzzled by the reasoning behind mixing English and Italian.  Tall.  Grande.  Venti.  Translation - Tall, Large, Twenty.  Twenty?! Twenty what? Twenty centimetres of coffee? Twenty grams of paper to make the cup? Twenty gulps to drink the stuff? Twenty reasons for taking your custom elsewhere?


In a spirit of rebellion, you try Costa, Nero and Coffee Republic, only to be offered the same choices with a completely different set of vocabulary to memorise - none of which is actually recognizable anywhere along the Italian Peninsula.


For a start, if you ordered latte there, you'd be served a glass of milk.  That is what the word means.


Unless you meant a caffelatte. 


Scribe Doll

8 Comment count
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Wonderful Laugh!

Your image of yourself, struggling to get to Starbucks, remember the order and, well, function sans coffee gave me a hearty laugh.

Thanks for sharing. Cheers

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Thank you! Glad it

Thank you! Glad it entertained.

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politically correct coffee?

Thanks, Katherine, for acquainting me with the proper terms when ordering coffee at Starbucks. The coffee spot becomes more and more ubiquitous.  One day I may be forced to have a transaction there. They seem to be advancing and overpowering the competition. One day I may have no other choice.

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Thank you for stopping by,

Thank you for stopping by, and taking the time to comment, Dolores.

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Words: Coffee Language

That's why I just drink good old, plain old coffee.

Fun post.

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You're lucky you're easy

You're lucky you're easy maintenance, on the coffee front :–)

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Personally, I happen to go

Personally, I happen to go for a cup o' joe brewed in the ancient blackened but efficient Bialetti. Can't beat it. m

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Too strong for me  – even

Too strong for me  – even though ten years in Italy should have got me used to it – have to be peeled off the ceiling if I have anything stronger than half a shot of coffee.