There are many reasons to hate Starbucks. I know that I don't have to tell you people that. But here is one that you may not often consider: the popularization of coffee culture brought about by corporate, franchised coffee shops has made every yahoo think that he or she knows something about coffee, when really, he or she does not. This leads to the most annoying of all coffee shop encounters: 17 year old "baristas" who think that they know more about coffee than I do. They do not.
What follows is a true account of my coffee-buying experience this morning. I warn you. This is not for the faint of heart.
ME: Can I please have a soy cafe au lait?
17 YEAR OLD: UM? What did you want?
ME: A cafe au lait made with soy milk?
17 YEAR OLD: [with great disgust] Um? Is that some kind of Starbucks thing?
ME: No, it is some kind of French thing.
Then I proceeded to EXPLAIN to this half-and-half wit how to make a damn cafe au lait.
I think that SHE owes ME a dollar ninety, plus tip.
Of course, this is still second to my all-time favorite coffee ignorance story, which involves a young lady who worked at IHOP and asked me and Donna (and, for those of you who don't know Donna, let me assure you that she is NOT someone to whom you want to pose a stupid question) what "decaf" coffee meant. She worked at friggin' IHOP. They sell two things there--pancakes with whipped cream and coffee in carafes.