post #81 of 108
10/23/08 at 3:04am
I think one reason the mocha lattes and other flavored coffees at Starbucks are so popular is that they are uber sweet--but the drinker does not have to add the sugar/corn syrup themselves to make it that way.
It is like crossing this psychological line--it would be too strange for someone to make a latte at home and realize they have to put two or three big tablespoons of sugar or a huge dose of flavored corn syrup in there, so they go to Starbucks where it is done for them, so they don't have to think about it.
People who don't normally like coffee often like these kinds of drinks because with normal cup of coffee you are not putting three tablespoons of sugar and flavoring in there to sweeten it up, you just pay and start drinking in the sweet nectar!
If you can just get over that psychological barrier of adding your own sweetener and realize you like your coffee to be REALLY sweet--you would probably start liking regular coffee more. The steamed milk is a whole other thing, I realize--but I swear it is the sweetener and people not wanting to own up to it that makes people love these drinks so much. It is easier not to think about the calories and fat you are consuming when someone else is doing the making of it.
What we've realized is that sometimes you are just paying for the beverage, and sometimes you are paying for the experience--either of relaxing in a cafe or just feeling pampered or having a break or a little ritual that you do for yourself. If we just want the coffee or chai, we make it at home. If we really just want the part of the experience that can't be replicated as easily as a mocha can, then we consider that as an entertainment expenditure.
On a theoretical note, one of the things that I've always thought about Starbucks in particular is that if you view celebrity gossip magazines or look at those types of photos online, (like People, US, etc.) they always have photos of celebrities photographed walking down the street with their Starbucks cups and distinctively green straws. I think that part of the appeal of Starbucks for many people, if even only on a sort of subliminal level, is that even if we don't necessarily look up to celebrities themselves, many of us probably at least might like to have some of their affluence and some of the lifestyle perks that it affords. When you see a pic of Jennifer Aniston or the Olsen twins or Britney Spears or so on, if you are a lower or middle class person you know that you can't afford or even aspire to the designer clothes they're wearing, or the $5000 handbag they are carrying, or the multi-million-dollar mansion that they live in, or the car they drive--but you can afford to spend five bucks and drink the exact same Frappuccino that the rich and famous do!! I think I've read that part of the reason that Starbucks doesn't offer coupons is that they know that this would sort of cheapen their brand image and make their coffee a bit more "down-market" whereas now it's sort of something that people can treat as a bit of an indulgence and a luxury that they can afford.
The more I read this thread, the more I wonder and analyze my Starbucks love affair...
My final thoughts are...you only live once! No but seriously, if that is your only splurge, don't you deserve one once in awhile? I don't drink, I don't shop that much, and I don't have any expensive hobbies...but I bring in half the income, am raising two kids, training for a 1/2 marathon, am a fulltime grad student...and if I want a latte 3 times a week..........well I AM GOING TO HAVE ONE!:
Now off of my soapbox
Everything in moderation right!
Hi my name is Sandra and I am a Stabucks barista. wanna cure your addiction? look at the nutritional information sheet Seriously, the worst stuff is the white chocolate mocha, chia tea, pumpkin spice latte (and other seasonal drinks). all three have over 400 calories in the small. if you get skim.
other ways to deal with you need fo treats.
get a gift card and register and reload. this will entitle you to discounts, free stuff, and help you budget. (at least at starbucks). if you do anything to upgrade you drink it i all free with a registered cad - soy, organic, flavor.
get cheaper (lower calorie) drinks. skinny lattes are half the price of mochas and have almost no calories, steamers are cheap, nutritious and a treat. the most popular drink we sell, perhaps the most indulgent and one of the lowest calorie drinks is the caramel machiato. you can get it with skim milk and sugar free vanilla fo even less calories (I know I am harping on the calorie thing but t is appalling). i think it i also cheaper than a mocha.
its not on the menu but you can always order a "short" size (8 ounce). going smaller will still give you the treat but cost you less. at our store we only charge $1.06 for any drink in the short size (most stores charge slightly more for some drinks but we are not set up the same way. check around . . . )
if it is the mocha syrup that floats you boat get an Americano or brewed coffee with mocha in it. a large brewed coffee with syrup is less than $2.50 and refills will be free with a registered card. without a card it would be $1.40.
tip your barrista well even if she is not allowed to receive tips. this will give you good coffee karma. (and she may be more inclined to hook you up with free extras or up size you.)
get a good machine and make them yourself. we had one made by starbucks and seacco that was darn near coffee shop quality. the beans went into a hopper, were ground fresh, it brewed shots of espresso and made shots or americanos and always had steam for frothing. worth every penny. I think they retail for about $600 (we got them wholesale). it sounds like a lot but if you consider you spend $4.75 a day on a mocha plus $1 to tip your barrista thats around $2000 a year. you could easily cover milk, coffee and even a fancy CO2 whip creamer on top of the cost of the machine. if frappachinos are you thing get a vitamix mixer. thats the key.
and as a happy little aside . . .someone mentioned corn syrup. I happy to announce that starbucks uses real sugar (and plenty of it) in all the syrups and mixs. I have checked every label and never come across corn syrup or anything hydrogenated. and almost no artificial colors. the ingredients are surprisingly natural and simple. . . . just wanted to let you know that if you decide this is a worthy indulgence at least it is real food.
You know...our barista friend here offers a good point for all of us addicts...maybe we just all need to get a part-time job there! Then we could drink free coffee!