by Ruby Chingu
I am currently high on caffeine and am in a very happy state of mind. Not in a normal way. I felt the need to write something, or rant about how much I love coffee. So this is it.
I am going to rant about my favourite drinks at Starbucks. I have been drinking coffee since I was fifteen years old. When I reached the age of 18 I began visiting the more expensive coffee establishments such as Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and of course the very famous Starbucks. I’ve been to Dome Cafe but only twice in my life because I can’t really afford the beverages. Also, another coffee place I like to hang out is Plan B, not because of the coffee that much but the food. Still, I would recommend the restaurant. Their food is great.
There is a Starbucks store near the my university (Starbucks Plaza Shah Alam) and for the past year, I have been completely and utterly dependent on its coffee for my fucking lifeline. It took me a while to realize that different drinks have different intensities in terms of its strength and the impact on me. As a strong drinker who is not really rich to be able to afford RM17 beverage constantly, I really do mind if my drinks turn out to be quite unsatisfactory. However, it is very important to note that the satisfaction that comes with your drink depends on your taste buds AND the baristas making your drinks. Some drinks may taste great for some people, some may not.
Baristas do matter. Some baristas are better at preparing frappuccinos, some lattes and some cappucinos etc etc. The recipes may be the same, yes, but it is possible to differentiate the drinks if they are prepared by different baristas. If you plan to be a hardcore caffeine addict just like me (not that you can choose whether or not you want to be an addict. Once you’re addicted, you cannot fucking run away), you would most probably know which baristas are able to prepare the coffee to your liking. However, if you have yet to become an addict, please do run away from that baristas as they have the potential of dragging you to the pithole/hell of caffeine addiction that will leave you broke, mentally unstable (if you go on without caffeine for more than 24 hours) and consistently yearning for more caffeine.
It is true what they say – once you go black, you never go back.
For those coffee drinkers who would love to try out Starbucks beverages, I would recommend the followings –
1 – Caramel Macchiato – Hot
The fucking love of my fucking life. My fucking heaven. Especially if crafted by experienced baristas. Sometimes it tastes so good I can almost feel myself having an orgasm (not that I know how an orgasm feels). Thus, it becomes my official orgasmic drink (my horny-ness has nothing to do with this). I usually have it with 4 shots of espresso because I prefer my coffee to be very VERY strong and ask the barista to lessen the sugar syrup base to only 2 pumps. I like my caramel macchiato sweet but not too sweet. I love to have the taste of the very strong bitter coffee to overwhelm and dominate the sweetness of the syrup. And usually I have it in venti size. On special occasions, I’d ask the barista to put in 5 espresso shots. But I don’t advice you to do the same. Literally, and I mean LITERALLY, consuming 5 espresso shots in less than an hour will drive you crazy. And happy. But crazy. So don’t do it. Don’t be me. Don’t be crazy.
2 – Toffee Nut Latte – Hot
This beverage is not usually displayed in the menu. I was introduced to this drink by a barista friend of mine and found it to be quite enjoyable. It is not as heaavenly as caramel macchiato, yes, but it is pure bliss, especially with the whipped cream on top. The difference between a regular latte and a toffee nut latte is that a regular latte has no syrup in it but the latter has a bit of toffee nut syrup. I usually take it with 4 espresso shots, venti size and 1 or 2 pumps of the toffee nut syrup. As usual, I like the taste of the very strong espresso battling the sweetness of the toffee nut syrup.
3 – Ristretto Bianco – Hot
The no-joke drink. The serious drink. The drink reserved only for those who can take very VERY strong coffee. Or in the words of my friend, only for those who have the ‘guts’. Ristretto Bianco is basically a latte but with 4 espresso shots in it, NO SUGAR. Therefore, the taste of the caffeine in it is not just overwhelming or strong, it is THERE, bitterly THERE. It is so there you can’t taste anything else. It is not a happy drink but it is a good drink. I usually drink this when I have to think about something or when I am in a very hormonally serious fucked-up mood. Or when I’m depressed or when I’m having my PMS. Although it is a seasonal drink, considering that you only need espresso shots and milk to prepare it, you can always order it even when it is not displayed on the menu.
4 – Coffee of the Week/COW/Brewed Coffee
Sometimes, it is always best to go back to basic. Basic here meaning enjoying the brewed coffee, not the espresso-based one. However, the unfortunate thing about ordering a cup of brewed coffee is that the store tends to change the coffee beans used quite frequently. They usually change the type of beans every month and there are currently 43 fucking types of beans produced by Starbucks. And all of those types have to go through the cycle. Some beans may suit your taste and some beans don’t. The best brewed coffees I’ve tasted so far are made from the Three Region beans, Pike Place and Autumn’s Blend. The worse one – the Christmas Blend. It is so gingery I could almost not finish it. And I always finish my coffee. So if you see any leftover in my cup, that means the coffee is truly, terribly and unfathomably super duper bad.
5 – Caramel Coffee Frappuccino
I don’t usually order cold drinks when I go to Starbucks. Frappuccinos, for me, are risky drinks. They taste very VERY good if made properly. However, there is a high possibility that the taste would not be to your liking. Because it is quite a complicated and textural drink. The more complicated the process of making it, the easier it is for the drink to go wrong. You need to get the espresso shots and the syrup right, then the ice, the blending, the this, the that etc etc. To mix all of that elements into one superb drink can be quite tricky. Especially for someone like me who modifies the recipes for my orders. I usually take my frappuccino with only 2 espresso shots and 2 syrup pumps. There was only one barista who managed to make the frappuccino to my liking by mixing 4 espresso shots into it. He made it for me 2 or 3 times, then he moved out of town. I have yet to find his replacement and my love affair with caramel coffee frappuccino pretty much ended since.
6 – Green Tea Frappuccino
For those of you who don’t take coffee, I would recommend the amazing green tea frappuccino. This drink is so fucking delicious I am not even joking. Of course, considering I am a caffeine addict, I order this drink very rarely. However, it is undeniable that green tea frappe is one of the best Starbucks products. My best friend, Natalia, a non-coffee drinker, has been ordering the same thing again and again since the first time she stepped into a Starbucks store. For us, the frappe is best consumed with soy milk instead of the dairy milk. The taste is sweet yet bitter at the same time. Simply put, this is a comfort drink, everyone! The best cure to a bad day!
7 – Cappuccino – Hot (Honorary Mention)
Cappuccino here deserves an honorary mention because personally, I don’t drink cappuccino BUT is is our Fatma Chingu’s favourite (and in fact, the only) drink she would purchase from Starbucks. Cappuccino, essentially, is a foamy and more concentrated version of a latte. The recipe is pretty much the same (espresso shots plus milk) but the way of preparing them is a bit different. It is good if consumed when it is hot. Fatma usually takes it with 2 shots only. Unlike me, she is still pretty much a sane drinker.
SO THAT’S IT for my coffee reviews. Ah, what a great time I had writing about the things I love most in life. I love coffee so fucking much, it would be the last thing I want to have if, hypothetically speaking, I am about to be sentenced to death. Fuck chicken chops or carbonara – if I am about to die in an hour or so, somebody better gets me a fucking caramel macchiato from Starbucks, 4 espresso shots with 2 pumps of syrup, venti size! Only then, I can die in peace, a happy coffee-holic.
No, I was just joking. I don’t want to die so early.
Happy Coffee-ing, everyone! Always remember to avoid being a caffeine addict! (Yeah, right, like you can help it! Duhhhh)