Rough trip to #starbucks this morning. Ordered a #LondonFog, & 2 different baristas looked at me like I had 2 heads. 1-Am in London. 2-Am in Starbucks. 3-Am supposed to know what’s in a London Fog? Am not barista. 4-Had a London Fog last week from your store. FIX THIS.
— Dammit Karen (@kapowfit) December 8, 2018
I’ll set the mood: It was a dark, rainy morning in London.
Our Friday run goes up, up, up to Hampstead Heath and back. When we started out, it was the nice, pleasant, London mist that passes for rain here, and which I sort of love, and I had literally just mentioned how much I liked it, especially when I was running. But then a car drove past and splashed me with a wall of dirty water. And then a full-on cold, soul-sucking splatter of giant raindrops came down, soaking the rest of my running group down to the skin, through three layers (including a water-resistant jacket). This is usually an eight-mile route, but there were only three of us in our pace group that morning, and nobody was really feeling it, especially when it really started coming down.
So, we had run 6.12 miles, half of it very coldly and wetly. True, it wasn’t that cold out, but we were dripping and cooling down rapidly. We did a quick stretch, then headed in to our local S’bucks, steaming slightly.
I had dropped off my reusable cup earlier, so pointed to it and asked for a London Fog.
…A London Fog, should you not know, is a lovely and herbaceous tea-based beverage, made with Earl Grey tea, steamed milk, and vanilla syrup. Oh…did you not know that?
No? It’s probably because you’re not a barista. I, also, am not a barista. I knew the part about Earl Grey, and that it had milk in it, but that’s it.
I have Starbucks now three times a week, after each run (we are, to bastardize the Hash House Harriers’ motto, a coffee group with a running problem). I do not take these coffees (usually teas, in my case, because, you know, me + caffeine = even more annoying) for granted. I know that they cost too much, and that it’s a complete luxury. I also know that if I just went home and made myself a cup of tea alone in my kitchen, I’d be missing out on half the point of the running group. So, I sacrifice. And I bring my reusable cup (which saves me 25p).
Um…and also for the environment.
But, to be clear, at the exorbitant price I am paying for a tea, or sometimes a tea latte, or sometimes a London Fog, which is possibly also sort of a latte?, I stand firm in my belief that I don’t have to know what is in my fancy, far-too-expensive drink. That falls clearly in the wheelhouse of the Starbucks barista.*
After a 3-minute discussion that was mostly me saying, “London Fog. London Fog” at different speeds and volumes, I was presented with a cup of Earl Grey tea with steamed milk in it.** Because there was a line up behind me (still containing the other two wet runners), I took it.
It was bitter, I was bitter, the ladies and I chatted for a bit, then I shivered my way home, and immediately googled “London Fog ingredients”.
I added vanilla extract and maple syrup (ed. vanilla…syrup), and voila, I was happy.
It’s the little things that make a day good. Like a nice London rain, or a good London Fog.
*I am open to see this from a barista’s point of view, of course. Message me.
**Earl Grey: without sugar, it just tastes too bergamotty, am I right?