Overheard: Knock-a-tano Edition

Woman in line at Starbucks: “May I have a tall uh, that cararmel drink?”
Barista: “Macchiato?”
Woman: “Knock-uh-tanno?”
Barista: “Macchiato.”
Woman: “Tach-uh-nano? One more time please?”
Barista: [sigh] “Macchiato.”
Woman: “I apologize. Those Japanese names really throw me.”


  1. tinamarie

    Mmmmm. Japanese coffee drinks. My favorite is the Fish Sauce Latte. 😕

    Stupidity. It’s a pandemic.:roll:

  2. I have the same problem, but with Italian names like Kawasaki. 😕

  3. greenfireyes

    :java:Obviously a sign that one shouldn’t speak when low on caffiene – Starbucks should learn from Caribou – simple names work the best (Carmel Highrise – the best carmel espresso/latte EVER made and easy to say:lol:)

  4. Sir Osiss

    The conversation should have gone thusly:

    Woman in line at Starbucks: “May I have a tall uh, that cararmel drink?”
    Barista: “OK”

    I agree with greenfireyes, and will go a tad further. Why in the hell do they have to make it so damned f-ing complicated to order a cup of java? I swear it must be like someone said in some chick flick movie my wife made me watch:

    The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

  5. Sir Osiss

    (An additional reason to the above quote would, of course, be the free wireless internet ❗ )

  6. Spud

    of course you could always try asking for as in my case, a strong coffee, white 1 & 1/2 sugars thanks.

    if they can’t make that, go somewhere else.

    or do we go to Starbucks for the “experience” of an exotic coffee latte double mint chipped flat strong no moccha cuppa java?

    something like that anyway.


  7. em

    There’s an ‘olde English quainte coffee shoppe’ near me where they charge £6 (that’s what, $12?) for ONE cup of coffee.

    I don’t care if it’s been hand-picked by a Javanese nose flautist on a nature walk, lovingly pressed by his expensively imported pet caribou, and filtered through spun gold, I’m not paying £6 for a cup of coffee.

  8. You have it all wrong, Sir Osiss. The worst part of Starbucks is not that they make it too difficult (it really isn’t). It’s the few yuppie bastards that believe themselves coffee connoisseurs. If they truly were, they would grind and brew their own at home.

    Theses types come in, cellphone jammed in their ear, and refusing to end or pause the conversation while ordering. Then they order drinks with numerous caveats, including temperature. Yes, temperature.
    Ex. “I’d like a 1/2 caff 2% latte. Dry foam. 140°.”

    Like they can tell.

    No. They really can’t. They heard it in a movie and think it makes themselves sound knowledgeable. How do I know? Baristas have told me numerous times that they fake it and still get compliments on how perfect the drink is.


  9. “Tami” is Japanese and I have had more people mispronounce it…

    I’ll have a Venti Mr. Miyagi, wax on please. :java:

  10. bob

    Price of a cup of coffee at home,12 cents.
    Not having to listen to a pompus ass barista, priceless

  11. em

    Anyway, what’s with calling them all baristas?

    Unless Starbucks in the US is massively different to over here in the UK, they’re jumped up serving assistants who can safely operate a coffee machine without excessively contravening Health & Safety laws.

    Where’s the ‘excellence’ in their coffee-making skills there?

  12. Em, dpending on the branch, yes some can safely be called baristas. There are a few locally I always request, because they make perfect capuccinos with the heart-shaped espresso pour and foam like meringue.

    Then, there are those who are there for the health insurance and their coffee is… not so much. :dead:

    All this arguing is making me want a :java:

  13. There are at least two different caramel drinks so differentiation was necessary. My favorite is the venti caramel frappaccino. I like my coffee cold and expensive. 😛

  14. Nina

    :java: Um…sounds good to me! I have to agree with em, though…I’d much rather brew my own rather than pay $12 for a cup! That’s crazy!

  15. Wendy

    So if Starbucks sells Japanese coffee, is their liqueur flavored coffee saki-offee? Might have to try some of that…

  16. Insane Sailor

    Here’s a wild hare idea. Don’t drink coffee. I recently saw that 86% of all adults claim they must drink at least 1 cup of coffee to “get going” in the morning.
    I am one of the 14% who don’t drink coffee. There is a word for those 86% who have to rely on coffee…


    Caffine is a drug and dependence on any foreign substance ingested into the body causing a chemical change to occur is the classic definition of addiction.

  17. Insane Sailor

    Here’s a wild hare idea. Don’t drink coffee. I recently saw that 86% of all adults claim they must drink at least 1 cup of coffee to “get going” in the morning.
    I am one of the 14% who don’t drink coffee. There is a word for those 86% who have to rely on coffee…


    Caffine is a drug and dependence on any foreign substance ingested into the body causing a chemical change to occur is the classic definition of addiction.

    Furthermore…if a person goes without coffee they suffer withdrawl symptons just like any other addict who goes cold turkey.

  18. Jeff

    perhaps most baristas have their heads up their ass. you know… watching a movie.

  19. i agree that starbucks should use plain english to order :java:. the :java: i normally get is a venti carmel mocha frappachino with an extra shot of esspresso. i call it “yuppie heroin” :wtf:. i amaze myself everytime i say it with out messing it up.:razz:

  20. Ken (no relation, just non sequitur) got back from BC yesterday after spending some months being a burden on the public health system. He brought back a TIM HORTON’S always fresh travel coffee mug — with a free refill coupon that I can redeem at any participating Tim Horton’s restaurant in the civilized world. Too bad Chile isn’t a part of the civilized world. Anyway, I was so impressed with this piece of blown plastic — you know, it has this kind of doohickey what you move it to the side, the drink-hole is closed, to the other side, open. Closed. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. Open. Closed. Open. What a marvelous piece of technology. Ken thought rightly too, that buying a pound of Tim Horton’s coffee would just be a waste, that after a few days it would be gone… yeah, just like good sex. In the mean time, I have **shudder** instant coffee, what I call “No-ES-Cafe” — kinda what I would call a play on words, No es cafe — it’s not coffee. Anyway my point is, I don’t care if you got Tinkertoy or Yamamoto flavoured coffees. I just want mine double-double TO GO!

  21. Coffee snobbery by someone (barista) earning minimum wage… Nice.

  22. Bubbles

    How is it snobbery to educate someone on the proper pronunciation of a drink orderd in your establishment? Oh, and they are NOT paid minimum wage, that’s McDonald’s.

    It is snobbery, however, to act self-important enough to order a cup of coffee with 10 different specifications for yourself and your adorable brats.

    I’m the one standing in line behind you for 30 minutes waiting to order a venti house blend, room for cream please.

  23. Mandy

    :kiss: Bubbles. Right on!
    And yes, they get $12 an hour + tips and full benefits.

  24. H. R. Gerrard

    I Like Tea with a shot of my favourite alcoholic Liquer.
    “A little T & A if you please.”:lol:

  25. I don’t drink coffee, but I can sort of relate, having had an on/off love affair with that nectar of the gods, Dr. Pepper.

    All this ordering insanity reminds me of one of a quote from ‘L.A. Story’:

    “I’ll have a half double decaffeinated half-caf, with a twist of lemon.

    One of these days, I’m going to walk into a Starbucks, and order that.

  26. Mandy

    “A little T & A if you please.”

  27. Paige

    Would you believe that there is not one Starbucks where I live?????And,furthermore, caffeine is caffeine. Ill take mine creme two sugars please:java:

  28. Julie

    Not to be completely irritating (okay, maybe a little:twisted:), but from my days behind the counter at a coffee bar, a macchiato is a shot of espresso with a dollop of foam on top. No caramel involved…

  29. GrumpySimon

    I’ll have a flat white thanks. No sugar.

    ( & IMO – the coffee at Starbucks isn’t that nice anyway, it’s very bland ).


  30. Sir Osiss

    I meant no insult. And most assuredly I meant no disdain towards the employees of such establishments. It’s just obvious that the customer was not well versed in the fine art of javayuppiespeak; and she should have been given some slack.

    And not to be completely irritating to Julie (well, maybe a little :evil:) but there is a Caramel Macchiato as well as a Caramel Mocha Frappuccino listed on their site. Maybe it’s been awhile since you slung mud? 🙄

  31. Buffy

    ok. this is why i don’t order coffe (i don’t even drink it)! if i wanted caffine i’d just get a soda instead. it’s alot easier, and you don’t have to wait as long.:razz:

  32. Baby betty

    cant we all just get along?

  33. Spud

    Irish coffee is good…

    1 part coffee
    4 parts whiskey
    stirred not shaken.


  34. Sir Osiss

    Spud, I liked mine that way, except I had them hold the coffee.

  35. Cbatdux

    Don’t bash Starbucks staff – the other shops must make staff work sans caf.

    “Large coffee with milk please”
    “Do you want sugar in that?”
    “Large coffee with milk please”
    “So, no sugar, right?”

    Guy must own stock in Domino’s Sugar…

  36. Cbatdux

    I drink herbal Japanese tea anyway – Wasabi Blend – who needs caffeine?

  37. The orders are so hard that some of the baristas don’t always get mine so I always say it slowly. Sometimes I even leave out details that I want just so it is easier for the poor schmuck behind the counter. Here’s mine:

    sugar free
    extra foamy
    low fat
    Caramel Macchiato

    New staff and sometimes even customers question the “sugar free” element (referring to the vanilla syrup) which seems to conflict with the caramel.

    No wonder it costs almost five bucks. They have to hire a genius to get the order right.

  38. dougieace

    uhhh,like coffee sucks:wang:

  39. tinamarie

    I stood behind a woman at Starbucks who ordered a “dry cappuccino.” When I asked her what a dry cappuccino is, she told me that it is “mostly foam.”

    Does it boggle anyone else’s mind that this woman just paid $4 for a cup of coffee-flavored bubbles? :wtf:

  40. Sylvia

    Aaah! Coffee and chicory root essence sweetened with thick condensed milk in a steaming huge mug

  41. Here in Southern California, we have a chain called the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf – they have much better coffee than starbucks, and the names are all in English, which prevents a lot of the confusion over pronunciation.

    And I’m so there with you on brewing coffee at home for 15 cents.

  42. tinamarie

    Mmmmmmm. Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. Best iced coffee I ever had. Not a hint of acid or charred flavor in the beans.

  43. Loffee Cover

    Most of the so called “Italian” names are gagaspeak – any real barista in Italy would not understand a word of what’s being ordered.

    I always thought there were “barristers” (possibly out-of-work) preparing the gruesome concoctions at Starbucks :wtf:

  44. People get paid $12 per hour to serve coffee?

    I feel bad for waiters/waitresses who actually have to take food orders and only make a few bucks an hour plus tips. They are getting hosed.

  45. Mandy

    Hosed? Who’s getting hosed? 😀

  46. Anyone every had Vietnamese Coffee?

    We had it for the first time at the Mango Tree in Newmarket. It comes with the little metal filter right on top of the cup.

    It was so good we had another.

  47. roger

    just one word……..peet’s! :java:

    ok, another for sailor…good for you that you aren’t ADDICTED…there are many addictions that are acceptable in society, taken “in moderation”…right. whatever

  48. Janell

    the best stuff is said in my local coffee coffee shop too. isnt that something. must be something they put in the mock-a-tatto, i mean, moe-ka-yatta, i mean carmel drink. :java:

  49. Kira

    Can I just ask… Whatever happened to small, medium, and large?? Tall, Grande, Venti doesn’t really help me. And Starbucks over roasts their beans anyway so they always taste burnt.

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