Starbucks IV Drip

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I’m sure the title of this caught your attention, but this isn’t profound, it’s simply the musings of a tired but highly caffeinated mind, after a late night of blogging (I have 21 drafts and edits but no posts–seriously).

I woke up in my usual fast forward mode but the only thing to sustain it for the next few hours is my DIRTY CHAI!  Don’t judge, I told you this post wouldn’t compete against the Pope’s resignation but it’s relevant to me and might help you.  Why so serious people?

For those who aren’t purists, this is my suggestion.   Chai has more caffeine than coffee, 47 mg in 8 oz, you do the math on a venti cup.    A  creamy blend of black tea and Indian herbs and spices (at least that’s the Wiki definition), it can be ordered hot or cold and pairs well with most syrups and flavorings.  Want it extra spicy?  Increase the Chai.  Like it sweet? Add Coconut syrup during the summer.  Prefer a smoky flavor similar to a bold coffee? Combine it with Hazelnut flavoring.

My favorite on a day after 2 hours of sleep…Dirty Chai.  This mornings beverage was Iced Venti Vanilla Spice Caramel Dirty Chai–yes, I’m one of those women with an order that annoys the old man who only came in for a black cup of coffee.    The Dirty portion of the Chai is a shot of espresso, that’s right an additional 77 mg of caffeine.  I ordered the sugar-free Caramel syrup so that you don’t get the jittery sugar high on top of it all.

Not a Starbucks enthusiast?  Make a cup of Chai at home by using their concentrate: tazo

Note: I’m not advocating an unhealthy lifestyle but I’m leaving the health blogging to my counterparts with that particular passion.

Barista, Therapist, Friend

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It’s cliché, I know, a blogger who hangs out in coffee shops, but I confess that not only do I hang out at my local purveyor of chai and lattes, I actually have an emotional girl crush on my barista.

Her name is Maureen, and she is the proverbial “fiery redhead”.  Sure, Maureen has the ability to provide me with chai that has  just the right balance of spicy, creamy flavor but this has now been proven to be the least of her virtues.  The depth of her value is actually the equivalent of a great hairstylist, you know, the one that keeps you talking for your entire two-hour appointment.  In his past life Dr. Phil was Maureen and that’s the only reason he is so good today.  Snarky but helpfully direct, deep but irreverent and painfully honest while being informative, this woman has talked me off the ledge more than once.

A few mornings ago, following a particularly enraging day with a new boss, I knew that a trip to Starbucks would be a necessity before I went back to the office. Maureen asked how things were going and although I’d like to blame it on a caffeine induced meltdown, I honestly was just happy that someone asked and told her the truth.  For lack of better terms I vomited my pain all over her serviceably understandable crocs (please ignore the only time that you will see me validate the existence of Crocs).

No need to get too detailed about what was said, all you need to know is that her best advice boiled down to  ‘It’s important to teach people perspective.  Walk into his office and take him on a little journey back to the moment that you both experienced but make sure that he understands that you are switching roles.  He needs to understand what your feeling was in that moment.’

I know, it sounds emotional and schmary but the way that she delivered it was straight forward, no smile.  It was pure confrontation and a directive to BE BRAVE and KNOW YOUR VALUE.  Bottom line, it worked and as I move forward to my new position with another company, the only thing I regret is leaving my Barista.   Where the hell am I gonna find a therapist that charges $4.85 a session?

When You Can’t Have Vodka

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Every great salesperson has a vice, actually more than one. Starbucks rates around the top of my list. Not usually a frothy, calorie laden, whipped confection like this, more like non-fat, flavored chai of some sort.

I think I go for the underlying pretentious coffee shop feel and my favorite barista, Maureen, who knows me by name and gets snarky when I talk to other customers and they miss her calling their drink orders.

Fyi, the drink above is called The Captain Crunch because apparently I didn’t feel loved today at work and needed a warm and fuzzy reminder of my childhood.