It all started with a simple idea brought to us by our pal Luke: solicit the most long-winded, pretentious Starbucks order from the depths of the internet, order it, and consume. Always in favor of avoiding work in the pursuit of frivolous time wasters we happily took to Twitter and demanded your most exhaustive Starbucks orders in 140 characters and not many less.
We were shocked at the extravagant orders some of you called "your regular" (and PS if you're consuming that much sugar regularly we hope you're in touch with a dialysis facility) and dismayed that roughly half of you had to make a hackneyed "LOL STARBUCKS IS TEH SUX0R!!111!" joke. We combed over the results and picked the two most ridiculous drinks we could find. Then we sent Jason Toon and me, Randall Cleveland, to sample them. We opted for the Starbucks on the 40th floor of our building, as opposed to the one in the basement, because every skyscraper should have several options for the same exact company.
We approached the counter with the sort of trepidation a person should have when trying to commit bald-faced annoyance against what could be a harried, intolerant retail employee...
"Hey, uh, so this is supposed to be a joke. But we asked people for the most complicated Starbucks order they could think of-"
"And we have to make it?"
"Well, uh, if you CAN make it yeah, that'd be awesome. But it's really long, so should I just hand you this paper?"
"No. Read it to me." Ugh. She was going to make me say it. All of it. I took a breath and buried my nose in my crumpled notebook paper, rattling it off.
"We...don't have some of that stuff. We don't have the trenta size here and we don't have lemon zest or brownie chunks."
"Make it a venti, give me raspberry instead of lemon, and I'll take a brownie on the side." Adaptability! I made my way to the opposite end of the counter ("Don't forget your brownie") while Jason ordered his sugary concoction with the same sullen shame. An attractive woman behind the counter had to ask two different co-workers for verification before starting on my drink. Once finished she rattled off the entire name of the stupid thing, as if there would be any confusion once you got to "Four Shot Short Pull Half Caff." I still don't even know what a short pull is.
"Have you ORDERED this before?" she asked as she handed me my cup.
"Uh, sure. I have one or two of these a day," I lied, but she saw right through me.
"Do you know how this is going to taste?"
"No. Do YOU?"
"Do you want to taste it?"
"That was weird. Sorry. That was a weird thing to say." She laughed and started in on Jason's frozen coffee tragedy. Again she rattled off the full name, as if someone else in the Starbucks had ordered seven pumps of anything. Ever. We decided to retreat to the office for our tasting.
Jason couldn't wait. "I'm doing this," he said, steeling himself in the elevator. Before the liquid had fallen back down the straw a wincing grimace nearly cracked his face in two.
Jason's Tasting Notes:
"The sugar monkey is on my back something bad. When I was in college, I'd eat half a box of Little Debbies on the walk back from the supermarket. My physical limit for donut intake is purely theoretical. And even I was nauseated by this glucalyptic fructocaust. The chai flavor was intense enough to overwhelm my senses, but still not quite enough to mask the cloying, syrupy caramel flavor. I only managed to choke down enough to lower the mound of whipped cream to the brim of the cup. This is the kind of thing that you should get for free if you can finish it in one sitting."
With a self-described sugar junkie wincing at the fructose overload, I was definitely nervous. Back in the office and safe from prying eyes I raised the cup to my lips. "Wait," Jason stopped me, I'd hoped as part of some last minute editorial reprieve. "You need to chunk your brownie and throw it in there." Oh. Right. Thanks for that. I crumbled a double-fudge brownie into pieces still too large to consume. To my dismay they sat atop the froth, supported by the density of sugar slurry in the coffee. I had attracted a crowd of our Developers; there was no going back. I sipped.
Blargh! I had figured this would be such a sugary combination that it would taste like little more than diabetes in a cup, but nothing could've prepared me for the combination of chai, cinnamon, and chocolate. The whole thing came together to taste not unlike hot garbage. But the kicker was the raspberry. There's no way any actual raspberries were harmed in the making of this, or if there were their sacrifice was in vain because the chemical reaction reduced "raspberry" to "rancid dumpster scum." My teeth ached and felt like they were sprouting fur. My heart rate kicked up a notch, probably as a warning to discourage me from drinking any more. It would not surprise me to learn that this is not fit for human consumption.
Our final recommendations? I'll stick with the occasional mocha to satisfy my coffee itch. Jason will stick with doughnuts. Would YOU try something like this? Got another bizarre menu item we should sample? Let us know in the comments! (And special thanks to our Twitter pals @Amauriel and @TheMadPope for their suggestions!)