back to article Debenhams cafes ban outré terms like 'espresso' and 'cappuccino'

The words "espresso" and "cappuccino" are too confusing for customers, says high-street retailer Debenhams. The department store chain will instead introduce moron-friendly descriptions, such as "frothy coffee", in its 160 cafes. Out go several descriptions it deems too "fancy" - even "tall" and "grande" have been slung out, …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Rob Crawford

    Debenhams the retail equivalent of the daily Mail

    So what do thay call that coffee that tastes like utter crap of yes Starbucks isn't it

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Debenhams the retail equivalent of the daily Mail

      Unfortunately true...

      I use a bean-to-cup machine at home, and it tastes 10 times better than the crap Starbucks serve...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Have you ever heard someone ask for a 'Laaartey'?

        It grates on my nerves so much I want to commit murder.

        I want to scream 'La tay' but I'd be there all day screaming.

        Well done Debenhams.

    2. hitmouse

      Re: Debenhams the retail equivalent of the daily Mail

      Basically the further you get from Seattle, the worse the Starbucks coffee will be. The barista competition in Seattle is so high that you are not likely to get bad coffee anywhere.

      In the UK there seems to be very little training. Once the storefront and branding has been paid for, then there's no money left for niceties like training or machine cleaning. However the presence of Starbucks in the UK has given every mildly entrepreneurial bakery a chance to sell espresso-based coffee at ridiculous rates, no matter that they treat the machine as no more than a fancy kettle. I've encountered a few that basically microwave instant or filter coffee with milk and charge espresso rates.

      1. P. Lee Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Debenhams the retail equivalent of the daily Mail

        > has given every mildly entrepreneurial bakery a chance to sell espresso-based coffee at ridiculous rates

        Have they reached Melbourne prices yet? $3.50 is cheap - you're normally looking at $4.50 for a long black.

        Mind you, they charge almost $3 (£2) for a bag of crisps or a marathon from vending machine.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      This is The North Of England

      Not the pansy South which infiltrated these feminist coffee words into our vocabulary.

      Large Coffee

      Milky Coffee

      Strong Coffee

      No Milk

      Medium Coffee

      A Small Coffee

      Sugar

      Always followed by Please and Thank You in the North where they breed proper manners.

      As to 'A Barrista' which in Italian means bar person, sod that and stick it back in your phrase book.

      Angry White Van Man

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: This is The North Of England

        And REAL men of the North also say 'as it comes thanks'.....

  2. Busby

    Nothing like talking down to your customers to make them want to come back.

    Seriously if they believe the customers don't understand the term tall then how do they dress themselves or find the store in the first place.

    1. wowfood
      Facepalm

      Yeah I used to work there... You wouldn't believe the number of people who demanded refunds because of reasons like.

      "I'm not paying £1 for a sip of coffee" in regards to the espresso.

      "I ordered a latte and it's almost entirely milk"

      "I ordered a cuppachino and it's all foam!" surprising how often we had this one.

      And the glorious.

      "What's the difference between a cup and a mug?"

      I'm not even joking, and they didn't want to know the size difference, they wanted to know which was which, despite the face one machine has "LARGE MUG OF COFFEE" written on it, and the other just has "REGULAR CUP OF COFFEE"

      And finally not forgetting the.

      "This coffee is cold, I want a refund" despite the fact that, when making a latte we had to probe the milk to make sure it was up to 90'C (and often higher) after steaming it. (when we did coffee the corect way) and the coffee had been made almost an hour ago. Apparently not drinking it when it's hot is a good reason to ask for a refund.

      1. DJ Smiley
        Thumb Up

        People are dumb. This is a fact anywhere. They will complain about anything also.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "People are dumb. This is a fact anywhere. They will complain about anything also."

          They are dumb, denied the power of speech, yet somehow complain? This is truly the age of miracles and wonders. Sign language? Dance?

    2. Barry O'Connell
      FAIL

      Except that a "Tall" coffee often means small coffee

      Silly to think people wouldn't know what an espresso is, but starbuck sizing of "Tall", "Grande" and "Venti" is a nonsense that deserves to be taken out and shot.

      1. Arrrggghh-otron

        Re: Except that a "Tall" coffee often means small coffee

        "starbuck sizing of "Tall", "Grande" and "Venti" is a nonsense that deserves to be taken out and shot"

        Not to mention their pricing and their baristas seemingly unshakeable desire to burn the fuck out of the coffee... (this applies equally to costa coffee when considering the above).

        1. Mike Richards

          Re: Except that a "Tall" coffee often means small coffee

          I thought Starbucks applied homeopathy to coffee whilst Costa just set light to the beans rather than roast them?

      2. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Re: Except that a "Tall" coffee often means small coffee

        I like it, I describe myself as "Tall" - in the Starbucks sense

  3. Lee Dowling Silver badge

    Though I agree that often we use unnecessary words ("ambient sausage roll" comes to mind), an espresso is called an espresso because most of the world refers to it as an espresso and knows what an espresso is.

    Latte? Wouldn't happen to be foreign for milk, would it? Cappuccino means "little hat" or "little hood" in Italian. Guess that's because they invented it and it's inherently linked with Italy?

    This is like saying "We're not going to call it a bagel, because that confuses people, so we'll call it a 'yeasted wheat dough bread product' instead".

    Idiots. Are you honestly telling me, with the plethora of coffee shops inside everything from supermarkets to charity shops, that people are too thick to know what an espresso is and, if they are, don't bother to ask?

    That's besides the fact that my Italian girlfriend guarantees you that virtually every coffee she's ever been served in the UK is bad, from over-burnt beans, to poor handling of the machine (including not cleaning it out for months on end), to the wrong kind of beans entirely, to just sickly amounts of junk thrown in, and she drinks espresso like an Englishman drinks tea. (I'm English, actually, and drink neither coffee nor tea! But that's besides the point).

    Just don't get her started on ham-and-pineapple pizza. You'll never hear the end of it.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "an espresso is called an espresso because most of the world refers to it as an espresso and knows what an espresso is."

      I think you'll find that most of Britain refers to it as an EX-presso...

      1. Spudbynight

        I have always called it an espresso for fear of appearing uncultured and, er, wrong.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "I think you'll find that most of Britain refers to it as an EX-presso..."

        Yes. And they are wrong.

    2. James Micallef Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      I might understand if they were no longer using the less common Italian terms like Ristretto or Macchiato (even if these are also fairly well known).

      But Espresso and Capuccino??? I thought they were pretty universally* known terms

      * In Europe. West of the pond, outside of specialized bars, coffee apparently comes in one type only that can be served in sizes of 'large', 'huge', 'humungous' and 'bucket'

      1. Azzy

        Unknown west of the pond? Excuse me!

        We have a Starbucks on practically every street over here. Everyone knows what a latte is!

        Where I live (Cambridge MA), there are seriously two Starbucks's at opposite ends of the same block, one of which has two floors, and is frequently packed. There's another one just two blocks away, and if you can't make it two blocks without your caffeine fix, the block in between has two independent cafes, one specializing in espresso. In another busy area, there is literally one cafe per block, for like a 5-6 block stretch... Americans love our lattes... (unfortunately, since we also have poor taste and worse eating habits, people often order them with so much flavored syrup in them that you can't taste the espresso)

        1. david 12 Bronze badge

          Re: Unknown west of the pond? Excuse me!

          >one of which has two floors, and is frequently packed.

          The return of the temperance hotel.

    3. Psyx
      Flame

      "Are you honestly telling me, with the plethora of coffee shops inside everything from supermarkets to charity shops, that people are too thick to know what an espresso is and, if they are, don't bother to ask?"

      That's not the real problem. The problem is when a non-coffee-shop-regular walks into Starfucks/wherever and JUST WANTS A FUCKING COFFEE. All I want is a sign that says "A normal fucking cup of coffee, with a normal amount of fucking milk in, and no sodding sprinkly shit or bubbles. And no: I don't want to tell you my name or want to pay a pound for a fucking biscuit."

      Apparently, I should be asking for an Americano and putting some milk in it. Clearly someone decided that putting 'regular coffee' on a board next to 'latte', 'espresso' and 'chocco-mocho-frapachino' wasn't pretentious enough.

      1. Daren Nestor

        But an Americano's not a normal coffee

        An Americano is an espresso topped up with hot water so it's not a normal cup of coffee, it's simply an approximation. I like "fancy" coffee at times, but sometimes I just want a coffee. And if you're in Starbucks or basically any café now, you simply cannot have one.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But an Americano's not a normal coffee

          It is now. Everywhere has been Borged. Fight back - go to Debenhams.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: But an Americano's not a normal coffee

          "... I just want a coffee. And if you're in Starbucks (...) you simply cannot have one.

          Starbucks sell filter coffee in every one of their stores so perhaps you could try asking for a cup of filter coffee you fool.

          http://starbucks.co.uk/menu/beverage-list/brewed-coffee

      2. Stuart Castle

        You aren't the only one

        who doesn't like the fact you can't just order coffee anymore, Denis Leaty doesn't.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQxgv4QtKM8 (NSFW)

      3. Vincent Ballard
        IT Angle

        House coffee

        If my memory serves me correctly, the last time I was in a Starbucks (several years ago) it was possible to ask for a "house coffee". It wasn't on the big board, but they did have English-style coffee at something like 75p.

        1. AbortRetryFail

          Re: House coffee

          The other acceptable request is "Filter Coffee".

          (Although you're as likely to get an Americano if they only have an espresso machine)

      4. cortland

        Just ask for 200 ml. THAT'LL get you service! Ha!

    4. dotdavid
      Meh

      Personally I'd keep the names in large text, and maybe have a subtitle beneath it that says what is actually in each drink, rather than replace the names of each drink entirely.

      But I kinda agree with them regarding replacing the words grande and tall. Nowt wrong with small, medium and large - especially as the Italians didn't invent sizes! ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "Normal coffee"

        Espresso IS normal coffee.

        Just because you are too ignorant to bother learning anything about an established artisan process does not mean the whole world should be dumbed down for you.

      2. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
        Childcatcher

        Keep the names

        Personally I'd keep the names in large text, and maybe have a subtitle beneath it that says what is actually in each drink, rather than replace the names of each drink entirely.

        You mean the way many restaurants do on menus? Yeah, that would work, but wouldn't generate the free publicity this move has produced. Where's the fun in that?

      3. Mike Richards

        'Personally I'd keep the names in large text, and maybe have a subtitle beneath it that says what is actually in each drink, rather than replace the names of each drink entirely.'

        Might as well go the whole McDonalds route and just give the drinks numbers.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Completely agree, I hate that burnt taste you get from most coffee shops...

      And the selection of beans available in the UK is poor.....

      1. Psyx
        WTF?

        "And the selection of beans available in the UK is poor....."

        We've got baked, broad and runner. What are you complaining about?

        1. Pete 2

          And the selection of beans available in the UK is poor....

          > We've got baked, broad and runner [beans]. What are you complaining about?

          Not forgetting "coulda", "shoulda" and "has" ... lots and lots of has-beans

        2. nagyeger
          Pint

          prize

          Psyx, you've just won my first ever up-vote. Congratulations. Have a vitual beer/cider/whatever.

    6. Pete 2

      No. I asked: you for coffee?

      > Latte? Wouldn't happen to be foreign for milk, would it?

      Where coffee is concerned, I thought it was the famous bull-fighting term: Au Lait, Or simply "white".

      1. Lee Dowling Silver badge

        Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

        Latte actually means "with steamed milk" in coffee circles, Au Lait actually means "with hot milk" in coffee circles (though what difference that either actually makes is unfathomable to me), whereas white means "with room temperature milk".

        Latte = milk in Italian (from Latin origin "lacte", from where we get "lactate", i.e. specifically milk).

        Au Lait = derivative of lacte (thousands of years messes with words, "milk" is an entirely different derivation, only a few hundred years old meaning "to stroke").

        They all come down to the same thing, etymologically, but latte is older in language and also in coffee use (come on, Italians and coffee - they invented it all... :-)

        But I hate coffee, so I don't really care. And only a pretentious snob would think that the temperature of the milk makes any difference.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

          Blokes that give dictionary description definitions of coffee worry me....

          Got to be a Southerner.

      2. Primus Secundus Tertius Silver badge

        Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

        White coffee is Anglo Saxon. I've had funny looks in France/Germany when I've asked for blanc or weiss.

        1. Lone Gunman

          Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

          Which is probably why my French teacher very patiently taught us the very useful phrase cafe au lait.

        2. John R. Macdonald

          Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

          I don't know about Germany but in France one asks for 'café au lait'. Café blanc is meaningless to your average French waiter/waitress.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No. I asked: you for coffee?

        > Latte? Wouldn't happen to be foreign for milk, would it?

        Where coffee is concerned, I thought it was the famous bull-fighting term: Au Lait, Or simply "white".

        The drink called a "latte" in the UK is called a "long" coffee in Italy. That's if it's called anything at all, since most coffee bars serve nothing but espresso and cappucinno (in one size only).

    7. Richard IV

      Sr. Dowling, there's an equally strong tradition of direct literal translation of what foreigners call stuff.

      Sometimes they sit side by side - pasta shells and conchiglie, others take over - Black Forest Gateau vs Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, and others stay true to the original (I still have hopes for the popularisation of Whore's sauce against Puttanesca though). I note from Wikipedia that the Germans call a Latte 'Milchkaffee' ie Milky coffee, or what Debenhams should have called it (without the reallys). Granted, it's a massive affectation by Debenhams to adopt what is already a losing position.

      Cappuccino might well _mean_ little hood, but it's named after the order of friars (for their white robes) who are named for the hoods. Same as Capuchin monkeys.

    8. JaimieV
      Holmes

      @Lee Dowling "Cappuccino means "little hat" or "little hood" in Italian. Guess that's because they invented it and it's inherently linked with Italy?"

      Cappuccino-the-drink is named after the Capuchin monks, who have robes that colour. And probably little hats. And an excellently macabre ossuary in Rome, though that's more latte colours.

    9. Anonymous Coward
      Flame

      That's besides the fact that my Italian girlfriend guarantees you that virtually every coffee she's ever been served in the UK is bad

      That's got nothing to do with the quality of the coffee, it's just Italian pride. My Sicilian wife insists all foodstuffs and beverages in the UK taste inferior - her latest bug bear is salt, and she insists on buying an Italian brand that can only be found in delicatessens. Previous obsessions include breadcrumbs and pasta brands. She also forbids things like tinned spaghetti and macaroni cheese from being in the house on the basis that it's an insult to her culture.

      1. Not That Andrew

        Re: Tinned Spaghetti

        Tinned spaghetti is an insult in any culture, I imagine it's like a declaration of war to an Italian.

        1. Mike Richards

          Re: Tinned Spaghetti

          'Tinned spaghetti is an insult in any culture, I imagine it's like a declaration of war to an Italian.'

          Yeah, but we usually win those.

      2. John H Woods

        Insult to her culture...

        ... and if you disobey you get what ... a horse's head in your bed?

        BTW there is a difference between good salt and bad salt. Try a double blind test between standard table salt and something like Maldon flaked sea salt.

      3. Nick Pettefar

        You poor sod! I sympathise.

        I have a German missus so no food worries here, just a lot of everything else (education, childcare, cars, etc...)

    10. cortland
      Headmaster

      It's just the

      Academy of the English language getting up steam. Next target will be all those French loan words.

  4. EddieD

    Good

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-f_dxLiuXuw

    Says it all.

    1. Barry O'Connell
      Happy

      Beat me to it.

      And this one!

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSk0B0dVq4g

      transcript:

      http://uk.imdb.com/character/ch0239475/quotes

  5. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

    Sir

    They've even got it wrong. The fancy name for black coffee isn't black coffee, it's an Americano. Which isn't just black coffee (filter) because it's made with espresso.

    1. daldred

      Re: Sir

      "The fancy name for black coffee isn't black coffee, it's an Americano. Which isn't just black coffee (filter) because it's made with espresso."

      I suspect I'm not the only one who gets really really pissed off by repeatedly having to answer the question 'do you want milk in it' when I've asked for an Americano.

      Which is rather than point here, isn't it? The Italian / pseudo-Italian terms are misused and misunderstood (even by those making the coffees) Perhaps Debenhams are right: let's have some plain coffees.

      I just wish I could be confident that they'd be made well - as well as they are in Rome rather than as well as they are in Starbucks....

      1. cortland

        Re: Sir

        Pero, Jo estoy Americano.

        Pazhalsta!

  6. Code Monkey

    A cynic might think that this "simplifying" of labels is an open door for Debenhams to change their coffee to instant.

    I couldn't possibly comment.

    1. Psyx
      Pint

      "A cynic might think that this "simplifying" of labels is an open door for Debenhams to change their coffee to instant."

      A cynic would think that it's an attempt to ensure no wankers who work for marketing come in, and start loudly asking for overly-faffy coffee and WiFi.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "A cynic would think that it's an attempt to ensure no wankers who work for marketing come in, and start loudly asking for overly-faffy coffee and WiFi."

        Yeah, god, asking if somewhere has wifi is entirely unacceptable, those horrible wankers.

        *facepalm*

        1. Psyx
          Mushroom

          "Yeah, god, asking if somewhere has wifi is entirely unacceptable, those horrible wankers.

          *facepalm*"

          It was the *combination* of requests that painted the character-picture, as any fewlkno.

          Asking for a beer isn't wanky. Asking for a beer served with a squeeze of lime in a specific shaped glass, with ice is wanky.

          Though come to think of it: Asking for wi-fi *is* a bit lame, really. It infers that you can't spend two seconds looking at your device and noticing that they do, or reading one of the "we have free wi-fi" signs.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "Though come to think of it: Asking for wi-fi *is* a bit lame, really. It infers that you can't spend two seconds looking at your device and noticing that they do, or reading one of the "we have free wi-fi" signs."

            Clearly you live up a stick in a field, or somesuch. In a built-up area, there is often no obvious way to tell if any of the multiple networks that you can see from a tiny coffee shop is actually theirs. If none of them are open, even if they do have a sign, you need to find out which network belongs to them, and what the credentials are.

            Still, don't let reality interfere, eh? I am sure that some strange male pride means you'd rather use rainbow tables than actually ask.

    2. Nick Kew Silver badge

      That would be true to one of those Italian labels.

      Ask a Roman for an "Americano" and you've asked for an instant coffee - something foreign. The English use of the word apparently refers to something else, to which no self-respecting Italian would stoop.

  7. Cameron Colley

    Sounds fair enough to me.

    I hate Starosta coffee places where you have to piss around translating faux-italian names just to order a simple coffee. What's wrong with "small, medium, large" or, if they must, "regular, large, extra"?

    I've not problem ordering foodstuffs and drinks in other languages when in that country or ordering a dish from there but the made-up bollocks associated with coffee is a language I can't be arsed to learn.

    1. James Micallef Silver badge
      Pint

      Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

      "I hate Starosta coffee places where you have to piss around translating faux-italian names just to order a simple coffee"

      >>

      "I hate these fancy pubs where you have to piss around knowing exactly what the difference is between an 'Ale', 'Lager', 'Amber', 'Wheat'... why can't they just get me a beer?"

      For people who are happy with "just a coffee", any coffee will do, so if you^'re not arsed to learn, just order yourself a regular coffee. For people who DO know the difference, it's not just the size. "Espresso" is not a small shot of filter coffee, it's brewed with steam pressurization and has a different taste. etc etc

      1. Psyx

        Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

        "For people who are happy with "just a coffee", any coffee will do, so if you^'re not arsed to learn, just order yourself a regular coffee."

        Except that you're then met with an incredulous look from some minimum-wage prick with a chip on their shoulder, who then patronises you along the lines of "I *think* you mean an Americano" and tuts of derision from a queue of faux coffee snobs. Because these places seem incapable of 'just' giving me a cup of 'normal' coffee (and I've already compromised, because what I *actually* want is a drinkable a cup of tea, but I know from experience that there's fuck all chance of getting one in a coffee shop).

        For the record, what I really *want* if I'm going in a coffee shop and paying £3 for a coffee is a Turkish coffee. But for all the pretentiousness, none of them actually serve that stuff.

      2. Cameron Colley

        @James Micallef

        But if you ask for "a black coffee" they flog you an "americano" which isn't a "normal black coffee" it's an espresso with water added. If you want a "normal" cup of coffee as I grew up with you have to ask for a filter coffee.

        I'll admit if you ask for "a beer", in the UK at least, you may be asked to be more specific but if you ask for a lager or a bitter or a white or red wine there's usually a "house" one. They don't then ask you how many shots you want in it or whether you want sprinkles (OK, so i made up the sprinkles).

      3. Red Bren
        FAIL

        Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

        "I hate these fancy pubs where you have to piss around knowing exactly what the difference is between an 'Ale', 'Lager', 'Amber', 'Wheat'... why can't they just get me a beer?"

        First time I tried order, "A pint of beer, please." I was promptly asked for proof of age, which I obviously didn't have so my group were asked to leave. I learned very quickly the differences between bitter, mild, lager, etc and had no trouble getting served the following week, by the same barman.

        Moral of the story, if it matters to you, you'll learn it.

    2. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

      I love coffee, but it shouldn't take more that 4 words to describe the coffee. It is getting seriously mental stateside, it takes people 30-45 seconds to describe their order. Yes fauxtalian size names is a little silly as well. Just because the style of coffee is derived loosely from an italian concept doesn't mean every other word on the menu needs to be in italian. We use Hawaiian where we can here, and yes that means entire sentences, but ffs it's not like you are actually ordering in italian, just stealing a few words to justify it costing 5 bucks.

      I also concur wholeheartedly with the above sentiment regarding the quality of the coffee. It is rarely better than instant (which is fine in the same way a Hollands steak pie is fine, but it isn't a fillet) and frequently abysmal, despite costing a small fortune. Personally I found carrying a small flask of coffee made from local beans cheaper and nicer.

    3. nematoad Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

      "the made-up bollocks associated with coffee is a language I can't be arsed to learn."

      I quite agree.

      Q:

      What the hell is a "decaff, skinny latte" when it is at home?

      A:

      Usually an overpriced cup of what tastes like reheated cat's piss.

    4. Gnomalarta

      Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

      "I hate Starosta coffee places where you have to piss around translating faux-italian names just to order a simple coffee. "

      Simple solution: use a local independent. Here in the near of Reading we have plenty and they tend to pay their taxes. We even have one called Picnic right next to Starbucks - very friendly and not full of trendy dorks showing off their Apple devices.

      The be fair Costa does pay tax on it's profits.

    5. Nick Kew Silver badge

      Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

      So why not simplify it and just ask for a drink? All this faffing about with "coffee" vs "water" vs "beer" vs "tea" vs "juice" and all that just confuses the matter!

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Sounds fair enough to me.

        Not quite that far Nick :) It just seems to have developed into a huge pain in the ass to order a coffee. If I walk into a cafe and in Italy, approach the bar, and say "un caffe per favore", I get a cup of espresso (at least in the mornings, like the French what you get will sometimes vary across the day which is only right!). I say "grazie", add sugar and go pay. Its that simple. I walk into a starfooks and I have to give a shedload of parameters, all in a mix of Italian and English. I would have more respect for them if you actually had to order entirely in Italian. Sure the coffees should have their correct names but thats where it needs to stop. I am not impressed with marketing bastardising a foreign language to make themselves seem more genuine when frankly they couldn't be farther from the real experience if they served ground beef in the cups. The staff aren't really trained so much as churned out and they rarely get decent raw materials, let alone have well maintained clean equipment. French and Italian cafes are frequented by a huge number of people on their way to work or on their lunch break. As such ordering is rapid. Starfooks et al is frequented mostly by soccer moms and people wanting the wifi, in general people not in a huge rush and who want 'an experience', so it is set up to make them think they are getting an authentic Italian experience. It really comes nowhere close to actually going into a cafe that trades on its reputation for quality and speed. Given that only 10% of Americans have passports and only a fraction of those will have been to France or Italy, I suspect you could flog them snowcones and they wouldn't know the difference (Hartlepool monkey style).

    6. This post has been deleted by its author

  8. hitmouse

    Frothy coffee? What is that exactly? Cappuccinos have frothy milk on top of coffee.

    I hope they get rid of those confusing croissants too.

    1. electricmonk
      Facepalm

      I guess the gateau and the panini will be off the menu as well. And what's with this weird foreign word "cafe"? How pretentious is that? What's wrong with "Debenham's Tea Shoppe"?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "the panini will be off the menu as well"

        Surely being British that should be "paninis", shouldn't it?

        1. Psyx
          Flame

          "Surely being British that should be "paninis", shouldn't it?"

          It should be "cheese on toast".

        2. Richard IV
          Headmaster

          Panini

          ... is already the plural. It should be "paninos", or poncy toasties.

        3. hitmouse

          The usual British rendering is panini's.

  9. Captain Underpants
    Thumb Down

    Meh, as a counterpoint to the made-up-bollocks that passes for coffee terminology in the likes of Starbucks I don't see it to be That Big A Thing. But hey, we're on the internet, making a Totally Huge Deal out of something fundamentally irrelevant is what we do, right?

  10. oddie
    Mushroom

    rantomatic

    actually, while I don't mind ordering a cappuchino or an espresso, I object to having to specify my size of beverage in italian... if starbucks or whoever wants to call it a tall venti whatever then fine, but if they try to make me use italian just because they want to add that ambience of sipping italian coffee in an american franchise in britain then I usually reply to them in norwegian* since that is MY native language, and after all, its all about the fucking ambiance.

    Actually, like any other person who has been in the uk for a while the entire scenario after 'I reply' actually only plays out in my head and what actually comes out of my mouth is 'thats fine'.

    I'll still order my bloody fucking medium americano next time as well though.

    1. oddie

      Re: rantomatic

      sometimes I also dream that after fucking with me over the namingconvention of the size of my beverage, the next person behind me in the queue specifies their entire order in italian.. obv this scenario only works if the fucker-ista behind the counter isn't italian too....

      I think maybe I need to try decaff for a bit...

    2. dotdavid
      Thumb Up

      Re: rantomatic

      If you want to be really annoying, pull out an English-Italian phrasebook and labouriously flick through it as you peer up at the menu, and reply to their questions in broken Italian.

      1. Anonymous C0ward

        Re: rantomatic

        >If you want to be really annoying, pull out an English-Italian phrasebook and labouriously flick through it as you peer up at the menu, and reply to their questions in broken Italian.

        Drop your panties, Sir William, I cannot wait till lunchtime. My nipples explode with delight!

    3. James Micallef Silver badge

      Re: rantomatic

      What pisses me off about Starbucks is that they don't even use real Italian terminology for coffee, they make up their own. All the Italian terms are well-understood by every barista in every bar in Italy. Only a 'Starbuckee' can understand Starbuck-speak for coffee ordering.

      'Venti' literally means 20 because in Starbucks that's a 20-oz serving. No Italian in their right mind will EVER order a bucket of coffee. On the other hand, why do they use 'tall'? It's translating the italian 'lungo' to mean 'long' or 'large', but using it to mean something completely different.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "lungo"

        Yes. Lungo does not specify the size, it specifies that the pressurised steam passes quickly through the coffee when brewing. It produces a distinct flavour that would be less strong than a typical espresso and also a 'longer' drink.

        It is the opposite to Ristretto (think 'restrictive').

      2. Archibald Trumpetbeetle

        Re: rantomatic

        They wouldn't even know what an ounce is.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: rantomatic

          Everyone knows what an ounce is, and can eyeball it from across the room.

          Oh fluid ounce. My bad.

    4. Barry O'Connell
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: rantomatic

      "and after all, its all about the fucking ambiance"

  11. Bakunin
    Coat

    Guess the angle

    "too confusing ... moron-friendly ... patronising choice"

    I'm taking a wild guess here, but I assume you don't like the idea?

  12. wowfood

    Gah

    I used to work in a debenhams cafe. And as stupid as this may sound... It's actually pretty accurate.

    I cannot count the number of times I've had a customer order an espresso and then refuse to pay because "it's tiny" well duh it's an espresso, it's a shot of concentrated coffee.

    Or of course the people who would order a latte / cappuccino and then complain because it's mostly milk. I swear the customers were idiots. I mean they must be look at the prices they're paying. What was it, £6.95 for pie and chips when I left. Guess what? That pie came from a freezer, and unless you got one of the first ones cooked before lunch, it was zapped in the microwave and then put under a grill quickly to brown up the top... I'm not even joking here, they even microwaved bacon on occasion.

    What's worse though, is that the store was getting ripped off as much as the customer. I had to write up the wastage and put it on our system to work out profit loss etc. Those pies we were charging custoemrs £6.95 for, we were paying £3.95 for them EACH. i swear somebody at the upper end of management was getting back handers off of brakes.

    We even worked out it was cheaper for us to deliberately under order on things like milk / eggs / chips / veg (the bits we can easily swap out for alternatives) and then buy them from asda, and the stuff we'd get from asda was higher quality.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      They microwave BACON!!!!!!!!!!!

      Burn the heretics

      1. JaimieV
        Pint

        Re: They microwave BACON!!!!!!!!!!!

        I really should use a typeface where "b u r n" doesn't read "b u m".

  13. Cthonus
    WTF?

    That just encourages me to go in and ask for a skinny ristretto*.

    *yes I know that's an oxy, moron.

  14. Dave 62

    I'm all for a bit less frill, we're British after all, not European. Land of bangers and mash. These fancy pants names are nothing but window dressing, coffee in the UK is utter shite anyway. I am only aware of one (now closed) coffee shop that served anything other than tannic acid solution.

    1. Brewster's Angle Grinder Silver badge
      Coat

      Does "fancy pants names" = "bikini knickers"?

      Mine's the lace one.

  15. Ru
    Facepalm

    I can get behind the excommunication of "grande" and "tall" (especially the latter), but cappuccino? Clearly they don't think much of their customers.

    1. wowfood

      That's because the customers actually were idiots (not all, but too many to be a coincidence)

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Common Sense

    Good - a victory for plain English and common sense.

    And boy, do those coffee-tards annoy me........

    <grin>

  17. Tony Green

    Sounds sensible to me

    As someone who doesn't frequent crappy places like Costa and the like, the various silly names they give their different ways of serving the same thing mean absolutely nothing to me. When I had to have a meeting with a customer in a café recently the waitress understood what I meant by "a black coffee please" without me having to work out which menu item meant that.

    1. oddie

      Re: Sounds sensible to me

      not always... sometimes the wank-istas ask you if you would like some milk in it..... yes, milk... in your black coffee...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sounds sensible to me

      They are different though...

      A black coffee is usually a drip filtered coffee

      An Americano is watered down espresso

      Go into Starbucks and you will get bad coffee no matter what you order, I would not be surprised if the beans they use are cheap & burnt...

  18. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Die Grande Die

    Glad to see tall and grande go - that IS a real affectation of Starbucks and the rest - when Cup, Mug and Beaker sum it up nicely :)

    Question is will Debenhams be pricing it like the 1960's or will they be charging 2 quid a cup like the rest?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Die Grande Die

      £2? You'd be lucky. By now it's closer to £2.50

    2. Miguel 1

      Re: Die Grande Die

      I can't fathom why they decided to call that size "grande"... no self-respecting Italian, Spaniard or Portuguese would ever ask for a pint of coffee.

  19. Dave 62

    oh and also, we're assuming they're still serving espresso coffee, if they're using another method it's no longer espresso.

  20. Joe Harrison

    I like this

    I can't be bothered with their list of faux-Italian gibberish. I just want a coffee.

    1. Rob Crawford

      Re: I like this

      So how does somebody order an espresso when they want one?

      I also dislike the pretensions of self declared coffee drinkers when for the most part they're buying a bloody coffee flavored milkshake. But I do get your point that there are times when you just a coffee.

      However enjoyable coffee for some of us starts at the stand the spoon in the cup French stuff and heads towards somewhere much more unsafe (like the stuff the Greek monks always seem to be drinking).

      It's a bit like using the single word milk to describe all forms of milk

      How happy would you be to order a glass of milk and end up that soya shite being handed to you, I mean even buttermilk would almost be better (and I wont veer into the potential mammal extracts)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        "potential mammal extracts"

        Um, all real milk by definition comes from some kind of mammal.

        1. Rob Crawford

          Re: "potential mammal extracts"

          Yes agreed proper milk would come from a mammal.

          However somehow people believe soya milk is a milk (never seen a soya bean with nipples, but then again the duck billed platypus doesn't have nipples either)

          Then again the idiots who ask for a skinny latte and then consume cast quantity's of cake just deepen my contempt

  21. DayDragon
    Thumb Up

    Common sense...

    at last...

    I remember walking into a Starbucks for the first time and looking at all the types of coffee you could get and being utterly confused. You see, i was just used to drinking Instant so all these Expresso, Latte's and Cappucino's meant nothing to me (and there were no explanations of what they were).

    Anyway, i said to the lass behind the counter "can i have a normal coffee" which there followed a list of the usual suspects, i said "have you got anything like Instant". Her face dropped and she looked at me as though i'd just dropped out of a dogs bum... "oh, you want an Americano, What do you want it in?" i looked at her blankly and said "A cup"...

    1. Dave 62

      Re: Common sense...

      Made me laugh.

      But spelt espresso wrong.

      They're also not capitalised.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Common sense...

      WTF?

      Tou asked for a normal coffee and the counter lady listed coffee for you? To anyone that means filter coffee OR if not available an Americano...

      Was the lass brain-dead?

    3. David Evans

      @DayDragon

      So did you grow up in the hole in the road or the lake?

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Names

      Also, it would be a good time to re-affirm that

      APOSTROPHES are NEVER USED to form PLURALS.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Names

        Sorry. I realised that this impartation of wisdom relies on two assumptions that may be unreasonable, namely that the reader knows the meaning of the word 'apostrophe' and 'plural'.

        So let me make it clear for you:

        cappuccino's IS WRONG.

        If you are too stupid to grasp such basic rules, then just don't bother trying to use that punctuation mark at all.

  22. This post has been deleted by its author

  23. B4PJS
    WTF?

    Damn it, as I was walking to the station the other day, I was thinking of calling my cappucino a frothy coffee for a laugh. Didn't realise that the mind readers thought I was serious!

  24. Irongut

    Is this because Debenham's cafe staff are incapable of making anything that even slightly resembles a cappuccino?

  25. MrXavia
    Megaphone

    WTF???

    A latte is NOT a 'really really milky coffee', a latte is espresso with steamed milk.

    A Cappuccino, is NOT a frothy coffee, it is an espresso with hot milk and milk foam..

    A Mocca is NOT chocolate flavoured coffee, it is coffee with hot chocolate!

    So my usually order of a soy latte with an extra shot, is now a really really milky coffee with a shot of really strong coffee...

    Coffee types have a name because their made a certain way... those descriptions describe something else entirely,...

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    All coffee is shit.

    Removing the pretentious-wank terms sounds like a good thing if it means I can get my cup of tea more quickly.

  27. TheOtherHobbes

    Real progress

    would be selling two kinds of coffee - with milk/cream or without.

    Then you wouldn't get held up waiting for five minutes while a barista fannies around with a steam jet and a jug of milk just to add a pointless froth to something that's basically just coffee anyway.

  28. Ikoth

    Debenhams...

    ... Reassuringly patronising.

  29. xyz

    Thank **** for that

    ...OK Debs may have gone a bit far, but it's a good point. I go through the same cobblers everytime I try to buy a coffee in a barista/iPad hellhole...

    White Coffee please....

    Americano?

    Yes....

    Black or White?

    AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!

    The best place is Bar Italia in Soho, I go in if I want a cafe latte and my mate always wants a cappuccino, no choc. The guy behind the counter just makes the 2 coffees the same and gives me a look.

    1. Psyx
      Stop

      Re: Thank **** for that

      "Americano? Yes.... Black or White? AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!!"

      Well, it may offend your delicate coffee-connoisseur sensibilities, but that stupidly named drink is what 'normal' people have to order to get a 'normal' cup of coffee. And yes: We normally want milk in it, and will get pi$$y if we're just handed a £3 coffee and the next customer is turned to.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    IT Angle

    Really?

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      QED

      IT people like coffee.

      C.

  31. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
    WTF?

    Milk

    Black coffee = simple coffee - with or without milk

    Have they invented black milk now?

  32. Ian Griffiths

    How about....

    Perhaps this isn't for the benefit of the customers, but to make it easier for the brain-dead staff serving them?

  33. Jim 59

    Pretentious ? Moi ?

    I'm all in favour of chucking cold water on pretentious names and associated marketing guff, at least when describing drink sizes ("tall", "vente" etc.). However "Frothy coffee" already exists and is quite different to Cappuccino. Keep the fancy foreign names, I say. It gives us Android users some glamour in our lives.

  34. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not everyone lives in London.

    Where there is a designer coffee shop on every street corner, or people use them socially to hang out.

    It's the same problem for Tea drinkers. I just want a cup of "builders", But I am presented with a pretentious list of designer labels and fruity crap.

    1. Psyx
      Flame

      Re: Not everyone lives in London.

      "It's the same problem for Tea drinkers. I just want a cup of "builders", But I am presented with a pretentious list of designer labels and fruity crap."

      I hear ya! And for all their wanky pretentious coffee making, they can't manage to brew a decent cuppa. This is sodding England, and you can't brew a cup of tea that doesn't taste like pot pori?

      Y'know what I want: Tea shops. Tea shops like coffee shops, that specialise in making tea, and making it right. Except they'll tart it up again into something sodding daft. "A doublon macon friandise blanc" it'll be.

    2. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Re: Not everyone lives in London.

      Go to starbucks for a cup of tea, and you get a paper cup with some hot, not boiling, water and one or two teabags. You get to stir it yourself, add the milk, add the sugar, dispose of the tea bags.

      For this privilege in London, you're pushing £3. Three fucking pounds.

      When I started working in London 8 years ago, there was this awesome greasy spoon in Smithfield I'd go to, you could get a cup of real builders tea for 40p. The tea brewed for hours at a time, was thick and black, you could make a spoon stick up in it. Magic.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Not everyone lives in London.

        "When I started working in London 8 years ago, there was this awesome greasy spoon in Smithfield I'd go to, you could get a cup of real builders tea for 40p. The tea brewed for hours at a time, was thick and black, you could make a spoon stick up in it. Magic."

        Wuss. If the spoon stands up, rather than corroding before your very eyes, you haven't brewed it enough.

        (I used to work in St. John street in that neck of the woods, other than the Jerusalem Tavern's St. Peter's on tap, it was pretty annoying , mostly)

    3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Not everyone lives in London.

      Asking for a tea - in a little "tea shoppe" in North Yorkshire.

      Is it for you?

      Quizzical look

      Well do you want builders tea or posh tea?

  35. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

    Easy solution:

    Don;t buy coffee from anywhere with the word 'grande' on the menu. names like 'espresso', 'americano', 'cappucino', etc. are fine - that's what the various drinks are called after all. IMHO, quantity should be expressed as 'single', 'double', etc., referring to the number of shots of espresso the drink is made with, or at a push, 'small', 'medium', or 'large'.

    Either that, or maybe we start insisitng that all foodstuffs be ordered with the quantities specified in the language of the country the food comes from. Go into a bakery and ask for 'deux croissants', or into the kebab shop and ask for a 'megalo giros me saltsa tsili', see how far you get.

  36. seven of five

    Pearls before swine

    I used to have a "pearls before swine" comic which went

    customer: "One double decaf tall coffe with vanilla flavour and cocoa on top"

    rat: "say <one regular coffee> or I punch you in the face"

    ...or something along this.

    Granted, this was more to make fun of the non-coffee-dinking-coffee-drinkers, the article still reminds me, though.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nothing new here

    When cappuccino first became popular in the UK coffee bars of the 1950s, it was known as "frothy coffee". Can someone explain why it is desirable or necessary to use the original Italian term for that kind of preparation?

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Nothing new here

      The Rebel, The one decent thing Tony Hancock ever did:

      waitress - what can I get you

      hancock - cup of coffee no froth

      waitress- no froth!!

      hancock - that's right -no froth

      waitress - I don't know why you come in here -you can get a coffee with no froth anywhere

      hancock - look, i want one cup of coffee with NO FROTH! - I want to drink it not wash me clothes in it

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nothing new here

      Because "frothy coffee" is not an accurate or precise description of the type of drink any more than "frothy beer" is, you bellend.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Nothing new here

        "Because "frothy coffee" is not an accurate or precise description of the type of drink any more than "frothy beer" is, you bellend."

        Ummm...yes, it's a fairly exact description. You don't get to choose the "brand" of coffee. Very few places offer a choice of bean or blend in the way that you can choose the brand or brew of beer.

        1. hitmouse

          Re: Nothing new here

          No, because (as I and others wrote above), the coffee itself is not frothed, it's simply capped with milk froth.

          See also "cake and icing".

        2. Jaques Croissant

          Re: Nothing new here

          "Ummm...yes, it's a fairly exact description. You don't get to choose the "brand" of coffee. Very few places offer a choice of bean or blend in the way that you can choose the brand or brew of beer."

          ..or it's prepared, which makes most of the difference.

          Yeah, either you're talking crap, or the hallucinations are getting stronger. Looking at the posting history, I am going for the former.

  38. Electric Panda
    Meh

    Old habits die hard

    I'm sure plenty of customers will continue to use the old terms and the staff will still respond as normal. Probably not much to see here.

  39. TheProf
    Happy

    I think it's a good idea!

    I've only ever had one cup of coffee from a franchise. Two in the morning at a motorway service station (which in my opinion is the best time to visit one.)

    I spent a few moments looking at the confusing array of names but couldn't work out what the hell was what.

    Me: Err, could you do me a large ordinary coffee?

    Helpful lady behind counter: How about an Americano?

    Me: What's that?

    HLBC: Black coffee.

    Me: Umm, I wanted a white coffee.

    HLBC: Would you like me to put some milk in it for you?

    Me: Oh ta! Thanks very much.

    And she didn't charge me extra for the milk.

    Phlegmatic British working woman 1, Media-type focus-group fancy naming scheme 0.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Same for clothes

    Haven't they made a big deal of using popular designers in their own clothing ranges? Will they adopt the same approach with labelling? "This One Is Very Expensive" "My My, This Is Extremely expensive" or "Seriously - You're Paying For the Designer's Name - It's Just A Shirt"

    Am sure there's a market for those after really really aspirational clothing and a really really milky coffee.

  41. David Evans

    Little England is alive and well I see...

    ...and I suppose all of you who rail against all that talkin' foreign nonsense refuse point blank to order Pizza or spaghetti don't you? "I'll have a flat bread with tomato,cheese and sausage, and none of yer "Mozzarella" or "pepperoni" mind, I'm watching you, and be quick about it Mussolini".

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Little England is alive and well I see...

      No and we don't mind ordering a Hamburger.

      But we do object to asking for a McBurger and McFries with a McCola to McGo.

      The same way we would object to being forced to order a medialion of ground aberdeen angus lightly broiled on a gas grill and served with a focciacia en-sliced avec garnish du gherkin

  42. Anonymous Noel Coward
    Trollface

    So...

    ...what're they calling Biscotti?

    1. Psyx

      Re: So...

      "..what're they calling Biscotti?"

      Grounds for an instant banning if you ask for it?

  43. Nick Kew Silver badge

    Does it not strike anyone else that, to be in a Debenhams in the first place, you've already run the gauntlet of their smells and cosmetics area on the ground floor and stink so much you can't taste whether the coffee is good or bad?

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Annoying.

    I find Debenhams annoying - which is unfortunate, because fundamentally I think they sell stuff that I would buy.

    1. The escalators are always arranged so that you have to walk through each floor to get onto the next escalator going in the same direction. In contrast, John Lewis always arrange them in an "X" so that you get off one and immediately onto the next.

    2. Constant noise over the loudspeakers telling me about special offers and store cards that I don't want, just too loud to be able to block out.

    3. Checkout operators who have a script that involves telling me that I have selected a "nice outfit" or asking if I've bought it for a holiday.

  45. barfle

    Sizing

    >> I hate Starosta coffee places where you have to piss around translating faux-italian names just to order a simple coffee. What's wrong with "small, medium, large" or, if they must, "regular, large, extra"?

    Would concur except that to avoid confusion Starbucks would have to call them "Large, Bucket and Fishtank".

  46. SirDigalot

    best coffee i had was in italy

    both Rome and Milan, I remember Milan specifically because we were in a swanky hotel and I managed to rack up a 300 pound room tab for ordering coffee all week (ok it was for our clients too when we had meetings but my boss was not too pleased :D)

    living stateside now all the coffee seems considerably better then the UK (did), however tea is a different story, I think they are dredging that crap up from boston habour still... and don't get me started on BACON

  47. Squeezer

    I had to laugh when I was at a conference in Turin last year and heard an American lady trying to order a "lar-tay" at the coffee bar, they'd got no idea what she was asking for -- and asking for it over and over more loudly and slowly each tim ("laarr-tayy") just made it worse.

    For those who can't see what's wrong with this, it's a "caffe latte" in Italy, never just a "latte" -- which would be a glass of milk -- and is pronounced with a short "a" because it's Italian :-)

  48. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Pass the popcorn

    Watching the Daily Mail tendency railing against the effeminate and immoral foreign coffee practises is a perfect way to pass the last few minutes of a slow Friday.

    (Even if I am low tech at home, only owning an aeropress and a cafitiere, I can at least prepare emergency caffeine sources that taste OK, which clearly makes me a paedophile and a foreign, or something)

  49. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    golly

    My last employment in the coffee business was in the days when we brewed it in a pot, poured it black, and let the customer add cream as desired. There not that many espresso machines in the US then.

    But I think that Debenhams should not stop with coffee. Knives could be "metal objects with one sharp edge", spoons could be "metal objects with an indentation", and so on. Of course, you'd have to leave the table unset to get the proper effect here.

  50. This post has been deleted by its author

  51. Nosher
    Stop

    Frankly, I'm with Debenhams on this. Anything that has got so utterly pretentious that it requires a "trained barista" to make it is so up its own arse with its self-important sense of metropolitan uber-trendiness that it's not even funny any more. Watching people chugging one of any number of varieties of *the same basic drink* out of their baby sippy cups just makes me squirm.

    1. hitmouse

      Yeah, and I hate to have a baker or pastry-chef to be making my bread or cakes.

  52. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The starbuckisation of the UK must stop

    If I am in Tesco, I want a plain ordinary cafe, not some poncy overpriced coffee shop. Many stores now have a deal with Costa. On the rare occasion I want fancy coffee I go to Starbucks anyway :) And you don't have to be a moron not to know what "mocha" is - just British. If I want to speak Italian, I will go to night school :P

  53. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just do what I do.

    Walk into Starbucks, look as innocent as possible and ask for;

    "Coffee, milk two please."

    Brilliant.

    1. ChrisInAStrangeLand

      ""Coffee, milk two please."

      Brilliant."

      You've correctly asked for a small (they call it a short and for the purposes of upselling don't put it on display) filtered coffee, with milk and two sugars. Starbucks will always, always understand this and will be happy to serve it and pocket the $1.90 gross margin.

  54. Archibald Trumpetbeetle

    Good for them.

    A lot of people have no interest in playing the coffee-wanker game.

    At work the other day, some chap came in for a meeting with us and we got some coffees from the refectory. It "proudly servers" Starbucks' coffee. After a while he noticed the starbucks logo on the cup and said "Ah it's Starbucks'. I thought it was good !". I had to stop myself laughing.

    Now I don't claim to know anything about coffee, but to me Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee. Mass-masket shit for plebians. No one serious about food goes to McDonald's. Does anyone serious about coffee go to Starbucks? Even the name sounds tacky. I feel dirty if I go in such a place.

    1. disgruntled yank Silver badge

      Seriously

      "Does anyone serious about coffee go to Starbucks?"

      Perhaps. But it doesn't sound as if anyone solemn about coffee goes there. What if you aren't looking for the coffee equivalent of the Tea Ceremony, but just want a cup of coffee? Need you slip in wearing a mask to avoid losing your coffee cred?

      "No one serious about food goes to McDonald's."

      The late, great Julia Child liked their fries. Nobody serious about food goes to McDonald's for fine dining, I agree.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Good for them.

      "Now I don't claim to know anything about coffee, but to me Starbucks is the McDonald's of coffee. Mass-masket shit for plebians. No one serious about food goes to McDonald's. Does anyone serious about coffee go to Starbucks? Even the name sounds tacky. I feel dirty if I go in such a place."

      The main use case is when you're freezing your bits off on a railway platform, and want a hot drink.. The fact that the it's sweet, overfrothed crap matters less then, as the feeling coming back into your face matters more. It really isn't what you'd buy when you want decent-tasting cawfee.

      (Yeah, ok, I am a the patron saint of "..and an extra shot, please", as I like to taste it. I might have to get me an espresso at lunch.. damn you people)

  55. cortland

    And on the OTHER end of the cup

    Headline: Coffee-Drinking Provides Raw Sewage Red Flag

    http://www.livescience.com/17181-caffeine-coffee-sewage-contamination.html

This topic is closed for new posts.

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019