If you follow me on Twitter, you know that the Starbucks closest to the house where I grew up closes on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It tortures me. Yes, I know I should care about the baristas spending time with their families but…ugh.
On some holidays, I have found that a local Dunkin Donuts is sometimes open. But if you follow me on Twitter, you also know that I think Dunkin’s coffee is a poor substitute for Starbucks or a good independent cafe.* To try to come anywhere close to satisfaction at Dunkin, I order their largest iced latte with an extra shot of espresso and decline all of their ridiculous flavorings.
But I’m still left craving my daily iced venti latte.
This year, it occurred to me: why not order tomorrow’s coffee today?
On Christmas Eve, I popped into Starbucks and ordered one latte to drink immediately and one for Christmas morning.
I would exclaim “GENIUS!” but the real exclamation warranted here is “DUH!” because I should have thought of this a long time ago.
If you decide to try this for yourself, here are a few things to keep in mind:
This should be obvious but just in case it isn’t: order your regularly-iced drinks sans ice. You don’t want your drink watered down.
Tell the barista what you’re doing. S/he will want to either only fill the cup about 2/3 of the way (to avoid creating a drink with too much milk and too little espresso) or add an extra shot and fill it to the brim. I went with the latter option.
I’m told that ordering just shots of espresso to save for the next day doesn’t work well – tastes sour.
I can’t imagine this would work well with hot drinks – sorry.
On Christmas morning, I woke up horribly sick (that’s another blog post to come) but at least I had my iced latte. Oh, and PRESENTS.
My issue isn’t pumpkin, per se, but fake flavorings. I’ll take my latte straight, thanks.
New York Magazine (my favorite) recently ran a piece under the headline “Pumpkin is the New Bacon – Taste the ubiquity!” that confirmed my suspicions.
The weird thing about pumpkin’s rise to baconlike ubiquity is that pumpkin, on its own, is not a very appetizing food at all. A dense and stringy fruit, it needs the accompaniment of a lot of sugar and spices before it becomes particularly palatable.
The secret of Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte, for instance, is that it’s just a latte spruced up with pumpkin-flavored syrup—connoisseurs cite cinnamon, nutmeg, clove. Dunkin’ Donuts takes the feint further, dropping the “spice” from the name, though that’s mostly what you’re tasting. But no matter: If a restaurant served actual pumpkin purée, the taste and texture might shatter customers’ illusions. “Pumpkin,” on the other hand, is delicious.
Syrup, eh? I’m not into it. If Fall 2013 brings another pumpkin spice latte shortage rumor, don’t blame me.