Thursday, April 17, 2008

*Gags Audibly*

Okay, so I forego my usual lunchtime walk today since it's windy and I've developed a sore throat (thanks to the wind, most likely). I decide on Quizno's for lunch and a stop at Starbucks for a tea after. I get my sandwich and head next door, eagerly anticipating an iced green tea for my poor aching throat. I talk with the baristas, order my drink and wait for it. Once it's in my hands, I take a big gulp, expecting a cold, crisp swallow of tea. Instead, I find myself fighting to not spit it on the carpet.


Now, I know that there are a LOT of people out there who DO like sweet tea, but I am not one of them. I haven't used sugar in my tea for close to twenty-five years. I won't go into the reasons behind it, but it wasn't pleasant. The barista sees my face and asks what was wrong. I explain and she gladly fixes it for me. Normally, they ask, but not this time. While I'm waiting, the nice young man who'd originally helped me asked if I'd forgotten something. I said no and explained why I was still there.

Here's the kicker: he told me they are no longer ALLOWED to ask if you want your tea sweetened. And, if you don't ask for it unsweetened, you get sugar. WTF? He also told me that there had been complaints that the baristas were asking too many questions. So, no more "Do you want that hot or iced?" or any other similar questions that may lead to you actually GETTING YOUR DRINK THE WAY YOU WANT IT. Now, I KNOW how to order my drink: iced double venti nonfat mocha/caramel syrup latte (depending on my mood), so that's not a big deal. But I had no idea the tea defaulted to sweet… I feel for the first-timers going into a Starbucks these days.

My biggest concern is the amount of waste this is going to cause. I mean, really. People ordering something new might forget a step in the process. Or for those of us who didn't grow up in the South, who'd expect their tea to be sweet? During my trip to Texas, I didn't order tea to drink for that reason alone. I knew that most likely it'd be sweetened (and that I'd probably get looked at all crazy-like if I asked for unsweet tea lol). And what about those who always drink iced, or live in a hot climate and think it's crazy to drink hot coffee when it's 115ยบ outside? I know that Starbucks automatically defaults to a hot drink if you don't specify. And if they're not allowed to ask any more?

I know, it's not that big of a deal, but come on people! They NEED to ask questions to make sure you are getting what you want. Can you imagine how much money they're going to lose by dumping out drinks? I guess that's why I default to Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf. All I have to do is smile at the cute little boy behind the counter and he makes my drink. J

~Your Desert-Living Friend Who DOESN'T LIKE SWEET TEA!




Redheaded Mama said...

Actually, most of the restaurants here don't offer sweet tea. If they do, they ask if you want it.
I'd rather ask for sweet tea than unsweetened tea, just doesn't make sense, ya know? Kinda stupid.

Crazy Lady said...

Yeah, maybe not, but at least you can ASK for it. Here, you ask for sweet tea anywhere but at Lucille's and they point to the sugar on the table. LOL But I'm with you - tea comes unsweetened. Sugar is an additive. LOL Why should it be the other way around?