Because I don’t drink coffee, I’ve happily never been part of the tired, huddled masses yearning to drink coffee at Starbucks in the mornings.

But recently I had occasion to go to a Starbucks for the first time in five years or so, and what should appear before my very eyes? A green tea latte with coconut milk.

Before this the fanciest drink I would ever get was Cherry Coke Zero from those fountain drink machines at Qdoba and Wendys that have 100-plus flavors. So it felt a bit pretentious to order a latte. Then there was the awkwardness of trying to pronounce “grande.” I have been using Duolingo every day this year to brush up on my French and desperately wanted to pronounce it the French way. Then that would make me look even more pretentious. I worried I would butcher “venti” too. So I just said “large” and got away with it.

The experience was pleasant enough that I thought maybe I should start going to Starbucks regularly. At first I resisted, because I couldn’t get past the fact that this felt too hipster and would be as bad as shopping regularly at Whole Foods. I looked carefully in the Starbucks parking lot and didn’t see a parking spot with a “preferred parking for hybrid vehicles only” sign so that made me feel better. Suddenly I found myself coming up with justifications to go to Starbucks

“It’s Wednesday! I deserve a green tea latte! But it’s $5. I know, I’ll make a meal out of it. It has plenty of calories, 12 grams of protein, lots of calcium, and a few vitamins. So it’s not much more expensive than a pricey protein bar and much tastier.”

“I’m hot after mowing the yard. I deserve an iced green tea latte!”

“Daughter has a cold. A hot chai tea latte will help her with her congestion. While I’m there, I might as well get myself a green tea latte!”

“It’s the first day of the Monona Farmer’s Market. It’s just down the road from Starbucks, how convenient! We’ll get tea afterwards to wash down the Chippy’s popcorn!”

But, really, going to Starbucks regularly isn’t that sustainable from a budget perspective. I did some Googling to find a local source for matcha powder so I could make my own lattes and discovered a tea shop on the east side that sells it. And they also sell lattes at a more affordable price than Starbucks. Well then. Time to set a course for Jade Mountain Café!

This Humor Me column originally appeared in the Herald-Independent on May 7, 2016.

Filed under: Anita's PostsHumor Column

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