Working at Starbucks when you hate coffee

Maggie Flournoy

A & E Editor

I hate coffee.  I really completely hate coffee (but I don’t mind the smell).  When I started working at Starbucks my partners (we call each other partners instead of coworkers at Starbucks) assured me that I would be guzzling down coffee and lattes by the end of the month.  That was over two months ago, and I haven’t willingly tried it since.

When I first started training everything went smoothly. I went through the motions, took the courses, and learned the recipes.  I didn’t have an issue until it was time for me to taste test the espresso.  I’m not completely certain, but I think a part of the training at Starbucks is tasting each type of espresso, coffee, and drink on the menu.

The doubts started to set in as my trainer cued the regular and blonde shots on the thousand dollar machines.  How could I work at Starbucks when the only drink I had ever purchased was a Strawberry and Crème Frappuccino (which, by the way, has been discontinued and replaced by the Serious Strawberry Frappuccino)?

When I say shots of espresso, I mean literal shots of espresso.  In glass shot glasses.  It felt like a party (ironic, because alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant).  I understand the reasoning behind making us try all the different kinds.  If a customer were to ask which they should get, I should be able to aid them in figuring out what they would like.  There’s supposed to be some distinguishing flavors in the regular and blonde espresso, but when I tried them the only thing I noticed was that they really burned.  The blonde more so.

“Do you recommend the blonde or the regular?”

“I’d say the regular, it seemed to burn less than the blonde.”

I realized that my descriptions of the shots might not help business.

I have seriously no clue how people come in every single day and order a quad espresso on ice.  Taste aside, with that much caffeine in my system I wouldn’t sleep for a week.

I’ve been working at Starbucks for a little while now, enough that I am not the newest hire, and I have still never tasted the classic Starbuck’s Pike Place.  I don’t know what the difference between the dark and medium roast is other than apparently the dark roast is more bitter?  The blonde roast looks lighter in the cup.  My only contact with the coffee has been the numerous times it has burned my skin while I pour a cup for a customer.

I can at least now say that I have tried more than just the Strawberry and Crème Frappuccino.  My list now includes Green Tea Lemonade, Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, and the Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino.  None of those include coffee.

I really want to try the infamous Pumpkin Spice Latte, now having made well over fifty.

My hatred of coffee aside, working at Starbucks is actually pretty amazing.  The environment is great (at least, when the customers are respectful), my partners are great, and the benefits are great.

It’s probably one of the best first jobs I could have gotten, my only wish is that I didn’t come home smelling like coffee every day.

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