Let me start by saying that I am not proud to have been a Starbucker. When they started popping up like zits on the face of the Earth, I hated them for being the corporate tools that we all knew they were. I rolled my eyes when I heard stay-at-home Moms listing the 14 adjectives that it took to order a freaking cup of coffee. I shook my head at the young college kids who were paying for a drink that cost as much as my month’s worth of Ramen noodles once cost me. I started out hating Starbucks just on principle.
However, years later, I fell in with a Starbucks crowd. Peer pressure and crowd mentality are powerful influences. It started out innocently enough… a black coffee with self-serve cream and Splenda and a side of pretentiousness. Then with my plant-based dieting switch my coffee orders got creative. My most recent regular drink order would have made most stay-at-home Moms shake their heads: a hot, venti, sugar-free-hazel-nut-soy-latte. I’m no wimp though, I would dust it with cinnamon myself. I couldn’t bring myself to ask for that on top of the other emasculating parts of the order.
A black cup of coffee at Starbucks is about two bucks. Then you can add as much cream, half-n-half, or whole milk you want. Hell, you can pour your coffee in the garbage can and just drink whole cream if that’s what you want to do. When I was on Atkins I got close to doing just that. At the time cream was a no-carb food and I could have as much as I wanted. For health reasons. I’m still apologizing to my circulatory system.
The cost of Starbuck’s coffee climbs the more complicated your order sounds. For instance, the manly soy latte beverage I was in the habit of ordering cost $5.50ish. It fills me with shame to type that number out and look at it. Dave Ramsey, financial expert, even references the Latte Effect to describe these kinds of expenditures that bleed us dry with small daily purchases. I didn’t go daily, but the people that do are spending $5 a day, $35 a week, $140 a month, and around $1700 a year. On a fru-fru coffee drink. It comes in a paper cup. You drink it. Or you could visit Europe, but whatever.
I made myself feel better with my 1-3 purchases a week because I used the Starbucks Gold card. This card took off some of the extra costs associated with supremely fru-fru beverages. When I paid with the card it reduced my coffee-like drink cost to $4.11. Still embarrassing, but it made justification easier. The items that card holding Starbuckers got for free included the sugar free syrup and the soy. <insert record scratching sound effect> Whaaaa?? You pay extra for soy without the Gold card?
You think you were shocked, that poor DJ just scratched the heck out of his favorite record.
When you visit a Starbucks and buy a black coffee you can’t have free soy. There is none waiting for you in a chilled carafe at the self serve station. They offer several octane levels of dairy products but not an ounce of free soy without a Starbucks Gold card. You pay extra to have soy milk in your latte and you certainly pay more to have it in your Double Ristretto Venti Nonfat Organic Soy Chocolate Brownie Frappuccino Extra Hot with Soy Foam Upside Down Double Blended… but you can help yourself to a free gallon of half-n-half if you want.
Now, earlier this week Starbucks announced that they would be revoking the Gold card’s power to get the soy milk for free. This means that everyone, everywhere will be forced to pay extra for compassion, health and environmental stewardship IF they choose to buy coffee from Starbucks. It’s a sixty cent surcharge for the lactose intolerant- an upcharge for what some people would consider a disability. Sixty cents extra to avoid the barbaric dairy industry and their treatment of the bovine community.
Warning, PG-13 rant: Well screw you Starbucks. I can take blinders off as easily as I put them on and THEY ARE OFF NOW. You are a cancer on the land and to the people. Your choice to charge extra for soy milk is a huge slap in the face and one which I refuse to stand for. I was annoyed that I needed a card to get my CHEAPER soy milk added to my coffee for free- but I’ll be damned if I will spend another red penny on your company because of this. You already lulled me into paying $4.11 for a drink. I was one of your Sheeple and I baaaa’d right along with the rest of them. Baaaaa venti… baaaa frappe…. baaaaa espresso. NO MORE! In fact- you go ahead and repeal your dumb ass decision and I’m still not coming back. I will return to your insanely expensive coffee if and when soy milk AND almond milk (which you don’t even offer) are AS free and AS available as all of the dairy products you offer. Fire the short sighted and ignorant MBA’s that told you this was a good and profitable move. Fire the executives that agreed with this bullshit. Prove that you don’t hate vegans and the lactose intolerant. Show us you aren’t a money machine that is happy to oil your cogs with the blood of dairy cows. Prove you aren’t as evil as you are revealing yourself to be.
Or rot in Hell. I’ll be happy either way.