A few years ago, Starbucks introduced a new caffeinated beverage, which they call the “Flat White.” When I saw that, I thought, “Great. Now they’ve come up with a drink that describes me in two words.”
But I was intrigued by my newly discovered doppelganger in espresso form and decided to learn more. It turns out that (according to the Starbucks website) this drink is composed of “expertly steamed milk poured over ristretto shots of espresso and finished with a Starbucks signature dot.” Ristretto, by the way, is a shot of espresso made with the normal amount of coffee but extracted using less water, resulting in what is known — by those who know these things — as a “short shot” of espresso.
Furthermore, I am pleased to report, also according to Starbucks a Flat White is the “coffee connoisseur’s choice” and it is “expertly handcrafted for a genuine Flat White experience.”
So really, that does sound a lot like me. For one thing, at 5-feet-and-a-half-inch, I am quite the short shot. I am easily, if not expertly, steamed (by drivers blocking the intersection, kids spilling backpacks and dirty socks all over the kitchen…it doesn’t take much ), and although I don’t have that signature dot, I do have a signature nervous tic. Moreover, anyone who meets me is guaranteed to have a genuine Flat White experience.
Yes, I do consider myself a coffee connoisseur, and in my opinion, the Flat White is cappuccino done right.
This whole exercise got me thinking some more until I eventually came up with a postulation: Just as dogs are said to resemble their owners (and vice versa), I think that caffeinated beverages often resemble those who drink them. We merely need to come up with some more descriptive titles. In fact, there is a vast potential for coffeehouse beverage names that would aptly describe the drinker, or perhaps reveal something of the drinker’s personality.
Here are a few examples:
The Snarky Ristretto: A short shot of jolting java, pulled by highly trained baristas and delivered like a bracing slap of aftershave to those who want to start their day with biting humor.
The Cheap Shot: Like the Snarky Ristretto, but more intense.
The Double Chocolatey Chip Crème Frappuccino Blended Meme: Interlaced layers of cream and sugar, topped with sugar-infused cream and drizzles of chocolate-flavored sugar, caressed with a hint of mocha and a dollop of cultural milieu, for Instagramming teens.
Magic Chocolate Screamelatta: A soothing blend of crushed ice, sweet cream and potently dark cocoa powder, empathetically shaken and poured over a double shot of rum, for mothers with screaming toddlers.
The Skinny Screamelatta: The same as above, without the ice, cream or cocoa powder.
Espresso con Panna Allegro con Tutti: A double shot of exclusively procured and painstakingly roasted espresso with perfect peaks of micro-foamed and nimbly aerated cream, crafted in under 60 seconds, for coffee snobs in a hurry.
So, my fellow coffee aficionados, you can play, too. As you sip your brew of choice, consider a few things. For instance, who’s drinking the Emo Blend?
Brooding connoisseurs under the age of 23, who want to enjoy the deepest, darkest coffee offered and charge it to their father’s credit card?
Then go back to your own coffee and consider this: What’s in your cup?