Friday, September 17, 2010

On the task of ordering iced coffee

I like iced coffee. Plain. Black. Straight iced coffee.

I don't want to say that people are stupid--even if experience keeps illustrating the idea--but it is phenomenal how difficult it is to order plain iced coffee!

I've tried it at McDonald's with varying degrees of success. I find it is usually necessary to explain in very plain English what I want. "A large iced coffee. No sweetener. No creamer. Just plain, black coffee--on ice."

"Oh," they typically say, "So you want just coffee on ice?"

"Yes. That's right!"

If you go inside and order at the counter, this works fairly well. If you try at the drive-thru, well...

I've received what they already assert is iced coffee--with cream and sugar.
I've received iced coffee with no cream, but sweetened to within an inch of its caffeinated life.
I once received a plain black coffee--hot! (shakes head in disbelief)

At Starbucks, it usually goes better. They are nearly coffee-exclusivists, so they're more used to weird java orders.

"Venti iced black coffee, please."

"You want any cream or sugar in that?"

"Nope. Just straight, (and then, in case they've already forgotten) on ice."


This usually works, though I've had baristas tell me that they were all out of iced coffee, and would it be okay if they just poured some reguar coffee over a cup full of ice? I've had them ask that I settle for an iced Americano (coffee + water.)  It's better than nothing, I guess. 

Most recently I went in and ordered right at the counter:

"I'd like a venti iced black coffee, please."

"That's it?"

"It's enough, I think."

He was disappointed that I hadn't asked for something complex that took 5 minutes to describe fully! The best part of this story is this: When my order was up, he told me he couldn't figure out how to ring up a plain iced coffee, so it was "compliments of the house"!

Finally, I give you the Allen's Brain-approved comical description of iced black coffee. When they ask if you want cream or sugar, tell them:

"Nope. Just cold, black and bitter--like my ex's heart." I don't have an ex, but this line never fails to get a big laugh.

1 comment:

The Ironic Catholic said...

You don't intercede to St Expressus of Java, that's the problem.

(Very funny btw)