Cafe Chemistry

One of my morning rituals is my precisely timed trip to the local Starbucks, where I generally buy a caramel macchiato for myself, and a banana muffin for Fuzzy. This morning, since we were at the eye doctor, we went to Big Apple Bagels instead, and then I trekked across the parking lot to the mini-Starbucks that recently opened there. (Big Apple Bagels does sell coffee, but it doesn't taste good, and their espresso is too bitter.)

I've been to this Starbucks before, and found that the staff was unnaturally friendly. Disturbingly so. “Welcome to Starbucks, what can we make for you today?” the manager booms when I visit on the way back from lunch.

I thought the atmosphere might be different at 9:15 on a weekday morning, and entered bravely, expecting a line such as the ones I'm accustomed to at the cafe on my own block.

There was no line. There was a note on the door that said, “Sorry, we're out of soy,” and there were three people milling about the tight confines of the room. There were an equal number of baristas. My home Starbucks is promoting coconut mocha frapps, so I asked if this one had coconut syrup. “We don't,” they said.

“Oh, well,” I replied. “A venti caramel macchiato, then, please.”

While I was being rung up the young woman actually making the drinks called over, “I can make it taste like coconut, if you want.”

I asked how. She explained that if you combine 2 pumps of vanilla with one pump of Irish cream, it tastes like coconut. “Try it,” she suggested. “We won't charge for the extra syrup.”

So, feeling slightly adventurous, I agreed to try the results of her cafe chemistry.

She was right. The combination of flavors not only tastes like coconut, it smells like coconut.

My friends, I introduce to you, the Coconut Mock-iato.

P.S. For those of you following my LASIK journey. 's LJ has been updated with the results of today's follow-up.