According to a recent survey by Accounting Principals, Americans really love their coffee, spending an average of $1,092 per year (about $5 per day) on the steaming hot, caffeine-loaded drink that is as ubiquitous today as the smartphone. According to the National Coffee Association, Americans spend more than $40 billion on coffee each year. Starbucks, one of the nation’s largest franchises, with about 11,457 stores, owns a large slice of that $40 billion pie — $14.9 billion in total revenues (2013 figures). That translates to millions of caffeine-addicted consumers waiting patiently in line each day, waiting for pretentious baristas to create their custom coffee concoctions according to arcane jargon (meant to justify the highly inflated price, no doubt). So how do you kill all that time? One day, while standing in line at Starbucks and experiencing varying degrees of caffeine withdrawal, three college students, Jill, Wilson, and Nora (two English majors, and one history major) had an epiphany — “What would a famous author or literary character order at Starbucks if they lived in the modern world?” they pondered. Faster than you can say “double tall mocha!” a quirky, brilliant little blog was born: Literary Starbucks. Whether you enjoy reading the trio’s cheeky entries or coming up with your own, you will never get bored standing in line at Starbucks ever again. Below are some highlights from Literary Starbucks that focus on famous authors.
Jane Austen goes up to the counter and orders a cinnamon spice latte. The barista is a bore. The man behind her in line orders exactly what she orders; he too is a bore. He is handsome in the conventional sense, but there is no chance they could ever be married.
Jorge Luis Borges goes up to the counter. He comes to the conclusion that the possible permutations of size, flavor, and strength stretch far beyond what any one man could experience. He orders every permutation and moves to the back of the room, where he will spend the rest of his days attempting to catalog all the possibilities of the infinite Starbucks.
Lewis Carroll goes up to the counter and orders a cup of tea. He goes to sit down at a table, but becomes increasingly agitated. He forces everyone to switch seats so that he can get a seat by the window. Ten minutes later (although the clock on the wall still reads 6pm), he decides he’s had enough of the window and makes everyone move again so that he can sit near the counter. He continues forcing everyone to rotate around the room until he is alone in the Starbucks. The barista is so frustrated that she threatens to behead him if he doesn’t leave. He exits quietly, but not before stealing all of the tarts from the pastry case.
Dante goes up to the counter and orders a caramel frappucino. However, he doesn’t have enough money to pay for it. He needs to walk nine whole blocks to his friend Virgil’s house, borrow the change, and come back before he can finally get his coffee.
T.S. Eliot goes up to the counter and orders a venti coffee black. He looks around the counter-top but can’t find any teaspoons. He leaves before his coffee is ready.
Harper Lee goes up to the counter and orders a grande cappuccino. She thinks it tastes great, and the other people in the shop seem to agree, so she never orders another drink again.
C.S. Lewis tries to go up to the counter, but as soon as he opens the inner door of the Starbucks, he is no longer inside a coffee shop – he has been transported to a snowy wonderland. It doesn’t matter. This world has Turkish delight in it, and that’s what he really wanted, anyway.
Jack London goes up to the counter with twelve sled dogs in tow. The barista shows him the door.
Arthur Miller goes up to the counter and orders a venti coffee black, no cream or sugar. He sits down in the corner and drinks it slowly. By the time he’s finished, he has failed as a husband, a father, a man, and an American.
J.D. Salinger goes up to the counter and orders an iced skinny flavored latte. He pays for it, but when the barista tries to give it to him, he instead attempts to engage her in conversation, claiming that he didn’t really want the coffee in the first place. Also, everyone is a phony.
William Shakespeare goes up to the counter and orders a large cappucino with cinnamon. “Sir, we don’t have larges here. We have ventis,” says the barista. Shakespeare stares at him. “What’s in a name?” he asks.
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For further reading: http://literarystarbucks.tumblr.com