A typical morning at Starbucks

I spend a lot of time (and money) at Starbucks.

I never use it as a study spot because I get distracted far too easily- usually, I grab it after a Pure Barre class or on the way to the library.

So on Thursday morning when I went solely for the purpose to observe, I was a little surprised at what I saw.

No one was talking. I sat with a classmate and friend, Leah, and we both listened for interesting orders and conversation. I didn’t notice anything special. In fact, everyone in the coffee shop was sitting with headphones in, studying or reading the paper. Leah and I were the only people talking, with the exception of the barista taking orders.

So I listened to people order. I wondered how each person came up with his or her order. I wondered why some people justified a venti frappuccino at 8 a.m- they must not come every day.  And I wondered how anyone could stand the taste of three espresso shots over ice. (Gross!)

I gathered two things from my trip to observe at Starbucks.

First, you can probably learn a lot about a person from their order. I order the same thing every day. A grande vanilla iced coffee with nonfat milk. It says, “I come every day. Can’t get anything crazy. But I can’t drink coffee straight- hence the milk and vanilla.” The really particular orders probably come from really particular people- the thing that baffles me about people in Starbucks every time I go is the way people behave when their complicated order isn’t perfect. Most people aren’t friendly about it- usually they look annoyed.

Second, the fact that I can’t study at Starbucks is a serious problem. Everyone looked concentrated on whatever they were doing at this time of the morning, but I couldn’t even concentrate on watching them concentrate. Pretty bad on my part.

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