Thursday, March 1, 2012

Author uses Kickstarter to fund publishing book about Starbucks

Does anyone really understand the Starbucks menu? Or the language? A local entrepreneur is using Kickstarter to acquire funding support for a publication of a book that breaks the Starbucks code.

Kenneth Brown, former Starbucks manager and author of the new book Inside the Cup: Translating Starbucks into a Drinkable Language – says he hopes to secure enough funding “to launch a publishing project dedicated to helping p people enjoy their drinks a lot more and alleviate the anxiety that is experienced in the process.”

“Most people who go to Starbucks usually get the same thing because they don’t know what we’re missing out on”. His book takes a lot of the mystery out of the amazing array of choices one faces. Here’s a sampler of some of the advice he offers up to coffee lovers.

1. Don’t be shy, ask questions. The number of possible drinks is ridiculous. Many don’t even make the menu. If there’s something that you want, but don’t see it, just ask the barista. They can probably make it. And don’t worry, you won’t look silly – every customer has questions.

2. Go Healthy. Drinks are normally made with 2% milk but you can do better. Get nonfat or soy, ask for sugar-free or less syrup, axe the whipped cream, or get a smaller size Skinny drinks are nonfat and sugar-free.

3. Go Unhealthy. Sometimes don’t you just want what you want? Whole milk tastes better. Sugary syrup tastes better. Extra whip feels better.

4. Adjust your caffeine intake. Ounce for ounce there’s way more caffeine in espresso than drip coffee. But your drink only has one or two ounces (shots) of caffeine so you might need an extra shot, or two, or seven if you can’t wake up. Not a caffeine fan? Order half caff or fewer shots.

5. Complementary Flavors. If your drink is getting boring then add another flavor. Great pairings include: chocolate and anything (especially strawberry), cinnamon and caramel, raspberry and white chocolate, green or passion tea and raspberry, chai tea and vanilla, and a whole slew more.

6. It’s too sweet. If your drink is too sweet then reduce the amount of syrup. When you have two flavors in your drink the syrup is doubled up so cut both in half to return to a normal level of sweetness.

7. Foam Lovers. If you love foam then ask not only for extra but for creamy as well. Ask for the foam to be made with whole milk. It’s so much better.

8. More Tasty Goodness. Want to taste more of the sweet flavors of that creamy goodness you’re drinking? Reduce the amount of espresso or take it out altogether. Or, you can simply ask for extra flavoring.

9. Whip and Drizzle. If you’re looking for a little splurge adding extra whip is always good. You might even be able to get the baristas to make you chocolate or peppermint whip. Oh yeah! And caramel drizzle just makes everything better.

10. Sample, please. When in doubt just ask if you can try something. Starbucks is sample city, of course they’ll say yes.

Inside the Cup can currently be purchased on Enthusiastic customers can add their name inside the book.

Kenny was born and raised in the Lake George region of upstate New York. He was educated at Northeastern University and Babson College. Kenny and his wife Ashley make their home in Boston, Massachusetts.

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