What really bad coffee / espresso beverage did you used to swear by, but now can't even think about drinking?

And furthermore, what are you drinking now?

For example, I used to down 3 or 4 (to lapse into Starbuckease) a quad tall 4 pump vanilla breve with whip lattes nearly every day when I worked there for 4.5 years.

I tried one about a year ago just for old times sake and nearly redeposited it on my shoes. It was like hot, melted ice cream and was soooo sickeningly sweet. I've been apologizing to myself about it ever since.

Now, I'm all about straight shots. macchiatos and sometimes a 5-6 oz capp if I need something sweet (hold the whip).

We all evolve. It's good to remember where you came from.

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I was never a regular Sbux customer, but when I did go I would always get a Frappuccino. *shudder* Now when I want a milkshake I go to a burger joint.

My day now starts with a french press or drip cup of whatever didn't sell at the farmers' market the previous weekend. I don't drink coffee more than 2 weeks past the roast date, nor do I ever add cream or sugar to brewed coffee (life's too short to drink coffee that needs adulterants). If I can make it to a good local shop I'll get a 6oz double capp or a single macchiato. I LOVE being a snob!!!
Ok... the coffee I made at my first coffee job was SOOOOO bad that I wouldn't even drink it. I would actually go to another coffee shop down the street and order a 16oz double vanilla latte. Simple, sweet, and milky.

Now, it's a french-press, capp, or espresso... nothing over 5oz, unless I'm testing out recipes. The closest I've ever gotten those vanilla lattes are when I'm in the mood for a dessert drink in the evening, a few drops of vanilla extract in the capp milk.

It's actually shocking now when ever I have a sip of coffee that has sugar in it... freaks me out; on first sip I almost spit it out.

My how we change with time. Thank you Andy Newbom for making me drink the good stuff. I tell customers all the time... " Just try it without the sugar. This coffee is unlike anything else. It will change your life. Promise. It changed mine."
Bout four years ago I was goin for sugar-free hazelnut soy lattes at Starbucks... One thing they've been very successful at, as I can attest to, is making coffee in general appealing to the younger generation. Even more so today, I have kids from the elementary school next door requesting that liquid candy their moms buy them at Starbucks.

Anyhow, I'm with Monica on this one: coffee that's been adulterated with even the slightest bit of sugar really stands out in the most repulsing way... Sometimes rather unfortunate, but now I'm extremely picky and I've become a bit of a purist. So much that the only drink I actually enjoy besides a good espesso or a fresh cup from a press is a 6 oz. cappuccino. Any more milk I feel drowns out the coffee.
When I worked at the Jolly Green Giant a few years back I used to be madly in love with a 6/7 pump "grande" cinnamon dolce latte with whip and cinnamon sugar sprinkles. I didn't even drink coffee at that time, but was working shifts at 4:30 a.m.
When I first started to "try" drinking coffee I drank 12 oz. lattes with 1 oz. of chocolate and 1/2 ounce caramel.
I now drink double ristrettos, Chris Deferio's infamous triple ristretto, and I walk around with a 6 oz. capp when I'm busying myself on the computer or other things.
I used to be addicted in gingerbread syrup in everything. Either as steamers (which I didn't actually realise were completely devoid of coffee!), Costa Coffee's massively overpriced Gingerbread lattes (usually at the kiosk at the station when my train was late) or gingerbread frappes. Don't get me wrong, I still love ginger with coffee, but those blends are sooooooo sweet nowadays I can't drink them. I get spiced blends - I know this is blasphemous to espresso enthusiasts but it makes sense if you are drinking Turkish and middle-eastern style coffee, where its ground with ginger/cinnamon/cardamon etc.

I used to fuel and amuse teenagers in my cafe by creating "uber-coffees" - three espressos, mixed with black bitter cocoa, a pinch of cinnamon and sweetened if necessary with almond syrup. Closest I could get to Turkish style coffee with a gaggia machine. They were actually pretty good, highly addictive, and it was great fun to try and scrape the teenagers off the ceiling when they had one too many!!
The Depth Charge/Red eye/etc... used to be my drink of choice, but too much bad dark roast lead me to my new favorite, the americano. When I really need it I take it as a six-pack in a short cup (what ever that is where I may be). Mmm
I remember when I was in middle school, making myself drink straight shots of espresso just cause it was the cool thing to do(even though I had to hide my horrified face). However the more I drank it, the more I liked it until one day when the lie became the truth.

Now not to say I havent had my runs with the much sweeter crowd(no pun intended). One job I had, the owner wanted me to come up with other drinks for his shop. One, I so proudly named "sugar shot", was 10 shots of my mexican espresso...basically just mexican coffee, along with 6 oz of B-52 flavoring. That was all I drank for 3 months. Even the thought...man, nope.

Today I cant deal with milk in my coffee. As long as its straight I make it any old way.
Used to drink double espressos over ice with half and half and a shot of vanilla syrup. Called it a "Sluggo". It would probably make me barf now.
Oh, now I remember, there was a time when I drank strawberry cappuccinos.... ah the pink foam!
you know what's ironic about this post? *WE* used to be there.
Think about it.
All of these posts of what we used to drink, the extra sugar bombs- then reflect on how much we've evolved from that mind set.....
yet most of us (and you know you do) look down upon our customers that order basically the same drinks as the ones we used to swear by.

then look at where we are today......

we prolly need to cut some slack on folks that order this stuff today because we never know where they are going to be tomorrow......
Hear Hear! Only a very few of my former Starbucks customers followed me to Espresso dell'Anatra. For most, it was a geography thing. However, there were two if them that I used to serve the triple caramel frappuccinos with extra rhumba chips (remember those? *cringe*) a pile of whipped cream bigger than your fist and caramel drizzled on the inside AND outside of the cup. What a mess, right? About two years after we opened, I realized that BOTH of those people had had the same experience we are discussing here. Both took their beverages in 5 oz cups or smaller and one used zero sweetener at all. But it was a process. An evolution, really.

I'll second Sarah's statement that I enjoy being a snob as well, but as Sandy points out, we should be using our snobbishness to help our customers move their own personal coffee needle away from the shuga bombs, but it doesn't happen overnight. They have to trust you with what they pay for vs. what you give them.

Here's a practical tip for you to help people branch out a bit (check this with your owner or manager first). When someone comes in to order their usual drink, offer to make them something else completely or modify their beverage in such a way that it either increases the coffee taste or reduces the sweetness. Don't do both at the same time, remember that it's a gradual thing. Make them a deal. If they don't like it, you'll remake their beverage correctly and it's no harm no foul but thanks for playing. If they do like it, then it's on the house just for being adventurous and have a great day. When you take the risk out of it, people are much more likely to participate in what you offer them as you try to guide them in their coffee journeys. If your customer does take your new beverage, be sure to follow up with them later to see how they liked it after they finished it. You should be able to glean some additional insight as to what they really like and you can repeat the process over and over. Probably not a free drink each time (otherwise they'll choke down anything, because "free" makes everything taste better), but maybe you don't charge them for extra shots, etc. Again, PLEASE check this with your owner or manager. I don't want any angry E-mails or phone calls!
In the mid nineties when I embarked on my coffee career, I totally overdosed on super short wet cappuccinos and huge iced mochas with vanilla syrup. I don't drink espresso anymore-- my tummy can't handle it. It's plain old iced coffee for me (with a splash of half and half)- especially good for it's quick chug-ability factor! Still completely in love with Sumatra Mandheling and India Malabar. Best varietals ever.

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