Hello, it’s me. I was wondering if all these years you’d like to explain just what exactly you think you’re doing with my wallet and my heart. Ever since I was too young to properly enjoy the taste of espresso, I’ve been a loyal customer, making my way through the ranks from a novice consumer double chocolate chip frappucinos all the way up to my standard triple skinny vanilla no-foam latte. While I have my go-to drinks of choice throughout the year, beginning in November, I’m at your stores for one purpose and one purpose only: seasonal drinks.
You know exactly what you’re doing, putting PSLs and gingerbread lattes in festive red cups. If there’s one thing women love, it’s what we can’t have, and knowing that in two months skinny peppermint mochas will be out of our lives forever instills a panic deep within us. We want those drinks. We need them. We have to have them or we’ll die. We increase our Starbs runs tenfold, drinking salted caramel mochas like they’re going out of style.
Inevitably, January comes, our local stores run out of caramel brulee sprinkles, and we settle back into our normal routines of white cups and extra-hot, six-pump nonfat caramel macchiatos while we wait patiently for next fall to arrive. The seasonal rush is over, and we’re all allowed to resume our everyday lives. That is, at least until this year.
It started when we saw the Valentine’s Day release of the molten chocolate lattes, available for a limited time only. And I mean SUPER limited time – you only had one week to get your hands on these guys, and that’s exactly what we did. Starbucks lines tripled while we waited in drive-thrus for the new beverage we absolutely had to have. After I got my drink, I have to say I was a little disappointed – did I just drink a mocha with seven extra pumps of syrup? – but I tried the specialty drink, and I was cured. Until the next one came out, that is.
We had the Japanese cherry blossom frappucino. The caramelized honey latte. And now we’re back with the caramel cocoa cluster frappucino. Each one of these is available for a limited time only, and women everywhere are going nuts. We have to have them in our hands and on our Instas. We have to experience these amazing, unique concoctions before time runs out. Years of conditioning with Starbucks seasonal beverages have taught us that we have to get these amazing, unique drinks, and we have to get them NOW.
The thing is though, that these drinks aren’t necessarily amazing and they’re not necessarily unique. The reason that PSLs are so special to us is that we literally can’t get them at any other time of the year. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for Starbucks’ new “seasonal” drinks. While I may not be able to waltz in and order a caramelized honey latte at any time, I can definitely still order a full-fat caramel latte with an extra pump of caramel and a honey drizzle at any time I want. I can also order a strawberry frappucino with a sprinkle, or a mocha with several extra pumps of syrup. By spending just a little bit of extra time annoying my barista, I can come up with the right order combination to make these drinks happen at any time of the year.
Starbucks, I’m hurt. I feel like I’ve played into a trap. I thought we had something special, but as it turns out, you’ve been playing me this entire time. While I’ve been a loyal customer, you’ve been luring me into a trap of creating fake “seasonal” drinks to lure me in and take my money. You know and I know that I will buy these drinks at a 25% markup, which may not actually be a bad thing with your new rewards system, but regardless, I feel like you think that I’m just your standard, basic white girl who can be trapped and manipulated into purchasing something I don’t want or don’t need. So Starbucks, this is it. I will return for my venti skinny triple no-foam lattes, but until I see red cups and hear Christmas carols, this is the last seasonal drink I will purchase from you. Please, if you have any respect for our relationship, chill out with the seasonal beverages and let me enjoy my standard skinny lattes until it’s gingerbread season once more.
Your (begrudgingly) still loyal customer.