Hey everyone and Happy Tuesday!
Since I found the Disney Tag last week, I fell down the rabbit hole of book tags (I have another one I’m going to put up soon). However, I wanted to do a challenge for myself today, to do something a little fun and different.
For those of you who may not know, I used to work at one of the Starbucks Kiosks you can find in Target or the grocery store (I worked at a grocery store one), and now work at a Barnes and Noble Cafe. Barnes and Noble Cafe’s are partnered with Starbucks to serve their drinks, but not their food (this also means you can’t use the Starbucks app, rewards, or gift cards here. This is my PSA, as I get so many customers who don’t know this). Since I’ve worked around Starbucks drinks for so long, I’ve tried my fair share of them, and have my favorites that I’m obsessed with.
Anyways, my whole point is that I’ve been immersed in the Starbucks drink world for awhile, and I thought, why not try and challenge myself to match Starbucks drinks to the books that correspond best with them?
If you think this is a fun tag and want to do it yourself, I give you full permission to do so! Tag me in it, because I would love to see your answers (and maybe find some new drinks and books too!). As I know not everyone drinks Starbucks, you are more than welcome to replace Starbucks with your food/drink place of choice, and adapt it as necessary (But still tag me, cause I wanna read it! Haha).
Now that all the background and technical garbage is out of the way, here’s my Starbucks and Books challenge!
Favorite Drink and Book of the Moment
Starbucks Drink: Dragon Drink
All my coworkers by now know that if I’m going to order anything, it’s going to be this drink 🤣 If you don’t know what it is, the Dragon Drink is the Mango Dragon Fruit Refresher mixed with coconut milk. If you like something a little more tart tasting, or if you like the regular Mango Dragon Fruit Refresher and want to switch it up a little, I 10/10 recommend it.
Book: The Winternight Trilogy by Katherine Arden
I’ve been talking about this a lot on my blog recently, but I’ve been really enjoying this series, especially with winter coming upon us soon. I just finished the second book The Girl in the Tower, and now starting the third book, The Winter of the Witch. I love the overall atmosphere of the book, and Katherine Arden’s writing style suits the fairy tale feel of the book so well. I also love books with Russia as the setting, and as it is the mid-fourteenth century when the book takes place, the way she incorporates the rise of Christianity during this time is really well done and adds to the story. If you love historical fiction with a fairy tale atmosphere to it, 10/10 would recommend this series.
Drink and Book that you ended up loving after recommendations to try it out
Drink: A coffee frappucino with vanilla syrup, Heavy whipping cream, and the cold brew whipped cream (although, I don’t think cold brew whipped cream is available anymore, which is unfortunate because it was delicious!).
Book: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe (ADDSOTU) by Benjamin Alire Saènz
I read this book after watching Booktube videos recommending it (I can’t remember who specifically it was, but I’m glad I listened to them). I read the entire book in a day, and I think part of the reason is because chapters are shorter, as well as the fact that Saènz’s writing style clicked with me. This book is very focused on the development and growth of Aristotle (Ari), as he first meets Dante and gets to learn more about him. Another interesting aspect of the novel is that it takes place in El Paso during the 1980’s, and yet still reads as though it takes place today. If you’re looking for a fast paced LGBTQIA+ novel, ADDSOTU is the book for you.
Drink and Book that you thought you would love, but were disappointed in
Drink: Pumpkin Cream Cold foam mixed with a hot Chai
Thinking back on this now, I don’t know why I thought this would be a good idea, besides the fact that I like the Pumpkin Cold Foam and I like Chai, so why not mix them? It didn’t taste bad, it’s more that I would never want to order it again, because the flavors just didn’t complement each other as well I thought they would.
Book: Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
I originally read the book because I saw the movie and loved it. After hearing it was a book, I had to go read it, as in my experience, the book is usually better than the movie. In this case though, I liked the movie more. The book is a multi POV story, and some POV’s just didn’t translate as well in book form as they did on screen.
A drink and book that everyone else seems to love, but you aren’t a fan
Drink: Matcha Green Tea Latte
Disclaimer: I say this as someone who has worked in stores where Matcha Green Tea Latte’s and Matcha Green Tea Frappucino’s are fairly popular. No matter how many times I try Matcha, it tastes like grass, and I can’t get past it. 😅 Who knows, maybe it might happen someday… but today is not that day 😂
Book: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is one of those books where if you ask someone what one of their favorite “classic” book is, The Great Gatsby is a popular answer. Personally, I think the fact that I had to read this for school didn’t help matters, but even then, the story really didn’t appeal to me.
A drink and book with a twist that you surprisingly liked
Drink: A Hot Chai with Caramel Syrup
A customer ordered this back at my previous kiosk, and it sounded delicious.
Spoiler Alert: it is!
If you are a fan of chai tea latte’s and want to spice it up a little bit, add some caramel to it with these proportions:
Tall-1 pump caramel
Grande/Venti: 2 pumps caramel
Book: Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
When I was flying back from South Africa, I bought a couple books at the airport to read on the plane ride back home. One of these books was Girl on the Train, and I was quickly hooked into the story. I don’t read a lot of thrillers/mystery novels, but for me, this book had some great plot and even character twists that made the novel more interesting.
Weirdest drink and book that you’ve tried
Drink: Matcha Green Tea Frappucino with 10 pumps of Raspberry
I had a customer order this recently, and despite the fact I just said I don’t like matcha, I had to try it. Surprisingly, even though there was so much sweetener in it, it tasted good! The raspberry wasn’t very strong, even though there were ten pumps in it. I would never order it myself, but it was a pleasant surprise.
Book: The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
I read this book for a research paper my junior year of high school, and I can say with confidence that it was the most unusual book I read for school. The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a non-fiction book that follows Ken Kesey (author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) and his Merry Pranksters during their heyday in the sixties. The book follows Kesey before and during the Pranksters bus trip across the US to meet Timothy Leary, as well as through the Acid Tests during the 60’s. If you’re interested in reading a non-fiction book to learning more about the sixties, I definitely recommend this as a starting point.
Your “go-to” drink or book that will never disappoint you when you need a pick me up
Drink: Iced Caramel Macchiato with extra caramel
Even though I’m not the biggest fan of coffee (I know, I work in a cafe and not a fan of coffee, how is that possible?) the Caramel Machiatto is my go to drink when I need a bit of caffeine to wake me up. Especially when extra caramel is added around the cup, because the caramel sauce at Starbucks is delicious. If you don’t like super sweet drinks, I wouldn’t do the extra caramel, but the caramel macchiato in regular form is a good way to have a little something different for your coffee, without being overly sweet.
Book: The Sweep Series by Cate Tiernan
I did a Series Highlights post on this a while ago, but the Sweep series is one of those series that I loved when I was younger, and I enjoy going back to revisit it when I’m feeling down. The books are fairly short, making them nice quick reads, and despite some of the mistakes in the books, re-reading them still makes me happy.
A drink and book that you’ve heard a lot about and want to try
Drink: Harney and Sons African Autumn Tea
This is at the Barnes and Noble Cafe’s, as Starbucks serves Teavanna teas. I’ve actually heard a lot of good things about Harney and Sons teas (including the Tropical Green Tea) but the African Autumn Tea is the one a lot of people rave about.
Book: Red White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
This book was making the rounds on Book Twitter and Bookstagram when it first came out, and I still see it pop up from time to time. The premise of the book sounds cute and interesting; Red White and Royal Blue sounds like one of those cute rom-com type books that will leave you with a happy buzz when you put it down. If you have read it, let me know what you think about it!
If you ever worked as a Barista (or in food service), these questions are for you! If you haven’t, you can adopt this to orders that you’ve heard about, or even ordered yourself 😉
Most Complex Drink and Book that you’ve ever made/read
Drink: Venti White Mocha, with 2 pumps Hazelnut, 2 pumps white mocha, with Non-Fat Milk, Whipped cream, and half decaf, half caffeinated espresso shots
I do want to add, that this customer was a regular, and once you got his order down, it was really easy to make. He was also one of the nicest customers, so nothing against him, I just find it funny that his order filled every box except one (if I remember correctly).
Book: Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
There’s a lot more I can say as Ayn Rand has controversial ideologies and the way they’re portrayed in her books doesn’t help her case (at least, in my opinion), but that would have to be a whole post on its own, so I’m not going to go into too much detail on that.
Honestly, the only reason I read this book was because there was a college scholarship prize of $10k if you read the book and wrote the best essay based on the prompt. However, it took me so long to finish it, because it’s over a thousand pages, a dry read, as well as there being a lot of different concepts and themes to follow. I still have my copy, and there are so many different sticky notes sticking out of the book. Since it took me a so long to finish it, I didn’t have as much time to write my essay, and it was probably garbage, if I do say so myself 🤣
Never want to read it again, and definitely wouldn’t recommend it to anyone.
Strangest Drink or Book that anyone has ordered/you’ve read
Drink: Water with Raspberry syrup
A customer at my previous kiosk ordered this, and since it was a Venti sized water, at first I was only putting six pumps of raspberry (the regular amount for a venti iced drink). Then she started adding a couple more pumps because the raspberry flavor wasn’t strong enough for her anymore. I know it’s supposed to be a raspberry flavored water, but based on how the raspberry syrup tastes, mixing it with just water doesn’t sound appealing to me at all. But, people like what they like, and that’s all I can say about it at this point.
Book: On the Road by Jack Keourac
If you don’t know about Jack Keourac, he was a part of the Beatnik generation, and you can definitely see it in his writing. I enjoyed On the Road for the most part, but then it went into rambling, run-on tangents that were sometimes hard to follow. However, that is part of the style influence of the Beatnik generation, which I noticed in The Kool-Aid Acid Test as well.
Alright folks, that’s the end of my Books and Starbucks Challenge! Or tag, whatever you want to call it 😅
Thank you for reading, and like I said before, if you’re interested in trying this out for yourself, go for it! Tag me in it, cause I would love to see your answers!
Have a good rest of your week, and I will see you on Friday with a new post!
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