My Dad has a lot sayings. A couple of gems are, "Gotta make list," "Winning isn't everything but losing sure stinks," & "Gotta have a system." As a former Barista, I am still amazed at the systems Starbucks uses to pander to the every whim of the fickle American consumer. One of the first things you learn in Barista training, shortly after the brainwashing and Howard Schultz worship service, is how to call out drink orders. Since everyone has to earn their spot on the bar, the first position you learn is order taking. Once you take the order, you call it out to the person on the bar. The person on the bar, in between frothing soy milk and squirting raspberry into a tween's cream based mocha frappuccino, has to scribble down on the side of a cup the order. The order takers job is to translate what the customer says into Barista speak and the official system of drink ordering to make it easy for the guy on the bar to scribble down.
So, when a soccer mom on her cell phone says, "Um, yeah, can I have a latte, a medium? Oh and make it with skim milk and put some hazelnut in it. And two Splenda. And also, make it decaf."
The order takers translation, going in the order of the boxes on the side of the cup is: "Grande decaf nonfat hazelnut 2 Splenda latte."
So, if you want to order like a pro, figure out your drink based on the boxes on the side of a cup.
Or, if you want to enjoy coffee the way it's meant to be consumed, order the way I do: "Viente Bold. Black."