Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Tea in Starbucks Drinks - or - The Fastest Way to Make a Buck

If you're a clever student looking to while the afternoon away at Starbucks, be warned.

The renowned coffee chain has begun to add "Extra Strong Tea Concentrate" to previously non-caffeinated drinks including the Blackberry Fruit Shake and the Mango Fruit Shake, in some chains in Singapore. Nowhere on the price listing are the Shakes listed as Tea based.

So why the free, extra ingredients in your afternoon drink?

I had been purchasing the Fruit Shakes as an affordable way to have 5+ hours of time at the cafe to work. One day, I noticed the shakes, for the first time in 6 months, made me use the bathroom really quickly. The next time, I carefully observed the barista pour Tea Concentrate into the drink, behind the counter, hidden to the customer. I have noticed most customers with caffeinated drinks have to get up to use the bathroom every 20 minutes or so. After awhile, somewhat uncomfortable with rapidly filling bladders, they leave.

I can only wonder if we are getting more caffeine in our drinks to encourage us to vacate our coffee tables shortly after we arrive. Although downright unethical (customers don't want sneaky additions to their drinks) This would liberate more tables quickly than a world full of signs telling students not to study.

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