October 6, 2005

Math Lesson

Today's Math Lesson with Ms. Q is all about Starbucks. We all know that Howard Schultz is the most successful drug dealer of all time, because we also all know that those drinks have crack in them, but now I have figured out the mathematical equation for the drink prices!

Here is goes. This is my own example, feel free to figure yours out and leave it in the comments. That is, if you are one of the weak-minded, crack-addicted fools like me. If you have managed to escape the evil clutches of Starbucks, I commend you!

Here goes: My drink costs $4.85 and I usually pay with a fiver, so I throw the change (a whole 15 cents) into the tip jar. My drink requires 10 words to order. Observe: "Triple Venti Non-Fat Pumpkin Spice Latte with Easy Whip [Cream]". Five dollars divided by 10 words is ...drumroll, please... 50 cents per word! Or less, if I don't tip.

$5.00/10w= .50/w

Or, I can buy my "Triple Venti Non-Fat Pumpkin Spice Latte with Easy Whip" and it will normally take me about 50 minutes to drink it. I like to savor the flavor, you know. Fifty minutes divided by $5 equals 10 cents a minute. That's cheaper than a long distance phone call to my mom - and way more delicious!

50 min./$5.00= .10/min

Which means that a "Tall Coffee" or "Tall Drip" is more expensive than my fancy drink. A tall (which actually means "small", go figure) cup of coffee is about $1.60 ish. $1.60 divided by 2 words equals 80 cents per word. Mine is only 50 cents per word so you can see that I know how to get my money's worth at Starbucks.

Your results may vary. I have determined that it is virtually impossible to order any drink at SBUX using fewer than 2 words. If you can think of any, do let me know.

I hope you have learned something here today. Be sure to share this equation, which we'll call the Q-Bucks Hypothesis, at your next math party!



At 14:24, Blogger jo-fo said...

Scary, scary math, especially since it only takes me about 15 minutes to down my PSL. Speaking of which, I'm starting to dream about them. It's only been a few days since my first and I'm starting to have a problem. Is there a therapy group for this?

At 14:41, Blogger Ms. Q said...

We need a PSL-Anon meeting, stat! I'll start the Orange County chapter and you head up the San Diego Area group, 'kay?

It's so crazy that I have a strong physiological response to the words "pumpkin spice latte". I seriously need detox, soon. I refuse to go to debtor's prison for this!

At 15:35, Anonymous Miss Ann Thrope said...

never been to starbucks. I might be silly but I didn't get dropped on my head...$5 for a freakin coffee? not in this lifetime.

(this is not to say you were dropped on you head...just, um, just...nevermind. I'm going now.)

At 15:43, Blogger Aubrie said...

I have not tried the pumpkin spice latte yet, but I think I will have to after this.

But answer me this question: what does the "triple" designate in your concoction? Is it triple the size of the venti? Or triple the amount of pumpkin spice?

Inquiring minds want to know!

At 17:24, Blogger kate said...

I agree with Aubrie, what is this triple of which you speak? if it's triple the size of a venti, that's a lot of yum and definitely worth the money in my opinion.

At 18:15, Blogger Ms. Q said...

A "Triple" is for school nights or study nights when I need 3 shots of espresso in my drink.

Here's the formula, more or less: For flavors, they just pump some flavored syrup in there with the coffee and milk. (1 shot espresso = 1 oz.)

Tall latte = 12oz. drink. 1 shot espresso, flavor, the rest is steamed milk and a little dollop of foam.

Grande latte = 16 oz drink. 2 shots espresso, flavor, plus steamed milk, dollop of foam.

Venti latte = 20 oz. drink. 2 shots espresso, flavor, blah blah blah.

So, when you order a venti specialty drink, you get more milk but the same amount of coffee unless you ask for that extra shot of espresso. Some specialties are topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, therefore the "easy whip" in my "recipe". Much of Starbucks' menu is really just "value added milk drinks" if you think about it.

My doctor did prescribe non-fat lattes because I don't drink milk otherwise! Good source of calcium, you know!

I hope I cleared things up. Also, I rarely pay for lunch, so I consider the $4-5 as what I would have spent on lunch and that is the only way I can justify it. Otherwise, you have to be high (or on crack) to pay that much for hot milk with coffee!

At 20:10, Blogger Dafina Girl said...

You know, I just never buy those high calorie drinks anymore.... only Americanos and that's a treat.

At 04:20, Blogger J.J. said...

Yummy....the best 5 words of my morning.
Grande Lite Caramel Frappaccino Please

At 09:04, Blogger Rude Cactus said...

PSL...MMM. Math? UGh.

At 15:29, Anonymous Danielle said...

Hahahahahaha! That's awesome! I guess my cost-to-word ratio has changed over time, as my drink has changed...

V.1: Venti Soy Latte

V.2: Venti Vanilla Soy Extra Hot Latte

V.3: Decaf Venti Vanilla Soy Extra Hot Latte

V.4: Decaf Triple Venti Vanilla Soy Extra Hot Latte (fills in all the boxes on the cup - always earns a comment from the barista!)

V.5: Decaf Triple Venti Three-Pump Vanilla Soy Extra Hot Latte

V.6: Decaf Triple Grande Two-Pump Vanilla Soy Extra Hot Latte

V.7: Decaf Triple Grande Soy Extra Hot Latte

Other orders, at different times of the day:

V.7.1: Decaf Triple Grande Soy Latte

V.8: Decaf Double Tall Soy Latte

And YES, these drinks must have crack in them. The addiction is otherwise unexplainable.

At 19:22, Blogger Aubrie said...

Ok, well I tried one -- and then another one... and tomorrow I'll have to have a third I'm sure... Damn you, Ms. Q, now I have to have one every day! :-)

At 20:50, Blogger Bad DIL said...

Does the cake you order along side the drink count in the word count?

Normally I am a tall non-fat vanilla latte girl. (Also, is non-fat one word or two?) But this time of year, I like the tall non-fat gingerbread latte. Tastes much better full fat, but I have to draw the line somewhere!


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