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One Venti Ghetto Latte, Please

By Hanna Aronovich in Food on Oct 6, 2006 5:48PM

Why buy the latte when you can get the milk for free? That’s the question many Starbucks customers are asking. Although it's news to us, apparently for quite some time, Starbucks customers have been ordering a double shot of espresso, asking for it in a larger cup, and then adding milk from the condiments stand. After a few seconds in the microwave, they’ve got a ghetto latte. The self-made version doesn’t have the foam, but it does save a buck or two over ordering the real thing. latte.jpg

The conversation about ghetto lattes was brewing at Seattlest last month, but it wasn’t until this week that the Tribune reported on the trend in Chicago (referring to it as the more politically correct “bootleg latte”).

Baristas have mixed opinions on the drink, while Starbucks says customization is part of the Starbucks experience. If the company truly wanted to prevent customers from concocting their own lattes, we think they’d instruct baristas to only leave a couple ounces of room in the cups.

In truth, we don’t think the ghetto latte is wrong, per se. It’s probably not hurting Starbucks’ profits much. However, we do think it’s a tacky move to pull. If saving a dollar or two is so important, head to the cheaper Dunkin’ Donuts or McDonald’s. Or, brew your own at home. The only thing more sorry than the ghetto latte is adding sugar to your water and lemon wedge and calling it lemonade.