Monday, February 09, 2009

The mythical Redeye

A lot of things have taken a rather lewd-sounding turn recently. On Friday I was offered an iced ring, and today I was given a free Redeye; before you ask, Friday's iced doughnut was lovely, and the Redeye was … intriguing.

Before you all shake your heads in utter confusion and rub your eyes in a manner that makes you look a bit like a bemused cartoon character, let me explain. The Redeye is one of the mythical Starbucks beverage that does not appear on the menu boards in store; a babycino is another one, but that's way less potent because it's just frothed milk in a tiny cup that basically suggests you want your children to look sophisticated, but can't be bothered to actually buy them anything more than what appears to be used shampoo foam. Curiously, I've noticed recently that my Starbucks beverage of choice, the Grande Misto, is also well on its way to legendary off-menu status, having been squeezed off the boards by such poncy new drinks as vanilla chai lattes and chocolate-banana Vivanos (which admittedly are delicious).

Where was I?

Ah yes! The Redeye. Now, the Redeye was first mentioned to me in a somewhat conspiratorial fashion by one of the baristas in Secret Starbucks a few weeks ago. And when I say 'conspiratorial' I'm not kidding - he looked both ways before leaning across the counter to whisper how it was made to me. The Redeye, you see, sounds like it could drop a horse, for it is comprised of one shot of freshly-ground coffee, topped-up with brewed coffee, and then finished with a sophisticated splash of double cream. 

To my coffee-addled mind, ever-ready for a new hit, it sounded nothing short of awesome.

Since then, I've been working up the courage to try one, but each time I've mentioned it in passing to the manager (who is herself quite the coffee addict) she's looked at me in terror, clutched her hands to her chest, and whispered three Hail Marys before turning to the panini grill and making the sign of the cross over a tuna melt. On one occasion I'm pretty sure I saw her splash holy water on my Misto. 

Anyway, today the topic of the mythical Redeye came up again when I was chatting to the barista who first mentioned it to me, while the manager was standing next to him looking aghast. The conversation soon veered off into safer territory, and a few minutes later I was sitting down enjoying my Misto.

An aside:

Has anyone seen the advert for the new Ford Ka? Best Mate Jo has - and she's highly disturbed by it. Keep your eyes peeled 10 seconds in.

If you didn't catch it, here's what troubled her so.

Immediately after she saw the ad for the first time I received a text that just said:

"OMG! Ford Ka ad - why is that man giving that kid a penis lolly!?"

Ten minutes later and the barista hurried over to where I was sitting and covertly placed a small takeaway Espresso cup in front of me. 

"It's a Redeye - a small taste," he whispered, once again looking around as if he was going to be taken out by a sniper. "If you don't like it, don't drink it all!"

And then he was gone.

I regarded the small cup with suspicion. I guess the Redeye had taken on such mythical status in my mind that I thought it might be something like a coffee grenade - like if I hoofed it at the far wall it might explode or something. Fortunately I wasn't in an overtly destructive mood (except for the when it came to the office snowman - after days of threatening to, I finally kicked his head off and stamped on it as I left this evening), and was instead in the mood for some free coffee.

I carefully eased the top off (oi oi!) and looked at the beverage within. It was a light, creamy mocha colour, and in no way looked any more potent than the half a cup of Misto I had left. Without any concern for my well being I picked it up and began sipping. It was different than the Misto - a good different, earthy, smooth, strong, all characteristics I can empathise with. After a few more sips I knocked back the rest of the drink, and returned to what was left of my Misto.

It was as I returned my mug to the counter that I glanced over at the manager. Her gaze was fixed, her eyes wide open.

"I had one too," she said quickly. I smiled, said goodbye, and headed back to the office.

The coffee sweats kicked in half way back, at about the same time that I got an overwhelming desire to run the remaining distance because, y'know, walking is really slow when you think about it. By the time I reached the office I was vibrating at a rather high frequency, and wondering why everyone was moving and talking so slowly. It reminded me of the Star Trek episode 'Wink of an Eye' where the crew encounter a race called the Scalosians who live at a hyperaccelerated rate.

I was hoping I wouldn't meet Deela, the woman in the trailer, though; she always freaked me out a little. I think it's because her eyes are so far apart.  I wonder if she needed an eye-wrangler?

Either way, it took the best part of an hour - and a rather large lunch - before I eventually slowed back down to normal human speed. But like a vampire's first taste of human blood, I have a taste for the Redeye now, and I'm looking forward to my next one.

And once I've acclimatised to that, maybe I could try the Blackeye and the Deadeye?


Gotta go - just got some emails.


CyberPete said...

The chocolate banana vivaro sounds yummy but I don't like coffee.

How did you get to the point of liking it?

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Ooh, how conspiratorial. It's like watching a film.

Hang on... On second thoughts, it's more like reading a thrilling yet suspenseful book that is just waiting to be adapted for the big screen.

As for the aside: Don't worry. It's just those crazy Japanese.

the projectivist said...

that's only the most shite car advert ever.

and that's a banana that the stranger is offering that child. obviously i will have to switch from warning my children about the dangers of accepting boiled sweets from strangers, to warning about stranger-danger banana-offerers.

Tara said...

I imagine this huge Starbucks conspiracy going down and the barista who told you about Operation Redeye will mysteriously disappear and other agent will take his place.

Tim said...

Cyberpete - The chocolate-banana vivano doesn't have coffee in it, so you're good to go! How did I get to like coffee? Well, it's a rather long story, but essentially I just started drinking it.

Inexplicable Device - Are you suggesting I should write a screenplay based around buying a cup of coffee?

The Projectivist - It's stupid, isn't it? And the new Ka looks horrific. Actually I think it's a Ka-shaped lolly the bloke is giving the kid - it's one of the 80 Kas slipped into the ad somewhere. I'd look for the other 79 but … well, I can't be arsed.

Tara - Noooo! Do you know how long it takes me to break in a new barista? They can't go mysteriously disappearing!

Tara said...

You should worry about yourself around Starbucks now, actually. You know too much.

CyberPete said...

I just don't understand why you started drinking it. It tastes awful. It's bitter and gross.

It smells wonderful when fresh though.

Tim said...

Tara - You think … you think they're on to me?

Cyberpete - I like the taste. Each to their own!

Tara said...

Don't panic, just wear some sunglasses and a fake mustache for awhile. Lay low and for god's sake don't let them know where you live.

I've seen too many conspiracy movies.

the projectivist said...

i just found the new bit of gadgetry that you need to whore yourself for!

click on this aptly named link:

My Name Is Tim. Let Me Review Your Stuff. Now.

Inexplicable DeVice said...

Have you written that screenplay yet? Are you going to play yourself? Will there be a nude scene?

I'm waiting in anticipation.

Tim said...

Tara - Can I use a real 'tache? I've not shaved in a few days.

The Projectivist - Nice idea! Unfortunately it's not available over here … maybe I should whore myself out to th- I mean, express an interest in it?

Inexplicable Device - Good lord no! Can you imagine if coffee was spilt? You can stop anticipating right now.

missyandchrissy said...

our starbucks here are crap...we have none of these fun-sounding beverages!

Tim said...

I'm sure you do - it's just that they're *looks nervously both ways* not on the menu!

Anonymous said...

It is a Penis, without doubt, I just saw the ad and did a search to see if others noticed it...

I am sure it has more to do with creating a stir, the potent symbolic, and their love of phallic symbols