By Kaitlin Hurtado
A long line winds through the lobby of UCI’s Student Center Starbucks, where students table-hop to get closer to an electrical outlet. Those in search of their dose of caffeine traipse past one another. Situated across from the Cross Cultural Center, the cafe is a hub for Anteaters and campus visitors alike. If you make a trip to the store during any daylight hour, there is a chance of recognizing these five types of people:
1. Student tour groups
If you find yourself in Starbucks on a weekday between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m., you can expect to find an out-the-door line consisting of exasperated college students and loud middle-schoolers guessing whether they can order a Cotton Candy Frappuccino and make it on the bus home within five minutes. Between the sound of baristas yelling out completed drink orders and the student behind you complaining about the curve of his midterm, there will be the ever-chirpy voice of young teens yelling the latest internet meme ringing into your ears.
2. The regulars
Regulars make their way through the doors of Starbucks unfazed by however long the line is. They know exactly how much caffeine they need and how they want it, wasting no time when it comes to rattling off their order at the register.
Their eyes stay glued to their phones, earbuds comfortably settled into their ears as they stand off to the side and make their way through the crowd of middle-schoolers at the hand-off counter to grab their cup of caffeine and head out the door to their next destination.
3. The lobby dwellers
The dwellers come to Starbucks for a variety of reason, but spend the longest amount of time here as they take advantage of everything the cafe has to offer.
Ellis Diaz, a second-year English major, has been frequenting the Starbucks location since her freshman year. As a commuter, she spends long hours on campus here in the Starbucks lobby.
“It’s a good study space to get work done and there is food available for long homework days,” Diaz said.
Like many commuter students frequenting Starbucks as a study space, Diaz is a dweller that has the contents of her backpack spread out on her table. A word document is open on her laptop, which has its charger trailing a couple of feet to the nearest electrical outlet. A half-finished Venti Peach Green Tea Lemonade sits next to an empty set of Tupperware, the remnants of a lunch packed from home.
The cafe is nowhere near as quiet as Langson Library, but it does help to have caffeine just a few steps away during study sessions.
4. The “are they really ordering that?” customer
These types of Starbucks-goers scour the internet for the latest concoction added to the secret menu. You stand one or two people away from the register, silently patting yourself on the back for surviving the line’s length, only to be held up by a customer firing off the ingredients and steps for their drink to an unsuspecting barista.
Internet posts about these hidden items, such as the Matcha Pink Drink, come with warnings of any barista hating you after ordering the complicated drinks. However, more often than not, the people behind you in line will hate you more for standing between them and their long-awaited beverage.
5. The complainer
Complainers aren’t used to winding Starbucks lines and take every chance to express the injustice of charging for a water cup, or whine about how the person behind them in line received their drink first.
After one step into the store, they complain about the line’s length and how capitalism is a sham.
These complainers also contribute to this Starbucks’s two-and-a-half star rating on Yelp.
“This Starbucks has the longest lines I have ever seen. Granted it is on a school campus, but the lines wind all the way through the store, so if you’re in a hurry … line up like 10 to 20 minutes before [your class] starts to get your drink in time,” said one Yelp user named Tiffany C.
Leaving a two-star rating, she went on to write that the location does get the job done when you need “a quick coffee fix.”
Complainers may seem to picky, but they are able to express what any customer has thought once or twice, and provide a little entertainment in the long line to get your caffeine fix.