The Red Cup Experiment

There has been so much said over the last week about the new Starbucks cup, so I figured since I had the time, I’d check it out for y’all.  It was a sacrifice, but somebody had to do it, so I took one for the team.

Here is what I ordered:  My usual Grande’, half-caff, skinny caramel latte.  I figured since I opted to try the new cup out for you as an experiment, I should have one constant, that being the half-caff, skinny caramel latte. 


Now, I went to the drive inIMG_6741 window and gave my order at the microphone.  The girl repeated it back to me as Grande’, half-caff, skinny vanilla latte.   HEAVY SIGH on my part.  No brownie points for her there.  I also ordered a slice of banana bread since it was lunch time and my tummy was yelling at me.  Note:  The banana bread was not figured into the experiment; it was my treat for performing this task for you.  Since the vanilla gal at the window asked if I wanted the banana bread warm, AND delivered the same to me in a warm little bag, I gave her her brownie points back.  

I drove away with my caramel latte and warm banana bread, quite pleased with how it looked.  I pulled into a parking spot a short distance away so as to examine my lot.  I must say, the banana bread was perfect, and very yummy.  I nibbled a little here and there over the course of an hour or so.  The latte was equally yummy, though I do admit that I spent several sips wondering if she actually gave me the caramel or the vanilla which she seemed to prefer.  After several sips I assumed it was the caramel, so I was satisfied.

As for the cup (which has been a matter of discussion for over a week now), I must admit I fail to see the reason for the turmoil. It’s a cup.  It holds hot coffee nicely.  I imagine it would also hold hot tea (or cold tea, for that matter), but for our purposes, I chose coffee. 

It’s a basic red cup, folks.  NothIMG_0012ing fancy here.  It is my hope that Starbucks did NOT hire a design firm for the creation of said cup. If they did, they wasted their money.  This is a plain red cup, no frills.  There is a green Starbucks logo on one side of the cup, which is their standard logo, no frills or design added.  There is no wording on the outside of the cup warning me that it’s hot (Thanks, McDonalds, I think we all knew that without you telling us!)  It’s a plain cup.  It’s Starbucks logo.  No big deal.

I have red plastic cups in my cupboard at home that my grandchildren use when having a picnic-style lunch.  I assume that one of the children could draw something similar to the Starbucks logo on these cups with a sharpie pen, thus producing a reasonable facsimile.  Who knows.  

Back to the experiment.  I sat in my car and thought to myself, what is the fuss?  I am a practicing, faithful Christian.  I attend church “most” Sundays.  I pray.  I believe in God.  John 3:16 was engraved on my brain long before that adorable Keith Urban came out with the song “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16.”  I saw nothing offensive on the Starbucks cup, so I wondered what I was missing.  I asked myself, “What would Jesus do” with a Starbucks cup? Did he drink coffee? Would He touch this cup?

Well, here’s the thing. Most likely not, since the first evidence of coffee drinking is in the middle of the fifteenth century, in the Sufi monasteries around Mokha in Yemen, some 1400 years after the death of Jesus.  (I’m not a brainiac, I did a Google search to locate that information, and you know Google can never be wrong.)  I do know that  most churches use a cup (chalice) of wine for communion.  If he were really into coffee, I think there might be coffee served rather than wine.  I don’t know.

It is my personal opinion that this simple, red cup without a logo would be acceptable to almost everyone I know.  I have friends of many different religions and races, so it’s not just a Methodist thing.  My Catholic, Baptist, Southern Baptist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and other various denominational friends probably have had beverages from red cups before.  I have friends from various parts of the world who drink coffee on a regular basis.  I know people in the Netherlands, Italy, Australia, Japan and other locations who wouldn’t be offended by the red cup.  I know it doesn’t offend me!

loaves-and-fishesBack to Jesus and what He would do.  Would He drink my Grande’, half-caff, skinny caramel latte?  Probably not.  But I don’t think it is the cup that would be the deciding factor.  It’s the price.  See, I know He wants us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, etc.  For the price of a Grande’, half-caff, skinny caramel latte, Jesus could do so much more.  Think of the loaves and fishes.  They fed a LOT of people in His day! 

So, I guess I really should not be spending my loose change on such pleasures as a half-caff, skinny caramel latte’, but you know what?  I do so sparingly.  It’s not like I’m there knocking on Starbucks’ door every single day.  That would be insane and expensive.  And if they choose to make their cups purple with pink polka dots, or orange with blue squiggles, or just plain boring white, that’s their choice.  I’m not going to make a fuss over what color cup they have unless it is truly obnoxious or offensive.  I will most likely order another drink, and enjoy the wonderful caramel taste coming from the cup unless SOMEONE messes up and gives me a vanilla latte’!

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5 thoughts on “The Red Cup Experiment

  1. I am a Baptist pastor, though not Southern Baptist. I loved the results of your experiment. You are probably correct in stating that Jesus would not likely buy a Starbucks coffee drink, but I’m betting if offered one, he would accept.

    Like

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