Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Arco, No Threat to Starbucks

We were doing a Costco run to Carson City today and stopped by the Arco to fill up the tank. (Only $1.73 per gallon, gotta love Arco.) As I walked into the store I noticed a makeshift sign on the door advertising 99 cent espresso. Someone had actually taken a piece of cardboard and written "99 cent espresso" on it with a ball point pen and taped it to the door. As I was getting my change, I asked about the special.

"So you guys are offering espresso now?" I said.

"Naw, we've had it for a while. We're just running a special now," said the cashier, flashing her partially toothless smile at me.

I couldn't resist, I told her I would try one. She turned and yelled "Coffee!" over my shoulder to her co-worker in the back of the store. She then directed me to the coffee bar part of the mini-mart. There a handsome woman wearing a Happy New Year! tiara greeted me and asked what I wanted.

I told her just an espresso. She was amazed. No milk? No flavoring? No sugar? Just espresso? Yes, just an espresso please. This seemed to confuse her. The menu did indicate espresso along with lattes and cappuccinos. Finally she shrugged and got to work. It took quite a while and she even had to add more beans to the top of machine. After a few minutes, she presented me with a steaming 16 ounce cup filled to the brim with espresso!

"Wow, that's a big espresso," I said.

"Yeah, well I had to fill up the cup," she responded.

I realized that she had simply been pressing the espresso button on the machine until the cup was full.

"Usually an espresso is a lot smaller," I said, pointing to a small espresso cup next to the machine.

"Well I didn't realize that," she said, somewhat offended.

On the plus side, the coffee was actually pretty good. I could only drink about a double espresso's worth, and I'll probably be up all night because of that. It's a shame to waste so much coffee, but at least it only cost me 99 cents!