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In the Magazine – Tales from a Utah Barista

Utah’s notorious sweet tooth has saturated every part of our culture. From specialty soda shops to front-door cookie delivery, Utahns have devised dozens of ways to satisfy their sugar cravings. Try to find a salad without candied nuts or fruit added. The bitter bean is often softened with a splash of cream or a bit of sugar, but our need for sweet has outweighed the beverage’s natural flavor. As a former barista for several years, I encountered my fair share of cringe-inducing coffee creations. Here are just a few to get your sweet tooth tingling (or crumbling).

Get your real caffeine fix

In case you’re interested in drinking coffee rather than sugar, there are some great local coffee shops in SLC ready to make you an artful cup ‘o joe without the sugar coma.

Publik Coffee Roasters— 975 S. West Temple, SLC

Alchemy Coffee—271 N. Center Street, SLC

Blue Copper Coffee Room—179 W. 900 South, SLC

Sugar House Coffee—2011 S. 1100 E, SLC

Just in case you didn’t really get the idea yet, keep in mind that syrup comes in at 20 calories per pump with the richer white mocha syrup hitting even higher at a whopping 60 calories per pump. For a little more math, the third drink on this list spent 720 calories on syrup alone. Holy sugar rush, Batman.

  • Trenta iced coffee with 13 pumps of classic syrup, extra cream and “extra extra extra” caramel drizzle. After handing the lady her almost white iced coffee, she asked for an extra cup of cream.
  • Grande hot latte with caramel drizzle, nonfat milk and only one espresso shot…with 16 pumps of vanilla syrup.
  • Grande hot white mocha, 1 shot of espresso, 12 pumps white mocha syrup with equal amounts of caramel sauce and extra whipped cream. Oh, and caramel sauce on top.
  • Hot breve (Half-and-half instead of milk) latte with heavy whipping cream rather than the half-and-half.

Ashley Szanter :Ashley Szanter is a Contributing Editor for Salt Lake magazine as well as a Freelance Writer and Editor. She loves writing about everything Utah, but has a special interest in Northern Utah (here's looking at you, Ogden and Logan).