EXCLUSIVE By Derek Hayward for EyesOnNews.com, Oct 29. 2014 – At a whopping 160 ounces, Starbucks has officially served up its most expensive drink ever at $83.75. The “Mega Grande Latte” featured a whopping 99 shots of espresso – 101 when you factor in that the grande latte itself contains two shots – 17 pumps of Vanilla syrup, mocha, and matcha powder. Served breve – steamed cream – instead of milk, this jolt of morning java contains an alarming 6464 milligrams of caffeine.
William E. Lewis Jr., of Fort Lauderdale ordered the drink at the trendy Las Olas Boulevard location of Starbucks in what is known as South Florida’s most architecturally unique, authentic, and eclectic dining and shopping district. He is the latest winner of a nationwide Internet challenge to concoct and order the coffee chain’s most expensive drink.
As a member of the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program, the Mega Grande Latte ordered by Lewis was absolutely free. While most loyalty program members carry the Starbucks gold card, Lewis – a member since 2008 – is one of only 5,000 people worldwide who possess the “Limited Edition Metal Card”. Fashioned from stainless steel and the unmistakable Starbucks Siren logo, the eye-catching etched design signifies “status” when visiting the coffee giant.
While the “Most Expensive Starbucks Drink Challenge” has been around for years, it is not endorsed by Starbucks corporate. In fact, it’s frowned upon. “Per our existing policy, beverages larger than Trenta size (31 oz.) cannot be made or served. This includes personal cups that exceed 31 oz (or a Trenta-sized cup). For blended beverages and espresso drinks, those cannot be made or served in sizes larger than a Venti (24 oz cold cup/20 oz hot cup),” Starbucks advised in previous record breaking attempts.
According to Caffeine Informer, the now second-most expensive Starbucks drink is a 77 shot Mocha Cookie Frappuccino ordered in July by Jarrod Johnson of Barboursville, West Virginia. A Starbucks loyalty program member as well, Johnson’s $71.35 beverage was also free. Coming in at third and fourth place respectively, are an 80 shot espresso ordered by Steven in Terre Haute, Indiana, in June, and a 192-ounce Caramel Ribbon Crunch Frappuccino, ordered by Sameera Raziuddin in Pembroke Pines in July.
“As a Starbucks connoisseur, friends on Facebook are always making fun of my morning coffee,” Lewis told EyesOnNews. “At $9.53 when rung up properly, my signature ‘Bill’s Morning Start’ a six-shot Venti, four-pump Vanilla, one-pump Mocha, extra-hot, extra-fat, upside down latte, is sure to keep you going throughout the morning.”
Although values are approximate and vary according to brewing and measurement, it is estimated that a single shot of espresso contains about 64 milligrams of caffeine. That would mean that the latest addition to the most expensive Starbucks drink challenge weighs in at a whopping 6464 mg of caffeine. According to the Mayo Clinic, approximately 400 mg of caffeine per day is safe for adults to consume. Anything over that can cause side effects such as insomnia, muscle tremors and a rapid heartbeat.
While Starbucks may frown upon record breaking coffee requests, Lewis was considerate of corporate policies generally prohibiting this sort of thing by bringing a few friends to share in the excitement. In fact, he even shared his coffee with a local homeless person setting up tables in front of adjoining businesses.
“Bill Lewis and his ‘Starbucks’ record setting latte schmatte,” Rico Petrocelli of Plantation told EyesOnNews while sharing the Mega Grande Latte in front of Starbucks. “This has been going on for a long time, his daily Starbucks orders. If I could, I would suggest therapy.”
In an exclusive to EyesOnNews, Derek Hayward is an award winning reporter formerly with WSVN Channel 7 in Miami. He is also a volunteer trainer at Tomorrow’s Rainbow, a Coconut Creek non-profit organization that provides grieving children, teens and their families an emotionally safe environment for hope and healing through guidance, education and support following the loss of a parent.[wzslider autoplay=”true” lightbox=”true”]