Culture

Starbucks Released A Coquito Frappuccino For The Holidays And Some People Are Very Mad About It

Starbucks loves to make season drinks because, well, they sell. The pumpkin spice latte has transcended the regular life of a coffee beverage and has become a cultural phenomenon that won’t end. The unicorn frappuccino is another example of Starbucks using their reach and money to create timely and quickly forgotten drinks to follow trends. Now, there is a coquito frappuccino that has left the internet divided. Some people are excited to see their culture reach new heights while others can’t wait for it to be over.

This is typically how we are used to seeing coquito.

CREDIT: @lala / Twitter

Either your abuela and tías make it for the family or there is one specific brand that is always bought around this time of year. No matter how it is made or purchased it is always cradled lovingly in your abuela’s arms when you first get to her house for Christmas.

Now, Starbucks is getting in on the trend.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

We don’t know how long it will last but the drin is being made by name in the Starbucks’ in Puerto Rico. There are ways to order the drink on the mainland but you have to come prepared with a list of ingredients.

The only online proof of this beverage is in this sign.

CREDIT: @Darleen42499267 / Twitter

The photo has gone viral with people retweeting and sharing the image at lightning speed. Some people are super stoked to get a chance to let their culture shine. Others are over the capitalistic nature of Starbucks using their culture.

Gentrification has been a major issue raised by those bothered by this drink.

CREDIT: @call_me_lexxi / Twitter

The drink is similar to their eggnog frappuccino just with some coconut added to imitate the flavor of coquito.

There are people we are delighted that their proud Puerto Rican culture is being celebrated.

CREDIT: @candace_pedraza / Twitter

Starbucks has publicly acknowledged that they wanted to change their image since the pumpkin spice latte has been deemed super basic. This is a start in that campaign to be more than just basic drinks for basic people.

A few Puerto Ricans on Twitter quickly mocked those who were so upset about the drink.

CREDIT: @morrisseysucks / Twitter

It really isn’t offensive for someone to make foods inspired by different cultures. Fusion cuisines exist because people feel an appreciation to the foods and look to make them as delicious as they can.

A whole other sector is just straight up laughing at the idea.

CREDIT: @AverageGirlT / Twitter

It is pretty interesting that the coquito drink would be available in Puerto Rico where you can get real coquito anywhere. When will the drink come to New York for the Puerto Rican community living there?

Some of the Puerto Rican diasporas is even asking that Starbucks expand the flavor.

CREDIT: @jetwithjen / Twitter

Understandable. There is a huge Puerto Rican population in Orlando and those people would probably love the idea of a nice coquito frappuccino on the way to work.

Starbucks is still testing the Puerto Rican market.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

We have no idea how successful it is and we can’t seem to find any promotional material online. If it is successful, however, we need this on the mainland ASAP.

Let me tell you the ingredients for Starbucks coquito.

CREDIT: @MisterrPenguin / Twitter

It’s white mocha syrup and coconut syrup with a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. It’s not close to the real coquito but when you produce things in mass without the culture nuances, this is what it look like.

Many people are asking where the rum at?

CREDIT: @marielaregal / Twitter

The reason we all love coquito so much is because it kicks off the party. Obviously, Starbucks won’t be selling boozy coquito but the people can dream, right?

Some people are truly torn over the drink.

CREDIT: @WinkWinkWinki / Twitter

Tourists may have a coquito frappuccino to taste the famous drink instead of buying it from a local vendor. People might argue that it’s a money-making gimmick but some people might really appreciate the idea.

The vast majority of dissenters are asking if the cultural appropriation will benefit anyone besides Starbucks.

CREDIT: @beatzmarz / Twitter

Seems like it might be a good idea to tie this into the relief efforts in Puerto Rico since the island is still recovering and it is Christmas.

Starbucks did send some relief to Puerto Rico to help the farmers.

CREDIT: @ashleymwlopez / Twitter

Apparently, they donated 2 million coffee seeds to Puerto Rican farmers and helped sponsor the Somos benefit initiated by Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. That’s truly wonderful, and it’s important to highlight when corporations give back to the communities that helped build them up.

They claim the seeds they gave were non-GMO.

CREDIT: @TainoAnomaly / Twitter

Starbucks donated 2 million seeds to coffee farmers throughout the island to help restart the coffee growing industry on the island. They have also partnered with World Coffee Research to enhance the quality of coffee beans produced in Puerto Rico.

Starbucks is responding to people on Twitter letting them know that they are heard and that Starbucks is committed to helping the island.

CREDIT: @Starbucks / Twitter

Only time will tell if the drink is something that will stay around or just a flash in the pan.

Some critics are not appeased with Starbucks donating money and coffee beans to devastated farmers.

CREDIT: @TainoAnomaly / Twitter

With so much happening on the island, the drink is becoming a way for people to further voice their anger with how Puerto Rico has been treated since Hurricane Maria.

Some have raised concerns over “Our Puerto Rican Flavors” being the tagline.

CREDIT: @MarcusShepard / Twitter

There hasn’t been any news yet as to whether or not Starbucks with donate any proceeds to Puerto Rico or nonprofits helping the island. The phrase is offending people for its cultural appropriation.

We all just have to wait and see if the drink will be good or bad for the Starbucks brand.

CREDIT: @Detresss / Twitter

Only time will tell.


READ: 17 Typical Christmas Foods Eaten In Latin America

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This Boricua Is Being Forced To Defend Her Identity As An Asian-Puerto Rican On TikTok

Culture

This Boricua Is Being Forced To Defend Her Identity As An Asian-Puerto Rican On TikTok

@Keishlaheli / TikTok

People of all sorts of racial identities and backgrounds exist all over the world. However, many people remain ignorant to the ways in which different cultures and races change and take on new identities – especially as mixed race individuals are so often forced to walk a thin line between their identities.

Now, a popular Tik Toker from Puerto Rico is being forced to defend her identity as a Puerto Rican because trolls are accusing her of cultural appropriation. Although she might not look like what many expect a Puerto Rican woman to look like, Keishla is all about educating her followers and giving a voice to mixed race Puerto Ricans.

TikToker Keishla is being forced to defend her identity as a Boricua simply because she also has Asian heritage.

Mixed race communities and cultures exist everywhere. Facts are facts. But it’s obvious that not everyone is willing to accept these facts. Case in point: Keishla – a very popular TikToker, who is being forced to defend her own identity.

Keishla, who was born and raised on the island in the town of Borikén is obviously of Asian descent but she also claims her Puerto Rican identity with pride. Videos addressing the topic have gone viral and the comments that followed show a widespread lack of understanding about the diversity of race in Puerto Rico and beyond.

Keishla’s parents were born in China and later migrated to Puerto Rico, she explains in several videos. Some users, however, refused to accept the facts.

Keishla has had to deal with many ignorant comments across social media, but she’s got thousands of supporters also.

Ever since she launched her TikTok channel, users have come for Keishla and her identity and many have accused her of cultural appropriation.

While apparently trying to invalidate Keishla’s identity as a Boricua, one user wrote, “Lol u may consider her Puerto Rican but I don’t. Blood is more important than how she acts to me she can copy us but will never be us.”

And in typical Keishla fashion, she had the best response: “I respect your opinion, even though it’s a shitty opinion.”

Despite all the ignorance and trolls, Keishla has also seen an outpouring of support from fellow Boricuas, Latinos, and others among her more than 53,000 TikTok followers. The conversation has even moved over to Twitter, where many are supporting her identity while also addressing the hate from others.

“There’s a whole ass history of Asians in Caribbean culture,” one user wrote.

“Asians worked next to the slaves in the sugar cane fields in Cuba. Cuba has one of the oldest China towns in the Caribbean. So many Caribbean people have Chinese descent. Y’all don’t know how colonization work.”

Keishla is not alone: the Chinese have a long history on the island of Puerto Rico.

Credit: U.S. Library of Congress

Much like the mainland United States, Puerto Rico is a diverse community of cultures and races from all over the world. Anyone in the island or anyone who visits will notice right away that there is a major Asian community. Although it’s particularly conspicuous in the restaurant industry – with the traditional comida criolla – that’s not all. The Chinese community has contributed to Puerto Rico’s culture and economy in many significant ways.

Today, there are tens of thousands of Chinese Puerto Rican’s on the island. And although the most recent Census data only reports Asians as making up 0.2% of the population, many academics believe the count to be much higher.

Chinese migration has a long and varied history in Puerto Rico, with it reaching its peak in the late 1850s to 1880s. Many were fleeing war and economic devastation, and hundreds of thousands made their way to the U.S. – including Puerto Rico.

Some of these Chinese immigrants went instead to the Caribbean, though—some first to Cuba, where they were incarcerated due to labor revolts, then to Puerto Rico, where they served their sentence in what was essentially slave labor, working on major infrastructure projects.

So, what do you think? Do you agree with Keishla? Let us know in the comments.

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A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

Things That Matter

A Muslim Teen Has Filed A Discrimination Claim After A Starbucks Put “ISIS” On Her Cup

KSTP / Via Facebook: watch

After enduring quite a bit of pain over receiving a cup with the word “ISIS” instead of her name, a Muslim teenager has filed a human rights complaint. According to the teenager whose name (as reported by Buzzfeed) is Aishah, on July 1 she and a friend went to a Starbucks located inside of a Target in St. Paul, Minnesota.

The 19-year-old said that a barista asked her to repeat her name when taking her order, but she was shocked by what she saw when she first received it.

Aishah says that she feels as if the incident happened because she was wearing a hijab and a face mask.

“I felt a lot of emotions, and shock was the main one because I actually couldn’t believe this was happening,” Aishah told BuzzFeed News.

Speaking about the incident, the deputy director of the Minnesota chapter of Council on American–Islamic Relations, Mohamed Ibrahim said “This is a reminder that Islamophobia is alive and present in our communities.” In an effort to address the issue, the group has made efforts to help Aishah file a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights.

In her interview with Buzzfeed, Aishah said the barista said that “ISIS” had been put on a cup because they hadn’t heard her name correctly. According to Buzzfeed, the Target employee who served Aishah said “they did not hear her name.”

When a manager attempted to explain to Aishah that people’s names are frequently misspelled on cups, she said that the explanations were “not credible or acceptable.”

“When somebody orders a drink at Starbucks — if the barista can’t spell the name, then they ask you to spell it,” Aishah explained in her interview that such a mistake had never happened with her order.

Aishah’s human rights complaint, claims a manager offered her a free drink and a $25 gift card for her troubles and had her escorted out by security.

Target, which oversees the Starbucks location where the incident happened, told BuzzFeed in a statement that it’s “very sorry for this guest’s experience at our store and immediately apologized to her when she made our store leaders aware of the situation.”

A spokesperson also explained that an internal investigation found “it was not a deliberate act but an unfortunate mistake” and that the company will offer additional training to the barista. According to Aishah, she has yet to hear from Target since she called the company to complain. She also has not heard from CAIR-MN.

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of CAIR-MN, is calling for the barista and manager in question to be fired and for Target and Starbucks to reinvest in training for their employees. “We are hoping that bringing light to this incident will actually transform how Target and Starbucks and many other companies deal with such incidents,” Hussein said.

Unfortunately, it’s not the first time Starbucks has received such a complaint.

In August of last year, a man told a barista at a Philadelphia Starbucks that his name was Aziz. He was soon given a drink with the term “ISIS.”

“The barista mistakenly spelled it incorrectly,” a Starbucks spokesperson told NBC News at the time.

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