We Should All Be So Lucky To Have A Friend Who’ll Buy You A Coffee From Thousands Of Miles Away

Times used to be, if you wanted to let a friend living thousands of miles away know you were thinking about them, you’d have to write a letter, give it to a guy on a pony who’d race away with it into the sunset and then wait for days or weeks for the mailman to bring their response. At least I think that’s how mail used to work. But now, you can just order up a coffee for your buddy and let them know they’ve got a free pick-me-up waiting for them to pick it up.

Consumerist reader Ann says she read our post about Starbucks’ mobile ordering app rolling out nationwide this week, and noticed that her friend had posed the question on Facebook of whether or not the tool could be used to order from any Starbucks, anywhere in the U.S.

“My work-spouse (everyone has one of those, right?) moved across the country a few months ago, and yesterday afternoon he wondered via Facebook if someone could us this new feature … across the country,” she writes.

So she tried it — without telling him until the order was complete. Not only did the app allow her to order the coffee, it had her back, asking her if she was really sure she’d be able to pick up a coffee in nine minutes from 2,000 miles away.

“It was such a sweet and fun experience to surprise him with his afternoon coffee break paid for and waiting on him from a few hours and a few thousand miles away,” Ann writes, adding that it’s probably not what Starbucks had in mind with the app, but that it was a really cool way to stay somewhat connected to her friend — “and maybe the closest I will get to tele-porting and time travel,” she added.

Of course, it’d be good to make sure your friend or loved one will actually be near the Starbucks you’re ordering from before you set it up. Or heck — what about other mobile ordering apps? Why not give the gift of extra guacamole on that burrito for a friend who loves Chipotle for lunch, or an unexpected free Panera bread bowl to warm the soul? (We haven’t tried this with other ordering apps yet, so if you do and it works, send us an email: tips@consmerist.com)

Stealth and sneakery may be in order to pinpoint a location and lock down your friend’s schedule from afar without arousing suspicion, but it sounds like the reward is worth it.

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