Created By: SomeSortOfTroper on August 31, 2009
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Starbucks Skin Scale

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Her lips are devil red
And her skin's the color of mocha
She will wear you out
Livin' la vida loca

A common way to make a description of a person's skin colour more interesting and appreciative of a wide range of shades is to compare it to types of coffee. It's particularly common amongst descriptions of South Americans for two reasons. First, South America has a variety of skins tone often coming from the blending of several races such as native tribes, hispanics and the descendants of African slaves and the tones that occur tend to fit better. Second, South America is the origin of coffee and chocolate and so in some cases it could be a reference to heritage or particularly a mixed heritage if referring to a mixed coffee drink like a Mocha.

Examples:

Community Feedback Replies: 15
  • August 30, 2009
    Prfnoff
  • August 30, 2009
    alliterator
  • August 30, 2009
    random surfer
    Angel once described Jasmine as "mocha."
  • August 30, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the Daredevil movie, an old lady sitting next to Bullseye on a plane rambles on about her daughter in law eloping with "this semi-colored fellow from London. What's the word for that? Mulatto. Just let's say he had a little cream in his coffee."
  • August 30, 2009
    Amazingly Enough
    The range seems to be from "milky" white to coffee colored, with various shades in between. Mocha being the most popular.
  • August 30, 2009
    FalconPain
    Ce Ce Peniston's "Finally" describes her love interest's skin as "cocoa".
  • August 31, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    How's the name, btw?

    Would it be fair to say that perhaps this sometimes relates to hesitancy to refer to a character as "black" rather than "African American" when dealing with american works?
  • August 31, 2009
    dotchan
    Zero Punctuation often describes the But Not Too Black skin tone as "dipped in tea".
  • August 31, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the song "Lady Marmalade", the titular lady's skin is described as being the color of cafe au lait.
  • August 31, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    The French film Metisse (derived from mixticius, meaning mixed, compare the Spainish and Portugese term Mestizo) was called Cafe Au Lait in the US as a Double Reference Pun to the mixed race characters, mix of the characters races and the french style coffees they all drank.
  • August 31, 2009
    Oonerspism
    We have this in the trope Cafe Au Lait Skin, but someone put it up on the cutlist because it doesn't have any examples or a very good description.
  • August 31, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    Yes, that was me. I was also unhappy with the name because it's the name of a dermotological condition and makes it seem like it's more about the skin (But Not Too Black) than the description so I figure a fresh YKTTW would be the best thing.
  • August 31, 2009
    vijeno
    • It's not really usual here in Austria. I don't know about the rest of Europe.

    • Real Life twisted subversion? A huge Austrian coffee label had a very stereotyped "black guy" as a logo - a "moor" as they were called back in the 19th century; probably reminiscent of where coffee originated. They had to change the logo when Political Correctness became popular.

  • August 31, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    No, that's just not related to the trope. That's just a reference to African coffee.

    I take this opportunity to say No Launching Please.
  • September 1, 2009
    SomeSortOfTroper
    One last bump.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

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