With watered down coffee and words of gold

I still remember the day I fell in love with coffee. It wasn’t all that long ago – only in March of 2001. During a week-long mission trip to Philadelphia, I was assigned to a group of coffee crazies. We stopped at Starbucks at least once a day (sometimes more).

The atmosphere of the coffee shop was alluring, but I had never gotten into the bean beverage itself. With as much time as we were spending in those shops, I felt I needed something to drink.

Finally, a friend walked me through choosing my first Starbucks experience. “Try the caramel frappucino,” she said. “It doesn’t have much coffee in it, and it’s really sweet. I think you’ll like it.”

Um, yeah.

A monster was born.

I believe this is where I drank my first Starbucks beverage.

Or began to evolve, at the very least. Later that trip I tasted a caramel machiatto, and thereby learned that hot coffee is also good. I began to dabble in home creations (Coffeemate Cinammon Vanilla creamer) and local coffee shops (Aristotle’s – bad coffee, great atmosphere; Javaheads – great coffee, poor atmosphere). Trips to the northeast were Starbucks treats. The closest we had to Starbucks was the Barnes & Noble “proudly serving Starbucks coffee” Cafe. It’s not the same.

During one of those NYC coffee jaunts, my aunt and sister spotted Peter Gallagher in line behind us. I was busy ordering my coffee (or caramel apple cider, as I believe it was that day). When I turned around, we had a very pleasant exchange about the play he was starring in, which we’d seen only days before. It was my first “famous person” coffee sighting, but it wouldn’t be the last.

Noises Off is really one of the best plays ever, just so you know.

My little brother doesn’t get out much – he’s eleven. So when I made a Starbucks run to get some writing done, I decided he should tag along.

I think I passed the coffee shop-a-holicism on to him, and at an early age. šŸ™‚ He thought it was the grandest thing – he got a kiddie hot chocolate and a snack of some kind. But don’t you worry – he also likes to sample whatever I’m having that day. “Mmmmm – but I won’t have anymore,” he says. “I don’t want to stunt my growth.”

It’s become something of a sibling tradition. When I’m in town, I always try to take him for coffee. It’s also at this Starbucks that he decided he wants to be a barista when he’s of age.

Wouldn't Chad look cute in a green apron?Bonus Bucks - Joyce and I visited this location when she was in town. This is one of my favorite places in Jacksonville.

Whenever my sister (Cristin) and I visited Birmingham, we made numerous Starbucks runs with our aunt. Cristin has been in search of Taylor, her latte boy, for years. (She would actually ask at each location if the barista’s name was Taylor.) She never found him, but she decided that Ricky the Mocha Boy would do.

This is probably my favorite Starbucks in the world.

When I spotted Ricky at the Starbucks that Alisa and I favored, I had to send Cristin a text message! Alisa and I made many a Sbx run (from 60 miles away) to use the gift cards her friends gave her before she left California. We chose the Vestavia location because it was closest, but its friendly baristas and open board games were also perks. I remember fondly an afternoon we spent just before I left for the summer… we played that board game for hours while we waited for a movie in the nearby theatre. It was an emotional day – but isn’t every emotion best accompanied by coffee?

It may not be the most interesting, but it holds some great memories.

I received the Starbucks award this summer from my fellow interns based on my love of coffee. A group of us met daily over French Roast and conversation. It was the perfect beginning to a morning, because there’s always time for a couple cups of coffee and friends. šŸ˜‰

I also enjoyed several cups of coffee at the Starbucks nearest our apartments. Jeremy and I would spend reflection nights first with Jesus, then discussing whatever was on our minds. Lara and I picked up French Roast stickers here. Heather, Jesse, Elis, John and I gabbed over coffee on a very rainy day. I even stole a bit of alone time here – a rarity during a summer project!

It ain't much to look at, but it was home.

In fact, I have memories attached to most Starbucks I’ve visited. (That may be due to my oddly detailed memory.) It’s oddly soothing to hold a cup of coffee in your hands, and therefore something I try to put into practice often. In fact, I’m sipping a homemade cappucino as we speak…

Honorable mention Starbucks:
Alisa's gonna kill me if I got the wrong picture
Who could forget Popular Genius Starbucks? It’s not every day your roommate drags you to the least convenient Starbucks near Nashville to see if a cute band guy is working.

This 'bucks really is rather large inside.
I was interviewing Tara Leigh Cobble at Starbucks when another celebrity sighting occured. Martina McBride walked past on her way to Smoothie King. She’s much harder to recognize without those digitally-enhanced blue eyes.

I don't remember it looking like this, but hey.
This Starbucks is half the reason Alisa and I hate Jackson, Miss. The other half is because Mississippi simply isn’t that interesting in the first place.

I promise you, I went to this site yesterday and he didn’t even have a link to Melbourne. Maybe he’s there right now, updating his site with the latest Starbucks information.
It seems the Starbucks where Amy, Megan, David and I spent a rainy Melbourne day is one of the few this guy hasn’t visited.

I owe Mark a little credit for a great idea. His journey through Starbucks is a fun read and includes many details more significant than mine.

2 Comments

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2 Responses to With watered down coffee and words of gold

  1. Hey Carla! Hope everything is going well! I like this post about your infatuation with coffee. I must say I have begun stopping by our on-campus coffee shop much more this year than I did last year so I think you and the “Breakfast Clubs” coffee drinking may be rubbing off on me. Give me a call sometime! Peace out!
    Sky

  2. alisa

    *sniff* I am so proud of this post. But I dont know if I like the fact you have on your blog about the PG Starbucks…

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