Friday, February 13, 2009

I Don't Go to Starbucks for the Coffee

Bookmark and Share

Nina will hate me for this, but I really don't like Starbucks coffee - the flavor's too acidic. As a matter of fact, the reason I take drip or pressed coffee black without cream or sugar is the fact that I don't get to taste the flavour otherwise. It's just sharp, bitter water.

This excludes, of course, the Christmas blend. That selection is so strong, it feels like a horse punched you in the head. The way I like my coffee.

(Starbucks pales in comparison to Nina's own coffee - which is strong and bitter, the way coffee, decaf or not, is supposed to be).

But the reason I go for Starbucks coffee is the fact that it's so easy to get lost in the chaos. There's the anonymity of being in a place that retains a territorial boundary of sorts despite the fact that it's always full of people. Jericho said something about kids who go to Starbucks because it's cool, something like a fad, but I think this is necessary for the formative teen. You need to waste a few bucks on trying to find your niche, poor or not. And no matter how destitute you might be, there's something calming about knowing that with this eighty-pesos cup of coffee, you are buying something more than just cafe. You're buying the chance to be alone and be left alone, for the most part.

Like this afternoon. I was feeling horrible, and I couldn't focus on work, much less go to a gig, because of a lot of atmospheric elements. There was, to be precise, a party ongoing at my house, and since most celebrations are held at the balcony right behind my room, the speakers of my brother booming my humps, my humps, my lovely little lumps, I'd very much rather check out of the house. So instead, I slept. For several hours. By ten pm, I was feeling strong enough to take a shower and head out to Robinsons Otis and the Starbucks there, which was open til midnight. Thank the heavens Otis was ten minutes away from my place, at best.

Lo and behold. I was able to secure a good spot, and spit out four decent articles in the span of two hours. All I had was a chair, a small table, and breathing space of around a couple of centimeters away from my body. As compared to my room, which was roomier than four sedans put together.

Sounds amazing? It is.

If you need to do a lot of thinking, whether for work or for school - or even for yourself - you need the comfort of faux company offered by the kitsch surroundings of a cafe trying too hard to be elegant. The drone of people talking about a variety of topics - in Otis it's mostly cars and the odd medical group, while in Missouri it's mostly about gimmicks, relationships, and other teenage or yuppie matter - and the knowledge that no matter how tense things became, they wouldn't bother you more than a couple of minutes is very relaxing. You have the world in your oyster. You can observe and be observed, and not care and not be bothered. It's like living and watching your own petri dish in motion, with full mutual respect for the eccentricities of each person.

Because you know that you won't be bothered by these people.

So yeah. I don't go to Starbucks for the coffee. The coffee's just the cherry on the cake, the bagel sandwiches an added bonus. I go to Starbucks because in the chaos of that pedestrian fakery, I can be happily alone.


  1. the bagels are the absolute bonus for me. if not for them, i would've gone somewhere else. hehehe