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Starbucks: More Than Just Coffee

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Starbucks Serves A Beverage For The Soul

I know the title of this sounds obscure to most, but I have hopes that you’ll continue reading to truly understand by what I mean. Whether Starbucks knows it or not, we have a very intimate relationship with each other. My Baristas and Managers of the Starbucks that I frequent, understand this relationship very well.

I remember my first encounter with Starbucks. I was introduced to them by one of my Manager’s at restaurant that I was working at in Savannah, GA. I was on the prowl for a good cup of coffee. I found a couple that had decent coffee, but none really fulfilled my palate like that of Starbucks. I walked in and ordered a large cup of coffee. The Barista politely smiled at me and understood that at this very moment, I was having my first experience at Starbucks. After the Barista’s explanation of sizes, I proudly ordered a Venti.

It was something that I needed that day. At first, I’m not gonna lie…I felt like I was having a true yuppy experience. I knew that I was going to help pave the way for future yuppies, wearing their button up short sleeve shirts paired with khaki shorts, to enjoy their own version of a Starbucks coffee. I was having a rough day, and my first cup of Starbucks Coffee just made my day better.

Then the time came when I felt the need to spread my wings and move to NJ to be closer to my Grandparents and other family members that lived up there. I was about to become an official Yankee lol. Oh the joy, but it was going to be worth it because I wanted to be closer to them. So, I really was excited about this venture I was about to embark on. I packed up my 2001 Nissan Ultima with all that I could shove in her. I stopped by Starbucks to grab my final cup of coffee from Georgia, and then headed on my way. When I arrived, I stayed with my Aunt for a while until I could get on my own 2 feet. With strict directions from my Grandparents, I headed into Princeton and entered into The Ferry House restaurant. I was hired that day, and man was I thrilled. The first job I went to and I was hired on the spot. With my bearings of great news, I discovered a Starbucks located around the corner from them. My day was complete. I ordered my Grande Pike Place, and walked out a happy man.

I should note this: my Baristas are absolute magicians. They always know what I want without ever to have to ask me. It’s like they can read my mind. Now mind you, I only order 3 different drinks: A Grande Pike Place Coffee, A Grande Iced Quad Espresso, and a rarity of a Grande Non-fat Macchiato thrown into the mix. I adore them. Even when new Baristas enter into the world of knowing me, that were educated from their fellow team members of what I like..and they didn’t disappoint me.

My relationship with them became more intense as I entered into a failing relationship. Starbucks was there for me to warm my heart with my cup of coffee to help me think of what I should do and what direction I need to go in. Every visit to Starbucks became more and more intense and my head was just full of emotions that I was trying to get out and I was trying to make sense of things. I would go grab my cup of coffee, and do more contemplation. Then the day that a great friend of my died…my Grandmother. My Grandmother died of congested heart failure. When my Aunt called me to deliver the news, I just remember being stunned…and then started sobbing. I left my Princeton studio apartment and walked to my Starbucks. I guess my eyes and face said it all. My amazing Barista slid over my Grande Pike Place Coffee, and she held my hand for a brief moment as if to tell me that she understood what was going on. It was like she knew that I just lost a piece of my soul. She then politely refused my payment. Starbucks was my sense of normalcy that I needed at that moment. Our, me and Starbucks, relationship became more intense.

When I lost my Grandmother, they were there for me.

When I lost my Aunt, they were there for me.

When I lost my Grandfather, they were there for me.

When my boyfriend left me for someone else and left me with nothing (homeless), they were there for me.

When I lost my job, they were there for me.

When I got a new job, they were there for me.

When I found the love of my life, they were there for me.

When I needed solace and comfort, they were there for me.

When Hurricane Sandy came through and devastated New Jersey, Starbucks was there for all of us. The huddled masses trying to get a wifi reception to check email, get on Facebook, try to contact family to let them know that they were okay. I remember going into Starbucks just a day after the Sandy hit. There was barely a walking space to be had. Just enough space to come through and order our cup of coffee for our souls. That cup of coffee symbolized that life is good and will get better. That cup of coffee let symbolized that we were home among family and friends. We…were not alone.

For every life changing moment that I was going through, Starbucks was there for me.

You see, our relationship started off on being a cool coffee person and craving a great cup of coffee. It then developed into something more with a deeper meaning to it. We had more substance develop between us. I know it might sound crazy, but our relationship was something that has stood the test of time. Their products have always remained the same. I can go to any Starbucks in the world and get the same exact product made the same exact way. Consistent and constant. Starbucks had become my home and my refuge in my time of need. Starbucks helped create that sense of normalcy that I craved, and the very first sip was a hug to my heart.

We all have a place that we frequent that we can call home. A place that sets our senses at peace and to know that we are thought about. We all have a place that we go to when we celebrate something fabulous in our lives, and a place where we go to we live gives us lemons to make lemonade out of. There is something to be said about an establishment like that in our lives. Everyone has a Starbucks.What is your Starbucks?

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