A cup of joy: Starbuck’s Venti Caramel Macchiato

There is nothing like a cup of Venti Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks to make a very bad start of the day a little bit better. Today in Utrecht Centraal Station, after throwing away around 80euros due to a missed appointment and crying my eyes out because of frustration, I grabbed a cup of Starbucks coffee. And in a snap of a finger, I began to forgive myself for that mistake. I smiled and shrug my shoulders. “Shit happens!.”

Why does Starbucks’ Caramel Macchiato makes me happy?

For one, there is a scarcity of Starbucks in the Netherlands (only three branches I think) and enjoying their cup once in a while is like eating a macaroon from Laduree. It is almost rare.

But for the greater reason that Starbucks reminds me of home and my comfort zone, a coffee shop. Since I was able to afford it after getting that first job, a cup of Starbucks caramel macchiato (which the Philippines cost about 2euros which is just too much for a college kid like me), I’ve been drinking the same flavor for 6 years, always the same flavor *I do go for double espresso once in a while.

I am no stranger to problems. Back then I have lots of them mostly about unrequited love. Whenever I am heart-broken or when I had a bad day at work, I’ll seek comfort in my favorite couch by the window in Starbucks *back then I wasn’t much into alcohol yet. When it gets really unbearable, I will call my friends. And even at 12 midnight they will come to share a cup of coffee with me…to hear my woes, to give me a hug or to laugh at my silliness.

When the craze over free wifi first began in the Philippines, Starbucks was one of the establishments that offered it. And I was in their shop almost everyday, drowning cups and cups of macchiato just to be online. For me, it marked the beginning of being able to buy things that I wanted, including my laptop and a really expensive video camera which I am still using until now *laptop though got hacked.

It was in Starbucks that I shared the last conversation with my very good lifestyle friends, before each of us took a shot in living in three different countries. Who would have known that during that last of conversation when we dreamed about exploring the possibilities in other countries, will come true?

One conversation though is unforgettable. One that I will always remember whenever I hold a cup of Starbuck’s Caramel Macchiato. It is a bit cheesy, so stop right here if you’re not romantic. The conversation went like this:

Guy: So what do you want to tell me. I am here now. I am in front of you.
Girl: Nothing.
Guy: Really, what are you thinking? Tell me.
Girl: You really want to know.(He nods) My mind is blank I can think of nothing whenever I see you.
Guy: You don’t want to kiss me?
Girl: I would love to.
Guy: Tell me what you are thinking.
Girl: Nothing, I just want to look at you. I want to memorize your face so when you decide to disappear completely, I would not have a hard time imagining how you look.
Guy: Hmmmm….
Girl: (looking outside) It is raining hard.
Guy: (taking her hand) Let’s get out of here.

*The guy did disappear from the girl’s life. But one day after her wedding, he suddenly showed up. He met her husband.

I deleted part of the conversation. It’s a very personal memory. And those days were always accompanied by a cup of Starbuck’s coffee. Until he also migrated.

These memories of laughter, achievements, love and heartaches made me feel better today, after a sip of Caramel Macchiato. It is pity that there are only limited branches here in the Netherlands and the coffee can be very expensive. Somehow, whenever I am feeling down, I know that with a cup of Starbucks Caramel Macchiato *with extra shot of espresso and extra caramel drizzle, everything will be better.