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And the Award Goes to….

March 29, 2010

Whoever created the concept of a coffee shop should get an award. I’m not talking Nobel Peace Prize or anything of the like. But, there should be an award, a star on Hollywood Blvd or an awareness day for the person who came up with the brilliant idea of a coffee shop.

I say this because a coffee shop is so much more than a place that brews the perfect blend and offers sinfully scrumptious pastries. A coffee shop is a place to unwind and steal a few quiet moments, a place to meet old and new friends, a place where you can disappear into a good book or catch up on some work. A place to spend many an unemployed afternoon perhaps.

What it really boils down to is that a coffee shop, in my opinion, is its own unique world.

My coffee shop of choice is Starbucks. Yes I know it is more a chain than a coffee shop and I’ve even been told by fellow tweeters that I should promote the “local” coffee shops a bit more. But, for better or worse, I’ve branded myself a Starbucks girl and, if I’ve learned anything over the past few months it is that you have to remain true to the personal brand you create for yourself.

I would be straying from the brand I’ve created if I didn’t tell you about some of the amazing things that myself and my readers have seen at Starbucks lately:

  • A dear friend of mine, Lia, has spent too many mornings and afternoons to count at our “secret” Starbucks surveying the scene. One particular morning, a morning when, alas, I wasn’t there, I received a fabulous string of #spottedatstarbucks tweets from this people-watching pro. A man in line, who we can safely say was either incredibly vain or super excited to play with his new iPhone, decided to snap some self-portraits. After reviewing his work, this particular gentleman decided he that wasn’t thrilled with having an up close and personal pic of himself. So naturally, he asked the Barista to stop what she was doing so that she could take his picture. I, personally, would have paid to see the look on the Barista’s face when she realized she had to carry out said task. I only hope she asked him to “strike a pose.”
  • Another devoted #spottedatstarbucks contributor was in Chicago a week or so after St. Patrick’s Day (yes, I realize that was awhile ago…) and happened to have the luck of the Irish on his side. Because, hanging out in Starbucks was a woman with bright green hair. Now I’m not opposed to a little color job but nothing says lazy to me like leaving your holiday spirit in place weeks after the holiday has occurred.
  • Last week, I was lucky enough to spot love at first sight. Sitting near me at one table was a man, a man in a Google t-shirt (bless him), and sitting at the table next to him was a soft-spoken, shy woman. Both had checked the other out and I waited with bated breath to see who would make the first move. I watched as he looked over, debated and then leaned over to ask her a question about her book. I then watched as she answered with a sweet smile which resulted in an ear-to-ear grin from our gentleman friend. It was a beautifully awkward conversation complete with the nervous exchange of numbers that truly made me grin from ear-to-ear for the rest of the afternoon (as I sat alone with my luke-warm cup of coffee…).
  • Today, a Monday of all days, I spotted something truly astonishing. Something I thought only happened in Starbucks urban legends. A truly uncomfortable moment that had me cringing to my very core. Today, I spotted one woman steal another woman’s latte. Yes, you read that correctly. A rare moment in time when one sneaky woman, itching for more caffeine on another woman’s dime, tries to casually walk by the bar, reach out and snag an unnamed latte while no one is watching. I give the thief in question props because she almost made it back to her seat before the other woman caught on to what had just happened. Long story short, our thief ended up latte-less and forever scorned by a woman in a power suit.

It’s reasons like these that I adore coming to coffee shops 🙂 So I ask you now, devoted reader, what type of award should we give the creator of these fabulous mini-worlds that smell of coffee beans and sugary snacks?

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