If there's one thing I brought with me from my small town to the big city, is my love for coffee. Growing up, I was mesmerized by my mother's penchant for black coffee for breakfast. In rural Davao, we were taught that coffee is an adult drink. Legend has it that "coffee dulls the mind." But how do you explain then, those who've had milk all their lives and yet...
When I was old enough to have the license to drink this brew at home, I felt like a sophisticated grown up. Sipping a cuppa while studying is my 'daily uniform'. The habit became a staple when I landed my first job. I didn't know what boredom was until I spent my days there stirring instant coffee while willing the clock to turn faster.
Slowly, I inched my way to the stronger stuff. Espresso. I've met some friends who share an intense passion for coffee. It has become a social activity for us. If there was coffee club then, we would have signed up.
We would meet in Bo's Coffee in Ayala Center Cebu (used to be known as Bo's Coffee Club) after work and hang at the al fresco area. The coffee experience becomes richer because of the added allure of people watching while pretending to be immersed in serious conversation. ha ha ha.
That was almost a decade ago. I've lived in different cities since then. But I always find myself gravitating towards coffee shops. I've scoured the city streets to find the perfect place to hang and enjoy my latte.
In Tacloban where I was based for over two years, Jose Karlos was our usual. The coffee is good, price is reasonable and the ambiance is just unparalleled. It really isn't quaint but it does have a certain character. They really understand the power of mood lighting. And they employ it with much enthusiasm. I've spent so many evenings there for casual meet ups and even organized parties for my tight circle of friends at its lanai on the second floor.
In Batangas, no particular cafe left a mark. One thing stands out though, the Barako blend is superb. I particularly enjoyed spending late afternoons in the roadside cafes after a toxic day. And of course, being nearer to Manila, the local brands compete with giants like Starbucks.
And my love affair with this brand has never wavered. And it has even extended to its merchandise. (I'll write about it, separately). I love the espresso based drinks. I am particularly loyal to caramel macchiato, vanilla misto and signature hot chocolate. All are customized -- non-fat, no foam, no whip.
Why did I write about coffee today? Ah, I've been debating with myself since this morning whether I should already enjoy my free tall beverage courtesy of Starbucks' online customer survey. In the randomness of things, I manage to snag one every so often.
Tonight, my Friday gimmick will be surely spent at my favorite branch, Starbucks in Fully Booked at the Bonifacio High Street in Global City.