Nothing beats the two-tailed mermaid

Every coffee experience is significant for me. The mere scent of coffee stimulates my senses.

Caffeine was the only thing that kept me awake during my college days. Coffee helped me survive the days of extra long quizzes, practical exams and extra-curricular projects. There was a time when coffee didn’t have an effect on me anymore. I stopped drinking coffee right after graduation to give my “bitter” taste buds some kind of ‘rest.’ About a month ago, my coffee abstinence ended.

Gloria Jean’s
I had my first taste of Gloria Jean’s coffee during Maksim’s concert at PICC four years ago. Maksim’s piano concerto was more memorable than the taste of Gloria Jeans coffee. If not for the stickers Gloria Jeans gave away, I wouldn’t remember the name of the coffee company. When a GJ coffee shop opened a few blocks away from our office building, it became a big hit. I tried their Coco Loco iced blended coffee and it tasted good, but not at par with that of other coffee shops.

Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
The name ‘Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf’ is too long for a coffee company – no wonder some people prefer to go to “Seattle’s” or “Starbucks” or “Bo’s” (beat that two-letter name!) Products of CBTF are more expensive than other local shops. Their coffee servings are ‘so-so.’ Their teas, on the other hand, are delicious. I suggest they change their name to “T” (short for ‘tea’).

That’s Ueshima Coffee Co. Their “Good Coffee Smile” tagline certainly fits the culture of ‘friendliness’ among their employees. In my recent visit to one UCC café, I was happy about the service. I’m happy that UCC offers more than bitter coffee, tasteless cakes and expensive candies. The setback: add more sugar to their bland coffee.

Seattle’s Best
For those who wants the all-American way of coffee life, Seattle’s Best is the perfect choice. I don’t remember the taste of the coffee but I cannot forget the ambiance of one SB shop. Buy their big big mugs. My college classmate gave me one and whenever I use that oversized mug, it’s as if it never runs out of coffee.

Starbucks is the perfect coffee shop for me. Nothing beats that feeling whenever they shout ‘One mocha frapuccino for Earl.’ The whole Starbucks experience is very memorable for me. I wonder what makes that two-tailed mermaid so magnetic to Filipinos. I’ve been to countless Starbucks branches – may it be in Manila, Baguio, or the expressway. I have a Starbucks planner, and I meet with my closest friends in that ‘free wi-fi socialization hub.

For others, being in Starbucks is equivalent to flaunting. For me, it’s all about the simple talks ‘over a cup of coffee.’ To be honest, I cried, laughed, answered assignments and did thesis work while sipping an iced blended coffee from Starbucks.