I haven’t posted in a while. I was away. In Qatar. Yes, the same Qatar that’s in the Persian Gulf where it gets to 54 degrees in June-July. I went there and baked. With my mom-in-law. I mean I actually did bake, 2 cakes in fact, which I will write about soon.
I have finally gotten my camera and my computer back in sync, and I have unpacked and settled back into rainy windy Mumbai so I can finally start posting regularly.
I am a sucker for Starbucks coffee. I know, that sounds pathetic. Purists will say that Starbucks coffee isn’t the real deal; Balinese kopi luwak is the way to go. But I still run to a Starbucks every time I’m abroad like my behind is on fire. Coffee breaks are essential to my retail experience. At home it’s Costa Coffee or Barista or The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf or whatever else is around at the mall. If I’m abroad, it must be Starbucks. Yes, I’m a sad, capitalist mall piranha who needs to shop for clotheshoesbagsbookscrockery. Ok I have to start a new paragraph because this one is making me appear sadder with each word I type.
Now the coffee at Starbucks is great- it may not be get your panties in a twist kinda great; but still pretty darn good. It’s not like we get bad phancy coffee in India: the Café Frappe at Café Coffee Day is most agreeable; the iced coffees at Gloria Jeans’s are rich and frothy; and the flavoured lattes and café mochas at Costa and The Coffee Bean are lovely. But I still value Starbucks above all of them. I always thought I felt that way because we don’t have the chain in India, but I recently realised I was wrong.
I walked into Starbucks at Doha’s City Centre mall and ordered a mocha Frappuccino for myself and a Caffe Mocha for my mother in law. And as I sat there drinking my iced coffee, which tasted as good as any mocha iced coffee back home, I wondered: what was it about Starbucks? What magic did the white and green mermaid logo have, that made me walk past the sale at Nine West and head straight towards the coffee counter? Was it because they are generous with the whipped cream? Or because they had gargantuan sizes? Or simply becuase they were the first ones to make drinking ridiculously priced coffee chic? I sipped and slurped and wondered and crunched on an ice cube.
And then dear coffee lovers, it hit me: as I looked down into my mocha flavoured glacial goodness, it finally hit me. It was the straw. That fat, green, sturdy Starbucks straw. The straw was like Starbucks mug sizes: bigger and better. One gentle sip and you got everything: the coffee, the ice, the whipped cream, the chocolate syrup. It wasn’t like the straws at Barista and Cafe Coffee Day which were about as thin as cling wrap and as narrow as a chopstick. If those straws managed to survive the pressure of your lips, you still had to pull so hard, so hard that the veins on your temples tightened, your eyes bulged and you got a migraine.
And by the time you’ve managed to find a rhythm with your straw, your coffee’s no longer cold, your ice has melted and you’re exhausted.
With the Blessed Green Straw, it’s just so easy…
PS I shouldn’t have stared at that green straw for so long because my 3-month-old son was on my lap and he kicked the cup as I reached for it and the rest of my Mocha Frapp wound up on the floor. (Phew!) Hence, the borrowed Frappuccino picture!