I’m well aware of the attitudes toward Starbucks in Australia and particularly, in Melbourne. When you were born and raised in a city that’s renown for its great coffee and hipster cafes in hidden laneways, people do wonder why you would choose to support a large American coffeehouse chain. I often get looks when I’m carrying around my coffee and when people notice they’re like “but why?”
Well here’s why.
1. GOOD FEELS + MEMORIES.
I started ordering from Starbucks at the end of 2015 during my trip to the States. All I’d been told growing up was that coffee in the U.S. is always shit coffee, so when we were over there, Starbucks felt like the safer option given how many people walk in and out of there every day. It was our first morning in New York and we’d kicked it off with some insane views from the top of the Empire State Building. After that it was time for some caffeine and conveniently enough there was a Starbucks around the corner – the perfect opportunity to start our trip doing what millions of Americans seem to do every morning. Maybe it was the excitement of being on the other side of the world, maybe it was the anticipation for all the places we were going to explore, maybe it was the holiday vibe with Thanksgiving the next day and Christmas closely following … but when I walked in, despite it being hella busy as always, I didn’t feel anxious at all and instead I just felt pure joy and comfort with where I was at the time. We were in the States for about two weeks and when you’re there, you see Starbucks everywhere. We even made a game out of it. We continued to get our caffeine fix from there and it was easy for me because I knew that they had alternative milk options. Some of my best memories are from that trip, and I haven’t stopped wanting to travel back there since. So when I’m in Melbourne and I walk into a Starbucks, it does take me back to those times.
2. VIBE + FAMILIARITY.
I went to Japan and Hong Kong right after the U.S. and I did the same – again, because it was the safe option for me and also because I was suffering from slight travel blues despite still traveling but in a different part of the world. When you’re in a foreign country, everything is new and unfamiliar and that’s one of the best reasons to get out and explore in the first place. However, sometimes too much of that in one go can be overwhelming for me and that’s another reason why I actually search for a nearby Starbucks wherever I am. It’s familiar. It doesn’t matter what city or country you’re in because it always looks, feels, and smells the same. If I need my alone time or just some place to chill, Starbucks becomes kind of like my second home base in every country.
3. ALL ABOUT THE SIZE.
Now if you have known me for some time, you’ll probably be aware of the number of coffees I drink a day. It really adds up and ends up making up about 80% of my credit card statement each month. It’s even more expensive because I always have to pay extra for almond or soy and on top of that I go for the large or extra large. I get asked sometimes why I don’t just get an extra shot and be done with it or get a piccolo so I don’t have to drink such a large cup, but the thing is, I actually love to slowly sip through my coffee. It’s not just about getting that caffeine in. And I will tell you, there aren’t many coffee shops in Melbourne that do massive ass coffees. But you know who does? Starbucks. Venti all the way 😛 Oh, and as a bonus, they don’t charge extra for soy. The only downside is that Australia seems to be the only country where Starbucks doesn’t have almond milk as an option. Hopefully one day soon hey?
4. OPTIONS OPTIONS OPTIONS.
Sometimes I feel like spoiling myself or switching things up a bit and want more than just a cappuccino or Americano. Where else can I get a gingerbread latte or sugar-free vanilla syrup or a frappuccino whilst being annoyingly picky about the little things that go into making them? And sometimes, I want food, and by food, I mean a bagel. Where else can I get a blueberry or plain bagel toasted with peanut butter for $3.50? I’ve scanned a lot of bagel options in the CBD and I’ve only ever seen $4.50 and up. Every dollar counts when you got issues with spending!
5. SERVICE WITH A SMILE.
I don’t recall any negative experiences with customer service at any of the Starbucks I’ve been to in any country. Japan by far is my favourite when it comes to service but regardless of where I am, I always feel comfortable talking to them. There are times where I’ve been to little coffee shops or cafes in Melbourne that supposedly do some of the best coffee and instead of feeling welcomed and like I want to spend my time there, it felt like they were snobbing me off and there was no effort put in to sound even the least bit friendly. This hasn’t been my experience in every tiny hipster place selling overpriced coffee but it definitely varies depending on where you go and what time you go. I’ve been to Starbucks many times when it was super busy and every time, the staff are still smiling and won’t try and rush me just to get orders through.
To be honest I’ve stopped caring so much that people disagree with my choice of go-to coffee/hang-out place, though if anyone does have an issue with it, I am open to being shouted coffee from somewhere more acceptable 🙂