Tag

coffee

Starbucks Goes Retro

By business, food

So if you’ve been to Starbucks anytime in the past week, you probably noticed that the cup that holds your favorite beverage is sporting a new look. Or old. Depends on how you look at it.

Last month, Starbucks closed its doors for a couple hours at all stores nationwide for mandatory employee training, in an effort to get the popular coffee chain back to its roots: serving great coffee. In the past few years, they felt they had strayed from their core vision and focused more on their store merchandise, private music label, and other things.

What came of this training initiative? First, Starbucks will come out with a dollar cup of coffee soon, in response to McDonald’s new fresh roast coffee (I don’t drink coffee; I go to Starbucks for their chai tea, but apparently McDonald’s roast is pretty good according to many people I know). They’ve been giving them a run for their money lately (I know, whodathunk it?).

The new cup is actually their old cup design, sporting the original brown logo from their Pike’s Place location. It’s not here to stay, either. It’s just a promotion for their Pike’s Place coffee roast. The old cups will apparently be back in May from what I’ve read.

A Grande Nonfat Chai Tea Latte For Thomas?

By Uncategorized

Well this is a new one. I can’t count how many times people have thought my name was Travis (though I still don’t understand why that’s such a common thing that happens to me, because honestly I haven’t really met any more people named Travis than Trevor in my lifetime, but I digress). Well this morning at the Cabell Library Starbucks at VCU, I ordered my usual pick-me-up, a grande nonfat Chai Tea Latte. They ask for your name with your order at this particular location because it’s so incredibly busy, and the lady asked mine twice because I guess she couldn’t hear me. But I ended up with Thomas on my cup. I don’t know I just found that interesting. How in the world do you get Thomas from Trevor? Yet more proof that I really don’t exist, especially at VCU, like I posted about a few weeks earlier. Thought I’d snap a quick picture of it. Too funny.

Talking Gas Pump Rant

By Uncategorized

So I was at the Miller’s gas station on Nuckols Road today pumping gas. It was cold as all, and me being the procrastinator that I am, had no coat to wear whatsoever because I was washing every single one at once. So not only am I standing out in the freezing cold, but then the gas pump decides it would like to strike up a chat. The first thing that loud, annoying box thing blares through the speaker tries to lure me in for a snack. “In a rush? Come on in and pick up a ready-made sandwich for the road!” No thanks, I just ate. The thing just keeps on belting out reasons that I should venture even farther from my warm car and enjoy a less-than-decent snack or beverage. It’s bad enough that the on-screen prompts ask if you want a receipt, a car wash, or want to pay in or outside (okay seriously, if I’ve already swiped my card, isn’t there, oh I don’t know, pretty much a more than 100% chance I’m paying outside?). But this thing just kept on telling me what I needed to buy. The short version: “You want a sandwich?” NO! “Some chips?” NO! “A slushy?” NO! It’d be frozen solid by the time I got it back to the car anyway. “Coffee?” I don’t like coffee. Plus, I just gave away half my life savings to the big oil companies anyway by filling my gas-sucking Xterra (I really need to sell it) all the way to the top; you think I have any more money left over to donate to your dinky mini-mart snack department anyway?

So after all of that, my receipt prints as I requested in the “Do you want a [fill in the blank with a non-needed gas station service here]” questionnaire that is thrown at you before you’re even allowed to touch the gas nozzle. The talking box on top of the gas pump then gleefully informs me of the following information:

“Welcome to Miller’s Neighborhood Market! Congratulations, you’re at the $300 Miller’s Easy Rewards gas level for February! Come on in and get a free hot dog courtesy of your friends at Miller’s!”

Well dang, all I have to say is, for $300, that thing better have flakes of gold embedded in the meat or something nifty like that. The so-called “free” hot dog was funded by my $300 in gas purchases, you ignorant talking box. Sounds like Regal Cinema’s Crown Club Card. You go see like 50 movies and you get a free small popcorn without butter. Nice! Customer loyalty programs rock.

Enjoying Life

By Uncategorized

This article comes from a blog I frequent called Dumb Little Man: Tips For Life. Despite the name, it’s actually a great resource. This article is all about taking the time to enjoy the little things in life, stuff we often take for granted because of our hectic schedules.

There are so many delicious, comforting, joyous moments in our life every day, but they are lost on us because we are often going too fast to savor them.Take a moment to answer the call of the good in your life by sensing it and fully enjoying these little gifts that are there if you slow down long enough to grab them. Here are a few to consider.

Quiet Morning Stillness: Ahh, the serenity of quiet early mornings. Instead of being upset about having to get up early, drink in the gift of early morning peace.

Long Hot Shower: Instead of the daily 5 minute shower, take a day or two off from showering. Unless you’re getting really dirty and sweaty everyday, we often never really get dirty enough to feel and appreciate the clean that comes from daily bathing. Next time you do shower, stand still with your head under the hot water. Notice the droplets all around you and how the light hits them. Maybe light some candles before you get in the shower. Take notice of the scents of your soaps and shampoos and immerse yourself in the luxury of it all.

Hot Morning Drink: In Japan, there are elaborate rituals for preparing, pouring, and drinking tea. What this does is elevate the tea drinking experience into something special. Why not establish your own ritual for your morning coffee or tea that involves enjoying the process of preparation, savoring the aroma, and slowly experiencing the first sips of your hot drink. Notice the warmth as it goes down the center of your body and spread out to heat you from the inside out. The slower you go, the more you notice, the greater the experience.

Alone Time: Are you troubled by waiting in line, waiting in your car in traffic, sitting in a waiting room? Turn that coin around to the other side. Recognize that what you have there is precious alone time to think and daydream. Don’t spend that time being annoyed. Use it and enjoy it!

Dessert: Who doesn’t enjoy dessert? Yet, when we eat our sweets we eat them fast and afterwards we feel guilty. We rob ourselves twice. First we lose out on the enjoyment of the experience by eating fast, and secondly by not embracing the reward. For some people in some countries where life is hard and the people are poor, a small sweet is a tremendous luxury. Next time you have a sweet, have a small bit, eat it slowly, and savor it. Imagine that it is the one luxury in your life. Allow yourself to fully enjoy it. And when you’re done, grin gleefully and be happy. Relish the memory and move forward having been justifiably rewarded.< Clean Teeth: Is brushing your teeth a chore? Or is it a luxury? Could it be a time to be thankful for your teeth? Could it be a time in which you are caring for your teeth, which is at the root of good health, and in reality caring for your whote self? Ah the feeling of clean teeth. Imagine life without being able to care for your teeth. Let that thought facilitate your appreciation of it.

What You Saw Today: What did you really see? Look for the beautiful, the miraculous, the wondrous, the spectacular. Look for it everywhere, especially in small places. What grand masterpiece is nature displaying for you today? See it. Drink it in. Perhaps you’ll be inspired to write a little poem and give it to someone you love or to someone you want to thank. Find some way to share that beauty. Remember, all it takes to capture that beauty is to pay attention.

Relief from the Elements: Close your eyes and imagine entering a warm home on a cold day after a walk in the brisk cold air. Can you feel it? Or how about during warmer months, when was the last time you truly appreciated the cool air of a fan cooling your face and body? Sometimes it is good to experience real heat or cold so we can grasp the luxury of a comfortable temperature.

Music: Have you ever listened to music without doing anything else? Probably not in a while. In my humble opinion, if there is a heaven, it must feel a lot like the joy of listening to music. Next time you listen to music try to melt into the sound. Try some classical or other music without words, and imagine what the message is. Does the message speak to you in words, pictures, feelings, or something else? And speaking of feelings, go with your feelings when you listen to the music. Let the music cleanse you completely!