Recent Thoughts

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Caffeine Overdose

The 15th of October 2005 was the first time I drank a beverage that costs more than P100. It was Northern Brew Café’s Mango Caramel Smoothie. While I've had many Caramel Frappucinos from Ala Crème before, I never paid for them, haha! (Thanks as always, Jigs! ^-^) But hey, if I had known it costs P125, I wouldn’t have fallen for that luscious poster. I just asked an orgmate who will pass by the café to buy me one, thinking it costs only around P60. I didn’t know that prices at that local coffee shop are at par with those at Starbucks. Anyway, it wasn’t worth it. The whipped cream topping on the picture plastered at the menu was missing on my drink. And while there was indeed that strange but delicious tinge of caramel in my mango shake, at that time, I still didn’t think P125 was well worth it. Quite ironic that just a few weeks later, a Starbucks frappe that costs P125 would be a norm for me.

Na ah, don’t get me wrong, cause it’s not like I'm one of those richy rich kids one would commonly see at posh coffee shops, all with the complete accessories – ipods, thick books and white laptops. Well, I do have a laptop (it’s black though) and an mp3 player (MPIO FY600), but I definitely have those thick readings. Let’s just say I actually could afford a P100+ drink a week. But then if I would always indulge, I would be penniless each weekend.

I guess it all started one day in November. It was one of those days wherein one would be eager to try something new, even if costs more than what you usually spend on a food treat to oneself. But as fate would have it, the barista gave me one of those little red cards. If I can to fill it with 21 stickers (which means, 21 drinks) until January, I get that prestigious Starbucks Planner. And that’s it.

Normally, I wouldn’t give in to over-indulgent promos, no matter how premium the gift is in the end. If you’d think about it, the planner would cost more than P2,100. But at that time, I was already given a go signal to treat my friends for my 21st birthday. So I figured it could finish off those 21 stickers on my birthday. And I did. But the question is, now that I have the planner, why do I still overspend on my weekly coffee fix? =p My excuse? I need to use up the discount coupons that came with my sleek planner. Haha! Damn! Those marketing people at Starbucks are really good.

But of course, there will be days when I can't afford to go to Starbucks. What do I do? Edi do the next best thing – make my own frappe at home. Our age-old blender is pretty hard-working lately. And now with our new ref that comes with an easy just-twist-and-enjoy ice cube maker and the two Starbucks plastic cups that I didn’t throw away, I can have always pretend to be having Starbucks at home. There is a bit of a problem though, my sister has been complaining recently on how fast I consume our creamer and sugar whenever I make my frappes.

My typical ingredients include the Irish-cream-flavored coffee beans (Ate Joi and I bought this years ago, thinking it was instant coffee. It wasn’t, haha!), Coffeemate French Vanilla, strawberry syrup, Nescafe Caramel Mocha, Nescafe Ice, Milk Magic, Karo maple syrup and any biscuit or what-have-yous on the ref or cabinets that could give a different and new twist to my drinks. And as always, whenever my nephews hear the painful grinding of our old blender, they always ask me to save some for them.

It just amazes me in an amusing and ironic way how much Starbucks has affected my life for the past four months. I had one with too many people at too many branches (okay, maybe not. So far, I've had Starbucks on five branches – SM City North, Katipunan, Eastwood City Walk 2, Glorietta 2 & SM Pampanga). It only used to be too expensive to fit in my allowance. If I’d have one, someone else has got to pay for it. I used to awe at the breath-taking aroma that linger over Starbucks branches. It used to be such a luxury, a prestigious commodity. Not anymore – especially now that I can recreate Starbucks at home. I don’t mean to brag but sometimes, with the ordinary and common ingredients at home, my drinks are even better than their Caramel Frappucino or Macchiato.

This Easter Sunday, I would probably trek to Starbucks SM Pampanga. I need to use my Easter Sunday coupon. =)

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