"The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don't know what the hell they're doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino." -Joe Fox, You've Got Mail

Starbucks is more than just coffee. To me, Starbucks means: free wifi, an office space, pretty music, rad art, low lighting, a peaceful atmosphere, friendly baristas, comfy chairs, therapy sessions with Lindsey, bible studies, toasted bagels, venti nonfat iced mochas, holiday spirit and meaningful conversations.

It's where I've participated in 'pay-it-forward' chains. It's where I most likely gained my share of freshman fifteen. It's where the cute Zac Efron/Chad Dylan Cooper look-alike worked down the street from my old house. In London, I learned it's where you're charged an extra 50p if you decide to dine in. It's where they used to sell toffee almond bars. {Side note: Why they ever stopped making these delicious treats is beyond me.} It's where 9 times out of 10, the baristas write 'Christine' on my cup instead of Kristyna (or Cristina or Christina). & It's where, from time to time, one receives a free cup of coffee if they mess up the order of the person in front of you.

Starbucks: Lovely. Magical. Remarkable. & I miss having one closer than forty miles away. What do you think of when you think of Starbucks? β˜…