June 24, 2012, I remember how this day was different from all the other Sundays I usually have because this was the first weekend that I did not have to study for the board exams. It was also the first time that I wasn’t meeting my review buddies at Starbucks. That afternoon though, Luis, one of my schoolmates invited me to meet up at Starbucks. He usually helps me plan our review sessions which we’ve organized for months until we finally reached the end of our review season.
Luis was hanging out at Starbucks Imperial Palace Suites as per his usual weekend schedule. He's not new to Starbucks at all, as a matter of fact, he's one of the regulars there and the Baristas know him quite well. He enjoys the atmosphere of the store and seems to focus better with whatever he is doing when he is there. The baristas even know his usual order which is Caffé Mocha or a Dark Mocha Frappuccino® and an Ensaymada.
I agreed to meet with him that afternoon. I picked up my book and went to Tomas Morato, which was just 10 minutes away from where I live. We said our hellos and did what we came for – to have our own alone time. After reading a few chapters into my book, a Barista approached us and invited us to join a coffee seminar. I was glad that this happened because I was already losing interest in the book that I was reading and we both needed an actual break.
We were able to learn and experience coffee, because there is much more to it than being a just a beverage to wake you up. We learnt a lot, like what Arabica coffee is, the growing regions and types of coffees, the process of planting the seeds, how coffee cherries are picked and how it comes out as the tasty and delicious cup of coffee we have come to love. Most importantly, we learnt how to truly enjoy a cup of coffee, which is by using the sense of smell, taste, feel and sight.
After the session, I have observed that Luis and I were able to talk more comfortably about ourselves, not just about work or school-related stuff. That same day, I came to know that he loves to go to the movies and dreams about being Batman. He also allowed me to share a laugh with him about his funny childhood antics, which I still laugh about to this very moment. The coffee experience loosens up people and makes them more comfortable, and I think this is why the term “COCOL” (Coffee-Coffee Lang) also became popular.
Our relationship grew at Starbucks and we finally decided to take the next step into our relationship. And now that we are about to get married, we will always remember the first moments we ever talked as friends, and the friendly faces of the Baristas who got us into that coffee seminar. Thank you, Starbucks!