It all began in high school, back when I was first starting to drive. It was the beginning of my junior year, a time in my life where I was still trying to figure out who I was. Little did I know that a big part of who I am today took place at this very moment in time.
I had a bad case of insomnia when I was a teenager. There wasn’t anything I could do except ride it out. I was young and full of energy, so it was much more preferable to happen back then instead of now.
One day, a friend of mine came up to me at school and said, “Hey Josh! Do you wanna go to Starbucks later?”
I looked back at him with a confused, disgusted look on my face. “You mean like, coffee? Gross. That stuff’s for grown-ups!”
“They don’t just serve coffee there. They have all kinds of different drinks: tea, soda, water. They even serve food. Plus, they have iced coffees, too.”
Intrigued by this notion of ice in coffee, we stopped by Starbucks after school. The smell of fresh coffee gently wafted through the door as we entered. We walked up to the counter and out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone drinking what appeared to be a milkshake. After further investigation, I learned this drink was called a frappucino. When it came time for me to place my order, I decided to try one for myself.
The frappucino was everything I hoped it would be and more. The mixture of ice and coffee was perfectly blended with mocha, creating a smooth, creamy beverage that tantalized my taste buds. Sure, it had a hint of coffee taste but it wasn’t overpowering. I knew then that I was hooked.
Soon after that, I wanted frappucinos all the time. Starbucks became a new hang out for my friends and I. But eventually, drinking those delicious frozen treats became expensive. I had to cut back. Significantly. Until one day, at the grocery store with my mom, I saw that they sold them at the grocery store in packs of four bottles! It wasn’t exactly the same but they tasted the same!
Those were the drinks I had throughout the rest of my high school career. Every morning, I would drink one of those on my way to school. And since I was visited by insomnia every night, those store bought drinks helped keep me going during the day. And then, of course, on those special occasions, a Starbucks visit was had.
It wasn’t until I was officially in college that I made the change to hot, regular coffee. But I had to be eased into it. One day, during winter break from school, I was meeting up with friends at the Starbucks we had grown to love over the years. While waiting in line, I decided to take a look at the menu to see if I wanted to try something different. When it was my turn to order, I asked the barista, “What do you recommend for a good hot caffeinated drink?”
“Well,” began the cute barista girl, “my personal favorite is the White Chocolate Mocha.”
“I’ll try that. Thanks!”
I couldn’t believe it. This was even better than the frappucino! And, it was more of an adult drink because I was an adult! It quickly became my new favorite beverage and, to this day, when I go to Starbucks, that’s what I order.
From that experience, I finally decided I would give good ol’ regular coffee a try. It wasn’t as glamorous as my previous experiences but over time, I grew to love it. Now I drink at least one cup of coffee everyday. I don’t get to Starbucks nearly as much as I used to but I do like to treat myself from time to time. My experiences have also led me to various cafés and coffee shops that have unique takes on styles of coffee.
Back then, I never thought I would ever drink coffee. I thought it was stupid and gross and a waste of time. I couldn’t be happier with how wrong I was. I don’t know what I would do if coffee ceased to exist one day. That’s a world I don’t want to live in. I would probably lose my mind or get so many headaches that my head would explode. I am thankful everyday for the love that coffee brings me. It is certainly mutual.