Saturday, November 30, 2013

That First Starbucks

Seattle is home to plenty of coffeeshops; I've got a list. But I suppose it has to be done- to pop into that first Starbucks ever, at Pike Place Market with its 1971 furnishings more or less intact. It's a take-out joint only. The coffeehouse is a few doors away at the corner on the other side. This is the home of Starbucks after all, when it all began cosy and homey instead of this rather unfeeling corporate behemoth today.

I remember that first Starbucks at Liat Towers in Singapore which opened in 1996. It really got me hooked on coffee. We had a Krups machine at home then, but it was so much effort cleaning it that I decided it was easier to buy coffee instead. Starbucks in Singapore did fine then, training the baristas to pull a decent cup. As the years went by, once it went big, the roast got worse, the milk's always burnt and by now, I steer clear of its coffee unless there's a desperate need for it. Not a fan of its seasonal blends or caramel-anything. Just gimme plain coffee, with or without milk, no sugar.

Now, this original Starbucks. It's different. Even the logo is original. Nothing politically-correct about it. Hahahah. Photos of store, even taken in minute detail, don't do it enough justice. It smelt right, it felt right, and even exuded that bit of an indie vibe in its warm wood furnishings. But the products on the shelves tell you its a mega chain store. Every tourist will zoom there to take photos, grab a coffee and buy stuff. If you head there after 11am, that queue pops right out of the door. Bought no memorabilia, not even as gifts because there's no more love for the brand.

Visited the original store thrice to try different brews. Had the usual Americano and a cappuccino. On this third visit, I sipped a caffe latte. Thrice, I was instantly transported back all those years to 1996 when I tasted my first cup from Starbucks. It was that good. The roast was really decent, and the baristas could all do a proper coffee. Those were the flavors and blends of Starbucks I fell in love with, and never found it at any other outlet in any city after the 90s. Now, I found it at the original store, it's sad that it's not exactly found even in other outlets of Starbucks within King County.

Look at that logo!


eveeleva said...

1 skinny cap to go pls!

Wee-Chong said...

Never been a fan of Starbucks except for their macha latte and roast beef sandwiches in Tokyo. Everything is bad when it goes big; even the local Kopi-O.

You should try the boutique coffee in Japan and Taiwan where they are so proud of their roast that some even refuse to allow sugar or milk to be added.

jooo said...

Not sure if its on your list but I've heard Stumptown's pretty good too :)

imp said...

Iva: xxxooo

Wee-Chong: Already done. :)

Jo: One of my favs last week in Seattle at the moment! Out of the city now. Will stop by again next week.