Whenever I am free or just want to find a place to sit, what instantly springs to my mind is Starbucks. It has a number of branches across Hong Kong and the one I visit most is located in Hung Hom, the one nearest to my home where I occasionally spend my morning enjoying a breakfast together with a cup of coffee.
Outside the shop, you can see the well-known circular sign on the glass window, which is the logo of Starbucks showing an image of a twin-tailed crowned mermaid. The bronze banner on the upper part of the shop features the big capital word “STARBUCKS COFFEE” in green, distinguishing itself from the surrounding shops.
As I enter the transparent gate, beneath my feet is a floor made of stone bricks, and squeaky sounds are heard while I walk towards the bar. The baristas are standing in front of me, smiling an amicable smile and welcoming me passionately to the shop. A list of drinks is displayed on the wall behind the bar, ranging from Cappuccino to Frappuccino, Caffe Latte to Caffe Mocha, to name just a few. Besides the cashier are a set of coffee cup samples illustrating different sizes – tall, grande and venti. Apart from the drinks, there are many kinds of fresh food exhibited in the glass shelve layer by layer. You can buy pastries, sandwiches, cakes or muffins alongside your coffee to enjoy a light meal. They have an oven to reheat the food to retain the freshness and warmth of the delicacy.
The staff takes my order, hot Cappuccino, tall size. I get my receipt and move on to the next counter to wait for my coffee. Delicious smell of coffee wafts up from the espresso machines. There is also a blackboard on the wall near the beverage menu with a memorable everyday quote written by chalks that will change from day to day. The one that is imprinted into my mind is “what you do every day matters more than what you do every once in a while.” Indeed, it is quite true. Just like paying a regular visit here can act as an incentive for me to wake up early and make good use of my time in the morning, doing my work while enjoying the coffee.
Walking through the corner to pick a seat, I notice that the interior has custom mural and exposed brick walls which create a warm atmosphere. Reclaimed woods were used for the bars, tables and condiment stations. The orange lighting of the shop gives a soft and warm hue, making the environment cozy. Starbucks resemble an extension of porch or an epitome of community which offers a comfortable and sociable gathering spot. In contrast to ordinary restaurants, Starbucks are by no means a noisy place. The sound of chatters and laughter blends harmoniously with the background music hovering around the shop, and the level of its volume is just moderate.
Stone bricks and street views are in front of my eyes. A wave of popular music is vibrating my ear drums. Where else can I enjoy such a delightful morning sniffing the aroma of coffee? A taste of Cappuccino and its bubbles are twirling around my tongue. This is only the beginning of a day.