We like to eat then tell you all about it!

Starbucks and their gift cards

In Foodie catnip, Gift cards, Japan on 8 March 2010 at 10:40 pm

You may see me vacillate on my blog over Starbucks. It is almost a love – hate, obsession – rejection sort of oddity with me. I don’t remember the very first time I tried out Starbucks but it was a couple years back (way back). I think the allure of it all was that it was a nice coffee place that I could sit in and feel like I could come back often and collect my thoughts or just relax. Their “third place experience” snagged me. My liking of this place though has far superseded that earlier desire to go relax there. I will admit, I am addicted to Starbucks but not in the way you think. I don’t go there to drink their coffee. In fact, I will never order a black coffee and you will NEVER see me with a venti of anything unless someone wanted to bless me with one.

In the beginning, I’d usually go and just order a hot chocolate. That is it. No frills. No soy this or two shots of that. Just hot chocolate. I’d branch out and try other things but that was a rare thing. Still is. When living in Japan I went to Starbucks. I found out through my own visits (and that of others) that the coffee and even hot chocolate served in Japan are not the same strength as it is here stateside. Anyway, I even introduced my beloved Japanese friend to the wonders of Starbucks in Okinawa while on vacation. She eventually got her sister hooked on them to where it is a weekly thing that they go to Starbucks. Have I ruined them? I doubt it.  Maybe I should ask them to send me their gift cards as the ones designed for Japan are much different.

And, yes, speaking of gift cards THAT is the reason I like them. I collect their gift cards. It is like candy to me. I SCOUR eBay looking to see what other cards different countries have apart from the US. I wish I had been into them while living in Japan. Japan has awesome gift cards with traditional cultural art on them and at times they go for a lot on eBay. Anyway, I also like Taiwan’s cards and a couple other places. Just what do I do with these cards? I gawk at them. I like the mini art they display. Some I actually use but many I don’t. They are sitting in a drawer waiting to be traded or sold or put into an album so I can gawk at them some more.

Aside from the Starbucks gift cards I also love their barista gear. I about clawed a coffee master black apron out of the hands of my BFF when he asked me if I wanted it. I also have the run of the mill green apron lost in my closet somewheres. All I need is matching hats, the holiday red ones and I will have a full set. Maybe for Halloween or some national coffee or bakery day I can dress up as a Starbucks barista how fab, lame is that?! I currently use my coffee master apron for when I bake in the kitchen. Go ahead, you can call me a goofball. I know it is coming.

Anyway, do you love/hate Starbucks? Do you go there just to be there? Have you tried their skinny vanilla latte? I actually used to be a blended vanilla bean frappuccino lover until I discovered the mega amount of calories I was happily pouring down my throat. I try to make that drink a once in a while thing…like once a year. I actually only go to Starbucks maybe 6-7 times a year. The rest of the year is me e-window shopping for new gift cards from other countries. Go figure.

*If you have Starbucks cards you don’t want anymore and would like to give them a happy home, send them to me! I will happily take them.

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