Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Love and Gingerbread Latte

I know Starbucks is a "big bad multi-national" and I'm supposed to shun them, but I can't help myself. The first time Ren Evans bought me a Gingerbread Latte, I fell in love.

It was December 2000 and I was fresh off the plane from Australia (actually, crushed and exhausted off the plane from Australia), landing in the USA for the first time. Nathan's brother Ren was picking me up from the airport in Dallas because Nathan, who I hadn't seen since we first met in Europe, was in New Orleans taking finals. Ren and I had never met – he arrived at the airport with "Helen. Blonde. Australian. Japan Airlines" written on a post-it note. So it was an odd little arrangement, really.

Ren and Chad, his mate from the lumber company, picked me up at DFW and took me on an impromptu tour of Dallas – lunch at a revolving restaurant overlooking the city, dessert at a place that I think was called Love And War In Texas, and shopping at a mall called The Galleria which, to my amazement, had an indoor ice-skating rink. It also had a Starbucks.

Ren asked if I'd ever had a Gingerbread Latte. I hadn't. In fact, I'd never been in a Starbucks before (I lived in Before-Starbucks Brisbane). "Come on," he said, "They're genius." He bought me a Gingerbread Latte and although I was an avowed coffee-hater, he was right – it was genius.

So I blame Ren. That's where my soft spot for Starbucks started, and I can't shake it to this day. It mainly surfaces around November, really, when they bring out the Gingerbread Lattes again. But I may have a larger problem on my hands: Berry has decided Starbucks (or "Cake. Shop." as she calls it) is one of her favourite places.

The first Starbucks for our little part of the world opened in November, and we pass it every day. We go on little "dates" there, the two of us, more often than I should admit. She already thinks the large red chair in the corner belongs to her, which creates trouble when another customer has the nerve to sit in it. She likes to have milk in a big-girl cup, and dance to the Christmas carols and practice her jumping on the carpet.

She is a Seattle baby, so perhaps I should've expected that she'd have a soft spot for Starbucks too. But I'm going to blame her Uncle Ren anyway. He can take it.


  1. I've got to try one of those! I did name a pair of glove gingerbread latte after hearing the commercial this year!

    Starbucks sure did help out while traveling across country though! Six years ago you couldn't find a Starbucks on the interstate. Now, it's so easy to get a decent cup of coffee! Sometimes you've just got to go to the big corporations!!

  2. You wouldn't recognise Brisbane if you came back now. Starbucks have just pulled off a nifty bit of marketing, hiring people to drive around the CBD with a venti cup on their roofs!!

  3. Ka-ching! Ka-ching! Ka-ching!

    How much does Berry get for her endorsement? You can't exactly say she put her face to the product. Only joking. There are many a Starbucks in London (of course), but not one gingerbread latte. Does sound delicious though.

    No, I don't feel right about pushing Starbucks, but I'd have no problem with it if I had lived in the vicinity of the original one. Lucky.

  4. I've always wanted to try one of those! They sound really good, but by the time I pass a Starbucks, it's too late in the day for me to have caffeine. :(

  5. I cannot abide the taste of coffee, but I've got to admit, when my husband brings this home, it smells wonderful.

  6. I live for my yearly indulgence of the Gingerbread Latte. I tried once to get one in January and was crushed to find its season had passed. Alas. (Must get one more before years end!)

  7. I live for my yearly indulgence in the Gingerbread Latte. I once tried in January to get one only to find that its season had passed. Alas. (Must have one more before years end!)