Pictures from Starbucks Japan: A Feast for the Eyes

It’s no secret that Starbucks Japan‘s (@Starbucks_J) Twitter feed is one of my go-to pages whenever I feel the need for an uplifting visual stimulation. And today, it was no different. *beams*



I swear each time I go to their page and look at the array of pictures (coffee products, food, mugs & tumblers, apron-clad baristas, outdoors, locations), I get reminded that despite all the aggravations, anxieties, and uncertainties we’re facing today, there are still places like Starbucks where you can leave all these behind for an hour or two, and just enjoy your coffee.

Consider me refreshed. Cheers! *raises cup*

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UCC 3rd Wave Clockwork (Blue Bay, Macapagal Ave.)

UCC Cafe

I finally had the chance to check out UCC 3rd Wave Clockwork about a week ago. It wasn’t exactly a planned move, although I got curious about this newly opened place when I passed by its doors a few days earlier. It’s just that Starbucks (Bluebay Walk) at that time was rather full and I still had not eaten any lunch, so I retraced my steps and entered UCC Clockwork.

Upon entering its doors, it soon hits you that this place ain’t no regular coffeehouse for the pedestrian shopper (it is one of those places that, unless you have well-lined pockets, prompts you to check your wallet before entering) — it is spacious and the store layout is pleasing after the heat outside — in short, this cafe is consciously designed to impress and appeal to the burgis coffee-guzzling crowd.

Oh well, not that I ever really cared for any of that. All I wanted was a place where I could eat, drink coffee, work undisturbed for a couple of hours at least, and with a good wi-fi service and lots and lots of convenience outlets (please!). And what do you know, UCC Clockwork has all of that (4 check marks out of 5 would have been good enough for me).

Meanwhile, here are a few more snaps of the place.

UCC 2nd FLUCC Function Rm 1 view from the balcony view from upstairs

Based on some press work from the UCC management, UCC Clockwork is the company’s centerpiece (they have several stores scattered around the metro) for their current approach on third wave coffee. The logic of it escapes me, but you’re into a more detailed explanation of this newfangled concept, here is a good place for that.

Sorry, I only managed to take a few pictures. I didn’t want to attract too much attention lest they mark me as an undesirable busybody and refuse me entry next time hahaha. As you can surmise, I was at the second floor at that time, so I was not able to get a good look at the ground floor.

And here’s a sight to warm the cockles of a freelancer’s heart:
electrical outlet

Why yes, that’s a convenience outlet right there. And what’s more, they are scattered all over the place (practically under every table in the second floor), so there’s no need to worry about losing steam while you’re in the middle of your work.

My Absurd, Totally Unnecessary but Strangely Compelling Quest for Another Starbucks Planner Begins Today

Strabucks Planners 2015

And so begins another one of those absurd-yet-improbably-addictive annual exercise that me and some of my friends pursue during the last couple of months of each year — collecting enough stickers to get one of those Starbucks Planners (I swear, it’s like an annual sports event that we can’t get out of and would probably miss if we actually skipped it hahaha.)

Don’t ask me why I keep on doing this. I have stopped looking for a good answer to that question a long time ago, right after the novelty of it wore off (which happened pretty quickly, mind you). The last one I managed to get (the Starbucks 2014 Planner) is still in its box at home. I think I must have marked about 3 pages of it, before putting it back and moved on to something else.

And as for the usual yardstick I use whenever I feel to the urge to buy something — Do I really need this? — the answer would be a resounding NO.

But still.

Quest for SB Planner 2015The usual justification I use these days — I’m often at Starbucks anyway (for work and coffee), so I might as well get something out of it — is the one I’m resolutely holding on to. At least until I finish collecting all the stickers I’d need for one of those darn planners (I want the brown one).

After that, who knows? Oh yes, this reminds me of something: Pseudoshrink requested that I do the honors for her (one set of tickers for 1 planner) this year since she won’t be here long enough to collect all the stickers she needs.

Righty-o, TPS. Consider it done.

Note: This will at least give me enough reason to keep coming back to Starbucks (it’s not like I’m planning to avoid the place anyway) — aside from the coffee and when my laptop batteries are sorely in need of a recharge. Ha.

A Free Drink from Starbucks

Starbucks Free DrinkNice. This marks the fifth or sixth time that Starbucks gave me a free drink (on my next visit, that is) after randomly hitting the store jackpot of sorts.

I don’t know exactly how they time these things — purely hit or miss, I reckon (or perhaps it’s because I just happened to be their 100,000th visitor for the current month) — whatever it is, a freebie is always welcome, particularly if it’s coffee (latte!) from Starbucks.

What usually happens is, after you pay (and Lady Luck happens to smile on you), the barista at the cash register will pull out this extra-long receipt, then give you a smile and say something like, “Ma’am/sir, it looks like it’s your lucky day. You get a free drink next time you visit one of our stores.”
Starbucks Customer Voice
After a confused look of befuddlement crosses your face, you pocket the receipt wondering what just happened. Then, you realize that the barista isn’t through with you yet.

They will tell you to keep this receipt (which contains a 16-digit Customer code), then log on to their site (MyStarbucksVisit) where you’re supposed to complete a short survey, after which you will be given a five-digit code. You’re supposed to write that code down in the receipt they gave you earlier. Then presto, you’re entitled to a free drink of your choice.

Pretty neat, huh?

(Note: Nope I wasn’t asked/paid to do this piece.)