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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Color Me Cranky

Sometimes a bizarre confluence of innocuous events can throw your day into disarray and turn you into a grouchy wet blanket. LOL! This happens to me occasionally; usually it doesn’t last that long and I tend to just laugh it off when the moment passes.

The slight drizzle was fast turning into a strong downpour when I finally managed to reach Starbucks (in the southern reaches of the metro). The dead weight that comprised my laptop and a small paper bag containing a number of purchases was beginning to feel like a punishment, so I was grateful for the chance to be relieved of my burden, and to sip something hot.

Today, Starbucks was a bit crowded than usual, so it took me a while to find a vacant table — the only one that was available, in fact. The bad news was, it was right smack in the middle (the most crowded part) of the joint, with barely enough room to squeeze through and was far from a convenience outlet. To top it all, my laptop’s batteries were badly in need of a recharge.

After claiming my order at the bar, I went back to my table. I kept glancing in all directions in hopes that somebody soon would (pretty please!) vacate a table within the vicinity of any electrical outlet — but my feeble hopes soon dried up. Nobody was budging from their seat! And with the rain outside, I was basically stuck where I was.

I don’t know exactly what it is about not finding the right table (when I really need it most) that turns me into a downright unreasonable, cranky malcontent. Pretty soon, I was eyeing the whole room with barely concealed hostility.

Darn it, why doesn’t anyone leave? Surely most of these people have been here long enough? It looks like most of them are already done with their drinks anyway, so why do they have to stay? Don’t they have somewhere else to go? (I grumpily coursed through this inward conversation, conveniently forgetting the fact that I do the same thing regularly and probably behave even worse without being aware of it. *snicker*)

It didn’t take long for my ire to find a convenient target: a couple of tables away was a group of five middle-aged guys who had dragged two tables together, and were talking and laughing loudly. And just behind them was an electrical outlet that no one could get to because they were decidedly in the way! I balefully noted that for all the racket they were making, only ONE of them had actually bothered to order a drink! And they are carrying on like they owned the place, I grumbled to myself.

About 20 minutes later, they stood up (halleluiah!) and headed for the door — but wait. Aaarrgh! I rejoiced too soon. One of them (the guy who ordered a drink) elected to stay behind. Deflated at this turn of  events, I settled down again. So what do I do next? Mentally heaping curses on my rotten luck, I tried mental telepathy on the guy (I figured, it just might work, you know?)

You need to go home. You must go home. HOME, you hear? Right this instant…

Proving his utter disregard for, and imperviousness to, my monumental efforts at telepathy, the guy yawned and continued reading his newspaper.

*sigh* So much for that superpower.

Pictures from Starbucks Japan

I am a big fan of Starbucks Japan — specifically, its Twitter page (@Starbucks_J). Sometimes I go there just to look at the pictures and sigh over the strategically arranged food and wares. For some reason, this seems to make me feel better equipped to face the rest of my chaotic day.

Now, I know that Starbucks is generally good at selling/promoting its brand, as there is a plethora of Starbucks-related material (images, promos, links, etc.) littering the Web these days, enthusiastically proliferated by customers, bloggers, and coffee fans, but its Japanese arm is really taking things to a higher level. Those guys really know how to highlight their message with a deft mixture of colors, lighting, and props. They certainly know what it takes to achieve more with less fuss and clutter.

Below are a few examples:

So, when I see a nice picture that I particularly like, I can’t help but save a copy of it in my local directory — with some vague plans of writing a post about it later.

Well, I guess this is it. 🙂

 

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.