During college, I didn’t drink coffee. It wasn’t helpful for late night cramming sessions; my go-to caffeine fix was either drinking lots of Coke or eating lots of chocolate! It wasn’t until a couple years out of college that I started to really enjoy the taste of coffee and ’til this day I fill my cup with lots of cream and sugar. What originally turned me on to drinking coffee? Well, I can pinpoint it down to the specific day. It was a typical work day and a colleague of mine asked if I would join her on an afternoon coffee run. When we walked into Starbucks (you can’t turn the corner in Washington, D.C. without slamming right into one), she insisted that I try a Toffee Nut Latte (TNL). Well, it’s not exactly coffee…so I thought, what the heck, what harm can it do? Little did I know what kind of addiction would proceed my first sip. I just fell in love with it! My addiction became so strong that the local Starbucks’ barista started to know my name, my drink and exactly how I liked it…within a few weeks! So you can imagine my surprise, shock and disappointment when I moved to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and my local Starbucks (yes, they are even here in Kuala Lumpur) didn’t sell Toffee Nut Lattes! WHAT?! You’re kidding, right? After calming myself down from the initial shock of the saleswoman denying me my morning craving, I politely asked, “What do you mean you don’t have Toffee Nut Latte? You don’t have it here at this store or in the entire country?” She smiled and said, “All of Malaysia!” What was I going to do? But there was hope… As I stared up at the menu, biting my lip, wondering what else Starbucks even offered to drink she continued, “Don’t worry, the Toffee Nut syrup does get shipped to us during the holidays. You just have to wait until late November.” This was July! Um, okay…are you serious lady? So sadly, I ordered another drink as a temporary solution, smiled to the saleswoman and left.
Now it’s been over a year since my Starbucks episode and luckily, I have learned to wean myself off of my morning craving. But of course still pop into Starbucks for the occasional substitute. Happily, it is now late November and my favorite time of year – my favorite Starbucks drink, the TNL is BACK! So, of course, I made a special trip to the store this week. The same Starbucks saleswoman smiled at me when she handed me my TNL, as she too now knows my name, my favorite drink and just how I like it.
Fun Fact: When you place your order at a Starbucks here in KL, they begin making your drink in a mug seen here. If you want it “to-go” (or “take-away” as they say here in Malaysia), you have to specifically request a take-away cup. This concept perplexes many of us living here from the States. You mean, you want me to sit here at your shop, relax and sip coffee from a mug? No such luck! Sadly, we all seem to be in too much of a hurry. Maybe we could all learn something from the way they drink their coffee here in Malaysia.
FOLLOW-UP POST NEXT WEEK…what my husband recently gave me as a present…