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Breaking Resolutions


I’m not big on resolutions, but I made one this year. I resolved to break up with Starbucks.

My coffee addiction runs deep, and like a true Bostonian, it started with The Coffee Connection. I remember the day they were… gasp… acquired by Starbucks. The brash West Coast newcomer was not a welcome addition to my morning routine. I found their brew bitter, and the fact that I had to add my own cream and sugar really pissed me off. However, I’m a creature of habit, so I continued to beat the same path, to the same location, and eventually got used to the new taste and the new routine of doctoring my own waking elixir.

Over the years Starbucks and I have had our squabbles, but mostly it was a happy, synergistic relationship. I showed up bleary eyed, and they delivered. Warm smells and womb-like interiors ushered in a soothing beginning to my day. Every morning I could count on a tasty cup of coffee while enjoying the anonymous, intimate, company of people you interact with on a nameless level. A nod, a smile, a brief exchange as the first warm sip registered with our sleep deprived brains. A few years ago something changed.

Lines got long, and customers got surly waiting for service. Production wasn’t meeting demand and everyone was edgy and tense. Could excessive caffeine be the culprit? No longer was there a sense of community in our collective morning routines. Incessant turnover at every location meant steep learning curves, and my customized coffee was botched on a regular basis. What started as a happy accident–a cloud of frothy foam atop a triple grande Americano–would arrive as a watery latte or a murky dark swill with no foam. I would leave, agitated and unsatisfied, as I tossed back the requisite grams of caffeine to ensure that whatever else went wrong during the day, a caffeine headache would not be among the list.

A friend of mine once called Starbucks The Crack House because there is nothing in there that’s good for you. I didn’t like who I was becoming. I changed my habits.

Making a pot of coffee at home saved valuable morning minutes. The extra money saved from my $5 lattes (seriously, do we as a culture think a $5 coffee is NORMAL…?) went toward more nourishing endeavors like yoga. But the siren call of the green mermaid would lure me in, and I found myself grabbing a mid-morning or mid-afternoon Starbucks.

A few weeks ago I waited in line, then waited for my drink, then waited at the condiment bar. I spent 20 minutes and $5 getting an adequate beverage that ultimately kept me awake until the wee hours of the morning. Enough was enough. No more Starbucks for me. I decided to move on to better things… and I was successful for a bit.

I sought out independently owned cafes. I switched to tea. I replaced my afternoon pick-me-up with green juices, appreciating the natural, holistic approach to energy jolts. I felt better in a “see, I did it” kind of way. And then this week I had a meeting at Starbucks. When in Rome… I ordered a Flat White. I viewed the act as something of an event. I was having a special coffee at a special event. It was rich and creamy. There was a smoothness to the espresso roast that soothed my ragged edges, and I felt a calm alertness coursing through my veins. I wanted another one.

I’ve been to Starbucks every day this week, expectantly waiting in line to order this creamy addition to the menu, eagerly pouncing on my cup when my order is called at the bar. I’m feeling conflicted. I want to shun Starbucks. I want to be above the fray, not another caffeine-addicted lemming, leaping off the cliff. I also want that delicious sensation that caresses the taste and smell senses – not to mention the productive buzz that follows. I want the familiar experience.

And this is why I don’t make resolutions…

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With her fresh, uncensored take on fashion and life, SARA CORNELL tells it like it is. Her topics range from how her affair ruined her life—or maybe it didn’t—to how marriage, and being single, wasn’t what she thought it would be. She’s a woman who likes studded black leather, high heels and red lipstick and practices yoga and meditation each day, rarely in the aforementioned garb. Sara writes about things we’re all thinking, but are too afraid, or too self-conscious, to say out loud. Simply put, Sara is refreshing. Sara can also be found on her blog,

16 thoughts on “Breaking Resolutions”

  1. My coffee addiction runs very very very deep as well. I treasure it as part of my morning routine. For that reason people are consistently shocked I never ever go to Starbucks. But I think that’s indicative of my diction 🙂 if I can physically get out of the house in the morning I no longer need coffee. I like it ready hot and waiting for me at 4 AM

  2. I recently broke up with Diet Coke. After a 30-year addiction, I can TOTALLY relate! I have to envision it as poison (which it is). I think of it every day. Good luck!

  3. I love the smell and the taste of coffee. Coffee Ice cream is my favorite flavor. I spend the most on coffee by the pound than any other food item I buy and I am picky, very, about what coffee I buy. I totally understand your situation!

  4. Ha Sara this made me laugh (and relate!). I love coffee too but my body (and tachycardia) are threatening to mess with my fave beverage. This could be a standoff! Thx for sharing.

  5. I treasure my morning coffee. It starts my day off with joy. I am not sure if it is my fav cup or the warmth that I feel when I hold it. But, it is one of the best parts of my morning. This is my 2017 resolution for every day: Make today ridiculously amazing!

  6. I am a tea drinker that makes my own tea at home. I never liked or acquired a taste for Starbucks tea and the food is awful. If I am at a Barnes & Noble or have a meeting at Starbucks I either get a bottled sparkling water or a hot chocolate.
    And we have WaWa’s here on the east coast. According to the coffee lovers in my life the .99 price and the flavor is impossible to beat. For $5 you can get a healthy breakfast, newspaper and a delicious coffee or in my case tea.

  7. I used to frequent Starbucks (but not every day – fortunately there aren’t any in the area where I work) but I did break the habit years ago – it was just too expensive, and caramel macchiotos don’t match up well with Weight Watchers.

  8. I love this piece! Too bad I can’t have caffeine, especially since my last name is “Coffee.” Chemotherapy messed with my heart to the point I’m affected by decaf. You’d be amazed how much caffeine’s in decaf. xoxox, Brenda

  9. I was a Whole Foods latte addict and finally kicked the habit when I bought a Nespresso. And I agree: resolutions are meant to be broken.

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