I enjoy my coffee but, Starbucks… come on!!

I enjoy a coffee in the morning and maybe then again in the early afternoon, then after that, I leave it alone.

It works for me that way. I cap it a two a day and that is how I manage my coffee intake.

I had cut it out all together but I decided a morning coffee while I write this blog on my iPhone is a luxury that I much appreciate.

This has turned into my morning routine and that is how it has been for a few weeks now. Very enjoyable and balanced.

That routine was rocked a bit today. (Ok, a bit of an overstatement)

Let me explain…

I usually go to Wagas, a local cafe here in Beijing, and I grab a coffee – an American with milk, and I take a seat.

A good time to reflect and do a quick blog and plan my day. The cost of the coffee, 27 Chinese Yuan: £3.

It is pricey, but, I enjoy the space and time I get in the cafe and the coffee is amazing. I frame it as a £3 rental of an office for an hour and a free coffee.

I know. I am always justifying the expense, but that one works for me.

However, today is the Chinese New Year eve and the Wagas was not open at 8am… my regular time of patronage.

So I looked around the Sanlitun Mall for an alternative and the only place open other than the McDonald’s Cafe…. was Starbucks.

McDonalds coffee is cheap and it brilliant and I knew it would be busy, so I went to Starbucks.

It was a Starbucks reserve. Which look great, for a Starbucks. But, wow… it is an eye-watering experience.

Starbucks Reserve, Sanlitun, Beijing.

A shocking experience. An Americano with milk, half the size of Wagas and almost twice the price. 47 Chinese Yuan: £5.30.

Starbucks coffee is never the best in my honest opinion… the Starbucks Reserve, is expensive and again, it is not great.

Pretty awful coffee. (and a honey scone which was good – a CNY indulgence this morning)

Coffee and a scone: £6.75!!

The service was excellent, given I was the only person in the place, they gave me a whole lot of attention, I do wonder why!!

I was so off my routine this morning.

But this is for me is where I look at the idea of balance more closely.

Before this Starbucks was a ‘Reserve’, it was a normal Starbucks. The usual crap coffee, reasonably well-priced cup (same as Wagas) but the service was a bit shouty, most likely because it was busy.

I am guessing someone done the maths somewhere and opted for a change in balance and designed the Starbucks to rush from one balance to the other. A bit like a manic wannabe, chasing the dreams and money but forgetting some balance.

I always try and get a balance in my life and I genuinely abhor the people who always state the ‘there is no such thing as work-life balance, only life’ rhetoric.

That works for them and that’s good. No problem with that. But it’s not for me, I like to pursue a life where there is some balance between work and life.

Admittedly the balance shifts and some days are much more creative than others and some days are much more challenging than others.

But balance for me never means an exact 50/50. It is a fluid exercise and my pursuit of happiness is in running with the balancing act.

Today’s morning coffee was an experience out of balance and so for the remainder of the morning, I will seek to pull back in the other direction and look for some great positives.

Next up I will do my morning pages, lean into my gratitude routine and thank many people and be thankful for many things in my life.

I will thank Starbucks for the overpriced coffee, for offering me up a blog idea and also reinforcing that which I am grateful for.

I am grateful for a reasonably priced Wagas coffee and the peace that it gives me…

Most mornings.


Happy Chinese New Year.

The year of the Ox.

Xīnnián kuàilè

Be safe. Be happy. Be content. Be learning. Be you.

‘Xīnnián kuàilè’


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