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Archive for July, 2012

I am just so delighted to answer this survey for Starbucks Matalino.  After almost a year of frequenting and loving this nook at Matalino St., finally I got that random survey coupon attached to my receipt.  This is it, time to give back and complement their great customer service by high praises.  As a Statistics graduate I know how important my voice would be for their branch and overall Starbucks in the Philippines.  As my token of my appreciation to Matalino baristas’ undying assistance to me, of course my answers are all Highly Satisfied, I need not think twice.

doing the survey for Starbucks Matalino

Love you all guys.  This is what I wrote in the comment box which asks “Explain in detail what you liked in this particular Starbucks store”.  Everyone would agree that the space provided is not enough and I would need a full blog to explain it.  Nevertheless I summarized it in few words.  Here’s a salute to all your hard work, friendliest customer service and charming acts not only to me but I think to every person who steps inside this Matalino St. Starbucks corner.

“This is the first Starbucks branch where I am greeted and called by my name upon entering the door on my mere second visit.  That was a wow experience! The barista’s memory is so sharp.  Since then I return almost every other day to this place, making it my favorite Starbucks branch.  This store makes me feel I am home and part of the family every time I’m there, making me forget all the stress of my day.  I love how all the baristas treat and engage me in a personal conversation each and every time and I think they know me well inside out already.  They are all charming.”

I remember what my friends told me when I got them to accompany me and have our Starbucks night at Matalino.  From entering the door, finding us a seat, calling me by my nickname, and assisting me every inch of the way of our stay, one thing is just missing. “Kulang na lang ipaglatag ka ng red carpet ng mga barista” (baristas to roll a red carpet for me).  That brought us a loud laughter.  But no kidding, its the best customer service I witnessed in my life.    Oh I forgot to mention that I got a free Signature Hot Chocolate as a birthday gift from them just last May.  I was not expecting that but yes it happened!

Till my next Starbucks Matalino visit and blog post.   Thanks again my friendly baristas, you’re all epic! –—- From a banker, blogger and Starbucks Matalino loyal customer Ms. Reg (or Dr. Reg as almost all the baristas thought I am a doctor hahaha).

a Happy Bday treat from Starbucks Matalino

Some trivia:  the barista with the very keen memory is no other than the charming one below! 🙂

Starbucks night with my friends – w/our barista for the night John Carlo 🙂

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Over Bottles of Beer

The very first piece I wrote for my Creative Writing workshop some two years ago. It all started with this so amateur thing, and now am still writing and have this one year old wordpress blog…Reminiscing! A big thanks to all my creative writing peers and of course to our dear mentor Ms. Chingbee Cruz for keeping the writer and poet in me alive. 🙂

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Over Bottles of Beer

 

Over bottles of beer,

I sing and dance like crazy.

I’m a child barefoot and naked,

trying everything, so excited.

 

Over bottles of beer,

I celebrate my youth in ecstasy.

Catching dreams, merrymaking

Inspired at heart, my aura blooming.

 

Over bottles of beer,

I encounter love with his twin misery

I shed tears as my innocence drifted.

Counting empty glasses blows my spirit.

 

Over bottles of beer,

I run away from reality.

Though I wake up just the same,

my today there’s no one to blame.

 

Over bottles of beer,

everything is temporary.

No regrets, just embrace all of it.

I’m now sober, a grown up indeed.

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I always have a soft spot for coffee shops.  It’s not so much of the coffee but the cozy ambiance is the one inviting me to sit, order a drink and stay for a long while.  I usually spend an hour or more just mumbling and pouring out my thoughts on the keyboard or a plain paper, the charming baristas of course add more flavor on my stay.  Aside from this guilty pleasure the other thing that keeps me alive is all about Korean stuff:  from Korean dramas, Korean heartthrobs, Kpop music, Korean make-up, soju, Melona ice cream or just plain seeing a Korean on the street makes my day.  Now put these two together, a Korean coffee shop soon to open in the Philippines by the name of Caffe Bene. OMG!

Caffe Bene…sounds familiar?  I have never heard of this Korean coffee franchise before, more so here in the Philippines.  I went to Seoul, Korea last 2010 but all I know then is the famous The First Shop of Coffee Prince plus the international US brand favourite Starbucks and the Dunkin Donuts in Myeondong which has a posh ambiance there (unlike here).  It’s just last month that I learned of this coffee house because it’s now endorsed by the Korean pretty boy Jang Geun Suk that I heart so much.  Of course I become curious when I saw the video of his TVC for Caffe Bene in Youtube.

Now you know why. 🙂 The news that it’s brewing soon here made me more engrossed.  I almost jump out of my bed while I’m online the other night when I found out where the coffee shop will be.   Of all places, it’s in Eastwood, just a 5-minute walk from my workplace.  So I decided to look and go around and see it for myself immediately the next day.  Good thing it’s a Friday so I have the luxury to stay out longer for lunch.  Literally and figuratively I’m excited much! When I saw the big tarp teaser I can’t help but to take photos.  Here are some of my proof. 🙂

Caffe Bene brewing soon in Eastwood teaser 🙂

Caffe Bene Eastwood Teaser – big cup

Caffe Bene Eastwood Teaser small cute cup

So what is Caffe Bene all about?  Apparently (upon research) Caffe Bene is not so new in Korea.  This Seoul-based coffee chain was founded in May 2008 by Sun-Kwon Kim, its current CEO.  It is now the largest coffee house in South Korea in terms of number of stores, more than 700 as of April 2012.  It even has branches outside Korea like New York and China (and soon here in the Philippines).  Caffe Bene is gaining much more popularity these days in Korean TV dramas, the most famous of which is the coffee “Crème Kiss” in the hit Secret Garden.  Yes, that playful and romantic act of Hyun Bin kissing the cappuccino foam off Ha Ji Won’s lip was shot inside a Caffe Bene shop. Thrilled with that trivia?  What more to be thrilled about than its new ambassador.  I bet its presence will even be higher not only in Korea but also in Asia with their very charming new face of Jang Keun Suk.

Jang Keun Suk for Caffe Bene (credits to JKSForever)

At this point I think Starbucks Matalino has found its rival in my heart.   I wish there will be Korean baristas to serve that looks equally charming with my Starbucks Matalino crush, hahaha.  Or maybe and just maybe the Asia Prince Jang Keun Suk himself will show up one day, serving like a barista.  OMO, OMO!  I will die for sure from his melting pretty smile.  I’m already dreaming guys just like all the Eels PH out there, right? I guess it would really be a “feels like I’m in the heart of Seoul” when I step inside its premises at the opening day.

Jang Keun Suk in barista uniform for Caffe Bene (credits to JKSForever)

Caffe Bene will be located at the Ground floor of Eastwood City Walk 2, beside Coffee Bean and just near Starbucks.  As of writing no exact opening date yet but I already signed myself in to be there at the opening day and blog about it.  Talk about Korean-addict I got a tweet reply from @CaffeBenePH that says they will update me once the date is set.  For now what can I do is pass by Eastwood City Walk more often hoping to get some buzz.  And just last Monday I happened to see some developments.  The tarp teaser is half way wrapped up and I can see the insides being constructed.  From the looks of it probably a month or so before it opens.  Oh I can’t wait!!

JKS for Caffe Bene (credits to JKSForever)

Just like other coffee shops Caffe Bene serves hot and cold coffee and non-coffee beverages and pastries plus its signature Belgium waffle and gelato.   As mentioned it will be sitting beside two established coffee shops but I think what would differentiate it from the rest is its Korean flavour and ambiance.  In addition, Caffe Bene features Misugaru drink, which “consists black sesame seeds, black bean, black and brown rice and barley” a healthy treat that makes it more different from the established Starbucks and Coffee Bean. I bet both the Korean fanatics and the plain coffee enthusiasts will try out and love to sip and eat here. For more information visit their official website at www.caffebene.co.kr 

Caffe Bene website cover

Caffe Bene in Seoul interior (credits to visitkorea website)

Just before I end, of course I wouldn’t miss taking a selca on this Korean spot, so what more if the coffee shop finally opens.  Just wait for my blog post.  Hope to see you all at Caffe Bene opening day soon. 🙂

the blogger and Korean addict onsite Caffe Bene Eastwood teser 🙂

Anyeonghaseyo!!  🙂

JKS for Caffe Bene (credits to JKSForever)

Thanks and credits to the following links and websites used as references to this blog post. 🙂

1.  Caffe Bene official website

www.caffebene.co.kr 

2.  VisitKorea – Official Site of  Korea Tourism Org

http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=1356206

3.  Wall Street Journal Asia Caffe Bene article

http://blogs.wsj.com/korearealtime/2011/04/19/the-man-behind-the-fast-rise-of-caffe-bene/

4.  Wikipedia – Caffe Bene

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffe_Bene

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