I’ve written about how much I don’t like chain coffeehouses before. Costa, especially, feels unwholesome to me. I found myself in one again today and to my very pleasant surprise I came away happy.
The baristas didn’t slop fluids around like they were in a huff at having to work. There was a very brief but cheerful exchange with a convincing smile at the till. The ceiling wasn’t naked pipework painted dark to suggest smaller dimensions at lower cost. My coffee tasted fine, but that was really by the by. There weren’t so many reminders that I was getting packaged effort considered just good enough to keep me coming.
The biggest difference? I was there with someone who cared and who I care about. Connection is a magic ingredient.