30 Minutes At Starbucks

So here I am at Starbucks, testing to see if being here among the bustle of loungers helps gives me writing inspiration.  They say it’s good to get out of the house once in a while to recharge the soul.  I take the first seat that’s available, and what do I notice?  Hanging on the side of the chair, hidden behind the backrest is a white purse.  I look around wondering if someone had dared claim their space with something so valuable.  Several minutes past, and I thought to myself definitely not.  A poor woman must be frantically back-tracking where she could have misplaced her purse.  Eventually she would return, or will she?

As I waited, I felt like a culprit.  I didn’t want to take the purse and give it to the front counter.  For what if in that instant, the woman popped into the store and saw me?  I’d be implicated as the thief and would have to explain myself.  Maybe she was simply taking a long time in the bathroom after a venti mint mocha frappuccino and had a very large husband to boot?  I was trapped, and felt like I was on candid camera, being tested on what I should do.  The temptation to open the purse and reveal any treasures was not great.

Ten minutes later a hearty woman and her husband exploded into the store and pointed at me.

“That’s my purse!  Oh my gosh!”

“Yes, I believe it is I replied.  When I sat down, it was here, and I decided to wait for the owner to return,” I said calmly all the while thinking to myself, please don’t accuse me of theft.

“You made my wife’s day man, thanks!” the husband replied. “Drinks on us.  What do you want?”

“Sure, why not.  Maybe a chai tea for my lady?” They got my wife a chai and thanked me again and left.

I’ve never spent time lounging before at a coffee shop, and I don’t know if I ever will again unless I’m single and want to pick up women.  I have never seen so many people walk in and out of a store than in the past 30 minutes.  Perhaps I should buy SBUX stock on Monday?  70% of the customers were women, and the average drink probably cost about $4.50.  What’s more, the loungers would often have one or two empty cups in front of them.

My head was a swivel stick, always drawn by the interesting people entering.  I couldn’t concentrate on writing anything meaningful.  There were many women in their $200 dollar Lululemon outfits post workout, and I’m thinking to myself, you better have had one hell of a workout to burn off the 1,500 calories you are about to slurp down!

I’ve learned one thing though, and that is the “Latte Factor” ruins budgets.  If you want to gain weight and lose money, come to Starbucks and lounge!

Back to the castle I go.




Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. KCLau says

    Starbucks seems to have the same effect here in Malaysia.
    One cup of coffee easily cost more than RM10, which is 10 times more expensive than the local coffee shop. But we happily pay for the comfortable environment and prestige.

    • admin says

      Wow, 10X more expensive than the local coffee shop? That’s nuts! Starbucks here in the states is around 2X more expensive than regular coffee. It’s quite a business here. At 9am and at 3pm, the lines are out the door!

  2. steve in w ma says

    I never hesitate to grab something that looks like it might be forgotten and bring it up to the counter or to the police station. Since I’m not a thief there is little chance that someone is going to accuse me of being one. And if they did I would jump down their throat so fast they wouldn’t know what hit them. Most people are so glad to get their stuff back that they fall over backwards thanking you when they realize the backstory, at least where I live.

    • admin says

      Steve – It’s good you don’t hesitate. Maybe it was my hidden desire to see what was inside and then try and call them directly that made me pause. The woman was ecstatic when she returned and it was still there.


  3. steve in w ma says

    From the point of view of spending money unnecesarily, you don’t really want to be the people who frequent Starbucks, but they’re great people to have as customers of your business.

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