Day 15: Downtown Chicago, Caribou Coffee, and a Jovial Barista


While in Boston, I like to take occasional trips to local coffee shops to escape from campus for a bit. Not only are they prime locations for people watching, they also offer an environment conducive to studying, at least for me. Pretty soon, I might even consider them as an option for enjoying the city’s nightlife, as Starbucks is planning to expand its “after-hours” experience. Anyway, I’ve barely visited any coffee shops in Chicago, so today I set out to find one downtown.

I decided to settle down in Caribou Coffee on Michigan Ave, right across the street from Millennium Park. An ideal location, in my opinion. I had passed it many times before, but never bothered to stop by. I considered it good timing that I decided to try it today, as I overheard that it was going to be converted to Peet’s Coffee & Tea soon, along with 87 other locations across the country.

I treated myself to a vanilla chai tea latte along with a loaf of banana bread as I worked on my School Age Language Disorders case study, chatted with friends on FB, and did some frivolous Internet browsing. My highlight of the morning was the barista working the register, who was exceptionally friendly. He started up informal conversations with all the customers he served, from asking them where they were coming from to what their plans were for the weekend. He didn’t hesitate to share his own upcoming plans, which included taking his sister out on her first legal PG-13 movie on her 13th birthday on Sunday and traveling to Florida with his family for a vacation. One random fact I learned about him from creeping on his bio posted on the counter along with those of other employees at Caribou was that “the Blackhawks are his family’s religion.”

I admired that the barista was naturally outgoing and welcoming to all the customers. Working in food service myself, I know what a challenge it is to put on a smiling face for everyone you serve. I appreciated seeing someone who was able to flawlessly smile at his customers, and also help them crack a smile themselves. I’ll have to admit though, his good looks were also a plus, hehe.

Later that day….

Once I started getting restless from sitting in the Caribou for several hours, I decided to take a stroll around Millennium Park. I couldn’t resist taking a selfie with my favorite bean. 🙂



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