I’ve often wondered why so many people hate – I mean REALLY HATE – Starbucks. It’s a thing on the internet, apparently. And I know a few people in real life who’ve said that it’s overrated.

I wonder about this because you see, I love Starbucks. I love their Dark Mocha Frapuccino and Iced Signature Chocolate. I love the ambience of their stores (of some stores; other locations are noisy and crowded, so I just don’t bother going there). The lighting is so warm and cozy, which makes for some good photographs. Do you wonder why there are so many photos of coffees and selfies taken there?  I also love how the baristas greet you  with a smile and ask if you will have the usual.

Most of this love came about because I used to work in a building with a Starbucks on the ground floor. I was really unhappy there so literally the first thing I did after I had set up my laptop and before even checking my emails was go for my coffee/choco fix. The baristas there got to know me and my order well. They became the first people I saw and talked to at work, and because they always greeted me cheerfully (it’s their job, after all) I went back to my cubicle a little lighter of heart and fortified to face the day.

There are many reasons put forth by the haters, and some are definitely intellectual or profound; having to do with homogeneity, fair trade, brainwashing, small businesses, even the future of society. There are also a lot of coffee snobs who say that Starbucks’ brews are pedestrian and watered down dirt. Go to artisanal coffee shops, they say. Go for the unique brews, they say.

I say, find me one of these artisanal shops. Then find me a drink that I will like. I need my coffee iced and with a strong dark chocolate flavor. Then we can talk.

Until then, I’ll go on taking my Starbucks photos unironically. I mean seriously, have you seen how the light looks?