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Achievements and Rewards: SBC Sea Salt Caramel Javakula

Achievements Unlocked:

  • Complete Feature Writing Workshop
  • Revised resume
  • Started Zumba-ing again
  • Went to the dentist

Yes, I do consider going to the dentist an achievement. I’ve mentioned my fears of hospitals before, but I don’t know if I included dentists there. I do have my reasons to dread dentists, count ’em: two tooth extractions in preparation for my braces, braces for almost four years, one surgery to remove an impacted wisdom tooth, one root canal which led to one apicoectomy (but not before I had one heck of a swollen upper palate–I’ve got pictures but I’ll spare you the sight of ’em). Toss in a gross number of cavities, and you’ll understand my trauma.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from all of that, it’s that I shouldn’t delay going to the dentist when I feel something aching–though surprise, surprise, I still delayed it this time. I finally sucked it up and went earlier this afternoon. My appointment took two hours, and it involved a dental cleaning, five new pastas–and I don’t mean the delicious Italian kind–and an x-ray that said I had to get another one of my wisdom teeth removed. Through. Surgery.

You read that right. Another dental surgery is in the works for yours truly.

I felt it coming. I’ve been biting the inside of my right cheek for a couple of weeks now, and I just knew that my errant wisdom tooth had to go. I just didn’t think it had to be via surgery. Couldn’t it be removed the usual way, since part of it is peeking out anyway?

According to the x-ray, the erupted part isn’t even a third of the tooth. Did you know that third molars, aka wisdom teeth, are usually much bigger than your other molars? Big surprise to me. I can’t help but roll my eyes at the irony of it. They’re huge, and they don’t come out until you’re old enough to not need more teeth. And they’re called wisdom teeth. Seriously. (Also, don’t you think that using the term “erupted” in reference to teeth just sounds so violent?)

So next Wednesday at 1:30 in the afternoon, I’ll be heading in for yet another surgery, and coming out around two hours or so later with one tooth less. I’ll have to go back after a week to have my sutures removed. Oh, and here’s a good one–no Zumba or other intense physical activities for a month. So much for starting up the habit again.

At this point, I’m just looking forward to drinking the new Starbucks Frappuccino on Tuesday. And looking for songs to add to another “Save Me From the Dentist” playlist (yes, I really have a playlist with that title. Plus a pillow and those airplane eye masks for the actual procedure).

You know what I did right after leaving the clinic?

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That’s right, I headed straight to the nearest Seattle’s Best branch.

To be fair, my parents were the ones who suggested it as my reward for facing my fears. Kind of like how kids get ice cream after going to the dentist. Again, pretty ironic, but I didn’t complain–especially since I’ve been wanting to try out SBC’s new drinks. They have two featured flavors: Peppermint Pot and Sea Salt Caramel, both available in hot mocha and their trademark ice-blended Javakulas. The Peppermint Pot looked interesting–literally like a mint plant in an SBC cup–but after having my GERD flare up last December thanks to a Peppermint Mocha, I’m now wary of all things minty. That left the Sea Salt Caramel.

I have to admit that I’m not much of an SBC person. Sure, I’ll get something to drink when I’m there, but I wouldn’t really go out of my way for it. When I was younger, I used to love their Javanilla Javakula…then I realized how sweet and deadly that is. After that, I stuck with safer drinks like their cappuccino and white chocolate mocha. It’s my first time to try a Javakula in a long, loooong time, but I heard good things from my cousin’s wife. She said the ice-blended Sea Salt’s better than the hot version, so that’s what I tried (btw, I specified non-fat milk).

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First off, check out that presentation. I’m a firm believer that presentation counts. If plating is important when it comes to food, shouldn’t it be the same for coffee as well? (Separate post about that later.) I love how SBC topped off the foam of their Sea Salt Caramel with that lovely swirl of caramel syrup. You can even see some of the Mediterranean sea salt crystals dotting the syrup. And isn’t that starfish candy simply charming? The presentation alone was enough to make me smile.

And that smile just grew bigger after my first sip. I tried it without mixing the topping first, and as expected, it was quite sweet. I enjoyed it more after mixing it all up because the salt balanced the sweetness of the caramel. The combination is perfect–not too sweet that I got sick of it quickly, not too salty that it makes me think I just ate chips with my coffee. I could even say that I liked this better than I did Starbucks’ Salted Caramel Mocha last year. If I remember correctly, though, the Starbucks version was heavier on the mocha. This one’s more on the caramel side.

All in all, I couldn’t have asked for a happier, more refreshing drink to perk me up after my trip to the dentist. I might just try more SBC drinks in the future.

***Sea salt caramel and Peppermint Pot will be available until October 22, 2013 only. For more details, check out the article of my cousin’s wife, Liana, here.

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