Ramblings about Coffee

As I grew up in Ontario, and even spent a few years in Hamilton, home of the original Tim Horton‘s store and more Tim Horton’s per capita than anywhere else¹, I have a special place in my heart for Timmy’s. Many a high school class was skipped so that my friends and I could hang out in one of the local Timmy’s, of which there were several nearby, with Sarah inevitably spilling her double-double down her white Catholic school² uniform blouse.

But now that I’m a Vancouverite, having spent the last 7+ years deep in the heart of Starbucks-land, where there are also wonderful independent coffee shops in every store that isn’t a Starbucks or a sushi joint, I’ve finally come to admit the truth. As hard as it is for me to say this… Tim Horton’s coffee just doesn’t taste that good. Heresy, I know, but it’s true. I still purchase, and enjoy, a Timmy’s coffee now and again, especially on my way to play hockey, but I know that I enjoy the nostalgia of it, not the flavour. Now, that’s not to say that I like Starbucks coffee, because I don’t. It tastes like someone burnt the coffee beans in the seventh level of Hell for a few millennia before they brewed the coffee. But an Americano³ from Starbucks with a little bit of vanilla sugar in it sure tastes better than a cup of Timmy Ho’s. Even better, though, is a coffee from Beantown Coffee House on Dunbar, poured with a smile by the owner, Jeff, who always remembers that I get my breakfast bagel with no meat or mayo, or a cup of the fair-trade organic Bolivian Cafe La Paz that I buy, on sale4, from Stong’s and brew at home myself.

OK, wait, now I don’t even remember where I was going with this. Oh yes, I went to get some breakfast this morning and picked up an Americano at Starbucks, only to discover that they were out of their veggie breakfast eggwiches, so I had to go across the road to get a Timmy’s breakfast bagel. Here’s a comparison of what it cost:

  • Starbucks Americano: $2.15
  • Timmy’s Breakfast Bagel, no meat: $2.09

So my *meal* at Timmy’s cost less than my *drink* at Starbucks. And I got one of the cheaper coffees – not a $5+ venti, extra-hot, half-sweet, non-fat soy, caramel vanilla honey, easy foam, double caffeinated, extra shot, mochacino macchiato with whip.

In conclusion, I’d like to share with you this photo that I took at one of the Starbucks on campus yesterday. Pot Doughnuts. Only in Vancouver.

¹Anyone who has ever lived, worked and/or gone to school in Hamilton, Ontario is required, by law, to know and tell anyone and everyone that will listen, this ever important fact.
²Yeah, I went to a Catholic school. Kind of hard to believe, eh?
³Which is, in truth, just watered down espresso in what I’m sure is a European joke on the weakness of American coffee.
4And it’s *always* on sale. I’ve been buying it for over a year now and have never seen it being sold for the regular price.

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