Adventures

Things to Know: Coffee in Canada

May 9, 2019

So, I never used to drink Coffee – until I came to Canada. So, I thought to myself – as I was contemplating whether to wait in a 10 car line-up or simply to drive to the next Tim Horton’s – this might be worth a post as an FYI-for all my non-North American readers.

So here’s the thing: Canadian Coffee stinks. Yup, I said it. It’s awful. Tastes like old shoe most of the time. Maybe that’s a bit harsh, but really it’s nothing to write home about.

Coffee in Europe is strong. You drink one and you will be up for another 4-5 hours. Here? Not so much. It’s pretty watery and has a bitter after-taste. You buy one and a couple of hours after that you crash and you will probably need another. Going to Tim Horton’s is a ritual though. It’s like a Canadian rite of passage. You get your double-double (2 cream, 2 sugar) or triple-triple (3 cream, 3 sugar). You roll up the rim to win (a game where people can win things by rolling up the rim of their paper coffee cup). And you may get some TimBits while you’re there (tiny round donuts).

And don’t get me wrong: I’m participating in all of it. And I love it! But that doesn’t change the fact that the coffee is just not good. You will have to drink it with cream, milk and/or sugar to get it to taste better than shoe. And that’s ok. When I’m back in Germany I will enjoy a good latte macchiato or a cappuccino, because in Europe Coffee and Espresso are a treasure, here Coffee is simply a component of your every day life.

And of course you can find coffee artists here as well! Barista’s that know that the milk foam on a cappuccino is all white and not white/brown-ish. People that are aware of the difference between espresso and coffee. People that brew their coffee at home (me!) and thus can still enjoy a strong cup of joe. But if you go to a drive through and ask for coffee? Don’t expect any treasure, cause all you’re gonna get is brown water.

If it helps at all, I was told this: McCafe > Starbucks > Tim Horton’s > Denny’s

How do you feel about coffee and all its excellent cousins? And all its distributors?

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