Coffee culture

Tim Hortons is to Ontario as Starbucks is to British Columbia. This is a fact that becomes vividly clear whenever we travel east to my home province. Where in Ontario ‘Timmies’ is on every major corner, in BC it has been relegated to the lesser-travelled and lower-populated areas. On the flip side, Starbucks makes a limited appearance in the lower-populated areas of Ontario – it’s really only in the Chapters bookstores – and there are two Timmies on every major corner. Clearly, each business has found their location niche.

It’s nice to travel between the two provinces. As I’ve said in a previous post, it’s the little things that count. While living in Ontario we loved Timmies for their “double double” but missed the creamy ‘goodness’ of a latte or frappuccino. (However, we didn’t miss the price of said latte or frappuccino.) Now that we’re living in BC again, Starbucks is once again our haunt (or Serious Coffee, or Blenz, or … well you can name any other place and we’ve probably been there!) and Timmies has been slightly set aside.

But the “double double” still calls to us. Timmies’ coffee is much, much better than Starbucks, I have to admit. And hey, the price is right.

Don’t know what a “double double” is? I’ve found that BC’ers don’t tend to be down with this lingo. My aunt and uncle from the States don’t know what it means either. How about the term “regular”? These terms could be an Ontario thing, but I haven’t done enough cross-country research to delve into this more. “Double double” means double cream and double sugar. Simple, huh? “Regular” is a bit more tricky. It simply means one cream and one sugar. OK now let’s spread the word so we can use these terms from province to province so everyone knows what everyone else is talking about. Isn’t it just that much better (not to mention faster) to say “double double” instead of “with two creams and two sugars, please”?

Don’t even get me started on Starbucks’ lingo. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. It’s not very short to order a “tall extra hot non fat double whip latte with sugar-free vanilla” now is it? (I’m not saying that’s my drink, but hey, I’ve heard worse.) Although ordering at Starbucks is slightly frightening I must say that the end results served up by them are nothing short of delicious.

So what’s the verdict and who wins out? Timmies or Starbucks? As I’ve always been a girl that finds it hard to pick which side of the fence she sits on (I’m just so darn accepting) I tend to like both for different reasons. Maybe it’s OK that Tim Hortons hasn’t saturated BC yet. And maybe it’s OK that in Ontario the Starbucks are few and far between. Both are good in their own places. And for their own reasons.

All this coffee-talk is making me thirsty! Time to go get my morning medium double double decaf…

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