Friday, January 20, 2006


A post by Ian over at Ruminations by the Lake recently has me reflecting on coffee. Sudafed and a head cold have me keeping it really shallow. Perhaps someday I’ll post on the “coffee house mentality” in current evangelical thinking, but for now I’m just going to write about coffee.

Tim Horton’s coffee isn’t that great (further evidence for central and eastern Canadians to suspect that we Albertans aren’t patriotic). Maybe for the double-double crowd the coffee’s wonderful, but I drink it black. Tim’s is better than the typical restaurant dishwater, but not terrific coffee. I’m a Starbucks guy – just plain, black dark roast (Gold Coast is dandy, as is Christmas Blend, usually, but it’s seasonal only). It’s a good thing that we don’t have a Starbucks within two hours of Edson.

Apparently, I’m not only anti-patriotic by preferring Starbucks, but also pro-pagan. The evidence is in the paper cups. First, a friend in our church pointed out that one of the Christmas cups featured a couple of guys putting up Christmas lights and one of them is making a satanic sign with his hand (I later got one of those cups full of Christmas Blend – it’s rinsed and flattened in my garage). The other one may be found here. You’d never find this at Tims.

We have a new, independent coffee shop attached to the gym that my wife and I frequent (Juanita more frequently than I). It has a nice atmosphere and better coffee than Tims – not as good as Satanbucks, but still good. I’m going to have to start meeting people there instead of ol’ Timmies.

I don’t go out for coffee that much. I usually make it at home – fresh ground, dark roast beans and a French Press (Bodum). I try to tone it down when we have company, but I like it quite strong.

When my wife and I went to Virginia in 2002 for my nephew’s wedding, I noticed that everywhere we went had good coffee. Houses, restaurants, even the church urn! I mentioned this after a few days and got an immediate response from the bride’s father, “Yes, I know. We’ve traveled in Canada.” I haven’t traveled that much in the States, but I know that our coffee is usually pretty grim.

For my American friends who wonder what this Tim Horton’s place is, don’t worry. When we were in Michigan in ’04 I saw a sign for Tim’s. They are coming your way!

It’s funny that I would post about coffee right now. With my cold, I’m drinking tea with honey instead. My daughter and I just enjoyed a cup (she has a cold too – her nice dad gave it to her).

My wonderful daughter Emily, who is 11 and a fine artist and violinist, just told me that this is the first time I mentioned her. Too true, that’s why I’m laying it on thick (although she is a fine daughter and very talented).


Dan S. said...

Well... count this as the first time I disagree with you. Starbuck's must be a BC thing. Your former college colleague, Paul M, is also a devout Starbuck's disciple. Besides not being able to afford Starbuck's on my meagre pastor's salary, it also tastes burnt (might have something to do with those devilish allusions you mentioned). For my daily fix, I'll take TH (black) anytime.

stauf46 said...

If that's the biggest thing we differ on, no worries! I can't afford Starbucks either. That's why it's good there's not one in Edson.

Re. T4G. Thanks for the invite to Shepherd's Conference. I do plan to go sometime!

Scott Hill said...

I agree Starbucks taste burnt. I too have a slight moral crisis payin 3.79 for a cup of coffe. Ecspecially on a Pastors salary. Apparently though my "pagan" congregation has no issues, because I end up with about $100 worth of Starbucks gift cards every Christmas. It still takes me 7 or 8 months to use them all going about 3 times a month. Unfortunatly we have about 16 in our 16 square miles of town. Two in the same shopping center on opposite ends of the parking lot.

As for the bad philosophy cups, every major corporation in the world has practice I would disagree with. So what are you gonna do?

Ian said...

Y'know, it's funny, but I agree with you about Tim Hortons. It's actually not that great. Yet, for some reason I still go. Satanbucks is definitely a better choice for coffee, but it's the price that keeps me away.
All in all, I would say that my favourite coffee is President's Choice Fine Ground Gourmet (it comes in the gold tin at the grocery store). There's nothing like it in the morning.
I like my coffee strong too. During exams, I'm usually the only one who can drink the coffee I make it's so strong. I can have it any way: black, lots of cream, lots of sugar, less cream, less sugar. It doesn't matter.
Tea is a different story, I have to have it "just so."