Whatever happened to …

… coffee?

It’s not that it’s gone away but I just got back from a trip into town and bought a McDonald’s coffee for the two of us.  It’s on sale right now for $1.  Compared with a coffee that I bought at an ONRoute on the 401 yesterday for $1.95, it’s a real deal!

But it did get me thinking of my relationship with this black gold.

2018-04-12_1031

My RCAC coffee mug and its contents made this post possible.

I didn’t start out being a coffee drinker.  It was harsher than mud for my taste.  But, over the years, I’ve got to believe that I’ve tried more permutations on the making of it.

  • Instant coffee
  • Percolated coffee
  • Ground my own coffee beans – both manually and with a machine
  • I can recall four or five drip machines that we’ve owned – the best invention ever is the spring loaded device that lets you get that important first cup of the morning before the entire pot is brewed
  • K-cups
  • Some sort of steam process

In terms of coffee purchase places, I’ve done my share there too.

  • Tim Horton’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Robin’s Donuts
  • Starbucks
  • Seattle’s Best
  • Colvin Coffee
  • Timothy’s
  • Stuff they sold at the arena
  • Coffee Time
  • Country Style
  • Dunkin’ Donuts
  • Second Cup
  • Van Houtte
  • Williams
  • Small independents
  • and probably more if I thought long enough

And many different brands for home brewing too.

  • Folger’s (our current favourite)
  • Van Houtte
  • Maxwell House
  • Caribou Coffee
  • Eight O’Clock Coffee
  • Nestle’s
  • Tim Horton’s
  • McDonald’s
  • Melitta
  • Hill’s Brothers

I wouldn’t call myself an expert but I know what I like (and what I don’t like)  I’ve tried double-doubles, cream only, milk only, but I’ll settle for black.

What got me thinking about this and the evolution is how things have changed.  As a child, I remember going to a restaurant with my parents who were coffee drinkers and coffee was just something that came.  It was often free or at a nominal cost and complemented the meal.  These days, it’s a real artform and the price you pay for fancy drinks at a Starbucks, for example, will buy you a small meal in other places.

If you’re up early on this Sunday morning, I know that you’ve probably got one within reach and have an opinion.  Let me hear it in the comments.

  • What’s your favourite store bought brand of coffee?
  • What’s your goto coffee shop?
  • Did you ever put chicory into your coffee?
  • Double Double?  Sugar?  Sweetner?  Black?
  • Do you opt for the fancy barista stuff?
  • Have you bypassed all this and will opt for a cup of green tea or Earl Grey instead?

Let’s have fun with this.  What are your coffee thoughts?

How has coffee evolved from just something that came to a major refreshment decision in itself?

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9 comments

  1. Hazelnut cappucchino is my favorite, although McCafe French vanilla works too. At home, since I avoid regular coffee drinking, it is Columbian instant with a dash of milk. Other places, it is just black coffee after a meal. I drink it because I need an energy boost rather than habit.

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  2. Green tea for me during the day, and a nice spicy decaf tea at night. Sipping on a cup of Stash Tea’s Spice Dragon Red Chai tonight. In Tokyo this week and planning to try some matcha tea. Here green tea comes with your meal in many restaurants as automatically as water would come with your meal back home.

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  3. Have tried to like coffee, because that’s what folks do…go for a coffee, get you a coffee, take a coffee break. I’ve tried many permutations …but still cannot drink the vile liquid. I actually don’t even enjoy the smell. I think there must be some sort of genetic problem with me. I just didn’t get the coffee gene, I guess.
    I do enjoy a cup of tea, in almost any form. Earl Grey with a splash of milk is how I prefer my caffeine blast.

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  4. A post on coffee … I have to comment! 🙂 I think one of the biggest changes in coffee is that now it’s hard to just buy coffee at some places. The fancy coffee drinks are replacing it. Like you, I didn’t love coffee right away, but now I can’t start my day without one (or I get a massive headache). It was in my third year of university that I started drinking coffee. One of my roommates and a good friend had a French Press, and made coffee multiple times a day. He was a real coffee connoisseur. We often sat up drinking coffee and chatting late, and maybe coffee brings back these good memories. Certain brands of coffee now trigger them (such as Christmas Blend). I do prefer most coffee with cream and sweetener, but I will drink coffee black, and I avoid any sweetener in special coffees, like lattes. I do prefer a deeper, stronger coffee, and my places of choice are usually Starbucks and Second Cup (I love their flavoured brewed coffees like Hazelnut and Irish Cream). That said, I leave early for school and neither place is open in my area at the time, so I always go to Tim Horton’s. As I write this comment to you, I wonder if any beverage brings back more memories than coffee.

    Thanks, as always, for the weekly trip down memory lane!
    Aviva

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  5. … that look of betrayal on my wife’s face when I mentioned that I am trying to quit with coffee. She, up to several years ago, hated the stuff. Hated the smell, the taste, the satisfied look on my face as relaxed through my second or third cup in the morning. I guess it was my fault. Someway somehow, she now can’t start her day without it. My attempt at scaling back my caffeine consumption has put my life is in danger. I shouldn’t have mentioned it. I shouldn’t have even written this post. If my blog goes dark for a while its because I am in hiding. Tell my wife, I was wrong … oh so wrong …

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Our mornings begin with the fragrance of espresso filling the air. Milk is heated, the espresso is added to the hot milk and voilà, the magic potion is ready. When we go out, we seldom stop to buy coffee anywhere. We caddy thermos cups of our home brew. If we run out of the elixir…tea it is. When we have friends join us for a formal meal, we usually end the meal with a demitasse of espresso…except for the tea drinkers. We like it that espresso has a lower caffeine content than drip coffee: https://recipes.howstuffworks.com/question645.htm Of course, current science might draw different conclusions.

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  7. I don’t drink coffee, never have. I do enjoy tea, lately favouring cinnamon spice. I also enjoy vanilla chamomile and good old chai latte. I rarely buy tea in a store, if I do, I consider it a treat or splurge. I think it’s more because I’d be tempted to also buy a donut or other pastry, so avoid them altogether. Unfortunately if you see me carrying any type of “bought” beverage, it’s almost always pop. Im typing this as I sip chai from my Cookie Monster mug. Have a lovely evening.

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  8. I’m so thrilled to find so many of my people here! I am not a coffee drinker. I am, in fact, pretty much not a caffeine consumer, except for the rare hot chocolate. I am a fan of fruit infusions and rooibos teas, both hot and cold, and have a kettle and a mason jar with infuser in my classroom supplies. I love the smell of coffee, as my spouse grinds his beans, and makes his daily morning cup in our little drip machine. But drink it? Nope.
    My board is doing a wellness initiative for staff this year, and part of it was a baseline health quiz. One of the questions asked how many caffeinated beverages you consumed in a day. 0 was not an option, which I found annoying. It is not easy in the teaching world to be the non-caffeinated human. Note how many workshops you attend where coffee is the only hot beverage on offer (and most of the time, people bring their own anyway! )

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  9. I enjoyed your take and timeline on all things coffee, Doug! It looks like you have both coffee and tea “readers” though! Not sure I will break the tie… I drink coffee in the morning and tea in the afternoon 🙂

    Like Aviva, my coffee consumption started in third year of university too. I blame my roommate that year who had a small Melitta coffee carafe with a plastic “pour over” filter top. That is how I learned to make coffee – boil the kettle… pour over. If we ran out of those paper filters, we used paper towel! My husband and I did get an automatic coffeemaker for a wedding gift but I will bet we used it less than a year. Soon it was back to a Melitta (larger) glass carafe and the “pour over” method. That is what we still use to this day and nothing beats it, if I say so myself. We used to grind beans of various brands, but now we have simplified to using only Melitta brand/ground coffee as well. Brand loyalty eh!

    So with being so stuck on our own coffee, our coffee shop outings are few. I don’t care much for the more popular venues, but I have found a few independent local coffee places that make a good brew. I used to like “Second Cup” but it has been a long time since there was one in Thunder Bay. Only cream in my coffee, but at times I wish I could tolerate it black. If I don’t care for the coffee choices at a coffee shop (for example, Starbucks), I will order tea. Black tea with or without milk is fine, but I do enjoy Earl Grey (which is also in a “London Fog”… yum). It isn’t usually on the Starbucks menu list, but you can still ask and they should know…. And I never order anything “tall”… “medium, please”.

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