Saturday, March 17, 2012

Coffee, Double Doubles and RRRoll up the Rim to Win

I love coffee. Strong, black, no sugar.

One of our donut shops, Tim Hortons, has the RRRoll up the Rim to Win promotion bombarding the airwaves (you have to say RRRoll as if you're Scottish or Dérrroule if you are French). Buy a coffee from them, then roll up the cardboard rim to see if you won a car, electronics, a donut, a free coffee. But more often then not it says: Please Play Again.

Tim Hortons is also famous for a new word(s) that has become part of the Canadian lexicon: the “Double Double”. When ordering a coffee all that you need to say is Double-Double and you get double cream, double sugar in your cup. Did you know it is harder to order a black coffee almost anywhere? 
Me ordering: “Medium black coffee, please”
Girl: “Sugar?”
Me: “No, just black, black” 
Maybe I should just order a double-double black to make it easier.

I stopped buying coffee long ago at coffee shops unless I'm travelling. Mostly because I find it too weak. And expensive. As I said, I love strong coffee and so does hubby. We make a pot every morning and I bring a thermos to work to enjoy as I get on with my day. I am currently using the President’s Choice (Loblaw's) West Coast Dark Roast.

Growing up, my mom always made coffee in a glass percolator each morning. Then along came instant coffee, then the freeze dried instant coffee crystals which would revolutionize coffee drinking, then chicory coffee as the price of coffee beans sky-rocketed. My parents always added milk and sugar. Later my dad used those little saccharin tablets that he’d plop into a cup of java. They were also tea drinkers, after dinner, a routine I have yet to embrace.

But I didn’t drink coffee until I left for university. I first remember trying a cup from a dispenser machine the night before a final exam. It was god-awful. I hadn’t studied enough and needed to stay up all night so it seemed the best caffeine choice at the time as I chugged it back. I passed the exam.

I grew to love the smell, taste and kick that coffee gave me. At first I used a bit of milk, but that quickly disappeared. And it surprised me when I met hubby, that he too drank his coffee black. 

Today, coffee has taken on a life of its own. Now there are so many ways to make coffee: Drip, Plunger type, Steam Press, Espresso Machines, K-Cups… 

To make it even more convenient, you no longer have to haul your ass out of the car and walk into a store. You use the drive-thru. It always amaze me how many people do the drive-thru thing. Every single day. Many of my work colleagues arrive with cup in hand—Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Van Houtte (located in the lobby of my building). In my mind it is such a waste of money to be spending $2 or more on a cup of coffee, sometimes two or three times a day! 

And don’t get me started on the specialty coffees which can set you back mega $$. You no longer get a cup of coffee you get a—mocha, caramel, macchiato, latte, frappucino, espresso—creation first brought into the limelight by Starbucks. Now all the coffee places are pushing these “drinks” both hot and cold. With lots and lots of whip cream. Even McD's is getting on board with the McCafe.

As winter turns to spring and summer, all the coffee shops will be pushing their icy creations full of fat and sugar and calories. Here’s just one example of the nutrition info for a Starbucks Double Chocolaty Chip Frappuccino® (Venti—that's the big one) 
520 calories 
23 g of fat (like eating 2 tbsp of butter) 
69 g of sugar (like eating over 17 tsp of sugar)

Holy mother of god! That’s a third of my daily calorie intake. In one coffee! Can we see one of the reason’s we are becoming a “fat” society. 

Before you go posting some outraged comments, I know that the occasional treat is part of a healthy diet. I eat chocolate. I eat donuts. Just the other night I “wasted” 450 calories/23 grams of fat on a tiny piece of my birthday cake. Nutrition labelling is a good thing but do people actually know what is going into our mouths. 

The key word here is occasional. What I see is an entire generation drinking these concoctions daily. I also see kids and teens ordering and sucking these back along with a donut or two. 

Don't get me wrong. I love a good cappuccino. I make it at home a couple of times a week with decaf espresso, hot frothed skim milk and 3 brown sugar cubes. Yummy just before bed. 

But lets hear it for a nice cuppa strong, black coffee.

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Linda said...

I'm a black coffee girl too. I actually worked for Starbucks for many years in retail operations and got spoiled always having the perfect cup. I actually drink more lattes now than ever did then because the milk will fill me up.

♫ Drazil ♪ said...

I'm here to post an obnoxious comment. Like um - will you still love me if I hate coffee? I can't even stand the smell of it? It's poopy.

I love you.

Lonicera said...

I must have grown up with instant, because I really don't care for brewed coffee. My favourite is a totally milky coffee with Gold Blend or Nescafe Expresso - and saccharine to make up for all those calories!

I get anxiety attacks queueing at Starbucks (or suchlike places) because there are too many choices to make and I don't know what I want, much less know what the different types of coffee mean. Asking the attendant when it's my turn just seems to generate impatient clicks of the tongue behind me and I can't take the pressure...

Hate tea though.


growingyoungereachday said...

Hi Sandy - thanks for visiting my blog. Coffee at $2? Here it is at least $4.50 and it is almost impossible to get a cup of black coffee - latte, cappuccino, machoacino (?) etc. Coffee shops abound here. They are on every corner and even in little holes inthe wall. Somebody is getting really rich.

Ronnie said...


I actually have started just ordering tea when I go to coffee places (usually only on vacation!) because they don't give you as much hassle if you don't want cream and sugar in it.

It's ridiculous to see teenagers and even pre-teens drinking coffee these days, I didn't start until after I had my kiddos, and even that was only out of necessity!

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