I said about a thousand posts ago that I would have something to say about Tim Horton's coffee, and now is my chance. I'm sitting in a busy airport, and Tim's is the only place I can get caffeine. (Another Velvet Underground moment for me. And no I am not talking about a walk on the wild side. This is the waiting for my man moment. Me and the wild side will be the subject for a post in the very distant future.) So anyway I am here in the waiting area by gate C56 and the Tim's cup is on the seat beside me (why didn't I stop at Starbucks on the way in? In this section of the airport it's Tim's or nothing), and I almost don't want to drink from it.
What do they put in the mix? There's a definite something. Or maybe it's something lacking. I do not have a brilliantly finicky palate. I don't care if it's Coke or Pepsi, butter or margarine, fresh squeezed or frozen. I can't tell one type of chocolate from another, and wine talk (overtones of cherry, leather, smoke, etc) makes me snicker. My mom can taste a sauce, pause, and then, with that inward eye, proceed to list all the ingredients. So can my daughter Imo. All I can tell is that the sauce is whitish or reddish or brownish. (My comments are more based on how it clashes with the table cloth or shirt I have spilled it on.) I guess these things skip a generation. But this coffee -- this coffee I am drinking now, while the perky lady announces that my flight is boarding its business class passengers -- is different from what I make at home. Different, and not as good.
So what is it? The flavour is ... mmm, let me roll the liquid around on my tongue. Now let me wipe the dribble off my face. Now let me roll again .... the word I want is .... DUMBER. Sounds mean, but I think I'm going to allow myself to say it. Tim's is made from dumb coffee beans. There's no sharpness, no depth, no excitement. The coffee does not grab me by the throat and say WAKE UP, SCRIMGER. It does not run a finger down my arm and say, Well, hello, big boy. It does not even smile at me. It clears its throat and says, Uh, hi. Then it turns away and coughs into a kleenex. If I met this coffee at a party, I would excuse myself and walk away.
Now that the business travellers and small babies are on board, my flight is ready for me. I have a couple of swallows left. My caffeine jones is gone for now but, like MacArthur, it will return. Should I finish the cup?
No, as it turns out because I knocked it over. One decision I won't have to make. Oh dear, it's all over the seat next to me. You know, I should pack up and go. But when I land in Vancouver I'm getting a coffee right away. There's a city that knows its coffee. Maybe my second favorite thing about the place.