Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Self-abuse through coffee selection

I like coffee; those who know me well know the truth in this. I like my Tim's and I like my "fru fru" white mocha's from second cup. I like all manners of brews and favoured coffees, fancy and plain, and if a day goes by without at least one coffee, it is a rare day. For Erin and I the average work day begins with a cup of coffee to sip on the commute. When we got our coffee maker we went out of our way to find a brew that was none to expensive because we were going to drink a lot, so we started with Presidents Choice Canadian Blend. This coffee essentially taste like Tim Horton's coffee, but you get about four liters of coffee grounds for about $6.99. I don't know how much it breaks down to per cup, but I won't hesitate to say pennies.

Now we have been enjoying, and I mean that in earnest, this coffee since about June, blissfully ignorant of the powers of our home brew station to make other coffee *gasp.* Well over the holidays Erin got a Starbuck's gift basket at one of the family gift exchanges. Included in that basket was a small sample of Starbuck's holiday blend. Hardly the most exotic coffee in the world, but something different, so for once, yesterday, when the Canadian Blend was down to its dregs I was like, "Hey, why not."

Brewing up the new coffee was like rubbing the tarnish off that old brass oil lamp, and like that lamp a magic force was released. Well I would not liken "christmas blend" to semi-phenomenal nearly-cosmic powers, it was a delicious change, and a good wake up call (and I mean that in both the caffeinated and metaphorical sense.)
Why, oh why have we shackled ourselves to the Canadian Blend for so long? The merits of the megapack of Canadian blend are twofold, first off it is a fairly bland, and comfortable taste, thus making it ideal for an office environment where coffee preferences flare to the extremes, the CB offers a middle ground that no one get argue with, those with strong preferences might object slightly, but only while pouring a mug. The second reason is price, and the price is important when you are trying to caffeinate an office of 20-40 people. For Erin and I who are willing to spend 4.00 on the occasional fancy barista drink, why wouldn't we be willing to shell out the extra $0.50 to $1.00 every few weeks for a better cup of coffee everyday!

The meek and unassuming Starbuck's Holiday Blend has lifted the blinders from my eyes, and unshackled my taste buds. Soon they shall make merriment in the rich hills of Columbia and Brazil sampling all manner of roasts, and blends. Sure I still like CB, and I won't forsake it, but it is definitely going on an extended sabbatical.

Vive la Cafe, Vive la difference!
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