Here are my 2009 coffee shop rankings. This ranking is based on the following criteria; taste, price, freshness and a few other smaller things.
1. Tim Horton’s
3. Second Cup
5. Coffee Time
So how did I come to this conclusion??? Easily.
For the value, taste and freshness, Timmy’s wins out. Their roll up the rim contest rocks and the staff friendly. You can get yogurt, bagels, and yummy chili and good soups. Wont break the bank, and seem to be at every block. Sure the staff rarely stir the coffee, but for $1.49 for a large… You can’t go wrong. And where else would I be able to say, I’ll have a large double double, please”, and get a smile and a “yes sir”.
Starbucks, while pricey, and serves very strong coffee, does have great Cafe Americano’s for slightly more than the price of a regular coffee. Plus, their give you a coupon for a free anything if you don’t like your drink, or waiting too long for it AND, often offer free samples. Their oatmeal is the perfect treat for a toddler as is their cheese plate (although really pricey). My kids love the wooden stir sticks “sticks” and the automatic doors. It’s nice to be able to sit at Starbucks and be noticed. My wife and I have a term – a Guterman – which means, sitting at S’Bux looking busy but doing sweet fuck all… Ahhh, the life. Especially in the summer.
Second Cup would normally rank behind Timothy’s because I hate their old, bitter coffee and stupidly high prices for this crap – but I had a coffee there today (first in months) that was half Butter Pecan (their best flavour) and half Holiday Blend. Sure I needed 4 sugars but it was actually quite good. They need to find a way to keep their coffee fresher – I doubt they would have the traffic to keep making new pots every 15 minutes like Tim Horton’s but they could try picking a flavour and for that specialty flavour, they will make a fresh post every 15 minutes and see what the responses from their customers are. The other main issue Second Cup needs to address is their choice of coffees. Normally they have 5 or 6 different types. One decaf, one is a medium and one is a strong. There is a mild – something like a Paradiso (whatever the heck that means) and then the flavour… I hate Irish Cream!!! Detest it! That is usually their one flavoured coffee and when asked why, I was told, it is because it is popular… No shit! It’s the one fucking flavour, and people don’t like stale, overpriced swill, so they get the flavour that needs lots of cream and sugar to cover the bitterness. I’d recommend they keep Butter Pecan and Caramelo in high rotation – already sweet coffees need less sugar and cream which means less cost.
Another advantage the Second Cup is not taking advantage of is the space they have in most of their shops which they could totally utilize to capitalize on families by offering a safe environment for kids and snacks under 5000 calories – something healthy, possibly?!? Seriously, a place for parents to take their kids after dinner to hang out and buy… Better than being empty, eh?
Timothy’s… Poor, poor Timothy’s. I thought they were already out of business, but there is one near my place and I wont step foot into it. The large is HUGE, the coffee is watered down and terrible and most of the locations need to bring it “other” items in order to make money – like my local one sells handmade jewellery… The only coffee I can drink there is the toasted coconut because it’s toasted taste covers the fact that the pot has been sitting there all day. Brutal. I always feel like I’m wasting money once I leave one. They seriously need to merge with a US company and re-brand all their stores… That would bring them back from the dead. I should Google “Seattle’s Best Coffee” and see if they have any extra cash. Shouldn’t cost that much… Then again… Seattle’s best aint that great.
Coffee Time… A very fringe coffee shop, usually open 24 hours, filled with riff raff and in that hidious orange colour (although some newer ones are brown). It’s never a place to take a family at night – even creepy during the day. It’s that place you like to run into if you really need coffee, but don’t intend on staying – or… Go, but don’t flash any money or look like you have anything of value on you.
What are your thoughts on my rankings??