Thursday, January 19, 2012

Why Does Coffee Time Still Exist?

Here in the GTA,  it is joked that school children learn their numbers by counting the number of Tim Horton stores. They are everywhere! We have plenty of Starbucks Coffee shops around too. We even have a few Timothy's Coffees and Second Cups afloat too. There's McDonald's if you don't like any of the aforementioned. Torontonians enjoy their coffee.

Tim Hortons, Starbucks, Second Cup, McDonald's. These are all establishments that offer clean restaurants and access to good coffee. So then I have to ask, why does Coffee Time exist? It doesn't seem to thrive on cleanliness or a superior product. Let me tell you about a recent visit to Coffee Time:

First, no one greeted me. I hate that. 

That was after I found the front entrance door locked and read the hand-written, and stained, sign that directed me to use the mall entrance. I suppose the customers let in a draft from the cold air (-18' C today). Fair enough.

Coffee Time donuts may or may not allow patrons to smoke. I'm not sure. Common sense says that it was outlawed in all Ontario stores in 2000 or so. Yet, when I entered Coffee Time, there seemed to be a fog reminiscent of cigarette smoke and the walls and windows have that smoker's grime too. The donuts were on shelves, exposed to the air and heaven-only-knows what else. I know other shops have their donuts out too - but those donuts, at say Tim Horton's, are baked fresh on-site. Coffee Time donuts are not. And they are hardened from the air. There are lots of little baked goods that look like one of the employees baked them at home and brought them in. They're wrapped in Saran-wrap by hand; not professionally, because there is a little ball of wrap at the bottom, so the muffin or slice of banana bread sits off-kilter.

There were advertisements for breakfast sandwiches too. I am a bit queasy around eggs. I couldn't imagine buying eggs from that dark, grimy place and actually eating them.

And the coffee is awful. Its always old and lukewarm. If you order two coffees and ask for a tray, you get a cardboard tray similar to the ones McDonald's uses, except it is CUT IN HALF! I would swear these down-and-out shops were really movie sets for some production set in a depressed industrial town in the 1970s, if I didn't know better. Who buys their java at Coffee Time by choice?

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