The Caffeine-Fiend Within

Here in Canada, our most popular coffee shop is Tim Horton’s.  It’s sort of like the Canadian version of Starbucks – except far cheaper, far more potent (it is rumoured they spike the coffee with crack), and not nearly as classy (lots of brown and orange by way of colour scheme).  They have this contest every year called “Roll-Up-the-Rim-to-Win”, which gets everyone in these parts pretty excited.

Now, I don’t normally drink coffee.  I’m a pretty hyper chick and well, let’s just say…it’s not really required. 

I knew it was a bad idea when I came to work jacked up on caffeine after being tempted by the promise of winning a car or a big-screen tv, and my boss turned to one of my co-workers and said, “It’s Roll-Up-The-Rim time.  You know what that means, don’t you?” 

I paused in my chugging to listen:

“We’re going to have to put up with Drea on coffee for the next two weeks.” 

But still, to be truthful, I didn’t usually actually drink the coffee.  I would take a sip or two and then dump it from impatience to find out if I’d scored anything (and all I ever scored was – surprise! – a free coffee.)

No, up until about a month ago, I was a caffeine-free entity, if you don’t count the ballet years.  But I wouldn’t really classify the sludge sold for 35 cents a cup by the theatre school office as coffee.  No, I was all about the herbal tea.  Or if I was feeling particularly wild, a cup of Earl Grey while I was out for breakfast with a friend.

A month ago, I happened to be suffering from a slight sleep deficit and was wandering down the gourmet coffee aisle in the grocery store, where I’d never been before. 

WELL!   Who knew?  Who knew.  Seriously.  I was mesmerized by the smell!  The names!  It was an assault on my senses…images of chocolate, hazelnuts, vanilla, berries and citrus fruits and spices….

I couldn’t take it – I had to try it.  

It started out innocently enough…a nice pack of freshly ground hazelnut cream.  The buzz was extraordinary.  I couldn’t believe I’d been preaching the evils of caffeine for so long!  (And yes, I am aware of the hypocrisy of someone who enjoys her liquor as much as I do preaching about healthy lifestyle choices.  Whatever.)  With this kind of energy, I might be able to forego sleep altogether!  Think of all I could accomplish!!

Well, let me tell you, friends.  It didn’t take long.

The office where I work received a huge gift basket for Christmas…filled with caffeine-based products.  When the original hazelnut ran out, I cautiously reached out…thinking that there was no way any of these others would live up to my initial hit.

Within mere weeks, I was experimenting.  Combining products.  Mixing up speedballs of cappucino spiked with liberal spoonfuls of the ol’ Instant Sanka, just to see what would happen. 

Ibegantalkinglikethis.  I needed more and more just to get high.  Life would never be the same.  World domination was practically within my grasp!!

Now I need to get my hands on some of these chocolate-covered coffee beans I’ve been hearing so much about.  I don’t think it could get much better than that, really.  I may orgasm.

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’ve been stateside for close to 2 years, the biggest adjustment was finding a reasonable substitute for Tim Hortons, which never happened. There is a Seattle’s Best home brew called “Morning Bright” with similar flavor, but getting restocked at Christmas with cans of Tim’s (christmas edition tins no less) reminded me of the kick you mentioned.

  2. Haha, welcome to the world of caffeine then 🙂 And now I really want some hazelnut coffee. I haven’t had that since I was a busboy at the Belgian Waffle Works way back in the glorious summer of… 1993? I got started on coffee while doing my Master’s, but then it was just when I wanted to feel extra special. Now I am on 2, 3, 4 cups a day. Anything to reduce my chances of getting dementia 😉

    Let me know if you have any tips from your experimenting 😉 Have you tried straight espresso? You should. At first it will taste like something found in a tarpit, then later it will feel like something the devil gave you to rise above mortality.

  3. Heheh. The caramel flavored coffee across the road from your workplace is AMAZING & I think you ought to try it if you haven’t already. I forget what it’s called, but it has a shot of espresso and freshly whipped cream on top. Surprisingly, despite it’s caramel name, it’s not too sweet, but it *is* devine. I was known to buy more than a few while working with you girls, especially on the morning shifts!

  4. I’m just over the border in Bellingham.
    Send the free coffee winning cups! Don’t throw them away! I love Tim Horton.
    But now that you’re hooked you probably wanna keep them, huh?
    I will trade for chocolate covered espresso beans!

  5. coffee with crack?!!?

    Where do I sign up for this? Where can I get some ground . . . stuff?

  6. Michael: “Morning Bright” is so much prettier than “Tim Horton’s.” I’m going to start referring to Timmy’s that way, the rest of the world be damned!

    Chad: I think you well know Satan gave me far more than caffeine to rise above mortality. 🙂 (Though I do look forward to experiencing espresso, which of course, no one here has ever heard of. Perhaps in London. You can be my teacher in the ways of jitters.)

    Minn: I’m a vampire. I have yet to ever be conscious while that place across the street is actually open.

    Lea: You crazy Americans are so adorable. I live 6,000 kilometres (3,000 miles)away from Bellingham. I would be willing to mail the cups, but you’re right – I’m all over those free coffees now. (Though I have now upgraded my desire for chocolate coffee beans to a desire for chocolate espresso beans…:D)

    Otto: Coffee with crack is an exclusive Canadian secret recipe, known only to baristas in orange and brown tunics and hairnets. Tough luck, man.

  7. Yes, I am a coffee lover at the age of 23. i cannot live without it in the mornings. Oh wait, and in the afternoon… okay okay. ALL DAY.

    Growing up with mom and dad who always drank coffee, I never liked it. Now when he hit town, it’s not about paying bills anymore, or about shopping it’s all about getting to Timmy’s.

    I do believe it’s laced with crack. t’s what I’ve always been saying. *laughs*

  8. Well, it has been said already, but welcome to the world of caf-fiends everywhere. I was a late bloomer meself, only getting into the game in my mid-20’s. There was a delicious waittress at this gay cafe my friend/neighbour used to always drag me to when I lived in Edmonton and I used to try and impress her by ordering exotic coffee. I’m pretty sure she wasn’t into me, as you might imagine, but her thigh-high boots and WW2 German officer’s hat did it for me.

    What was I saying — no, I wasn’t daydreaming about anyone. The reason I wrote this message is a warning. DO NOT casually try chocolate-covered coffee beans. I ate a whole bag from Second cup one day and I had heart palpitations, so if you must…just nibble a couple. I recently discovered a drink in the Exchange here called the jackhammer — espresso topped off with regular coffee!!

  9. Minn: I’m a vampire. I have yet to ever be conscious while that place across the street is actually open.

    I didn’t even stop to consider that fact. Good point!

    But srsly.. if you’re ever awake during daylight hours, check them out!

  10. Bryce! I’m so glad you finally made an appearance *blogstalking rocks* Though you do know your warning just makes me more keen to consume a whole bag at once, right? I live for heart palpitations. (And though I know Jono and Paul weren’t with you in Edmonton, for some reason I can picture all three of you there, trying to impress the scary hot Neo-Nazi barista chick…but I won’t judge you for it, because I’m sure she didn’t realize she was wearing Hitler’s hat – she was probably just trying to be stylish…in her dumb, Edmontonian innocent way.)

  11. (No offense to Edmontonians. I’ve never even been to Edmonton. I just thought it sounded funny. I like Edmontonians. I’ve even dated a few.

    I would make such a bad politician. *sigh*)

  12. I’m down in the California’s desert suburbia and we’re stuck with a bunch of mass-production Starbucks. Tim Horton’s sounds like a Canadian lullaby to me!

  13. Whenshesaysshetalkslikethisshereallytrulydoestalklikethis. Too funny!!!


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