The words ‘I will put the kettle on‘ brought comfort for many decades. It could be at the start of a new day, the middle of it or right after dinner. It does not matter, I never knew how much those words meant. Until now.
Every day starts with a cup of tea. Not green tea, jasmine tea or camomille tea. Just plain old tea. Lipton tea, PG Tips, Tetley, Typhoo, Yorkshire Tea it doesn’t really matter. Tea can be black or white. When you ask for white tea, one sugar, in England, people get that you mean black tea with a shot of milk and one cube of sugar. Or whatever. In Canada, when you ask for tea, they ask you if you want peppermint tea, strawberry tea, green tea or jasmine tea. Black tea is simply not a big deal here in Edmonton as it is in England.
On the other hand, if you have not had a Double-double (this is coffee with two sugars and two creams), you have not really begun to experience Canada. The coffee indoctrinates you into the culture. The other popular option, regular coffee, one milk and one sugar. There you have it, if you have not had coffee at Tim Hortons, you Canadian experience is not complete. It cannot be. Canada is coffee heaven. North America is for coffee lovers. To be Canadian, you must love coffee. Unless. You. Are. A. Tea. Addict. Like me. Did I tell you how big the extra large cup is in Canada?
So where do you get coffee? In England, its really only Macdonalds and then everyone else. In Canada, it is first, Tim Hortons and then everybody else. My friends and immediate family all have what they order at Tim Hortons. The kids have croissant sausage sandwich. This is a delicacy and the writer has a soft spot for this. Let me describe this to you. It is a succulently delicious croissant with a variant of eggs and sausage inside.
The truth about Tim Hortons is that it is addictive. It feels like a patriotic duty to stop by our local Tim Hortons to buy coffee every morning. I always get my steep tea and one milk. In England, black tea and one sugar keep you on fire till lunch time. In Canada, one steep tea makes you want another. It is crazy. The only explanation is the way Tim Hortons make their steep tea. They must have a secret ingredient. Sustainable or not, Tim Hortons eats into the family budget.
Macdonalds is great when you have children under eight. Happy meals with the toys we all love to hate. It works wonders with kids. They make the greatest burgers anywhere on the planet, so when mum doesn’t want to make dinner (please don’t judge), Macdonalds is the answer. It is also sometimes the case that Macdonalds provide an even ground for children with different dietary needs. Subway is too expensive as a treat, even as a regular treat for a family of six. Someone prefers the fries at Macdonalds so Burger King is ruled out. On a day out, Macdonalds has a knack of being able to give everyone what they need without much of a fuss. When we went to Paris, Amsterdam, Rome, Portugal and Spain, the Macdonalds logo gave us options. We could find ‘home’ anywhere we went with Macdonalds.
Ultimately, Canada is for coffee lovers who have space for tea addicts like myself.