No, they’re not paying me to write this. They don’t even know I’m writing this. When we first got here, self-proclaimed coffee-connoisseur M declared he had found THE best coffee shop in town – right across the street from our apartment. He said I had to give up going to my crappy coffee shops and buy my coffee at this place. I don’t like being told what to do, so I snubbed this declaration for as long as I could (yes, I can be difficult!).
However three key things changed my mind.
1) I was repeatedly ripped off by the chain coffee shop I was going to. Seriously, not only was the coffee too expensive (initially I liked it though) but the girl behind the counter, on a couple of occasions, charged me for almond milk, an extra .75c or something, which I didn’t ask for, and thought I didn’t notice. The first time I noticed I let it go, maybe it was a mistake and no need to make a fuss. The second time I noticed, I started to wonder if this was a regular thing, and how many times had I missed it happening. The third time I thought “bleep you” and never went back. Why didn’t I say something to her? I don’t think I should have tell the person serving me that it’s not ok to blatantly rip me off. And I left.
2) M and his office mate were discussing the best coffee in town. His office mate has been in Vancouver some years. They eventually realised they were talking about the same place with the “big yellow coffee machine”.
3) I never realised, probably because I usually went to chain coffee stores – you can actually ask them to do slightly different things with your coffee. For me, I like a mocha – I believe my taste buds are not yet fully developed adult size and therefore the taste of coffee is pretty bitter to me, so I prefer something that doesn’t just taste of coffee. I asked them in CooCoo Coffee to add a little extra chocolate to my mocha. And they have remembered, every time since.
Which brings me to my minor points.
I see the same customers going to this shop, over and over again (we can see the shop out our apartment window and notice the same cars every day parked outside). When I’m in there, the regulars are greeted by name. I no longer have to tell the people working there what coffee I want – they know, including the little extra chocolate. I made the mistake of wanting a coffee when I was already at work, so had to go to another chain coffee store (that was all that was available). I CLEARLY tasted the difference – yuk! Won’t be doing that again!
Today I had a conversation with the guy who works there, Michael, and he asked my name. I have a feeling I may be greeted by name from now on, and that feels really nice. They do a small range of breakfast muffins, normal muffins and some biccies (I haven’t paid loads of attention to the food yet, this is really about the coffee, but I can only assume the food is as good as the coffee). They keep the food range small and manageable. I have eaten there once, a breakfast muffin, and it was simple, but good. This place has been running for 14 years – they clearly know what they’re doing. The owner has not branched out making a series of chain stores, they’ve kept it as one comfortable, friendly, quality shop.