DailyXY, caffeinated edition. Which is to say: more caffeinated than usual.
Who doesn’t need coffee, every day? I need coffee. Every day, and especially now. Thinking myself invincible, I arrived home at 5:00am+ following an overnight of misbehaving. (There were extenuating circumstances that involved my profession; still…) I returned to the working world less than three hours later, which would not have been possible without coffee. But at what cost? Therein lie the bitter facts. Something’s brewing — and it’s going to impact me. And you. Unless you prefer tea. I don’t.
Today’s news informs us that coffee prices are on the rise. Local grocers’ shelves confirm it, as do merchants of perky drip. It was also announced earlier in the week that our national treasure, Tim Hortons, is raising its prices come Monday, April 11, following similar increases at the other chains of bean. Citing poor weather and rising demand, the price of raw materials is increasing and with that comes the jolt that no java-swilling Canuck seeks: the jolt of reality. Tomorrow’s cuppa joe will cost more than it did yesterday. Shocker.
Once you’re past the 20-point-and-bolded newspaper exclams, how devastating is this news, really? Espresso bars hawk what is commonly understood to be an “affordable luxury,” while TiHo is affordable, period. So, maybe this was a slow news-week. Every price increases incrementally as time goes by; what makes another seven cents on your double-double a front page item? Prices for rice and wheat have risen dramatically in the last two years alone (also reflecting supply shortages), but no Canadian street riots ensued. You want to raise a national eyebrow? Mention the cost of gasoline or coffee. These are our rights: keep it cheap and keep it coming.
An admittedly fascinating current trend involves not the deployment of Canadian forces in international trouble zones, but their bases being immediately serviced with Timmy. In a scripted routine on the JUNO Awards broadcast the other weekend, Drake ‘sent’ Justin Bieber an overseas care package from lovable Hortons. Watch an interview with a Canadian having success abroad these days and they’re almost certain to mention what they miss most about being home is… the coffee at Tim’s?! We self-identify with this brand as though it were gold-medal hockey or Leonard Cohen’s poetry.
All the more galling, then, that TiHo is seldom taken to task for brewing the thinnest approximation of a coffee-flavoured beverage. I refuse to believe that anyone drinking this paint thinks they’re enjoying a coffee; a beverage, sure, and that’s fine. I suppose. Regardless: To draw attention to that is to miss the point. What is loved by rim-rollers everywhere is the ubiquity — the comforting reassurance that there’s a Tim Hortons franchise on nearly every block. Ordering a cup with a box of ’bits brings us together as a country. And that is why any price increase is a direct threat to national unity.
Given that election time looms, one should be assured that this matter is about to be addressed as platform policy. The hard-working families of Canada can’t be expected to absorb another 3% hike at the drive-through pump! On this issue, there can be no debate: tax incentives for the corporations, rebates for every household. The Greens may roast their own, the Conservatives may brew theirs thick as tar sands, but all parties are agreed that every household deserves a fresh pot. Even the Bloc will tell you that, when they leave, they’re taking the café et beignes with them.
If there ever was a time to write to your MP, it is now. I’ll be writing, too. Right after this cup.
Image courtesy of Kevin Steele.