Coffee | Take 5 Cafe

Where I work, there is Starbucks, Second Cup, and Tim Hortons located within one building. You’d think that is a lot of choices but given that I don’t coffee from the latter two, there really isn’t anywhere else to go. At about a 5 minute walk, Starbucks is the second closest. Second Cup takes about 3 minutes and Tim Horton’s about 8. This morning, I walked out into the cold clammy Vancouver rain to Starbucks (my building is not directly connected to where the coffee is), to get my usual – a grande Americano, double, no room. (Their Americano I can take because it is not bitter or acidic. It is the only thing from Starbucks I drink, because I can’t stand their drip brew.)

Today I went at my usual time – when it is most quiet (although this particular location has never screwed up my orders even when busy). The usual gang I am used to seeing is there, but then suddenly the person preparing my drink is an unfamiliar face, whom I take to be a new barista girl. Hmm. She is quite nice, and asked me whether I wanted room. I had already said it, but that’s ok – no room please. In a few moments she hands me my Americano, sitting in the sleeve (because I am a wimp). I picked up the cup and immediate knew something was weird. I took a sip. It was cold! COLD! Not ice cold, but like coffee-that’s-been-sitting-for-a-day cold! WAH?! GAH! GACK! ACK!

Now, I am quite used to Starbucks’ branch-to-branch, day-to-day, barista-to-barista inconsistencies with my Americano’s. Sometimes, it is not very hot, other times it is. Some days, I suspect they give me an extra shot. Some days “no room” means only half a cup. Doesn’t really matter, since it’s not the greatest stuff anyway, and the deviation from the norm is usually not that much. It will have to do in this Bux-monopolized world.

But not COLD coffee. Not my first, vital morning cup of joe, not on a clammy day like this. That barista must have had skin so thick she couldn’t tell that the cup of coffee she was holding all that time was not at all hot! So I gave it back, she nicely apologized and gave me the “no idea what happened there” explanation, and quickly made me a normal one.

I never expect anything awesome from Starbucks, but I never had something this … scary, either.

Which brings me to a Bux-related story. The other day at Metrotown, I almost lined up for Starbucks. Thank goodness I didn’t and instead tried an Americano from the newest branch of Take 5 Cafe there. I wasn’t expecting too much – but it was really great. Not over roasted, not bitter, only very very slightly acidic, and had a good body. I even like it better than Caffe Artigiano’s, which I find slightly more acidic. Take 5’s Americano is the one to beat!


Take 5 Cafe (various locations in Vancouver, soon opening on West 4th!)


2 Responses

  1. I think Take 5 is not a very good cafe. The coffee at Artigiano, in my opinion, is much, much better.

  2. I’ve never been to Vancouver, but I have it on good word thatElysian Coffee does pretty good stuff. They’ve got a clover and Synesso Espresso machines. You could check out 49th Parallel, too.

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