Large Hot Chocolate with Triple Milk Please


It is December 29, 2007, my maiden voyage to Canada and I am in a jampacked United Airlines flight from Sydney to LA, sitting next to a quiet nutritionist on one side and a middle aged couple on the other in the middle strip of seats in the plane that isn’t going anywhere fast because it is too heavy. Too much Christmas dinner. That is when I first heard about it…

“Coffee in Australia is so expensive, and you can barely get ‘real coffee’ anywhere, not like back home” – in Canada, where the couple were from. They had just been visiting their daughter for Christmas who was studying in Sydney and were flying back to Toronto for New Year. We got to talking because I was on my way to Canada to study there. And that was when I first heard about the magical world of Tim Horton’s.

From the outside you don’t get what the big deal is. Even from having your first coffee or hot chocolate you don’t really get why everyone is so obsessed. Sure, the prices are cheap and the stores just happen to be in the perfect spot at the perfect time but what’s the big deal? But then it you get it. It sucks you in. The more entwined with the Canadian Culture you get, the more in love with it you become.

Here are links to two advertisements to show you what I’m talking about:


If you ever find yourself in Canada, even just for a stopover in the airport, brave the long but fast moving queue and get yourself a beverage that will first warm your hands then your tummy and is like liquid maple leaves in its association with the Canadian culture and spirit.

Check out more Canadian adventures and more at Erin’s Lomohome:

written by erinwoodgatesphotography on 2011-01-09 #places #coffee #holiday #sydney #canada #plane #location #hot-chocolate #festive #christmas #venue #tim-hortons


  1. purple_snow
    purple_snow ·

    I may get the opportunity to spend two month in canada this spring and now I already know where I would like to grab my first coffee, thanks! :)

  2. fash_on
    fash_on ·

    it's true, canadians love their Tim's, it's kinda cute :D
    I've been here 8 years now, but being from Europe I prefer other coffee places, if you're in Vancouver be sure to try JJBean.

  3. lighttomysoul
    lighttomysoul ·

    only shame about this entry is that the cups are littering the ground! I hope you picked them up and put them in a bin after the shots ;)

  4. erinwoodgatesphotography
    erinwoodgatesphotography ·

    @purple_snow that sounds great make sure you take photos!
    @lighttomysoul It's true! they're everywhere! i've picked a fair few in my time here though!

  5. weedos
    weedos ·

    I was in Dublin, Ireland last summer when I spotted a Tim Hortons sign. As a long time Canadian citizen you can imagine the joy that I felt in my heart. A defining piece of Canadian culture right in the middle of Dublin. I ran into the shop and poured myself a large "double double". I was quivering in anticipation. I brought the cup to my face, inhaled it's rich aroma and as it passed my eager lips I realized...
    This was the worst cup of coffee I ever tried.
    I guess that's why nobody drinks the Guinness they brew in Ontario :-)
    Great article! Cheers! John

  6. erinwoodgatesphotography
    erinwoodgatesphotography ·

    What a great story John! Too true about the Guinness thing, although after going the the Guinness factory in Dublin they assured me that it is the same recipe and everything, must have to do with the water I guess.. I had a similar thing happen when I saw 'Milo' which is an Australian drinking chocolate being sold at superstore, here in Canada but it was definitely not the same thing!

  7. knowgood
    knowgood ·

    It's a shame that the couple thinks there isn't good coffee in Australia, especially considering that Starbucks proved there was when they under-estimated the market. More than half the stores they opened closed because of "good" coffee:

    "Starbucks also announced in July 2008 that it would close 61 of its 84 stores in Australia by August 3, 2008.[50] Nick Wailes, an expert in strategic management of the University of Sydney, commented that "Starbucks failed to truly understand Australia’s cafe culture." - Wikipedia

    Tim Hortons is far from good coffee!

  8. erinwoodgatesphotography
    erinwoodgatesphotography ·

    Yeah I remember when they closed, Where I'm from, which is a pretty big area, we don't have a starbucks anymore, have to go all the way to Sydney if you want it but yeah I think people get used to something and then compare everything to that. I personally don't drink coffee, but I do like their Hot Chocolate, especially in winter!

  9. gelagoo
    gelagoo ·

    Yeah Tim Hortons!

    I think "good coffee" is not just about the taste or how it was prepared. It's probably the experience (mundane or otherwise). I spent my university years getting Tim's at the UofM, or some other branch with friends and groupmates. :)

  10. chris-carnage
    chris-carnage ·

    hope halifax treated ya well. and seriously, we got better coffee than timmies. next time ur up here, try Just Us Cafe (best latte i ever had.)

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