Today I have a topic of great urgency and global importance, the kind guaranteed to draw a wide cross-section of passionate opinions.
When we landed in Canada on August 30, 2005, little did I know that a smooth, cold, delicious iced coffee, ice cubes rattling in a plastic cup, my summer safety valve, my five-month-a-year addiction, would become an elusive quest.
Where is iced coffee?? Not frozen cappuccinos, not "Coolattas" or "Icespressos" or Mochafrappuyaddayaddaccinos. Iced Coffee.
For those not familiar with the species, here is The Recipe.
1. Brew coffee extra-strong to withstand melting ice.
2. Put coffee in refrigerator.
3. When needed, scoop generous amounts of ice into cup.
4. Pour cold coffee over ice.
5. Add milk and/or sugar if needed. (For me, a little milk, no sugar.)
6. Add straw.
7. Slurp down with great happiness.
Last year I was shocked to find that this simple recipe was unobtainable from my local Second Cup. Tim Hortons was no better. But we were very busy - painting, unpacking, filling out forms, buying everything in Ontario - and I ignored the warning signs of growing dread.
Here we are eight months later, warm weather on the way, and not an iced coffee in sight.
The closest I can find is Starbucks' Iced Americano. This is bad on so many levels. First, must I order something called an Americano? Next, must I go to Starbucks? And lastly, must I go to Starbucks and order an Americano??
During baseball games, I'm seeing ads for a new iced coffee line at McDonald's, but I'd just as soon give up my habit than be forced into McDonald's. Even addicts have a bottom line.
I know I can make iced coffee at home, and I do, keeping a big batch of the decaf version in my fridge all summer. But what good does that do me when I'm out, having a caffeine craving, wanting to hang out in a cafe, or to wander around Toronto with a cold drink and a straw in my mouth?
What is wrong with this country? And why didn't any of you tell me about this before I moved??