Coffee coffee coffee coffee . . . mmmmm . . . coffee!

I was just thinking this morning, as I was about to pour myself a cup of this fabulous new coffee that Erin sent me for Christmas called Tim Hortons, how I think this one is my new favorite. But then I got in the shower and kept thinking about all the coffees that I like (because you know how you think in the shower -- it's my favorite time!), and many others then started running through my head. There are so many!

This Tim Hortons definitely ranks way up there, if not my favorite, right now. It's so incredibly smooth, yet strong, and not bitter tasting at all. I can only imagine how great all their fancy drinks are in their coffee shops up yonder there in Canada. I did roam the website and it said that there actually are 100-some stores located in the US now, but I'm betting most of them are in the high north. But, this means there is hope that we can start buying it here! If not, I have my Erin.

I think my other high-ranking favorite is Cafe Du Monde's coffee and chicory. I started loving this on my first trip to New Orleans many years ago. Since then I've been to New Orleans another handful of times, so it's always a daily ritual when there, and Neil has been many a times on business travel. He quickly learned to always bring me back a can or two. And coming this October, I get to go to Cafe Du Monde itself and buy some face-to-face from a Nawlins Cafe Du Monde employee! Yippeeee! This also means I get to munch on some beignets. Mmmmmmm....my tummy is growling! Cafe Du Monde is such a great coffee. It is a little on the bitter side, but it's a good bitter. It's really hard to explain it because the chicory gives it a taste that is unlike any other coffee I have ever had, but trust me, it's good.

Another favorite is Dunkin Donuts which you can now buy bagged in stores! I had driven by many stores over the years but never stopped. While driving by I would glance but then keep on going on to my usual Starbucks. New Orleans even has one steps away from Cafe Du Monde, so I never thought twice about going to that one down there. I mean, seriously, Cafe Du Monde rocks, and you can only go to an actual store in New Orleans itself. (Great business tactic, if you ask me.) Anyway, my mother-in-law, Martha, served it at our Christmas dinner, and I fell in love! I couldn't believe it was Dunkin Donuts when she told me. I had heard how great the coffee was, but honestly didn't want to believe it! (An old chain donut place suddenly serving amazing coffee?!?) But it's true. It's great. And next time I'm at the grocery store, I'm picking up a bag. Starbucks may be on it's way out in my house. (Maybe?)

(Check out the website. You can sign up in a contest to win coffee for a year!! Even if you don't like coffee, you can sign up and then give someone your winnings . . . let's say, Val??)

Another very favorite (I can't rank these, they're all so good, I can only call them favorites!) is illy coffee. It's hard to find here in central Illinois, but sometimes I'll find it in higher-end boutiques or stores that sell international foods. (I've found it at World Market before.) I have had it brewed in a cafe before in Chicago. It's located in the lower level of Marshall Field's near a place we stay in Chicago quite often, and much closer than Starbucks, so I prefer going there actually. And, I'm always hoping to see Oprah there. (I'm always on the lookout for her and because of that, I'm probably destined to never see her. {Sigh}) This cafe houses Oprah's "All-time Favorite Oatmeal Cookie" (that's really what it's called because it is her favorite!) and let me say, it's a splendid cookie and tastes even better with illy coffee. Illy is another one that is so smooth and you can just tell it's roasted and ground with special care. It's from Italy, but like I said, you can find it here, and if not, you can order it online. Mmmmmm...so yum it is!

You can't buy this kind in stores, but my favorite coffee shop to wander into is Espresso Royale. We have quite a few in Champaign and there are others throughout the US (just not many). Their coffee is so wonderfully smooth and yummy, too, and I love going into their stores to just sit and relax. It's where I did all my website designing for VWC Photography and so I've grown really fond of it. They have gizillions of different specialty coffees which are all fabulous. And my favorite part, you can sign up with them online and get frequent coupons. Every Wednesday is $1 Latte day, on ANY size! Oh my goodness, you can't beat that! So if you ever see one, don't drive by. Stop. Because it's so good and you won't be disappointed. Trust me.

This is the actual shop that I kinda lived in for 2 weeks. I sat over there by the window at the table near the red chair. Can't you picture me there?! I'd get about 3 refills on coffee throughout an evening. It was really fun, actually. I kinda miss the nice people who worked there!

Of course I love Starbucks. It will always hold a special place in my heart. And here in central Illinois, I go there quite often as a special treat when I am around one. I also buy it quite frequently. I never brew anything other than it, actually. But I have to shake my loyalty to them a bit because I really really do like Tim Hortons and the others that much. So move over, Starbucks, some new (and possibly better?) coffees are in town!

Do you drink coffee? What is your favorite? Please don't say Folgers, because if you do, you haven't tried any of the above. :c) Those of you who don't drink coffee, or even those who do, did you know that coffee is actually r
eally good for you? Read about here. It's really interesting!

Okay, I'm off for the weekend! We're going out-of-town without kids and I cannot absolutely wait!!!! I'm a little nervous, but, once we're gone, I'll be okay. I always am (not that we do this often . . . I think this is just the 2nd time ever!). Everyone have a great weekend!

OH! And one very last thing. My friend, and fellow blogger, Corie, just found out yesterday what sex she is having! Go check it out and relish in the excitement with her!

Me and my Espresso Royale . . .

I, your very caffeinated friend, will see you Monday!!


oh amanda said...

And I only like the smell of coffee...

Christy said...

This is my kind of post! Email me when you go to New Orleans! My hubby is deploying that month, but if you come at the right time I can meet you there for some coffee!

Alexis Jacobs said...

Tim Hortons are actually all over Ohio. If you are able to see my in Feb you can check them out. I dig their donut holes.

Have a great weekend and safe trip!

The Trier and Jen said...

mmmmmmmmmmmm coffee

have a good weekend Val


Cerella said...

OMG, I absolutely LOVE Tim Horton's coffee. It's my favorite, hands down. Every time that John and I go up to Canada we frequent good 'ol Timmies at least twice a day! We also always bring back a couple cans of their grounds as well. Yummmmm!

P said...

I am also obsessed with Cafe Du Monde's coffee. We order it online for the absurd price of $5 a can. So cheap and so good. If only they sold the beans...

LiLi said...

Tim Hortons Doughnuts are even better than the coffee!!! Memories of Toronto! OK, and Cafe Du Monde! O M G... soooooooooo great! Every day I was in NOLA I had a frozen coffee... not sweet, just a blended coffee from Cafe Du Monde, it gave me my energy for running Maegan around the town in her stroller. We had lots of exploring to do! Thanks for bringing back some fond memories!!!

LiLi said...

I guess I should add... my favorite coffee would be Cafe Du Monde... other than that, my sister makes a good cuppa... but I don't know what she uses! I never make coffee and rarely buy coffee, I have enough vices, I don't need to add another! ;)

Where did you and Neil go??? Anywhere exciting?

Michelle said...

Sorry, not a coffee drinker...although I do love the smell of it!

Hope you are enjoying your weekend!! :)

Christina said...

I am not a huge coffee drinker, but I love Chai and Cafe Kopi in champaign has a killer Chai!

erin said...

well considering the fact that i drink coffee every day of my life, i like to think i am somewhat of a coffee expert! i love all of your suggestions and i have some that i have found in chicago that i LOVE LOVE LOVE: intelligensia (my fav), metropolis, and any of the trader joe's coffee (but my fav is their smooth & mellow). you must try them asap!!!

MP said...

I didn't realize you could get that Canadian coffee down here..Tim Hortons is ALL one of my Canadian blog friends talks about.

I haven't heard of some of the coffee you talked about but I totally love coffee..I need to try the Dunkin Donuts..they sell that at Target.

Try Thomas Coffee
VERY yummy!!

Johanna said...

ohhhhhhhh. Illy and Intelligensia are my FAVES! I've never tried Tim Hortons, but I'll have to give it a try! xoxo jo

Lindsay said...

I've been lurking since Erin's trip out to meet you, and - believe it or not - your post about coffee (my one true love) finally got me to comment :)

I'm usually all about the Starbucks, but I've been branching out lately and experimenting with some different brands of organic, fair-trade coffees. So far, so good. Geoff found a new dark roast this week that has a chocolate undertone that I'm totally digging...

it's me, Val said...

Hi Lindsay, hi Erin (is this bb&b erin?), hi Christina and hi P! :c)

Wow, I finally posted something that people are interested in! I can't wait to try these other coffees!

Jo, I've never heard of Intelligensia. Where do you get it at?

Lindsay, I'd love to try the chocolate undertoned one!

mp, Thomas Coffee . . . are there shops down there?

Erin, Metropolis? I am not happy about the Trade Joe comment because we don't have one! WAHH!!!! :c)

Christy, I would love to meet you!!!

Cerella, next time you are in Canada, I'm placing an order with you! (Not kidding!)

Christina, Neil loves Chai, too. I like it, but I prefer coffee ;c)