I have stopped buying the lattes I love from Starbucks. It seems that only 50% of the lattes I buy there meet my expectations - the right temperature, a nice tight microfoam for that creamy taste, the right amount of foam vs liquid, and a clean coffee punch without any off-taste. And I hate those grungy dirty easy chairs and why does nobody EVER seem to clean the cinammon shakers? The suburban stores with drive-throughs seem to be less competent than the downtown stores, and I find the ones in supermarkets like Longo's are the least reliable. And whenever I want to drink in the store, all the tables seem to be tied up by people with computers and schoolwork.
So I tried the new offerings from Timmy and Ranald - if I am going to have a less than perfect latte I may as well pay less for it! Timmys was a disaster - the staff were not sure how to use the machine yet or use the little template to sprinkle the happy face. The latte had very little coffee or milk taste - it tasted like it was made from a powder mix :(. It was also pre-sweetened and the server couldn't tell me if it was made from skim or regular milk. I dumped most of it out. The next day I tried the cappucino and it was a bit better with some coffee taste but still not good enough to drink more than half of it. Ordering is also confusing - they still seem to have a "cafe favourite" cappucino as well as the new "espresso" cappucino.
I have always been ok with Macdonalds coffee but never liked the ambiance and the smell of frying burgers and fries. The store I went to this morning had a pleasant, modern decor and the lady behind the counter was on her game when I presented my coupon for a free cappucino. The drink tasted like it was made by a quality machine with a clean coffee edge and milky foam. The lady offered me skim or 2% and unlike Timmy's it is unsweetened for you to add your own measure of sugar. At $2.29 for a small cup it seems like pretty good value! I will definitely it again.