Ashley’s Anal Indy Coffee Shop Guide

World Barista Championship Winner & Yours truly

Comment below with all and any recommendations of cafes, baristas, coffee shops that line this beautiful country. On your mark, get set, GO!

I love coffee. I love coffee so hard that three years ago, I planned a six-month trip to South America around volunteering at the World Barista Championship in Bogota, Colombia (thats me and the winner himself above) just so I could taste the best cappuccino, espresso and specialty coffee in the world. Thank you Alejandro, World Champion from El Salvador for treating my taste buds to something so spectacular and shame on you for creating the biggest coffee snob on the planet.

The greatest fear Jordana and Shannon have expressed about travelling with me is a merger of my coffee and organic food snobbery (we will get to the food snobbery later). So I am on a fierce and passionate mission to get across Canada fuelled by our country’s hidden gems of cafés. The Google, as my mother calls it, is hardly reliable when it comes to uncovering the best (apparently there is just nothing, nothing at all in the entire province of Saskatchewan)! But I know that it is you my friends that can help me on my way.

Why I Say No to Starbucks and Tim Hortons:

-       That new fall pumpkin spice latte is packed with MONSANTO milk – that’s GMO modified my friends. Also there is NO REAL PUMPKIN, instead it is full of carrageen and fake flavours and there are 50 grams of sugar in a grande. No thank you. i

-       Corporatization of coffee culture – lets support local chains!

-       In graduate school I studied the Starbucks Red Campaign after which I concluded that Starbucks as a corporation perpetuates an overall global economic problem of making the rich richer and the poor poorer.

-       Tim Hortons and Burger King just merged, was recently bought out by Burger King, no longer the Canadian gem we idolize.

-       Tim Hortons does not release the actual ingredients in its coffee. A brand strategy that terrifies me.

Most boutique/indy/small scale coffee shops that I frequent are closely tied to their farmers. Having spent years during my development studies career walking the land of South American coffee growers, this is super important to me. Fair and direct trade means that the people who bend over backwards (sometimes literally) to pick, harvest, roast and ship us their delightful beans are getting a fair pay for their work.

As a global consumer I want to ensure not only that the products/foods/drinks I am putting into my body are good for my health, but I also want to ensure that every consumption choice I make is conscious, aware and celebratory of globally shared goods, rather than exploitative. Snobbery or not, this is where I stand. And I am committed to travelling this beautiful country with a clean cup of joe in my hand.

So… this is my ask. Comment below with all and any recommendations of cafes, baristas, coffee shops that line this beautiful country. On your mark, get set, GO!



1 Comment

  1. Oh dear. I am such a Starbucks fan. Never cared for Tim’s but sometimes on the road… you just need Timbits and coffee or maybe a turkey club. (It’s the not being prepared with a picnic of your own stuff… you nailed it earlier or later – I’m losing track of time and sequence)



  1. Road-tripping Babes on a Budget | Bare All Retreats - […] Ash won’t eat fast food. This is awesome for our budget… unless we blow it all on fancy coffee …

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