Fall Colors Canadian Style – Boom or Bust in Coffee World

The local TV station, CHEK News arrived on campus on Thursday to have a chat with me… about coffee culture in Victoria.
I am not that much of a TV person. I mean, who is? But I did my best.

On Friday past, there were 25 or 30 local cafes that gave away mugs of coffee to downtown employees between the hours of opening and 10 AM. It was kind of an appreciation day.

The downtown Victoria business associations point was two-fold – express appreciation to Victoria residents that work down town, suburban residents that work downtown – and to make an eco point about people toting their mugs with them everywhere. The free coffee, after all, was for people with their own travel mugs. Good thing.

And CHEK TV’s questions? What is it about Victoria B.C. Canada that makes it such a hot-bed for coffee consumption?

Several things. Victoria is a government town. Victoria is a University town. Victoria is a college town. And it rains in Victoria – not a lot compared to Tofino, Ucluelet or Vancouver – but it rains. And rain makes great coffee.

We love our coffee. But why so many good and really good cafes? It cannot be just the weather – because the weather is not that bad. Seattle, to our South is arguably the coffee hot-bed of North America. Heck, they invented the latte.

Apparently we invented the London Fog – a beverage of steamed milk and Earl Grey Tea. Invented in Victoria no less. Now that is ironic.

Part of it, I think, is because Victoria B.C. Canada is one of the most desirable places to live in this country. You could say the same for Seattle… or Vancouver. We are a happy lot – perhaps happier… and coffee, generally the better coffee, makes people happier. And more alive. Even sexier perhaps… if I can be so bold.

I sat in Bubby Roses Bakery cafe this morning as the weather turned from gray to sunny and mild. I was chowing down on the best Challah French Toast and I noticed that everyone was ebullient, smiles on all the faces, everyone flirting with everyone else… couples smooching coyly in the line up for coffee, bakery and breakfast. It was contagious. Why today? Why here?

Currently, we are on the eve of a potential financial melt-down in international markets… And yet on Vancouver Island, there are more jobs than people, more hope than sadness, more optimism than pessimism. It is really an Island.

And what I was trying to introduce… before I was distracted by my own effervescence – was the fact that we are in the middle of our own caffeinated gold rush. If you have any interest in working in a cafe… or owning or building a cafe… now could be the time.

If anything… to our far flung readers that have always wondered about here, here being Vancouver Island… well, come on out for a visit. If you come to Victoria as a result of reading this blog, coffee is on me!

Oh yea. And the TV News interview? When they asked me why I live in Victoria?

“It’s the coffee, stupid!”