Local Mom Under Scrutiny

Dear readers,

Today we feature a submission by rookie reporter, 8-year-old Moyer. He is an up-and-coming journalist with a knack for digging deep into his topics. Mr. Moyer is not afraid to tackle any subject, no matter how sensitive or inaccurate.



In addition to being a crackerjack writer, he also does his own illustrations.


Editor’s note: the views expressed in the above article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Tough Bananas, Jan Moyer, or most Starbucks consumers.


More Than Coffee

Walk into my kitchen right this moment and you might think you smell coffee, freshly brewed and filling the room with its cozy aroma.

And you would be wrong.

Sure, there is a pot of coffee waiting to be served, but it’s so much more than that. It’s a portal to the past. A glimpse into the summers of yesteryear.

On a summer evening with the windows open and the coffee on, I am transported to my childhood. To summer evenings as the sun slips away and the busyness of the day settles into contented quiet.

I hear the laughter of my extended family as we wrap up our annual holiday weekend barbeque. I detect voices of unseen passers-by taking in an evening stroll behind our house. If you’re still, there’s the sound of the tree frogs, the crickets, a motorcycle far off in the distance, the unique squeak of our backyard gate.

Walk back inside and there’s the aroma again and immediately I’m ten years old, rushing into the house for a drink between rounds of “Ghost in the Graveyard” or “Hide-and-Seek”. I can almost taste the Rice Krispie square I grabbed on my way outside to join in again.

Cousins, friends, family.

It’s not just coffee, it’s the backdrop to hospitality, gathering together, shared moments.



Few things have this power for me. There is a magical force when open windows let in a summer evening breeze and waft that dark elixir into the air.

It’s not just coffee.


Miss you, Maggie.

Coffee Shopping Like a Real Grown-Up

Once upon a time I went to a real coffee shop without any kids.

This is that time.

You can read it over here at Coffee Shopper’s (some of my favourite Americans blog over there).

Be sure to follow them on The Twitter and their own blogs, too. The tea-drinking, coffee blogger, Elizabeth and her partner in crime and caffeine, Laura. They are good people.

Coffee Shopping Like a Mom

There’s this new blog, Coffee Shoppers and I am so conflicted about all the feelings. All the feelings!

Let me explain.

I visited the site and read about this coffee shop called “The Wormhole” in Chicago and so badly want to go. But it’s in Chicago and I have kids and a job and can’t just drive 9 hours to try it out. So,  I’ve begun putting pressure on my Chicago-living brother to try it in my place. That coffee shop looks fantastic. They have a Delorean. A DELOREAN. My Bearded Husband has no use for coffee or coffee-related things (except me) but all the 80s collectibles could convince even him to spend a few hours there. The Wormhole clearly has “marriage building” as part of its mission statement. If only it was closer. Or in this country.

Another day I read a review of the Red Lark and I immediately thought, “I just want to spend a day there, it’s exactly the kind of place I could learn about all things coffee. I want to meet Mark and Suzanne because I just know we’d be instant coffee BFFs.” They could answer all my expresso and gluten-free biscotti questions and I’d live happily ever after.

When I read about these neat one-of-a-kind coffee experiences, I long to try them out. I picture myself spending an afternoon alone, or with a friend (preferably alone and later meet a friend) sipping coffee, reading, relaxing, taking in the atmosphere. Like when I was in university, but with less textbooks and a bit more income. Ok, probably the same amount of textbook reading, I wasn’t all that studious.

Sadly, the reality is that if I had that much free time on my hands, all evidence indicates that I’d probably waste it taking a nap. I don’t have a coffee shopper pace of life. But moms can have coffee, too! We can write reviews about new coffee experiences. It just needs to happen a little closer to home and in a shorter time frame.

Here’s what Mom Coffee Shopping looks like:

Our youngest child looked up at me with his big hazel eyes and asked, “Donald’s? Mine? My Donald’s?” And the only possible answer I could offer was “Get your shoes.” So we zipped on over to the closest golden arches to get my little con artist darling a Happy Meal. Since I was there anyways, I decided to get something for myself. I’ve heard that their Pumpkin Spice Lattes are cheaper than the competition and “yummy”, so went ahead and ordered one.

"McCafe" translated is "Desperate Mom Cafe"
“McCafe” translated is “Desperate Mom Cafe”

And here’s the first official Mom Coffee Shopper review:

Atmosphere: The duration of my visit was spent inside our van. Music selection was tasteful, volume just right. Temperature was comfortable, although the smell of French fries was somewhat overwhelming. I felt rushed, but it was more from my small companion calling out “yeah, yeah, fries!” rather than the staff.

Taste: I really wanted to like my McDonald’s PSL, but no. No. It was too sweet with just the wrong amount of chemical flavour. I’m willing to try their plain old coffee again since past experience tells me it’s pretty good (shhh…don’t tell Mr. Horton), but I won’t be trying any “fancy” drinks again. Lesson learned.

Price: It’s a fast food restaurant. I don’t know what I was expecting, but I feel like even though it was less than Starbucks, I got fleeced.

Service: Guys, it’s McDonald’s.

Presentation/Service: I really wanted to ask for it half sweet, but felt like the machine wouldn’t allow for special orders, so I opted for skim and hoped for the best. The lid was on and the server was pleasant, so no complaints.

Ratings Round-Up

Fedora Count: it’s McDonald’s

Skinny Jeans: More than necessary

Yoga pants: Also more than necessary

Signature Mediterranean Wrap Promotional t-shirts: 1

How I Plan to Spend My Next Free Afternoon:

Brew a big pot of coffee and set up my Rubix cube, Strawberry Shortcake dolls, and watch Back to the Future in the basement. And if I dim the lights just right, it might pass for my very own Canadian Mom Wormhole. Yes, it just might.


What has been your best cheap coffee experience?