A coffee drinker I am not. I much prefer tea or, on a really cold winter night, a rich, gooey cup of hot chocolate with marshmellows, natch. In Canada, though, it’s difficult to avoid the ubiquitous institution known as Tim Horton’s. Tim Horton’s is basically a coffee and donut shop, although they also serve sandwiches and soups. There are more than 2,500 Tim Horton’s across Canada and to say that you are always within walking distance of one of their establishments would be a gross understatement. No matter what time of day or night, there is a line to get coffee. I personally think that the coffee is spiked with something that has millions of Canadians addicted to the “regular” (one sugar, one cream) or the “double double” (two sugars, two creams). Because it has permeated the lexicon of Canadians everywhere, “double double” even has an entry in the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Seriously.
To their credit, Tim Horton’s does have very clever, creative and community-focused marketing campaigns. One of their most popular promotions is “Roll Up the Rim to Win” , an annual campaign where buying a medium-sized or larger coffee gives you the chance to ”roll up the rim” on one of their cups and win anything from a free donut to a new car. The promo even has its own website, inclusive of tips on becoming a “master roller”. ”Roll Up the Rim to Win” is such a part of Canadian culture that the main character in the film “One Week”, about which I’ve previously blogged, even rolls up a rim - on film!
As I’m neither a coffee drinker nor Canadian, I never paid much attention to the promotion, really. Until now. I realized that since I’m in my last year of Canadian living, I’d better roll up a rim and check that off my “Canada-to-do” list. So, I did some thumb exercises, flattened out the rim and rolled that bad boy up. Check!
Needless to say, I didn’t win anything. And, I had to endure the nearly-scorched taste that is Tim Horton’s coffee. But rolling up my first rim sure was cool. Way cool, really.