Every month my sister spocky (heyitsLisa) and I will choose a food and then go nibble in our respective cities, Vancouver and Tokyo.
At 5 years apart, most of our formative years were spent with me being a second maternal figure, rather than a playmate. However in the past few years, as she’s grown up into her own mature, hilarious, intelligent self, she has become my best friend. With spocky having started university in Vancouver and me staying in Tokyo, this will be the start of a very difficult long distance relationship for me. I’ve had many a long distance relationships come and go in my life and so far it’s been bearable, but this will definitely be one that will be harder to swallow. While we’re still 4,694 miles apart, this monthly series is a small way for us to share our lives and I can revel in the fact that somewhere across the world, she’s also eating a [food of the month].
This Month: Tim Horton’s and Tully’s Coffee
In Tokyo, there are many major coffee stores and you will most likely stumble upon 2~3 of these on every block and certainly at every station. Some coffee store chains include Starbucks, Doutour, Excelsior Cafe, Ginza Renoir, Caffe Veloce, St. Marc Cafe, Pronto, Cafe de Crie….I could literally go on and this isn’t even touching any of the thousands and maybe millions(?) of other non-chain cafes. We decided to go with Tully’s because who can resist some alliteration?
So I thought Tully’s was a Japanese brand but it actually is a “speciality coffee retailer and wholesaler based in Seattle” and opened its first store in 1992, according to Wikipedia, it was originally founded to compete against Starbucks. Fittingly, their motto is “Taste the Difference”.
In Japan, Tully’s also offers 3 “Basic Coffee Courses”, 120 minutes each and 2000yen (incl. tax) on how to make good coffee, and uses of an espresso machine. As well as 3 more advanced “Application and Specialty” Courses which range from 60-120 minutes and 1500-2250 yen which cover advanced topics such as how to make good -decaf- coffee and roasting coffee beans.
Fun Fact: Some Tully’s Coffee locations have been designated as official Pokestops and Gyms for Pokemon Go.
On a rainy Saturday, I dragged my mom out to our local Tully’s by telling her it was on me (money talk$). I asked the barista about their seasonal offers and she told me there were three (unfortunately as I was insanely busy in October, I’m writing this too late and Tully’s have already switched to their Christmas menu online), I chose the Sweet Potato Pie (¥430) as well as ordering the Halloween Pumpkin Latte (Hot) (¥570), Apple Orchard Tea (Iced) (¥480) and the Baked Apple Caramel Pancake (¥760).
The Apple Orchard Tea and the Pancakes were hands-down, the winners in my book (blog?). The tea had big chunks of caramelized apple in it so it checked both the taste and texture boxes. The pancakes had plenty of apples and caramel sauce on it which gave the perfect fall twist to a classic pancake. The Halloween latte was pretty sweet and this is coming from someone who loves caramel frappuccinos but good for those rainy cold days when you just need some sugar in ya.
In conclusion, a bit pricey but the quality of food and drinks were both A+! Plus they also have free wifi. Also recommended if you are a Pokemon Go aficionado.
Go check out spocky’s review of Timmy’s here!
For more on Tully’s Coffee: tullys.co.jp