Is Iced Coffee Really Illegal In Canada? (Find Out Here!)

A crazy rumor is going around that iced coffee is illegal in Canada, and it’s set off a whirlwind of speculation across social media.

But is it just a rumor, or is iced coffee actually banned in Canada? 

You don’t want to end up in trouble for ordering your favorite iced coffee, so in this article, we'll give you the definitive answer so you know exactly what’s on the menu this summer.  

Unsurprisingly, this rumor originated on TikTok in 2021 when content creator Taylor Jackson released a video explaining the "story" of what made iced coffee illegal in Canada.[1]

He said that Canada gets most of their coffee from Columbia, Brazil, and Guatemala and that in 2007 Canada signed a trade deal with the Christian Labour Association of Canada (CLAC) to purchase coffee beans from those countries.[2 

Allegedly, this trade deal was for over $30 million, and the Prime Minister at the time, Stephen Harper, decided to cancel the deal and save the money. This decision by the Prime Minister Stephen Harper led to a coffee shortage, and iced coffee in Canada was banned.    

Now, this is quite a story, and the rumour that this made iced coffee illegal in Canada quickly did the rounds on social media.

There's only one issue, it's completely false, and there is pretty much no truth to the tale that iced coffee is illegal. Iced coffee is not illegal, and have never been. 

In fact, you only have to go to your local Canadian Starbucks to see that iced coffee drinks are still on the menu, but that didn’t stop people from believing it.   

It's impressive how many people believed one of these "informative" videos posted on TikTok and how many other creators across social media platforms believed that iced coffee is illegal in Canada. However, if you look at the history, it's not too surprising.  

Caffeine has been banned in several countries over the years, and most recently in Sweden in 1746 when the King wanted to better understand the health impacts of the drink.[3]

So even though coffee is currently legal in every country in the world, it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that coffee or iced coffee could be banned. 

At the end of the day, caffeine is a drug and it's present in iced coffee, so I suppose it’s not too difficult to understand why people could believe it was made illegal to purchase iced coffee.

However, what Taylor Jackson has proved is that you can’t believe everything you see, hear or view online. It’s always worth doing a bit of your own research, and don't trust something just because it's been shared millions of times. 

So, thankfully, iced coffee is not illegal in Canada, and as far as we know, it's not illegal anywhere in the world.

This means you can get all your favorite iced coffee drinks and still get your caffeine fix in the hot summer months. It also means we don’t live in a world with coffee police, which is definitely a good thing! 

Canada Flag Blowing On Nice Sunny Day

Can You Buy Iced Coffee In Canada? 

Yes, you can get iced coffee in Canada. In fact, not only is it a complete myth that iced coffee is illegal in Canada - it's actually a very popular drink order. 

Many people assume Canada is freezing cold, but it actually has some very hot summers, and iced coffee drinks are the perfect way to cool down.

You'll find it has all the same popular iced coffee options that you can get in the US and other countries.  

The best place to grab and drink iced coffee in Canada is from your local coffee shop. Starbucks and Tim Hortons are the most popular Canadian coffee shops with over 76% of the market share, but there are hundreds of smaller, local coffee shops, like Second Cup Coffee Shop, dotted around the country.[4]

Coffee shops are a great place to buy fresh iced coffee in Canada, but you can also pick up some pre-made iced coffee drinks in your local superstore.  

Vietnamese Iced Coffee

What Type Of Coffee Is The Most Popular In Canada? 

Coffee is popular across Canada, and over 34% of adults drink it 1-3 times a week. Hot coffee drinks are more popular than cold varieties, but they can vary from region to region.

survey in 2019 found that the most popular type of coffee was drip coffee, with over 69% of the population drinking it regularly.[5] The 2nd favorite was iced coffee, with about 25% saying they drink it frequently.  

Many people say that coffee and iced coffee tastes different in Canada, especially compared to US coffee. This is because the most common flavor profile in Canada is Tim Horton's coffee which is a darker roast than Starbucks.

This makes coffee and iced coffee milder than Starbucks coffee and can alter the taste. Canadian Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and other coffee shops also tend to use an 18% cream rather than half/half used in the US.

This makes many coffee and iced coffee drinks a lot creamier and can really impact the taste of the coffee.  

Canada has all of the coffee and iced coffee options you’d enjoy all around the world, but Canadians tend to prefer espressos over traditional coffees.

They drink iced coffee, and while it isn’t as popular as it is in the US, it’s still a favorite, so it’s definitely a good thing that there aren't any iced coffee related crimes being committed.   

Cold Brew Iced Coffee

How Do Canadians Make Their Iced Coffee? 

Iced coffee is not illegal in Canada, but Canadians tend to use slightly different ingredients and a slightly altered method to make their iced coffee.

Tim Hortons is the most popular home coffee brand in Canada and it's made from Arabica coffee beans.

You can choose from different roasts for your hot or iced coffee, but the Tim Hortons blend is milder and isn't as bitter as some American blends.  

Canadians also tend to use hot coffee in their iced coffee and then add ice cubes to cool it down. Cold brew coffee is much less popular than ice coffee, so you won't find it as a base in many of their iced coffee drinks. 

There's nothing more Canadian than a maple syrup iced coffee, so here's a quick guide on how to make one:  

  • 1
    Brew The Coffee 
    Put your coffee into the cafetiere (French press), add boiling water, and leave it to steep for about 5 minutes.  
  • 2
    Add The Syrup
    Press down on the plunger to filter out the coffee grounds, and then pour your black coffee into a glass. Add maple syrup (how much you add will depend on your preferences).  
  • 3
    Cool It Down 
    Usually, you would leave the coffee to cool, but with Canadian iced coffee, you stir in milk and then add ice to the drink. This will cool the coffee down, but the ice will melt into the iced coffee drink and further dilute it.  
  • 4
    Add any extra sugar or sweetener to your iced coffee just like you would do when you drink hot coffee, and enjoy! 

Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee In Canada

Is Iced Tea illegal in Canada? 

No, iced tea is not illegal in Canada and is not illegal in any country in the world currently.  

When was coffee introduced to Canada? 

Coffee was first referenced in the Canadian history books in 1668 after the colonization of North America. There are now over 14 billion cups of coffee consumed in Canada every year.  

Are caffeinated alcoholic beverages illegal in Canada? 

Yes, alcoholic beverages with added caffeine are prohibited in Canada, but some drinks manufacturers have got around this by adding guarana to their drinks which contains caffeine. This isn’t technically breaking the rules, but it does result in caffeinated alcoholic beverages.[6] 

Are Canadians big coffee drinkers compared to Americans? 

When it comes to overall coffee consumption, America is the biggest consumer, with over 27,310,000 bags of dry coffee beans consumed a year. However, Canada consumes more coffee per capita and is 10th in the world for coffee drinking per person, whereas the US comes in at 26th 


Iced coffee definitely isn’t illegal in Canada, and it’s a good thing because it’s one of the most popular coffee drinks across the country.

Hopefully, this article has helped dispel the myth, but remember, whether you're watching videos about iced coffee, weight loss, politics, or aliens - remember to take information from TikTok, and all social media, with a pinch of salt.  








Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis

Kayla Stavridis is the Head of Marketing here at Barista HQ. While keeping up-to-date on the latest trends in coffee, you can find her sipping a cold brew with just a touch of milk on the beach in the afternoon and a Corona with lime in the evening. She is passionate about keeping you informed about what’s new in coffee.

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