After my recent move up north, I had one thought on my mind - getting myself a Timmies coffee. [1]

I used to live near one before moving to the middle of nowhere so I was desperate to know: how does it compare to other coffee chains?

And most importantly, is Tim Hortons coffee still good?

  • Whether coffee is 'good' is subjective, but often comes down to taste, price, and quality
  • Tim Hortons use 100% Arabica beans which bring a balanced, smooth, and sweet flavor that pairs well with donuts and sandwiches
  • Tim's dark roast is rich, robust, and flavorful while the decaf tastes exactly like the original
  • Tim's lattes, cappuccinos, cold brews, and espresso could be better - maybe get those elsewhere
  • Overall, Tim's coffee is simple, tasty, and affordable

Tim Hortons Coffee: Is It Actually Any Good?

Whether or not Tim Hortons coffee is good is entirely subjective. There are many things to consider when determining if coffee is any "good." It ultimately comes down to taste and flavor.[2]

When rating a cafe, I also have to think about price, versatility, customization options, customer experience, food items, and the number of coffee shop locations.

Let's look at the most important factor for rating Tim Horton's coffee: taste. Tim Hortons uses Arabica medium-roasted beans to brew their original blend.

Arabica is generally sweet and smooth, so that’s what you can expect from Tim Horton’s coffee. It’s the most popular type of beans for a reason, which is why it’s served to Tim Hortons customers.

Have a specific menu item in mind? Here’s a complete breakdown of the best coffees served at Tims:

Regular Coffee

If you're a no-frills coffee drinker like me, you'll love the regular brewed Tim Hortons blend.

The medium roast beans are smooth and perfectly balanced and can be deemed "good coffee." 

It pairs especially well with Tims breakfast items like sweet donuts and savory sandwiches.

Dark Roast Coffee

Many people prefer dark roast coffee for its robust flavor profile, and Tim Hortons delivers on that front.

Although their dark roast is rich and full of flavor, it has a smooth finish, making it easy to sip whether you’re at home or visiting a Tim Horton’s location.

A splash of cream takes this dark roast above and beyond!

Decaf Coffee

It's hard to find good decaffeinated coffee, but that's not the case at a Tim Horton's coffee shop.

People swear that the decaf blend tastes exactly like the regular thing (although some prefer adding sugar and/or milk).

Latte & Cappuccino

The Tim Hortons coffee chain isn't known for its espresso drinks like lattes and cappuccino.

They're decent at best; Tim Horton's lattes have often been compared to vending machine coffee, so don't expect much (other than a cheaper option than Starbucks).

Iced Coffee & Cold Brew

Similar to lattes and capps, Tim Horton’s customers aren’t overly impressed with the cold brew and iced options.

If it’s a hot summer day and you’re craving something cold, you’re honestly better off going to a Dunkin or Starbucks coffee location.

Tim Hortons Coffee Variants

If you’re craving something cold, the best option for customers is to go with the Tim Horton’s Iced Cappuccino, or Iced Capp for short.

This blended drink comes in several flavors, including regular cappuccino, mocha, caramel, and Oreo (a fave among Tims customers).[3]

Espresso

Anyone who sips espresso shots might want to avoid Tim Hortons.

Espresso is meant to be bold and strong, but I find that it's weak and lacking in flavor at Tims.

Tim Hortons K-Cups

Keurig users can enjoy a quality mug of joe from home using the Tim Hortons K-Cups.

The most popular is the original blend, but the Maple flavor is another go-to choice. Even the ground Tim Hortons blend is perfect for using a drip coffee maker or French press at home.

Tim Hortons K Cups and Espresso

How Does Tim Hortons Compare To Other Popular Coffee Chains?

Now that you know what Tim Hortons is best known for and what drinks to avoid, it’s time to do some comparing.

Tim Hortons vs Starbucks

The Starbucks or Tim Hortons debate is a tricky one. However, Starbucks is more popular with more locations and is definitely the most-recognized brand out there.

Unless you’re Canadian living up north in Tim Hortons home country, you might struggle to find locations near you; it’s not nearly as widespread.

To top it off, Starbucks is king in terms of the actual menu.[4]

The drinks are more expensive, but the comprehensive rewards program makes it easy to get free coffee as you rack up points (or stars).

Tim Hortons Vs Starbucks Iced Macchiato

Tim Hortons vs Dutch Bros

Dutch Bros has been around since the early 90s, so it's relatively new compared to Tims. The company is focused on the West Coast, with just over 300 locations spanning 9 states.

Tim Hortons is more recognized, but it’s also much more traditional. Dutch Bros is all about pushing boundaries of good coffee, both with their outgoing baristas and funky Rebel drink options.

Just keep in mind that it’s a pricey chain (which isn’t surprising considering it’s based on the West Coast), especially for specialty drinks.
Tim Hortons Vs Dutch Bros Cold Brew

Tim Hortons vs Peet's Coffee

Similar to Dutch Bros, Peet’s Coffee is a small company with just over 300 locations. Unless you live in Cali, you’re not likely to stumble across a Peet’s anytime soon.

Peet's is one-of-a-kind in regard to coffee culture. The locations are cozy and quiet, making Peet's a great place to work remotely or study for exams.

They offer a great tea selection as well as a wide array of organic coffees, all of which fall in the midrange price point.
Tim Hortons Vs Peets Cold Brew

Tim Hortons vs Dunkin' Donuts

Dunkin Donuts has become a massive chain. It was founded in the 50s and now has over 10,000 locations.

Tim Hortons and Dunkin Donuts both offer an extensive food menu, although the main focus at Dunkin is donuts (obviously). However, you can also order muffins, bagels, breakfast sammies, and of course, coffee that’s cheaper than most.

Both brands are extremely affordable, and that applies to food as well as beverages. One thing that takes Dunkin above and beyond is the brand’s ability to innovate new beverages and flavors.
Tim Hortons Vs Dunkin Donuts Iced Latte

Frequently Asked Questions About Tim Hortons Coffee

Why does Tim Horton’s coffee taste so good?

Tim Horton's coffee tastes so good for several reasons, but the main one is that it's consistently brewed fresh using 100% Arabica coffee beans.

What is Tim Hortons well known for?

Tim Hortons is most well known for its Double Double drink, which is a cup of the original coffee with 2 shots of sweetener and 2 shots of cream.

What is unique about Tim Hortons?

The most unique thing about Tim Hortons is the extensive food menu. In addition to coffee, they offer tons of food items, including pastries, donuts, sandwiches, snacks, and more.

How much caffeine is in Tim Horton's coffee?

The caffeine content in a small cup of Tim Horton’s coffee is 140mg. The medium size contains 205mg of caffeine, and the large has a whopping 270mg.

Does Tim Hortons use real coffee?

Yes, Tim Hortons uses REAL coffee, stating that every cup is “created using 100% Arabica beans from the world’s most renowned growing regions.”[5]

Conclusion

So, is Tim Hortons coffee good? If you want a good, affordable cup of coffee, Tim Hortons is the place to go. 

Compared to other coffee shops, Tim Horton’s coffee - regular, decaf, and dark - ranks very high. The Double Double is an excellent choice, and the same goes for the Iced Capp.

That being said, there are better options than Tims for specialty drinks, like lattes, cappuccino, cold brews, or espresso.

References:

1. https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2021/coffee-health-benefits.html
2. https://www.coffeeandhealth.org/coffee-and-the-senses/aroma-and-flavour-descriptors
3. https://company.timhortons.com/us/en/menu/iced-capp.php
4. https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/07/starbucks-cafes-coffee-business.html
5. https://company.timhortons.com/us/en/menu/take-home-coffee.php

Caitlin Shaffer

Author

Caitlin Shaffer
Caitlin Shaffer, is a knowledgeable coffee expert and passionate writer. Her articles are a mix of personal experiences, insights gained from her travels, and interviews, offering an extensive view of the global coffee scene. Caitlin enjoys embarking on new travel adventures, often to destinations celebrated for their unique coffee offerings, from Indonesia to Italy and Colombia, adding a worldly flavor to her articles. Her go-to coffee? Cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup – a personal favorite that keeps her love for coffee fresh and exciting.

My favorite drink? I'd go with... cold brew with homemade vanilla syrup.

See Our Editorial Processes

Meet Our Team

Share Feedback

Leave a Comment