McDonald’s vs. Tim Horton’s Coffee: What Happened?


Has anyone else noticed how much worse Tim Hortons coffee has gotten in the last couple years or so?

When I was in high school, starting my coffee drinking career in 2012/ 2013, with not much money to spare, Tim Hortons coffee was my go-to. I bought it everyday, often a couple times a day. It was also pretty convenient, being right across the street from my Etobicoke high school. Tim Hortons coffee used to be really decent. It was a part of late night assignment and study cramming high school experience.

I then converted to Starbucks’ Dark Roast and eventually to Starbucks Americanos. Partly, because the coffee was a bit better and also a little “cooler” to drink. As I grew out of my need to be cool and wanted a more economical solution, I tried McDonald’s coffee. McDonald’s coffee is consistently great almost every time — for me. McDonald’s coffee has been my go-to coffee for a couple of years and Starbucks’ Americano remains my occasional treat.

But I still come back to my main point, what happened to Tim Hortons coffee?

Back in the day, before Tim Hortons merged with or were bought out by American companies, Timmies coffee was drinkable. When Tim Hortons was Canadian, they had a custom blend made for them. Once they were bought out, they ditched the old formula for a different blend much cheaper to produce. This was in and around the time when McCafe was introduced in 2013. Sensibly McCafe contacted Tim Hortons’ previous supplier because they knew Canadians love this suppliers coffee. The supplier slightly modified Tim Hortons’ previous blend, made their own McCafe coffee and gave Canadians the coffee they knew and loved.

Fast forward five years later and Canadians are still slow to realize that McDonalds is selling the coffee they loved at Tim Hortons for years. Tim Hortons is selling dishwater and telling you its your Canadian duty to buy from them.

McDonalds’ Coffee Benefits:

  • $1 any size coffee months
  • buy 7 coffees, get 1 free
  • their lids & double walled cups make for unspillable coffee
  • adding a muffin to your coffee for 10 cents

A couple of questions for Tim Hortons:

  • Why haven’t you revamped your cups?
  • Why haven’t you revamped your lids?
  • Why do you continue to use a blend that seems to be getting less drinkable everyday?
  • Why haven’t you rebranded in a way that Canadians might fall back in love with you again?
  • Why don’t you have more promotions that your customers will take advantage of?
  • Why don’t you have any type of loyalty program for the customers who have been coming to your restaurants at the very least weekly for decades?
  • Why are you producing the lowest quality produce to make the quickest buck?

So many questions for Tim Hortons. Tim Hortons could have great coffee. Tim Hortons could have a great Canadian brand that Canadians are proud to buy from. We want to be proud Canadians and have a company we are proud of. We used to be proud of and excited about Tim Hortons. We used to be excited to talk about Tim Hortons to our international friends. Now when they mention Tim Hortons, we just put it to the side and try to avoid it. Tim Hortons could make big changes to make Canada believe in them again. I think Tim Hortons better doing something about their down spiralling reputation before it’s too late.


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