Tim Hortons re-relaunches its Dark Roast blend

These are dark days for Tim Hortons. The country’s largest coffee chain today announced a “new and improved” Dark Roast coffee, its third iteration of the product it first introduced seven years ago.

In a release, Tims said that the new product, brewed from 100% premium Arabica beans, will offer customers a “bolder and richer” flavour. Tim Hortons did not respond to questions regarding its marketing plans for the revamped product, and there is no mention of it on any of its social channels. It did promote its dark roast blend in a pre-Christmas tweet, however.

Tims introduced its first Dark Roast blend in 2014, marking the first time in its history that it offered an alternate blend to its original. At the time, Tim Hortons said that the product was designed to meet the “evolving tastes” of its guests—citing research in which 49% of Canadian coffee drinkers defined the last cup of coffee they had as a dark roast.

The company revamped the Dark Roast blend in 2017, in response to consumer demands for a product that was “richer and darker.”

Kevin West, Tim Hortons’ head of coffee operations, said that the company developed about four dozen variations of the newest Dark Roast in order to “zero in on the perfect balance of richness and smoothness.” “We wanted this Dark Roast to taste bold—but not burnt or bitter,” said West. “It’s incredibly rich with a harmonious blend of complex flavours, subtle notes of chocolate, cedar and even hints of fruit and floral characteristics.”

Data from the Coffee Association of Canada says that daily coffee consumption has remained steady during the pandemic, with 71% of Canadians saying they had a coffee in the past day in October, versus 72% in 2019. However, the organization did note a significant shift in where their daily coffee was prepared, with in-home preparation shooting up from 78% pre-COVID to 87% in October.

Chris Powell