Is Tim Hortons Dark Roast Stronger than the Original Blend?

is tim hortons dark roast stronger

Have you tried Tim Horton’s new dark roast yet? I hope they got it right this time. The third time’s the charm, right? When they release a new coffee, I try to make my own opinion on the drink before anyone has a chance to spoil it for me. Seems like a lot of people are asking if Tim Horton’s dark roast is stronger than their normal coffee.

In terms of caffeine, Tim Hortons Dark Roast is not as strong as the original blend. Traditionally, dark roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts. Although, Tims’s Dark Roast does have a stronger taste and aroma than the regular coffee.

This is the 3rd time these Canadian coffee giants are trying their hand at a decent dark roast. The first two times didn’t go over well with their customers. Tims’s dark roast is back, and apparently better than ever. I thought it would be fun to compare some of the most popular coffee shops to see which one has the strongest brew.

How Strong Is Tim Hortons Dark Roast?

Tim Hortons, or Timmies, makes good coffee, and a lot of it. Regular, dark roast, espresso, iced coffee you name it, Tims now has over 4 thousand locations across the continent. You’re likely to find the familiar logo in every town, no matter how far east, west, north, or south the road takes you.

What exactly makes this coffee so popular? Perhaps it’s their affordable prices. But just because the coffee is inexpensive does it mean it’s lower quality? Obviously, it’s not the gourmet coffee some of us are used to, but it’s still a quality drink.

I thought it would be fun to compare the caffeine in Tims’s coffee to with some of the biggest coffee companies I know. This way we can see who has the strongest java. Let’s start by comparing each company’s original blend. Then I’ll measure up their dark coffee to see if Tim Horton’s dark roast is stronger.

Here are the caffeine levels from Tim Hortons, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, and Starbucks ‘ various coffee sizes.

By these numbers, Tim Horton’s black coffee is just a little weaker than Dunkin Donuts but significantly stronger than McDonald’s.

Unsurprisingly Starbucks has the strongest coffee on the list. They are a higher quality coffee shop, meaning their stuff is naturally more expensive. I wanted to include Starbucks in this study to illustrate why they charge more than the affordable coffee chains.

Now let’s compare the caffeine volumes in their dark roast coffee.

Is Tim Hortons Dark Roast Stronger than the Original Blend2

We see that Dunkin Donuts has the weakest or least caffeinated dark roast. Tim Horton’s dark roast is a little stronger than Dunkin. The dark roast from Starbucks is not far ahead of Tims. McDonald’s doesn’t offer dark roast coffee at this time.

What Makes Dark Roast Different?

Darkly roasted beans are dark brown, almost black in color. They are cooked for longer in higher temperatures than lighter roasts. During the roasting process water and moisture is forced out of the bean making it less dense. At the same time, oil from within the bean is forced to the outside.

As coffee beans are roasted to higher temperatures, they lose their original flavor and take on more flavor from the roasting process.

Coffee beans roasted for longer are obviously darker in appearance but also have a deeper taste. They have less caffeine and less acidity. Their flavor often resembles dark chocolate, roasted nuts, or caramel. Dark roast coffee has a bold, rich, and often oily texture.

Denser coffee beans have more caffeine and acidity. Their flavor is often described as delicate, bright, fruity, citrusy, and herbal.

You may have heard dark roast referred to by another name. Some of its less common nicknames are French Roast, Continental Roast, Espresso Roast, Italian Roast, Spanish Roast, and New Orleans Roast. It wouldn’t make sense for Tim Hortons to use any of the names, so I’ll just keep saying dark roast as well.

Here is what you need to remember about dark roast coffee beans:

  • Dark brown color and an oily surface.
  • Less caffeine and acidity than lighter roasts.
  • Rich and bold in flavor.

That would be the simplest way to explain dark roast to anyone new to coffee. If anyone ever asks you if think Tim Horton’s dark roast is stronger you can show off and tell them the truth.


So, is Tim Horton’s dark roast stronger? What are we comparing it to? If you’re matching it to their original blend, then no. Dark roasts have less caffeine than lighter roasts. Tims’s dark roast is stronger than Dunkin Donuts dark roast, by quite a lot, but not as strong as the Starbucks equivalent.

Dark roast does have a richer flavor and a bolder aroma which can be called ‘stronger’ than the lighter blends. Even though you may be thinking you’re having stronger coffee, it’s really just the taste. You’re not getting a bigger kick of energy.

Some people enjoy the smoothness of dark roast coffee while others swear it off completely. Reserve your judgment on the roast until you’ve had the chance to try it from a few different brands or suppliers. Although it may not be your type of cup in the end, you’ll never know unless you try it.

Related Questions:

What Is the Strongest Drink at Tim Hortons?

Per serving, Tim Hortons Mocha Latte has more caffeine than any other drink they offer. It has 215mg of caffeine in a 14oz(425ml) cup. Although, an extra-large (23oz or 678ml) black coffee has 330mg of caffeine.

Why Doesn’t Tim Hortons Coffee Taste the Same at Home?

One reason could be because you’re not using the same coffee to water ratio at home as they do in stores. Your coffee could be coming out too strong or too weak. Also, the temperature of your water could be different than recommended. That could be the reason if your coffee is tasting chalky or burnt.

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