Tim Hortons


Tim Hortons Inc. Canadian multinational fast food restaurant chain serves coffee, doughnuts and other fast food items launches new dark roast as part of the ‘back to basics’ strategy, following research they conducted which indicated consumers preferred a ‘bolder’ flavour.

The Canadian chain has around 4,846 restaurants in 14 countries continuing to grow globally in Europe and Asia, as reported previously.

They look to improve the menu by offering a new dark roast to help Tim Hortons shore up its existing market share while potentially attracting new customers in the increasingly competitive grab-and-go breakfast market competing with the big chains such as, Starbucks and McDonalds.

The restaurant launched its first dark roast in 2014 in a bid to offer customers an alternative to its classic blend. Three years later, in 2017 the chain tweaked the recipe of its new roast to make it even darker.

While the head of the chain’s coffee operations says it delivered on smoothness and flavour, he says it could be bolder.

Kevin West, Director of Coffee Operations for Tim Horton said,

What we’ve noticed over the years is that guests are looking for a slightly bolder coffee. The challenge was developing a bolder, fuller, richer coffee without any bitterness or burnt taste that can turn coffee drinkers off a dark roast.

Coffee is naturally bitter, so to develop a coffee product that’s bold and strong without bitterness is quite difficult.

The coffee team at Tim Hortons developed the latest dark roast blend that features premium Arabica beans from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, in addition to the beans from Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil used in the chain’s original coffee.

They focussed on the manufacturing, roasting and brewing processes, which took nearly four dozen coffee trials and 200 cuppings to perfect the new dark roast.

It was such a calculated process where the final tweak was just a one degree increase in the temperature of the water in the coffee brewer. It’s just a slight change but they believed it made a significant difference in how the coffee performed with the final finished product.

They described the results to be a flavour that is more complex than the previous two dark roasts with notes of chocolate and cedar and a hint of fruit or floral undertones making it a bolder, fuller and richer coffee.

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