I Taste Test Tim Hortons Colombian Roast Coffee: Review & Photos

by Nigel Ong

Colombian roasts are popular for their darker, earthier, cocoa-like flavor. As a result, many roasters, including Tim Hortons, offer single-origin Colombian coffee in their lineup. 

Keen to see how Tim Hortons Colombian Roast fare against other Colombian roasts in my collection, I decided to pick up a bag to review. 

I will brew and sample the Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast in this review. I will also compare it with other relevant coffee in my collection before deciding if you should try this coffee.

About Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast

Tim Hortons can be seen as the ‘Canadian Starbucks.’ Known for its coffee and donuts, it was founded by hockey player Tim Horton and investor Ron Joyce in 1964. The first Tim Hortons store opened in Hamilton, Ontario. 

Tim Hortons is famous for its “Double Double” coffee, referring to a coffee with two sugars and two creams, reflecting the customization options that have endeared it to customers. 

Aside from the excellent coffee, you can also find a variety of beverages, breakfast items, sandwiches, and baked goods in its stores. You can also purchase many of its coffee roasts, including the 100% Colombian Roast.

The 100% Colombian Roast is made from single-origin Arabica beans from Colombia. These beans are then shipped, roasted, and packed in Canada. 

First Impression

I picked up my bag from Tim Hortons’ newly opened shop in Singapore. Chats with the barista confirm that the coffee is roasted and packed in Canada. This is also confirmed by the label on the packaging itself. 

One thing about Tim Hortons coffee is the color – you can’t miss the bright red packaging and the maple leaf design – it really pops off the grocery store shelves. The coffee’s packaging is also on point, covering all the essentials. 

It’s got that foldable tab to help you keep your beans fresh and a one-way valve that prevents oxygen from entering the packaging and ruining the beans.

The aroma hit me pretty well but gently when I popped open the bag. First, I get this earthy, woody vibe – super intense! First, you get this smokey, woodsy vibe, and then it’s like a wave of sweetness. There’s a hint of chocolate, too.

From the aroma, I believe this should be a comfortable coffee without many surprises. But let’s see how it performs in cupping.

My Tim Hortons 100% Colombian roast comes in coffee grounds, meaning I cannot check out the beans or how dark the roasts are. We will have to leave this to brewing later.

How Does Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast Taste?

For a thorough tasting, I’ll be brewing the Tim Hortons Dark Roast using three methods to capture its full range. These methods are immersion, filtration, and espresso brew.

French Press: This is an immersion brewing technique. It yields a rich, full-bodied coffee with a fair amount of particles in the cup. This approach will let me experience the coffee in its most robust and ‘unfiltered’ form.

Pour Over with Filter Paper: Unlike immersion, this method relies on filtration. It produces a clearer, more refined cup of coffee, minimizing the presence of oils and particles. This will be useful for detecting the more delicate flavors of the coffee.

Espresso: I can intensify the flavors in a small, concentrated serving by brewing espresso. This is particularly effective for a dark roast like the Tim Hortons Dark Roast, enabling me to better appreciate its complex profile.

French Press

I brewed my French Press coffee using the Bodum Caffettiera and followed Illy Coffee’s brewing recommendations. 

I stuck to a 1:12 coffee-to-water ratio, using 15 grams of coffee with 180ml of hot water at approximately 185°F (85°C). After a quick stir of the grounds, I let it brew for 4 minutes before pouring.

The coffee turned out slightly dark brown with a hint of transparency, resembling typical coffee. Its aroma was quite enticing, reminiscent of fresh bread.

Tasting it, the coffee’s flavor echoed its aroma. It was soft, mellow, and smooth on the palate. The body and acidity were present but subtle, adding depth without overwhelming. 

As I continued to sip, I noticed crisp cocoa notes and a clear bitterness that nicely balanced the classic coffee taste. There was also a starchy sweetness, something similar to chocolate.

The aftertaste was decent, leaving a lingering sensation of cocoa. With each sip, I occasionally detected notes of chocolate, too, which was a nice experience for my taste buds.

Pour Over With Filter Paper

For my pour-over coffee brew, I used the following equipment:

Following Starbucks’ guidelines, I brewed the coffee using a 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio. My method started with wetting and blooming the coffee grounds, then gradually pouring hot water over them to maximize extraction.

My pour-over brewed Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast tastes lighter and ‘cleaner’ than the more robust French Press brew.

This difference is expected; the filter paper effectively keeps fine particles out of the cup, reducing the smoky and earthy flavors. 

However, the filter paper also sucked away some of the oils from the coffee, leading to a slightly less intense flavor profile. The good thing is that the loss of flavor is not too noticeable. 

The reduced smokiness makes the chocolate notes more prominent in the pour-over brew compared to what I experienced with the French Press version.

Espresso

I don’t think Tim Hortons intended for the Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast to be brewed as an espresso. I, however, still went ahead and brewed it. 

To me, espresso can highlight a coffee’s flavor profile by condensing it into a small cup. Using my Wacaco Minipresso GR, I pulled a shot from the coffee.

The result was a wonderfully aromatic cup of espresso topped with a rich, velvety crema. The crema was lighter in color, likely due to the medium roast and the beans’ lighter hue. 

Appearance-wise, This espresso could easily hold its own against what you’d get from a professional barista at a coffee shop.

The aroma is not smoky but mild and smells like bread. The espresso itself was light and had a slight sourness to it, especially at the crema layer. 

As it’s a medium roast, the espresso lacked the intense smokiness you might find in darker roasts. Instead, I picked up cocoa notes, with a prominent fresh bread-like taste playing a significant role.

Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast vs Other Tim Hortons Roasts

It would be interesting to see how the Tim Hortons 100% Colombian roast stacks up against other Tim Hortons roasts I have in my stash.

For this comparison, I lined up the following coffee alongside the 100% Colombian Roast for a taste test:

  • Tim Hortons Original Blend
  • Tim Hortons Dark Roast
  • Tim Hortons French Vanilla Coffee

After trying it all, I’m torn between the 100% Colombian and the Original Blend. Both are equally easy-to-drink coffee that is not edgy in flavor. One tastes chocolatey, while the Original has a more neutral taste profile.

As a coffee drinker, I enjoy lighter, not too-smoky coffee with hints of sweetness and chocolate notes. 

Because of this, I reluctantly pick the 100% Colombian Roast over the Original Blend, just by the smallest of margins. Both are equally good daily-to-go coffee. 

The Dark Roast may be too smoky for me to enjoy since it is a dark roast. The French Vanilla Coffee is ok, but I do not want to compare it directly with the other roasts since it is flavored.

Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast vs Other Colombian Roasts

Next, I will compare Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast with other Colombian roasts from your grocery aisles. They are:

I would place Tim Hortons Colombian Roast first, with the Dunkin roast coming second. Compared to the others, I like the fresh bread and chocolate combination in Tim Hortons Colombian Roast. 

However, it is not to say that others are not good. They are just as nice, with slightly different flavor notes that may appeal to other drinkers. 

Is Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast For You?

After extensively sampling the Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast coffee, I would say this is a single-origin coffee that, surprisingly, behaves like a blend. 

Single-origin coffee tends to have a more ‘edgy’ flavor since the beans are from a specific location. However, with the 100% Colombian Roast, the flavors are gentle and easy to drink. 

This makes it a great daily coffee that you brew a large batch in the morning and leave in the pot. You then come back to it over the course of the day.The Tim Hortons 100% Colombian Roast would also make a great start in the world of single-origin coffee. The mellower test should not sour drinkers keen to check out single-origin coffee for the first time.

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