6 Things I Wish I Didn't Know About Tim Hortons Menu Items After Working There For 7 Months

Some things can't be unseen. 👀

Toronto Staff Writer
Patrick taking a selfie. Right: A Tim Hortons sign.

Patrick taking a selfie. Right: A Tim Hortons sign.


This Opinion article is part of a Narcity Media series. The views expressed are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Narcity Media.

I was 16 years old when I first started working at Tim Hortons, which is the perfect age to have some illusions shattered.

I was young but had grown up a non-picky eater in a small Ontario town, meaning I had already tried almost everything off the Tim Hortons menu.

So, you can imagine my shock when I realized that the hundreds of soups I'd devoured weren't made with the same love that my grandmother had always provided.

Don't worry, though. I'm not about to lecture you on how unhealthy Tim Hortons' donuts are — I'll leave that to the dieticians. Heck, I still eat there all the time, so trust me when I say this list isn't meant to ruin the coffee shop for you.

Still, here are a few things I thought you should know!

Iced Capps start as brown slush 

You may already know this because, well, it's not like Tim Hortons is trying to hide its Iced Capp machines from you.

But, if you're like me, constantly lost in your own world, you may have never witnessed how the frosty delights get made.

It's a two-step process: First, extract the slushy java from the machine, then blend it with a cup of heavy cream. Wham! You've got one of Canada's most iconic summer drinks.

Is it bad that the delicious drinks start off looking like an alien slug creature? Perhaps, but I still drank them all the time on my shift.

In fact, I would happily watch hundreds of grotesque blobs turn into Iced Capps if it meant I could get them for free again.

The bags of frozen chilli and soups

I still remember walking into my work's freezer for the first time and being suddenly surrounded by frozen bags of soups and chilis.

I had been instructed to grab one and plop it into a boiling pot so that it could cook or, rather, dethaw for a few hours. I was devastated.

To be fair, Tim Hortons' chilli still slaps. However, I do think it's worth pointing out how they're made since fresh is always better than frozen.

The French Vanilla and Hot Chocolate are quite similar

Growing up, my mom made me plenty of hot chocolate, so I knew they were just powder and water. But she'd never made me a French Vanilla, which meant my imagination had to fill in the gaps.

I was stunned on my first day when my supervisor asked me to make her one. I thought we would work our way up to the hard stuff, but here I was, being asked to step into the shoes of a veteran barista.

At least, that's what I thought. It turned out that the entire drink was made by pushing a button right next to the one that made the hot chocolate.

If drinks could be related, the two would be cousins. As silly as it seems, that blew my mind at the time.

How the "real eggs" were kept

Remember when every fast food joint started promoting the fact that they use "real eggs," immediately causing everyone to wonder what the hell they were using before?

When I worked at Tim Hortons, I saw this practice in its truest form: a bunch of sad-looking eggs in a tray.

If you were making a breakfast sandwich, you'd scoop one out and slap it on whatever biscuit or muffin the customer wanted.

But hey, at least they were real.

The coffee is fresh compared to the donuts

If you only go to Tim Hortons for coffee, you're set, my friend. Trust me when I tell you that the company has made fresh pots down to a science.

Employees brew pots every 20 minutes and pour anything that goes over that time limit down the sink.

Tim Hortons' donuts, on the other hand, are luck-of-the-draw. If you go to a busy location, you might score fresh treats, especially if you order something popular like a chocolate dip.

However, if you're munching on an old-fashioned donut from a Tim Hortons located within a gas station, there's a pretty good chance those are, well — old.

The cream and sugar machine

If there was one thing that made me realize that Tim Hortons was the perfect starter job for me, it was when my manager introduced me to the machine that spits out the cream and sugar.

The glorious stainless steel box, which can make a double-double almost as fast as you can say it, immediately took away my anxiety about making coffee during the morning rush.

It suddenly dawned on me that I would be less like a barista and more like a factory worker.

Considering all my friends at the time were working at the industrial farm up the street, it made me feel less like an outsider.

I hope this list has helped you pull the curtain back a bit. Knowledge is still power, right?

Patrick John Gilson
Toronto Staff Writer
Patrick John Gilson is a Staff Writer for Narcity Canada’s Ontario Desk focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.
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