Coffee drinkers have another option on the menu at select Tim Hortons locations starting Wednesday, as the chain looks to be taken more seriously with java connoisseurs.
For the first time, Tim Hortons is serving a single-origin coffee brew as part of a test run across five markets in certain parts of Canada.
The five test markets are:
- Sudbury, Ont.
- North Bay, Ont.
- Saint John, N.B.
- Moncton, N.B
- Abitibi, Que.
The limited-edition Three Peaks Colombian is sourced from Cauca, Colombia, and will be sold at a premium price, for the next eight weeks.
Tim Hortons describes the flavour as "a distinct, medium-roast coffee with a hint of caramel and smooth finish."
A spokeswoman for the company said the new brew will sell at a 15 per cent premium to a regular cup of coffee.
In the past, Tim Hortons has only served blends of various beans from sources in different countries, which helped keep prices stable regardless of the crop season, or when factors like draught affect bean supplies.
But in doing so, the company has almost entirely shied away from the coffee elite, choosing to market itself as a consistent and basic option available in even the most remote parts of the country.
Last summer, Tim Hortons rolled out a dark roast nationwide as a way to show it wasn't just a monosyllabic coffee company. So far, dark roast has sold 85 million cups, it said.
Tim Hortons president and chief operating officer David Clanachan said he expects the Three Peaks Colombian brew will also be embraced enthusiastically by customers.
"If it plays out the way we think, we'll probably get the same kind of response we got with dark roast," Clanachan said in an interview.
If the single-origin coffee brew takes off in test markets then Tim Hortons will expand the flavour across the country, Clanachan said.
After that, coffee drinkers can expect to see other limited-time flavours on the menu, he added.