Saturday, June 25, 2011

I Give Reviewing Coffee A Shot, Starting With The Trendy Tim Horton's Fine Grind Canister!

The Good: Appropriately caffeinated, Good aroma, Tastes all right (especially with sugar)
The Bad: Expensive (paying for name), Nothing superlative to justify it
The Basics: With a weak recommendation, Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee leaves an impression as a strong, decent, but average coffee made more expensive by the name associated with it.

As I review through the various things I encounter, I actually tend to have a little order to the reviews I do and when it came up in my rotation that I was to review a new tea and I discovered I didn't have an opening in my stock, I decided to try something new. Yes, I'm going to try to review a coffee and frankly, I'm a little nervous about that as I've only reviewed one before now, with the Kahlua Mocha Coffee (reviewed here!). Still, I have a great coffee maker (reviewed enthusiastically here!) and a critical nose and taste buds, so I figure it's time I step up and give it a shot!

I am starting with Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee, because I was just given a whole 13 oz. canister of it. It is worth noting, as well, that I have not ever been to a Tim Horton's restaurant and that this is not a comparison between the coffee served at those establishments and the coffee they sell in stores to capitalize on the apparent popularity of their chain restaurant. And after two pots of this coffee, it strikes me as a good coffee, an average one and one that is therefore somewhat overpriced for what one gets.


Based on the success of Tim Horton's, a chain of coffee shops, Tim Horton's has sold its name and reputation to "the TDL Group Corp." to sell coffee in stores as the latest in a long trend of restaurants that are doing that. This is a 13 oz. metal canister of ground coffee. Because it is not whole bean, no grinding is required. With a plastic lid, the Fine Ground Coffee is easily protected from absorbing scents of other foods. The container seems slightly smaller than most 13 oz. coffee cans, which is actually nice because the canister seems to use the space it has better than some brands I've used in the past.

Fine Ground Coffee is an aromatic blend that smells potently of coffee beans and it is a caffeinated blend. Around the holidays, Tim Horton's Fine Ground Coffee is repackaged with a winter scene on it to capitalize on the family coffee drinking market. As the name suggests, this is a finely ground coffee and the smaller the grinds, the greater the surface area, which means a richer pot of coffee.

Ease Of Preparation

Fine Grind Coffee is remarkably easy to prepare, no advanced culinary degrees necessary! First, open the can. Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee is vacuum sealed when first purchased, so to get into it initially requires a can opener. After removing the metal lid, procure a scoop (not included) and measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. Fine Ground Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers. This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed.

Consult your coffee maker's instructions for how to brew the coffee. However, as far as the basics go, you'll need a coffee filter, which you put the Fine Ground Coffee in and then brew through your coffee maker. The directions recommend making a pot at a time and serving it within twenty minutes and brewing complete pots does seem to net a more unified taste to the coffee (nothing too weak or too strong - as if the latter is possible!).


Here is where I have been dreading reviewing a coffee; coffee tends to be coffee to me. I mean, most "flavors" of coffee smell like what they claim, but taste like coffee. Coffee creamers tend to change the taste of coffee more than flavors within the beans themselves. Similarly, I can easily recognize coffee that is bad because it is burned, but most coffee, in my experience, is coffee.

Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee has a rich, deep coffee scent to it. It effervesces well into a room and anyone who likes coffee will enjoy the scent of the aroma. Indeed, from the moment I opened my can of Fine Grind Coffee, I was pleasantly overwhelmed by the dark coffee scent to this blend. Brewed up properly, Fine Grind Coffee has a potent coffee scent to it that foreshadows a powerful coffee blend.

And it adequately alludes to the strength of the brewed coffee. Fine Grind Coffee is strong and rich, tasting just as strong as the scent indicates. It is not a bitter blend, which surprised me, but it is a very dark coffee. For those looking for a potent coffee taste, this will fit the bill.

With sugar, Fine Grind Coffee becomes slightly sweeter and also seems to develop a dry aftertaste, which I thought was odd. Similarly, with a splash of cream, the coffee taste is cut some, but this is such a strong blend that cream and sugar do not overwhelm the flavor of the coffee. In other words, this is not a blend that will be overpowered by cream or end up tasting sweet like a bottled coffee drink. This is a richer blend than that and that level of strength may upset those who like their coffee somewhat more dainty.


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the canister does not have any ingredients, so I am forced to assume all that is in this blend is coffee beans, which would fit what it tastes like.

This is a caffeinated blend, though and it feels like it! This has enough caffeine to pop one's eyes open between the taste, aroma and caffeine. Because it is a caffeinated coffee, it appears to not have undergone any of the chemical processes that sometimes cause complications in decaffeinated coffees.


Fine Grind Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with the top firmly on. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the top on is highly recommended. There are different schools of thought on refrigerating open coffee and I have a very clean refrigerator with a lot of ways to segregate coffee, so I tend to come down on the side of refrigerate it. The container makes no recommendations on that count and there is no expiration date on my canister of Fine Grind Coffee.

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. This does not seem like an ideal coffee to make a second pot with (second brewings I attempted came out 1/2 to 5/8 as potent as the first brewing) unless one is in a household with a number of people some who like powerful coffee and others who like powerful water. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost and I swear the pine tree I've been putting these grounds around has shot up since I started caffeinating the ground around it!


Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee is an average coffee with an above average price associated with it. If one can find it on sale, it is not a bad choice to purchase, but there are less expensive brands that will meet the same need as well. In other words, this is adequate, not exceptional.

For other hot beverage reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Forrelli Rich Chocolate Hot Cocoa
Celestial Seasonings Roastaroma tea
Stash Peach Black tea


For other food or drink reviews, please check out my index page by clicking here!

© 2011, 2008 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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