bendane-2016-10-24Tim Horton’s Steep Black Tea is, honestly, burnt, lifeless, and a great source of comfort to me. If you’re not familiar with the coffee/doughnut chain, you’re not Canadian (editor’s note: or from Michigan!). It’s a ubiquitous chain, with often multiple locations in any major maple-leaf-emblazoned city, similar to certain inferior chains that rhyme with Barstucks and Nunkid Toughnuds. If America “runs on Dunkin”, Canada “dogsleds on Timmies”.

Now, let’s talk about the characteristics of this tea. The liquor is extracted via steeping at the beginning of the day, (previously, Timmies dropped a bag into your cup of hot water, resulting in burnt milk and unbrewed tea), and from its alternating bitterness and weakness, we can assume the water is too hot or cold. You have options for additives: milk tends to be too weak, cream to be gross and residual (this reviewer assumes but cannot confirm artificial creamer), and sugars to be powerful in transforming the drink into a dulcet adhesive. Add at your own risk.

The preparation technique is the opposite of most tea aesthetics: the tea is steeped at the beginning of the day and left on a warmer. Constant warming assures that oxygen content cannot exist in this tea, rendering it flat and dead. You also have little personal choice of its strength, which can vary, but typically is about mid-low for a comparative English breakfast blend. On the other hand, your tea is not going to overbrew, and there is the possibility of pouring the brewed tea into the milk, an important distinction.

The Canadian paper drink cups utilize a certain lid technology that’s strategically scored to rip open from a sealed condition; the cup is sealed and disposable (and a great hand warmer). I don’t normally advocate for disposable cups, but when you’ve got limited carrying capacity, you don’t need to make space for a cup from Tim’s. This blend is very caffeinated if you need that.

Despite what I’ve outlined here, Timmies holds a special place in my heart and always will. It’s always ready for you when you don’t have the time to make your own. You can suck it down with no worries of appreciation because that will probably sour the experience more than anything else. It’s cheap, with the largest size below 3 dollars in British Columbia. It’s the perfect companion for work, school, or anywhere you need a friend for support who’s not going to demand your attention. This tea is here for you.