On the double double | Shanghai gets first Tim Hortons in China

Update 2: Tim Horton’s aka Tim’s Coffee House opened its first China outlet today, in Shanghai, with huge lines. Some at the front were said to have waited over 15 hours in order to be among the first to get Timbits in China. Speaking of which, expect a few China-specific items, including a salted egg yolk-flavored Timbit, says this press release.

There are also a bunch of new drinks. “Exclusive to the Chinese market, tea offerings include Steeped Black Lemon Peach Oolong and Blueberry Roselle,” it states. Other newcomers include a pair of Iced Capp options, maple and hazelnut, and a “Maple Macchiato”.

Ten customers won free Tim’s coffee for a year. An official ribbon cutting, a band, people in Tim’s hockey jerseys, looks like a fun time. Now waiting to get one here in Beijing! Here are some pics from Tim’s Weibo account plus menus via this post.

Update: Tim Horton’s aka Tim’s Coffee House is slated to open at 11:00 AM tomorrow (Tuesday) in Shanghai. It’s the first in China, with stated plans for 1500 outlets in total. Here’s some images from the official WeChat and Weibo accounts. (I’ll mark the occasion with a mug of Tim’s here in Beijing–brought some back from holidays–but will have mine back instead of “double double”. Sorry, eh.)

A dozen days til double doubles, according to the Weibo account for Tim Hortons, which states the coffee shop chain’s 4850th outlet will open in Shanghai on February 26. Named for hockey player and co-founder Tim Horton, the first shop opened in 1964 and is ubiquitous in Canada. The goal is to spread across China, with a target of 1500 locations, under the name Tims Coffee House.

From the Tims Coffee House Weibo account.

I didn’t spot any menus on the Tim’s sites but some posters say that a regular coffee will cost rmb17, double the price in Canada, and the miniature treats called TimBits will be available. The Weibo account shows a handful of items:


From the Tims Coffee House Weibo account.

Want a freebie? The Canadian Chamber of Commerce is giving away 100 coffees for opening day, ones I assume can be consumed as “double doubles” [two creams, two sugars]. Or, as I’m drinking it now in Beijing and as nature intended, black.

The big question is whether or not Tims will stock doughnuts, an item that has not fared well in China. But is it really Tim’s without any sour cream glazed? Anyway, I’m sure many a Canadian or people who have worked or studied will be excited to grab a mug or two. And, before the usual snobs start to critique the blend, no one is claiming Tim’s has the world’s best coffee.

By the way, China’s coffee scene is stirring at the moment, with the top story being the rapid rise of Luckin Coffee this past year and its pursuit of front-runner Starbucks. Other chains are also seeking to caffeinate the China market though that is no easy task. Dunkin Donuts returned to China in 2016, with an eye at opening 1400 stores, but has struggled.

Note: Tims Coffee House is at 227 North Huangpi Road. Here’s the map:

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