girl-2626753_1920For good health, everything should be practiced in moderation, especially drinking coffee. But for millions, the drinking of this dark caffeine enriched liquid is an entrenched morning ritual. The coffee of choice in Canada comes in a dark brown cup with two bright red words pasted on the front – Tim Hortons. Even with the explosion of coffee houses around the country, this company has risen head and shoulders above the competition.

But what makes their coffee so massively popular? What ingredient has everyone so spellbound? Ask the regulars, and they’ll tell you it’s the taste. Tim Horton’s coffee, they say, just tastes the best. But why, and what makes people come back for it time and again?

There is an urban legend that says Tom Hortons adds nicotine to their coffee to make it more addictive, and that they keep the amount just low enough to slip under federal regulations. A second theory is the addition of MSG (an extremely unhealthy flavour enhancer).

The CBC news program “Disclosure” conducted its own investigation, which included having samples of coffee from Tim Hortons sent to a laboratory for analysis. The results showed no measurable amount of nicotine and had, on average, less caffeine than coffee from either Starbucks or Second Cup.

Besides, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency would probably not be too pleased knowing the inclusion of nicotine in an ingestible product is vended to an unwary public.

There’s also the fact that extraneous chemicals surreptitiously slipped into coffee would leave Tim Hortons open to a stream of lawsuits. Somebody, somewhere, would be allergic or have a reaction to MSG or caffeine. The advantage of adding a little extra something that would addict clients simply could not be offset by multi-million dollar losses in civil court and a backlash of consumer negativity.

So what does make Tim Horton’s so addictive? It’s hard to say, though the company boasts of superior quality Arabica beans. Personally, I’m not sure what the catch is, because I don’t think their coffee is very good. My theory is that it’s cheap, fast, palatable and available from morning to evening, making it popular for those seeking their daily caffeine buzz.

And the effects of too much caffeine on our health? Well that another story…