Hands-on with the new Tim Hortons Cup Sleeve

Tim Hortons recently introduced a new ‘sleeve’ for their hot beverages. This cardboard protector is a “better late than never” addition, but still very welcomed to the hands of millions of Canadians.

The sleeve has been a staple at competing coffee shops for some time now at big chains and independent stores. There are probably many reasons that Timmies decided to introduce the sleeve now, rather than years ago:

  • Recent customer accusations by a Winnipeg women that apparently received second- and third-degree burns by accidentally spilling green tea on her lap;
  • Cost cutting – no more “can you double-cup that please.” This will cut company expences;
  • Environmental reasons – reduced amount cups is better for the environment;
  • The “Java Jacket Utility Patent” went into public domain on November 9th, thus avoiding any fees to the patent owner.

Tim Hortons locations across Canada have installed signage that reads “Effective November 18th this restaurant will switch from using a double cup to a sleeve. Sleeves will be available on specialty tagged Teas or upon request for other hot beverages. Together we can reduce waste. Please consider this before requesting a sleeve.”

So it looks like a mix of all the above reasons. Alexandra Cygal, senior manager of public affairs for Tim Hortons, stated “We have considered introducing a sleeve before. However the sleeve that we have chosen uses less material and has a number of performance advantages to ones we’ve looked at before.”

We wanted to check out these so-called “performance advantages” and grabbed hold of the Timmies sleeve.


The sleeve is easy to put on, similar to any other sleeve on the market. It feels rougher than the cup and is made from “100% recycled content, including 85% post-consumer fibre.” Basically corrugated cardboard joined together with a bit of glue.


Still present on the sleeve, which voids them of any potential lawsuit, is the “Hot Be Careful” label in English and French. Present is the famous Tim Hortons tag line of “Always Fresh.”

There’s nothing fancy about the sleeve and I’m sure over time it’ll feel the exact same as holding two cups. Again, this sleeve only comes with crazy hot specialty teas, or if you ask for one.


About Ian Hardy

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I'm obsessed with Tim Hortons. It runs through my veins and I've probably spent enough money downing Steeped Tea's that I could have purchased my own franchise.