HomeCoffee InfoIs French Vanilla Coffee? Categorizing The Drink

Is French Vanilla Coffee? Categorizing The Drink

If you are on this page, chances are you probably already had your favorite drink (most likely at Tim Hortons) and are now wondering Is French Vanilla Coffee?

If you want a simple answer, no. French Vanilla is not coffee rather an added flavor to your drink. When you order the French Vanilla, the cafes use vanilla syrups or extracts to artificially flavor the drink. Surprising, right? I also found it hard to believe as it’s one of my favorite ‘coffees’ as well. They call it the French vanilla because of the custard (that contains egg yolks) they use.

it is just a branding tactic as French Vanilla is nothing but hot coffee with some added flavors and possibly milk products in it.

Is French Vanilla Coffee?

Why is French Vanilla Called French Vanilla?

The term ‘French Vanilla’ is a deliberate attempt to refer to a flavor made from French Vanilla Ice Cream. This ice cream is different from regular ice creams that use cream and milk. French-style ice creams use egg yolks, hence the superior taste.

However, French Vanilla does not contain egg yolks directly in its list of ingredients. So, it only refers to the superiority of taste by adding the term “French” to it.

The next time when you have your French Vanilla, you should be sure of its origins and that you are not having any egg yolks in its flavor.

Is French Vanilla Coffee Sweet in Taste?

If you never had a French Vanilla, you are missing out on a delicious drink that, I believe, you should try at least once in your lifetime.

Yes. French Vanilla coffee is sweet in taste. It contains several ingredients that also include sugars and artificial flavors giving French Vanilla its sweet taste. Other ingredients in the list include non-dairy creamer, cocoa, instant coffee, and others.

People who are diabetic or are looking to cut back on their sugar intake for health-related reasons should avoid this drink because of the ingredients mentioned above.

French Vanilla Coffee Recipe

While the recipe for French vanilla of Tim Hortons remains a secret, you can buy their powder and attempt to replicate its taste at home. I did try it, but could not match the same taste.

The recipe is simple enough, you just need to boil water and mix the powder (exact measurements would be mentioned on the jar).

As for the recipe at home, you can add condensed milk and vanilla cream and mix it with your regular brew. You can try different syrups (such as hazelnut syrup) to enhance the taste of your favorite drink.

Is French Vanilla Coffee Good For Weight Loss?

After carefully examining the ingredients of French vanilla available at different coffee shops, I’ve concluded that it is not good for weight loss. The artificial flavors, sugars, and milk all make French vanilla a poor option if you are looking to lose a few pounds.

In fact, you want to avoid its intake if you want to lose weight as I might have the opposite effect. Having said that, having it every once in a while will not hurt. But if you are having it regularly and thinking of losing weight, you might end up gaining a few pounds.


Is French Vanilla Coffee Healthy?

The ingredients of French vanilla coffee do not make it a healthy drink for diet-conscious folks. Most people who are on a dietary regime would want to reduce the intake of sugars and milk and French vanilla offers more of the same.

Is French vanilla coffee healthy? No.

On the contrary, artificial flavors might pose health risks for people. This is truer for people consuming it in excess amounts or over a long time.

What Is the Difference Between French Vanilla and Regular Coffee?

The primary difference between French vanilla and regular coffee is that regular coffee does not add artificial flavors.

On the other hand, French vanilla has artificial flavors added to roasted coffee beans. It is different in taste, aroma, and appearance from regular coffee.

If you ever removed the lid of the French vanilla you just bought from Tim Hortons, you would find a foamy liquid that is rich and exquisite in aroma and taste.

Regular coffee might have the same color, but its taste is different. It is prepared entirely from coffee beans and milk with no artificial flavors.

Difference between French Vanilla Coffee & Vanilla Coffee

If you are wondering that the only difference between the two is that of the term French, then no, it’s more than the term alone.

French Vanilla Coffee is prepared by adding French Syrup that you might buy from a grocery store or big brands such as Starbucks, Tim Hortons, and Dunkin’ Donuts. These syrups give your coffee a creamy and nutty flavor.

Contrarily, Vanilla Coffee has simple vanilla syrup or vanilla extracts to give it a rich taste. You just need to boil water and add these syrups or extracts to prepare this delicious drink.

French Vanilla Caffeine Content

The caffeine content in your French vanilla would vary depending on the size of the cup you order and the brand you choose for your French vanilla.

Check out my detailed guide on caffeine content in Nespresso Decaf

Usually, the caffeine content mentioned on the regular-sized cup is 150mg and above. However, the Cappuccino version of the French vanilla has 60mg of caffeine.

Why is French Vanilla Sometimes Classified as Coffee If It’s A Flavor?

The fact that flavors are added to coffee is the reason why French Vanilla is classified as a coffee. This is precisely the reason why you receive a different flavor each time you order French Vanilla at different coffee shops around the world.

Every coffee shop has its own method of preparing coffee and adding its French vanilla syrup to enrich its taste for you. This difference in preparation method brings uniqueness to each French vanilla coffee you order.

Difference between French Vanilla Coffee and Vanilla Cappuccino

In the US, French vanilla refers to a medium-roast coffee that has the addition of vanilla extracts mixed with it. It is added during the roasting process of the beans rather than preparing the drink.

Tim Hortons and other big brands are purely a cappuccino rather than adding flavors during the roasting process. It has its own unique (sweet) flavor and rich taste.

So vanilla cappuccino can be considered as a non-US variant of the French vanilla coffee.

Some famous brands offering French Vanilla

Here are my recommendations for you to try your next French vanilla:

Tim Hortons

This is my number one choice when it comes to excellent quality and rich taste. French vanilla from Tim Hortons is one of the best in the world. If you happen to visit this coffee shop next time, do give it a shot, you won’t regret your decision.

Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts offers medium-roast French vanilla. After Tim Hortons, I recommend Dunkin’ Donuts as your next French vanilla coffee. Its flavor is stronger than Tim Hortons and less sweet. However, it does have a tone of French vanilla in its taste.


Their French Vanilla is made from espresso coffee instead of adding artificial flavor powder to boiled water (method followed by Tim Hortons).

Final Words

French vanilla coffee is my personal favorite when it comes to coffee. I first tried it on my trip to the UAE and have loved it since.

If you are not on a strict diet and can afford to have some sugar every once in a while, I highly recommend this heavenly drink.

It comes in various-sized cups, if you are not sure about the taste, you should order a small cup to get a feel for its taste.

For maximizing its taste, I would recommend a combo of this drink with a Boston Cream doughnut from the Tim Hortons. It’s surely heavy, but it’s worth the taste and money.

To answer the primary question again, is French vanilla coffee? No, it is not a coffee but an added flavor to the coffee.

Hope you found this post about Is French Vanilla Coffee valuable, did I miss anything important? Let me know in the comments below and I will add it to this article.

Enjoy your French vanilla at Timmy’s (Tim Hortons).

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