Have you ever heard this ridiculous claim and wondered "Is iced coffee illegal in Canada?"
I mean, come on… it sounds like a classic case of Canadian craziness, eh? I bet you're thinking, "What's next, maple syrup being banned? Hockey being outlawed? Tim Hortons closing its doors?"
But before we get too carried away with our stereotypical jabs, let's dive into the facts and find out if there's any truth to this hilarious rumor.
Alright, alright… bear with me and my poking fun at my wonderfully apologetic neighbors to the north. I’m from the United States, but I’ve gotten permission from the Canadian owners of this website to make fun of the country a bit. It’s all in good spirits… I promise!
So sit back, grab a double-double, and let's settle this once and for all… Is iced coffee illegal in Canada?
Let’s clear the air before we get started. No, iced coffee is not illegal in Canada.
So how did this rumor start that has many people believing they can no longer enjoy iced coffee up north?
In 2021, Taylor Jackson uploaded a TikTok video that went viral. It told the “story” behind how coffee with ice came to be illegal in Canada (1).
First, Taylor explains that Canada gets most of its coffee from “Columbia, Brazil, and Guatemala”.
First off, never trust anyone that spells the country of Colombia like Columbia. As in Columbia University, the private Ivy League research university in New York.
He then goes on to explain how Canada signed a trade deal with the CLAC (Christian Labour Association of Canada) in 2007 to purchase coffee beans from these countries.
Using the beans for iced coffee would result in an additional $30 million expense.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper decided that such an expense was entirely unnecessary, so he opted to avoid it by signing a deal in 2008 that effectively banned iced coffee throughout the entire country.
I personally won’t ever understand why other countries selling green coffee beans would care how the buying nation consumed it, but it seems all critical thinking goes out the window when you decide to use TikTok as a reliable news source.
Yes, you can purchase iced coffee in Canada. Contrary to the popular belief of many misinformed people in my country and around the world, Canada isn’t always cold.
Summers can be hot! Just like anyone else living in hot climates, sometimes Canadians want a more refreshing drink, such as a fresh iced coffee over a piping hot cup of joe.
You can go to any Tim Hortons or Starbucks in Canada right now and order an iced or cold brew coffee. These popular coffee chains hold a 75% share of Canada’s 7,476-store branded coffee shop market (2).
If putting ice in your coffee really was illegal, don’t you think these two stores would take iced coffee off their menus?
Now that we know it’s still legal to purchase your coffee cold, what about making it at home? Surely there must be some rules around that?
While this may be shocking to some, many Canadians even make iced coffee at home.
I know what you are thinking… “Don’t Canadians add maple syrup to sweeten their coffee?”
Overwhelmingly, the answer is no. They use sugar and sweetener like the rest of us, both in their hot coffee and cold coffee.
That being said, there are some specialty drinks like maple syrup iced coffee lattes that are made with milk and maple syrup for an extra sweet beverage.
Here’s a recipe for making some iced coffee drinks at home, in Canada.
All jokes aside, it isn’t totally crazy that some people believed this myth to be true.
Coffee has been banned by countries in the past, although the last time this happened was in Sweden in 1746 (3).
Coffee and tea were banned due to “the misuse and excesses of tea and coffee drinking”. King Gustav III apparently wanted to perform a study on the health effects of the drink, but he never found anything dangerous.
I actually studied at the University of Utah, where about 50% of the student population is Mormon. Without getting too deep into this religious group’s beliefs, the consumption of caffeine is strictly forbidden.
When I arrived in the state of Utah, all of my friends kept telling me Mormons didn’t drink coffee. I thought they were joking until my business school classes started, and I never saw one with a cup of coffee in their hand during my 4 years of studies!
I bring this up to show that, no matter how ridiculous a rule might seem to some people, there may be other groups (or countries) that outlaw something so normal to the rest of us. I for one wouldn’t be surprised if there was a bill introduced in Utah to ban the sale of coffee at some point in the future.
I guess I can empathize a bit with those who were tricked by this video.
As we all know, misinformation is rampant nowadays. However, one very easy thing to help fight against getting false information would be to never use TikTok as an authoritative news source.
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Yes, there is iced coffee in Canada. Many people are asking, “Is iced coffee illegal in Canada?” It is 100% legal, despite a viral video claiming the contrary. It’s available for purchase throughout the country in coffee shops, and Canadians even drink iced coffee in their homes. Canada isn’t always cold… it can get quite hot in the summer, and sometimes an iced coffee is the perfect refreshing drink to battle the heat.
Iced coffee is a very popular drink in the United States, but people in Canada and around the world also drink their coffee cold. Don’t be surprised to see Canadians enjoy iced Americanos. Whether that’s a cold brew coffee or an iced latte, people all around the globe drink and enjoy their coffee cold in the same places they drink hot coffee.
There are different ways to make iced coffee at home, but here's a simple method that Canadians might use. Ingredients: 1 cup of brewed coffee, ice cubes, 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener (optional), 1/4 cup of milk or cream (optional).
Instructions: Brew a cup of coffee. Let the coffee cool down to room temperature. Fill a glass with ice cubes. Pour the cooled coffee over the ice. Optional: add 1-2 tablespoons of sweetener and stir until dissolved. Optional: add 1/4 cup of milk or cream and stir.
Drinking your coffee with ice is 100% legal to buy and drink in Canada. It’s definitely OK to have an iced coffee whenever you feel like it. Just remember: like in normal coffee, too much caffeine too late in the day may keep you up at night. Other than that, enjoy your coffee!
So, is iced coffee illegal in Canada? It’s definitely still 100% legal. You can purchase iced coffee in any coffee shop or make it at home. You certainly won’t be getting into any iced coffee-related crimes by enjoying any iced coffee drinks in Canada.
Go grab yourself your favorite cup of coffee, especially if that is an iced coffee. Stick it to this crazy rumor by doing as many stereotypically Canadian things as possible. Play some hockey, wear a toque, eat some poutine, and go for a ride on a polar bear while saying “eh” a lot in between sips of your iced coffee drink (with maple syrup, of course).
This article is intended for informational purposes only. It is not meant to replace professional medical advice, treatment or diagnosis. Do not consume any type of coffee, tea or herbal infusion if you are allergic to it. The information in this article is not intended to treat serious medical conditions. Please seek professional medical advice before using home remedies.