I Compared The 2023 Tim Hortons & Starbucks Holiday Drinks & Here's What I'd Buy Again

Have you tried them as yet?

The exterior of a Tim Hortons. Right: Three holiday Starbucks cups on a marble counter.

Tim Hortons. Right: Starbucks cups.

If you're looking for a little coffee treat, now is the perfect time to check out the 2023 holiday offerings from Tim Hortons and Starbucks.

Both coffee giants unveiled new drinks this year and, after having the opportunity to sample them all, I've gathered my thoughts and opinions on the new holiday additions.

For Starbucks, their new drink is an Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai while Tim Hortons released four new drinks with non-alcoholic Baileys flavouring: Baileys Cold Brew with Baileys Flavoured Infused Foam, Baileys Latte, Baileys Iced Capp and Baileys Cream Coffee.

Here's what I think of the new holiday beverages from the Starbucks and Tim Hortons — and which drink I'd order again.

Starbucks' Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai Latte

A hand with green nails holding a brown slice of cake with white frosting on a table with an iced white drink with white foam and brown dust on top.

Starbucks' new Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai drink from their 2023 holiday menu.

Sarah Rohoman | Narcity

When I found out that Starbucks' new drink was an iced one, I'll admit I was a bit surprised, but a cold drink during winter actually makes a lot of sense as it can get quite hot when we're all done up in our layers of winter gear and just want to take a break for a little treat.

The Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai Latte is super cozy with the warm spice notes found in chai and gingerbread, and the familiarity of tea in a latte form is very comforting.

I really love the combination of warm spices in an iced drink as it makes for an interesting combination in the mouth, and I'm super into it.

I usually shy away from milky drinks, but the fact that it comes with oat milk makes it very accessible to those who prefer dairy alternatives such as myself as sometimes I want to try a new drink but I'm not sure if it'd taste good swapped with a non-dairy milk.

As with all of Starbucks' drinks, you can modify it to suit your preferences, so if you do prefer your drink hot (or with milk, or without spice sprinkled on top, etc.) you can request to customize it, which is always a nice touch!

Rating: 5/5

Price for a tall: $6.38

Tim Hortons' Baileys Iced Capp

A see through coffee cup that has light brown iced capp in it with whipped cream on top and light brown syrup.

A Baileys Iced Capp from Tim Hortons.

Sarah Rohoman | Narcity

On Monday, November 13, Tim Hortons released four new drinks: a Baileys Cold Brew with Baileys Flavoured Infused Foam, a Baileys Latte, a Baileys Iced Capp and a Baileys Cream Coffee.

Out of all of the drinks, I enjoyed the Iced Capp the most, so that's the product I'll be comparing to the Starbucks drink (it also makes for a more fair comparison as they're both iced!).

I'm a pretty big fan of Iced Capps as they are so I was curious to see what the Baileys would bring to the situation, and I'm very impressed with the results.

The Baileys elevates the Iced Capp from a cold, sugary treat to a rich, decadent beverage with more creaminess and notes of vanilla and chocolate than the original has.

I don't usually like whipped topping that much, but the one that Timmies makes is really nice and thick and brings sweetness without any hint of artificiality, which is a problem I sometimes have with whipped cream sold at other restaurants.

I prefer this Iced Capp to the original, and I hope it sticks around for longer than the holiday season as this would be a really nice drink to sip on during hot summer days.

Rating: 5/5

Price for a small: $3.98

Which drink I'd order again

While I thoroughly enjoyed both drinks from Starbucks and Tim Hortons and would very much like to buy them both again, for me, it simply comes down to the price.

A tall Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai Latte at Starbucks costs $6.38 (12 ounces), which feels quite pricey, while the Tim Hortons' Baileys Iced Capp comes in at $3.98 for a small (ten ounces).

Per ounce, that works out to be about $0.53 for the Starbucks drink and $0.40 for the Tims drink.

Ten cents difference per ounce doesn't seem very steep, but it does add up with the Starbucks drink costing $2.40 more (granted, it is a larger drink).

For that reason, I'm much more likely to pick up the Tim Hortons Baileys Iced Capp, because spending over $6 on a drink doesn't feel very economically sustainable to me given how expensive groceries (and life in general) is right now.

That being said, I usually get a Starbucks gift card from my parents for Christmas and I will be using this year's present to buy myself some delicious beverages as well as their Gingerbread Loaf, which is very yummy.

What holiday drinks does Starbucks have for 2023?

For the 2023 holiday season, Starbucks' new drink is the Iced Gingerbread Oat Chai.
They also brought back several fan favourites:
  • Caramel Brûlé Latte
  • Chestnut Praline Latte Gingerbread Latte
  • Sugar Cookie Oat Latte
  • Peppermint Hot Chocolate
  • Peppermint Mocha
  • Apple Crisp Oat Macchiato
  • Iced Apple Crisp Oat Shaken Espresso
  • Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
  • Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte
  • Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • White Hot Chocolate

What new holiday drinks does Tim Hortons have for 2023?

A light brown wooden board with two white cups and two clear cups holding the new Baileys infused drinks from Tim Hortons.

Baileys Cold Brew with Baileys Flavoured Infused Foam, Baileys Latte, Baileys Iced Capp and Baileys Cream Coffee.

Sarah Rohoman | Narcity

  • Baileys Cold Brew with Baileys Flavoured Infused Foam
  • Baileys Latte
  • Baileys Iced Capp
  • Baileys Cream Coffee

On November 20, Tim Hortons will have a Baileys Boston Cream Dream Donut on the menu.

So there you have it! If price wasn't a factor, I'd say it would come down to which restaurant was closest to me in terms of picking whether I'd grab the Starbucks or Tim Hortons drink as I find them to be equally tasty and seasonally delightful.

If you haven't tried the new menu items out as yet and want to give them a taste, you'll want to get a move on as both holiday lineups are only available for a limited time in Canada — but who knows, if they're popular enough, maybe they'll make another appearance next year! Fingers crossed!