Our History

Our Philosophy

Our Process

With over 325 cafés across the country, Second Cup Coffee Co.TM is Canada’s largest specialty coffee retailer, proudly serving premium coffee and great opportunities since 1975. We expertly handcraft over 1 million beverages every week, and sell over 7,100 pounds of fairly traded coffee each day.

Our Vision is to be the coffee brand most passionately committed to quality and innovation. Together with our franchisees we will ignite our customers’ passion for the ultimate coffee experience.


In August, 1975, Second Cup was born as a kiosk in a shopping mall that sold six blends of specialty coffee beans. This was a small yet impressive start to what was to come next – an exciting future as a staple Canadian brand, brewing fresh, delicious coffees every day.


Throughout the late 1980s, the chain experienced rapid growth. By 1989, Second Cup had approximately 130 cafés, with shopping malls and office tower locations comprising over two thirds of its café network, and an ongoing focus on brewed coffee, whole bean coffee and coffee-related merchandise.


In the 1990s, Second Cup broke into the Quebec market with the opening of its first two cafés in Montreal. As our presence expanded, so did our core product offering. Second Cup cafés began serving espresso-based beverages, iced beverages, blender drinks and more.


We know our guests appreciate a great cup of coffee, which is why we’ve created an environment that highlights our careful coffee selection process, pays homage to the global coffee community, and shares with them our wealth of coffee knowledge.


The new Second Cup Coffee Co.™ café concept opened December 5th at 289 King Street West in Toronto and celebrates the re-birth of an iconic Canadian brand. Committed to our coffee passion and core values of superior quality, optimism, collaboration, creativity and community, this unique café marks a new beginning brand focus on the individual customer experience.

Globally Local

At Second Cup Coffee Co.™, we are obsessed with superior quality of coffee. We use nothing but the highest grade of specialty Arabica coffees that come from some of the most socially and environmentally conscious farms around the globe. It’s this obsession that ensures we keep bringing you the very best coffee in every cup.

Every Sip is Responsible

Fairly Traded

Fairly traded coffees are beans that are purchased at a premium that reflects the care and attention put into the production of the coffee by the producer. This premium ensures that the producers are able to reinvest in their land and people to ensure sustained development of high-quality coffee. All Second Cup coffees are fairly traded and our Cuzco® light roast has a Fairtrade Certification, a trademark that certifies coffees that meet specific social and economic sustainability standards.

Organic Certification

The Organic Crop Improvement Association (OCIA) is a nonprofit, member-owned, organic certification organization and an accredited world leader in the certified organic industry. Organic certification is granted by independent agencies to ensure the coffee has been organically grown, processed, stored and roasted, and that no synthetic chemical pesticides, fertilizers, or cleaners have come into contact with it. Our Cuzco ® light roast coffee is OCIA certified.

Swiss Water Decaffeination Process

At Second Cup, our decaf coffee is exceptional too. Our coffee beans are hand-picked and screened to ensure they meet our rigorous standards. We have chosen the SWISS WATER® Process to decaffeinate our coffee. It is 100% chemical-free, unlike other decaffeination methods that use methylene chloride or ethyl acetate to remove the caffeine. The SWISS WATER® Process gently removes 99.9% of the caffeine while maintaining the unique taste characteristics of the coffee. The result is an exceptional tasting decaf coffee.

Rainforest Alliance Certified™

At Second Cup, we’re proud that almost 100% of our coffees are Rainforest Alliance Certified™ coffees. The Rainforest Alliance is an international nonprofit organization that works to conserve biodiversity and promote the rights and well-being of workers, their families and communities. Certification helps support sustainable environmental, social, and economic development on the farm and in farm communities Visit our Menu to discover which Second Cup coffees and teas are Rainforest Alliance Certified™.

Ethical Tea Partnership

At Second Cup, we’re committed to sourcing our tea from a member of the Ethical Tea Partnership, an organization dedicated to improving the social and environmental conditions of tea supply chains. The Ethical Tea Partnership supports a better work environment to improve the lives of tea workers by implementing health & safety programs, providing safety training, and improving water treatment and availability of clean drinking water. The Ethical Tea Partnership also aims to continually support equal employment opportunities for men and women and introduces good practice farming to secure livelihoods from tea. Visit our Menu to discover which Second Cup teas feature Ethical Tea Partnership certification.

From Plant to Cup – Why Our Coffee Tastes Better

Cherry Picked

In our world, red means go. That’s when those all-important coffee cherries are ripe for the picking.

Fresh cherries mean fresh beans, which means fresh coffee. That’s why we only buy from the most recent harvest.

Ins and Outs

There’s no wasting time in getting to the good stuff. Once picked, the beans are quickly extracted through one of two processing methods.

Hello, Sunshine (The Dry Method)

In hot climates, cherries are sun-dried to loosen their skins and milled to remove the outside layers, making for coffee with bigger body.

A Good Soak (The Wet Method)

The beans are squeezed out of their skins, soaked in a fermentation tank, then washed, dried, and milled for more acidic coffee with better taste.

Welcome Home

After a careful quality inspection, our beloved beans are packed up and sent to Canada for roasting.

Quality Time

The beans are tested multiple times over the course of their journey from plant to cup, so all that’s left is quality coffee.

Grand Finale

A proper roast is everything, which is why ours are performed in small batches to give our coffee its indisputable greatness.