Nerd Fuel: The Original Donut Shop – Vanilla Cream Puff

My last Nerd Fuel post saw the unseating of a champion. My long favorite coffee, “Donut Shop” was tossed from it’s top spot and replaced by Community Coffee’s Cafe’ Special.  Despite no longer being my personal favorite, Donut Shop is still an outstanding coffee. To date, I’ve discussed both the Original Flavor as well as their “Dark” variety. But there’s more Donut Shop out there to enjoy, so for this week’s purchase, I decided to go with one of their flavored offerings: Vanilla Cream Puff. Because, who doesn’t like vanilla?

To start, let me say that this coffee smelled absolutely delightful as it was brewing. It filled the kitchen with a delicious, creamy aroma. This carries over very well to the mug. But, as I feared, the flavor is very artificial. It can be improved with a little rich creamer,  but like many flavored coffees – it tastes fake and overdone. That being said, of all the “fake tasting” coffees out there, this is one of the more drinkable that I’ve come across. It’s not unpleasant, and in some ways it is actually enjoyable. But, the biggest gripe here is that the natural flavor of the coffee is drowned out by the over-sweet manufactured flavoring.

This is a good example of a coffee that works better over ice than in a mug. To me, most flavored coffees actually fall into this category, but there have been a few notable exceptions.  In a nutshell, this does not make a good everyday cup of joe. But, it’s not bad as a dessert coffee or if you’re making a shake/iced coffee. This is one for the kids.

Score: 2 out of 4

Would Purchase again?: Unlikely. While it’s not the worst flavored coffee I’ve come across, there are other options out there that do it much better.

Nerd Fuel: Donut Shop Coffee – Dark

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So, there’s a lot going on in the next thirty days or so that will have my attention. Final Fantasy XV comes out in less than 24 hours. Star Wars Rogue One is little more than two weeks away (and I still have the prequel novel to get through). So, I can foresee many late nights in the coming days. To get through it, I’m going to need some nerd fuel that has a little kick to it. So I’ve turned my attention to some K-Cups that might be able to help with that.

For this review, I’m going back to one of my favorites. The Donut Shop. But this time, I’m trying one of their variants; “Donut Shop Coffee – Dark”.

A lot of people like dark roasted coffees. But more often than not, many “dark” coffees usually end up tasting burnt and bitter. Thankfully, this is not the case here. Donut Shop Dark, offers the same great flavor found in the Original Donut Shop coffee, but with a much darker, richer roast. This means that the flavor is thicker, with a slight bitterness. But it still allows you to taste the subtle flavors of the brew itself. (Much like a good dark chocolate). The dark roast gives this coffee a little extra jolt, which really helps me get going on these crisp fall mornings.

Fans of the original, that crave a deeper, darker flavor might will find exactly what they are looking for here. But offee drinkers that prefer lighter roasts may want to avoid this cup. Personally, I found it to be enjoyable and perfect for when I need a little bit of a pick-me-up. But, generally speaking, I still prefer the Original Donut Shop overall.

Score: 3 out of 4

Would Buy Again?:  Yes. I don’t always feel in the mood for a coffee this dark. But on those occasions that I’m craving some, this brew seems like the perfect option.

Nerd Fuel: The Original Donut Shop Coffee

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This is a feature I’ve been wanting to bring to the site for some time. Coffee reviews. Yes. That’s right. In addition to my video game, comics book and Star Wars literature reviews, I am now adding K-Cup coffees to the mix.  Why, do you ask? Well, I have long had a deep love affair with coffee. For me, it’s a comfort food, as well as a way to stay productive. Many of these late night game sessions and early morning reviews wouldn’t be possible without a little caffeine boost. I’ve always been a fairly picky coffee drinker, to be honest. My brew of choice has long been Gevalia’s House Blend. But recently, my wife and I purchased a Keurig single-serving coffee maker and between the two of us, we’ve gone nuts sampling many of the various varieties now available. With so many options available, and the rising popularity of K-cups among consumers, I thought it to be a fine idea to share my thoughts on them here.

Now, let me be up front about something. I’m no food critic. I’d be just as content with a Quarter Pounder from McDonalds as I would be some fancy four-star plate. So, you won’t be hearing me talk about the “woody notes” or “acidic finishes” that you may find in other coffee reviews. I’m sure I have no idea how to “properly” taste anything, much-less something as complex a coffee blend. I’m just going to share my thoughts in plain terms.

For my first review, I thought I’d start with something simple and basic. The Original Donut Shop coffee by “The Coffee People” is just that.  Essentially, this is a clone of “Dunkin’ Donuts” brand coffee.  In the US, Dunkin’ Donuts coffee is extremely popular with many drinkers. In fact, you’ll find “Donut Shop” or “Donut House” knock offs, all over. Most major supermarkets have their own generics.  This is Coffee People’s spin on it.

I don’t typically drink my coffee black. But anytime I try a new brand, I always have an untainted sip to get a feel for the actual product itself. In my daily use, I add in a dose of sweet cream – that’s it for me. So, how does it taste?  Well, this is essentially a middle of the road, “please everyone” type of brew. It’s a medium roast, so that means it’s full-flavored, but not too bitter or burnt tasting. It’s certainly a blend of different coffee beans. You can taste that pretty easily, but it’s well balanced blend. I personally prefer blended coffee over single source as a general rule, so that’s no issue for me. The flavor is a bit difficult to describe, it’s bold and complex. A bit earthy, spicy – but in a good way. It’s just a well rounded blend. I was surprised at how much I liked this coffee. In fact, at the moment, I think it’s actually my personal favorite.  This is a solid anytime cup of coffee.

Coffee snobs will tell you that any coffee that doesn’t come from a single source isn’t worth your time. I saw, drink what you like and who cares what the experts say. I found Original Donut Shop to be enjoyable. It’s a fine cup to kick start your morning with. It’s also just a nice in the evening when you want to unwind in front of the tv. Or in my case, in front of your favorite game.

Score:  4 out of 4

Would Buy Again?:  Yes. This is a fantastic quality blend of  “generic” coffee.  Flavorful, and rich. Yet, mild and perfect for nearly everyone.