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What I Don’t Know About Flavored Coffee

May 1, 2018

Nine years ago today, I gave birth to this beast. Now it holds over 2,500 posts. It has hundreds of followers, thousands of readers, and I can’t even count the number of words. Wait. WordPress has some kind of tool for that.

Okay. I’ve posted 2,139,978 words. All on food and drink, or at least for the most part.

Thank you! It’s been a wild ride. And I have every reason to believe it will continue to be so. Although I’m still actively encouraging other voices. Perhaps you remember Emily L. from last week.

Well, she had such a fun time writing, I’ve got some more words from her to share. Last time, Emily lit up this corner of the internet with a find that was hiding within plain sight. Today, she strikes a contrary opinion to one that I’ve held for many many years.

You see, Emily loves flavored coffee.

I think it might be healthy, maybe even a little bit therapeutic, to air some dissenting views on these pages. Because as Emily demonstrates, there are people who both read this blog and enjoy flavored coffee. Don’t they deserve to know where to get the good stuff? Certainly, I’m of no help in that department. I know nothing about the stuff, except for the fact I don’t care for it.

But Emily’s tale goes beyond that. Let me turn it over to her, and you can read it for yourself.

When I was in college in the midwest, I lived off PBR, Taco Bell, and the cheapest coffee I could find. I felt like a millionaire (or more like hundredaire) on days I could afford a novelty coffee drink from McDonalds. One of the joys of becoming older and more financially stable is learning to appreciate quality over quantity. While I will never stop loving Taco Bell (my friend Jess recently sent me my dream wedding), I’ve learned the not so subtle difference in quality of coffee.

After moving to the area three years ago, one of my first quests was to find ‘my coffee’ place. A coupon offer actually took me into the door of Professor Java’s Coffee Sanctuary in Albany. Despite the fact that you have to face the hell that is Wolf Road, a journey to this coffee mecca is a must for anyone new to the area.

Mismatched chairs and dimly lit rooms greet you when you walk on. The constant sounds of steam, coffee grinding, and orders being shouted from one employee to another are the perfect background noise to catching up with a friend over a homemade pastry, a greasy and so perfect egg sandwich, and a cup of their brew. My only complaint about Professor Java’s? No eggs benedict on the menu (part of my larger quest to find the best eggs benedict in the region).

Prof Java PecanBut what I come here for is their pecan sticky bun coffee. Professor Java’s roasts all of their own beans on Monday. If you want a bag of this stuff (affectionately referred to in my house as ‘coffee crack’), get here by Wednesday. Dark, slightly sweet, with a hint of a pecan undertone, this brew is one of the best coffees I have ever had in my life. You can get it as whole beans or they will grind it for you. Either way, you are in for an epic coffee adventure.

This past weekend, I was feeling pretty homesick. I decided to treat myself to a taco party at Taco Bell; my tacos served as a mere vessel for the copious amounts of nacho ‘cheese’ I ordered on the side. And it was glorious. But then I woke up the next morning, made a big pot of my beloved sticky bun coffee, and took comfort in the warmth of my new home.

Now I have a project. I’m going to see if I can turn Emily from the dark side of flavored coffee to good coffee with flavor. Specifically, I’m thinking about taking her out for the excellent flavored seasonal lattes from Superior Merchandise Company and 3Fish. Although I’ve noticed Stacks is getting into the game, and little pecks has some flavored options as well.

From there, it’s a hop, skip, and a jump to great coffee with no added flavors at all. Or, you know, coffee flavored coffee. And to be fair, I should probably get down to Professor Java’s and see if Emily can get me on her side of the fence. It’s been a long long time since I’ve had a flavored coffee. Maybe I’d enjoy it.

The only way to know is to taste.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2018 10:20 am

    I like flavored coffee, though I get why one could hold it in disdain. I’ll never forget back in the early 90s when I worked at Dunkin Donuts and they introduced flavored coffee for the first time, they started with only Hazelnut. I loved it, and became hooked. I also remember the reactions of most customers who tried a sample, the usual response was “Mmmm”. Most customers liked it too. I guess that says something about the average Dunkin coffee drinker at the time.

    I’m no fan Taco Bell, and calling what they serve a ‘taco’ is a slight on the English language (or is it the Spanish language?). People like them, fine. But please don’t call their tacos, tacos, call them something else.

  2. -R. permalink
    May 1, 2018 10:59 am

    She may be correct about the turkey sando at Albany Med. But seriously – Taco Bell and flavored coffee? They stand together with Dunkin as crimes against the palate. While I admire your gumption in trying to convert this lost soul, methinks you’ll never successfully exorcise this particular individual. Good luck!

    • May 1, 2018 11:05 am

      For the record, I used to drink flavored coffee, and I still eat at Taco Bell.

      • May 1, 2018 11:19 am

        There are two types of people in this world – those who like Taco Bell, and those who pretend to not like Taco Bell.

      • -R. permalink
        May 1, 2018 12:30 pm

        The last time I ventured into a Taco Bell was approximately 15 years ago. That’s not food, that’s an artificial construct!

    • berkshiresbudget permalink
      May 2, 2018 3:24 pm

      For me Taco Bell is home. It reminds me of the people I use to eat with and the amazing memories I created with them.
      I know it’s not quality. I know it’s not “meat”. But being 10 hours away from my family and friends, I take comfort in the warmth of a crunchwrap supreme.
      Don’t get me wrong, when I want tacos, I want al pastor from my local Mexican market. But when I want home, I want Taco Bell.

  3. Jack C. permalink
    May 1, 2018 12:38 pm

    I love David Chang’s new series “Ugly Delicious” because of his approach to questions like these: “I’m one of the biggest snobs you’ve ever met. But I hate elitism and snobs in general. I guess what I hate is being told I can’t like something.” I’m not a huge fan of Taco Bell or anything, but I love a really good flavored coffee from a quality roaster from time to time and I can also get behind some other really “crappy” things.

  4. Ewan permalink
    May 1, 2018 2:32 pm

    Count me in for a trip to try to the Pecan coffee. But not to Taco Bell; I *have* willingly entered one, but it was many, many years ago and will not recur.

  5. May 1, 2018 8:27 pm

    I am one of those who holds flavored coffee in disdain. The product is too good on its own to be ruined with chemicals.

  6. Brian S permalink
    May 3, 2018 10:26 pm

    Does going through a drive in count as “entering” a Taco Bell? Asking for a friend

    • Brian S permalink
      May 3, 2018 10:27 pm

      *Drive through (didn’t have enough coffee this morning)

  7. May 3, 2018 10:33 pm

    Taco Bell is so gross. I can’t do it. No idea what the appeal is beyond the price.

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