It has been a few months since I sat down to write a new coffee review. Last time, I took the plunge and tried one of those new 1-Step Latte cups that have started popping up in grocery stores. Well, I was so impressed with it, that when a new seasonal flavor appeared on my store shelf, I knew I had to try it. Just in time for Halloween, Donut Shop has released a Pumpkin Caramel Cheesecake Latte. You may not know this about me, but I’m a big fan of cheesecake. So, I couldn’t wait to get this home and into my coffee maker.
These 1-Step Latte pods are unlike most K-Cups (which contain coffee grinds and a simple filter). Instead, these contain something more similar to what you might find in a hot cocoa product. Inside this cup is a powdered mixture of flavored coffee, sweetener, and creamer – all in one. Now usually, this would ring alarm bells for me. I personally detest artificial sweeteners and typically when making lattes, I prefer to mix the coffee and milk to my liking. But, the last one of these that I tried turned out to be really good, so I had high hopes going into this flavor as well.
There’s not a big aroma during the brew process. That’s probably because there really isn’t anything to brew, of course. But once the drink is prepared, I took a good sniff and was pleasantly surprised by a pretty robust “cheesecake” scent in the mug. This got me pretty excited, but I was admittedly a little let down when I took my first sip. This drink might have a strong scent of cheesecake, but it’s not quite as strong in taste. That being said, the flavor of this latte is not at all bad. In fact, it’s really quite good! The pumpkin, caramel, and cheesecake notes are blended quite well. All three flavors are detectable, but none of them are particularly overpowering. The cheesecake lover in me scowled at this fact. But ultimately, I understand it. The flavor is a perfect balance and in the end, it tastes absolutely delicious.
I’ll admit, if you’re a hard-core coffee snob, this is probably not the right product for you. Sure, you can taste the coffee. But, like many lattes, the milk is front and center. The drink itself is very smooth and creamy. I’m not sure it scratches the itch I feel for an early morning coffee. Still, it would make an excellent after dinner drink. As a dessert coffee, it’s perfect.
Score: 3 out of 4
Would buy again?: Yes. Is this REAL coffee? Probably not. But is it enjoyable? Yes, very much! I’ll admit, this isn’t quite the quality latte you’d get from a good coffee shop. But considering all I had to do was pop this K-Cup into my machine and hit a button, I found it to be an excellent alternative to the real thing. Not to mention, it’s delicious.