By now, you’ve probably heard about the caffeinated bagel from Einstein Bros. The Espresso Buzz Bagel contains 32 milligrams of caffeine, about a third of what you’ll find in the average 8-ounce cuppa Joe. But what you may not know about is how it actually tastes. We did the legwork for you to see if this hopped-up bagel warrants swapping your morning cup for a morning chew.
In theory, the culinary concoction sounds wonderful: A bagel made with espresso, coffee-cherry flour, and protein derived from cocoa. And who doesn’t love a multitasking treat? I’m down to chomp on a bagel and get a caffeine buzz at once. When you open the bag, you’re hit with a wonderfully sweet smell, something like a chocolate espresso brownie.
But for better or worse, the taste doesn’t match.
The first bite tastes like a typical chain bagel: Doughy, yeasty, overall decent. A lot of shrugs were had around the office. “Tastes like a regular bagel,” we all said classlessly as we worked our way through the first bite. But as you chew, the acid of the coffee comes in, and not in a particularly great way.
Bitterness collects in the back of your throat, leaving you clamoring for water. Cream cheese helps to mellow out the flavor, but beware butter as it exaggerates the bitterness. Some of our staffers equated it to a very dark rye bread, but at its worst, the bagel tasted like a perfectly fine pastry doused in old coffee.
Overall, the Espresso Buzz Bagel is just a clever idea that doesn’t deliver in the flavor department. Plus, a third-cup of coffee is nothing but a caffeine tease—you’d have to scarf down five full bagels to get the same caffeine as a 2-ounce espresso shot, and by that time, you’d have long passed out from a simple carb OD. I love coffee, and I love bagels, but this Frankenbagel has led me to believe that this morning duo is best left separate.