The K-Cup Challenge: Timothy’s Original Donut Blend
I’ve been a Keurig guy for about 2 years now (give or take), and have been doing this K-Cup Challenge thing for a while now. I’ve seen new K-Cup come, and sadly, I’ve seen K-Cups go. What I’ve never seen is the buzz and eager anticipation that’s surrounded the launch of Timothy’s Original Donut Blend. K-Cupers have literally been talking about it for months. In late June a reader actually emailed me to ask for a review (I’m ashamed to admit I didn’t even know it was coming). Check out Shoffee on Facebook and you’ll find several wall posts asking when it would be available (and asking again when orders would ship). Point is, people really, really, what to get their hands (mouths I guess), on what most of us are hoping will be a serious competitor (and equally delicious alternative) to the highly revered Donut Shop Coffee from Coffee People.
As is usually the case around here, my friends at Shoffee rushed me out a box of Timothy’s Original Donut Blend as quickly as they possibly could. Given all the interest in the new blend, I was as eager as everyone else to try it out (and of course post a review). Much as I’m sure lots of readers would like me too, I’m not going to do a head to head comparison to the afore mentioned Donut Shop Coffee. Well, let me rephrase. I’m not going to do a comparison in this post, but check back soon for the first in a new series I’m going to call the K-Cup Showdown. Oh…and as an enticement to bring you back to read that post, we’re going to give away a case of K-Cups (2 boxes each of Timothy’s Original Donut Blend, and Coffee People’s Donut Shop Coffee). Today, however; is all about Timothy’s, so let’s have at it.
What it Says on the Box
Actually, the box says pretty much the same thing as the description (see below), but what the box also says (or implies anyway) is this:
“If America really does run on Dunkin, and we paint our box look as much like their logo as possible people will most definitely associate the two, because let’s face it, lots of people complain that Dunkin Donuts coffee isn’t available in a K-Cup, so why not suggest (mostly through the use of familiar colors) that our new Donut Blend is as close as you’re going to get (at least in terms of box color) to Dunkin Donuts. Any heck, if the box looks like an actual Dunkin Donuts, then the coffee must taste the same, eh?”
At least that’s what I got out of it.
Timothy’s Original Donut Blend™ will conjure memories of simpler days. This inviting cup of coffee is a nostalgic trip to the days of traditional donut shops, where freshly brewed coffee was a staple. Smooth and bright, with good body and a clean finish, Timothy’s Original Donut Blend™ is not just another cup of coffee… it’s one of life’s simple pleasures. So sit back, relax and celebrate simplicity with a familiar favorite!
Smoky with a sweetness that straddles the line between caramel and dark cocoa.
Drinking it Black
Right out of the gate (it’s track season here in Saratoga), what impresses me most about Timothy’s Donut Blend is that although it’s listed as a mild roast, it’s not lacking for either body or flavor. There’s absolutely nothing watered down about this coffee. When piping hot, it’s the smokiness that’s most prevalent. There’s a noticeable acidity that plays a little nippy on the tip of the tongue and eventually the cheeks. Sensations in the mouth aside, there isn’t anything overly noteworthy about the flavor. My initial impression was that Timothy’s Donut Blend is a good cup of coffee, but lacks any distinguishing characteristic to set it apart from the handful (ok, several handfuls) of perfectly drinkable K-Cup coffees.
What I do like about Timothy’s Donut blend is that as it cools it mellows and the flavors change dramatically. Once the coffee has gone from hot to warm (and even to cool) fruit notes (specifically berries), and dark cocoa flavors take over. Again, it’s all perfectly good – and again, surprising flavorful for a mild roast, but it’s really nothing spectacular, or even special. That said, it does make for a perfectly good, easy drinking cup of coffee, which is probably what Timothy’s was trying for (if the box is any indication).
With Cream and Sugar
When cream and sugar are added, it becomes much more noticeable that Timothy’s Donut Blend is in fact a mild roast. As with drinking it black, there isn’t a whole lot that to convince me that Original Donut Blend is going to qualify as an all-time K-Cup classic. Rather than waste anymore time trying to fill up this space with words, and sentences finely crafted to artful express that Timothy’s Original Donut Blend, black, cream and sugar, or otherwise, makes for a perfectly ordinary cup of coffee – and not much else, what’s say I just move on to my final thoughts and wrap this thing up.
Why it may seem otherwise (based on what I said above), I actually quite like Timothy’s Original Donut Blend. For me the issue is that it doesn’t quite live up to either the hype, or Timothy’s own description. Granted, Timothy’s probably isn’t responsible for all the wild anticipation. Given how almost universally revered Coffee People’s Donut Shop Coffee is, expectations were extremely high that the Timothy’s offering would be every bit the classic. I give Timothy’s all the credit in the world for even having the beans to put the word “Donut” on a box of K-Cups. Coffee People’s is a tough act to follow. Perhaps I was hoping Timothy’s would attempt to replicate that blend (or dare I dream, improve upon it). The description does read like my north of the border friends had every intent to do just that (in spirit, if not in flavor).
The suggestion is that Original Donut Blend is a throwback to a 1970-something (the golden age for donut shops in my life) corner donut shop, where an old guy in a paper hat would pick your donuts while a graying woman would refill your cup, and give a kid a couple of holes on the house – the kind of place my parents took me to every Sunday after church. Unfortunately, I’m just not drinking that vibe. For better or worse, everything about Timothy’s Original Donut blend screams modern donut shop – the kind of place where your coffee is poured from an over-sized aluminum holding tank, and the cranky woman behind the counter gives you a dirty look if you have the audacity to order a sausage, egg, and cheese on a croissant (and serves it on a half-frozen english muffin out of spite). Timothy’s Original Donut Blend is born from the kind of place where the awnings are pink, orange, and teal, and a dozen donuts will set you back almost $10. It’s easily drinkable, perhaps even familiar, but my sense of things is that it simply isn’t what it wants to be.
This review, and pretty much every installment of the K-Cup Challenge, is just one guys opinion. I’ve been disagreed with more than once, and that’s cool, in fact I seldom suggest you simply take my word for it. What I’d encourage you to do is go to Shoffee.com, buy a box of Timothy’s Original Donut Blend, and try it for yourself. I have a sneaking suspicion that it will have no problem winning its own set of devout fans.
For all you Tweeps out there, you can follow both Shoffee and QwowiCoffee on Twitter. Shoffee also has built up one heck of a Facebook following too (maybe it’s because of the exclusive deals offered to fans). No matter how you do it, make sure you stay up to date with Shoffee (the web’s favorite coffee shop). From sampler and mystery bags, to unbeatable prices, nobody delivers K-Cups (and related supplies) like Shoffee.