Taste test: Starbucks' new pastries

Starbucks teamed up with San Francisco's La Boulange bakery to overhaul its pastry offerings. How are the new treats? We tasted them to find out.

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  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �Pumpkin cream cheese in a classic, reduced-fat coffee cake recipe.�

    What it really tastes like: Amy Cavanaugh: �This is like the pumpkin spice latte in food form. There are a lot of baking spices in here.�

    Erin Delahanty: �It�s really nice that it�s warm. I�d definitely get this again.�

    Would we get it again? Yes.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Chocolate Croissant

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �Traditional chocolate batons wrapped inside a buttery pastry.�

    What it really tastes like: Elizabeth Barr:"Well, it's gooey chocolate. Pretty dark, not overly sweet."

    AC: �This isn�t bad! I wish it were flakier, but the chocolate adds some balance to the butter flavor.�

    Would we get it again? Yes.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Chewy Chocolate Meringue Cookie

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A crisp, chewy cookie with semisweet chocolate.�

    What it really tastes like: AC: �This is sticky. And not crispy. But the chocolate flavor is really pretty good.�

    Would we get it again? We'd probably try another cookie first.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Croissant

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A melt-in-your-mouth European classic.�

    What it really tastes like: AC: "It's very buttery. And not very flaky."

    Zach Long: "That could be because it's been stuffed in a bag."

    Would we get it again? In a pinch.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Blueberry Yogurt Muffin with Honey

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A buttery muffin with seasonal blueberries, yogurt and honey.�

    What it really tastes like: Brent DiCrescenzo: �I appreciate the shape of it. It's basically just the muffin top."

    Jake Malooley: "You're like Mitt Romney. He only eats the tops."

    BD: "At the very least, I guess you can say it's not dry."

    Martha Williams : "It's sticky on the outside. It's got that stick factor."

    JM: "This is like Entenmann's. Where's the crumble top?"

    MW: "It's too spongy to be a good muffin."

    AC: "I don't think this will encourage people to get food here."

    Would we get it again? Only if the only other option was a savory croissant.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Chocolate Marble Loaf Cake

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A moist cake with semisweet chocolate and buttermilk.�

    What it really tastes like: ED: �This is terrible.�

    AC: �It�s just SO DRY. And there's no balance between the chocolate and buttermilk, so it's way too sweet."

    Would we get it again? No way.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Ham & Cheese Croissant

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A flaky pastry with ham, Swiss cheese and b�chamel sauce.�

    What it really tastes like: ZL: �This is WAY too salty.�

    AC: �The ham also has a weird flavor.�

    BD: �I can even smell the ham on the other things.�

    Would we get it again? No.

  • Photograph: Martha Williams

    Wheat Spinach Croissant

    What it�s supposed to taste like: �A wheat pastry with spinach, shallots and b�chamel sauce.�

    What it really tastes like:ZL: �This tastes like canned spinach. It just looks gross.�

    JM: �This tastes like Popeye puked.�

    AC: �This just isn�t working-the spinach mixture is unappetizing and too smooth.�

    Would we get it again? Hell no.

Photograph: Martha Williams

Reduced-Fat Pumpkin Cream Cheese Loaf Cake

What it�s supposed to taste like: �Pumpkin cream cheese in a classic, reduced-fat coffee cake recipe.�

What it really tastes like: Amy Cavanaugh: �This is like the pumpkin spice latte in food form. There are a lot of baking spices in here.�

Erin Delahanty: �It�s really nice that it�s warm. I�d definitely get this again.�

Would we get it again? Yes.

No one goes to Starbucks for the food, and today the coffee chain launched a new food menu with the hopes of enticing people to order raspberry passion fruit loaf cakes with their chocolate cookie crumble Frappuccino.


The menu features sweet and savory pastries from San Francisco’s La Boulange bakery (which also makes baked items for Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods), and we stopped into a shop this morning to bring some treats back to the office to try. The items ranged from things we’d totally get again to things we couldn’t even finish.


Here’s what we tried, in order from best to worst.



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