Best Coffee Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies Slideshow
October 21, 2015
They know their coffee, but cookies are a different story
Best Coffee Shop Chocolate Chip Cookies
Every coffee shop menu looks a little different. Some offer cakes, while others provide soups and sandwiches. But if the shop carries baked goods, there are sure to be chocolate chip cookies. Each brand has its signature item, but the ability to master the perfect chocolate chip cookie is an art.
To find which coffee shop had the best cookies, we conducted a taste test. First, we narrowed down our search to the biggest, most successful coffee shops. Then, we reached out to all of them, asking if they wanted to be considered. The brands that agreed to participate include Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, Einstein Bros, and Tim Hortons.
It’s important to know that this taste test was blind, and consisted of nothing more than chocolate chip cookies. This way, it would ensure that bias wasn’t an issue prior to the test.
Which coffee shop serves the best chocolate chip cookies? Here’s the results of our taste test, starting with last place.
#5 Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf isn’t recognized for their bakery as much as other chains, which explains why they don’t source all their cookies from the same place. Instead, they buy from nearby bakeries, which vary based on location. Nutrition is difficult to track when the cookies are coming from different places, but according to this calorie counter, just ¼ of a cookie contains 120 calories and six grams of sugar.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cookie, Pros
With its giant chocolate chips and huge size, this cookie looked the most visually pleasing in comparison to the others. In fact, it almost looked perfect. Our tasters approved of the amount of chocolate, claiming it was just right.
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Cookie, Cons
You know what they say, looks can be deceiving. Unfortunately, that was the case with this cookie. Each of our tasters expressed disappointment in the texture and toughness of this treat, claiming it was “too crunchy,” or “rock hard.” One taster even called it, “a sad excuse for a cookie.”
Starbucks has always provided food, and their bakery includes a lengthy list of options. To improve their original chocolate chip cookie, they added extra chocolate chips to the recipe. Now, it’s chocolatier than ever. Don’t worry, they always ask if you want it served warm. Each Starbucks chocolate chip cookie includes 310 calories and 27 grams of sugar.
Starbucks Cookie, Pros
Our tasters were pleased with the chewy texture of this cookie, saying things like, “it was so chewy it fell apart in my mouth,” and, “these had a great texture.” One participant said, “This is the way a cookie should feel when you bite into it.”
Starbucks Cookie, Cons
Is there such a thing as too chewy? Though our staff mentioned the chewy texture as a good thing, it came with a price. Many of our participants claimed the Starbucks cookies were tasteless, claiming it “tasted like air” or expressed they “couldn’t even taste the chocolate.”
#3 Einstein Bros
The difference between third and second place was negligible, but somehow Einstein Bros just missed the cut. Considering Einstein Bro’s began with bagels (in 1997, it became the largest retail bagel company in the nation), it’s no surprise this chain takes their baking seriously. Their bagels, croissants, cookies, and other baked goods are prepared and served daily, making them soft and fresh. A single Einstein Bros chocolate chip cookie has 390 calories and 31 grams of sugar.
Einstein Bros Cookie, Pros
Tasters said the Einstein Bros cookie tasted fresh. “I don’t feel like I’m chewing on nothing, it actually tastes like a cookie,” they said. “These were probably made this morning.” Way to go, Einstein Bros!
Einstein Bros Cookie, Cons
It tasted good, but not good enough. “There’s something missing,” said one of our tasters, “like they forgot an ingredient or something. Something is just off.” Another participant said, “With this much chocolate, my mouth should be exploding with flavor. It’s not.” Many also complained the cookie fell apart too easily.
#2 Tim Hortons
The first Tim Hortons restaurant offered only two products: coffee and donuts. It wasn’t until 1984 that the chain added cookies to their menu. Today, their menu includes croissants, pies, cakes, and sandwiches, among other items. It’s no wonder this cookie scored so high on our list, for the history of Tim Hortons all leads back to two things: good coffee and great sweets. A Tim Hortons Chocolate Chunk cookie contains 210 calories and 17 grams of sugar — a much lower set of numbers than some of the others on this list.
Tim Hortons Cookie, Pros
After tasting the Tim Hortons cookie, one of our participants wrote, “Finally, a cookie that tastes delicious!” According to our staff members, this cookie was one of the few that tasted homemade. “I can taste the butter, sugar, and chocolate coming together, “said an employee. “This is the real deal.”
Tim Hortons Cookie, Cons
According to our staff, what kept this cookie from taking first place was the paucity of chocolate chips. One of them said, “I can taste the chocolate in this cookie more than others, but I feel like it could use more.” Another said, “Where’s all the choc?”
#1 Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts has provided delicious baked goods for the public since 1955. Today, it’s the world’s leading baked goods and coffee chain, serving more than three million customers per day. The cookies are baked fresh every day, containing just 170 calories and 17 grams of sugar each.
Dunkin’ Donuts Cookie, Pros
“This cookie tastes just like mother used to make them,” one of our participants said. According to our team, this cookie had it all. The perfect amount of chocolate chips, along with the right size, shape, and texture. “It’s like they’re fresh out of the oven,” said another.
Dunkin’ Donuts Cookie, Cons
Our tasters had little to complain about after they tried the Dunkin’ Donuts cookie. The only negative response about this cookie was one of our staff members claimed that they tasted a hint of coffee. (We're not sure why that's bad.) Other than that, they almost received a perfect score.