What’s So Special about Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf?
Recently Los Angeles’ Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf opened their first New York location in Times Square (natch). I’ve never been to a CBTL but it seems like every few weeks Us Weekly photographs some otherwise malnourished celeb clutching on of their large frozen beverages. Being a coffee addict, I decided to check it out.
I got a regular (medium) latte with an extra shot since the barista told me that their medium drinks only come with one shot (the ‘Bux does two for a similarly sized drink). It was a fine latte, not too bitter, not too watery, but it was expensive–$3.95 for the base drink plus 75 cents for the extra shot. That’s more expensive than Starbucks and what’s more I can get a two shot latte with organic milk and fair trade coffee for just over $3 from Pret.
Again the doughnut was fine, the little touch of orange extract was and unexpected but pleasant surprise, but the doughnut itself was a bit dry and dense and the pudding was in the Jell-o instant realm, fine if you love the Boston Cremes from Dunkin, but not what I was expecting for over $3. I don’t think Mark Israel from Doughnut Plant is losing any sleep over these guys.
While this was a fairly lackluster visit, I know that CBTL has its loyal adherents. What am I missing here?
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, 1412 Broadway at 39th St, (212) 575-3854