June Update: Every Stewart’s Shops Coffee Blend RANKED
As a Troy newbie, I’m still discovering the full majesty and mystery of Stewart’s Shops. Capital Region residents know they’re hard to describe. Is it an ice cream store? (Possibly.) Is it a 7/11 style convenience mart? (No.) The closest I can get is it a dairy-centric gas station, with a dang fine cup of coffee. I’m a big fan.
With a wide range of blends and flavors from the mundane to the massively ambitious, Stewart’s has a lot to offer and you may not have gotten to every flavor yet. So, I tried them all for you. Here’s my definitive ranking of all available Stewart’s Shops coffees. (Except decaf. I would never do that to myself.)
Scientific note: I don’t like sugar in my coffee, so all cups were slightly cut by a reasonable amount of plain half and half with no other additives unless noted.
8. Richer Roast
Full disclosure: I’m fairly certain I got a burnt batch of this. I’m not fully sure, but it was very… condensed, flavor-wise. It sat in my travel mug on my desk for pretty much the whole day as I slowly sipped it. As it decreased from hot to warm to room temperature, I found it got better. I don’t know what to make of that. Is it temperature or age?
7. French Vanilla
This much French Vanilla flavor in one beverage should be illegal. As I am neither French nor vanilla it’s not my favorite, but if you embrace the expensive spice you will undoubtedly have the cup of your life. My office still smells like a delicious candle from the odor alone. If you put Stewart’s French Vanilla Half and Half in this, you are the bravest person I know.
6. House Blend (w/ Eggnog)
As far as I can understand, eggnog in the coffee is a Stewart’s thing. They recommend it on their website, actually.
House Blend was the last blend I tried, because it was the most normal. Does this make sense? Not really, no. While all the other flavors come in big thermal carafes, the lowly people’s champ comes in diner-style pots sitting between carafe stacks. It’s more off-putting in presentation this way, but should not be ignored.
The Stewart’s House Blend is on par with good fast-food coffee. As with all normal blends, it is what you make of it with your personal additions and modifications, thus the eggnog in the coffee. The eggnog was very good eggnog, but left me desperately thirsty. June and 'nog are an odd couple.
5. Dark Chocolate Coconut (Seasonal June 2022-)
I’m unashamedly a pretty big fan of Mounds bars. Why are they so reviled in candy culture? It’s a wonderful mix of dark chocolate and coconut, AKA the Cocoa-Coco Combo. Now that its summertime in the Capital Region, I assume Stewart’s is relying on the coconut to pull island vibes. While it made my office smell like a delightful tropical oasis with my coworkers lingering around my door commented on how amazing it was, the flavor was unfortunate. You ever cook anything in coconut oil? And all you can taste is coconut Crisco? It’s like a scoop of that in your coffee.
I really love hazelnut coffee. Of all the traditional flavors of the fairer bean, it’s my go to. Hazelnut creamer will not do for me; it’s gotta be the blend. This is the second-best hazelnut coffee I’ve ever had. While not entirely as in your face as the French Vanilla, it’s definitely a heavy hitter. Big flavor, rich taste, smooth finish. Of the normie flavors, it’s my favorite and I wish they’d sell it bagged.
5. Cinnamon Roll (Seasonal - Ended May 2022)
I thought I knew what I was getting with this flavor. I assumed it would just be cinnamon and maybe a little vanilla flavor, because most blends take the easy way out and recreate the icing. I was completely wrong. This is not most blends. I’m not sure how they did it, but the beautifully deranged flavor scientists at Stewart’s made their Cinnamon Roll coffee taste like the wonderful, warm, buttery dough at the core of a fresh roll. How do you even capture carb flavor in coffee? I will be despondent for an entire week when this flavor goes away.
2. Blueberry Crumble
This was my first cup of Stewart’s coffee ever, because I figured I’d try what I perceived as the weirdest flavor first to set the tone. Am I allowed to say that the flavor is haunting? The cinnamon taste was fleeting, while the blueberry lingered on my molars. It was like seeing a Victorian child holding a candle in a window – you know it’s not real and it fills you with a metaphysical mysticism as your hairs stand on end. A coworker told me the blueberry taste really pops with sugar.
1. Maple French Toast
This flavor should not work at all, and maybe that’s why it hits the bullseye. Every flavor note in a nice slice of properly syruped French Toast is here. The maple syrup taste hits right off the bat, but the real pinnacle of success comes from the middle and end notes of the toast itself. Stewart’s nails the custardy innards that come from caramelized egg and sugar.
I think my favorite thing about all Stewart’s flavor blends is that they inherently understand precisely what makes the foods they’re copying great, and then they imitate that as closely as possible. But in this case? No blend does it better. A modern marvel.