looloo’s Coffee Shop Cheesecake Blind Taste Test

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Aside from coffee, what’s another thing that most, if not all, coffee shops have on the menu? You guessed it–cheesecake! It seems to be an unspoken rule among cafes that you ain’t legit unless you’ve got some variant of this dessert sitting behind your glass counter display.

Slice of cheesecake

Because the cheesecake is such a popular treat, we thought we’d do a looloo Blind Taste Test (BTT) to see which coffee shop has the most standout version. We bought a couple of slices from popular coffee shop chains, polished every morsel off (or at least tried to), and gave our honest feedback. Read on to find out which cheesecake took the cake!

The Rules

These days, cheesecakes are topped off with all sorts of things. But for this BTT, we decided to keep it old school and just order plain ones. Besides, it would’ve been a lot harder to taste and rate the cheesiness of the cheesecakes if they were drizzled with caramel sauce or covered in blueberries.

Vying for first place in this BTT, we have four contestants: Costa Coffee, Bo’s Coffee, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, and Starbucks Coffee. Not only are they widely-accessible coffee shop chains (they all have at least five branches in the metro), but they’re also the ones with plain cheesecakes on the menu.

The Judges

The judges, namely Gwen I., Pam L., and Roegan T. of the looloo crew, were kept blindfolded throughout the duration of the BTT. Relying solely only on their sense of touch, smell, and taste, they judged the cheesecakes based on their density, cheesiness, sweetness, and crust. The lowest rating for each criterion is 1 and 5 is the highest.

The Results

This has been the hardest BTT for the judges so far in terms of getting the food to their mouths. It was easy with the siopaos and the ensaymadas which they were able to pick up with their hands and take bites of. But it was a different story when they had to grope around for their fork and try to skewer pieces of cheesecake with it.

Nevertheless, they made it through and have chosen a winner!

Cheesecake #1: Costa Coffee

Costa Coffee’s cheesecake

Criteria Gwen I. Pam L. Roegan T. Average Score
Density 4 4 4 4
Cheesiness 3 3 3.5 3.17
Sweetness 4 4 4 4
Crust 3.5 3.5 3.5 3.5

With everyone in agreement that Costa Coffee’s cheesecake was of the right density, all the judges gave it a score of 4 for that department.

But flavor wise, they said that it could’ve used a little bit more cheese. “It was more creamy than cheesy. There was a milky aftertaste. I prefer mine to be cheesy actually so I’ll give it a 3.5,” said Roegan T.

In terms of sugar level, it fared pretty well, with all the judges saying it wasn’t overly sweet. “It wasn’t very sweet and I like it that way,” said Pam L.

As for the crust, the common reaction was that it was way too thin, making it hard to notice that it was even there. But for the small portion that the judges got to taste, they said that it was a little bit on the sweet side.

Costa Coffee can be found at these locations.

Cheesecake #2: Bo’s Coffee

Bo’s Coffee’s cheesecake

Criteria Gwen I. Pam L. Roegan T. Average Score
Density 4.5 3 5 4.17
Cheesiness 2.5 3.5 5 3.67
Sweetness 3.5 4 5 4.17
Crust 3 4 4.5 3.83

Everyone’s impression of Bo’s cheesecake was that it was extremely rich and dense. While Pam L. and Gwen I. found it nakakaumay, Roegan T. thought its density was perfect. He said it’s the type of cheesecake that would go great with a cup of coffee.

They also noted that it was just as cheesy as it was dense. But they observed that it didn’t taste like cream cheese. “It’s an entirely different cheese. Like kesong puti. Cream cheese has that sour taste to it and I didn’t get that,” said Gwen I.

Just like the first cheesecake, the judges didn’t find this one too sweet either which they appreciated.

As for the crust, it was quite the standout. “There was definitely more crust on this one compared to the first one and it was a bit on the nutty side which is new. For being innovative and unique, I’ll give it a 4,” said Pam L.

Bo’s Coffee can be found at these locations.

Cheesecake #3: The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s cheesecake

Criteria Gwen I. Pam L. Roegan T. Average Score
Density 1 2 1 1.33
Cheesiness 4 2 1 2.33
Sweetness 4 2 2 2.67
Crust 1 1 1 1

Unfortunately, CBTL’s cheesecake drew flak from the judges for being way too soft. They compared it to all sorts of things like mashed potato, baby food, and even soup. According to Pam L., it’s like the type of cheesecake you tried to make at home but didn’t form properly.

The judges also couldn’t help but notice how tart it was. “The lemon-y flavor was just too overpowering so I’m not even sure if there was any cream cheese or any other form of cheese at all. And I like my cheesecake cheesy so I’ll give this a 1,” said Roegan T.

As for sugar level, there was a hint of sweetness in there according to the judges. But because the tartness was just too overpowering, you could hardly taste anything else.

Crust-wise, it didn’t fare too well either, earning a 1 from all the judges. They said they didn’t even know it was there so it was impossible to rate.

The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf can be found at these locations.

Cheesecake #4: Starbucks Coffee

Starbucks Coffee’s cheesecake

Criteria Gwen I. Pam L. Roegan T. Average Score
Density 4.5 5 4 4.5
Cheesiness 5 5 3.5 4.5
Sweetness 3.5 4 4 3.83
Crust 4.5 4 4 4.17

Starbucks’ cheesecake got high marks for the density department, with all the judges agreeing that it was just right. “I think it’s not that dense but that’s ok. I like it that way. You can still slide your fork into it,” said Gwen I.

As for the cheesiness, the judges finally got the cream cheese flavor they were looking for. “It tasted the most like cream cheese out of the three others that we’ve tried,” said Pam L.

When it came down to sweetness, they thought it wasn’t too cloying. “You can taste the sweetness but it’s very subtle. But it doesn’t overpower the cheese so that’s good,” said Gwen I.

The crust pulled up this cheesecake’s overall score even more, with the common consensus being that it was one of the better ones out of all they’ve tried. “I liked this crust the best. It’s sweet and tasted like graham,” said Gwen I.

Starbucks can be found at these locations.

Criteria #3 Costa #2 Bo’s #4 CBTL #1 Starbucks
Density 4 4.17 1.33 4.5
Cheesiness 3.17 3.67 2.33 4.5
Sweetness 4 4.17 2.67 3.83
Crust 3.5 3.83 1 4.17
TOTAL SCORE 14.67 / 20 15.84 / 20 7.33 / 20 17 / 20

And the clear winner of the looloo Coffee Shop Cheesecake Blind Taste Test is…Starbucks Coffee!

Their cheesecake hit the nail in the head for almost all the categories, garnering high scores especially for density, cheesiness, and crust! They earned a total of 17 points out of a highest possible score of 20.

The Contenders

Coming in at second place is Bo’s Coffee with 15.84 points and not far behind is Costa Coffee with 14.67 points. CBTL’s cheesecake finishes dead last with only 7.33 points.

There you have it, cheesecake enthusiasts of the metro! We hope this helps you out the next time you’re having a hard time deciding where to grab a slice from!

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About Author

Denise Jose

Denise is a recovering food addict. She distracts herself with photography and keeps off the pounds by doing pilates. She is still struggling, however, and has occasional relapses. Her food comas are mostly induced by oily burgers and chocolate desserts.