At last, there's a newfangled bagel creation everyone can get behind. On Thursday morning, the popular bagel chain Einstein Bros. announced the release of caffeinated bagels — as in, bagels infused with actual espresso. Unlike coffee cake, which doesn't actually contain caffeine despite the pastry's name (it describes what it's meant to be paired with, rather than what's actually in it), Einstein Bros. claims its Espresso Buzz Bagel will give you the energy boost we all so desperately need when it's 7 a.m. and the first cup of coffee hasn't done anything to dispel the (mental) morning fog yet.
According to the company, the Espresso Buzz Bagel contains 13 grams of protein and, more importantly, 32 milligrams of caffeine. For comparison, the Mayo Clinic reports that a typical eight-ounce cup of coffee has between 95 and 165 mg, and an espresso shot usually falls between 47 and 64 mg. So, the bagel isn't necessarily going to wake you up as well as the contents of your ever-present coffee thermos, but then again, it's not intended to. "Drinking a caffeinated beverage with our bagel will result in higher levels of caffeine consumption," advises the Einstein Bros. website.
Basically, the bagel is a boost to the caffeine you're already drinking (so in that sense, it's more like coffee cake than you might think). Unlike a third cup of hot bean juice, though, it has some nutritional value, so it also counts as breakfast.
The bagel's caffeine comes from both espresso and coffee cherry flour, and apparently, the result really does give you a buzz. According to Fox News, most tasters reported feeling more alert for a few hours afterward, although the taste itself received mixed reviews.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the mere idea of the Espresso Buzz has elicited strong reactions. People either love it, or they prefer to stick to their hot coffee and leave the espresso infusions to other people.
According to Teen Vogue, the caffeinated bagel is an effort to appeal to millennials "attracted by the smoother flavor and artisanal characteristics and third- and fourth-wave coffee." Basically, it's meant for the hipster coffee drinkers. The Espresso Buzz is joined by two other Boosted Bagels released by Einstein Bros. this week. The Savory Parm also has 13 grams of protein, and it claims to be an excellent source of iron. Then there's the Cherry Chia, which is touted as an excellent source of protein, Omega-3 ALA, and fiber.
The Boosted Bagels will be available at Einstein Bros. locations across the country for a limited time. If they do well, it's likely they'll end up with a permanent place in stores — just look at all the "secret menu" items that have ended up on the regular Starbucks menu. In the meantime, one thing is clear: We live in the future, folks, and that means methods of caffeine consumption are only going to get weirder from here on out.