Illustration by Ulia Ahn

One of the biggest disappointments of this Zoom semester is that I can’t stop by Kaldi’s or Blue Donkey for a daily cup of overpriced joe. Like many college students, I depend on the burst of vitality that only caffeine or a perfectly timed power nap can provide.  

For those living on campus, Starbucks can be too far and Kaldi’s is far too overpriced when you just want a quick and reasonably priced coffee before cozying up in your dorm. For the few isolated on campus and those anticipating their return, I’d like to appreciate some of Blue Donkey’s greatest concoctions and applaud their tasteful contribution to my weekly suffering, sleepiness and study sessions.

1. Summer Almond

When I drink the Summer Almond, I am transported to an immense vista. The sun blooms on the horizon, and as the first rays of sunshine gently caress my rosy cheeks, a summer breeze lifts my spirits with a bolt of warm electricity. Make no mistake, when it comes to taste, this blend is divine. As Blue Donkey’s most popular blend, it’s soft, sweet and mellow enough for a king, but its floral, nutty punch leaves you floating like a butterfly. Its delicate flavor will force a smile upon your face and always invites you to make the most of a new day. The Summer Almond is my soulmate, so buy a cup while you can (I’m going to drink them all).  

 2. Tear Jerker

When you’re overwhelmed with work and on the verge of a breakdown, look no further than the Tear Jerker. Double-brewed for extra caffeine, it’s a powerful and unforgettable extra dark roast taste, intense enough to awaken your inner champion. Be warned, the caffeine level in this drink is so remarkable that any slight thought of procrastination doesn’t stand a chance. It’s a great drink for the early morning grind, because there’s no chance you’ll be sleeping anytime soon. Its flavor is enough to jerk you awake and the caffeine dehydrates your body so you can’t cry about tomorrow’s midterm. Consume with care. My condolences to your bladder.

3. Original

Blue Donkey’s Original is anything but basic — it has a remarkably sacarrine undertone and smooth finish. This coffee maintains an incredible balance of bold flavors and natural sugar cane creamy goodness that even Thanos would gladly sip. This is the OG blend for a reason; get a large, because once you start drinking, you won’t be able to stop. 

4. Four 65

Complex, nuanced, dynamic and multi-layered. The bold tones of Four 65’s heavily caffeinated blend make it a great choice for an early morning boost. This blend is roasted at a staggering 465 degrees, and although this means absolutely nothing to me, it has an exceptionally rich, satisfying finish that is forever burnt into my mind.

5. Light

Blue Donkey’s Light is advertised as their healthy option as a “light” version of their original. Though I appreciate how this drink helps my waist, it doesn’t have the requisite sugar to fix this sour blend. The Light flavor lacks power and punch. If you’re looking for a healthier alternative to Blue Donkey’s sugar-packed menu, this provides a satisfying, albeit somewhat underwhelming, boost.

6. Chocolate Brigadeiro

Drinking this is more like drinking a cup of condensed milk and sweetened cocoa powder. Chocolate Brigadeiro is delightfully sweet and has deep notes of non-GMO cocoa, which will remind you of tropical nights and waves crashing. However, this blend is more of a treat than a pick-me up — it’s less coffee and more chocolate truffle. The aftertaste also leaves me begging to eat an actual brigadeiro. 

Whether it be the sweet delight of the Summer Almond or the raw, earthy boost of the Tear Jerker, Blue Donkey coffee shop gives the main campus a unique taste that one simply cannot replicate with a humble home coffee brew. Treat yourself during this stressful semester, and if you’re ever bored of these classic blends, the baristas are always happy to mix blends for a unique concoction.