What’s the Scoop at Orange Leaf 2.0?

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What’s the Scoop at Orange Leaf 2.0?

Kyle Spaete, Contributing Reporter

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Someone drove through the front door of Orange Leaf this past spring of 2018 and caused quite a bit of damage to the frozen yogurt outlet.  Luckily, when I went there for a treat recently, the outlet had been completely renovated. Orange Leaf (located in the Lindale Crossing complex at 4866 1st Ave NE in Cedar Rapids) reopened this summer on July 28th.  Based on my experience at the remodeled Orange Leaf, I will definitely be going back for seconds soon.

When I walked inside for the first time since the renovation, the first differences I noticed was that there was new flooring, the toppings counter had been updated, and there were more light fixtures.  The menu had also changed and had more options such as shakes, smoothies, sodas, and coffee/fro-yo drinks.

The coffee mixed with vanilla frozen yogurt looked very tempting since like many teens, I really like coffee, but since it was late at night I figured I would get a shake instead of something loaded with caffeine.  I ordered a cookies and cream milkshake for $5.00 and I used a $1.00 off coupon that a friend had given me.  While it is a bit on the expensive side, it was worth the money.

The shake was very thick and creamy; the perfect texture for a milkshake.  It was almost too thick to drink through a straw, but too thin to eat easily with a spoon.  The oreo bits and flavoring were evenly mixed throughout the shake since cookies and cream frozen yogurt was used as the base of the shake.

Most teens in Marion have been to Orange Leaf and are familiar with how the self-serve part works, but the shakes are a bit different.  Instead of going through the line and filling a cup with frozen yogurt, you order your shake, drink, or smoothie right at the cashier and then one of the Orange Leaf team members will make it and bring it out to you.

The difference between a shake at Orange Leaf and a shake at other ice cream shops is that the shake does not entirely come from a separate shake machine. What happens is that an Orange Leaf team member will fill a cup of the frozen yogurt flavor you picked from the self-serve area.  Then they add milk and cream to the frozen yogurt.  Next they take it to a mixer to evenly distribute all the milk and frozen yogurt.  The end result was a very creamy and evenly mixed shake that was brought out to me while I was able to sit down and visit with friends.

The good thing about the desserts that are made behind the counter is that you pay one set price off the menu.  This is a good thing for someone like me who likes to get way too much frozen yogurt and then adds even more toppings causing my bowl to weigh a lot and cost more money (self-serve bowls are charged based on how much they weigh).  I have in the past spent over $7.00 on a single large bowl of frozen yogurt.  Buying a shake was the right decision because it put a cap on how much money I was going to spend.

Bobas are the official name of the squishy, fruit-flavored jelly balls that so many Orange Leaf customers are obsessed with (including myself).  Bobas start to really weigh down your bowl after just one big scoop.  Orange Leaf recently took advantage of this by adding a “Boba Tea” to their menu.  Although I did not try the drink, I did manage to look at one up close.  They are pretty self-explanatory coming as a typical cup of tea (the same size cup as a milkshake), but a couple scoops of bobas are added into the cup.  It looked very interesting and it is something that I will definitely be taste-testing in the near future.

While teens are already familiar with how the self-serve line works with all the different flavors to choose from, what people do not realize is how often some of the flavors change.  An Orange Leaf team member explained to me that the popular flavors such as brownie batter and wedding cake are pretty much always available year round.  Some of the more seasonal flavors such as pina colada might only be available during the warmer months.

Another change I noticed when I got to the counter was a display of fancy looking cookies near the cash register.  Some people were buying them after they got their bowls of frozen yogurt and then crushing them up and putting them on as toppings.  That seemed like a good idea at first but then I realized that the cookies are an extra couple dollars so just putting more candy on your bowl for a couple extra cents might just be a bit cheaper.  Plus crushed up chocolate bars do not get as soggy as crushed cookie chunks.

Overall, Orange Leaf has added a much wider selection of choices to their menu.  I have always really enjoyed going to Orange Leaf, but before the renovation many of my friends and I had started getting bored with it.  Yes, the self -serve flavors did change, but other than that it was always the same thing.  After going there since the renovation, there is so much more on their menu.  My experience at Orange Leaf “2.0” made the decision to go back soon an easy one. The hard decision now is deciding what new dessert I am going to try next.