Category Archives: Coffee

Here’s where I talk about coffee. This will probably remain mostly untouched. What can I really say about coffee? Well, apparently something, or else I wouldn’t have a category for it.

Review of Dunkin’ Donuts Hazelnut Coffee and Other Related Items

So, every once in a while I write a blog that’s actually about coffee. I know, that’s unusual, seeing as how I’ve named my blog after the act of drinking coffee, yet for some reason I never actually write about coffee or drinking coffee. So, I understand if it surprises you that today we are talking about coffee. But, you shouldn’t be surprised. Anything goes on this blog. If I were to write about ant food or beach sand, you should think, That’s about right. So, today we’re talking about coffee. Specifically Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.

Or, am I talking about Dunkin’ coffee?

First of all, before you start reading this blog, or at least read more of it, you need to find yourself a good sandwich because, after all, drinking café latte at 1pm often means you should have a sandwich, too. What’s today’s sandwich? I recommend a croissant, toasted, with some kind of cheese, cheese at which you can pick for yourself, and we’ll say, er, ham. Actually no, bacon. Yes, you should be eating a breakfast sandwich today. Maybe one from Dunkin’.

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On Tuesday morning, I went to my usual Dunkin’ café on the college campus where I work and ordered my usual drink, a coffee with cream and caramel. No sugar. The workers there know who I am, and sometimes they’ll even have the coffee waiting for me when I get there. I don’t know if I like the idea of people knowing me so well that they know what I’ll order before I know. But, in the Alexa generation, I suppose I should get used to things like that. It never hurts to prepare for the robot apocalypse a bit early.

So, on Tuesday, when I got into line and approached the register, the girl taking my order, before I could even give her my order, said, “We are out of caramel today.” I looked at her for a moment and said, “Okay, that’s fine.” Then, of course, she asked me what I would like instead. I thought about it for a second and told her I don’t know. I started thinking maybe I’ll take pumpkin, but then I remembered that we’re in April right now, and April is not the month for pumpkin. So I had to give it more thought. Thinking about what I want in my coffee when I don’t have what I want for my coffee can be difficult.

I knew I didn’t want vanilla, which was one of the flavors she offered me. I didn’t want the other things she offered, either, which I no longer remember, but hazelnut sounded pretty good, so I ordered that. Now, to be clear, I’ve had hazelnut many times before, usually at home, but I rarely get it at Dunkin’. There’s no reason for that rarity, except that I prefer caramel or pumpkin, and if I’m feeling ambitious, caramel and pumpkin. But, today I had to get hazelnut because it was the best option I had and, in an industry that has sketchy flavor consistency, I didn’t want to take a chance on ordering something too bitter. After all, I had two dollars at stake! A couple of minutes later, I got my coffee and my food, two bacon, egg & cheese wraps, and it was good.

I got back to the office, ate my wraps, and started drinking my coffee. And let me tell you, it was actually pretty tasty. I admit that sometimes Dunkin’ is hit-or-miss, which is why I get the flavors I know. Hazelnut is not a flavor I drink enough to form a consistent opinion about, so I can’t say if Dunkin’s treatment is generally bland or flavorful, but I can tell you that for that one order I rarely get, I got a good one.dunkin small

The hazelnut was sweet, with a little bit of woodiness, and it definitely complemented the coffee flavor that Dunkin’ is best known for, which is, of course, tasting like coffee. I know this sounds obvious, but this is a review, and coffee, from a place that everyone has ordered from many, many times before, needs a fair hearing as much as the next beverage. But, if you’re still reading this, then I think you’re here more for the entertainment than the actual review.

This means that my actual review is not on hazelnut coffee at all, because it’s not new and I’m sure you’ve had it before if you have any coffee knowledge whatsoever, but on the new brand name Dunkin’, as opposed to the original, and far superior, Dunkin’ Donuts, which the company has been called for many, many years, well beyond my childhood, well past my, well, I don’t know how far back it goes, but it’s been Dunkin’ Donuts for decades, if not generations, and now it’s this new thing called Dunkin’, which is some short, sweet, brand name that maybe is hip, maybe is unifying, but it just seems not quite the same as what I remember as a kid or as an adult, and really where is the coffee and where are the donuts?

So my review of Dunkin’, the name, is that I can say it faster, and honestly that’s how I’ve been referring to it for a while anyway, as Dunkin’ Donuts really does take too long to say. So, at the end of the day, I approve of the name change, but I wish they’d kept all of the original branding on their bags, because I’m a creature of habit, and what I’m familiar with it is not Dunkin’ but Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m only familiar with Dunkin’ when I’m calling it by name, in a hurry, because I need to go, get coffee, and come back, and I don’t have the time to waste talking to you about where I’m going; I just want to get it over with and get to where I’m going, which is Dunkin’. Dunkin’ Donuts.

Okay you should probably check on your sandwich now. I’m sure it’s well toasted. Enjoy your lunch. Go to Dunkin’, get some coffee. I’d recommend the hazelnut.


Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin Macchiato: A Review

October 12, 2015

So, I give Dunkin’ Donuts about $20 of my hard-earned money every week. I shouldn’t, but I do; I have what some might call a coffee addiction. Now, I know this is odd to think about, given that the title of my blog is Drinking Cafe Latte at 1pm, but I have yet to write anything about coffee in the ten years or so that I’ve had this blog (with just over one of those years existing here on WordPress).

But that’s about to change!

This morning I went to get my coffee, Monday Edition, when I saw that Everything Pumpkin is back on the menu. Now, I’ve been getting my pumpkin coffees religiously for the last few weeks (I usually get caramel coffees the rest of the year), but today I was stunned to see that DD (cool speak for Dunkin’ Donuts) has introduced a new brand of coffee, the Pumpkin Macchiato. When I stood in line this morning, its picture in the marquee spoke its thousand or so words at me, and all of them said, “Buy me!” My thought: “Yes, please!”

The picture showed a coffee with three layers of coloring: a milky layer on the bottom, a regular brown layer in the middle (the estuary layer?), and a dark layer on top for the espresso.

Ah, yes, there’s espresso in this bad boy. Two shots if I’m not mistaken. Pumpkin + espresso = coffee dream.

Now, I think the drink comes in one of two ways. Apparently, if you don’t specify how you want it, it comes to you iced, which is fitting because iced coffee is generally more expensive than hot coffee, since, you know, ice is costly. If you get the drink by itself, it comes with a cup holder (like a warmer for cold coffee). I got mine with three other coffees, so I just carried everything in a crate.

(Just to clarify, the four coffees weren’t all for me. Just one of them.)

The Review:

So, you’re probably wondering what I thought. Okay, here’s the breakdown.

Well, it was made of pumpkin, so right off the bat it was awesome. As a rule, if it has pumpkin in it, it’s awesome. Case in point: 1. Pumpkin pie = awesome. 2. Pumpkin cheesecake = super awesome. 3. Pumpkin coffee = awesome. 4. Pumpkin sneakers = weird but awesome. See my point? It’s hard to say anything bad about pumpkin anything. Unless, of course, you hate pumpkin. If that’s the case, then how dare you!

The coffee power is marginally high. Normally, coffee is a quick stimulant, fast to get me going, but just as fast to tire me out. It’s one of the reasons I can drink coffee at night. It does little to keep me awake. In fact, I think it’s more psychological than anything. For me, coffee is more of a stimulant for my brain. If I have a cup of coffee beside me, my IQ goes up about 10 points.

Obviously, the amount of sleep I get the night before is a factor in coffee’s general success. I tend to buy coffee anyway (or make it at home if I have the time), whether I need it or not, but on mornings when I get my average sleep, which is to say hardly any, then I definitely need it. This morning was exceptionally difficult to keep awake, so the need for coffee was higher than average.

Fortunately, the double-shot espresso makes waking up so much easier. The downside: the crash is so much harder.

Normally I get sleepy around lunch time. That’s just how my body works. By 1pm (hence the blog title), I’m dragging my feet. On a regular cup of coffee, I’m groggy but coherent. On the pumpkin macchiato (and its two shots of espresso), I am passing out and speaking nonsense. Because I read papers and tutor college students for a living, this sometimes makes giving good advice challenging. Part of the challenge is reminding myself that the dream I’d just had while struggling through a student’s second-to-last paragraph has nothing to do with what he or she has written in his paper, and I should probably give advice that’s relevant only to his paper. The pumpkin macchiato, while brilliant in the morning, was a complete letdown in the afternoon. I’m sure I nodded off in the middle of the conversation at least a couple of times.

Lastly, the pumpkin taste is sweet, maybe even too sweet when you consider the cream, the syrup, and the sugar (sugar being the one thing I never put in my coffee anymore), but the espresso is sufficiently bitter. If you’re going to order a cup, be sure you carry some Altoids with you. You’re gonna need them if you want to talk to anyone later.

Final verdict: Worth buying, unless you feel that spending three dollars on a cup of coffee is outrageous.

If you would like me to review anything else, let me know.