Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dunkies Iced Coffee

The SnackMaster isn’t afraid to start a contentious debate:
When it comes to iced coffee, Dunkin Donuts dominates.

In fact, I wouldn’t be drinking coffee at all if it weren’t for Dunkin Donuts iced coffee.

For me, it started as a 20 year old, working for a small house painting crew. Before that, I always loved the smell of ground coffee, but never enjoyed the bitter taste. Somewhere mid-summer of that year I tried Dunkies’ coffee coolattas. This seemed like a safe enough venture since it was really a lot like a Slush Puppy or an ice cream shake. Soon enough, I was housing large iced coffees every morning at work.

It is undeniable that the iced coffee is a summer staple. When you need a quick buzz, and it’s 90 something degrees out, this is where its at. What’s great about the iced coffee on a summer day is how quickly you can get that caffeine buzz going; slamming down an iced coffee in less than 5 minutes is not really a demanding task. Dunkies iced coffee is the perfect iced coffee for this task. It’s sweet and flavorful without being too dark. Even with just a little bit of sugar and a little bit of milk, a sweet, syrupy flavor will resonate while not taking away from the overall taste of coffee. The majority of the employees at Dunkin Donuts have the iced coffee mixture technique down. If they know what they’re doing, they’ll put the sugar into the cup first, pour a small splash of hot coffee to melt the sugar, swish it around, and then add milk/cream, cold coffee and ice. This ensures the equal distribution of the sugar throughout the entire drink as opposed to having a big sugar deposit sitting at the bottom of your drink. Dunkin Donuts is really the only place I’ve been to that has offered this incredibly important service. I consider this pretty much a norm when ordering iced coffee at Dunkies so much so that times where this has not been the case, I have left visibly upset and disgruntled. What may be as equally important as the sugar technique is Dunkin Donuts’ commitment to a real “large” iced coffee: 32 ounces. I have not found a “large size” bigger anywhere else; and, come on, this is America, bigger is definitely better when it comes to food portions. I’d rather have the option of not being able to finish something than the dilemma of wanting more.

The obvious competitor to mention is Starbucks. Maybe drinking hot coffee that tastes like mud is a preference to many, but you really can’t make a case for drinking cold mud. I really have no taste for Starbucks coffee in any incarnation so I can’t really, fairly, discuss it to any detail. Local coffee shops cannot be disparaged. I truly do enjoy some local coffee shops’ iced coffee for the chance to get some variation of flavor and a slightly stronger caffeination. However, I have never gotten the melted sugar technique performed for me at any local café that I’ve been to, not to mention their clear inferiority in “large” coffee sizes.

(The SnackMaster’s Disclaimer: I was born and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. There is a Dunkin Donuts every 3 blocks in Boston. It is truly a staple of Boston. One could say I am biased, but I view these statements as hardcore fact nonetheless.)


  1. Hey Chico, Im still reading your blog. Just thought i'd check in.

  2. Yeah, most indie coffee houses don't do the hot water/sugar melting technique but most of them have the simple syrup, hot water/sugar melting that's cooled off. So you add that instead of straight sugar and it blends in with the cold coffee perfectly