May 22, 2010

Iced Dunkin' Dark: Where's the heat?

Good morning foodies! I'm ready to start the weekend off right with a Van Winkle-waking review of Dunkin' Donuts Dark iced coffee. What say you?

If you're saying, "Pour me a nice hot cup," you're going to be disappointed. My bid to secure a steaming mug of dark java was flat-out denied by a local Dunkin' last week. They only had the dark roast on ice.

I appreciate iced coffee, and even prefer Dunkin's regular brew chilled to its less-than-ideal hot counterpart. But it's simply not acceptable to have a variety of iced coffee and not offer it hot. Don't you first brew hot coffee to make iced coffee? Would it be that hard to set half of the destined-for-ice pot on a heater and keep it warm?

So negative sporks for that development. I'll move on and review the iced dark coffee for what it was, rather than what it should have been. You know. Hot.

As a cool beverage the dark roast does pretty well. The flavor contains light bitter tones that are pleasant rather than off-putting, and the taste is fairly rich. We're talking Ken Jennings-rich, not Mikhail Prokhorov-rich, mind you. But plenty rich, nonethesame.

My advice is to forgo Dunkin's offer of sugar and cream and season the coffee yourself, if you must. While I prefer mine black, even those who like to load up on sweeteners can be blown away by the amount of C12H22O11 the stores will pack in a cup. It doesn't dissolve fully, leaving you crunching your drink rather than sipping it.

Of course, if you're looking for a wake-me-up the iced coffee is inferior to a hot brethren. There's nothing like a slightly scalded tongue and warm belly to snap you out of a morning funk. A cool mouth and throat certainly don't come close.

Overall, I would say Iced Dunkin' Dark is tasty but not outstanding -- three sporks out of five. I'd love to know what it's like hot, when flavors shine fully and aren't muted by the chill of ice. Shockingly, I wasn't afforded that chance.

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