View Full Version : Starbucks versus Dunkin' Donuts
06-19-2009, 02:38 PM
Cecil's usual discernment and good taste was not apparent when he rated Starbucks coffee above Dunkin Donuts (Straight Dope Chicago, 2/18/09)
He did mention the typical Starbucks smell, but not that the smell is charcoal. "Charbucks" coffee smells like charcoal because they burn the beans when roasting them. I'm told that's an old trick in the coffee trade to hide bad beans. Now, I don't know if Starbucks starts with good beans or bad, but after they're turned to charcoal it doesn't really matter.
Dunkin Donuts on the other hand starts with a decent bean. They don't have good consistency in the brewing process. It seams like every DD outlet makes their coffee differently, but if you hunt around for one that does it right, or buy the beans and brew them yourself, you get a decent cup of coffee. Lots better than what they sell at Starbucks..
06-20-2009, 10:22 AM
You include Dunkin' Donuts in the taste test, but not he vastly superior McDonald's coffee, not to mention their "McCafe" selections?
I guess I have no taste whatsoever for coffee - I like Dunkin' Donuts the best of any coffee I know. I agree with Bruce that Starbucks tastes burned.
I think I know doughnuts better than Cecil, though - and Dunkin' Donuts doughnuts are not good. Way too dry.
06-22-2009, 08:47 AM
I find the dark water McDonald's calls coffee a waste of time, Chickfila's Dark Bistro however is very fine coffee.
07-03-2009, 05:31 PM
...vastly superior McDonald's coffee, not to mention their "McCafe" selections?
Come over here so I can pull out your tongue with pliers. It's obviously broken. I tried one of those McCafe things a couple days ago, and thought it to be rather inferior to Starbucks. And I loathe Starbucks.
I'd have been interested to have a couple "ringers" snuck into that coffee crawl. Back at the lab, have some Maxwell House or Folgers and see how those do on a blind test.
I wondered at this too. Every time I've had Starbucks drip coffee, the overwhelming dominant flavor is "burnt." I tried it twice in-store, thinking that the first store must have neglected to sufficiently clean their brewing equipment, and discovering on the second go-around that no, it always tastes like that. I tried it home-brewed too -- or more precisely, it was provided at an office of mine. First time I tried it, I thought that our brewing equipment must be insufficiently clean, so I bought some vinegar and cleaned the hell out of it myself. And the coffee was still awful. "Charcoal" or "ash" are good descriptors.
I'm someone who can tolerate diner coffee and can even find a certain charm in it, but even having tried doctoring the hell out of Starbucks with cream and sugar, I couldn't even get halfway through the cup, it was so bad. Starbucks lacks any subtlety or complexity simply because anything that might have been there has been burnt all to hell.
I also have to disagree that the road to coffee hell is paved with cream and sugar. Over the years I've gone from super-sweet coffee-flavored milk/cream to coffee with just enough condiments to take the edge off the harshness. This amounts to less than a 1/4 tsp of sugar and 1Tbsp of cream per cup -- just enough sugar to mellow the bitterness, and just enough cream to mellow the acidity. I find I can detect the complexities better (the chocolate, fruity, citrusy, etc. notes) if they're not overwhelmed by the harsh acid and bitter flavors.
07-04-2009, 05:32 PM
Tim Horton's is better than either.
07-14-2009, 03:59 PM
Our DD serves very fine coffee. Have a friend that raves about McDonald's but I must always get one from a bad batch :)
Tim R. Mortiss
07-14-2009, 04:42 PM
I guess it's all subjective. I'll take Dunkin' Donuts first, McDonald's second, anything BUT Starbucks third, and Starbucks dead last.
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