Passionate coffee drinkers love to disagree in the debate over whether Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts brews the best cup. In this instance, I’m talking about standard brewed coffee from these two places only. I’m not going to judge the coffee from McDonalds or discuss more complex drinks like lattes and espressos. I’m also not talking about the ground coffee that is sold to be brewed at home.
Let me begin by saying that I’m not a coffee snob. I’m not saying that McDonalds has terrible coffee, but I think of their coffee as being a side item to the food. Their breakfast combos come with a drink, which is usually coffee by default. In the instance of a combo, I find that their coffee is acceptable to drink, as I would be there for the food first and foremost. (Disclaimer: I do not endorse eating at McDonalds!) However, when I go to Starbucks, I’m going specifically to get coffee, and I put that experience to a higher standard than a side item from a fast food place.
Starbucks makes their coffee very bold and strong, which happens to be the way I prefer it. Their coffee tastes bold, rich, and hearty. While I happen to love it, the sheer strength of their product isn’t for everyone. I’ve picked up a few cups for coworkers to sample over the years and one person complained to me that it was as thick as mud. Of course, that person was probably used to making coffee that looks like iced tea when it’s poured.
I don’t often go to Dunkin Donuts. Their coffee is always a bit weak in strength for my taste. Adding to my dislike, the staff always seem insist on adding the cream and sugar themselves, and they always overdo it! It is easy to go too far with the extras when the main product isn’t very strong from the start.
I’m writing all of this because I went to Dunkin Donuts this morning. I deliberately went inside so I could control the final product. Despite the fact that I was standing in the store, they still wanted to put the cream and sugar in from behind the counter. I agreed, but said I wanted very little of either. When I got my coffee, it was shockingly light in color. The coffee was so weak that the cream had nearly turned it antique white.
With Starbucks coffee, it is so strong that it takes a lot to overdo the cream or sugar. With weak Dunkin Donuts coffee, a couple of packs of sugar turn it into virtual sugar water. Seriously, the cup of coffee I had this morning was so sweet, it tasted like I was drinking from a hummingbird feeder.
In closing, Starbucks is the best place to get a solid cup of brewed coffee. That said, if you’re looking for a breakfast sandwich, both Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are equally horrible. Avoid the hot foods from either establishment at all costs!