Sunday, April 4, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 16

Dunkin' Donuts Self Served Iced Coffee.

We took a trip to State College, PA this weekend and along the way stopped at a gas station we had stopped at many times before, a Hess station in Lancaster, PA. I was surprised to see the big DD logo outside. This was new. And as I hadn't made coffee that morning, I was ready to chug down some iced coffee. The big surprise was that this was a self-serve station Dunkin' Donuts, which in all my years of beverage watching, I had never seen. Perhaps it's more common than I think, but it was a new experience for me and my fellow travelers/DD drinkers.

My first thought was, "Wow, this is awesome! I can control the amount of creamer myself." You see, one of my main complaints about DD over the years is that if you don't really make yourself clear that you want "only a little cream", the employee will often hand you an overly milky mess of a coffee. At one time I used to get DD iced coffee fully sweetened with cream and sugar until I got really sick of it. Anyway, here's the thing, I added a tiny bit of milk myself, and it still tasted way too milky! What's the deal? Well, someone made the great point that the original "black coffee" product was probably just "brownish water." Not very appetizing, but it makes sense why the cream would so easily take over the flavor. And without real employees to prepare it, what exactly is the iced coffee product? It was probably shipped in pre-made plastic bags and then shoved into the machines. I didn't even mess with the flavor shots machine pictured above, but it was fun to play around with. I guess this is the final realization that DD coffee is what it is. A quantity over quality coffee product. You get a lot of coffee for your buck, but you sacrifice a lot of flavor. No doubt it has its place in the market as the caffeine kick is still there somewhere, but if you want a better coffee you probably should get it from someone you can talk to and not some machine in a gas station.

PS: Another thing about this gas station. I was able to buy a product I've been trying to find for a long time here. Look for it on TIWID (awesome acronym, right?) soon

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