Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Am I a Traitor?

Why is it that, as much as I love Dunkin' iced coffee, I find myself increasingly drawn to the new iced coffee at McDonald's? And you can't even get it in decaf, for god's sake.

I tell myself--well, they're using the Newman's Own Organic Coffee. So the famed Paul Newman charities get some money. Presumably the coffee is being grown by smallish, possibly even fair-trade, suppliers. Plus the beans are roasted by Vermont's own Green Mountain Coffee. That's all good, right? And it's not like McDonald's is some Goliath (which it is) going up against a tiny Dunkin David, because that's just not true. Still, still....

But let's get real. There's a McD's with a drivethrough on my way to work. No such animal in the form of a Dunkin for me. (I may drive the only 3-mile stretch in MetroWest with just ONE Dunks on the route.) And it only costs $1.59 (plus tax) for a generous medium--about 50 cents less than a medium iced dunks (which you can get in decaf, a nice thing in the late afternoon).

And it tastes really good. I feel almost sorrowful in saying that. Most iced coffee is pretty mediocre. Starbucks is overroasted. Peet's is good but not readily available to me except at their store in Lexington. Most restaurant versions are basically a cup of coffee poured over ice. (You'd think that would be my favorite, since I first became addicted to the stuff when my New York-born dad would get through Virginia summers by dumping his dinner coffee into a glass filled with ice.) For years I'd tell anyone who'd listen (before they backed away slowly) that nobody's--and I meant nobody's--iced coffee touched Dunk's. When we moved back east after six Dunks-free/good-iced-coffee-free years in Texas, I almost cried the first time I put a cold one to my lips.

But now I've found another and I feel so...bad? Guilty? Overcaffeinated? Since they don't make the McD's version in decaf, how about if I stick to McD's in the morning and Dunks decaf iced for the rest of the day. Is that okay?

(For another take on this, read The Columnist Manifesto's views on the growing coffee wars. Okay, he's a Mets fan, get over it.)


Blogger Carol said...

I've been raving to everyone about McDonald's iced coffee since it came out a couple of months ago -- It's simply good/delicious (and better-tasting than DD's)!

8:59 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Carol, does this mean you and I are destined for Gitmo together?

9:40 AM  
Blogger Fraulein said...

I've mostly switched from Starbuck's iced lattes ($3.10 for a SMALL) to DD's iced coffees lately. They have lots of flavor options and it's way cheaper than Starbuck's. I will have to try the McDonald's one just to see what it's like though.

10:53 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

Just a reminder though--the Dunks' flavorings are sugar-free, while the vanilla and hazelnut at McD's are flavored, sugared syrups. Although they taste goooood, I usually order mine in standard Dunks' fashion--a little cream with Splenda. Sometimes ya gotta live, though.

11:12 AM  
Blogger clipper829 said...

Well, you know I'm a dunks addict. But - just to expand upon the previous commenter about the flavors - I thought I'd be adventurous and order a "caramel" flavored iced coffee at dunks with cream and a little splenda.

Well, heaven in a cup, they didn't do the flavor shot, they squirted REAL CARAMEL into my iced coffee.

I really, really wish I had never discovered that.

11:52 AM  
Blogger Alison Rose said...

That is definitely dangerous knowledge!

I just found out they raised the prices 20 cents at McD's. They roped me in and now they want me to pay more. Still pretty cheap, though--$1.79 for a good-sized medium.

4:26 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fell deeply in love with McD's Iced caramel coffee during a vacation last week in Vermont. Took myself off to my local NJ Mcd at 6 a.m. today and guess what - they've never heard of it. Bummer. Had to go across the street to Starbucks and pay 3x as much for a smaller drink.

10:58 AM  

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