REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Red Velvet Latte

Dunkin' Donuts Red Velvet Latte

I’m a man who likes my coffee black, espresso sans milk and if I need to spike it with anything, bourbon will do over the Irish cream. Putting sugar in my coffee is like stamping the head of a penis on my forehead. I really do not like that.

What I really like…In fact, what I really love is red velvet cake and I’m particular about it. The cream cheese frosting is everything to me. A tad savory and not too sweet is a hard act to juggle (like tastefully mushroom stamping someone on the forehead). It’s a perfect combination of taste and sight as the red cake, contrasted with the ivory frosting, draws most people’s attention.

Red velvet cake is like carrot cake’s more complicated poetry writing sister who wears black horn-rimmed glasses and still listens to Bikini Kill. The ingredients are not as mosaic as carrot cake because it’s simply a chocolate cake with red dye. Yet it is deceptively simple because the flavors evoke an umami-like profile, mostly in thanks to the cream cheese frosting.

But drinking a red velvet cake? The flavored coffee drinks and lattes are blurring the lines since a lot of them taste like variations of milkshake flavors. I don’t know…maybe if you like those so much, you really don’t enjoy coffee.

Ah…Who am I to judge? Yet, I don’t think you do because the coffee/espresso flavors are often buried underneath that heavy syrup. It makes me sad because it’s the same as drowning a ribeye in steak sauce or when the priest guy got buried in The Omen (1976 version, damn it still haunts me).

It’s like when people tell me they love whiskey and then say there’s a great honey or an apple pie variant. Why don’t you just tell me to “do my mom in the garage” instead? With all due respect, it’s gross.

I don’t want my whiskey flavored any more than my coffee and I’m not sure I want to consume a red velvet cake that requires no chewing.

However, not to be outdone by Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts is really trying to make a dent with its own lattes. Some hit, others miss as miserable as Spike Lee’s version of Oldboy. Honestly, have you seen that dreck?

Needless to say, I was a bit more repulsed when I heard Dunkin’ Donuts created a Red Velvet Latte but my senses were dulled by Sharlto Copley’s manic and awful acting, I needed some sort of stimulus so I can feel again. I haven’t seen this over the top acting since Dominic West’s “Jigsaw” in Punisher War Zone (Best line, “I don’t speak vampire” to some Russian thugs).

It also doesn’t help the coffee looked like the remnants of a liver that was soaking in milk to mellow that “nickel” flavor. You ever see that stuff? It looks like eraser remnants mixed with milk.

Despite the pinkish brown color of the coffee, the wafting scent of a deep roasted espresso was enticing. It permeated the air around me and I thought, “This ain’t so bad.” The temperature radiating nicely in my hand was at the Goldilocks zone of just right. Dunkin’ Donuts seems to be pretty consistent on the hot temperatures of their coffees. I have to give them big ups for that.

Upon my first sip, I was surprised at the subtle flavor of the cream cheese frosting. It was shockingly yummy. It was followed by mellow yet rich milk chocolatey tones that washed away the frosting taste.

Although pleasant, I enjoyed that the cream cheese frosting flavor does not linger. However, what does hang around like a clingy in-law is the overwhelming sweetness of the coffee. Most drinks such as these, whether it’s from Starbucks or your local coffee house, falls victim to the gummy sugary dreck that chokes the coffee with no remorse.

The latte was akin to an over the top CGI action film where “bullet time” is used so much, it bores or annoys you to death (i.e. The God-awful Underworld series). With each subsequent sip, the sweetness was magnified to the point I got those awful “tingles” in my cheeks. It’s too bad because I was hoping to like this drink.

I would definitely recommend trying it since you have to experience “sipping” on cream cheese frosting, but the novelty wears off immediately due to the heavy handed sweetness that encompasses the entire latte. If Dunkin’ Donuts would dial the sweetness back, I would order this again. Besides, there are other coffee drinks I would rather inflict on myself before this one.

(Nutrition Facts – small with skim milk – 180 calories, 5 calories from fat, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 5 milligrams of cholesterol, 120 milligrams of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of sugars, and 8 grams of protein)

Item: Dunkin’ Donuts Red Velvet Latte
Purchased Price: $2.29
Size: Small (10 oz.)
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Cream cheese flavors are subtle and nice. The roasted espresso smell is there. Original movies are mostly better. Milk-chocolate taste is rich yet mellow. Sharlto Copley in The A-Team.
Cons: Too damned sweet. The pinkish brown color is disgusting. Remakes of foreign films mostly suck. You’ll get a better experience eating a red velvet cake and downing it with coffee. Sharlto Copley in Oldboy.

6 thoughts to “REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Red Velvet Latte”

  1. There is a way to do it less sweet: instead of a latte, get a regular coffee, and have them add just one pump of red velvet sauce. Much, much, better. The milk for the latte adds a lot of sweetness, as does the additional pumps they add.

  2. I love their red velvet coffee, not so much the latte. I find that it taste too “foamy”. One trip to the wrong Dunkin Donuts killed it all for me as they put expired cream in my coffee. I haven’t had a craving for it since. It was great while it lasted.

    PS- As a journalism student, I love your writing style.

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