If there was an intersection where coffee and toffee met, you’d find me in the middle, impatiently waiting for waves of espresso and the butter/sugar confection to crash into me. Before Ben & Jerry’s ruined it, its Coffee Heath Bar Crunch was my go-to ice cream, and I make batches of my own coffee toffee several times a year. Coffee and toffee play well together beyond just rhyming, and Dunkin’ is here to take advantage of that with its new Brown Butter Toffee Latte. The winter menu drink features your milk of choice plus “bold espresso and subtle brown butter and toffee flavor notes.”
When I removed the lid on the hot version, I was briefly thrown off by a bizarre orange hue around the edges until I realized this was the result of sprinkles that had melted into the drink. It definitely captures the aroma of toffee, and the flavor is rich and buttery with the latter being almost a little startling at times. Browned butter is delicious, but here and there, I got a sip that almost seemed like I was just drinking browned butter. It isn’t necessarily off-putting, but if anyone asked, you’d certainly have no trouble identifying what that flavor is. Apparently, Dunkin’ and I don’t have the same definition of “subtle.”
We also differ on the word “bold” because I wish the coffee was more present here. While packing a fair amount of sugar, the sweetness isn’t totally overwhelming for me. But I think it could be better balanced with a stronger coffee element or maybe a bit more molasses flavor for depth and bitterness. Overall though, these are minor quibbles because the toffee flavor is well executed, and the drink has a toasty, wintery vibe that’ll help comfort you in this post-holiday time when you’re forced to throw out your Christmas tree.
The iced latte is creamier and more mild tasting which can be good or bad depending on how much you enjoy the two main flavors here. It doesn’t smack me in the face with browned butter the way the hot version sometimes did; here, it is more subtle. The toffee smell is still strong, but the taste is toned down a bit. Not sure if you love toffee, but can get on board with caramel things? I’d go the iced route.
Both hot and iced drink like dessert beverages and less like your morning coffee. Neither achieves the highest levels that a coffee/toffee pairing can, but if you’re looking for a sweet way to usher in January, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed in these cozy lattes.
Purchased Price: $4.29 (hot), $4.69 (iced)
Rating: 8 out of 10 (hot), 7 out of 10 (iced)
Nutrition Facts: (Medium hot with whole milk) 280 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 140 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 37 grams of total sugar (24 grams of added sugar), and 9 grams of protein. (Medium iced with whole milk) 280 calories, 9 grams of total fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of total carbs, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 37 grams of total sugar (24 grams of added sugar), and 9 grams of protein.