REVIEW: Dunkin’ Churro Signature Latte

At some point in the last few years, we must have run out of cookies, cakes, and pies to try to mimic the flavor of, and the wandering eye of some product developer landed on churros as the next great flavor to reproduce in a different format. Churros are delicious! Surely, this will work!

Who could blame someone for trying to capture that magic in another form, and who could blame the next 200 companies who decided they needed to try their hand at it too? Me, apparently. The spring menu at Dunkin’ is leaning heavily into the churro trend, and the newest Signature Latte tries to capture the essence of the cinnamon and sugar-dusted fried pastry in a cup of coffee. The Churro Signature Latte is made from espresso, milk, and churro syrup topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar.

It’s good! I like this drink! It’s smooth, creamy, and perfectly sweet without being too sweet. So what’s the problem? It doesn’t remotely remind me of a churro. We’ve already seen the likes of Ben & Jerry’s, Kit Kat, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch try and fail to crack the churro code, and Dunkin’s attempt might be the weakest of them all.

When I see something churro-flavored, I now assume it will be heavy on the cinnamon/sugar aspect because the taste and texture of fried dough are much more challenging to replicate in anything that isn’t actually fried dough. This latte misses the mark on capturing any pastry taste, and it somehow misses out on cinnamon too. The churro syrup doesn’t seem to contribute anything besides sweetness. If there’s supposed to be something more complex there, it’s so subtle that I’m unable to pick up on it and the cinnamon, even if I get a swoop of whipped cream flecked with it, is barely noticeable. While I find this extremely drinkable, nothing distinguishes it from a dressed-up latte you could get any time, anywhere.

I can’t say I’m disappointed in this drink because my expectations that it could capture the spirit of a churro were pretty low, and it’s a tasty beverage. In terms of a limited time offering though, it feels lazy and like the “churro” label is there just to capitalize on a fad. You wouldn’t sprinkle oregano on a stick and call it an Italian sub so why is it acceptable to add a pinch of cinnamon to something and call it churro? I wouldn’t discourage anyone from ordering it, but I think there’s an element of beating a dead dessert craze here. Can we let churros just be churros and go back to stuffing them in our mouths instead of half-heartedly cramming them into every other foodstuff? I’d consider ordering this again if I’m in the mood for a whipped cream-topped latte but I’m confident that long after the churro syrup is gone, Dunkin’ will still be able to make me this same drink.

Purchased Price: $5.29
Size: Medium
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 350 calories, 13 grams of total fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 150 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of total carbs, 0 gram of dietary fiber, 43 grams of total sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

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