My relationship with coffee can best be described as a fairweather friend; when things are light and sweet, I’m the biggest fan, but the second it gets dark and bitter, I’m out of there.
For fellow lovers of milky, sugary, frilly coffees, I’m glad to report that Dunkin’s new Toasted White Chocolate Signature Latte is a dream come true. This review was the first time I’ve had both hot and iced variants of a latte simultaneously, and I was pleasantly surprised that their tastes were as distinct as their temperatures.
To celebrate an unseasonably warm day in late fall, I started with the iced version. On a sweetness scale from “plain cold brew” to “milkshake,” it fell solidly at “Frappuccino” level (that is to say, pretty dang sweet). Alongside the pure richness and creaminess of the white chocolate flavor, which was matched by the pure richness and creaminess of the thick, dense whipped cream on top, the “toasted” aspect of the name shined, accentuated by the cinnamon sugar dusting. The drink’s topping also contained a caramel drizzle, but as syrups tend to do, it quickly melted into the whipped cream in an indistinguishable blob, so it didn’t impact the flavor much for me.
As a white chocolate aficionado, I often lament its relegation to seasonal status, but I’ve got to say that this blissful combination of sweet and smokey was as perfect a winter treat as lounging by the fireplace on a snowy day. Bonus points for living up to the image on the poster about as faithfully as possible under the confines of the whipped-cream-smushing lid.
Interestingly, my hot latte was reminiscent of a different iconic winter flavor: gingerbread. After consulting the label to make sure I hadn’t picked up the wrong order, I started to suspect this had to do with the coffee-to-mouth pipeline. Sipping the iced latte from a straw allowed me to skip the whip and get right to the heart of the drink, but since I was swigging the hot latte directly from the opening in the lid, the whipped cream and its accoutrements were the first things that rose to meet me. The heated combination of whipped cream richness, white chocolate toastiness, and the light bite of cinnamon all at once gave the hot version its zesty, cookie-esque character (I found the caramel didn’t make much of a mark in this version, either). Once I slurped past the wintry mix on top, I was met with a beverage as sweet, full-bodied, and comforting as a cup of cocoa.
I couldn’t detect even the faintest hint of acrid coffee taste in either version, which suited me just fine. Ultimately, I might recommend the hot latte over the iced just because it isn’t subject to the same “melting ice diluting the flavor” issue that can plague a cold drink that isn’t chugged quickly enough. But honestly, as long as you don’t mind a serious sugar rush, either variant is so delicious that you just might want to drink it as quickly as possible regardless.
Purchased Price: $4.56
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of sodium (hot) or 135 milligrams of sodium (iced), 42 grams of total carbohydrates, 38 grams of total sugars, 0 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.