REVIEW: McDonald’s Cinnamon Cookie Latte

McDonald s Cinnamon Cookie Latte

McDonald’s has started spreading the ever earlier and earlier yuletide force…err, I mean, cheer with the release of its new Cinnamon Cookie Latte.

It seems like cinnamon is the hot flavor this season, with other recent items being McDonald’s rereleased Donut Sticks, which are coated with cinnamon sugar, and Sweet Cinnamon Kit Kats.

While the idea is great, would the presentation and follow-through live up to the hype? When I swung into the McDonald’s drive-thru, having an infamous reputation for serving customers fast, I had to wait approximately eight minutes for the small latte.

Were the Keebler Elves or Pillsbury Dough Boy back there whipping up a special cookie to put in it? Nevertheless, I was thrilled once I got it, as it was nice and warm. I opened it to see how the top would look, and it was interesting.

McDonald s Cinnamon Cookie Latte Top

I was bummed the drink wasn’t full to the top, but seeing the cinnamon sprinkles made up for it. Seriously, sprinkle something with the sweet warm spice and I’ll marry it. But next came the biggest test of all. How would it taste?

I took a sip and got coffee. I couldn’t sense that it was a latte. There was also no essence of cinnamon. There was no flavor of cookie. I can’t say I was very pleased upon first sip. However, I know McDonald’s better than that. Sometimes ya gotta mix it up and swirl that sucker with a spoon. So, I did.

McDonald s Cinnamon Cookie Latte Melted

The new sip was truly refreshing as it tasted more like a latte, but still no cinnamon or cookie. I feel like a Cinnamon Cookie Latte should maybe have a little cinnamon and cookie flavor, but one out of three isn’t bad-ish.

The more I sipped on it, the more I realized this was almost like a McDonald’s coffee with a slight shot of an artificial sweetener. If it wants to compete with other holiday drinks, McDonald’s is going to have to spice it up…literally.??Is this “latte” worth it? If you’re in the mood for cinnamon, no. If you’re in the mood for cookies, no. If you’re in the mood for a latte, probably not.

Purchased Price: $2.11
Size: Small
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 250 calories, 7 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 105 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 35 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte

Dunkin Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte

While other coffee chains attempt to dominate the autumnal flavor board, Dunkin’s New Signature Latte line-up takes a commanding stronghold of classic winter holiday flavors. One of its four new varieties, available hot or cold, is the Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte, which features “the flavors of gingerbread, marshmallow and chocolate all in one cup, topped with whipped cream, caramel drizzle and cinnamon sugar.”

I’ll be completely transparent here, I bought this drink twice, and I’m still not sure I’ve had the website description of this beverage. But look, I get it, seasonal menus are difficult with unique flavors, special prep instructions, and stress!

Dunkin Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte First Latte

The first version of the Toasted Gingerbread Latte I received had nothing on top. No whipped cream, no drizzle, no cinnamon sugar. It was overwhelmingly sweet and tasted like a lightly spiced hot chocolate. If I got this at a freezing cold football game, I wouldn’t be mad, but I was definitely missing any trace of the traditional gingerbread flavor (cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, molasses, etc).

Dunkin Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte 2nd

Feeling like surely something had gone wrong, I tried a second Dunkin’ location a few days later and received an entirely different beverage. This time, there was whipped topping, chocolate drizzle (the website says this was supposed to be caramel, but I didn’t mind this modification), and a cinnamon spice sprinkle topping. Again, I’m not sure this was “correct” either, but it was a massive improvement from the first attempt.

Dunkin Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte 2nd Top

This second version of the Toasted Gingerbread Latte had a much stronger spice flavor both in the drink and from the cinnamon sugar topping. It was still ridiculously sweet and could pass more as gingerbread spice hot chocolate, with almost no coffee taste coming through. It was much more enjoyable with any type of topping accoutrements. I do think Dunkin’ could have done more with the notion of “toasted” (maybe if it was made with oatmilk?), and I would have loved more molasses flavor. But all-in-all, this wasn’t a total miss.

If you’re a fan of sweet drinks, holiday spice, and random barista surprises (because WHO KNOWS how this drink is really supposed to be made), go ahead and roll the dice to see what your local Dunkin’ decides the Toasted Gingerbread Signature Latte is. Maybe try one every day in December like an Advent Calendar surprise!

Purchased Price: $3.08
Size: Small
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Small made with whole milk) 300 calories, 11 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 125 milligrams of cholesterol, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 39 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew

What is the Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew?

The newest addition to Starbucks’ 2019 holiday lineup, the Irish Cream Cold Brew features Cold Brew coffee, Irish Cream syrup, vanilla sweet cream cold foam, and a dash of cocoa on top.

How is it?

I honestly wasn’t sure what to think about this drink when I heard about the release, only because it seemed like an unexpected add for a holiday menu. Was I the only one who heard the word Irish and thought this should be released in March?

But wow, the Irish Cream Cold Brew is GOOD. Like, probably one of my favorite Cold Brew drinks, good.

Starbucks Irish Cream Cold Brew Top

I’m a big fan of the Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew beverage, so I enjoyed the vanilla sweet cream cold foam on top. Even better was when the foam sank into the drink, adding a nice touch of vanilla and the cocoa topping with each sip.

The drink is not overly sweet, which I enjoyed. That seems to be my opinion of most of Starbucks’ Cold Brews – just the right amount of sweetness. The Irish Cream flavoring was strong and smooth, and I highly considered adding Baileys to spike it. I’d be interested in trying some other Starbucks’ drinks with the Irish Cream syrup in it… a latte, perhaps?

Is there anything else you need to know?

One of my favorite things about the Irish Cream Cold Brew was that it didn’t lose it’s flavor, even after I milked it over the course of two hours. It still tasted just as good as when I got it.

Conclusion:

Well done, Starbucks. Wishful thinking, but I would love for this one to stick around past the holidays.

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Grande
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 200 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 0 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 19 grams of total sugars, 2 grams of protein..

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte 1

Peppermint and chocolate make a magical team. Their combination is my most treasured flavor of the holiday season and one of my favorites year-round. Nothing makes me feel like everything is as right with the world as peppermint and chocolate when they’re doing their thing.

After taking a year off, Dunkin’ has brought back their peppermint mocha with a new name: The Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte. It’s a peppermint mocha topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup, dusted with hot cocoa powder. It’s available hot or iced, and since it was nearly 90 degrees when I ordered it, I opted for the iced version.

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte 2

Being that it’s been a couple of years since I’ve had Dunkin’s peppermint mocha, I couldn’t remember if it always came with a sprinkle of hot cocoa powder on the whipped cream. This sounded really promising to me, but, unfortunately, the one I received had such little powder that it didn’t impact the taste of the whipped cream in any noticeable way.

Dunkin Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte Top

The chocolate in the latte was decadent, with a sweetness level was on par with semi-sweet chocolate. The syrup on top tasted exactly as I hoped it would. It was just as rich as the what’s in the drink and didn’t have that typical synthetic chocolate syrup flavor.

The peppermint level was perfectly balanced. It danced around with the chocolate and delicately enhanced the drink. It was strong enough to be prominent, but it didn’t feel like I had ravenously sucked down an entire tin of Altoids.

All this positivity aside, I was disappointed for one very important reason: I could not taste any form of coffee in the latte at all. The drink tasted like a delicious minty chocolate milk on ice, but not any type of legitimate mocha or latte.

I can’t be certain if the Merry Mocha Mint Signature Latte was supposed to taste like this or if I got a dud. Judging by the simple discrepancy between the cocoa powder on my drink and the promo photographs, I’m leaning towards the latter.

This time around, Dunkin’ failed to give me the full “warm and fuzzy” experience that I was craving. Taking a year off from the peppermint mocha has clearly made them a little rusty.

Purchased Price: $4.29
Size: Medium
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 340 calories, 5 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 190 milligrams of sodium, 62 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 56 grams of sugar, and 11 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew

What is the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew?

A cousin to the beloved Pumpkin Spice Latte, the new Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew features Starbucks’ tried-and-true Cold Brew with vanilla sweet cream and a pumpkin-flavored cold foam with pumpkin spice on top.

How is it?

I fully embrace pumpkin spice season, even when it makes its debut in August. And OH MY GOSH, you guys, this Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is a real winner. I *might* even break up with the PSL this year and stick with the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew. It’s that good.

Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew 2

The biggest takeaway from the Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew is that it’s not as sweet as the PSL. It tasted like a piece of pumpkin pie – just enough of a hint of flavor without an artificial taste. The Cold Brew itself, sweetened with vanilla syrup, is smooth and easy to drink. And while I typically have to be in the mood for Cold Foam, I LOVED this one. I liked that it stayed nicely as the top layer without sinking too much into the Cold Brew.

One thing to note, I tried this drink twice. Once I got it with the straw-less lid. The second day, my Starbucks was out of those, so I got lid and straw. While it didn’t affect the flavor too much, I do prefer drinking it out of the straw-less lid because you get equal parts Cold Brew and Cold Foam.

A grande packs a decent caffeine punch at roughly 185 milligrams, so it got me through my day, both productive and excited about wearing scarves again soon.

Is there anything else I need to know?

Points to my mom for doing the recon on this one: The Cold Brew already has the vanilla syrup added in, so you can’t customize with sugar-free vanilla. Embrace the full sugar, my friends – it’s worth it.

Conclusion:

When can I go back and get another?

Purchased Price: $4.45
Size: Grande
Purchased at: Starbucks
Rating: 10 out of 10
Nutrition Facts:: (Grande) 250 calories, 12 grams of total fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 55 milligrams of sodium, 31 grams of total carbohydrates, 0 grams of dietary fiber, 31 grams of total sugars, 3 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte

Dunkin Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte

What is the Dunkin’ Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte?

Well, if you’re not quite ready to jump Ugg first into Pumpkin Spice Season, Dunkin’ has a tweak on the old recipe that basically tastes like pumpkin spice!

How is it?

Ok, in fairness, “Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin” is probably better than that boring glory hog pumpkin spice.

I’m not positive what Dunkin’s recipe is, but a quick search indicates that cinnamon is usually the predominant spice used in pumpkin spice. I don’t think that’s new information to anyone with taste buds, but this latte seems like someone screwed up the pumpkin spice recipe and a happy accident occurred.

Test Kitchen chef, Ralph (I’m naming him Ralph), accidentally threw double the cinnamon in a pumpkin spice batch and Dunkin’ decided it tasted good enough to make the menu.

Cinnamon sugar is delicious, so why wouldn’t you want more of that in your coffee?

Is there anything else you need to know?

Despite an abundance of cinnamon sugar, it wasn’t as sweet as expected. Maybe I lucked out with a good batch, but I expected this to be cloying and over the top. The inclusion of more cinnamon helped mellow out the pumpkin flavor that Dunkin’ sometimes ramps up to ten.

Dunkin Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte Topping

The whipped cream sprinkled with cinnamon was a nice touch, but eat it first, or it will sink to the ice cubes. Whipped topping is definitely better suited for blended drinks.

I’m an iced coffee guy, but I have no doubt this will be a perfect hot coffee flavor too. I’m gonna try that on the first truly cold September morning.

Conclusion:

Dunkin Cinnamon Sugar Pumpkin Signature Latte Fun in the Sun

Despite the “fun in the sun” cup, this was the first moment I really felt like fall – or “autumn” for you pretentious readers – was about to smack me in the face.

If this drink proves anything, it’s that pumpkin and cinnamon are a winning combo. We might not even need all those other spices. Thanks, Ralph!

Purchased Price: $3.29
Size: Small
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 310 calories, 100 calories from fat, 11 grams of fat, 7 grams of sat fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 35 mg of cholesterol, 115 milligrams of sodium, 42 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 36 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.