On DD Coffee

After years of sucking down the swill that has become of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee (more on that in a moment), I’ve come to really appreciate a fine roast.

Funnily enough, although there are no DD chains out here, I can pick up a bag o’Dunkin beans at the local supermarket. But I have yet to avail myself of that option.

Dunkin’ Donuts began their downhill slide when they chose the quantity/volume route rather than the quality/experience route. I once met one of their Corporate Marketing people at a party in the North End and they pretty much told me that it was all about “…filling cups and pushing them out the door. That’s why there will never be wifi or comfy chairs and a lounge-like atmosphere. Even the color scheme is designed to give a feeling of the energetic rather than the relaxed”.

Have you noticed that nowadays pretty much every coffee you get from DD tastes a bit… off; like it’s burned or something? Well, that’s because they have a dirty little secret.

In their race to maximize their output volume, while also reducing labor, they moved away from brewing in single pot carafes and started using three pot brewers that drip into insulated tanks that can hold (from the looks of their size) around nine or twelve pots.

That’s not their secret though. No, the secret is that the whole line of those brewers (I think they are made by Bunn, but my memory of them is failing me) that they are using at all of their stores have an inherent design flaw that allows the grinds to get up over the filter and they end up in the tank. Once they do, they settle to the bottom and just steep… for hours. So that “burnt”, bitter taste is really just the flavor of really over-steeped coffee.

You can think of me as some kind of uppity coffee snob for appreciating a good cup of coffee if you want. But at the prices these shops charge for a cup, if the quality you get is anything less than an average of 9 out of 10, you really need to rethink who you give your regular patronage to.

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~ by ghendar on July 3, 2009.