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A Rhode Island Moment

ezra9876 Feb 19, 2009 04:41 AM

I was at a bakery on Park Ave. in Cranston (picking up a delicious spinach and hot pepper pie) and I overheard the teenage girls behind the counter complaining about how the quality of Dunkin Doughnuts coffee has gone down hill over the last couple of years! One of them had just gotten a coffee next door and it didn't taste fresh so she was going to take it back. Mind you, these girls are no more than 16 or 17 at the most!

Cracks me us how Dunkin Doughnuts (and coffee in general) are such a large part of the culture in Rhode Island.

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  1. k
    katcraig RE: ezra9876 Feb 19, 2009 04:44 AM

    Oh believe me, it's not limited to RI. Here in CT and MA where I originated, Dunky's is a big part of the teen culture. It worries me, actually!

    1. r
      RIRN2008 RE: ezra9876 Feb 19, 2009 08:27 AM

      Isn't that funny? Both my daughters (both in their 20's now) are big-time DD fans...and me? I hate coffee!! You gotta laugh...

      3 Replies
      1. re: RIRN2008
        bastaya RE: RIRN2008 Feb 19, 2009 11:30 AM

        I am an RI native who has been stewed in DD since girlhood. A true testament to my DD upbringing requires a story. I went to Bangok a few years back, and upon stepping out of a subway car, told my husband that I swore I smelled DD. He, not surprisingly, thought I was crazy. We are in the middle of Bangkok after all. As we walked down the subway platform - voila! - the familiar DD logo loomed. Yes dear friends, you can get DD in Bangkok. And iced coffee. The grease smells the same no matter what continent.

        1. re: bastaya
          im hungry RE: bastaya Feb 19, 2009 11:39 AM

          sorry,i guess i wasnt raised in rhode island,but dunkin doughnuts coffee is just plain gross,sorry....

          1. re: bastaya
            RI Swampyankee RE: bastaya Feb 19, 2009 03:41 PM

            Not only Bankok but Phuket has a DD in the lobby--and it DID smell the same. Maybe it's because I've been drinking the stuff since I was 12, but I don't mind the flavor profile. I do mind the weakness.
            On second thought, given how much DD cawfee Vo Dilunduhs drink, maybe it's all for the good that it's not stronger.

        2. trufflehound RE: ezra9876 Feb 19, 2009 02:32 PM

          What about Bess Eaton? I personally find DD coffee weak, tasteless and acidic.

          4 Replies
          1. re: trufflehound
            im hungry RE: trufflehound Feb 19, 2009 03:25 PM

            once starbucks popped up it changed everything.diners,dd,7-11,whatever,it all tastes terrible compared to starbucks.luckily a bunch of people also realized this ,got their own thing going,think coffee exchange,small local coffee shops etc.now you can get fresh roasted beans and make coffee at home that blows away those chains.support the local guys,theres one in every town,dont be that dunkin doughnut zombie wih no tastebuds!!!

            1. re: im hungry
              late to dinner RE: im hungry Feb 20, 2009 10:15 AM

              Ahhh....coffee elitism...there is nothing more annoying than being told the drink I like is not good because it is mass produced in a way that some coffee nerd thinks is inappropriate. Fact is DD uses fair trade beans so there is no PC reason not to like the brew. They have not altered the way they do things in years which leads to a certain familiarity with the product and it appeals to you it is great. As someone who spent too many years in the Pacific North West (S.E, Portland) and the only Dunkin Donuts at the time was on Holgate and 55th (this was a long time ago) you appreciate being back in New England where they are on every street corner. Personally $2 for a mass produced cup of coffee is better than $4 for one that is often bitter and always burnt... My point is this was not a thread about which coffee is better or worse, it was a thread about walking around in Thailand and being greeted with an aroma from home. But thanks for ruining the moment for us.

              As an aside...although the coffee sucks (yes I know I had a coffee elitism moment there but come on...their coffee does suck) there is a Krispy Kreme in the Hong Kong airport that is well visited especially after the 16 hour flight from Newark.

              1. re: late to dinner
                RI Swampyankee RE: late to dinner Feb 20, 2009 05:10 PM

                I'm with you LTD. Having spent waayy to many years in Milwaukee, may I add an amen to your post. After a month in Thailand, the smell of DD was incredibly powerful. My SO didn't get it, but I did.

                I love good coffee and I start every morning with a nice shade-grown-organic Sumatran. When that caffo-buzz wears off I make a bee line, crossing three lanes of traffic, for my DD in Apponaug. It is possible to like both.

            2. re: trufflehound
              BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: trufflehound Feb 25, 2009 07:49 PM

              Bess Eaton has been gone for close to five years, but my memory is that their coffee was nothing special the few times I had it.

            3. atheorist RE: ezra9876 Feb 19, 2009 04:33 PM

              What a depressing juggernaut of mediocrity is Dunkin Donuts.
              No other coffee anywhere smells like that. It must be some engineered chemical flavinoid.

              2 Replies
              1. re: atheorist
                im hungry RE: atheorist Feb 20, 2009 05:51 AM

                people do the craziest stuff just to get the coffee at dunkins too,driving wise.ive seen cars blocking major roads waiting in the drive thru line,people totally doing the most stupid things to get in the parking lot.im telling you,that coffee turns people into zombies.i heard a long time ago that they grind thier beans super fine,so you get a quick caffeine hit,but it also doesnt last,so you gotta get more,and more.dont know if its true,but judging from the behavior of dunkin doughnuts coffee drinkers,it makes some sort of sense.

                1. re: im hungry
                  Garris RE: im hungry Feb 20, 2009 08:03 AM

                  Absolutely true... Branch Avenue was blocked this morning in BOTH directions by cars overflowing from the DD drive through line (that has to be the worst intersection in the city, BTW).

                  - Garris
                  Greater City Providence Urbanism Blog

              2. o
                oystertripe RE: ezra9876 Feb 20, 2009 06:08 AM

                Dunkin' Donuts uses mediocre beans with a lot of "quakers" (duds). Starbucks overroasts, so that all of the beans taste pretty much the same: burnt. If you enjoy coffee, buy green beans from a reputable supplier like Sweet Maria's (www.sweetmarias.com)
                and roast them at home. Dead simple; you can even use a hot-air popcorn popper if you don't want to invest in a home roaster. It does generate some smoke, but you can control the degree of roast to suit your tastes. Do yourself a favor and see what good coffee really tastes like. You will save a good bit of money; plus, green coffee beans last for months.

                1. MandalayVA RE: ezra9876 Feb 21, 2009 03:49 PM

                  DD is making its way south--the first one in the Richmond area opened up about five miles from my house. Coffee's still good.

                  1. chowser RE: ezra9876 Feb 23, 2009 12:51 PM

                    What about Allie's donuts? Is that still around? It's where my friends and I went when we were 16 or 17, quite some time ago. We never went to DD.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: chowser
                      late to dinner RE: chowser Feb 24, 2009 07:26 AM

                      Allie's is still there although the Route 4 addition about 10 years ago did not help their business at all. You used to have to drive by to get to the beach, now you are on the highway 100 yards behind it zooming bye...out of sight out of mind. We went there a few weeks ago because my daughter was competing in a Gymnastics meet down the road. Still good but not worth getting off the highway for...at least not in my opinion.

                    2. Bob W RE: ezra9876 Feb 24, 2009 12:06 PM

                      Fortunately we have a few DDs here in Northern Virginia -- with a new one about to open in Ashburn after a three-year(!) zoning battle. I agree their coffee is not so great (although it did help turn me into a coffee lover as a teenager) but their iced coffee -- the regular, not that sugary flavored crap -- is fantastic on a hot, steamy NOVA day... even if the cup is too big to fit in my chintzy cupholder.

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