Is Dunkin Donuts worth the iced coffee hype? (Amy Sussman/Getty Images)
“Please autumn hold your breath/ While summer collects the last/threads of her dress.”
— Carol Trawick, as viewed on a bench outside the Bethesda Library
Summer’s not over yet.
August may be winding down, but there are arguably a few more weeks of iced coffees, before the fall arrives and and pumpkin spiced latte craze** takes over.
Our iced coffee challenge continues with three final contenders (Read Part 1 and Part 2 of the Roll Call After Dark Iced Coffee Challenge).
La Colombe: ($2.75 for iced coffee or iced Americano, 16 ounces, sales tax included in price) Tucked in an alleyway in D.C.’s Shaw neighborhood, La Colombe arrived in Washington as the latest coffee craze. The over-caffeinated hype is much deserving; La Colombe roasts its own beans and the clever post-modern décor is ideal for anyone looking for a quiet coffee shop haven that doesn’t have “bucks” in the name. There’s no soy milk available, but La Colombe does offer hemp milk (!), another dairy-free alternative, at no extra charge. Extra bonus: free sparkling water from a tap. Decaf drinkers beware: a decaf drink carries a 50 cent surcharge. The coffee may be good enough to lure in repeat customers, but there is no loyalty program to reward your business.
Peet’s Coffee: ($2.55 for iced Americano, $2.45 for iced coffee, both 16 ounces) Hello, Washington, D.C., meet Peet’s Coffee, the new coffee spot replacing the kitschy ski-lodge themed Carbiou Coffees and then some. The West Coast chain is super clean, medium fast, and reasonably priced. Soy creamer and simple syrup are available at the coffee bar, which can somewhat make up for the fact that there is no rewards program for frequent visits.
Dunkin Donuts: ($2.59 for 16 ounces of iced coffee — because, really, why would you order an Americano from Dunkin Donuts?) We get it, East Coasters, the love for Dunkin’ Donuts coffee knows no bounds. But let’s call it for what it is: all right coffee. How seriously can you take a coffee brand that comes in flavors like “cookie dough” and “blueberry”? (Not that “pumpkin spice” is any better, looking at you, Starbucks.) It may be the salt of the earth among coffee taste buds, but the fandom knows no bounds. Control freaks beware: Dunkin adds cream and sugar for you and the milk options are limited to skim, whole, and cream (no soy or 2 percent). Dunkin values loyalty, and the DD Perks app provides a free medium coffee just for signing up. Also, keep an eye on your snail-mail, as the seasons change Dunkin has been known to send out coupons for free iced coffees on Monday morning. No catch, no “with purchase” gimmick. Just free coffee. And who can’t appreciate that?
**Is it worth Roll Call After Dark’s time and calories to review PSLs? Let us know: tweet to @beckgale.