Dunkin’ Donuts Deemed Best Cheap Coffee

Buzzfeed's Wes Johansen saves his snarkiest comments for Starbucks and Denny's.

Los Angeles-based coffee expert Wes Johansen might have finally settled Boston’s ongoing debate over its two most ubiquitous caffeine peddlers, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts. Over the weekend, Buzzfeed shared a video of Johansen blind taste-testing seven of America’s most popular brands of “cheap coffee.” These included drip offerings from Folgers, Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, Maxwell House, Denny’s, McDonald’s, and 7-Eleven.

There’s a dearth of information online regarding Johansen’s expert qualifications, but his tasting notes certainly make for good copy. When sampling Denny’s coffee, Johansen wonders aloud, “can you get a note of water from coffee?” He describes McDonald’s as “stick-to-your-ribs coffee” that tastes like “dirty asphalt.” Johansen then bestows a lowly one-star rating on Starbucks due to hints of “wet cardboard,” “potato chips,” and “chemical odors.”

Compared to its competitors, Dunkin’ Donuts came away relatively unscathed. Johansen describes it as “beefy” with notes of “grape Jolly Ranchers.” It even elicits an involuntary coo, as he targets the beans’ African or Costa Rican root of origin. The four stars might have tied Folgers score, but Dunkin’ inspired the most glowing praise as Johansen remarked, “I’m really getting afraid by how much I’m getting to like these coffees.”