By Contributing Writer Tara Thorne (’24)
This past Wednesday, RamPage staff members sat down and underwent multiple arduous, grueling, laborious trials. We were tasked with trying different holiday drinks and delicacies, then rating them on a scale of one to ten. We poured our hearts and souls into our craft to answer the question of the century: which is better, Dunkin’ or Starbucks?
We began with Dunkin, starting off strongly with the “Cookie Butter Cold Brew.” The resounding consensus on this drink was a feeling of being underwhelmed. Despite the drink’s promising name, everybody agreed that it just tasted like “iced coffee if you put six sugar packets in it,” in the words of Senior Isaiah Steinberg. The immediate reaction on our judge’s faces was an expression of disappointment. To put it shortly, this drink was promising, yet unable to deliver. It should be noted however, that the drink was missing the actual cold foam because Dunkin was out of it, so the drink was unable to live up to its full potential, although it did have cookie butter flavoring. The group’s average rating was a 6.3.
Our second drink was the “Peppermint Mocha Latte.” This one was immediately unpopular. A pregnant silence overtook the table after everyone took their first sip, one that was soon broken with a declaration that was felt and shared all around the room, possibly even the country. Junior Tara Thorne bravely declared, “Oh this is terrible.” Other comments on it include, “This tastes like organic chocolate milk, but like, in a bad way,” also said by Thorne. Junior Riley Kim noted that the “mint is very subtle.” If you’re looking for a minty holiday drink to up your spirits, we do not recommend this one. Our rating: a solid 4.
Next up we had some good ol’ fashioned “Peppermint Hot Chocolate”. This one was an emotional rollercoaster. Our judges were sent into a state of confusion, how could it taste so good yet feel so bad on our tongues? Senior Isaiah Steinberg observed that “the texture is off putting, but the flavor is really good.” Everybody agreed with this statement except for Junior Mila Morgan, who said it “felt like drinking spit” and thoroughly did not enjoy the experience. Unfortunately, the taste could not make up for the texture- the group’s overall rating was a 4.5.
Soon enough, it was time for us to try the sweet treats. We started off with the “Cranberry Orange Muffin,” which was “visually appealing,” in the words of Sophomore Lucas Chiorini. A shared feeling on this delicacy was that it was good, but didn’t really taste like cranberry. Junior Riley Kim stated that “the muffin overpowers the cranberry,” and Senior Isaiah Steinberg felt that “it tastes like berry, not just cranberry.” Despite the muffin’s inability to follow through on its promise of cranberry flavor, the group still liked it. It was the groups most loved item from Dunkin, with a rating of 7.
Our last Dunkin treat was the “Cookie Butter Donut.” This one was well-loved. Junior Riley Kim noted that it “tastes like cinnamon honey maple.” The donut appeared to be a normal frosted donut, but in actuality was filled with “goo” as our staff called it. The inside was definitely the highlight of the treat, closely followed by the crushed up cookie pieces on top of the donut. Isaiah Steinberg commented that “the crunch is so good but it looks like dog food.” Our group rating was a 6.8.
Next, we switched over to Starbucks. We started off with the “Iced Sugar Cookie Almond Milk Latte.” Similarly to Dunkin’s “Cookie Butter” latte, this drink didn’t really live up to its namesake. The negative comments on this one were endless. Junior Mila Morgan said it has “no flavor,” Sophomore Lucas Chiorini said that “it’s bitter” and Senior Isaiah Steinberg felt that it was “all acid, no flavor.” Junior Sophia Caputo claimed, “It’s good, but it just taste like dark coffee with almond milk, I’m not getting the sugar cookie.” Junior Tara Thorne desperately cried out in defense of the drink, claiming that “it usually tastes way better than this, I swear!” Despite the author’s frantic rebuttals, this drink was simply bad. We rated it a 3.6.
Second, we had the “Caramel Brulee Frappuccino,” the most favored drink from Starbucks. Junior Tara Thorne called it “coffee for people who don’t like coffee,” and Senior Isaiah Steinberg felt similarly, saying that “it’s really good but it tastes like a milkshake.” As a coffee, this drink is a failure. But if you’re not looking for a strong, identifiable coffee flavor, then it’s great! We gave it an 8.3.
The “Toasted White Mocha” ensued. We did not like it. The dislike started before we even took our first sips. Senior Isaiah Steinberg commented that it “smells like mold and dirty socks,” which, as you might be able to guess, is not a particularly pleasant scent. The drink pretty much matched in taste with its smell. Sophomore Lucas Chiorini “wouldn’t be surprised if there was no white mocha” and Junior Mila Morgan noted that it was “super watery.” This drink would be perfect for someone who doesn’t have taste buds. We rate it a 1.6.
After that disgusting excuse of a drink, it was time for the treats. We started off with another cranberry flavored treat, the “Cranberry Bliss Bar.” This was less of a bar and more bread with frosting on top. The two textures didn’t go very well together, as Riley Kim noted, “the texture [of the dough] is a bit too tough for the fluffy frosting.” Despite our qualms with the texture, the treat did gain points for the fact that you can, as Sophomore Lucas Chiorini stated, “actually taste cranberries” in it, unlike in Dunkin’s muffin. We gave it a 6.6.
Our last treat was the “Chocolate Pistachio Swirl.” We were not aficionados of this one. Junior Riley Kim noted, with a melancholy tone of voice, that “someone ruined a cinnamon roll.” Junior Mila Morgan stated that it wasn’t “very chocolate-y or very pistachio-y.” The treat was dry and disappointing, with a rating of 3.8.
The sum of our Dunkin ratings is 28.6 out of 50, 4.7 higher than our Starbucks rating of 23.9. The averages compare at 5.7 to 4.8. With Dunkin’s as our clear winner, the group took some time to reflect. Senior Isaiah Steinberg stated that “Starbucks had better drinks, but Dunkin had better food.” Everyone was able to agree with this. We did, however, admit that Dunkin had a bit of an advantage as the beginners, since we toughened up as time went on. Regardless, Starbucks still lost. Thus, the age old question of “Starbs” versus “Dunks” was finally answered.