[FOOD REVIEW] Dunkin’s Valentine’s Day specials will leave you heartbroken


Dunkin' Donuts Newsroom

Valentine’s themed treats are available through Feb. 23, but don’t go in expecting to fall in love with the seasonal offerings.

I tried the Valentine’s Day specials from Dunkin’, so you don’t have to, and here’s what I found: the “X’s and Macchiato’s” combos are overrated.

Valentine’s Day may have passed, but you can still grab a little love at Dunkin’. Along with their annual heart-shaped donuts, the coffee chain brought back the Pink Velvet Macchiato and new Mocha Macchiato from Jan. 27-Feb. 23.

Advertised as a combination of “rich espresso with red velvet cake flavor and hints of smooth cream cheese icing,” the Pink Velvet Macchiato is said to take the standard espresso beneath a frothy milk layer to a whole new level. The Mocha Macchiato is described as a “beautifully layered, handcrafted macchiato with bold espresso and rich, chocolatey mocha,” which takes a different approach to Valentine’s Day than the typical red and pink treats. As a coffee connoisseur, I wanted to see if these Dunkin’ delights live up to the expectation.

At first glance, the iced Pink Velvet Macchiato screams festive, with a bright pink layer that contrasts the dark espresso. Unfortunately, it looks much better than it tastes. The drink is incredibly sugary, and coming from someone with a huge sweet tooth, that says a lot. I opted out of ruining the aesthetic by mixing it up before tasting it for the first time, just to find that this was a big mistake. My first sip was straight syrup. The hints of red velvet and cream cheese icing were still very prominent after stirring it around, but they clashed with the slight coffee flavor for an unpleasant aftertaste. After a total of three sips, I decided I couldn’t take anymore.

The iced Pink Velvet Macchiato screams festive, with a bright pink layer that contrasts the dark espresso. Unfortunately, it looks much better than it tastes.”

The recommendation is that customers pair the Pink Velvet Macchiato with the Cupid’s Choice Donut, which is a heart-shaped donut with a bavarian cream filling and strawberry icing topped with pink sprinkles. Other than its cute look, this donut is nothing special. The first few bites tasted like a good, standard donut with a strong strawberry smell and an artificial strawberry taste. Once I got to the middle of the donut, the bavarian cream hindered the experience and made for an overwhelming bite. Without the filling, this would be a perfectly fine donut.

The Mocha Macchiato looks like any other coffee drink. Before I had even taken my first sip, the espresso and milk had already combined, which was disappointing. However, this drink was much better than the first. It had a light chocolate flavor that was almost like a chocolate sprinkle, and the coffee taste was much more intense, but the flavors were smooth and complemented each other well. Overall, I could potentially see myself ordering this drink again next Valentine’s Day, but it wouldn’t replace my go-to iced coffee with caramel swirl if it became a permanent item on the menu.

Last but not least, the Brownie Batter Donut. I was initially worried that this donut would be too sweet or chocolatey and prompt a stomach ache, but it was by far the best part of the Valentine’s Day menu. The heart shape combined with the standard white icing and chocolate sprinkles was simple but appealing. Once again, the first bite tasted like any other donut; sweet and enjoyable. When I got to the center, I found the “brownie batter.” It tasted more like chocolate frosting, so it didn’t exactly live up to its name, but it was tasty nonetheless. If this donut was on the menu year-round, it could definitely become a part of my usual coffee run.

In my experience, Dunkin’ is hit or miss, and overall, this was a miss. The only item worth seeking out before the Valentine’s Day specials are dropped from the menu is the Brownie Batter Donut.

Rating: ★★