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Dunkin’ and Starbucks summer menu falls short of sweet expectations By Maddy Tansley '23

After the long school year, students and teachers alike enjoy relaxing with a cool drink by the pool. This summer is no different. However, the new summer food and drinks provided by both Dunkin’ and Starbucks don’t quite meet the standards as would be expected. Their aesthetic appearances shouldn’t distract from their bland taste. Both Dunkin’ and Starbucks should work to make their summer seasonal foods and drinks more special, and have the same standards for both summer and winter seasonal treats.

From Starbucks I got the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino and the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers. Then from Dunkin’ I got the Strawberry Coconut Milk Refresher and the Berry Powdered Doughnut.
The Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino is new to the summer menu, however the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers was still included in their summer announcement.

The Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino sounds like an interesting flavor to encapsulate into a drink. However, the taste is disappointing. There is hardly any strawberry, and the only flavor that is perceptible is very bland.

The Strawberry Açaí Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers Refresher was definitely my favorite out of the drinks I tried. It gave a twist to the original Strawberry Acai Refresher by offering the classic taste of lemonade. It’s extremely refreshing and is a perfect drink for a hot summer day.

Both the Dunkin’ refresher and doughnut are new to the summer menu and showcase a similar aesthetic.

The Strawberry Coconut Milk Refresher from Dunkin’ was even more bland than the Strawberry Funnel Cake Frappuccino. There wasn’t the usual sweetness or refreshing qualities you would expect in a summery drink. Also, this drink comes in two other flavors (pomegranate and mango), which I would assume taste almost exactly the same as this drink seeing as the strawberry was very mild.

The Berry Doughnut from Dunkin’ is the only somewhat summery food option from both Dunkin’ and Starbucks. On the first bite you can taste the berry flavored powder, however, that taste fades after a few bites and then it tastes like a regular powdered doughnut. I think it is cool for the pink aesthetic or to get in the spirit for summer, but as an actual flavor it’s not as strong as you would hope it to be.

Even though most of these drinks were somewhat disappointing, the Strawberry Açaí Lemonade Starbucks Refreshers and the Berry Doughnut are the perfect options for a summer treat. The pink, fruity theme that is shown in the summer menu also adds to the overall enjoyableness of the drinks.

All photos taken by Maddy Tansley '23