Dunkin’ Donuts debuts drink in Portland and Bangor

unnamed

Sorry Portland, Oregon, you may have the lock on craft coffee, but New Englanders take care of each other. This week, Canton, MA-based Dunkin’ Donuts tapped Portland and Bangor, Maine as test markets for its latest invention: cold brew coffee.

“It’s steeped in cold water. Never receives any heat at all,” said Janet Rock, DD’s senior research and development technologist who introduced the concept to Maine’s top cities and Springfield, MA on Monday. “It’s rich, smooth, delicious.”

Because the beverage is brewed slowly, steeped like tea for up to 15 hours, the nuances of this dark roast are subtly coaxed out with a hint of sweetness. “It reminds me of dark chocolate,” said Rock. “It’s indulgent without the calories.”

And it’s only available in Portland, Bangor and Springfield this spring. Why were these markets selected out of DD’s 8,300 national cafes? “People up in Portland like to drink iced coffee year round,” said Rock. We are not wimps!

The fast-growing coffee chain is catching the third-wave buzz with this artisan-style beverage. The drink is not shipped up I-95 on trucks. “It’s hand-crafted in small batches in each store,” said Rock. So baristas in Portland’s 125 Dunks and Bangor’s 40 are slowing things down to get it right. Will that fly in the drive-thru?

If local java junkies give it the thumbs up, cold brew will be rolled out across the country at a later date, said Rock. But for the next three months Mainers (and Springfielders) have this cold play all to themselves.

A small cold brew is $2.49. (versus $1.99 for a regular old iced). You be the judge. Tweet @DunkinMaine.

Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.