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11 Things You Didn't Know About Dunkin' Donuts Coffee

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A cup of black coffee isn't as simple as it seems.


Dunkin' Donuts is arguably better know for its coffee than its doughnuts — it's one of America's most popular coffee spots. The chain sells everything from Dunkin' branded K-cups to cookie-flavored lattes. To keep quality high, Dunkin' Donuts employs two chief taste-testers who over see the entire coffee operation. The Boston Globe profiled Hélène Marsot, one of the two people that hold the highly caffeinated position, and revealed a slew of interesting facts about the coffee taste-testing process. Below, 11 facts about Dunkin' Donuts' famous coffee:

1) It's a full time job: Dunkin' Donuts has two chief coffee taste-tasters. Their job is to ensure that "millions of cups of coffee the company serves each day taste exactly the same."

2) Coffee tasters are rigorous: The chief taste-testers taste about 100 cups of coffee each week.

3) And very dedicated to their work: Though sometimes they taste 100 cups in a single day.

4) Science! Dunkin' Donuts operates labs in nearly every country from which it buys coffee. There, other taste-testers and machines "determine the moisture content and other measurable qualities of the beans."

5) Being thorough is part of the job: The chief taste-testers must repeat the tasting process once the beans are stateside as a measure of quality control.

6) Coffee cupping: The chief taste-testers score the coffee on a scale of 1 to 7 for a series of attributes like aroma, sweetness, body, and balance.

7) Only the best for the Dunkin'-obsessed masses: If just one attribute in one cup of coffee is out of range, the entire cargo ship container that the sample cup came from will be shipped back to the roaster.

8) Requirements for the job: One of the chief taste-testers has a degree in food microbiology and sensory evaluation. She also worked as a spirit taste-tester and worked in quality assurance at a ham factory.

9) It's not easy: Because the coffee is sourced from multiple countries, it's difficult to ensure each cup has the "same taste."

10) On-the-job training: It takes employees about three years to perfect their sensory sensitivities so they can detect specific scents in coffee.

11) Ensuring objectivity: Dunkin' Donuts requires that three trained testers sample each cup of coffee to "help eliminate personal differences."

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