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Come join us at CoffeeCon 2014:

CoffeeCon The Consumer Coffee Festival is happening on Saturday, November 8th from 9:00 am to 4 pm at Mack Sennett Studios in L.A’s Silver Lake neighborhood. Taste the world’s different coffees, locally roasted every conceivable way, brewed using many different methods by 20+ specialty roasters. Meet other coffee enthusiasts in the world’s largest coffee meet-up. Hear expert presenters share secrets to expand your taste buds and coffee consciousness. Attend classes and hands-on labs to empower and expand your own coffee brewing at home. Food, live music and prize giveaways, where top brewers, beans and accessories are awarded onsite. Special basement tour of Mack Sennett Studios as seen on American Horror Story.


I arrived at Dunkin Donuts around 1:00pm and was surprised by the short length of the line, considering that only a couple of weeks ago the opening-day line had been out the door and down the block. My delight at the brevity of the line was immediately replaced with ire, as the pacing of the service seemed to be extremely slow. It took at least 30 minutes for me to reach the front of a line that only had about 8 people in it. The behind-the-counter arrangement of the donuts and the coffee seem to be the primary source of inefficiency. As I got closer to the front of the line I became aware certain items on the menu were still not available two weeks after opening, including the Iced Green Tea, which I had planned to order. I ordered an Iced Latte, strawberry-iced donut, and a vanilla-iced donut. The preparation of the coffee was timely and the general preparation time for food also seemed to be generally swift.

I found a seat off to the side and took a second to study the interior décor. The ceilings were exposed, which is something I have to come to primarily associate with Chipotle restaurants. The interior was split into an indoor and outdoor section with the outdoor seating being curiously more spacious and seemingly more plentiful. I found this a very odd architectural choice considering the desert climate that has become the norm in the Greater Los Angeles area.

So the food… My latte was a latte, not bad, but not especially good. The donuts were decent, the icing was delicious, but the donut having been prepared some while ago had become spongy. My friend, Nick tried the Dunkincino, which was hot chocolate and coffee mixed together, he enjoyed it. I initially was underwhelmed by the Dunkin Donuts experience, I became aware that their sandwiches are one of their primary selling points. So I’ll have to hold off my final verdict until I try their sandwiches. However, I can say if you’re looking for great coffee stick to Starbucks or Coffee Bean.

Starbucks has become widely known for the seasonal treats they bestow on their loyal customers every year, one of the most popular being Pumpkin Spice Latte. Maybe in their urgency to please their customers Starbucks mixed up their seasons and thought fall was already here. Though mixing up their season would appropriate because their early launching of the Pumpkin Spice Latte has stirred up a ton of press and not the good kind.

Aside from the peculiar choice to release a coffee beverage does not have a iced equivalent like the Macchiato or Lattes during the summer. If drinking a scolding hot coffee during the summer does draw any ire perhaps the artificiality of the Pumpkin Spice Latte flavoring will. Considering the revealing discoveries about the effects of high fructose and various types of food coloring on our bodies, it’s becoming increasingly imperative that we as consumers are aware of whats in the food we consume. So naturally, it was only a matter of time before someone investigated the contents of Starbucks absurdly popular autumn offering. Little did we know that Vani Hari aka the Food Babe has actually been investigating whats in the Pumpkin Spice Latte for years. Hari revealed recently that Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte actually contains no pumpkin whatsoever, despite this quote from the Starbucks website seems to suggest “Cinnamon, nutmeg, clove? Check. Creamy milk for a delicious taste and texture? Check. Real pumpkin pie spices atop whipped cream”.

Oh the irony, that a drink that’s supposed be made of pumpkin, a fruit (yes, a fruit) that symbolizes the harvest associated with the autumn season, actually contains no pumpkin. That’s not the worse part Hari also revealed that the Pumpkin Spice Lattes contain an inordinate amount of sugar, in addition to Mosanto milk, a food coloring made from ammonia, and artificial flavors and preservatives. How long can Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte continue to immense popularity in the face of these revelations?