A Coffee Review, Espresso-ly For You

Starbucks, Dunkin’, Monk and Mongoose, 303 Coffee, and Dutch Bros are all reviewed right here by us on their most popular, non-seasonal drink.


by Lola Boushelle and Kendall Foxworth

The smell of freshly brewed coffee roams the small cafe as you hear your name being called by the barista. The foam lays softly on top of the light-colored latte, but before you take a sip you admire the sweet atmosphere of a morning coffee shop. The small cup cost you $11 although the taste was worth it, right? Wrong. That is why this coffee review was created. 


Starbucks: The most popular, non-seasonal, drink was an iced Caramel Macchiato. 

This drink is something we have tested before and are more than comfortable reviewing. The caramel macchiato is a simple sweet coffee that is recommended for caramel enthusiasts. If you have a sweet tooth, we definitely think you will like this as the creamer overpowers the espresso. 

Rating – We would rate this splendid, sweet drink an 8/10. The flavor is great for a mid-day drink but would most likely be too sweet for an early morning. 

Post-energy check – We can both report that exactly four hours after we feel energized and refreshed.

Sweetness: 8/10 

Bitterness: 1/10

Nutritional facts (grande) 

Calories – 250

Carbs – 35g

Sugar – 33g

Drinks we recommend – 

  • Iced cold brew with two pumps of sugar free vanilla and two pumps of pumpkin (when we are not wearing flannels, get chai)
  • Iced chai with three pumps of pumpkin syrup. Chai creme frappuccino for those who enjoy frozen coffee.

Click here to access the Starbucks app

  • Get stars for every purchase 
  • Use stars to deduct payment
  • Take part in star earning challenges
  • Pre-order drinks
  • Check all the drink/food options


Dunkin’ Donuts: The most popular drink here was the Caramel Iced Coffee. The location of this donut and coffee shop is placed and out of the way. There is a sharp u-turn to get into the hidden drive through and to exit the area there is a steep hill you have to face before racing into busy traffic. We can confidently say that Dunkin’ is not our top choice nor our bottom. This drink had flavor but it was not coffee or caramel. The drink was slightly watered down and simply not worth the calories

Rating: We are giving this drink a 4/10. It was not horrible but it was not good either. We would not get this drink again due to the lack of caramel flavor. It mainly tasted like half unsweetened coffee and half-day-old water. 

Sweetness: 2/10

Bitterness: 7/10

Nutritional Facts (medium) 

Calories – 260

Carbs – 40g

Sugar – 40g

Drinks we recommend- 

Dunkin’ is tricky because it’s pretty inconsistent. They are known for their drinks tasting different every time making it hard to find a go-to order. We will say, however, we love their Valentine’s Day drink, the pink velvet macchiato. It has a red velvet cake flavor, which sounds weird, but it is nothing short of delicious. It’s only available in February which is disappointing, but it’s worth the wait. Plus it’s pink!

Click here to access the Dunkin’ Donuts app

  • Get points for every purchase 
  • Use points to deduct payment
  • Order ahead
  • Check all the drink/food options


Dutch Bros: The Golden Eagle took the top spot for the most popular drink. We have traveled our way to Dutch Bros a couple of times and usually experience the same thing. It is way too sweet. The store’s design is definitely unique and trendy for its time although the face of it can only fool us so far. The drive-through is usually pretty lengthy, although you most likely can’t avoid that anywhere. One of our biggest issues with Dutch Bros is the hardships for the newbies. After three trips I can still say I have no idea how to order all the special toppings. The Golden Eagle itself was nothing special and reminded me of an overly frosted cake popped into a blender with some chocolate milk. 

Rating: 2/10 for the famous Golden Eagle. We have nothing great to say about this drink except for the amount of drink you get. We do not recommend it mostly because we are concerned for your health. If you have a couple of sweet teeth then be warned but it is your choice. 

Sweetness: 0/10

Bitterness: 0/10

Nutritional Facts (medium)

Calories – 690

Carbs – 59g

Sugars – 44g

Click HERE to access the Dutch Bros mobile app

  • Earn points and get free drinks
  • Use contactless payment 
  • See all the drinks on their menu


Monk and Mongoose: The Iced Vanilla Latte is the most popular drink here at this Lone Tree cafe. We liked the environment of the cafe and thought it would be a great place to get some studying done or a nice meet-up location to catch up with friends. We generally liked the latte, but were not too big fans of the amount of milk and would have preferred it to be sweeter. 

Rating: We have to give this drink an even 6/10. It was highly overpriced for an average cup of joe. $7.58 including our dollar tip. The drink was a little too overpowered by the milk and lacking in flavor. If you have no preference for a sweet or bitter drink, this would be more than suitable for you if you are willing to spend a couple of extra bucks. 

Sweetness: 5/10

Bitterness: 5/10

Nutritional Facts (medium)

Calories – 140

Carbs – 25g

Sugar – 22g


303 Coffee: Caramel Crunch

Rating: The most popular non-seasonal drink was a caramel crunch. This drink had small toffee crumbles on top of a decently sweet drink. The drink originally comes with whip cream, but we opted out. Our favorite part about it was the atmosphere of the coffee shop overall. They had multiple tables to study or do work and they sold crystal jewelry by the register. This drink would be recommended to people who do not like super sweet coffee but also for people who are not too into bitter coffee either. You can say it is a nice mix between both. 

Rating: We have to give this drink a simple 6/10. The drink was a little bland if it was not stirred for more than a couple of minutes. The caramel settles to the bottom fairly quickly along with the toffee crumbles. The unique toffee definitely raised the ranking for the caramel crunch and the flavor was decent, to say the least. 

Sweetness: 6/10

Bitterness: 5/10

Nutritional Facts (medium)

Calories – 215 

Carbs- 30g 

Sugar- 28g 


Ziggys: This Castle Pines coffee shop offered us the caramel macchiato. We can admit that we have taken a few trips to Ziggys in the past but this drink was added to the list of ones that we despise. Overpowering milk, bland, and a hint of dirt would be the best way for us to describe this disaster of a cup. The service was nice and speedy but other than that we have no positive feedback. 

Rating – We are giving this mix of liquid a 1/10. The one is purely for the high-quality ice and the sturdy cup. We do not recommend this drink or Ziggys in general knowing that we have never really loved anything there. We do, however, recommend the java chip. We had this drink a while back and are happy to admit that we enjoyed the overly sugary treat. 

Sweetness – 3/10

Bitterness – 3/10

Nutritional facts (was not found so we are basing it off the Starbucks caramel macchiato) – 

Calories – 280

Sugar – 33g

Carbs – 35g

Click HERE  to access the Ziggy’s mobile app

  • Order and pay ahead
  • Browse their menu
  • Hands-free voice ordering


After trying all six of these trending coffee shops we can confidently say that we will be taking a break from the lattes. We hate to admit it, but we love cheap thrills and will always go back to home base when it comes to Starbucks. We were hoping this review would not only save others the trip but would help us find some new drinks. Starbucks is our go-to and has been for years but we can agree that 303 Coffee and Monk and Mongoose might see our faces a couple more times if they are lucky. If you have any coffee recommendations from the places we reviewed please comment down below and share the love.