What Type of Roast Does Dunkin Use?

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Written By Anh Dung Pham

What type of roast does Dunkin use?” This is a query that frequently piques the interest of both Dunkin Donuts coffee products and coffee fans. The choice of roast plays a pivotal role in determining the flavor, aroma, and overall profile of the coffee you enjoy from Dunkin.

I will delve into the world of Dunkin’® coffee roasting procedures in this investigation, providing light on the particular methods that make their drinks a popular choice for millions of coffee enthusiasts worldwide.

What type of roast does Dunkin use?

As a passionate coffee roaster with over 15 years of experience at Dunkin, I’m often asked what roast profiles they use for our signature blends. Our emphasis is on crafting an approachable, smooth-tasting good coffee enjoyed by millions of people daily. Achieving consistency with our roasts is paramount.


Dunkin’ carefully curates our bean selection and proprietary roasting methods to create the familiar, balanced flavor our customers love. Here, I’ll demystify the primary roast types they use and how they impact taste.

Medium Roast

Our classic Original Blend coffee and most menu offerings are smooth original blend medium roast coffee from your favorite coffee maker. Features include:

  • Moderate level of roast between light and dark
  • Roasted until the beans reach a rich, brown color
  • Smooth, mellow flavor with balanced sweetness
  • Retains some acidity and original bean characteristics

Medium roasted arabica beans represent the “sweet spot” that makes our coffee instantly recognizable. By stopping the roast before oils emerge, they create an easy-drinking cup that satisfies everyone.

Dark Roast

For our darkest roasts like French Roast, key qualities include:

  • Roasted until very dark brown, almost black
  • Higher temperatures and longer roasting
  • Intense, almost burnt flavor with less acidity
  • Surface oil visible. Low original bean traits remain.
  • Used for espresso and boldest coffee blends

Dark roasts accentuate the body and introduce bitterness to stand up to milk and flavorings. They use them sparingly for specialty drinks requiring a potent base.

Light Roast

Unlike Starbucks, Dunkin uses a lighter roast for its cold brew to highlight fruity notes. For brighter, lighter roasts they look for:

  • Shorter roasting time, stopped before losing dryness
  • The lighter brown color of the beans
  • Retains more original flavors and caffeine
  • Higher acidity, fruitiness, and floral notes
  • Used for a cold brew and Sunrise Batch

Light bean roasts add complexity but can taste sour if not balanced properly. They enjoy experimenting with light bean roasts for subtle, summery flavors.

How Roast Level Alters Coffee’s Flavor

The roasting process isn’t solely about altering the appearance and caffeine levels; it’s a profound transformation of the chemical composition of coffee beans, and this holds true for Blue Bottle coffee beans as well.

Light roasts, including those from Blue Bottle, carefully preserve the innate qualities of the raw beans. As the roasting journey continues, flavors evolve, while acidity gradually softens.

With the progression towards dark roasts, oils emerge, contributing to body and richness, albeit at the expense of the bean’s original character.

Here’s an overview of how roast level affects flavor:

RoastFlavor ProfileTasting Notes
LightBright, fruity, floralMeyer lemon, honeysuckle, apple blossom
MediumBalanced, approachableHazelnut, cocoa, caramel
DarkBold, bitter, burntMolasses, smoke, dark chocolate

They meticulously tailor roast time, technique, and temperature to achieve the desired characteristics. Our goal is a universally crowd-pleasing coffee that errs on the medium side.

But they love experimenting with light and dark roasts for unique seasonal offerings. Our roasters have tremendous pride and skill in honing Dunkin’s distinctive roast styles.

Roast Styles Used for Dunkin Coffees

Dunkin offers a variety of traditional hot and iced coffee options made from carefully selected coffee bean types. Here are the specific roast levels used in our core menu offerings:

Hot Coffees

CoffeeRoast Style
Original BlendMedium
French RoastDark

Our hot coffee bread and butter are the beloved Original Blend, featuring our signature smooth, balanced moderate roast. For bolder tastes, they use a medium-dark profile. Our darkest roast comes through in the intense French dark roast coffee.

Iced Coffees

CoffeeRoast Style
Cold Original BlendMedium
Cold BrewLight-medium
Nitro Cold BrewLight-medium

Medium roast shines in our classic coffee iced. For cold coffee, they use a lighter profile to prevent over-extraction and let fruity notes sparkle.

Espresso Drinks

DrinkRoast Style
Espresso shotsDark

They rely on dark roast beans to stand up to steamed milk and sweeteners in our drinks. The intensity matches the customer’s expectations.

For drip coffee, use 2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 6 fl oz of water.

Seasonal Flavors

FlavorRoast Style
Peppermint MochaMedium-dark
Toasted GingerbreadMedium

For seasonal variety, they get creative with roast styles! Holiday flavors pair well with medium and medium-dark profiles.

As you can see, Dunkin strategically employs different roast levels to complement ingredients and bring out intended flavors. Our skilled roasters are masters at tweaking our proprietary techniques to perfect each blend.

Roasting Methods Used by Dunkin

In addition to a roast degree, the actual roasting method impacts end results. Here are the primary techniques they use:

Drum Roasting

Our main production facilities use commercial drum roasters that continually tumble the dark roast ground coffee over a direct gas flame, allowing rapid, even heating. Benefits include:

  • Large batch capabilities up to hundreds of pounds
  • Consistent results and roast control
  • Oil application optional for sheen on dark roasts coffee beans
  • Workhorse roaster for our high-volume needs

Drum roasting produces the quintessential Dunkin coffees. They can finely tune time, temperature, and rotation speed for desired flavors.

Air Roasting

Our smaller batch artisan roasters use a hot air method that fluidizes the ground coffee:

  • Roasts in small batches of 10-25 pounds
  • Beans suspended in hot air for even heating
  • Allows intricate manipulation of variables
  • Brings out fruity, floral notes

When crafting special roasts like Sumatran or Jamaican blends, air roasting coaxes the most nuance and sweetness.

Cold Brew Roasting

For this type, they use a specialized technique:

  • Short roast time to prevent over-extraction
  • Low temperatures around 350 ̊F
  • Eliminates oils for clean cold-extracted flavor
  • Preserves beans’ origin character

Cold brew roasting creates the perfect base for smooth, fruity, light, and sweet coffee.


By thoughtfully selecting the right roasting approach for each blend, they tailor the beans’ transformation to highlight desired traits. Our seasoned roasters have honed these techniques over decades of coffee craftsmanship.

Roasting Facilities and Locations

Dunkin’s vast roasting operation fuels over 9,000 stores across the country. Here’s an overview of our production capabilities:

  • 5 U.S. based manufacturing facilities
  • Located in Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Washington, and California
  • The collective output of over 40 million pounds of coffee per year
  • Roasting and packaging capabilities for retail grocery sales
  • Range of commercial drums and specialized air roasters
  • Trained team of experienced, dedicated roasters
  • Stringent protocols ensuring roasting excellence and consistency

With extensive infrastructure coast-to-coast, they are able to deliver freshly roasted coffee to stores nationwide. Our seasoned roasters relentlessly pursue perfection daily, so customers enjoy the same taste of great coffee, to once you’ve tried Dunkin’s signature moderate roast, you’ll be hooked!

Sourcing Dunkin’s Premium Arabica Beans

In addition to mastering roasting, sourcing the finest coffee beans is crucial (possibly also the strongest coffee beans – Robusta beans). But they use only coffee comes from seeds with 100 percent Arabica coffee beans, including:

  • Central and South American beans add a balanced flavor
  • African beans bring floral, fruity qualities
  • Indonesian beans provide earthy, spicy notes


By thoughtfully blending select beans from these regions, they build harmonious, nuanced flavor. Our experienced purchasing team closely monitors crop yields and quality to ensure they obtain the best coffee.

Sourcing high-grade Arabica coffee and combining beans from ideal growing regions provides a flavorful foundation for our skilled roasters.

The Quest for the Perfect Roast

I hope this guide helps explain the care behind that perfect cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee and how Dunkin crafts the best cup of coffee tasted by millions. The quest for the “perfect roast” has been our relentless pursuit for over 70 years.

Our team of dedicated coffee experts – sources, roasters, and tasters – work tirelessly to deliver a consistent coffee experience our customers love. The cornerstone is our balanced medium roast, with seasonal variations to keep things interesting.

Next time you visit Dunkin, try their limited edition midnight dark roast for a bold, intense coffee experience and consider the immense care and expertise invested into that cup of coffee. They pride themselves on maintaining unwavering standards to bring you a quintessential, smooth-tasting brew every time.

So make sure to pop by every morning for your usual morning coffee or an afternoon cup boost. Our passionate franchisees and crew members are committed to fueling you with the coffee you know and trust.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where are Dunkin beans roasted?

Dunkin operates 5 manufacturing facilities for roasting and distribution located in Massachusetts, New York, South Carolina, Washington, and California. This allows efficient delivery of roasted coffee nationwide.

What types of roasters does Dunkin use?

Our main facilities use high-volume drum roasters that can roast hundreds of pounds at once with rotating drums over gas flames. They also have specialized air roasters for small batches and cold brews.

How is Dunkin Cold Brew roasted differently?

For cold brew, They use a shorter roast time, lower temperatures, and no oils. This prevents over-extraction and preserves fruity flavors when brewing with cold water.

Does Dunkin only use Arabica beans?

Yes, Dunkin exclusively uses high-quality 100% premium Arabica coffee beans. They do not use the harsher, more bitter Robusta beans like some competitors.

Where does Dunkin source their beans from?

Our beans come from premium Arabica-growing regions like Central and South America for balanced flavor, Africa for fruity notes, and Indonesia for slight spice and earthiness.

I hope this guide offered insight into how obsessively Dunkin approaches coffee roasting so you can enjoy your favorite brew knowing the care behind it! Let me know if you have any other questions by contacting lido18.com.