Have I really never reviewed cereal on here? I know I’ve made fun of IHOP’s seemingly-abandoned attempt at cereal, and jumped on the “make fun of the CalArts Toucan Sam” bandwagon, but I’ve never just… eaten a bowl of cereal?   For the site, that is.  I’ve definitely eaten cereal before.

Cereal is another one of those food realms where branding and gimmicks reign supreme.  Many of these branding gimmicks come in the form of a flavorless cereal with some colorful marbits (that’s marshmallow bits, for those of you not in the cereal-know,) and a movie or video game franchise name slapped on the box.

The folks at Dunkin (née Donuts) are, as much as I hate to admit it, masters of the breakfast realm. (I spent 2 summers working at one, so I tend to have something of a petty grudge against them) So, as more people are (theoretically) staying in more, it would make perfect sense that they would want to corner a larger share of the at-home breakfast market then just bags of coffee beans.  So without further ado, let’s see if this marriage of coffee and cereal is the new breakfast of champions. 

(Actually, one further ado: I guess these came out in August, but I only started seeing them on shelves earlier this month.  Also I’ve had more topical things to write about since then, so there’s my excuse for taking so long to cover this.)

Caramel Macchiato 

[Normally I’d put a picture here, but the two cereals basically look exactly the same so what’s the point.]

Upon opening the box, the smell was cloyingly caramel.  And, unfortunately, that was the last time the caramel would be seen or heard from.  There was one predominant taste, and it was coffee.  It may be worth noting that that may just be my taste buds, however, since like 90% of the time I have any sort of coffee and caramel combination I usually end up not being able to taste the caramel.  There was enough sweetness- even without the marbits- that you can’t say that tasted like unadulterated, black coffee, though, and all around had a flavor profile appropriate for a breakfast cereal.  

It may also be worth noting that I ate one small bowl after getting out of work, took a shower, ate another bowl, and, for a fleeting few minutes, I felt like I just slammed a cup of cold brew.  A quick [insert you search engine of choice that isn’t Google here] search shows that this cereal does, in fact, have about 1/10 of a cup of coffee’s worth of caffeine in it, so that was probably more of a sugar rush than anything else.  But, the idea of a caffeinated cereal is wild to me, but also, like, why didn’t we come up with it sooner?  It’s perfect for those mornings when you don’t have time to eat breakfast AND make coffee!

Mocha Latte

Unlike the Caramel Macchiato, there weren’t any discerning, overpowering smells upon opening the box.  The taste, however, is a little perplexing.  When eaten dry (like some kind of heretic), it has a fairly good balance of coffee and chocolate.  However, when eaten with milk, they taste like straight-up Coco Puffs (with marbits). That being said, Coco Puffs with marbits tastes good enough as is that I can kinda forgive the lack of coffee (and, this could just be my garbage taste buds again, I feel like most mocha things tend to go too heavy on the chocolate).

So at this point I’m in a bit of a Catch-22 where I’m mad at the Caramel Macchiato for tasting too much like coffee and the Mocha Latte for not tasting enough like coffee.  But, as far as dumb, gimmicky cereals go, these are actually pretty good, so I must put my Dunkin grievances aside and say that yes, if you are at all intrigued by the concept, you will enjoy these.

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