Coffee Crafted with Care

This post is sponsored by Dunkin’ Donuts. I’m an ambassador and will be sharing more throughout the year.

I told a few friends that I would be working with Dunkin’ Donuts this year, their immediate response was that “their coffee is so good.” And it is! I had no idea how much went into making sure that was the case though until I visited their headquarters in Boston.

Boston Public Library


They use 100% Arabica coffee beans, and I learned about the strict Dunkin’ Donuts Quality (DDQ) standards they hold themselves to throughout the entire process, from the beans being grown, harvested, roasted, and finally brewed. I went through the coffee cupping experience at their headquarters — noticing the differences between beans sourced from different regions. It reminded me of a wine tasting, and I had never compared coffee beans like that before. Their Original Blend is a light roast that brings together the best of several different coffee beans, and Dunkin’ Donuts Dark Roast is more bold, but still smooth without being bitter.

Dunkin' Headquarters

It all adds up to a reliable, freshly brewed cup of coffee. I only really got into drinking it a few years ago, and it quickly became a part of my daily routine. If I’ve got a busy day ahead of me, I need a little energy boost, and I especially love picking up a hot coffee when I have errands to run or places to take the kids. I work it into my routine — wake up and then wake everyone else up. Get the kids ready while Brandon showers, get myself ready while he does the school drop-off, grab my keys and head out the door, grab a drink, and get on with the day.

Dunkin' Donuts Black Card

I feel extra fancy getting my coffee now, by the way. They gave me the Black Card! VIP right here.

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  • Lauralou
    June 1, 2016 at 5:48 pm

    Love my Dunks! (and in my town I have my choice of 8 locations)

  • Dee
    June 1, 2016 at 9:37 pm

    Ooof. I’m sad about this post. I don’t mind sponsored posts, or being advertised to, when the content makes sense with the blog. If it’s a design service, a home wares store, paint supplies, even credit cards! Anything that provides something that you have written about or that could benefit your readers. This isn’t any of that, it’s just a commercial. I don’t see a connection at all.

    • Allison
      June 2, 2016 at 4:28 am

      Yeah, it reminds me of the coffee mate one a while back. I assume they were too good financially to resist, but this is what makes me dislike the way blogs have gone professional and moved away from being more personal. It is a tough balance to strike I’m sure but this is definitely out of place thematically.

        June 3, 2016 at 8:19 pm

        I just came across this site and am enjoying the blogging especially on gardening. I saw this on Dunkin and than this comment. I’m assuming the blogger is from the Boston area. People from Mass. especially from Boston have Dunkin running in their veins. We get excited when we see the logo. I remember a few years back attending master gardening classes at Virginia Tech and getting a call from my husband. I screamed during the call. When I was done, my friend wanted to know why I was screaming? I told her that he called to tell me that a Dunkin Donut shop was opening 2 miles from my home in northern Virginia. My friend didn’t get it she’s from Chicago. As they used to say, different strokes for different folks.

        • kislanykim
          June 12, 2016 at 3:49 am

          This is a VERY Chicago blog.

  • JC
    June 2, 2016 at 6:41 am

    Dee & Allison, Has it occured to you that Nicole might actually DRINK Dunkin Donuts coffee? Because she’s not discussing her own hand crafted cold brew with us (hello, I also have three kids and Mama is BUSY) doesn’t make her post unconnected. People eat, and drink coffee, and do laundry and it isn’t always the perfectly curated affair you imagine. This is actually what MAKES her more connected.

    • Dee
      June 2, 2016 at 11:40 am

      JC, I’m not asking for a handcrafted cold brew or a perfectly curated, pinterest-able post every time. I don’t know where you got that. I’m fully aware that people eat and drink. What I’m saying is that regardless of whether she drinks or likes the product, just like Allison said, this advertisement is out of place thematically.

      I would hope that Nicole would pick her advertisers (and again, I’m not against advertising and totally understand the need for sponsored content) based on what might be beneficial or interesting to her readers. I think in just about every other instance, Nicole has done a great job of this. She mixes her honest opinion of a service or product with education on it. Not so here. This is a beverage commercial and nothing more.

      • Making it Lovely
        June 2, 2016 at 12:00 pm

        I hear you. I just responded below, too. And I mean, I do like the whole pour over / cold brew / whatever thing, but if I’m waking up at 5am with a toddler happily poking me in the face and I have a bunch of things to get done that day, picking up some coffee on my way to where I’m going is pretty appealing. ;) In posts to come, the focus will be more in line with my typical design or personal content.

        • Dee
          June 3, 2016 at 6:31 pm

          Thank you for clarifying this, I’m glad to know that this type of post isn’t becoming a regular thing. I look forward to seeing how you incorporate it in the future.

  • kris
    June 2, 2016 at 6:46 am

    agree. i find it lame. even if it’s nicole’s opinion. the motivation here is not enthusiasm for their coffee.

  • Making it Lovely
    June 2, 2016 at 11:52 am

    Hey guys, thanks for the feedback. I’m going to be working with them throughout the year, so this was really more of an announcement and a heads up, as I always aim to be as transparent as possible with sponsored content. Moving forward, I see the coverage as fitting in more seamlessly with the things I’m already doing and planning on covering here.

  • cd
    June 3, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I wonder why bloggers don’t go the way of movies. Just go with product placement. Have the DD cup strategically on your tablescape in the background. Always in your hand, etc. Because MAN do I not believe for a second that DD has always been your coffee of choice. I’ve been lurking a long time on your blog. I just don’t get it. Have bigger banner ads. Inline ads. Whatever. But this is goofy and a bad fit.

    I don’t expect you to produce content for free. Partnerships and ads make sense. But this is up there with the bogus Nature Box stuff and Blue Apron posts that plague bloggers these days. I will never believe that Nature Box is a compelling product or business model. And DD will always be DD.

  • Amy Knight
    June 3, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    Congratulations on being someone big brands want to work with! That takes hard work and you are dedicated. Thanks for all the content you provide. I’m endlessly inspired by your blog, and I’m grateful you take the time to share anything with us.

  • Manon
    June 11, 2016 at 2:20 pm

    In my New Hampshire town DD rules, as they should- cheaper & better tasting than Starbucks. I’m not offended by this post- Nicole puts the work into this blog, why shouldn’t she reap some rewards?