I tested Dunkin’ Midnight Dark Roast Ground Coffee: My Review, Photos

dunkin' midnight roast coffee bag and different coffees

by Nigel Ong

Dunkin is one of the world’s largest chain restaurants, famous for its coffee and donuts combo. Dunkin also offers a wide range of coffee roasts that you can pick up at grocery stores and brew at home.

One of them is the Midnight Roast. This roast is one of Dunkin’s dark-roasted blends and is well-loved by many. If you are wondering whether to pick up a bag of this or not, read on. 

In this post, I’ll review this coffee roast. I will start with brewing the coffee multiple ways before trying it out with many flavorings. Finally, I will also compare it against other dark roasts and decide if you should try this roast.

About Dunkin Midnight Roast

Dunkin may be a huge chain now, but it started as a small donut and coffee shop in Quincy, Massachusetts, in 1950. Today, it runs over 12,000 shops worldwide. 

One of the reasons Dunkin is well-loved by many is that it appealed to a large section of drinkers who wanted an American-style roast. This is the trend where many coffee houses in the US started offering stronger coffee, using darker roasts. 

Starbucks, for example, is quite known for roasting their beans darker yet calling it a medium roast. This somehow made it earn the moniker’ Charbucks.’ Dunkin stayed away from this trend. 

The Midnight Roast I have today represents Dunkin’s main dark-roasted blend. Dunkin promises this coffee to have a rich, full body for an ‘intensely dark roast experience.’

Let’s see how close Dunkin got to that claim. 

How Does Dunkin Midnight Roast Taste?

I will use three major brewing methods: French press, pour-over, and espresso. Here are why I choose them:

French Press: I can taste the coffee with all its oils and particles with this brewing. The French press also brews me a ‘dirty,’ murky, full-flavored coffee with floating particles, giving me all the smoke it can pack.

Pour Over With Filter Paper: This brewing method is similar to the regular coffee brewer most of us have at home. Plus, the filter paper helps to filter away coffee particles and some coffee oils, allowing me to enjoy a ‘cleaner’ version of the coffee. 

Espresso: Dunkin Midnight Roast is a dark roast, so trying it out as an espresso is just right. The idea is to see if I can concentrate the flavor at the crema and taste the coffee even better. 

First Impression

100% Arabica coffee beans generally have a great aroma; this is no exception with the Dunkin Midnight Roast. 

When I opened the coffee bag, the aroma of the coffee roast came out nicely. The aroma is pleasing, with a bit of cherry tomato-like acidity. There is also some smoke and woody notes, which is expected since this is a dark roast. 

As the bag comes as ground coffee, I cannot see what the individual beans look like. The grind size is medium for regular coffee dripper machines or French presses. 

dunkin midnight dark roast coffee on a french press

French Press

For the French press, I got my Bodum Caffettiera French press out and brewed enough coffee for 2 cups. 

I followed the instructions on the bag and combined 10 grams of coffee with 6 ounces of hot water (about 180ml) at around 185°F (about 85°C). I let the coffee sit away for 4 minutes before pouring a cup.

The coffee tasted smokey, woody, and full-bodied. This is a tell-tale sign of a dark roast coffee. It is, however, also smooth and travels through my palate easily. It is not rough to drink and does not leave you shocked.

However, the smoke and wood notes are not too intense and strong. I can imagine some serious coffee drinkers dismissing the coffee as a dark roast but medium-dark. I may have gotten used to the darkness of Starbucks’ roasts, making me feel about the same too.

I could pick up a bittersweet flavor, something I would describe as cocoa or chocolate-like. I noticed they became a little more prominent as an aftertaste after I swallowed the coffee down. 

I particularly enjoy the longer finish, giving me time to savor and enjoy the coffee before taking the next sip. There is no rushing with this coffee: sip slow and steady.

Pour Over With Filter Paper

Next up, pour over. For this method, I use the following gear for this brewing method:

My pour-over process is taken from Starbucks. I added 20 grams of ground coffee and slowly poured 360ml of water. When I started, I first focused on wetting and blooming the coffee ground and slowly added more water. The whole process took me around 5 minutes.

This cup of coffee definitely looks slightly lighter in color, and the sedimentation on the bottom of the cup is also lesser. The filter paper has done its job in cleaning up the coffee from too many particles and oil.

As for the taste, my cup is cleaner. I can taste the coffee, becoming even smoother and softer in flavor. There is less bitterness and smoke, although the dark roast characteristics of the coffee remain. 

The cocoa bittersweet note is also more prominent here, probably because the coffee is a little bit less smoky. 

I like this version slightly more than the French press version. This could be because I like my coffee as light or medium roasts, so I always opt for less intense coffee. Your palate may differ from mine.


How can you review a dark roast without sampling it as an espresso? I grabbed my Wacaco Minipresso GR and pulled a shot out of the Dunkin Midnight Roast.

I get a great-smelling coffee with rich, thick, and velvety crema. Presentation-wise, it is good enough to rival the best espressos your Baristas can make. 

Taste-wise, there is a stronger chocolate and cocoa note. I also notice some acidity in the crema, with a bit of savoriness that reminds me of fried bacon.

As an espresso, the Dunkin Midnight Roast is a bit of a tease. It gives you some smoke and intense flavor, yet not enough, leaving you hanging. This may be because it is a dark, not an espresso roast. 

What Flavorings Work Best With Dunkin Midnight Roast?

I do know that not all like to enjoy their black coffee. I thought I’d go further with the experiment and try the Dunkin Midnight Roast with some popular flavorings.


People drink their coffee with many types of sweeteners. Here, I have two:

  • Regular brown granulated sugar
  • Equal artificial sweetener (Aspartame)

I made two cups of black, French press Dunkin Midnight Roast. I emptied a sugar stick into a cup and two drops of Equal to the other. 

I think sugar adds a bit of shine to the coffee. I also can feel the coffee having a more ‘playful’ texture with a bit of viscosity. 

I, however, am a little unsure of the taste. To me, the sweetness and the smoke do not seem to blend well and compete with each other. I also find the smoke and sweetness a little confusing on my tongue. It’s not my favorite cup.

As for the Equal, the same issue remains, with more problems. To me, the Equal coffee is even worse than the sugared cup. I dislike how the sweetness lingers much longer in my palate, to the point of it feeling very unnatural.


I made another fresh cup of Dunkin Midnight Roast and poured warm milk into it. I used fresh UHT cow’s milk for full flavor and cream as usual. The coffee turns brownish, making it look very inviting to drink.

My cup of Dunkin Midnight Roast becomes slightly thicker, with a bit more texture. It glides around in my mouth nicely, too. The thicker coffee also sticks on the tongue longer, giving me a better taste.

I notice the milk sweetens the coffee slightly, thanks to the lactose content in milk. I think the sweetness here is much more natural than using sweeteners directly.

The milk also cuts into the smoke, making the coffee lighter and easier to sip and enjoy. I thoroughly enjoyed my cup of Dunkin Midnight Roast with milk and would say this is the best way to enjoy the coffee.


I added two sticks of it to a fresh cup of coffee. Coffee Mate is a non-dairy creamer made of palm oil. The coffee now tastes rich and creamy. The coffee also looks paler, which may be appetizing to some.

I, however, cannot help but notice that the creaminess of creamers here does not seem to have the depth that regular milk gives. As a result, the coffee may be creamy but not thick enough to give me that satisfying sip. 

My palate seems to prefer the milked version of the Dunkin Midnight roast but feel free to experiment and see which you prefer.


Finally, I brewed a slightly concentrated cup of Dunkin Midnight Roast and added it into a glass stuffed to the brim with ice. 

I actually enjoyed my cup of iced coffee here. The ice elevated the smoky and woody notes of the coffee, making it nice to sip. I like the deep, bittersweet flavors I get from every sip here. 

It would make a refreshing cup of iced coffee, especially on hot days. This is my second favorite way to enjoy the Dunkin Midnight Roast, after the milky version.

caffe verona, dunkin' midnight, ikea patar, peet's dark roast coffees

Dunkin Midnight Roast vs. Popular Dark Roasts

Since Dunkin Midnight Roast is a dark roast, I thought I’d compare it with other dark roasts in my collection. These are all grocery store, popular medium roast blends, making them an apples-to-apples comparison.

I brewed a regular cup of coffee out of these blends and sipped them side by side with my Dunkin Midnight Roast:

Here, I would gladly keep the Major Dickason Roast first as the best dark roast on the list. It is smoky yet has richness complemented with notes of flavor that other roasts cannot match.

The Midnight Roast comes second, and I place it slightly ahead of the IKEA Patar and Caffe Verona. It only edges these coffee roasts out as it tastes so much better with milk compared to the other two. 

Dunkin Midnight Roast vs. Regular Coffee

I picked up a regular Americano from a 7-Eleven and drank it alongside the Dunkin Midnight Roast. I want to compare the coffee with the regular stuff from gas stations or convenience stores.

The Dunkin Midnight Roast does taste better and by a wide margin. It has more flavor, and the flavor is delivered in a nicer and more satisfying package. 

The 7-Eleven coffee just tastes flat and a little bit watery. The coffee is probably under-brewed or diluted and cannot match a fresh cup of properly brewed Dunkin Midnight Roast.

Is Dunkin Midnight Roast For You?

The Dunkin Midnight Roast would be a gateway coffee for dark roasts. It is affordable and not so intense that it scares away those keen to try the drink out.

This is how I would approach the Dunkin Midnight Roast. It is for those starting to think medium roasts lack punches and want to move into something darker. It is a way to start exploring darker roasts without going straight to the fully dark stuff. 

The Midnight Roast also makes surprisingly good iced coffee. If you are a fan of one, it may be a good coffee. It may not rival an iced Americano, but it may be good enough to satisfy the thirst at home.

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