Review: Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce

We’ve previously reviewed the initial 3 flavors in Starbucks’ Energy+Coffee line that rolled out in June 2008: Coffee, Vanilla, and Mocha. We’re happy to take a look at the latest installment, hitting stores in February 2009: Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce

According to the press release issued, this drink “drew inspiration from popular Latin flavors” and “combines the subtly spicy taste of cinnamon and vanilla with a supercharged blend of Starbucks coffee.” It should also be noted that the term “Dulce” means “Sweet” in Spanish. Based on the good tastes we found in the original Coffee flavor and the smooth Vanilla, we were curious what the addition of cinnamon would bring to the mix. We talked about the positioning and history of this brand in that post, so if you haven’t read it already, go take a look!

This new flavor is available in convenience and grocery stores like the previous 3 flavors, however I’m unsure if it will be available in Starbucks locations like the Vanilla and Mocha installments. As with the rest of the Doubleshot Energy+Coffee lineup, 15 oz. of beverage are found in a can typically associated with 16 oz. energy drinks. The can itself is primarily silver, with both dark and light brown accents gracing the front diagonally. The Starbucks logo is found on the top third of the front panel, with the rim denoting the flavor (“Cinnamon Dulce”) and additional supplements (Guarana, Ginseng, B Vitamins).

Visually, the drink resembles a cup of coffee with a lot of cream added, light brown and thick in nature, just like the other 3 flavors in the Energy+Coffee lineup. Cinnamon Dulce smells sweet, with a hint of vanilla, but I had a hard time making out any actual cinnamon scent. There definitely was more present then the standard Coffee blend, but not as obvious as Vanilla.

Upon tasting the drink, we found that it had a lot more in common with Vanilla than the other flavors we had tried. The creaminess was obvious. As I’ve noted before, I’m not a coffee drinker, but I found the taste to be attractive. It was smooth, a bit nutty, but still with a coffee base. I can’t say that I actually noted the cinnamon specifically. In fact, if you didn’t have it as part of the product flavor, I’m not sure I would have noticed it much at all. I was hoping for a stronger inclusion of this spice.

My wife, who is a coffee drinker, noted the taste of artificial sweetener sucralose, much like she did when reviewing the Vanilla version. This makes sense, given that from our tasting profile, Cinnamon Dulce seemed to have a lot in common with that flavor as well. Like the other Doubleshot drinks, this one is not carbonated.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce contains the same amount of caffeine as the Coffee, Vanilla, and Mocha flavors: 146 mg., which breaks down to 9.7 mg/oz. This places it in the same energy drink ballpark as Red Bull (9.64 mg/oz.) and Monster (10.00 mg/oz.)

Per 15 oz. can, you’ll find that Cinnamon Dulce provides 200 calories, 170 mg of sodium, 28 g of sugars, and 3 g of fat. Itemizing the nutritional supplements, you’ll find 325 mg of ginseng, 90 mg of guarana, 1800 mg of taurine, 450 mg of carnitine, 2000 mg of maltodextrin, and 180 mg of inositol. Nutritionally, this Cinnamon Dulce flavor is pretty much the same as the 3 Doubleshot Energy+Coffee flavors.

A full ingredient list is as follows:

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce
Starbucks® Coffee (water, coffee), reduced fat milk, skim milk, sugar, maltodextrin, dextrose, taurine, natural flavor, cellulose gel, L-carnitine, panax ginseng root extract, inositol, sodium ascorbate (Vitamin C), guarana (paullinia cupana) seed extract, calcium phosphate, cellulose gum, niacinamide, sucralose, ascorbic acid (Vitamin C), tricalcium phosphate, carrageenan, caramel color, pyridoxine hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), riboflavin, Vitamin A palmitate, cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12), Vitamin D3

While proclaiming to be a combination of cinnamon, vanilla, and coffee, I was underwhelmed by Starbucks Doubleshot Energy+Coffee Cinnamon Dulce. The coffee and vanilla flavors are present, but cinnamon would appear to be a no-show. This is disappointing, as the blend offered promise, but doesn’t seem to deliver. If you are fan of this energy drink and coffee line of hybrids, it’s worth a taste… but could have been better.

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Full Disclosure: This beverage was provided compliments of Starbucks and PepsiCo