How many calories in a salted caramel cold brew from Dunkin?

A salted caramel cold brew from Dunkin’ is a delicious iced coffee drink that combines rich, sweet caramel flavor with their smooth cold brew coffee. But for those watching their calorie intake, the sugar content and added ingredients like whipped cream make this drink high in calories. So just how many calories are in a Dunkin’ salted caramel cold brew? Let’s take a detailed look.

The Base Cold Brew

To understand the full calorie count, we first need to understand the calorie content of Dunkin’s standard cold brew coffee. Dunkin’ cold brew is made by steeping coffee grounds in cold water for an extended period of time, typically 12-24 hours. This long steeping time extracts more caffeine and flavors from the beans. The resulting concentrate is then diluted with water before serving.

A small Dunkin’ cold brew (10 oz) contains:

  • 5 calories
  • 0g fat
  • 0g sugar

So just the plain cold brew coffee itself is very low calorie, with just 5 calories in a small 10 oz serving. The calories come only from the naturally occurring compounds in the coffee beans themselves.

Adding Sweeteners

The first step in turning a regular cold brew into a salted caramel creation is adding sweetener. The standard salted caramel cold brew has a “Swirl” of caramel flavoring added to the coffee. The ingredients list shows this contains sugar and sodium, but no calorie count is given.

To estimate the calorie content of the caramel swirl, we need to make some assumptions on its size and sugar content. Given a small cold brew is 10 oz, let’s assume the caramel swirl adds about 2-3 oz of additional liquid. And assuming the swirl is made primarily of sugar and sweeteners, we can estimate it likely adds about 150 calories per swirl.

So with the caramel swirl, the estimated calories are:

  • Cold brew: 5 calories
  • Caramel swirl: 150 calories
  • Total: 155 calories

The caramel swirl adds a significant number of calories, but a plain cold brew with just the swirl is still reasonably low calorie for a coffee drink.

Adding Whipped Cream

A salted caramel cold foam cold brew takes the flavors up another level by adding a cold foam topping made with sweetened whipped cream. This adds additional calories on top of the base drink.

Let’s assume a standard 2-3 oz dollop of sweetened whipped cream is used, which would add roughly:

  • Whipped cream: 50 calories

So with the whipped cream foam, our updated calorie count is:

  • Cold brew: 5 calories
  • Caramel swirl: 150 calories
  • Whipped cream: 50 calories
  • Total: 205 calories

The whipped cream adds a good amount of fat and calories for the small amount that tops the drink. But this is still a reasonable calorie coffee drink for a treat.

With Milk Options

You can also customize your salted caramel cold brew by adding milk, which will change the nutrition profile. The main milk options at Dunkin’ include:

  • Whole milk: 150 calories per 8 fl oz
  • Non-fat milk: 90 calories per 8 fl oz
  • Almond milk: 60 calories per 8 fl oz

So for example, adding 8 oz of whole milk would tack on 150 additional calories. Choosing non-fat milk instead would add just 90 calories. And you could reduce the calorie impact even further by using a dairy-free milk like almond milk.

Keep in mind the milk options are typically an additional cost, so adding milk increases the calories along with the price of the drink.

Possible Customizations

Beyond the pre-configured version of the salted caramel cold brew, there are additional customizations that could alter the nutrition facts:

  • Extra caramel swirl – Adding an extra pump or two of the sweet caramel can significantly increase the calories and sugar.
  • Whipped cream – Some versions don’t come with whipped cream by default, but you can request it added.
  • Milk – Opting for milk, as discussed above, boosts calories and protein.
  • Flavored syrups – Dunkin’ offers flavor shots like vanilla, hazelnut and others to add even more sweetness.
  • Sweetener – Adding extra liquid sugar, simple syrup or agave would up the calorie and carb numbers.

It’s easy to turn a 200 calorie salted caramel cold brew into a 400+ calorie treat by “supersizing” it with extras. So beware the impact of any special requests when ordering.

Nutrition Summary

So in summary, the calorie content of a Dunkin’ Donuts salted caramel cold brew includes:

  • Basic cold brew: 5 calories
  • With caramel swirl: 155 calories
  • With caramel swirl and whipped cream: 205 calories
  • With milk added: Varies based on milk type, around 300 calories for whole milk
  • Fully customized: Could approach 500+ calories with extras

The ingredients and serving sizes are not published, so this provides a ballpark estimate only. But it gives you an idea of how the calories add up as you customize your drink.

While treating yourself to the salted caramel cold foam cold brew is delicious, those watching their calorie intake might opt for the plain cold brew or make other customizations to limit the calories. Knowing the estimates can help you make an informed choice!

Nutritional Benefits of Coffee

While the focus here is on calories in Dunkin’s salted caramel cold brew, it’s worth noting that coffee itself has some potential health benefits when consumed in moderation as part of a healthy diet.

Potential benefits can include:

  • Increased energy and focus from caffeine
  • Antioxidants that may offer protection against disease
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • Enhanced athletic and cognitive performance
  • Lower risk of depression and reduced suicide risk
  • Lower risk of neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

The key is sticking to reasonable intakes of plain, black coffee or simple preparations. Sweet, high-calorie coffee-based beverages offset many of coffee’s potential upsides. But enjoyed in moderation, coffee can be part of an overall balanced diet.

Ways to Make Your Salted Caramel Cold Brew Healthier

If you want to enjoy the salted caramel cold brew flavor while limiting calories, sugar, and fat, some customized options include:

  • Ask for just 1-2 pumps of the caramel swirl instead of the full standard amount
  • Skip the whipped cream topping to eliminate those added calories and fat
  • Choose non-fat milk or almond milk instead of whole milk
  • Request less ice to get more coffee and milk for the calorie impact
  • Ask for no added sweeteners or just a few splashes
  • Opt for a smaller 12 oz size instead of a 16 oz or 20 oz drink
  • Half cold brew, half cold milk for a lighter sip

With smart customizations, you can still enjoy the sweet caramel and rich coffee flavors while reducing the calorie count of your drink. This can let you have the special seasonal beverage more frequently while keeping your daily calorie goals on track.

The Bottom Line

A Dunkin’ Donuts salted caramel cold brew is a decadent coffee drink with a delicious blend of flavors. But with its high sugar swirl and whipped cream topping, it also comes with a higher calorie count. Ordering with customizations in mind can help reduce the calorie impact, while still letting you enjoy those sweet coffeehouse flavors.

Being mindful about special treat purchases like these can help you balance your daily diet with the occasional indulgence. Enjoy your salted caramel cold brew, but opt for lighter coffee drinks or plain cold brew most of the time. Your waistline and your wallet will thank you!

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