Best coffee in America? Not so fast...
November 27th, 2012
11:45 AM ET
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Dunkin' Donuts' bid to tout their java exclusively as "Best coffee in America" has been refused by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on the grounds that the desired trademark is "merely laudatory and descriptive of the alleged merit of applicant’s services and the goods featured therein," according to the Boston Globe.

For those readers not in the habit of deeply perusing the USPTO's website as part of their leisure reading, "coffee" is defined as "a hot, slightly bitter drink made by pouring hot water over brown powder consisting of coffee beans that have been ground" and "best" as "used for referring to the person or thing that is the most satisfactory, appropriate, pleasant, effective, of the highest quality, etc."

The reviewing board found Dunkin's claims to be "mere 'puffery' and incapable of functioning as a trademark," without substantially distinguishing their product from other products in the category. Bitter news, indeed, but the company may still may continue to submit evidence and arguments in support of registration.

With all due respect to the Double-D (which got us through many an all-nighter in college and kept us from falling asleep at the wheel on innumerable, interminable road trips), the proliferation of fantastic local coffee places makes us think that there truly is an "America's best" somewhere out there, and we're looking to you to point the way.

CNN Travel, Eatocracy and iReport are teaming up to find the best places around the globe to eat - and drink - like a local. Sing the praises of your favorite local coffee place in the comments below or share your favorite (complete with pictures, even) on iReport. We'll be rounding them up for a future feature, so grab your favorite barista and brew up a tribute.

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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Coffee • iReport • Sip • Travel


soundoff (108 Responses)
  1. fee

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    June 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm | Reply
  2. dailygrindonline

    The Daily Grind in Albany and Troy, NY, is an independent cafe that has been roasting its own coffee beans on the premises since 1976. They have on online coffee bean shop at http://dailygrind.com

    February 6, 2013 at 7:54 am | Reply
  3. Hungry_Lad_who_wants_some_Coffee

    I LOVe Mcdonalds McCafe

    and 7-11 Coffee!!

    November 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
    • Edwin

      Cheap and satisfying. As much as I love my gourmet coffees sometimes you just can't beat a regular cup of Joe.

      June 3, 2013 at 6:18 pm | Reply
  4. peridot2

    Weasel poop coffee's the best in the world. At $100 a pop, most people can't afford to drink it.

    November 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
  5. Colleen

    Douwe Egberts, hands-down. Best coffee ever. I first had it at an ordinary little country cookin' kind of place in Branson, Missouri, and I literally sat up straighter and said, "WOW this coffee is great!" on the first sip. I couldn't get enough of it that day. Couldn't find it anywhere else and then happened to visit a local St. Louis area donut shop and they serve it. It's fantastic. There's just something about the roast that's wonderful. There's a complexity to the flavor. It's smooth, not bitter and just wonderful. I hear you can order it online, but I haven't done that yet.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:32 am | Reply
    • Colleen

      Of course, I guess it's not American coffee (made in Netherlands). But it's a great cup no matter where you drink it, and I have only had it here in the US. Been lots of places around the world, but the best cup so far is Douwe Egberts.

      November 28, 2012 at 9:34 am | Reply
  6. Robert Platt Bell

    The other day we ran out of coffee, so we drank some tea.

    Being a very stingy person, I started doing the math on this. Coffee made at home costs about 22 cents a cup. Tea can run from 2 to 4 cents (!!).

    If you drink two or three cups a day, times two people in a household, this could run about $300 to $400 a year in savings.

    We drink tea, now. I am that cheap. Plus it is easier to clean up.

    If you buy your coffee at a Starbucks or Doughnut shop every day, the costs escalate even furthrer – from hundreds to even thousands of dollars a year.

    A $5-a-day Starbucks habit runs $1825 a year. And yet I know people who put less than that in their 401(k) every year.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:20 am | Reply
    • KB

      Give us a break. So you're cheap- congrats.

      November 30, 2012 at 6:54 pm | Reply
  7. Robert Platt Bell

    Best Coffee?

    Baby's Key West Coffee.

    They have a website – order some. Wrecker's Roast!

    November 28, 2012 at 9:16 am | Reply
  8. Robert Platt Bell

    Of course, this did not stop the USPTO from granting Fox News the "Fair and Balanced" mark – for entertainment services only, of course.....

    November 28, 2012 at 9:14 am | Reply
  9. evanash

    I drink enough coffee for a couple people every day and I have to say Edgehill Cafe in Nashville is my favorite local spot and Stumptown when I'm in the Portland area.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:13 am | Reply
    • DreamBig

      I'm a local Portlander and Stumptown is THE coffee to drink around here. I love it.

      November 28, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Reply
  10. RockyM

    I might consider DD coffee slightly better than store brands. For me, Costco's store brand French Roast is my go-to cup, although it's not as good as it used to be since they've now started sourcing out of Costa Rica.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:11 am | Reply
  11. hecep

    I think that DD should have submitted "Our Claim of 'Best Coffee in America' is Not Just Mere Puffery"

    November 28, 2012 at 9:10 am | Reply
  12. Old Shoe

    Of course, mine is the best. :) Fresh Ground Parisi Bolivian Fair Trade. . . . .a medium roast with a nuance of chocolate and honeysuckle, brewed in a Cuisinart. Mmmmmmmmm.

    November 28, 2012 at 9:00 am | Reply
  13. Wilder Napalm

    Starbucks is way over rated IMHO. No one can beat my coffee. Go to Kroger's and buy a can of Medaglia D'oro. I take one of those filter holders that are designed to sit on top of your coffee cup and use about 3 Tbl. spoons of coffee, depends on how strong you like it. You will need a hot water kettle because you want boiling water so you release the oils fast. I promise you won't buy Starcrap again. Don't use a coffee maker they don't heat the water near enough and takes far to long which will leech out the bitter oils.

    November 28, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
    • Ed Haines

      Should you brew your starbucks the same way (very strong), you will probably find it equivalent or even better. My preference is to home roast (from Sweet Maria) two days at a time for a strong, never bitter brew that is delectable. I keep the roaster in the garage since it makes too much smoke for the house.

      November 28, 2012 at 10:11 am | Reply
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