Last Updated on May 13, 2023 by brewthatcoffee
Caffeine can wake you up in a flash and get you go-go-going. But when you have a monster to-do list to tackle, a standard cup of Joe won’t do. On these days, you need something extra to keep you pushing through. A Dunkin’ Donuts Turbo Shot might be what you’re looking for.
A Dunkin Turbo Shot is an espresso shot that is added to any Dunkin drink to increase the drink’s caffeine content. The espresso shot adds roughly 118mg of caffeine to drinks. You can make a Turbo Shot coffee drink at home with brewed coffee and espresso.
We’ll answer all your burning questions about Dunkin’s Turbo Shot, including the best drinks to boost, how much caffeine they contain, and how to whip up a mega-dose-caffeine coffee in your kitchen.
What Is A Dunkin’ Donuts Turbo Shot?
A Dunkin Turbo Shot is an espresso shot you can add to any hot or iced drink for a caffeine boost. It’s a way to give your drink more punch, perfect for powering those nonstop days.
The extra espresso also adds a taste dimension. Everything from Americanos to hot chocolates can get a more intense coffee flavor. Dunkin’s espresso is full-bodied with dark caramel and bittersweet chocolate notes, thanks to Arabica beans that are deeply roasted and freshly ground before they’re exposed to high-pressure hot water to extract their flavor compounds and caffeine.
In the early 2000s, you’d see “Turbo Shot” all over Dunkin’s menu and marketing material. However, the catchy name seems to have vanished in the last few years. However, DD still lets you add extra espresso shots to your drinks.
Perhaps Dunkin stopped calling the extra espresso Turbo Shots to avoid confusion after a 2020 scientific study used this name to describe a different type of espresso shot.
The study’s turbo shots are made from coarsely ground coffee exposed to pressurized hot water (pulled) for less time than standard espresso. This technique creates consistent results, the study claims, and it’s been adopted by many coffee houses. But that’s not how Dunkin makes their espresso. Dunkin uses fine coffee grounds and the standard pull time.
Suppose your barista looks unsure when you order a Turbo Shot in your Dunkin drink. Then just ask for an extra shot of espresso.
Just as you thought we’d cleared up all confusion, more espresso terms pop up to increase the chance of misunderstandings between you and your barista. Here are more terms you must know next time you want to order a high-caffeine coffee and how they compare with Dunkin’s Turbo Shot:
Turbo Shot Vs. Extra Charged Coffee
Fancy an iced or hot Dunkin coffee with a mega dose of caffeine and the same flavor you’re used to? Extra Charged Coffee might be your go-to brew.
Dunkin’s research & development team extracted caffeine from green coffee beans before roasting them and used this extract to create coffee with 20% more caffeine than their classic offering: Extra Charged Coffee.
Adding a Turbo Shot to regular coffee also boosts the caffeine content. However, the difference between coffee with a Turbo Shot and Extra Charged Coffee is that the Turbo Shot gives the coffee a stronger espresso flavor, whereas the Extra Charged Coffee’s flavor stays the same.
Turbo Shot Vs. Turbo Hot Coffee
Turbo Hot is Dunkin’s standard freshly brewed drip coffee with a shot of espresso thrown in.
The espresso gives regular coffee a deeper flavor in addition to the extra caffeine kick, so it’s an ideal pick for everyone who finds drip coffee watery. Dunkin says their espresso tastes up to 6 times stronger than their regular coffee, so Turbo Hot satisfies cravings for a robust, full-flavored cup with a caffeine punch.
A Turbo Shot is an espresso shot without the drip coffee. This shot can be added to Dunkin’s classic Hot Coffee to make Turbo Hot. Or it can be poured into any other Dunkin drink.
Turbo Shot Vs. Red Eye Coffee
Red Eye Coffee is brewed coffee spiked with an espresso shot. It’s the same drink as Dunkin’s Turbo Hot. In contrast, a Turbo Shot is just an espresso shot added to coffee drinks.
Red Eye coffee is also called other catchy names like A Shot In The Dark, A Sludge Cup,
An Oil Spill, A Train Wreck, and a Hammerhead.
Turbo Shot Vs. Black Eye Coffee
A Turbo Shot is an espresso shot added to a drink for a caffeine kick, whereas Black Eye Coffee is a cup of brewed coffee with 2 shots of espresso thrown in.
Turbo Shot Vs. Dead Eye Coffee
Dead Eye Coffee is brewed coffee with 3 shots of espresso added. A Turbo Shot is an espresso shot poured into a drink to give it more caffeine.
Here’s a summary of how a Turbo Shot, Red Eye Coffee, Black Eye Coffee, and Dead Eye Coffee differ:
|Turbo Shot||Red Eye Coffee||Black Eye Coffee||Dead Eye Coffee|
|1 espresso shot that’s added to a drink to boost its caffeine content.||Brewed coffee with 1 espresso shot added.||Brewed coffee with 2 espresso shots added.||Brewed coffee with 3 espresso shots added.|
Homemade Dunkin Turbo Shot Coffee Recipe
Make a Dunkin Turbo Shot coffee at home when you need more than regular coffee to fuel your day and don’t have time to pop in at DD.
Here’s how to make 9oz of supercharged coffee for 1:
- Coffee grinder (optional)
- French press, AeroPress, pour-over coffee brewer, or drip coffee machine
- Espresso machine or 1-cup moka pot
- 2 Tablespoons ground coffee (brewed coffee)
- 1 Tablespoon medium to dark roast ground coffee (espresso shot)
- Water (quantity depends on chosen brewing method)
Note: Although you can make espresso with any coffee beans, Dunkin picks deeply roasted beans for their espresso. So, choose a dark roast for a similar flavor. Why not use Dunkin’ Espresso-Style Extra Dark Roast Ground Coffee, which DD promises tastes like what baristas brew at the coffee house?
1. Using your French press, AeroPress, Pour-over, or drip coffee machine, prepare a cup of brewed coffee with 2 Tablespoons ground coffee.
2. Prepare an espresso shot in your espresso machine or moka pot with 1 Tablespoon ground coffee.
3. Pour the espresso into your brewed coffee and brace yourself for a caffeine hit.
Note: If you don’t have an espresso machine or moka pot, you can cheat an espresso with a coffee capsule machine. Try a Dunkin’ Espresso Bold Roast Coffee Capsule for a no-fuss espresso-style shot.
Follow this pro advice to get the tastiest cup:
- Use the same coffee grounds for the brewed coffee and espresso shot to avoid clashing flavors.
- Freshly grind whole beans just before making your coffee for max flavor. The longer coffee beans rest after being ground, the more they lose their depth of flavor. Grinding your beans also lets you choose how coarse or fine to make the grounds to complement your preparation method (a finer grind for your espresso machine than for your French press).
- Use filtered water for top flavor and aroma.
Dunkin Turbo Shot Nutrition Info
In the right dose, caffeine can be a secret weapon for productivity. In excess, it can make you crash and burn. So, it’s good to track how much you’re downing. (FYI: The FDA says we should stick to a max of 400mg caffeine daily to stay safe.)
Here’s the caffeine (and calories) you’ll get in a Dunkin Turbo Shot:
|Caffeine & Calories In A Dunkin Turbo Shot (Espresso Shot)||Caffeine||Calories|
Suppose you add a Turbo Shot to Dunkin Hot Coffee. This is how much caffeine you can expect a small, medium, large, and extra-large espresso-spiked coffee to contain:
|Caffeine & Calories In Dunkin Hot Coffee with A Turbo Shot||Caffeine||Calories|
Alert: An extra-large Dunkin Hot Coffee with an added espresso shot packs 448mg of caffeine, more than the FDA’s safe limit for healthy adults.
Turbo Shot Drinks Recommendations
Dunkin’s smooth, bold espresso creates full-flavored Americanos, is great in hot or iced drinks, and pairs well with dairy and dairy alternatives (Dunkin offers almond, coconut, and oat milk). Actually, a shot of espresso works with almost every drink on the menu. Still, we’ve got our favorites.
These are our top 5 suggestions of drinks to power up with a Turbo Shot:
1. Hot Chocolate
Its sweet creaminess makes hot chocolate one of the most comforting sips. But this drink skimps on caffeine, offering only 13mg in a medium. When you need more oomph, add a Turbo Shot to your hot choc to get a sweetness and caffeine fix in one!
We must admit that we didn’t come up with the plan to spike hot chocolate with caffeine. Dunkin gave us the idea years ago when they encouraged fans to try a turbocharged hot chocolate and come up with something creative to call it. The winning name? Chocolate Kick.
|Caffeine, Calories, & Sugar In Dunkin Original Hot Chocolate With A Turbo Shot (Medium)||Caffeine||Calories||Sugar|
2. Iced Coffee
Another Dunkin suggestion: adding a Turbo Shot to an iced coffee for an extra buzz.
Dunkin’s standard iced coffee is freshly brewed coffee over ice. It already has a full coffee flavor, but the espresso shot intensifies this flavor while raising the caffeine content. If you like a strong coffee taste, drink it just like that. Or continue customizing your iced coffee to make it milder.
Throw in a dash of whole, skim, cream, almond, coconut, or oat milk for creaminess. Then drizzle in butter pecan, caramel, French vanilla, or mocha swirl to sweeten your drink and make it richer.
Alert: only the mocha flavor swirl is dairy-free.
|Caffeine, Calories, & Sugar In Dunkin Butter Pecan Swirl Iced Coffee With A Turbo Shot (Medium)||Caffeine||Calories||Sugar|
3. Chai Latte
Add your Turbo Shot to a chai latte for a double dose of caffeine. This classic drink, a dirty chai latte, gives you caffeine from black tea and espresso.
Dunkin’s chai latte is a warming blend of milk, black tea, spices, and syrup. The creamy, sweet milk base mellows the espresso shot to create a warming drink that leaves you both alert and relaxed.
|Caffeine, Calories, & Sugar In Dunkin Whole Milk Chai Latte With A Turbo Shot (Medium)||Caffeine||Calories||Sugar|
Lattes have the most milk of espresso-based coffees, making them the creamiest of all. Dunkin’s lattes contain espresso and milk, but they’re mainly milk (steamed with a layer of foam on top). Suppose you’d like a bolder espresso flavor in your latte. Then throw in a Turbo Shot.
You can have your turbocharged latte made with whole, skim, coconut, almond, or oat milk, sweetened with sugar or unsweetened, and with your choice of butter pecan, caramel, French vanilla, or mocha swirl.
|Caffeine, Calories, & Sugar In Dunkin Whole Milk Latte With A Turbo Shot (Medium)||Caffeine||Calories||Sugar|
5. Vanilla Bean Coolatta
Dunkin’s Vanilla Bean Coolattas taste like dessert and are fun to drink. But they’re also super sweet and have zero caffeine. Although they deliver a sugar rush, sometimes you want your energy burst from a caffeine kick.
That’s why we love adding a Turbo Shot to our vanilla-flavored frozen Dunkin drinks. The espresso balances the sweetness and satisfies our coffee cravings.
|Caffeine, Calories, & Sugar In Dunkin Vanilla Bean Coolatta With A Turbo Shot (Medium)||Caffeine||Calories||Sugar|
A Dunkin Turbo Shot is a hack to boost drinks’ caffeine content while giving them rich espresso flavor. Try hot chocolates, chai or regular lattes, iced coffees, or Coolattas with a Turbo Shot next time you’re at DD and need to get things done or whip up a buzz-giving Turbo-Shot-inspired coffee at home.