November 06, 2005
McDonald's Coffee

On my way to work, I recently noticed that McDonald's was advertising that they had a full coffee bar going. I'm not a coffee snob, so I decided to check it out one morning.

Outside was a poster of what I was to expect from McCoffee. Didn't look half bad, but the proof would be in the drinking, not the photography.

At the left of the counter was a little display of coffeeness. They even had a jar of biscotti, just like Starbucks. Behind the counter was a full coffee bar. They had special machines to make the various drinks. It was halfway between what you see at other coffee shops and a soda dispenser. The woman that was making the coffee had a special shirt on that said 'barista' on it. McDonalds has made serious commitment to getting into the coffee business.

A close-up of the sign that descibes for the customer what McDonalds says goes into the various coffee drinks. I found this more helpful than the signs at any other coffee shop I've been to before.

I decided to get a cappuccino, a mocha, and a cup of regular coffee. I also decided to try the biscotti. I watched the barista make the coffee and she bascially did the same things they do at every coffee place. It took a bit for her to walk to the back of the store to get the can of spray whipped cream for the mocha.

The packaging didn't look half bad. The store didn't have the same kind of little area to mix up your coffee with creamer and sugar but I was able to grab a few packets of sugar.

When I got the coffees home, I opened up the lids and took a look. I was suprised to see that all the whipped cream and sprinkleshad melted away completely. The froth on the cappuccino was still there.

I tried the straight coffee first. Just like traditional McCoffee, way to hot and just a little bitter. With a packet of sugar and a dollop of creme, the coffee was fine.

I tried the mocha next and it was pretty good. It's kind of hard mess up basically coffee and chocolate milk. The whipped cream whould have been nice, but it was still good without it.

The cappuccino was OK. I'm not a big cappuccino fan, but I guess it was fine. Nothing spectacular to be sure. I'm not really down with the frothy foam thing, so it was a bit distracting to me.

Lastly, the biscotti was exactly the same as the other factory mass produced cookies that you get everywhere else. Not that it tasted bad, but I'd rather get a hash browns from MickeyDs than have a cheap cookie. A warm hash browns and cup of coffee on a winter morning is a good way to start the day.

Overall, the McCoffee experience is firmly mediocre. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you probably won't be happy. If you are a regular coffee drinker like me, and you want a quick cup, McDonalds is just fine.

Posted by michael at November 06, 2005 01:43 PM


at the McDonalds in the Seattle area, they carry Seattle's Best Coffee. It makes a difference!

Posted by: Anita Rowland [] on November 6, 2005 5:26 PM

We have had McCafe's in Australia for some time, they make consistently average coffees mainly due to there super automatic machines.

In my opinion you will never get a decent coffee at McD's, and you really should check out your closest coffee house just to see how they compare :)

I am a bit of a coffee snob, you can read more at my blog –

Posted by: Lee [] on November 7, 2005 1:17 AM

Life's too short to drink bad coffee, and make no mistake - this stuff is bad.

If an instant coffee drinker calls it mediocre, it's nothing less than putrid.

Posted by: BillB [] on November 7, 2005 9:56 AM

It's good but - HEY! - it's no Sanka! ;)

Posted by: Bribo [] on November 7, 2005 11:00 AM

You consistently save me from wasting time and effort on this and many other products. Thank you for your studies. You are appreciated!

Posted by: Crys [] on November 7, 2005 3:40 PM

I would never have pegged you as a person that is "distracted by foam". You learn something everyday.

Posted by: Watson [] on November 8, 2005 8:40 AM

Why does Starbuck's Coffee taste like the beans were excreted directly from Juan Valdez's sphincter? Way too strong, way too bitter and a nasty after-taste.

But at least you LOOK fashionable and en vogue while choking it down!

Posted by: Bribo [] on November 8, 2005 12:04 PM

At the McDs where I go, they have light cream instead of half&half. YES!

At our house, Sat & Sun mornings are McBreakfast Time. I simply get a regular coffee, put in 3 or 4 creams and 3 Splendas, and I'm happy.

You have to be careful with the fancy lids they use now; they have a tendency to leak.

Posted by: patinhisrightmind [] on November 8, 2005 4:32 PM

I agree with Bribo!

Posted by: MOM [] on November 8, 2005 7:28 PM

Drink whatever you want. Drink what you enjoy. You should however realize that what you're drinking, while smooth, sensual and un-bitter to your palate isn't coffee.

We coffee elitists don't drink the good stuff because we think it makes us look cool. We drink it because we enjoy it. So stuff that in your sanka-swilling pie-hole! :D

Posted by: BillB [] on November 9, 2005 7:30 AM

Aloha Michael,
I hear about your blog and as a Concept Artist, I was hesitant to check it out thinking it would be full of wizardry technical jibber-jabber. But you surprised me!!! This is a great slice of life. I really appreciate you sharing this with the world. Thanks Mr. VP!
Edwin Ushiro

Posted by: Edwin Ushiro [] on November 11, 2005 11:21 AM

i would like to know how to get some of the brand of coffee they serve at mccafe to try it for myself in my home brewer. i don't think it's all that bad.
can anyone tell me what it is and how i can get it in australia, without having to bribe a mccoffee barrista!

norm gibbons

Posted by: norm gibbons [] on November 20, 2005 6:38 AM
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