Why Is McDonald's Drip Coffee So Good? - Delishably - Food and Drink
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Why Is McDonald's Drip Coffee So Good?

Christy is a coffee enthusiast who has found the best coffee chain cup of joe.

How does McDonald's coffee compare to other brands?

How does McDonald's coffee compare to other brands?

A Review of Drip Coffees

I'm not a gourmet coffee connoisseur or anything, but I like a daily cup of coffee both for the flavor and the caffeine. I noticed that McDonald's in particular seems to have surprisingly good coffee, and I was interested to hear that many people agree with me. But is it really better than the coffee at other chains? If so, what makes it taste so good?

My Experiment

To answer the first question, I devised a fun little informal experiment. My office is located within a block of a Peet's Coffee and Tea, a Starbucks Coffee, and a McDonald's. I purchased a small black coffee from each cafe and tried them together to compare the taste.

Of course, everyone has different flavor likes and dislikes, so I encourage you to try this experiment for yourself to decide if you agree or disagree. Here are the results I came up with from comparing the coffee of these three establishments.

Note: I am comparing only plain black drip coffee from each establishment. I do not address other types of coffee drinks (cafe mocha, iced coffee, cafe latte, cappuccino, etc.) in this article.

Coffees from McDonald's, Starbucks, and Peet's.

Coffees from McDonald's, Starbucks, and Peet's.

Drip Coffee Comparison: McDonalds, Starbucks, and Peet's

 McDonaldsStarbucksPeet's

price (12 oz)

$1.34 (small)

$2.15 ("tall")

$2.45 (small)

roast

medium

dark

dark

bitter?

somewhat

somewhat

very

flavor

slightly nutty

mild, dark, smoky

burnt

A small (aka "tall") coffee from Starbucks Coffee.

A small (aka "tall") coffee from Starbucks Coffee.

Starbucks Coffee

Cost: $2.15 ("tall")

Roast: Dark

Bitterness: Somewhat bitter

Flavor: Mild, dark

Starbucks is a Seattle-based global coffee chain with thousands of locations in 61 countries. Starbucks specializes in dark roasted coffee beans, though occasionally they offer limited lighter roast options.

The coffee I purchased at Starbucks was much better than Peet's (see below) in my opinion. The taste was somewhat bitter, with a very faint hint of smokiness. Overall, the coffee's flavor was mild. Not bad, but unremarkable.

A small 12 oz. coffee from Peet's Coffee and Tea.

A small 12 oz. coffee from Peet's Coffee and Tea.

Peet's Coffee and Tea

Cost: $2.45

Roast: Dark

Bitterness: Extremely bitter

Flavor: Burnt

Peet's Coffee and Tea is a San Francisco-based West Coast coffee chain with locations in California, Colorado, Illinois, Massachusetts, Oregon, and Washington. Peet's specializes in dark-roasted arabica coffee.

The black coffee I purchased at Peet's had an extremely strong burnt, bitter aftertaste. It was actually pretty awful. For a specialty roaster, I was thoroughly unimpressed. (They do often offer lighter roasts, though.)

A small coffee from the McDonald's McCafe.

A small coffee from the McDonald's McCafe.

McDonald's McCafe

Cost: $1.34

Roast: Medium

Bitterness: Somewhat Bitter

Flavor: Slightly Nutty

McDonald's is a massive worldwide fast-food franchise, and the McCafe is the McDonald's menu offering various types of cafe-style drinks such as espresso drinks, iced coffees, blended coffee drinks, and more.

The coffee I purchased from the McDonald's McCafe had the same level of bitterness as the coffee from Starbucks, but it contained much more flavor. I noticed a pleasant mild slightly nutty taste. Not bad.

Which Coffee Is Best?

Coffees ranked by price from cheapest to most expensive:

  1. McDonald's McCafe Coffee
  2. Starbucks Coffee
  3. Peet's Coffee

Coffees ranked by taste from best to worst:

  1. McDonald's McCafe Coffee
  2. Starbucks Coffee
  3. Peet's Coffee

After tasting the coffee from these three chain coffee houses side-by-side, I have concluded that in my opinion, McDonald's is indeed the best.

Don't get me wrong. Starbucks coffee isn't bad, it's just bland and unremarkable. Peet's, on the other hand, is foully bitter (or at least the dark roast I tried was). If you find yourself in a Peet's, stick to the medium roast, tea (which is quite excellent), or blended coffee drinks.

So Why Is McDonald's Coffee So Good?

Normally, McDonald's is associated with low quality, cheap merchandise. The title "Mc" is sometimes applied to other things such as "McMansions" to denote poor construction and lack of originality. So how is it that McDonald's coffee is outperforming its specialty competitors? Here are a few possible reasons:

McDonald's Coffee Is Fresh

McDonald's locations and franchises brew fresh coffee every 30 minutes. You'll never get coffee that's been sitting out for hours or getting stale.

McDonald's Coffee Is Gourmet

Surprisingly, McDonald's coffee is gourmet. Gaviña is the coffee supplier for McDonald's and they use a blend of arabica coffee beans grown in Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica.

McDonald's Coffee Is Medium Roast

McDonald's uses a medium roasted blend rather than dark roasted coffee. The lighter roast brings out the coffee's nutty, chocolaty undertones without causing excessive bitterness or a burnt flavor.

Pro Tip: Lighter roasted coffee also means more caffeine. Caffeine is burnt off as the coffee is roasted, so the lighter the roast, the stronger the kick because the less caffeine has been burnt away.

Questions & Answers

Question: What kind of creamer does McDonald's use for coffee?

Answer: McDonalds doesn't make public the company it contracts with to provide its coffee creamer, however the creamer is 6% fat (whole milk is 3.5% for comparison). Its ingredients include: Milk, Cream, Sodium Phosphate, DATEM, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Sodium Citrate, Carrageenan. You might consider mixing whole milk or half and half with a powdered creamer to get the fat content up in order to make a McDonald's creamer copycat, though it might take a little experimentation to get the flavor just right.

Question: Does McDonald’s give free cups of coffee to senior citizens?

Answer: McDonald's locations are franchises, so it will vary from location to location. Many participate in senior discounts, but I don't know if this includes a free cup of coffee at any of them.

Comments

ONC on August 18, 2020:

Starbucks black is bitter and burnt tasting to me, so Peet’s must be God awful, Dunkin donuts, Krispy Kreme seem to be Starbucks, Krispy Kreme being the better.

Starbucks buys a massive amount of beans, so much so, in my opinion this is the business model.

Buy whatever beans, whatever grade, over roast the hell out of them, it will hide the differences, the poor taste, over toasting will even out the taste over the different beans, even if awful black. You are only using it as a base, 1/3 coffee, 2/3 milkshakes ingredients.

Now you sell $4.00 milk shake coffee drinks, that homogenize battery acid coffee will be needed to cut through all the cream, milk, syrup. There is no money in selling 50 cents black coffee.

McDonald’s strangely went the other way, what I remember as a traditional cup of coffee, at a cafe, buy good beans, a 3 bean blend, roasted medium, because coffee isn’t their main product.

We don’t eat at franchises but when traveling, their coffee is what works to get me in for breakfast. So they did this right l

leelee88 on August 06, 2020:

VOTING for MDonald's 2020

Eugene Allison on July 23, 2020:

About 10-15 years ago a group of us were going through Muleshoe, Texas and stopped at McDonalds. Seemed like it had been that long since I had a decent cup of coffee.That coffee was like I remembered from long long ago. Only one word needed to describe it; EXCELLENT. Since that day every Cup of McDonalds has been really high quality. The server proudly said that their coffee had bested Starbucks for taste. I heartedly agree. That last cup came from the McDonalds on west 19th in Lubbock, Texas. Great job.!!

cori260 on May 26, 2020:

I love McDonalds coffee. In fact, it is what I buy to drink at home. I also have a fondness for their cappuccinos, and smoothies. Good and a more reasonable that Starbucks

JEFE on May 09, 2020:

Unfortunately McDonald's Coffee is not good. As a person who enjoys coffee and does tasting on a regular basis anything that is mass produced cannot be a good quality product. If you really want a good cup of coffee go tho your local,individual coffee shop since they roast in small batches and they are coffee comes from farms that grows specialty coffee.

Stephen Clarke on May 01, 2020:

McDonalds coffee is exactly the same everywhere, Sidney Australia to Penge High street London UK to Hong Kong to Mumbai India, tastes the same, delicious.

Cherie Kay George on April 24, 2020:

I have tasted Hot Lattes(Unflavored/not sweetened) from various places, and I think MCDONALD’S has the absolute best hot lattes!

Faisonpete on April 12, 2020:

McDonalds is better than I can even make at home grinding the beans and fiddling with amounts of coffee and water. Maybe there is something to medium roast instead of dark. I always thought dark was better. Maybe not!

Leelee88 on April 04, 2020:

PARADISE for the mind ❤

Leelee on March 19, 2020:

Mc Donald's is still the best to me still drinking coffoe in 2020

shellysue on March 10, 2020:

i love McDonalds coffee no. one for taste second for price. always fresh.

Yekwana on February 27, 2020:

Just read the coffee review and it is complete BS. Srarbucks and Peet's have mant different roasts and the author reviewer did not specfy which roast she tasted.

Iliana on February 09, 2020:

I've wondered about the same. McDonald's coffee is also from the Guatemalan, Costa Rican and Colombian highlands.

realseller on January 24, 2020:

I very much like McDonalds' coffee. At our hometown store (but I assume at others, as well) you can order a Senior coffee which is a regular size cup but is below a dollar. When I first started ordering this a few years ago it was only 59 cents, it has increased but I can't tell you exactly what it is now, maybe 75 cents or so.

amathonn on January 04, 2020:

I absolutely agree that McDonald's coffee is fantastic, especially with one little creamer per cup. I hate those automatic cream dispensers that turn every cup into an off-white concoction a newborn could drink. They should develop a half-shot dispenser.

On the issue of caffeine, I think Starbucks has more of a caffeine kick. Maybe it's fortified?

Ray Tondreau on December 06, 2019:

Umm, McDonald's utilizes multiple roasters depending on the region. I believe there are 4 perhaps 5 in USA.

Aleka on November 17, 2019:

McDonald’s is the #1 coffee which I usually have every few days. Although I really can’t afford the $1, I try to justify

it the “1” treat I can give myself on occasions.

Leelee88 on November 15, 2019:

The aroma wakes me up and the taste. McDonald's coffoe takes my pain away I just ❤ you McDonalds

Charmyrick on November 10, 2019:

I travel from the midwest to the PNW and McDonald's coffee has never disappointed me. Always tastes the same. I have always assumed they use purified water, as it is always the same.

Mitch Llewellyn on November 07, 2019:

I agree McDonald's is the best

Dick reif on October 31, 2019:

McDonalds coffeeholics, The taste you fail to identify in their McCafe medium roast is no other than a slight blend of HAZEL NUT ! It smooths out the Aribica and gives a slightly nutty taste! Try it you like it

Leelee88 on October 18, 2019:

You forgot about Jack and the Box's coffoe so delicious my new. . . ❤

Edward on September 27, 2019:

I like McDonald's coffee for flavor and the price around here is $1.06 no matter what size. Glad to see others like it. Never heard of Peets and I refer to the other as StarYucks.

bouzoukiman on August 22, 2019:

McDonald's is TONS better than Five Bucks. All those west coast chains and their clones brew it way too dark. Five Bucks tastes extremely burnt & bitter, so I'm surprised they actually got the review they did here. Their mocha frapp is great though!

Rich, your comment is interesting. Cracker Barrel brews coffee with distilled water only, so that way it tastes the same whether you're in Bismarck or Atlanta (I do NOT work for them BTW). Perhaps McDonald's should do the same.

Will on August 10, 2019:

I would drive out of my way to get McDonald's coffee. When I travel by car, I always drink McDonald's along the way.

Todd Van Dell on July 24, 2019:

Thank you for and informative and surprisingly unbiased review. I was fascinated that you found Peet's coffee so awful, Starbucks coffee okay, and McDonald's McCafe coffee the best taste overall. I just would like to point out a few things your review either overlooked or just forgot to mention entirely. In my humble opinion, as a long-time coffee lover, connoisseur, and a self-taught authority on all things coffee-related, I would suggest conducting this same review of the same three companies' coffees, but substitute single origin/single source coffee instead of the blends chosen here. If you want a consistently smooth taste across your flavor palette? Single source coffees are impossible to beat. Primarily because they are all grown in one location, typically in similar soil, with similar growing conditions (rainfall, shade or sunlight, altitude, etc.). And because they ARE single source? There is a stronger uniformity of taste. If you like a consistently smooth cup of coffee? Single source is unbeatable. 100% Colombian coffee is single origin or single source. Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Kenya, Brazil, etc. The list goes on. All single source. Additionally, it needs to be pointed out that Gaviña, who supplies McDonald's with its coffee? Is F. Gaviña & Sons, the parent company for Don Francisco's coffee. Excellent coffee, at a very reasonable price. Can also be purchased at Walmart. (The F. In F. Gaviña is for Francisco Gaviña. The Don means Francisco was the boys' father.) I don't recall the small print on any of the cans of McCafe coffee mentioning Gaviña as the supplier. Interesting information. Good to know, especially considering McCafé coffee is more expensive than Don Francisco's, at least in most stores where both coffees are sold.☺ An interesting urban legend about Peet's and Starbucks that was also not mentioned in this review: the Starbucks coffee roasters actually worked for, and learned the coffee roasting craft, from Alfred Peet, founder of Peet's coffee. Starbucks did a slight variation on Peet's roating technique, and then successfully outgrew Peet's Coffee. But flavor-wise, Peet's and Starbucks are surprisingly similar. The roasting techniques are similar enough that the comparison between them taste-wise is nearly impossible to differentiate. Peet's is a bit darker/smokier than Starbucks. Also, all three coffee roasters listed in this review do have single source offering and options. I feel you will discover a smoother, tastier, cup of coffee that pleases your palette better with single source coffees, rather than blended coffees.

Ash millis on June 25, 2019:

Does anyone know where I can purchase the espresso McDonald’s uses? The McDonald’s espresso marked at grocery stores tastes nothing like from the restaurant itself.

Rich on May 27, 2019:

Some towns or regions have less tasty McDonald's coffee than other places. I think the water sources affect the taste significantly. In towns where the tap water tastes bad, the coffee also tastes bad.

MKH on May 21, 2019:

I have tried so many coffee places and no matter what business it is, I always end up dumping it out anyway and going back to McDonalds coffee. It is amazing good, smooth, with no burnt taste; yes a nutty taste with perfectly small amount of bitterness that gives it a superb taste; smells awesome too. Congrats McDonalds, your coffee rocks. You sold me.

C.M. on April 22, 2019:

I really like McDonald's coffee, but I also think their cup and lid design is superior to the competition. I drink it almost every day and appreciate how the thick paper cup does not require a sleeve. And the lid rarely gives me trouble as I am usually driving while drinking it. Can't say the same for other cups which often leak. Without McDonald's I probably wouldn't be a coffee drinker.

rayj on April 16, 2019:

was very good but I don't like the mcdonalds coffee they have now

Frankie Miller on April 05, 2019:

If you love McDonald's coffee like me you are going to have to get the McCafe medium dark blend. Taste to me just like a fresh cup of McDonald's coffee.

P.G. on April 03, 2019:

I am so disappointed with what they did with their coffee, I used to always suggest to my friends to go to McD's for their morning cup because it was so good. But now it tastes terrible. Over the last many months, I've tried multiple locations all around my travel zone, but they all taste crappy.

MW412 on March 21, 2019:

Had McDonalds decaf last week and they changed it! It now tastes like instant coffee - sort of like those old-time Sanka packets from years ago. The stuff was awful - nasty - undrinkable. Why instant decaf? What's so hard about brewing a pot of decaf? I'm done until they bring back the regular decaf they served for years.

Janice on March 01, 2019:

MCDONALD'S Coffee is simply the best Coffee and is always piping hot and fresh as a daisy! Our McDonald's on Long Prairie Road, FM,

FLower Mound, TX, Has the best staff, friendly, caring, and the orders are always correct!

HIgh Five to our favorite McDonald's!!

......Love ❤️ MCDONALD'S COFFEE!

Larry on February 08, 2019:

I really enjoy the coffee at Tim Horton's. A little more costly than McDonald' which is my second choice at $1.85 for medium.

Jennifer C on January 30, 2019:

I live and Canada and have to say that McDonald's definitely has the best coffee. Better than Tim Hortons and Starbucks. I haven't had a McDonalds coffee in a while though. I'm craving one now :)

Barbara Wolffe on January 27, 2019:

I’ve purchased the McCafe coffee at my grocer but the taste is not the same. I’ve tried to buy a bag of coffee from McDonalds and I’ve been told that they can not sell it.

John Smith on January 17, 2019:

I like it

Ronald Grens on January 13, 2019:

McDonalds coffee ingredients

ANNA on December 10, 2018:

I love this coffee where can I buy to brew at home? Does McDonalds sell it?

Dwayne on October 08, 2018:

McDonalds may have a good coffee but they leave it sit in the pot on

the Hot plate and the coffee burns. It only takes 5 min. for this to

change the taste to burnt!

Bill Becton on September 21, 2018:

My wife and I will only drink McDonalds coffee unless a Mc’s is not available . At home we blend a bag of decaf with the breakfast blend 50/50 and it delivers a wonderful cup of coffee . Our guests always remark that we have the best coffee. We are McDonalds hooked.

nah on September 15, 2018:

Mcdonalds coffee in the USA is disgusting, yet the coffee at Mcdonald's in Canada is amazing. They clearly use a different better quality type of bean and you can taste the difference.

Srik on August 23, 2018:

I too tasted in Starbucks, Burger King, Petes, Tim Hortans, Dunkin donuts etc. But MC coffee is very good aroma, taste and freshness. Always you get the freshly brewed coffee with a big smile in MC D. I call Meck D coffee as no. 1

ComeSaturdayMorni on July 20, 2018:

Passing Mcdonald's on my way home from work tonight, I thought I might pick up a Filet O' Fish and a vanilla shake. I'm in the drive-thru waiting for the vehicle with the NY license plate to hurry up and finish their order when I overheard her utter 'breakfast sandwiches'. I had no clue that breakfast sandwiches could be had all day/night at Mcdonald's and for some reason, I changed suit and ordered 2 Egg McMuffins and a vanilla shake. When it was my turn to pay and retrieve my order, I was taken aback as the window opened and I smelled the most 'delicious' aroma of coffee, truly delicious is the only way to describe it. I did not order coffee but the NY car must have, and the aroma permeated my McMuffin paper wrappings and paper bag! As soon as I made it home I knew that I would 'have' to google what particular coffee Mcdonald's uses, which brought me here to the HubPages, and here I am chiming in! I must say that I can hardly wait to stop at Mcdonald's on my way to work tomorrow morning. I have GOT TO indulge my other senses and in particular my palate. I deserve to explore this further! Cheers people!

n ben klem on July 05, 2018:

So very good the McCafe coffee i agree, starbucks is so far away to have it.

Dia on June 16, 2018:

Good article,and I totally agree Micky Dee's coffee is the best.

Betty on May 01, 2018:

Pete's is literally undrinkable.

Susan on April 15, 2018:

I always go to McDonalds for my cup of black coffee when traveling and on the way to work. I have had breakfast in expensive restaurants and very few are any better and some not as good.

Andrew Johnson on January 22, 2018:

For ice coffee, i think vienamese french style coffee is the best.

Bobby Stafford on January 18, 2018:

I have long believed that McDonald's coffee is consistently better than Starbucks'. Since I do not usually drink "special" coffee creations, I have no opinion on different lattes, etc. My wife and I are both longtime coffee drinkers, and having spent many years in Germany, we still believe that German coffees, at least most of their brands, are far superior to other coffees. At home, we drink Keurig cup coffee, primarily Tully's and Green Mountain blends, most of which are excellent. But for coffee outside the home, nothing comes close to McDonald's.

Simon brown on December 28, 2017:

I have always rated McDonald's for there coffe as I only like ground coffe and an excellent choice when I'm driving on a long journey and very good value too compared with other outlets. How ever I have recently had there coffee in two different reasturant in different parts of the country and I'm so disappointed as o not both occasions it's been instant coffee served. Has anyone else experienced this.

Don on December 25, 2017:

Yes, MICKIE D'S the best.. I suggested to the owner of the Timmies store in our town to do a Blind test & compare.

Didn't happen, they know McDonald's would be the favorite. Never mind the cost difference, because I only buy one small per day. Why pay more for less taste.

Not in Don's world.

Brad on September 09, 2017:

Hi I enjoyed your article. This reminds of me something that I noticed. I did a taste test and purchased various brands of coffee that were labeled 100% Arabica. They were in the packages and brewed by drip.

I noticed that coffee from the USA was thicker and had a cocoa taste.

The Canadian coffee samples were not thick and had no hint of cocoa.

They both tasted great just different. I was surprised that 100% Arabica coffee could taste so different. I guess different regions of the world like different flavor profiles.

Max on August 31, 2017:

I love Micky D's coffee. at home I use a percolator, yes, you read that right. trust me, best coffee in the world comes from a percolator.

John on August 03, 2017:

Love your review and agree wholeheartedly! One part of MD's taste is a smokey, almost charcoaly flavor that isn't burnt like most dark roasts.

So the question is: How can we recreate that taste at home? I've been trying for 3 years and can't do it.

I think the secret is in the blend. Most 'gourmet' coffees are single origin. It's cheaper to do a blend and I think that is how they get their unique flavor profile.

I want to try some experiments with differing proportions of light, medium, and dark roast beans.

If anyone has any experience or has tried this, I'd love to hear it!

- John

finn liam on July 23, 2017:

I agree with you that McDonalds is much better than the other two you mentioned and I never quite knew why. It is the cheapest and the tastiest - especially when you add cream and sugar. I always thought starbucks tasted burnt too

thanks for the summary

Jeff Boettner from Tampa, FL on June 17, 2017:

I am a Starbucks guy. I usually drink a pot of Sumatra so I can make it back to the machine to brew a second pot of Sumatra.

And then I ran out of coffee filters......and there was no way I could face the grocery store ( I could barely drive), without my first pot of coffee. So I raced to McDonald's, and I must say, that there coffee was freakin spectacular. So now Im eating mcmuffins everyday and have gained a dangerous amount of weight. Thanks delicious McDonald's coffee!

Angela on June 17, 2017:

McDonald's coffee is the best, period.

Joey Chestnut on February 03, 2017:

You always don't know quality coffee

Juan Miguel on April 25, 2016:

I could NOT believe it when I saw McDonald’s coffee on the shelf next to Starbucks, Peet’s, etc. But, there it was.

- http://coffeelounge.net/colombian-mccafe-makes-its...

Carlo Z on April 23, 2016:

In my opinion, Gavina is one of the best coffee roasters in the country. I owned a euro style cafe in NY suburbs for 10 years and Gavina's coffee was my choice for daily blends and flavors.

It's no surprise that the blend they exclusively provide McDonalds is so good. I love it too.

Chantelle Porter from Ann Arbor on September 23, 2015:

I drink decaf so if I am in the mood for a regular decaf I go McDonald's. It's good and cheap. However, they don't have decaf versions of their gourmet drinks so off to Starbucks I go. If I am in Michigan, I go to Biggby Coffee. Far better than both Starbucks and McDonald's just not as widely available.

Tim S. on May 26, 2015:

I've enjoyed McDonalds coffe for over 30 Years. It always seemed to keep me going ALL day with just a small cup. Now I have a cup of McDonalds coffee once a week as my indulgence. The rest of the week my coffee comes from a Keurig.

nico on April 16, 2015:

People still drink drip coffee???

Olivia Verde on April 07, 2015:

I had a McD's decaf coffee last night, and it was...well....Delicious! Better than I make at home! by the cup! And I have to admit, I was actually looking for info on their creamer...it makes their coffee taste extra creamy, with less than I use at home. And I do prefer a med. roast, darker roasts are too bitter. I normally buy my beans at Sprouts, where they have a good selection of organic coffees. But I'll have to checkout Gavina...thanks!

Rdrnnr88 on March 21, 2015:

I just purchased a box of McD's coffee in a K-Cup. It is just as delicious from the K-Cup as from the restaurant.

Ina Jam on March 21, 2015:

I have a heart condition and use. light coffee blend. but I get chest pain sometimes . But not with McDonalds coffee. thanks for the pro tip

Nancy on January 26, 2015:

I still like starbucks coffee.

Taranwanderer on December 02, 2014:

I didn't actually know that McDonald's coffee was that good lol. Now, I think I'll have to give it a go in the morning and compare it to my Keurig coffee maker.

Jeanette Harris from 11996 Valley Falls Loop Spring Hill Florida, 34609 on November 28, 2014:

I think it so good is because is freshly made, and its nice and hot; especially when you want to enjoy a fresh cup of coffee.

Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on November 27, 2014:

Hi Vanessa,

That's a very good point! I do indeed prefer medium and light roast coffee. I do like the flavor of some dark roasted coffees, though, and Peet's and Starbucks are not among them. I have tried Starbucks medium and light roasts as well and thought both left a lot to be desired.

Unfortunately, there aren't any Seattle's Best locations in my area, but if I ever get the chance, I'll have to try it!

Vanessa on November 27, 2014:

Not that I don't agree with you that McDonalds has amazing coffee, but from what you said in this article, it seems to me that you just don't like dark coffee. You said yourself that the coffee you tried from Starbucks and Peet's was dark roasted, but McDonalds was medium roasted. Have you ever tried a medium roast from another coffee chain? Every Starbucks I've ever been to brews three kinds of coffee daily: light, medium and dark. They also brew fresh coffee every 8 minutes, and rotate between the three brews, meaning each batch will only sit for a maximum of 24 minutes. Granted, I live in Seattle, so perhaps that is why there are more brewed coffee options and why their coffee is fresher than what you've experienced? I noticed when I lived in Florida that Starbucks' coffee didn't taste even remotely as good as it did in my hometown... But anyway, McDonald's coffee is like... magically fantastic. It doesn't even make sense lol.

Seattle's Best Coffee is still the best tasting coffee I've ever had. Shame on Starbucks for continuously closing their locations =(

Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on November 20, 2014:

Adam, McDonald's company policy is to brew fresh coffee every 3o minutes, even if all the previous batch was not purchased.

Adam on November 20, 2014:

"You'll never get coffee that's been sitting out for hours or getting stale."

Unless you go to almost every McDonald's....haha. Almost every cup of coffee you buy at McDonald's has been sitting for at least an hour. Unless you go in the morning, when it's selling faster than it's going bad. If you buy a cup at Lunch and want it fresh, please say "make it fresh" otherwise you'll be getting coffee made during breakfast.

Carol Houle from Montreal on September 26, 2014:

I tried an iced McCafe a few days ago and liked it, tho it was a little too sweet and I got throat and brain-freeze.

Gabriel on April 08, 2014:

Have you lost your mind or your taste buds?! You could use their coffee to remove oil stains off of concrete. Hell, they're now GIVING their coffee away, because no one wants to part with a buck and a half to have their mouth insulted.

I agree wholeheartedly that the best restaurant coffee you can buy is Tim Horton's, followed by (believe it or not) Dunkin' Donuts.

But McDonald's coffee? Ain't lovin' it...

Carrie Lee Night from Northeast United States on April 05, 2014:

Thank you for this very interesting hub :). In the end it always comes to the palate and how the coffee is brewed or roasted. I for one am not a coffee critic but my hubby, on the record, does not like mickey D's coffee at all. Thank you for taking the time to experiment and write your personal thoughts on an interesting topic. Have a wonderful week :)

Jeanette Harris from 11996 Valley Falls Loop Spring Hill Florida, 34609 on November 10, 2013:

My parents and I enjoy Mc. Donalds coffee

Mary from Cronulla NSW on August 21, 2013:

You are so right Christy, Macca's coffee is really great! I am a bit of a coffee snob & only like mine strong & sweet & certain brands but I do get Macca's from time to time especially if I'm traveling long distances! And did you no that they use fair trade coffee..here in Australia anyway!! Great hub..will share, pin & tweet..cheers

Kathleen Cochran from Atlanta, Georgia on August 21, 2013:

So the Coffee Wars continue. I think often people buy the experience more than the drink. Interesting that McD goes to the trouble to buy gourmet blends. Sharing

Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on March 16, 2013:

Thanks, tillsontitan! A lot of people think that the darker roasted coffees have more caffeine because the flavor is stronger, when actually it's the opposite. It's a good thing to know when choosing a brew. I always drink dark in the evenings because I don't want to be up all night! :)

Mary Craig from New York on March 15, 2013:

I don't drink coffee but my husband and children do. I was blown away by your Protip and know what 'roast' I will be buying from now on. I liked your comparisons and reasoning too.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on March 12, 2013:

I agree completely, EuroCafeAuLait! It seems like a lot of places just charge for atmosphere.

Anastasia Kingsley from Croatia, Europe on March 12, 2013:

Voted up and useful, thanks for calling my attention to this. Price does not always equal quality.

Christy Kirwan (author) from San Francisco on March 11, 2013:

I don't think we have Tim Horton's coffee in San Francisco, though if I see one, I'll have to try it!

Ardot from Canada on March 11, 2013:

I prefer Tim Horton's coffee, I find the McDonalds coffee to weak and watery.