On trying my first McCafé coffee

For some time now I’ve been hearing about how McDonald’s is trying to go head-to-head with my beloved Starbucks (which still doesn’t advertise on my blog) with high-quality coffee.

But I’d never tried it to assess the threat.McCafe

Well, at lunch it occurred to me that I could get coffee instead of a soda with my No. 3 Extra Value Meal (no cheese!), so I did. This is the first time I’ve tried McDonald’s coffee since an unfortunate incident five or six years ago on a late-night drive back from Memphis (that stuff was nasty).

All I can report is that the new stuff is … unobjectionable. It’s OK. It’s like, I don’t know, coffee at Lizard’s Thicket — perfectly fine; I can drink any amount of it without complaining.

But it’s generic coffee. It can’t really be compared to that special extra quality that you get from the first sip of a Starbucks brew, whether we’re talking the delightful, “caramelly” (to quote what was once the official description in the barista handbook) Verona, or something ordinary like Pike Place.

Starbucks has nothing to worry about. Thank goodness.

8 thoughts on “On trying my first McCafé coffee

  1. Kathryn Fenner

    Okay–it’s not Starbucks, but when one is on the road and not near any Starbucks, or place that “proudly brews Starbucks” –which is often a distant second in quality–one can count on a decent cup from Mickey D’s–not a bold roast or anything, but a darn sight better than the Norwegian espresso* generally available.

    *Garrison Keillor was waxing on, perhaps 20 years ago, about how the Sidetrack Tap had the coffee pot burning on all day, until the brew got nice and thick—“Ahh, Norwegian espresso…”

  2. Wesley Donehue

    Brad – this is an good analysis. I feel exactly the same way. It’s ok when you’re driving down the interstate and there’s no starbucks for 134.7 miles. Much better than gas station coffee.

    Btw…you said that we don’t link you on pnn, but there’s no link to pnn or my blog on your blogroll. What gives?

  3. Chris Oder aka sallizar

    I’ll grab a McCafe if I’m really jonesing for coffee, but I don’t care to much for it…

    One of my Xbox 360 friends turned my on to Cafe Verona for my home coffee maker… It goes great with late night gaming…

    The Riverbanks Zoo “proudly brews Starbucks” at one of their concession stands… Tried it at last year’s Lights Before Christmas… First time I did not finish a cup of “Starbucks”…

  4. Kathryn Fenner

    I think a lot of the “proudly brewers” skimp on the ratio of coffee to water, and possibly also on how fresh it is–you can’t hold brewed coffee for very long without a serious degradation of quality. A fearful number of our fellow Americans seem to like dishwater coffee, and since it’s cheaper…

  5. Wesley Donehue

    Brad – HA! That’s smooth man.

    Hey, Phil Bailey and I are doing our new Happy Hour show on Thursday at 6 pm. See http://www.politicalnettv.com.

    We’re having fun. We’d love to have you on. Next week your old colleagues John and Gina will be on. Let us know if you want to join us for a beer. We have no one for tomorrow =)

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