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Starbucks vs. McDonald’s? There’s Enough Love to Go Around.

By Kathy Fawcett

Coffee... McDonald's or Starbucks?Cheering for McDonald’s is hardly cheering for the underdog.

But that’s kind of how I felt when I heard that Consumer Reports Magazine ranked McDonald’s breakfast brew to be better than Burger King’s (duh), Dunkin Donuts and even Starbucks.

That’s right McDonald’s coffee "beat the rest," according to Consumer Reports. It was "decent and moderately strong. Although it lacked the subtle top notes needed to make it rise and shine, it had no flaws."

Further comments labeled Starbucks coffee with a too-strong, burnt flavor.

The report’s timing is interesting, as McDonald’s throws Juan Valdez’s sombrero in the ring with espressos and cappuccinos. I noticed the menu change this morning as I drove through the Golden Arches for coffee on my way to work. But you know what really made it taste great? The Egg McMuffin that I bought with it. Starbucks can’t touch the food aspect of the Arches.

"I’ll have a Starbucks FrappaWhatever, with an Egg Star Muffin, please."

You wouldn’t know whether to eat it, or call it for roadside assistance.

Here’s what this report won’t change: the fact that, thanks to dynamic marketing, I feel very cool ordering breakfast at McDonald’s at 6:40 on a weekday morning. I do this maybe once a month. It also won’t change that if I want to meet a business associate, I’ll suggest a Starbucks, never a McDonald’s. And I’d rather get a Starbucks gift card with my Valentine than McBucks, any old day. Also, I get a little extra feel-good value from the cardboard sleeve on the Starbucks cup…McD’s feels sort of plasticky.

McDonald’s…Starbucks…I have love enough to go around!

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  1. Consumer Reports should stick to reviewing vacuum cleaners and child booster seats and leave the food reviews to Zagat. I’ve had MacDonald’s “premium” brew and I can tell you that it still tastes like it came from that can of four-year-old Maxwell House your non-Coffee drinking cousin keeps around for when them “coffee drinkin’ relatives are in town.”
    You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. And it’s still MacDonalds coffee.

    Posted by: Uncle Slayton | May 15, 2007
  2. Ah…but its MacDonalds coffee AND MacDonalds egg McMuffin.
    I think Kathy hit the nail on the head with that observation.
    Plus it is less expensive to boot.

    Posted by: Jen R | May 16, 2007
  3. As someone who has rather guiltily enjoyed McDonald’s breakfast three days in a row, and consequently is going to the doctor later in the week to have the cholesterol sucked out of me, I have to agree with your assessment. McCoffee is okay, but what really makes it hit the spot are those greasy little ovals of loveliness, aka hash browns. I barely even notice that my fancy Cafe McMocha tastes like someone poured a pile of hot chocolate powder in some strong coffee.
    It does, however, taste better to me than the burnt bitterness of Starbucks.

    Posted by: Peppermint Patty | May 16, 2007
  4. I can completely agree with the bitterness of Starbucks coffee. When forced to meet there with friends, I ask them to put about 1/3 of coffee in the cup before filling the rest with WATER. That stuff would send my 50-year old Dad into caffeine shock. Ultimately, its just a place where people feel “rich and important” when going into. I don’t think anyone truly enjoys the coffee, and if you say you do, your lying.

    Posted by: Kriste | May 16, 2007
  5. “Burnt bitterness”?
    That’s the way GOOD coffee tastes. It’s bitter by nature and it’s roasted. Hence … burnt bitterness.

    Posted by: Uncle Slayton | May 17, 2007

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Monday, January 22, 2018