CoffeeNate 15 : The ‘Mc’Spresso Experiment


Have a coffee question? Have it answered on the show, and win FREE coffee! ASK COFFEENATE

I was originally set to shoot a vac pot tutorial video this week, but plans change. ๐Ÿ™‚ I have been bestowed the honor of joining Scott Jangro and Todd Crawford on their podcast show, CoffeeCast! You can listen to the show at CoffeeCast.fm or on iTunes in the days to come. During their last show, Scott and Todd were talking about McDonald’s McCafรฉ offerings. It was quite surprising to see a fast food establishment decide to offer espresso based drinks! Let’s face it, Mickey Dees employs many young teens, who are not exactly knowledgeable baristas! I’ll refer to these MCD employees as McBaristas.

McDonald’s was a pioneer as far as franchising goes. The concept of the franchise is to make a product that is virtually identical in appearance and taste no matter which store it may have been purchased from. They have mastered this in all of their products…until now. There are only two McDonald’s restaurants in my town, both of which offer the McCafรฉ products. The taste and appearance of the espresso from one establishment to the other was astounding! I ordered an espresso and a lattรฉ at both stores, but the similarities ended there. The espresso at location number one was literally like drinking cigarette butts, with actual grounds in the drink. Mmmmm ๐Ÿ˜› Location number two was a delightful surprise. The espresso from that McDonald’s was excellent, strong without bitterness…it packed a flavorful punch, without a lingering aftertaste. ๐Ÿ˜€

Free Coffee...never a bad thing!

Free Coffee...never a bad thing!

Even if some McDonald’s locations are able to make acceptable espresso drinks, they really need to work on that consistency, and spend more time training their staff. They should also teach their staff about coffee drinks in terms of common names of the drinks. I’ve ordered a coffee with two shots of espresso added and these people look at me like I am a freak of nature when I pull up to the window. I quickly look into my rear view mirror thinking ‘perhaps there is a booger hanging out of my nose’, but no…they are just in awe of my concoction. One more thing McBaristas do that really pulls my chain is pronounce espresso (eXXXpressoh) THERE IS NO “X” PEOPLE! :\

Next week I will be featuring a Vac Pot tutorial! I just received my Bodum Vac Pot last week and I can’t wait to tell you how awesome it is! I will show you how to use the vac pot / siphon pot as well as offer my review of the Bodum Santos.

Please support this site by simply visiting one of the sponsors on this page! I personally use %99 of the products and companies displayed, and I would value your input and experiences with these companies…or any other coffee companies for that matter! That’s what this site is about, connecting coffee lovers and sharing experiences related to coffee both good AND the bad!

Nate

Nate is a special kind of coffee lover. He began drinking the same swill that most others do, but thought there must be something better out there. Sure enough, he was right, even more so than he ever dreamed possible. He soon found his way into the specialty coffee industry, and was tasting exceptional coffees from dozens of roasters from around the country. He is now committed to teaching others how they can appreciate coffee, and how they can make the best coffee in town and save money at the same time! Cheers c[_]

Say something!

Please leave a comment or ask a question

  • Mike

    I loved this video! Hope there's more special editions. I've also noticed the variation in quality depending on the location and who makes it. Some have been good, some not so much. I totally forgot about their pizza. That lasted a total of what two weeks.

  • Mike

    I loved this video! Hope there's more special editions.

    I've also noticed the variation in quality depending on the location and who makes it. Some have been good, some not so much.

    I totally forgot about their pizza. That lasted a total of what two weeks.

  • nate_s

    [seesmic 05hKgc2cF7|j0VEZW0KLC_th1.jpg <a href="http://www.seesmic.com/video/05hKgc2cF7&quot; target="_blank">http://www.seesmic.com/video/05hKgc2cF7</a&gt; seesmic]

  • nate_s

    [seesmic 0s3kltPbQQ|Hx2HrXtHSG_th1.jpg <a href="http://www.seesmic.com/video/0s3kltPbQQ&quot; target="_blank">http://www.seesmic.com/video/0s3kltPbQQ</a&gt; seesmic]

  • [seesmic 0s3kltPbQQ|Hx2HrXtHSG_th1.jpg http://www.seesmic.com/video/0s3kltPbQQ seesmic]

  • dkars

    Hey Nathan, I bet you were talking about the McD's closest to the bridge that served you espresso with the lovely &quot;ciggy butt&quot; aftertaste. I haven't had a good iced mocha or espresso there yet. It just goes to show you that you can still screw up an espresso made on a $20K+ superautomatic machine. Almost every drink i've had made at the McD's on the Bus. Spur has been pretty good! Thanks for the tip about the free mocha mondays. Too bad i didn't know about it earlier in the summer. Only a couple of mondays left until aug 3rd. Hope i can get over there to get a free one before it's over. –Dave

  • Hey Nathan,
    I bet you were talking about the McD's closest to the bridge that served you espresso with the lovely "ciggy butt" aftertaste. I haven't had a good iced mocha or espresso there yet. It just goes to show you that you can still screw up an espresso made on a $20K+ superautomatic machine. Almost every drink i've had made at the McD's on the Bus. Spur has been pretty good!
    Thanks for the tip about the free mocha mondays. Too bad i didn't know about it earlier in the summer. Only a couple of mondays left until aug 3rd. Hope i can get over there to get a free one before it's over.
    –Dave

    • You're absolutely right Dave! Not sure what they have going on there, but it does show that there is a little more knowledge needed than how to push a button…which they also had difficulty with. I think their espresso blend has some robusta added…not sure, but some espresso has it added to increase the créma.

  • nate_s

    You're absolutely right Dave! Not sure what they have going on there, but it does show that there is a little more knowledge needed than how to push a button…which they also had difficulty with. I think their espresso blend has some robusta added…not sure, but some espresso has it added to increase the cr&eacute;ma.

  • dkars

    Hey Nate, Well, I just finished watching the webisode (i previously commented after only reading your article) and I have to say that you had me laughing my butt off. I've had exactly the same experiences at both McD's here in Soo, MI. I have to say that the espresso based drinks at the McD's in Newberry are really great too. I stop there every time I go to my brother's place in Escanaba and haven't been disappointed yet. I've also tried the espresso at another McD's in Indian River, MI and have to say that my experience there was great too. I'm beginning to think that this local store just seems to be the issue. Maybe we should speak out some how on the issue and bring it to their attention. But you'd think with the amazing quality control that McD's is famous for, they would have already discovered this. Obviously there are many, many variables that affect the outcome of a good shot of espresso and it is easy to get any one of them screwed up (especially when there are 50 people that use the same machine.) Anyways, that's my $.02 –Dave

  • Hey Nate,
    Well, I just finished watching the webisode (i previously commented after only reading your article) and I have to say that you had me laughing my butt off. I've had exactly the same experiences at both McD's here in Soo, MI. I have to say that the espresso based drinks at the McD's in Newberry are really great too. I stop there every time I go to my brother's place in Escanaba and haven't been disappointed yet. I've also tried the espresso at another McD's in Indian River, MI and have to say that my experience there was great too. I'm beginning to think that this local store just seems to be the issue. Maybe we should speak out some how on the issue and bring it to their attention. But you'd think with the amazing quality control that McD's is famous for, they would have already discovered this. Obviously there are many, many variables that affect the outcome of a good shot of espresso and it is easy to get any one of them screwed up (especially when there are 50 people that use the same machine.)
    Anyways, that's my $.02
    –Dave

    • Cool beans dudeface! Glad I made you laugh…it was fun. Maybe I'll forward this to Ray Croc…oops…he's dead. I see McCafe is now following me on Twitter so I'll have to get with them ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the insight Dave!!

  • nate_s

    Cool beans dudeface! Glad I made you laugh…it was fun. Maybe I'll forward this to Ray Croc…oops…he's dead. I see McCafe is now following me on Twitter so I'll have to get with them ๐Ÿ˜€ Thanks for the insight Dave!!

  • Tyler

    CoffeeNate, I recreated your experiment basically, and I did notice a big disparity in my findings as well. the first one I had a much different resutlt than you, they actualy gave me about 3 times what they were supposed to because they thought they were supposed to fill up a small cup. it was very tasty and there was a lot of it, awesome. but the second one was was the right size and it tasted a little like pickles. don't ask me how. infact I'm about to walk two blocks and go try it again on this rainy day. I miss my days in Hungary when I'd wake up every day and rustle up some Forint and go to this glass coffee house and buy an espresso for the equivalent of 40 cents.

  • Tyler

    CoffeeNate, I recreated your experiment basically, and I did notice a big disparity in my findings as well. the first one I had a much different resutlt than you, they actualy gave me about 3 times what they were supposed to because they thought they were supposed to fill up a small cup. it was very tasty and there was a lot of it, awesome. but the second one was was the right size and it tasted a little like pickles. don't ask me how. infact I'm about to walk two blocks and go try it again on this rainy day. I miss my days in Hungary when I'd wake up every day and rustle up some Forint and go to this glass coffee house and buy an espresso for the equivalent of 40 cents.

    • I'm quite sure that it is a maintenance issue. That, and the fact that 15 year old burger flippers don't have a clue about espresso! Thanks for relating your experience!!

  • nate_s

    I'm quite sure that it is a maintenance issue. That, and the fact that 15 year old burger flippers don't have a clue about espresso! Thanks for relating your experience!!

  • Jill Hayes

    LOVE the videos. I'm an audio person and I learn more watching videos. Thanks!

  • Jill Hayes

    LOVE the videos. I'm an audio person and I learn more watching videos. Thanks!

  • Samantha

    McDonald’s serving mochas? Now I’ve seen everything…

  • Samantha

    McDonald’s serving mochas? Now I’ve seen everything…

  • Theakate

    There are so many inconsistencies across the McDonald’s/McCafe locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. I agree they need to work on staff training and as far as their specialty coffee drinks are concerned. I’ve had mochas that taste bitter with no chocolate. Other mochas taste like milk. If McDonald’s wants to compete with Starbucks they need to focus on quality control.

    • Thank you for your comment and proving my point ๐Ÿ™‚ So much of what makes a good coffee drink comes down to proper maintenance of the machines too. If all of the old coffee oils aren’t cleaned out then it can get pretty gross.

    • Thank you for your comment and proving my point ๐Ÿ™‚ So much of what makes a good coffee drink comes down to proper maintenance of the machines too. If all of the old coffee oils aren’t cleaned out then it can get pretty gross.