Maximize Your Coffee: McDonald’s

I wrote a rantlet about McDonald’s coffee pricing on Facebook the other day, before starting this blog series. I am rewriting the rantlet here.

As a connoisseur of cheap coffee, I have a fair amount of experience with McDonald’s coffee. In particular, McDonald’s iced coffee has been a better deal than 7-eleven’s, or it was during summer of 2019. You know, last week and last century all at the same time. Coffee is part of McDonald’s dollar menu. Any size, hot or iced, for just $0.99. If you, like me, consume a large part of your caloric intake as sweetener in your coffee, McDonald’s iced coffee is great. A large is 32 ounces (the size of a 7-eleven Big Gulp), and if you are like me, a large iced coffee can last you from your walk to work to lunchtime.

I order my coffee through the McDonald’s app. My rantlet which follows applies to the app; it might not apply if you order in person, but since the pandemic started, I have ordered using the app anywhere I go that has one. Here’s the process for ordering: select “Deals” and scroll all the way to bottom. Select the $0.99 coffee deal. It will take you to the coffee menu. And on the coffee menu, every size and flavor of iced coffee is listed individually. If you order an iced coffee, it comes to you perfectly creamed and sweetened. (Okay, maybe a little too sweetened.) However, if you want hot coffee, the only choices are size and regular or decaf. When you select your size and caffeine level of hot coffee, you then do have the opportunity to customize your coffee with dairy and sweetener. Here’s where my rantlet comes in: 1. you have to know how many creams and how many sugars you want! It took me a week of orders to decide that 2 creams (what’s the volume of “1 cream”? I don’t know) and 5 sugars (see above regarding my calorie intake from sweetened coffee) was a workable combination for a large coffee. And 2. if you want a flavored sweetener, you have to pay extra! I mean, $0.39 isn’t going to impoverish me, but as a matter of principle, I feel like the flavor is the same whether it’s hot or iced coffee, so why is the price different? (Yes, I realize this is a stupid complaint, made more so by the fact that I should just appreciate that the iced coffee isn’t more expensive than the hot coffee, unlike basically everywhere else.)

Bottom line: if you like your coffee “light and sweet,” stick with iced coffee at McDonald’s.

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