Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I'm (not) lovin' it....or why Starbucks has nothing to worry about

My love for the Green Goddess is well documented here on this blog. But another thing I just can't resist is a freebie. So when I saw a coupon for a free drink from McDonald's new McCafe, I just had to check out the hype for myself.

Much has been made about McDonald's attempts to steal a corner of the coffee market from Starbucks. The same has been said for Dunkin' Donuts. Honestly, I just don't see that happening. If you are a true lover of the 'Bucks, then you know there is just nothing else like it.

But I took myself to Mickey D's with coupon in hand, determined to give the McCafe a fighting chance to change my opinion. It was about three in the afternoon and there were only two cars ahead of me in the drive thru. My Starbucks order normally includes extra hot, non-fat milk but I decided to take it easy on Mickey D's and just ordered a small caramel latte.

Strike one: The total before my freebie coupon was $3.04. For a SMALL. I can get a venti at Starbucks for $3.98. Twelve additional ounces of velvety goodness for less than $1.00 more? I'll pay that $1.00 any day.

So I pull up to the second window, expecting my coffee to be ready. Because McDonald's is a fast food place, right? Isn't that part of their argument against Starbucks? That it takes so long (four or five minutes) for your drink? Any addict true coffee connoisseur knows that the good stuff is worth waiting for.

Strike two: My coffee is not ready. I am asked to pull forward and wait for my drink. Um, ok.

Twelve full minutes later, I finally park in a space and march into the store to hunt down my drink, only to discover they haven't even started making it yet. Apparently there is only one person in the entire place who knows how to work the machine. And by 'knows how' I mean, is capable of flipping through the instruction book while pushing random buttons.

Strike three: If you're going to push premium coffee, you need to make sure your employees can actually make said premium coffee.

Needless to say, I was pretty peeved by the time I finally got my drink (twenty minutes after I placed my order). I'd like to say the wait was worth it, but it totally was not. Not even close. It was basically like coffee with milk in it. I am not sure they even use actual espresso. The McCafe coffee has the same problem as every other neighborhood coffee joint - the taste is just too sickly sweet. There is just nothing like a strong, bitter, espresso drink from Starbucks.

Starbucks, you've got nothing to worry about.


Cole said...

That stinks! When you want your afternoon caffeine fix - you want it NOW (or the 3-5 minutes that it takes appropriately wait for said caffeinately yummyness)!!

Crazy Shenanigans said...

I would have flipped out when they asked to pull up and wait. Hello it's a drink, not one of the treasure chest sized box of nuggets

Jennifer said...

I think McDonald's should just give up the coffee battle. Though I do have to admit that Dunkin Doughnuts straight black coffee is pretty good, but it would never take the place of my mocha!

Ms. Nonsense said...

Ha! I'm glad someone else agrees. You just can't beat the 'Bucks.

AndreaLeigh said...

how annoying! i don't even go to mcd's anymore b/c the employees are idiots. i'll take the bucks anyday!

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