Has McDonalds McCafe coffee changed?

by James
(Houston , Tx)

McCafe coffees at your local supermarket.

McCafe coffees at your local supermarket.


QUESTION:

My wife and I used Folgers for years then the taste changed. We tried several other with the same results and we're always less than satisfied.

The one coffee we did like was MacDonald’s and when it became available as a k-cup and then ground it was just like the McCafe coffee.

Now the problem... we purchased coffee recently and the unique taste and quality is gone. We tried going to MacDonald’s... same bad taste.

It seems providing a good product just did not match MacDonald’s or Heinz corporate goals. What happened?


ANSWER:

James, hi

Sorry to hear about your favorite McCafe coffee.

As for what happened, I think you’ve already guessed. Bulk coffee producers are using cheaper and cheaper beans to make their coffees.

This is true of all the big names, like Maxwell House, Folgers and now MacDonalds.

We already have a very lively discussion on this site about how Maxwell House is no longer “good to the last drop”.

In part this is all about these companies getting greedy and trying to make as much money as possible.

The other side of the story, which we don’t much like to talk about, is that as consumers we demand low prices. In North America in particular we are used to inexpensive coffee.

Our insistence of a “good deal” puts pressure on companies to keep prices down.

So in a sense, we’re all to blame.

All that said, if you really want good coffee, and are prepared to pay a little more, there are a ton of roasters out there producing some wonderful coffees.

Check out our gourmet coffee page, and our coffee reviews page.

I hope this goes some way towards answering your question!

Best wishes,

Nick

Comments for Has McDonalds McCafe coffee changed?

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May 18, 2019
Soooooo frustrating!
by: D in Texas

I have bought a large coffee through the drive through every morning since I started teaching 11 years ago. I’d often be waiting for the drive through to open at 5am. My morning coffee is the experience that sets the tone for the whole day. I’ve modeled essay writing for my students by discussing the joy I used get from McDonald’s coffee! That rare time it snowed in Texas? Yeah, I pulled over ina neighborhood and took a picture of my cup in the snow. We have a RELATIONSHIP and it’s now heading for divorce :-( each cup used to be perfectly blended, the smoothest medium roast I’ve ever encountered. For the last two years, it’s been different. I’ve stuck with it...hoping. But now that it’s almost $2 a cup, AND they can’t seem to put one cream and three sugars, I’m planning to spend my summer looking for a new brew. I will miss their Christmas cups. I will miss my friends in the drive though. . I don’t do anything for myself, really. Having someone else make my cofffee for me was a wonderful luxury that I haven’t wanted to give up. But it tastes like water. I’d pay Starbucks prices for the old McDonalds coffee, if they had explained the situation and given me the option. Hell, why not offer a "value" coffee and a "premium" coffee? Thanks for building this site because this has bothered me every single morning for the last two school years!!

Apr 19, 2019
Yes it did change, for the worse.
by: Anonymous

Oh yeah, McDonalds unfortunately changed their recipe, it was when they first came out with their gourmet brew it got rave reviews with a lot of reviewers saying it was better than Starbucks, but about a couple of years ago they stopped making that coffee and have now gone to something that's not as good. To bad because I really liked that gourmet coffee, so now I don't buy coffee at McDonalds anymore. Carl's Jr use to make something called Turbo coffee which they never advertised, and the server person had to go the rear of the place and get the coffee from a special brewer and it also tasted great, but they stopped that too about the same time that McDonald's stopped their gourmet coffee.

Mar 27, 2019
I thought it was just me!
by: A random canuck

After looking up if McDonald's coffee changed, I find myself here. Looks like it isn't just my tastebuds or coffee machine finally crapping out on me. McCafé coffee tastes bland and watery. I've only noticed it as of February and thought I had gotten a bad batch or something. Onto a fresh bag now and have tried the pour over method but even that didn't change the taste. Still watery and bitter.
It's a shame. I've been drinking their coffee for a few years now because it was delicious and affordable. I mean I'm no coffee snob but I think folgers and maxwell house are disgusting and they're a lot cheaper. McCafé was my go to and I was fine with paying asking price.
Looks like it's back to sampling different kinds until I find something just as good.

Mar 18, 2019
From best to worst
by: Anonymous

We always stopped at McDonalds for coffee, never again! It’s awful. They are going to loose a lot of business over this huge mismanagement.

Mar 11, 2019
McD coffee has changed for the worse
by: Anonymous

Late 2018 noticed the taste changed.
I’m in SoCal

Mar 05, 2019
McD Coffee
by: Anonymous

I used to buy coffee regularly at McDonald's because the flaver was great, loved it. I now get maybe 1 cup per month. I can get the same taste at home but I always perfered McDonald's. If their going to serve cheap coffee go back to the $1 a drink. Bring back the good coffee

Nov 26, 2018
It is terrible
by: Tom

I've been drinking Mccafe Premium Roast for about 2 years and it was pretty good - relatively smooth with good body and flavor. In the last 4 or 5 months though, it seems every other bag I would get would be very bitter and just have a very unpleasant taste. Adding milk, making it weaker or stronger, trying different hot water temperatures etc did not help. As time has gone on, it seems now nearly every bag that I have tried is like this and it doesn't matter what expiration date it has. I've finally given it up (threw it out) as it just doesn't taste right to me to put it mildly.

It got so bad that a coffee that I normally have never liked the taste of... dunkin donuts original, now tastes great. I have now switched over to it and it not only tastes way better, as in not strangely bitter, but it seems to have a noticeable stronger caffeine kick.

Before I had started using Mccafe, I was using various k-cups. These bothered my stomach a lot so I finally stopped using k-cups and now just brew coffee using a kettle with a cone and #2 filter.

I'm hoping dunkin donuts original stays good for now and does not change from the current bag I have.

Nov 22, 2018
Bad coffee in ND
by: Anonymous

Absolutely loved McDonalds coffee. When we traveled we would always stop, because we new it would taste the same. Now they went and changed the coffee and it is crap. Please being back the good stuff. Now we never go to McDonalds.

Oct 25, 2018
Awful!
by: Michelle

I have been buying and LOVING McD's coffee for years. I love that it doesn't have a strong and burned flavor. Guess what? Now it does! No more morning coffee for me and that means no more breakfasts there. The new coffee tastes horrible and gives me stomach cramps.

Mar 25, 2018
Mac's bad coffee
by: Anonymous

I have gone weekly to MacDonald's for years to get my coffee! But no more their coffee is disgusting! Sorry Mac's I found a new place! It's a Shame on you, MacDonald's, greedy just plain greedy!!!!!

Mar 18, 2018
a look disappointed
by: Anneke and Peter

thought it was just us! we bought 2 large coffees, and returned after drinking some. we did not like it at all! will not go there for coffee anymore , what a stupid thing to do, change the brand of coffee..... NOT ENJOYABLE AT ALL !!!

Mar 12, 2018
McDonald’s Coffee changed
by: Anonymous

McDonald’s Coffee has changed awful taste. I’ve ordered their coffee for years daily.

Mar 11, 2018
McDonald's coffee not the same
by: Anonymous

McDonald's coffee hurts my stomach too. The coffee tastes waxy like and makes me quizzy.

Mar 09, 2018
very dissapointed
by: Anonymous

My wife and I bought a can of McCafe Breakfast blend.
Nothing like we remembered, it was weak and very bitter.
Don’t waste your money on this vile product.
Going to stick with our Community Coffee - good stuff!

Feb 24, 2018
If they serve lousy coffee there is no reason to think anything else they serve is worth a damn
by: Anonymous

McDonald's had the BEST coffee. Just like that they now have the WORST. I used to buy 4 large coffees daily. Since I was already there I'd grab a couple of sandwichs, a fry and maybe an apple pie. My McD's was on Crain Highway in PG County, MD/ I'd pay more for QUALITY coffee. Now, you couldn't give me what they call coffee. It is just lousy. ROCK BOTTOM, watered down and weak coffee. All I read anymore is how McD's was trying to improve their quality to regain the lost market share they have been thru. If you can't serve a good cup of coffee then there is no reason to believe you are really trying to improve in the other areas. After 3 consecutive stops of that lousy coffee, you have lost my business. I was a loyal customer.... So long.

Feb 24, 2018
From the best to the worst ....
by: Al

In MD (Crain Highway store) They went from the best to the WORST. I would buy 4 coffees daily and since coffee was the magnet for me and since I was already there I always added a couple of sandwichs, a fry maybe add a pie. No more. I struck out the last 3 times I went there....It tastes so watered down. I'd rather pay more for better quality. I won't pay anthing for garbage. So sad to see this.

Feb 15, 2018
swill
by: ted

i thought i was loosing my taste buds .mcdonalds used to be my go to coffee at home and when traveling .not any more .i cant believe they could be so stupid .there coffee now is crap ,they have gone from the best to the worst with this stupid move. that they would try to sneak this by there customers is so underhanded ,at least when coke changed it receipt they let there customers know.well good buy mcdonalds you wont see me again

Feb 11, 2018
It's about profits
by: Stu

Noticed the coffee changed in April 2017. I emailed them with my concerns, they said could be plastic piece in coffee maker at store. Checked their website, they're coffee provider is Mother Parkers. It' made the same, machines are the same, so it has to be cheap coffee beans. Stop expecting $1 cups of coffee, get get what you pay for.

Feb 09, 2018
Extremely disappointed
by: Anonymous

I used to absolutely love and rave about McDonald's coffee. Assuming that it was still the Newman's own which was incredibly tasty...much better than Dunkins or Starbucks in my opinion, I bought a cup over an hour ago and am not even half way through. Honestly it tastes terrible and the creamer tastes like canned evaporated milk. Please bring the Newman's brand back. You'll lose a lot more money selling this coffee to cut costs..I'm pretty sure.

Jan 19, 2018
What happened?
by: Cmiller

Keep thinking the next cup will taste better?!?! Yuck 🤢! Just bought another cup. I’m done w their coffee! It used to be so good! Why did they spoil a good thing?!?!

Dec 16, 2017
retired
by: DAVID

Like many others, at first I wondered if it was me! But now others are complaining about the crappy coffee at McDonald's also. AND, to make it even worse, the McD's near me does not keep it hot & fresh with a new batch ever 30 minutes as they are supposed to. Sometimes it is only lukewarm or like varnish from sitting for a long period of time. So they serve crappy coffee that is not fresh - yuck! Now I go elsewhere.

Dec 12, 2017
PLEEZE!!
by: Ann

It used to be wonderful! I'm 80 years old and a cup around 11 am was like magic. I was like a spring chicken, full of energy for another few hours. Now it's awful. I asked the employee if it was my imagination and he said, "no",others were saying the same thing. PLEEZE bring back the old McDonald's coffee!!!

Dec 11, 2017
Bad Kcups & Restaurant
by: Anonymous

What a terrible dissapointment. I thought it was my Kcups. At the second one I knew the batch was bad yesterday. Then we went into torn today. The same experience with the fresh brewed. The taste is horrid and weak. WHY WHY WHY....

Nov 29, 2017
COFFEE AT MCDONALDS IS DEAD
by: SAM

I used to like Mcdonalds coffee and not only because the price was lower than Starbucks but their coffee was good. Last month I started noticing what many of you here noticed their coffee was weak and tasted nothing like coffee. I have asked Mcdonald's to reply as to why the change? I have yet to hear form them, mean time I have no desire to go back and patronize them anymore.

Nov 21, 2017
Bad taste
by: Anonymous

Hi me and my wife always loved a coffee until the last few months when the taste has got a burnt oil taste to it .it's all about money with these companys well we won't be buying anything from them again so here is 2 customers lost well done mcdonalds

Nov 19, 2017
You call this coffee?
by: Jim

I drink black coffee. After 28 years of drinking coffee in the field in the US Army I can just about drink anything. I can't drink the turpentine McDs is giving customers now. WHY WHY?

Nov 11, 2017
Tastes terrible
by: Anonymous

MickeyD's used to be my favorite when I was a truck driver. No matter where I stopped anywhere in this country I was guaranteed of the same great coffee! I quit driving 10 years ago and never really went to McDonalds except rare occasion since then, usually for lunch or diner so I never ordered coffee with my meal. Then about 6 or 8 months ago I stopped for breakfast and drove away, took a sip and yuk! I thought it was a fluke, till the next three times the coffee tasted like motor oil I knew they did something. Now I pass them by and go to Tim Hortons for my coffee and breakfast - now *that's* coffee!

Nov 07, 2017
We still go there - to use their toilet!
by: Anonymous

My wife and I used to enjoy McDonalds coffee, and plan our return trips from our beach house to stop and get a McDonalds coffee.

Now we cant drink it at all. We still go to McDonalds - to use their toilet! Then we buy coffee elsewhere.

I employ over 50 sales reps, and many think the same.

I can only imagine the McDonalds product buyer is a tea drinker.

Would happily pay more for the old coffee.

Oct 27, 2017
I thought it was just ME!
by: Anonymous

I asked a local McD's employee and she informed me the coffee had changed about a year ago. Yup, I thought it was just my taste buds. I am MORE than willing to pay double their current cost of a large cup to go back to the better stuff. Voice your concerns and desire for better coffee a McDonalds
https://www.mcdonalds.com/us/en-us/contact-us.html

Oct 26, 2017
Heartbroken at Micky dees
by: Bill in Canton Ohio

Who is the brain surgeon that thought it was a good idea to make coffee tast this bad? Not only do we not buy the coffee we don't go there at all anymore !
I'm sure that we are not the only ones that think this tastes like left over crap! We are VERY dissipointed in the whole franchise and won't go back

Oct 18, 2017
A disappointing Change
by: Anonymous

I am not one who stops for coffee frequently, but when I do McDonald's was always my "go-to". Not anymore. Their new blend is weak and bland. Time to go back to Dunkin until McDonald's realizes their mistake and brings back the quality java!

Oct 17, 2017
Blaa!!!
by: Anonymous

Used to love McDonald's coffee. Now it tastes so bitter. I thought it was my medication and fish oil supplements. Not so. I did find a McDonald's where they had the original flavored beans. But many other locations purchase the cheaper beans to save money. Bring back the original flavored beans and let us enjoy a good cup of Mcdonald's coffee again.

Oct 16, 2017
Horrible Coffee
by: Ted

Can't drink McDonald's coffee any more. I started getting stomach cramps and diarrhea every time I visited McDonald's. Turns out it is the coffee. Took me a while to realize that. Will have to switch to water when I go for breakfast. Bummer. Not a good move McDonald's....

Oct 03, 2017
Mcafe gone bad?
by: Anonymous

My husband and I loved Mcafe coffee but the last to cans we bought are horrible. I was trying to figure out why. Now i know

Sep 30, 2017
Bad coffee
by: Anonymous

I thought it was just me. There has been a serious decline in the flavor of McDonalds coffee. If you are drinking one of their new coffees with added ingredients, the flavor loss probably won't be noticed. But a plain cup of coffee is weak and tasteless.

Sep 26, 2017
New taste
by: Anonymous

Don't waste your money. The new taste is really bad. Only true coffee lovers would understand.

Sep 11, 2017
Coffee not good anymore
by: Mary

I have enjoyed at least 1 cup of McDonalds daily for years, but not anymore. Itchanged a couple of weeks ago. I've called my local McDonalds to complain, they assured me it's made the same. It has to be the beans then. It's weak and bitter. It's not the same. AWFUL. instead of drinking to the last drop, I'm throwing it out. So disappointing, My go to, every time I left the house, and many times, that was the reason I left the house. Even in bad weather, I went there, because I live close.
Let us know when you get the good stuff back, till then hello Dunkin Donuts, ( I live 20 miles from them). Or now it's home made😰😳😩

Sep 10, 2017
McDonald's coffee has changed
by: Anonymous

Have started my day driving through McDonald's for a cup of coffee every day for years. This week I've thrown away each cup thinking the horrible taste was because I had gotten coffee at the bottom of the pot that had been setting for awhile. Nope, this morning I watched my cup poured from a fresh pot. Won't waste another penny on this terrible coffee!

Sep 06, 2017
flavor change
by: Anonymous

I am SOOOO glad to hear others comment about this! I noticed the change earlier this year and it is horrible. It does taste weak, but that's not the only problem I think. I won't drink it anymore. Dunkin is better. My sister and her friend noticed the change too. My caffeine pills almost have a better flavor!! I emailed McDonald's about the change, but never got a reply. I still like their fries and filet-o-fish. :)

Aug 31, 2017
Less flavor
by: Anonymous

I used to exit the interstate for a large coffee at the Arches, not so much anymore. Maybe my tastes are changing, but it seems weaker in 2017.

Aug 26, 2017
McDonald's Coffee
by: Southpaw Socialite

I used to be a fan of McDonald's coffee. It's awful now...Just. Awful. I discovered the change in taste while visiting family in Tampa. I should've made the drive to Starbucks, eventhough it was farther away. Unless you want to donate money to McDonald's, do not buy coffee because you will toss it out! If they apologize, suggesting they made that batch "wrong" and offer you another cup as a replacement...refuse. Waste of time, waste of money! 👎🏼👎🏼


Jul 11, 2017
McDonalds what have you done!!!
by: JP Silver

I agree McCafe has lost that great flavor. Its not just a strength issue but the flavor has changed to the point where I won't buy it again when my current supply is used up.

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