Did you know that the first McCafe was built in Australia in 1993? It took eight years for the concept to be launched in the US.
Before I got pretty serious about coffee (but long after I gave up instant coffee), and before I gave up McDonalds for a year (three months and nine days ago), I held McDonalds coffee up as a bastion of consistently average coffee. It’s the mean, mode and median of coffee. It truly is average. Which means there’s a lot worse.
That’s pretty much the same conclusion a coffee reviewer came up with when he recently tried the coffee for the first time.
“Just as McDonald’s buys food staples from multiple suppliers in huge lots to blend out the flavor profile to a single, consistent stew spread across entire nations, their coffee is little different. Although their supply chain for coffee appears to be a lot more thoughtful than the one for, say, beef, another difference is that McDonald’s makes bigger, nameless vats of “mutt” coffee from multiple suppliers who each produce vast nameless lots of “mutt” coffee.
But as we mentioned up top, the espresso here may not be good, but it isn’t outright awful. And therein lies the marketing foolishness of Starbucks: years of dumbing down their product to fill an ever-expanding armada of cafés has made it rather push-button and brain-dead. So much so, that any fast food chain with an ounce of ambition, such as McDonald’s, can make a relatively legitimate quality play for their customers. Slap on a recession and a cheaper price tag, and Starbucks is suddenly dog-paddling to stay afloat in the deep, rapid waters of fast food competition.”
This my friends is a McDonalds meal. But not an ordinary McDonalds meal. If you’ve ever marvelled at the difference between the picturesque presentation of a burger on the menu and the burger in hand then this site takes things to a new level.
If I hadn’t sworn off fast food for a year I would try this. It’s a post from this is why you’re fat.
Here are the instructions for converting a Big Mac into what is known as a McSteak.
- 1 McDonald’s Big Mac Extra Value Meal (#1) with a large fries and large Coca-Cola
First deconstruct the Big mac into its parts: (sing along now) two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese,pickles, onions, and a sesame seed bun… plus the french fries, ice, and Coca-Cola. Dice the cheese, cube the middle and bottom buns, and extract the sesame seeds from the top bun. Take the french fries and some pieces of bun and purée them in a food processor with water (melted ice), then top it off with the diced cheese. Rinse the onions and lettuce in a colander and garnish it with “croutons” made from cubed bun pieces. Slice the beef patties, and then garnished it with sesame seeds and top it off with slices of pickles. Serve on a white rounded square plate with a dollop of Thousand Island dressing (the special sauce); serve the Coca-Cola in a wine glass.
Wil Anderson just made this bold claim on the Gruen Transfer:
“The McDonalds Golden Arches are now more recognisable than the Christian Cross.”
True or false?
It kind of fails to take into account the historical brand recognition and needs to be more specifically defined.
A little bit of googling suggests that this was either a piece of corporate indoctrination fostered by McDonalds that has now become fact – or that there is an obscure survey that I can’t find from the late 90s conducted in Australia…
Pretty funny corporate dig at elite coffee culture. It’s just a shame that Macca’s coffee is often not so hot, precisely because it’s too hot.
So much of what they do is actually alright. If McDonalds was serious about coffee they’d have properly trained people, not machines turning out their coffee.
What Maccas do right:
1. The beans are “rainforest alliance” – which is a much better form of fair trade.
2. They grind on consumption – unlike some “cafes”.
3. They turn over beans pretty quickly which means they’re unlikely to be stale.
4. Superauto machines turn out a consistent product.
Point 4 is positive and negative. Superautos produce a product below the quality of hand crafted coffee. A barista finetuning the grind to meet the conditions will produce a better coffee every time. Maccas mass produced approach will also fall short of the quality a cafe using freshly roasted (in house) beans will produce. But it is consistent. Unfortunately the only inconsistency is caused by their high school aged coffee producers (they’re not baristas). Coffee extraction occurs at the push of a button. But the frothing is still manual. And too often the McCafe-ers are guilty of frothing the milk to the boiling point of water (milk boils and loses its pleasant flavour at about 65 degrees).
If you can find a McCafe that doesn’t burn the milk you’ve got it made now that McDonalds has introduced free wireless nation wide.