A bitter shot for Starbucks: McDonald's wins taste test
There's nothing average about the Joe at McDonald's. The Golden Arches beat out java giants Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, along with Burger...
NEW YORK — There's nothing average about the Joe at McDonald's.
The Golden Arches beat out java giants Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts, along with Burger King, in a coffee taste test run by Consumer Reports magazine.
The magazine proclaimed McDonald's Premium Roast Coffee had "no flaws" and was easiest on the wallet.
"Try McDonald's, which was cheapest and best," Consumer Reports says in its March issue. "Or make your own coffee."
Of the four, McDonald's cost the least, $1.35, on average.
It "was decent and moderately strong," the magazine says, "although it lacked the top notes needed to make it rise and shine."
Starbucks might have the most vocal fan club among the caffeine crowd, but its $1.55-a-cup brew was deemed ordinary. "Strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open," the report said.
McDonald's main competitor is Burger King, but McDonald's beat it on taste and price.
Burger King's coffee cost $1.40 a cup, and was a pale imitation. "Looked like coffee but tasted more like hot water," Consumer Reports said.
Even though Dunkin' Donuts stakes its reputation on its java — "America runs on Dunkin' " is the advertising refrain — its $1.65 cup failed to measure up.
"It was inoffensive, but it had no oomph," the report said. "Weak, watery and pricier."
The tastings were led by a professional tester and included employees from Consumer Reports' food-testing division.
The group tasted medium cups of coffee — no cream or sugar — at two locations from each company in November.
Starbucks Spokeswoman Sanja Gould said taste is subjective and pointed to the Seattle company's sales: "The 44 million customer visits to our stores per week globally indicate that many people enjoy our premium coffee."
Seattle's Best Coffee, which Starbucks purchased in 2003, does supply coffee to 600 McDonald's stores, but the coffee the magazine tested was not sold under that brand.
Dunkin' Donuts said in an e-mailed statement that it is "proud" of its "freshly ground, freshly brewed and freshly served" coffee. A Burger King spokeswoman didn't comment.
Material from the New York Daily News, The Associated Press and Bloomberg News is included in this report.