What Kind of Coffee Does McDonald’s Use?

Even though McDonald’s isn’t primarily a coffee chain, they do sell hundreds of millions of cups of coffee per day. Usually, people head to the Golden Arches in the morning for an Egg McMuffin or McGriddles, and the coffee rounds out their meal. So, the question is, for a fast-food chain, how has McDonald’s made their coffee so popular? The answer is that they use quality beans yet also offer a variety of different beverages.

What Kinds of Coffee Does McDonald’s Have?

All of McDonald’s coffee drinks can fit into two different categories. The first category is Espresso style drinks, all of which come either hot or iced except cappuccinos and the Americano. The second category is brewed coffee, which can be hot or iced.

Espresso Drinks

  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Cappuccino
  • Caramel Cappuccino
  • French Vanilla Cappuccino
  • Mocha
  • Latte
  • Caramel Latte
  • French Vanilla Latte
  • Americano

Brewed Coffee Drinks

  • Premium Roast Coffee
  • Iced Coffee
  • Iced Caramel Coffee
  • Iced French Vanilla Coffee

Also included in coffee beverages are the Caramel and Mocha Frappes, which are blended coffee drinks.

What Kind of Beans Does McDonald’s Use?

McDonald’s uses 100% Arabica Coffee beans as opposed to Robusta. Arabica is known for its smooth and consistent flavor. It appeals to the masses due to its drinkability, moderate caffeine content, and versatile pairing with many foods. Needless to say, it’s clear why McDonald’s would choose such a coffee bean. Their Premium Roast is a medium roast.

The primary suppliers for McDonald’s coffee beans aside from McDonald’s themselves are Gaviña Gourmet Coffee, Newman’s Own, Green Mountain Coffee, and Seattle’s Best. Gaviña has supplied the majority of coffee beans to McDonald’s since 1983. This whole bean coffee is ground fresh in their espresso machines for each espresso drink. However, the drip coffee comes pre-ground and pre-packaged for ease of brewing since the majority of coffee drinks that McDonald’s sells is brewed coffee.

What Makes McDonald’s Coffee Taste So Good?

Most people even if they are not regular coffee drinkers enjoy an espresso drink. Let’s just say a lot of milk and various kinds of sugar can make dirt taste good. McDonald’s not only adds milk and sugar to their espresso drinks, but the Arabica coffee beans are also a perfect choice for the coffee itself due to their mild flavor profile. Whereas Robusta may be more popular among coffee connoisseurs (that is not to say that these people don’t enjoy Arabica beans), the flavor profile tends to be earthier and more on the bitter side, two qualities which keep many people from drinking coffee on a more regular basis.

While there are plenty of other roasteries out there that can make a smoother cup of coffee, McDonald’s provides consistent quality day in and day out, making it not just a go-to place for breakfast, but a great place for the morning joe as well. It’s not the best coffee out there by a longshot, but it’s good quality and easy drinking with nutty and chocolate notes. In addition to the smoothness, one of the best things about Arabica beans is that they can be less acidic than Robusta. This is important for some people, especially if they are prone to stomach issues. If you’re eating some heavier food as you would find at McDonald’s (it’s no secret that it isn’t exactly healthy), you don’t need your cup of coffee to push you over the edge into indigestion. Sip away and enjoy.

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What is McDonald’s Most Popular Coffee?

Drip coffee at McDonald’s is by far their most popular beverage- they sell about 500 million cups a day in the United States alone. Though drip coffee is the most popular in sales, the Mocha and Caramel Frappes are also extremely popular. Although they are popular for an afternoon sweet, they might not make the best choice for your morning coffee since they are not made with brewed coffee or espresso. Instead, McDonald’s uses a coffee extract to flavor their frappes.

Can You Buy McDonald’s Coffee?

In addition to being able to swing by a McDonald’s restaurant location and get your brew, you can also buy their coffee pre-ground for use in any flat-bottom filter coffee machine. They also sell K-Cups for Keurig that can make their Premium Roast, Breakfast Blend, Colombian Roast, French Roast, and other select roasts. Keurig has partnered with McDonald’s not only to provide black coffee but also K-Cup versions of their espresso drinks. Of course, nothing can replace a real espresso drink, but with the push of a button, you can enjoy a Chocolate Mocha, Pumpkin Spice, and Cinnamon Mocha. See Keurig’s K-Cup selections for more details.

Can You Order a Shot of Espresso at McDonald’s?

While the espresso that McDonald’s uses is normally put into lattes and mochas, you can in fact order a straight shot of espresso. This means that those of us who are used to ‘medicating’ quickly in the morning don’t have to gulp down 16oz of unnecessary milk and sugar to get our fix.


If you like coffee, there are probably a thousand other places you can get better quality than McDonald’s. But the fact remains that there is a McDonald’s on every other corner. You can bank on it for a quality cup, especially if you’re already there for a bite to eat. With real, quality espresso and 100% Arabica beans for brewed coffee, you’re sure to find something that will satisfy your palate.

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