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McD’s beats Starbucks in coffee smackdown

February 3, 2007

Any good tech lover needs his/her caffeine.  And if you saw a list of the following restaurants, which would you think as having the best cup of coffee (or java, joe, brew, etc.):

A story from today’s Post Gazette tells about a recent Consumer Reports coffee taste test between the big chain.

In the blind test, McDonalds won out, not only for taste, but for cost.

From the P-G article:

Plus, at $1.35 for a medium-size cup, McDonald’s was the cheapest, not to mention “decent and moderately strong,” with no flaws, according to Consumer Reports’ trained tasters. The blend of 100 percent Arabica beans, however, “lacked the subtle top notes needed to make it rise and shine.”

Starbucks, by contrast, at $1.55 a cup, was strong “but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open,” according to the report.

The most expensive cup, Dunkin’ Donuts, at $1.65, was “weak and watery,” “with no oomph.” Burger King’s premium coffee, at $1.40, “looked like coffee but tasted more like hot water.”

Erin Gudeux, a senior project leader for Consumer Reports’ “sensory” division — which tests everything from food to perfume to textiles — said Starbucks is known for its dark roast, which coffee purists tend to scorn.

“When you roast things to such an extent, you cook out the aromatics of the bean,” said Ms. Gudeux.

Personally, I’m a fan of Seattle’s Best coffee, especially their JavaKula iced-coffee blends. And I’m always up for grabbing a chocolate-banana frozen mocha from Sheetz (which likely isn’t actual coffee, but a syrup-based milkshake). But normally at home in the morning, I drink the standard Maxwell House blend.

But in the end, doesn’t most coffee taste about the same after sugar and cream is added?

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