The Clown Triumphant

Irene Done points to a story in LA Times, about a Consumer Reports finding that people like McDonald’s coffee better than Starbucks coffee.

Consumer Reports magazine said today that in a test conducted at two locations of each emporium, its tasters found McDonald’s coffee to be “decent and moderately strong” with “no flaws.” On the other hand, the Starbucks brew “was strong, but burnt and bitter enough to make your eyes water instead of open.”
The March issue of the magazine, due out Monday, thus advises, “Try McDonald’s, which was cheapest and best.”
No matter how much McDonald’s revels in its win of the taste test, the company might be hard-pressed to use it in promotions. Consumer Reports, which takes no advertising, strictly prohibits companies from using its findings in ads.

Ms. Done says she has no love for Starbucks’ straight cup of Joe. “The puddle of water/gas/oil in my driveway is preferable to Starbucks coffee.” She goes on to say the secret of their success is “the latte, stupid,” which, of course, buries much of the coffee taste under a reservoir of dairy.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I tried the new McDonald’s coffee on a semi-recent cross country drive, and it’s actually quite good. I hate Starbucks’ brewed coffee – it’s over-roasted (aka burnt). Plus, the McD’s is only about a buck.

  2. I actually like starbuck’s coffee but I am on a boycott because i usually have to wait 10 minutes in line and 10 minutes prep time for them to pour cold coffee into a plastic cup and add ice. and half the time they add sugar, after i ask for it unsweetened.
    Guess i should give mcdonalds a try…

  3. psst! The coffee McDonald’s uses is manufactured by Maxwell House. No kidding.
    I wonder how the volume of espresso-based coffee Starbucks sells compares to their drip coffee. I too find the drip coffee to be harsh and burnt-tasting, and only drink their espresso/americano. And it seems to me that when I’m in Starbucks more people are getting lattes, cappuccinos and mocha-whatevers.

  4. I’ve slowly become a Dunkin Donuts coffee guy. And not because John Goodman told me to.