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Sunday, February 15, 2009

McCafe part II

So quite ironically, I was able to go to a McDonalds that is part McCafe the very day after I made my last blog post.  

I am sad to say that I was slightly disappointed.  The interior atmosphere I can somewhat excuse, as the McDonald's was not quite large enough to contain an entire "McCafe" addition, but served as little more than an extension to their menu in little Carroll, Iowa.  Something I cannot excuse is the fact that everything was automatic.  I stood, waiting at 8:45 am for a delicious vanilla latte to jumpstart my day, and was quite surprised when all of a sudden it appeared, after seeing no one touch the espresso machine.  I didn't even know the machine was on and working yet apparently it had been able to spit out my latte.  But there was none of the experience that makes it what it is: no grinding beans, no careful pouring of the steamed milk and mixing with the espresso...the only human touch was to put the lid securely on the cup.  I can pay 50 cents at a vending machine for that experience!

I would say that the taste was a step up from the gas station cappuccino machines that I mocked with my last post, but definitely a step down from my beloved Caribou, or even Starbucks.  I suppose you get what you pay for.  It wasn't entirely bad, but definitely could have been better.  The latte made up in sweetness what it lacked in strong, espresso taste, but that could possibly be remedied by not adding a syrup flavor to it.  

While I am not too enthused about the coffeehouse-style drinks that the McCafe has to offer, I am still enticed by their cold coffee drinks, and even their plain old cup of coffee.  Maybe my expectations were set too high by their cold coffee drinks.  At any rate, I will not be making special trips to McDonald's for coffee anytime soon (only potentially for an iced vanilla latte) but will just be happy that if I go to McDonald's for breakfast, I can have some decent coffee to go along with it.


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