McDonalds' Ice Coffee Is More Like Coffee-Flavored Cream

by Jon Davis 29. June 2008 02:05

I took a couple pictures of McDonald's iced coffee a few weeks ago when I was reaming mad about the crap they hand out and I wanted to blog about it; only now am I getting around to blogging it.

I am a huge drinker of iced coffee. My sister got me hooked years ago when she bought cans of ice coffee from an Asian grocery store and brought a few home. Canned ice coffee is huge in regions of Asia; I'm not sure why it hasn't picked up here, but I'll bet it has to do with the fact that most ice coffee in America comes with rediculous amounts of sugar. I tried bottled Frappuccino, as well as the cans of Double Shot, but it's all so horribly expensive and sickeningly sugary.

Here's how to make delicious ice coffee:

  1. Brew a 12-cup pot of coffee.
  2. Pour brewed coffee into a closed (sealed) pitcher.
  3. Refrigerate for at least 1/2 day.
  4. As needed, pour into a tall glass, 1 cup.
  5. Add 1/4 cup whole milk (not cream).
  6. Add 2 packets of Splenda or 3 tablespoons of sugar.
  7. Add ice.

It's simple, people. The only difference between coffee and good iced coffee is that it is cold with ice, uses 50% to 100% more in quantity of milk, and about 50% more sweetener or sugar than a hot cup of coffee. This is how I order my Starbucks every day: "A Venti iced coffee, unsweetened, with room for cream." I add about one inch of a cup of whole milk and three Splenda packets. Starbucks' unsweetened iced coffee is some strong stuff, it took some getting used to, but it's incredibly effective as a morning caffeine fix.

Now and then I try the iced coffee options at McDonald's. Personally, I don't know what on earth they think they're selling. They tend to sell something that is more like a cup of creamy milk, with a little bit of coffee to give it some flavor, except that the coffee "flavor" is buried in the vanilla or hazelnut flavoring, so really it's just a vanilla-flavored cup of milk. Even when I ask them to "go really light on the cream" it looks like this:

There are two McDonald's near me, one near home and one near work. Both of them give me this crap.

One day I asked--no, I begged, insisted, yelled!!--at the person giving me my order of iced coffee to get rid of some of that sickening cream. "All of our iced coffee has cream," she said. Excuse me?! How hard is it to deal with a custom order? And at a time of the day when there are no other customers to confuse anyone? I said, "I'm not taking that. I'll pay for it because I ordered it, but I don't want that, you can keep it." She asked how much cream I wanted. I held up my hand and showed a "pinching" gesture and said, "Just a little bit!" So she came back with this:

If you ask me, I think it's only just gone from a cup of creamy milk with a touch of coffee in it, to a cup of coffee that's drowning in cream.

The next (and unusual) time McDonald's politely asked me how much cream I want, I said, "Out of five parts, I want two." I said this because I read somewhere on the web that the large iced coffee uses five parts of cream, while the medium uses three parts.

As alternatives to McDonald's, besides Starbucks, I do respect Wendy's ice coffee and their intellectual capacity to limit cream to "a bit too much" when I ask them to "go light on the cream", rather than a cup full of cream.

One more thing: Even hours after drinking it, McDonald's iced coffee makes me sick to my stomach, almost as if I drank a cup of .. well, cream.

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About the author

Jon Davis (aka "stimpy77") has been a programmer, developer, and consultant for web and Windows software solutions professionally since 1997, with experience ranging from OS and hardware support to DHTML programming to IIS/ASP web apps to Java network programming to Visual Basic applications to C# desktop apps.
Software in all forms is also his sole hobby, whether playing PC games or tinkering with programming them. "I was playing Defender on the Commodore 64," he reminisces, "when I decided at the age of 12 or so that I want to be a computer programmer when I grow up."

Jon was previously employed as a senior .NET developer at a very well-known Internet services company whom you're more likely than not to have directly done business with. However, this blog and all of have no affiliation with, and are not representative of, his former employer in any way.

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