Coffee snobs may “talk about the subtleties of macchiato” and scorn the chain stores, but “even sanctimonious coffee bores must lapse: The flesh is weak, the day is full, and Starbucks is just half a block away,” writes Nathan Heller for Slate. Dunkin’ Donuts and McDonald’s also offer a quick fix, so six “notorious coffee addicts” set out to compare, judging taste, consistency, presentation, and process:
- Starbucks: Tied for last, black coffee; second place, cappuccino. “Comments following my colleagues’ first sips of Starbucks’ black coffee included ‘Oof!’ ‘Yeesh!’ and—most tellingly, I think—‘Blawl!'"
- McDonald’s: Tied for last, black coffee; first place, cappuccino. Despite the stigma, “McDonald’s cappuccino was, almost unanimously, our favorite. Our critics thought the McCafé cappuccino had the ‘most coffee taste’ with more (albeit the most bitter) espresso flavor.”
- Dunkin’ Donuts: First place, black coffee; last place, cappuccino. “Although we found the coffee more watery than we would have liked, it was the least oily of the three samples and—more to the point—the least unsettling to behold.”
In conclusion, Heller makes sure to add, “It’s worth noting that all three chains scored less than half of all possible points.”