McDonalds coffee has really come a long way in the past few decades. In fact, you might know them more for their iconic Big Macs but did you know they're one of the top competitors for Dunkin Donut and Starbucks coffee?! Yeah, their coffee (and of course, the convenience) is that popular. If you were wondering what sets them apart, read as we answer the question: "What Coffee Beans Does McDonalds Use"?
In North America, for their in-store standard "Premium Roast", McDonalds uses medium-dark roasted beans originating from Indonesia, Central- and South America. These beans are sourced directly from Gaviña Gourmet Coffee, a Southern California based company.
This isn't the whole story though. One would assume (as I easily did at first) that you'll find the same quality coffee from McDonald's restaurants that you buy prepacked online or in your local grocery store. Unfortunately, that's not the case as it comes from different supplies. Let's dig a little deeper.
What coffee brand does McDonald's use?
McDonalds uses several brands for their coffee depending on if it's in-house or if you're purchasing it for home use.
Coffee you order in-store from McDonalds?
If you were to go up to the drive thru or counter and ask for a coffee, you'll get their premium roast which is supplied directly from Gaviña Gourmet Coffee.
Interestingly, it's the same brand also behind Don Francisco and Café La Llave. They use a blend of medium-dark roasted arabica beans sourced from Indonesia, Central and South America. More specifically in the Americas, this is most likely assumed to be Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica.
As a bonus, this is Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee. This means that the beans are grown and harvested on farms and forests that follow sustainable practices. Always a nice and ecologically responsible touch.
Coffee you order from online (whole bean, ground, and pods)
In 2020, the Keurig Dr Pepper struck a deal with Kraft Heinz's for the license to produce and sell coffee under the McDonalds brand. Those with a keen palate and who had been drinking it for years noticed a small difference in taste - others, either didn't notice or didn't care. Those who did, were angry. When you ruin someone's routine, well... people get upset.
Since it's from totally different suppliers, we can honestly say that the McDonalds branded coffee you buy online is "inspired" by what you get in store. It's still really good, but it's not going to be exactly the same.
That's not to say it's bad though. Not at all - just different. In fact, their Breakfast Blend branded coffee grounds landed in third place in my recent post on the best light roast coffee.
Here, you have a ton of options. In the store, they stick to just premium medium roast and espresso coffee to make all their coffee options. Online is a totally different story. They have a plethora of branded options to cater to people with all sorts of preferences.
Just a quick look at their McCafe coffee store through the link here, you see 27 options for K-cups! Twenty-seven! You got everything from Pumpkin Spice, to Winter Wonder, to Colombian and Breakfast blends.
They really do like putting their branding on it all!
Can you buy coffee beans from McDonald's?
Unfortunately, in North America, you can't buy beans, ground coffee, or pods directly from McDonald's restaurants. You have to purchase their branded coffee online or at your local grocery store.
As mentioned previously, it won't be exactly the same as what they sell at their restaurants BUT it's still really good coffee and worth a try.
Is Starbucks and McDonald's coffee the same?
Starbucks and McDonald's coffees are not the same in terms of roast level and general taste.
The debate of which one is better McDonalds or Starbucks will rage on until the end of time (or at least until one of them fall). Ultimately though, it's up to every person's individual taste preference. Starbucks has a greater variety and roast their beans dark, which can turn some off. McDonalds has a smaller menu, is far less expensive, and a medium-dark roast that typically appeals to a broader audience.
I personally prefer coffee from McDonalds, even okay drinking it black but my wife thinks it's "gross". She's able to stomach their iced coffee on warm summer days. In general, though, her taste buds are more aligned with darker roasts like the ones you find from Starbucks.
That was the complete answer to What Coffee Beans Does McDonalds Use. Tell me, do you enjoy drinking coffee from McDonalds? Do you notice a difference between their instore coffee and what you buy online? Comment below and let me know.