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Coffee critique

Posted Mar 30 2013 8:49pm


I had this idea, after getting a really REALLY bad cup of coffee: how about my own coffee rating system of different coffees from different fast food/to go places?

Here we go!

Caffeine rating system
1 jolt: barely felt a buzz
2 jolts: felt a bit of a zap
3 jolts: I felt a few PVCs
4 jolts: wow!  I think I just had a short run of v-tach!
5 jolts: get me to a cardiologist, stat!

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Let's start with the coffee that prompted this rating system: Wendy's.  I was running through the drive-thru, on my way to who knows where with my boyfriend.  He needed some lunch and wanted something from Wendy's.  Ok, no biggie.  I'll just grab a cup of Joe on the way through.  First of all, for fast food, I think they had to make the coffee fresh just for me.  It seriously took a good ten minutes, waiting, after paying for his meal in the drive-thru, getting it, and sitting and waiting.  Seriously people?  You don't have coffee sitting in a carafe?  Finally get this wimpy little cup (there is only one size at Wendy's), and I swear to you, it tasted like water.  Pure water.  Very hot water, but water.  Was there coffee in this cup?  Lifted the lid -- sure enough, that's brownish black colored liquid in there.  It's scent resembles coffee, but it sure had no flavor whatsoever.  I ended up drinking it anyway, but I felt that it was just hot water with food coloring.

Wendy's: 1/2 jolt - there was no buzz, and no flavor.  Never, ever again will I drink this crap.

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Next up: McDonald's.  If Mickey Dee's is good for one thing, it's the Happy Meals, and my occasional indulgence in part of a Big Mac.  But the coffee, let's talk coffee, alright?  Regular, straight up Joe.  I'd say about 95% of the time, the coffee from McDonald's is fresh, hot, and gives a good buzz of caffeine.  It has a smooth taste to it as well.  You can tell that they use some higher quality coffee beans.  Not the highest quality, but it is pretty tasty for any size costing only $1.  I can reheat the coffee at work, and still have a good, smooth taste that is only slightly bitter.  The better tasting coffee is always the freshest, so it's best to go inside the store, and eyeball the pots sitting out before you order.  If the pot is full, you know the coffee is fairly fresh.  Not much left in the pot?  Don't even bother.  Or ask them if they have fresh coffee brewing.

As for the fancier coffee at McDonald's - it's all good too.  My favorite is the iced coffee, no flavor added, no sugar added, in the summer time.  I like to add my own amount of sugar because they get too heavy with the sugar when they add it.  Now, they can add the milk to my iced coffee, because I like it more of a tan color when I'm sipping the iced version.

McDonald's: 3 jolts

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Let's talk about Burger King.  Yes, the King of the Burger, have it your way, blah blah blah.  I will admit that I do love their fries.  But only in small quantities.  With extra salt please.  Anyhow, back to coffee.  So, when did Burger King change their coffee?  It used to be this awesome, mocha type of coffee.  Now it's plain coffee.  It still has a powerful kick to it, tastes smooth, low acid taste, but...dudes, where is the mocha flavor?  Apparently, they did change their coffee roast back in February of this year.  But could you kindly also bring back the older version too?  K-thanx!  The current blend definitely tastes like a good Latin American arabica bean.  Smooth, very low acid.  Reheats well at work in the microwave too.  (Do you notice a theme with that statement?  Yes, I will reheat my coffee, until every last drop has been drunk!)  A great cup of coffee, but I just wish they would stop handing it to me in a bag every time I go through the drive-thru.  Serious BK, we need less trash in this world, and it's bad enough that I'm buying yet more coffee in a drive-thru, and adding to the waste by yet another disposable coffee cup.  No paper bag for me.  Thank you!

Burger King: 3 jolts.  Bring back the mocha flavor!  More choices please!  (Looks like I'll get my wish soon: some new coffee drinks !!)

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Taco Bell: you get zero jolts.  You don't even have coffee.  But I'll take a 10 pack of your soft tacos to go for the family please.  Extra hot sauce please!

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Cinnabon: when I order a minibun, I want a mini, not the full size.  Your coffee that went with it was quite bland.  It was definitely piping hot, but it seriously lacked in flavor and in caffeine joltability.  This was a recent trip to the mall, so no drive-thru stories.  As always, the cinnabon was delicious - very spicy cinnamon/sugar blend the middle of the bun (yum!), could have had more glaze on the top, but that's ok.  This girl can only handle so much sugar at one time.  I had to savor that baby over several days.  The coffee - bleh.  Nothing to write home about.  Won't buy from there again.  It was only marginally better than Wendy's.

Cinnabon: 1 jolt

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Saved one of the absolute best for last: Starbucks.  I can't say enough about my SBX.  Always hot, always strong, always delicious.  No matter which blend I try, it's always amazing.  Like heaven in my mouth --- ouch!!  Steaming hot heaven, so I need to take it in small sips while it cools a little.  Starbucks just cannot be beat (or can it?).  Full-bodied, fresh, helloooooooo runs of PVCs!!  I brew Starbucks at home in my own machine.  I'm usually drinking the Colombian roast, but have been known to partake in: Komodo Dragon, Caffe Verona, and Guatemala Antigua.  Unfortunately, Starbucks is definitely some of the most expensive coffee I have purchased (both brewed in the store, and the beans), but it's well worth every cent.

Starbucks: 4 to 5 jolts, depending upon the blend.  Flying high on caffeine!!!

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So there you have it folks, my own critique of various coffees.  This is not an all inclusive list.  There are several more coffee shops I plan on trying.


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