What Kind of Coffee Does McDonald’s Use?

by Peter Taylor | Last Updated: 12 February 2020

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What Kind of Coffee Does McDonald's Use?

McDonald’s sells approximately 500 million cups of coffee per day in the United States alone. Is it because of the convenience or the taste of the coffee? Let’s find out what makes McDonald’s coffee such a popular option.

So, what kind of coffee does McDonald’s use? The coffee that McDonald’s uses is a gourmet medium roast made by Gaviña, a company with over 140 years of experience roasting coffee beans. The Arabica beans are harvested from Latin and South America.

In the rest of this article, we will learn more about this popular chain’s coffee by answering the following questions:

  1. Is McDonald’s coffee good?
  2. What flavors do they offer?
  3. Does McDonald’s sell bags of coffee?
  4. What flavor does McDonald’s coffee have?
  5. Do they offer a rewards program?

Is McDonald’s coffee good?

Everyone has a different palate, but the consensus is yes, McDonald’s coffee is delicious! The coffee has a smooth flavor that is easy to drink.

McCafe selections account for approximately sixteen percent of McDonald’s yearly sales. That turns out to be about four billion dollars in McCafe sales each year. While that number may come as a shock, keep in mind the Starbucks sells about 26.5 billion per year. McDonald’s is still far behind, but continually growing in popularity.

It isn’t very easy to pinpoint which selection is most popular. However, it seems to be between regular black coffee or iced coffee.

Also, the fact that the coffee is always fresh is a major reason for its popularity. According to multiple sources, McDonald’s brews coffee every thirty minutes. However, it is important to keep in mind that many of the specialty coffee beverages are machine-brewed, which gives them more of an artificial (sweet) flavor.

What flavors do they offer?

As their popularity has grown, McDonald’s has stepped up to its competition and expanded the coffee menu, catering to all coffee-drinkers.

Because it is such a fast-paced restaurant, knowing what you want before you reach the audio box is ideal. There is usually a strategically placed menu that allows you to decide on your selection before it is your turn to order. However, if you are like us, you have turned to the internet to do the research first. Good thinking.

Iced or hot, McDonald’s offers:

  1. Premium Roast Coffee
  2. Americano
  3. Latte (regular, french vanilla, or caramel)
  4. Mocha (regular or caramel)
  5. Cappuccino (regular, french vanilla, or caramel)
  6. Caramel Macchiato

These items are all sold through the McCafe portion of the menu, which is available at any time of day. While the addition of a large selection of coffee products to a burger chain’s menu might seem odd, the decision was clearly a good one.

Does McDonald’s sell bags of coffee?

Yes, you can buy bags of McCafe’s blend in most grocery stores and on Amazon. However, the coffee grounds are not for sale in McDonald’s restaurants – presumably because the company wants to encourage customers to buy their ready-made products instead.

The fast-food titan began selling the signature roast in grocery stores and online back in 2014. In hopes of increasing awareness of their deliciously popular coffee, they released multiple blends for sale in grocery stores, including French Roast, Premium Roast, Breakfast Blend, Colombian, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut.

To capitalize on the popular invention of the Keurig, and other similar styles, McDonald’s also released K-cups. The K-cups are available in decaf, Premium, and French Vanilla.

What flavor does McDonald’s coffee have?

McDonald’s beans are a medium roast. They have a slightly nutty and chocolatey flavor that is not overly bitter.

These smooth flavors are typical for the regions where the beans come from. As mentioned before, the blend of 100% Arabica beans is from Latin and South America, specifically Brazil, Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica. Arabica beans are said to the best coffee beans and have a slightly sweet and acidic flavor.

What Kind of Coffee Does McDonald’s Use?

The premium roast black coffee is a delight to drink on its own. However, you can easily pair it with milk or sugar. If you are a fan of sweet coffee, you may enjoy the iced selections, such as the caramel latte or french vanilla cappuccino. However, for many coffee drinkers, these selections are overly sweet.

Does McDonald’s offer a rewards program?

Like many cafes and coffee joints these days, McDonald’s also has an app for customers. It is available for iOS and Android. You must first download the app and register. The McDonald’s app is full of weekly specials and add-on deals for both the restaurant and the cafe.

You can find the McCafe punch card in the deals section. From here, you can select to order a drink ahead of time, pay, and keep track of how many coffees you have purchased. It’s incredibly convenient, especially if you frequent McDonald’s a lot.

When you reach the counter or drive through, you can read off your code to the employee, or they can take your phone and scan the QR code. For every five coffees that you purchase or scan through the app, you will receive a sixth coffee for free.

Farmer Support

As if the great taste, convenience, and affordable prices weren’t enough to lure you in, McDonald’s believes in sustainable farming fair trade. They always source their coffee from growers with sustainability standards that hold up to UTZ, Fair Trade, and the Rainforest Alliance.

Something that we absolutely couldn’t leave out is the great strides that McDonald’s takes to support its farmers. Their coffee is sourced from certified sustainable farms, meaning that McDonald’s is involved in the complete process, from bean to roast to cappuccino. They ensure that the land and landowners are not treated poorly or taken advantage of.

McDonald’s actually created a new conservation effort called McCafe SIP. SIP stands for the Sustainability Improvement Platform. This organization ensures that the coffee beans are held to a high standard and that the farmers and their communities are protected and invested in.

In Guatemala alone, McDonald’s has donated six million dollars to combating poverty, creating jobs, adding nutrition to the land, and educating the local coffee growers. The SIP program spreads across five different countries and more than 6,400 farms.

The act of giving doesn’t stop when the coffee is brewed. Instead of clogging our landfills will the used coffee grounds, McDonald’s donates the grounds to local schools and gardens, to improve the soil, therefore minimizing waste.


Whether you have not yet tried the coffee or are already a fan, there is no doubt that McDonald’s McCafe industry is quickly growing.

To recap, here are the key points you should take away from this post:

  1. McDonald’s uses a medium roast, made by a premium roasting company called Gaviña. The beans are sourced from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Brazil, and Colombia.
  2. The coffee is, indeed, great-tasting and of high quality. A new batch of coffee is brewed every thirty minutes, ensuring your cup is fresh.
  3. They offer eleven different drinks that are available hot or cold. Whether you like your coffee black or with milk and sweetened, there is something for everyone.
  4. You can purchase McDonald’s coffee beans at most grocery stores and on Amazon. On average, a bag costs only seven dollars.
  5. The McCafe rewards program is a great way to order ahead, save time, and money. For every five drinks you order, you will receive one for free.
  6. By choosing to buy your coffee from McDonald’s, your investment helps McDonald’s invest in a good cause. Their commitment to sustainable farming is unparalleled.

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