McDonald's Vs CosMc's Coffee: How Do The Chains' Java Menus Differ?

When McDonald's CEO Chris Kempczinski informed investors and participants during an earnings call in July 2023 that the company would be opening smaller, more compact McDonald's locations called CosMc's in 2024, they likely had a different image in their heads than what would eventually come to fruition. After all, Kempczinski referenced China's food lockers as one of the inspirations for this new concept, but the reality is something more akin to a drive-thru Starbucks or Caribou Coffee. The beverages are the main focus, but there are also familiar Egg McMuffins as well as newer sandwiches and snacks.

According to McDonald's, "CosMc's menu is rooted in beverage exploration, with bold and unexpected flavor combinations, vibrant colors and functional boosts," but what exactly does that mean for consumers? Every drink is completely customizable, whether you want popping boba added to your Iced Turmeric Spiced Latte or a Vitamin C shot added to your black iced tea. While you can also customize your McCafe latte, options are more limited than what you will find at CosMc's, in part because the menu is so much larger at CosMc's.

For those who have finally been won over by McDonald's coffee but are still on the fence about Cosmc's, there are many similarities and differences between the two. Whether you want something similar to your usual McCafe order or something completely different, you're sure to find it among the many options.

McDonald's java menu has no surprises

While some may say CosMc's menu is like McDonald's from another dimension, that other dimension doesn't have Big Macs or Chicken McNuggets. Along with the full menu of burgers, happy meals, and chicken sandwiches that draw you to the fast food chain, McDonald's also has a pretty solid collection of coffee and espresso beverages such as hot and iced coffee, caramel macchiatos, mochas, lattes, cappuccinos, and Frappés. Plus, the McCafe drinks on average cost around $1 less than Starbucks.

When you order a McDonald's Premium Roast Coffee online, you have the option of choosing how many creamers you want, sugar or sugar substitute packets, ice, espresso shots (you can add up to three), syrup flavor, and whether or not you want it split in half. For espresso-based drinks, you can order up to five extra shots of espresso. For the Frappés, customers are allowed to add up to three extra shots. All in all, the java choices are pretty basic — there are no fancy or large assortment of flavors, and you get your choice of vanilla, sugar-free French vanilla, chocolate, chocolate caramel, caramel, and hazelnut.

Your coffee can have up to 27 modifications at CosMc's

Some may have thought the new CosMc's menu would be geared towards healthier options, but that is not the case. Unlike the straightforward, no-nonsense McDonald's coffee menu, CosMc wants customers to tailor-make their drinks to their specifications. There are also trendy drinks, such as the turmeric spiced latte, which has spent the past decade gaining popularity at coffee shops, and the Chai Tea Latte, which has become a popular staple (especially for non-coffee drinkers) thanks to its caffeine content and warm spices.

While you can't order online yet, it's possible to see the menu and options on CosMc's website. A brand new drink for those looking for something sweeter is the S'mores Cold Brew, which also comes with a sprinkling of toffee bits on the cold foam topper. Along with deciding if they want the sprinkles or cold foam, customers can select their milk (either whole, 2%, almond, nonfat, or cream) and add up to four extra espresso shots, 10 sweeteners, two flavored syrups, and whipped cream.

The options for brewed coffee aren't too much different than McDonald's, there are just more of them. While you chose one option from each section for McDonald's coffee, CosMc's lets you add up to 27 modifications to your coffee. Do you want a mix of nonfat milk and whole milk? You can add that. Three Splendas, two sugar packets, and five pumps of liquid cane sugar? No problem. White chocolate syrup and hazelnut? Just click the button.