You Should Never Order McDonald's Coffee. Here's Why

In recent years, McDonald's has been positioning itself as a competitor to Starbucks and other coffee chains (via Global Coffee Report), and a few years ago, the burger chain relaunched the McCafe brand, which brought with it a number of new coffee menu items and a dedicated cafe area in many restaurants (via McDonald's). 

This move makes a good deal of business sense, as estimates show that the market for coffee in the United States is worth somewhere between $37 billion and $59 billion annually. And it appears that the pivot to coffee is working well for McDonald's. According to Business Insider, in 2018 analysts saw that McDonald's budget coffee offerings were cutting into Starbucks' market share. With menu pricing that's significantly cheaper than Starbucks (via Fast Food Menu Prices), and the convenience of drive-thru available at many locations, the temptation to try McDonald's for your java fix may be tempting. 

But is it a good idea to drink coffee from the Golden Arches?

The reason you should think twice before drinking McDonald's coffee

Like in so many industries, the world found out about the dark side of McDonald's coffee from a whistleblowing former employee. According to someone who once worked at a McDonald's, the McCafe machines are incredibly dirty and should be avoided at all costs. "All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine — we're talking about 5-plus inches of uncleaned, liquid making up its inside parts," they said (via Reader's Digest). 

In a thread on Reddit, another McDonald's employee pushed back and responded by saying that actually at their location they cleaned the McCafe machines nightly, and it's not fair to say that every single McCafe machine in the entire country is neglected and filthy. Still, rolling the dice and hoping you'll get one of the clean McDonald's doesn't sound like a great long-term plan. Until McDonald's commits to upping its sanitation standards at all locations, especially for the machines it uses in its McCafe, perhaps you should just make coffee at home, or stick with companies that you're already familiar with.