For the longest time McDonald’s has been known as fast food juggernaut, but despite their unparalleled success of pumping susceptible and belligerent college kids with the drunk menu (how do small drinks disappear after 11?) and getting the overweight and obese (86% of American according to that ridiculous bmi chart that prob says the Olsen twins are obese) masses to plunk down a couple bucks midday for a quadruple digit calorie lunch, McDonald’s certainly has never been confused with Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse or the like. But starting with the with the emergence of a high quality Angus Third Pounder, their Fruit and Walnut Oatmeal, and then this summer’s weekly dosage of a fancy fruit laced frozen beverage, McCafe, and its vast array of options is McDonald’s best attempt yet at making premium items at an affordable price. With hot chocolates, mochas, fruit smoothies, frozen lemonades, McCafe aims directly at the Starbucks and Caribou of the world.
American’s clearly love spending way too much money for shoddy beverages that can sometimes taste like a mix of mud and hitch hiker’s sweat. What really remains evident to me is that people will spend tons of money to get the America’s most abundant legal drug, caffeine. Caffeine and the energy it provides is the hot commodity that the common working folk craves more than Lindsay Lohan yearns for heroine and attention. While the big wigs and fancy pants of the world can justify spending almost an hour’s pay at minimum wage for their soy non fat double half caf latte, most of the normal people of the world have trouble justifying it.
This is where McDonald’s steps in. They already take advantage of everyone’s desire for cheap processed food, why not cheap processed coffee as well? We’ve already reviewed McCafe’s og offerings years back, and we were impressed back then, but at this point, McCafe is so entrenched as permanent menu items that the once gimmick menu section can now release its own seasonal gimmick selections.
It’s the same idea of buying a t shirt so expensive, that it might be more worthwhile to cure world hunger with the money you’d be spending. So when I saw these bevs being brandished by the ol’ yellowish arches, I for one was actually pretty pumped. Would these be the holiday drinks that I’ll start yearning for every year whenever it started to snow? (actually the way things are going this drink will come out in July next year) Would these be my cure for my Starbuck’s addiction? Will KFC refer to their employees as Chef’s? Will Dave Thomas’ daughter come out of the woodwork and reveal that she’s not the slender red head that everyone thought? The answer to all of these questions would be a resounding yes.
Although not a taste suited for every pallet, it’s something that I’ve grown to be fond since I started my caffeine addiction in college. The one thing I would have to knock is that there simply wasn’t a ton of peppermint flavoring. While I understand that you don’t want to kicked in the face with the flavor, it would have been nice to have a little bit more than faint tracing I received. I really think this gives the fancy coffee house version a run for its proverbial money. Not nearly as bitter, lighter on the wallet, and still a verbose mocha taste that would make Ray Charles scream “Oh, Heaven have mercy”.
And who knows, the lack of peppermint flavoring could have easily been a rookie mistake by the braces laden adolescent who made this particular one. For all of these reasons I’m sticking the McCafe Peppermint Mocha with a solid 3 star rating. Keeping in my mind we’re being stingier than a long island lawyer with these ratings, so that’s a solid score.
Taking this into account flavor variations of hot chocolate usually haven’t worked for me in the past, the og has been my standby, loyal to the bitter end. So going into this taste testing, I was a little skeptical, but given the fact that McDonald’s has rarely swung and missed in recent memory, I held the faith. Instant reaction was an overwhelmingly more pepperminty taste than the mocha. With the softer taste of hot cocoa and a rich, strong mint burst, I feel like this drink could be vended to the masses.
Mochas to me are more of cult classic, coffee drinkers will enjoy its gregarious, bold taste; but the untrained, inexperienced pallets of the world don’t often take to it. This is why I really feel like McCafe hit it out of the proverbial ball park with the Peppermint Hot Chocolate. With the wintry feel of hot choc and the seasonal taste of the holidays, it takes like winter cubed. The easy going siptastic taste gives this treat at 3.5 star ranking.
Peppermint Hot Chocolate: 3.5/5 Stars
McCafe Small Peppermint Mocha:
McCafe Small Peppermint Hot Chocolate: