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McDonald’s Takes on Starbucks

McDonald’s will soon be going toe-to-toe with cofee giant Starbucks. The fast food king plans on rolling out high-end bars in all of its restaurants starting in 2009. AP
NEW YORK (CBS) ― Now that we’re all used to paying $3 for a cup of coffee, one of the biggest names in fast food is jumping on the chuck wagon.
I recall my first truly great cup of coffee. Jerry and I were in New York City, and were walking either to the Metropolitan Museum of Art or returning from it, when we turned into the plush coffee shop of a small, but elegant hotel. It was a fine moment, for I had never tasted such coffee. It was hot, bold and smooth. The ambience was perfect.
A very good cup of coffee is important to me. One of the things I quite enjoyed about the Radisson in Tucson was the coffee they served at breakfast. It was so tasty, I commented to the waitress.
“It’s Starbucks,” she said. “Starbuck’s Special Blend.” It was excellent.
Now here comes McDonald’s promising us a fine cup at 60 to 80 cents cheaper than Starbucks. Bring it on!
EDIT Wednesday January 7: In response to Von De Leigh’s comment, I am creating a link to an article I wrote in 2006 concerning the ambience in one Starbuck’s place.
My devotional blog is here.

By Shirley Buxton

Still full of life and ready to be on the move, Shirley at 83 years old feels blessed to have lots of energy and to be full of optimism. She was married to Jerry for 63 years, and grieves yet at his death in August of 2019. They have 4 children, 13 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren...all beautiful and highly intelligent--of course. :)

45 replies on “McDonald’s Takes on Starbucks”


Welcome to my blog. Hope you come here often.

Sounds like you already are experiencing what McDonald’s will be trying here.

I believe you Europeans are ahead of us here in the United States as far as these small cafes and outstanding coffee is concerned. It is only in recent years that really excellent coffee has become the rage here.

A few years back Jerry and I visited your continent for a few days. We spent one day in Budapest…unforgettable. Until then I hadn’t know that Budapest is actually two cities Buda and Pest.

I look forward to your being here a lot and learning more about your country.


i live in europe, hungary namely, and most of the macdonalds have a “mc cafe” in them now, which is a very stylish little coffee shop, totally different design, and a full offering of good pastries and custom coffees cappucinos etc. it’s actually the only part of mcdonalds that i like 🙂 it’s really really good, and in the malls now there are seperate mc cafes with no regular macdonalds at all… it’s a bit more than a trend here


I’ve never had a cheese I didn’t like. I’m not familiar with Ementhal, nor have I tasted a radish sandwich! I would probably like it, though the salted radish alone sounds better.

Speaking of lamb, did you read this post? I was reminded of it when you mentioned sheep, and because I talked to Michael a few minutes ago, and tonight for dinner they had lambie pops.


You are right about San Francisco and sourdough bread. Is not all this amazing?

The thing about flour and yeast to bread is like milk to chocolate. That what the old timers told us. Where the herds graze determines the minerals in the grass and that changes everything. In West-France near the coast, sheep graze on land where salt is high. The mouton or lamb from these as a unique flavor.
Okay, your meal sounds pretty close! Sis Pryor loves Brie – I prefer Camembert, Roquefort, Goat cheese, Ementhal, Munster, some of the which are an acquired taste. Like fresh radishes – a little stem left on – cut in half, pinch of salt, on a slice of buttered baguette.


Catherine, I love to hear you talk of these countries and your beautiful experiences there.

As regards bread, I have heard also that the actual atmosphere makes a difference in the excellence of the loaf. I was first told that in San Francisco, and the message was that San Francisco has such fine sour dough bread because of its particular climate.

Whatever the reason, I find the following meal close to perfection: a loaf of sturdy bread–sourdough will do, a dish of soft, fresh, unsalted butter, a chunk of room temperature sharp cheddar cheese (I like white),and a few grapes or thin pear slices. A bold cup of coffee with a chocolate on its saucer completes the near-perfect meal.



Ahhh! Sis Buxton, I love french bread – baguettes and ficelles (much thinner loaves, “strings”). The flour and yeast used are what makes the bread unique. In fact, you may have several bakeries in the same neighborhood and each in slightly different.


Caffeine rush…
When my children and I went to Switzerland, we stayed in Yverdon for a while with one of my cousins. While waiting for the horse drawn carriage to take a tour, we sat at the Café de la Place and ordered coffee. It came in small, beautiful china cups and saucer with chocolates on the side. My oldest son drank that cup in a few sips and ate the chocolate before we could stop him. He was ready to go for the long run after that!


Turkish coffee…
Reminds me of a funny time when my husband and I went to Israel. We went into a shop in Jerusalem and were looking at all the unique things they had in there. The proprietor was very eager for us to buy something, I think it was a rug. He offered us a “cup of coffee”. We said, “Sure!”, thinking, “How nice of him.” He came out with these tiny cups with the thickest, blackest liquid in them. I was very apprehensive. 🙂 He explained to us that it was Turkish coffee and “very good!”. He offered us a sugar cube and told us to put it in the side of our mouth, in our cheek, and leave it there as we drank. My husband did as he was instructed, but since I don’t like sweet coffee, I declined. Oooooooo! Was it STRONG! But, good! We gulped it down and in about five minutes we were buzzing around that store, ready to buy everything in sight! 😀 Wow! What a caffeine rush! I couldn’t handle THAT every day! We laugh about it to this day. 😀


Loys–good to hear from you again.

I’ve never drunk Turkish coffee where the grounds are actually in the cup and you swig it through a sugar cube. Is it good?

Chai, I haven’t tried.

Be well.



Your childhood place sounds delightful. When I think of France and Italy and food I always envision people with long loaves of bread under their arms, wheeling along on bicycles or walking their streets.

I really want to tour Europe, especially Italy…want also to spend some time in England. My husband’s name is carried by a small town–the town of Buxton England…famous for hot springs and their water.

A cheese shop! I’ve never seen a store dedicated wholly to cheese. You say the smell is delightful. Can you describe it? Probably hard.

When I was growing up, the father of my friend, Shirley Snow, worked in a dairy–Okino’s Dairy–in a small town near Springfield, Missouri. Occasionally when I visited Shirley we would go into the dairy where the milk was processed. That cavernous room had a certain, sweet smell that I recall to this day.

Thanks for your memories.


You know Shirley we have lots in common, love of God, His Word, family – precious each one, and now love of a GOOD cup of coffee. Like you I many times judge the resturant by the coffee always asking is it freshly brewed. Don’t bring some that’s been sitting since noon. We have a McD’s here in Simferopol and Yalta, wonder if they will have the coffee thing going soon. The coffee served here especially in Tatar homes is Turkist, you know the grounds are in the cup and whatever you do don’t stir it. You sip it s l o w l y with a sugar cube in your mouth and you’ll be wired for the next 24 hours. But always a treat to visit with our friends and if I have a choice I drink chai instead quite good also. Again thanks for your informative posts saves me time of looking for news I can use.


Hello Sis Buxton,
The little town I am speaking of is in East France – Sarreguemines. We moved there in 1962. I’ve lived in France, Switzerland, North Africa (Algeria) and Germany.
It is pretty much the norm in Europe to have specialty stores, some sold only yarn, some only cheese. Mmmm… another aroma that I love. Gets my taste buds going just thinking about it!


What, Jayleigh! A McDonald’s with a fireplace and leather club chairs? Where in the world did you ever see such a thing….I think you’ve had too much caffeine.


Oh… and the McD’s where I used to work (the one wherein Rob proposed marriage to me 16 years ago last month) is so pretty inside, with a fireplace and 4 leather club chairs… all done up in browns and with a pop of red here and there… it LOOKS like a coffee house inside.


Has McD’s not been selling awesome coffee at all their restaurants? We’ve had it here for about a year and I have to say I like it better than Starbucks… but Starbucks will give you decaf and McD’s won’t. That’s the only bad thing.



Starbucks and McD’s are two different worlds – ambiance is the difference even if we don’t talk about what they serve. They would have to remodel big time to attracted the sit down costumers. What might work is the drive-trhu when time is tight and Starbucks is too far or has no drive-thru.
I grew up going to the coffee bean store with my mother – tiny shop to hold maybe 10 people at a time. Sometimes the line outside was longer that the one inside! They had a huge variety of beans and the aroma got me hooked way before I was allowed to drink the real thing.
My “coffee” became gradually darker as I got older until I became a teenager.
As for french fries… not suppose to eat ’em, but sometimes just got to have ’em. McD’s or InN’Out has the best ones in my book, and yes they’ve got to almost burn my tongue!


7 buxs: one of your 7 bux loves to call me whenever she is having one of those death meals you describe above because she enjoys my reaction. 😀
Remember, “Super Size Me”?! Those fries never broke down! Yuk!


I appreciate arm5’s honesty in expressing their love for a fistful of hot, salty, greasy fries. If we are all honest we must admit to having that deep primal urge to sink our teeth into a big slab of juicy charbroiled meat stuffed in between two spongy buns and slathered with that oh so special “Big Mac” sauce! Don’t get me wrong…. I also appreciate those extra sweet and ridicoulously expensive “frapp” drinks, however there is nothing quite like that unsophisticated artery clogging meal deal at the local drive-thru!! (Uncomfortable plastic seats & snotty nosed kids and all)!


Arm5, you’re a woman after my own heart. I love piping hot french fries from McDonald’s. I cannot eat french fries however, if they are cold or even luke warm. I like them so hot they almost burn my tongue.


Tena, thanks for the info on Peets. If I ever see one, I’ll definitely go in for a cup.

I usually grind my own coffee. At our home in Crestline, I have the kind of pot where you put the beans in, and they’re ground within the pot. Here in the motor home, I have a separate little grinder.

Right now, though, I have no beans, and using a product called Caffe Bustelo–an espresso grind that I bought at a regular grocery store here in Lake Havasu. It’s pretty good.


Yes, they have stores, just like Starbuck’s. There just aren’t as many of them. They have the freshest coffee, that’s why it’s so good. The founder opened his first shop with a coffee roaster in Berkley, Ca, in 1966. You can read more about Alfred H. Peet who passed away in August 2007, @


McDonalds won’t be making money from me because our family doesn’t eat any fast food except an occasional In ‘N Out Burger.

I think Von de Leigh is on to something, too. The ambiance of Starbucks is what many people like. It is a very comfortable place to sit and quietly study (with your wireless laptop) or have a conversation with a friend. McDonalds has uncomfortable seats, there are noisy kids running around, and the atmosphere is not conducive to study or intimate conversations.


Hello, Tena–

I’ve heard you speak of Peet’s coffee before, but as far as I know I have never tasted any of it. Do they have stores…or is it just sold through the mail?

Love you much…


Peet’s Coffee rules in my book! The best is their regular drip. It will wake me up fast and keep me up longer than a Starbuck’s double latte. It tastes MUCH better, too. I have a pound of Peet’s whole bean coffee delivered to my door every three weeks – freshly roasted. I set my coffee pot’s alarm and ten minutes before my alarm goes off every morning, I hear the beans being freshly ground and smell them being freshly brewed. Now, that’s the way to start the day. Yeah!

Oh…McDonald’s…well, I don’t ever go there, so I won’t be tastin’ their coffee. 😀


Good evening, MERVI —

I too am willing to pay a bit extra for really good coffee. I do hate paying 4 and 5 dollars for those fancy drinks, though.


Understand about the ambiance. Maybe they’ll section off small areas…guess we’ll see in a few months.


I will have to see it to believe it… no disrespect intended. I just can’t see McDonald’s having the welcoming ambiance that Starbucks has: dimly lit, light background music, tables and cushy chairs with college students everywhere. However, I’m all for the lower priced coffee, especially if its as good as Starbucks (with as many coffee options). Thanks for the tidbit.


AAAA A good cup of hot foul black fluid. Nothing like it. When I desire my drug of choice I go to the dealer that has the best. And that is Daddy Starbucks, right now has the best. So when I need an above average cup of, “old Joe.” I go to the place that givens me the best. Ha, $0.80 per cup difference, sorry I will go to the place that has the best reputation for that cup of caffeine. Not to mention all the other drinks that is servied up by daddy Starbucks. McDonalds is seeing a good opportunity to add some to their bottom line. Good luck McD’s.



Both, Michael–except for Jana who admits to not liking coffee at all.

I like the specialty drinks, but I also like a really fine cup of coffee. You do too, else why did you invest in that exceptional machine you have, huh? 🙂 (If you’re my Michael…and not another.)


We have found that Starbuck prices are very different depending on the location. We get tall frapps in Bakersfield for $2.75 but the same frapp is nearly $5.00 at Ontarion Mills Mall. There are some good reasons to live in the San Joaquin Valley. 🙂


JANA, you’re making me hungry.

DEAN, I know. Five dollars a whop is a lot of money. But then, my dear boy, you and I are from the olden days…mine a little more “olden” than yours.

Peace to both of you.


From the news, it does seem as if Starbucks it making drastic cutbacks and even closing some stores. Even so, I will always be a fan of Starbucks. No, you don’t have to have coffee in every drink. My favorite was the banana cream frapp but it was only a seasonal drink. Frapps are cold and similar to a milkshake in flavor but more ice than cream. Bryce loves the strawberry cream frapp adding vanilla bean. My little ones love the chocolate cream frapps and also the hot chocolate or peppermint hot chocolate. Bryn and I love to share a turkey sandwich from Starbucks, too. The kep word when ordering a frapp is “cream.” The cream base contains no coffee. If you don’t say “cream” you will have some coffee added to your frapp.


Good morning LINDA and VEEROCKS–

We’ll see about the pounding within the next year. These are two powerful companies with well-known, likable products. Such competition is usually good for the consumer. I could do with lower charges; some of the coffee things are quite pricey.

Thanks for your comments.


Starbuck’s may be in for a pounding. But I will probably still go there if McDonald’s coffee, lattes, mochas , and ice-blended drinks aren’t as good. So, I do have to try it out first.


I love coffee. Love the taste, love the smell. Was introduced to coffee in Haiti when I was 16 and never looked back! 🙂

I’m not a huge fan of Starbuck’s regular brews. My favorite cup of “boughten” coffee has got to be good old plain nothing special McDonald’s coffee! Truth.

I think Starbuck’s is in for a pounding… 🙂


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