I never thought I would be writing about McDonald's coffee on this blog, but I have to hand it to the golden arches - they sure know what they're doing when it comes to iced coffee.
Let me begin by saying I grew up in Massachusetts, and as a small boy was thrilled whenever my parents would let me drink coffee milk - milk with coffee syrup flavoring - for breakfast. You can't find it anywhere else than New England, and even there it's not that well known. It was like heaven in a cup, especially when paired with a big stack of chocolate chip pancakes drizzled in real maple syrup. Yeah, I had lots of sugar-fueled meltdowns as a child.
From there I progressed to my early coffee drinks - I fell in love with Dunkin Donuts Coolattas as a teen. These milky, iced coffee-flavored beverages tasted amazing even if they had like 1,000 calories. I think I had one every day as a 17-year old driving to my lifeguard job at a waterpark on Cape Cod.
I still didn't get the appeal of hot coffee - it tasted awful to me, and couldn't believe people drank it black. Eventually I ventured into iced coffee with loads of cream and sugar, more like coffee-flavored milk with a quarter of the cup filled with undissolved sugar grains. In college I became aware of how horrible having this everyday was for you, and gradually changed my coffee pollution to skim milk and splenda.
Nowadays even on the hottest days I'm making frenched press coffee at work in the morning, since it's AC-ed to the point of being downright chilly. But I still have a strong association of hot summer days and large gallon-like cups of iced coffee, so the other day when we were headed off to see The Fray in concert, we stopped at McDonalds for a quick bite. I was tired and decided to try their iced coffee.
Now, McDonalds has made a huge push the past year or so with their McCafe - espresso-based drinks to order, and have been successful with the product line. The iced coffee I got came with milk and sugar added, without my asking.
I usually don't like more than a few drops of milk or cream in iced coffee, but this was definitely on the light side. Taste-wise, they really nailed what most people are probably looking for from an iced coffee. It tasted sweet, creamy, nutty and coffee-like - more along the lines of coffee milk - than overroasted beans I expected from McDonalds. It really seemed well-balanced altogether between the three flavors. I consider this a dessert drink, but nonetheless it was delicious and I had to restrain myself from downing the entire thing, less I be awake the entire night with caffeine jitters.