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Thread: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    During a recent 2500 km motorcycle road trip through SA, Vic and NSW one thing was painfully evident, with a couple of exceptions, the coffee available en route was swill.

    The weather being cold and miserable I took every opportunity for a brew, tried everything, motels, mom and pop road houses, cafe’s, auto dispensers in service stations, a couple of boutique style coffee places and whenever they loomed into view the ubiquitous golden arches.

    The exceptions being; a place just off the main highway in Keith SA-- good food and better than average coffee, a lunch/coffee bar called Spoons in Port Fairy--reasonable coffee, the croissant I ordered was heated in a microwave and was like eating soggy bread with a bit of filling, and an Italian restaurant in Point Cook (the name escapes me) served a drinkable espresso.

    Most of what was on offer at road houses consisted of instant (International roast variety) ranging in price from $2.50 to $4.50.* The only thing that can be said in its favour is that the cup offered something warm to wrap my frozen hands around and the liquid provided a bit of warmth to the intestines, $4.50 for a paper cup of instant black beggars belief.

    Auto dispensers?* Almost as bad as instant and around the $4 mark, bloody rubbish.

    Now to McDonalds!* Have to admit it was something of a relief to see the arches appear in my sights, they always served a cappuccino that ranged from quite drinkable to not bad at all, ok, not gourmet stuff but consistently average.
    This was reinforced a few days back when returning from Adelaide, SWMBO swung into Macca’s for a take away cappa, not wanting to be left out I ordered one as well, same story again, the earth didn’t exactly move but it was certainly drinkable and far preferable to the road house crap I had experienced on my trip.

    So, what’s the message? Macca’s offers fast food and coffee for the masses.
    As for their food, not for me, but the coffee is another story, as far as I’m concerned it’s much better than average coffee for the masses, if you walk in with a superior attitude expecting to discuss the merits of various single origins, the finer points of extraction, aroma, acidity etc and whether or not you can taste a hint of chocolate, cinnamon, citrus or apple you are in for a major disappointment.
    On the other hand if you simply want a reasonable coffee on the run, as far as I’m concerned Macca’s will deliver pretty consistently.
    Save your barista talk for them that are vaguely interested and pretend to understand it, the staff at Macca’s are for the main unskilled low paid workers who are there to dispense food and beverages to the best of their ability and most of the time display a pleasant attitude, but don’t give a rats arse whether you have a Giotto, Sunbeam or Expobar machine a Reg Barber tamper or roast your beans with a converted WWII flame thrower.
    Think about this, if we did not drink poorly made coffee now and again where would our bench mark be? AND if every shot was a god shot what would we have to whinge about.

    Sure it’s a delight to find an oasis in a waste land of mediocrity, a bit like finding colour in a gold pan, when it happens--a cry of eureka goes up--but then it’s on with the quest for the next mini bonanza.

    McDonalds are here to stay, they certainly don’t suit everyone’s taste however, they cater and appeal to a very large segment of the community and no one can argue with that. :)

  2. #2
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    We have sat back over several years now and read the negative posts re Maccas coffees. We have thought of a wonderful C.S. lady who has in her life trained Maccas Baristas. She has been very gracious in her silence during the often damming comments. [smiley=thumbsup.gif]
    We agree with Jon on his comments and are glad to see that he has posted such.
    We lived in Deniliquin up until recently and the McCafe there had an Espresso machine and a trained Bartista and he pumped out a good coffee. The line up for such was incredible. We also have had good coffees at McCafe at Mickelham Melbourne (again an Espresso machine and a very passionate lady Barista) . On our trip up to Brissie we were hanging out for a good coffee and found Maccas at Stanthorpe gave us that plus a lovely freshly baked healthy muffin. Like everywhere one gets good and bad of products etc. So it is good that this forum allows posting of all points of opinion. Food (coffee) for thought.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Thanks Herbie, were obviously a couple of voices in the wilderness, posted this 4 days ago, 112 views and yours is the first comment. :)

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Gotta agree. But then, I can still get excited over an instant coffee when withdrawal kicks in.
    Maybe not my first choice for a cafe experience, however Maccas is fairly reliable. Providing its a small cup; the large drinks are like drinking a hot mass of bloating coffee-scented milk (and Maccas is no orphan for this). The coffee tastes reasonably fresh and the brew is somewhere in the realms of acceptable espresso. More of a community service, without being a threat to real cafes.

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I agree with all said above. Which in my opinion always gets back to the operator of the equipment.

  6. #6
    Sean2009
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    My last maccas coffe was bad.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Barry O'Speedwagon's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 3A060F1702630 link=1331352268/2#2 date=1331684616
    Thanks Herbie, were obviously a couple of voices in the wilderness, posted this 4 days ago, 112 views and yours is the first comment. Smiley
    Maybe most people havent tried a McCafe and thus dont feel they can offer an informed comment?

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I have had a Maccas "coffee". It was in 2007 at (I think) the Maccas in Stanthorpe. A colleague and myself were travelling by car to a conference in Armidale and he persuaded me to give it a go. I had a long black which was pretty ordinary and in retrospect I should have had a small latte or cappa as the milk & sugar covers a lot of flaws. The coffee was no worse than I have had in many cafes that you would think (by virtue of their primary function as purveyors of coffee) would offer something drinkable. Coffee when travelling is something my wife and I dread as you simply cant predict what it will be like. Maybe in Melbourne...

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    Senior Member insomnispresso's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    On the topic of coffee when traveling there is an app if you have a smart phone called "bean hunter".

    Most of the reasonably rated cafes are workable and every now and then you might get a surprise. I dont think I could go back to picking at random!

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I tried McDonalds coffee on a couple of occasions since they ran the TV ads about serving better coffee and training their baristas, but it was the usual bitter, boiling hot, cringeworthy effort with soap suds on top.

    No arguing there is a place for Maccas coffee. Most people I see who order takeaway Maccas coffee seem to add several servings of sugar. Coffee is just a flavoured sugary drink for many.

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 323E27303D30252534510 link=1331352268/9#9 date=1331773046
    No arguing there is a place for Maccas coffee.
    Agreed...

    I am just trying to work out which place that might be...Definitely not my place! :D

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4075787F4B577B72727171140 link=1331352268/10#10 date=1331773960
    Quote Originally Posted by 323E27303D30252534510 link=1331352268/9#9 date=1331773046
    No arguing there is a place for Maccas coffee.
    Agreed...

    I am just trying to work out which place that might be...Definitely not my place!* :D

    You coffee snob you.. ;D

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Not mine either... Ive continuously had undrinkable coffee from maccas. From a variety of McCafes also... Sure there might be an average one somewhere, but all the McCafes Ive visited have been well below average...

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Maccas coffee! Whats next 7 eleven

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    Senior Member coffeechris's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    After reading this post i thought i would take the opportunity to give Mc Donalds Coffee ago. Not being unfair i gave it 5 goes at three different locations over the past week, two lattes, two cappuccinos and one espresso.
    Understanding that people drink coffee for different reasons eg some for the caffeine, some for the taste and that peoples perception of whats nice and bad are also different. I base my opinion only on what i think...

    I personally feel the coffee tasted a little burnt, after looking at the beans they are roasted darker than what i like. Each of the times I tried the coffee with milk every time with out fail the milk was way to hot resulting in the taste you get with over heated milk. the appearance was ok with all.


    the bottom line is i was not satisfied with the coffees i had. My main gripe is they say they have improved there coffee which to me still tastes like "Mc Donalds Coffee".....


  16. #16
    Wilki
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I dont mind maccas coffee. Its certainly not great, but I will buy it if there is nothing else available in the area.
    One important thing to remember is that all the "baristas" at maccas do is steam the milk. The espresso side of it is fully automatic. They just place the cup and push the button on the machine.

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    Senior Member David8's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4A747176741D0 link=1331352268/15#15 date=1332126318
    One important thing to remember is that all the "baristas" at maccas do is steam the milk.
    Unfortunately, its often the steamed milk I have issues with.

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 4C727770721B0 link=1331352268/15#15 date=1332126318
    One important thing to remember is that all the "baristas" at maccas do is steam the milk. The espresso side of it is fully automatic. They just place the cup and push the button on the machine.
    Many McD sites use superauto machines, but there are plenty with traditional espresso machines, and many that are taking out the superautos and going traditional. Most have Rancilio Classe 10s, but weve installed a La Marzocco Linea at a McDonalds.

  19. #19
    Wilki
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    MorganGT, Wow, I have never seen any McDonalds with propper machines in Tasmania. I assume we will get them eventually. Very interesting

  20. #20
    claraflo
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    The thing is in the early days of McCafe (1st year) they all had manual machines and if I recall the coffee was pretty much on a par with other cafes. In Sydney, the first McCafes had an Elektra look alike machine, huge chrome dome with eagles on top. It was when they switched to the Saeco autos that things became consistently horrible. I guess it was Maccas attempt to standardise and automate like the rest of their business. Interesting to hear some are going back to the semis and manuals.

    I go cold turkey before I drink coffee from the Maccas near me. They have one individual working there who quite obviously doesnt drink coffee and thinks steaming milk is all about burning it with a bubble bath on top. The mgt there put this person in the McCafe every single day she works* :-X there is no point asking for a replacement as that person will just hand you another cup of the same thing.

    The other problem I have is the god awful rainforest alliance blend they use.

  21. #21
    Senior Member dski's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    There are 100 reasons not to even walk into a Maccas, and bad coffee is but one of them. Even if they sort that out, it still leaves 99...

  22. #22
    Senior Member greenman's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    have you noticed how the huge advertising campaign espousing their coffees lovingly produced by their baristas didnt last too long??
    Perhaps a little bit of mis-representation considering they use mainly fully auto machines!!
    ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::) ::)

  23. #23
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I deliberately started this thread on a positive note (Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.) wondering just how long it would take to turn negative, well didnt have to wait long for my answer, it changed at post 5, seems once somebody sinks the slipper the urge to follow suite is hard to resist. :( :-/ ::)

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 526E677F6A0B0 link=1331352268/22#22 date=1332896276
    Reply #22 - Today at 11:57 Mark & Quote Quote
    I deliberately started this thread on a positive note ... seems once somebody sinks the slipper the urge to follow suite is hard to resist
    I suspect you would have been disappointed if all the responses were positive.

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    And remember where you are. :)

    Youre posting about McCafe coffee on a CoffeeSnobs forum...

  26. #26
    claraflo
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    [QUOTE=747E6B7C7C736761120 link=1331352268/23#23 date=1332898895]
    Quote Originally Posted by 526E677F6A0B0 link=1331352268/22#22 date=1332896276
    Reply #22 - Today at 11:57 Mark & Quote Quote
    I deliberately started this thread on a positive note ... seems once somebody sinks the slipper the urge to follow suite is hard to resist
    Or could it be that others have tried Maccas coffee and didnt have the positive experience that you did? Maccas coffee, like coffee everywhere is highly variable, in my experience, the outlets with the Saecos producing the worst. The roadside Maccas tend to have the manual machines and the dedicated McCafe staff that the suburban ones lack. They also tend to have the semi-detached cafe area as well with nicer seating.

    Lets face it. Maccas is not known for its quality food products. Its known for consistently crappy food at convenient locations. Sure out on the hwy, 6hrs in the saddle and youve got the option of Maccas or the BP. Maccas is looking pretty good. ;) unfortunately highway bypass have ensured any other option is a 30min detour. Ive travelled and lived extensively in country NSW. Good coffee is out there but unless you know where to look itll remain a mystery.




  27. #27
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    To me the worst Maccas brew is about 500% better than the $3.50 instant swill most serve you at the local greasy spoon roadhouse.
    Im referring to rural (touring) locations. :)

  28. #28
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 343E2B3C3C332721520 link=1331352268/23#23 date=1332898895
    I suspect you would have been disappointed if all the responses were positive.
    I suspect your right. ;)

  29. #29
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 232C213221262C2F400 link=1331352268/25#25 date=1332900470
    Lets face it. Maccas is not known for its quality food products. Its known for consistently crappy food at convenient locations
    I disagree.
    McDonalds provides food and drink to their particular standard. They are clean, hygenic and consistent. This is just some of the reasons why they are successful. Would I buy a franchise if I had the money? You bet. As a business they are excellent.
    Everyone has different tastes and that is to be respected. To all those people who say Maccas is crappy, I am always curious where they eat out, and what they eat at home. Just how much better is it? Bashing Maccas to be elitist on a "snob" website may seem to be cool and hip, but I say, put your money where your mouth is and provide something better that can compete in the market place.
    If you cannot, then please accept the place and service that Maccas provides. I know of and have experienced a lot worse in many establishments.

    When on the road visiting clients, I always stop at a Maccas. They have clean, free toilets (In Europe a Maccas toilet visit is free, unlike other places), WIFI, and a menu that can be adjusted. They do have food that is better than a pie or greasy takeaway. They are on a par with many "food hall" outlets which are not as "healthy" as they claim.

    The coffee is on a par with many other food establishments with a coffee machine. From a convenience point of view, when working or traveling; they are an oasis on the horizon.

    Time is money, so seeking out alternative food establishments (that may or may not be better) when on the road, is a waste of resources and effort, most of the time.

    When craving a coffee fix at Maccas, a polite word to the person making it can work wonders. Who knows, these "baristas" may aspire to provide something better in the future, so acknowledge their learning curve and provide some encouragement.

    Maccas, like every other food establishment with a coffee machine, has the potential to deliver a reasonable cup of coffee.

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Dont get me wrong, when I feel like some dirty Maccas food, ill go to Maccas. But if im looking for a good coffee, i dont go to Maccas.

    What peeves me is they advertise skilled baristas, semi-auto machines, good beans and all the Maccas i frequent have Franke super-autos with staff who are taught how to bring milk up to drinking temp.

  31. #31
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 2C313535213A580 link=1331352268/29#29 date=1332905251
    But if im looking for a good coffee, i dont go to Maccas.
    What Im really talking about in this thread is people on the road, travelling long distances, after a few hours driving or riding the thought that comes into your head is, Id love a cup of coffee, not I wonder where I can get a Gourmet SO espresso in port Augusta, then start looking at Apps and touring the town on a fruitless quest, by the time our intrepid explorer has finally worked out that there aint much to offer in this place I will be 100km closer to my destination after having freshened up and "enjoyed" a brew at Maccas.
    Im not travelling in search of good coffee, Im on the road to reach a destination, if I can get a reasonable brew in clean hygienic conditions without having to go out of my way so much the better. :)

  32. #32
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    This is true however "If im on the road" and looking for good coffee, i dont go to maccas.

    I have noted all the places between Adelaide and Melbourne where i can more often than not get good coffee (and Maccas [Horsham, Ararat, Ballarat or just out of Baccus Marsh on the freeway] isnt one of them).


  33. #33
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E63676773680A0 link=1331352268/31#31 date=1332907506
    This is true however "If im on the road" and looking for good coffee, i dont go to maccas.

    I have noted all the places between Adelaide and Melbourne where i can more often than not get good coffee (and Maccas [Horsham, Ararat, Ballarat or just out of Baccus Marsh on the freeway] isnt one of them).
    OK, Melb to Adel trip, can you name a couple of places to stop where I can get a decent coffee, I have a couple in mind. ;)

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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    I have had a decent coffee at:

    BP Tailem Bend Roadhouse
    BP Keith (not the one on the turn off to Mt Gambier/Naracoorte but the other BP)
    Bordertown Bakery (the one in the town centre by the small creek)
    Caltex truckstop (on the outskirts of Ararat)

    Still not the same as a good home roasted brew :)

    Ooh please also share places to find a good coffee if you also service the Adelaide to Melbourne trip frequently!

  35. #35
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    If Im on the road I bring my own coffee, that way Im guaranteed of having a great cuppa!


    Java "CP rules!!!" phile

  36. #36
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 79646060746F0D0 link=1331352268/33#33 date=1332909668
    I have had a decent coffee at:

    BP Tailem Bend Roadhouse
    BP Keith (not the one on the turn off to Mt Gambier/Naracoorte but the other BP)
    Bordertown Bakery (the one in the town centre by the small creek)
    Caltex truckstop (on the outskirts of Ararat)

    Still not the same as a good home roasted brew :)

    Ooh please also share places to find a good coffee if you also service the Adelaide to Melbourne trip frequently!
    Henry and Rose in Keith serve a decent brew, http://www.henryandrose.com.au/
    As do Angels Cafe (I think thats the name) in Beaufort.
    I dont always stop there, the problem is with these places by the time you order, get served and do whatever youve wasted 30 or 40 mins of valuable travelling time.
    Have not tried the places you suggest so cant comment. :)

  37. #37
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Back to my original post.
    Was on the road again a few days ago and called into Maccas in Renmark South Aust, ordered a medium long black, swill! no crema and could almost see the bottom of the cup, one sip and returned it to the barista, she apologised and immediately made me another, this one looked better, reasonable crema, but failed the taste test miserably, I wont be returning to the Renmark McDonalds anytime soon.
    PS, they need to address their fly problem as well, most unpleasant experience. >:(

  38. #38
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Whilst not wishing to defend Maccas (I would NEVER do that) I would have to say that on many occasions whilst travelling I have wasted 45 mins driving around the shopping centre of an unfamiliar town in search of a cafe that looked like it might have decent coffee (good brand advertised on the banner, professional looking staff) only to find the coffee was undrinkable. I did this in Gladstones main street recently, ordering a Macchiato - what turned up was unrecognisable, and undrinkable.

  39. #39
    KiteStyle3
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    When I was a youngun (back in the late 80s, early 90s) I worked at maccas. Coffee then was a drip filter pot which had a 90 minute life... in theory. It was often stretched to double that, as anyone drinking the foul brew couldnt tell the difference between 1&1/2 hour old coffee and 3 hour old coffee. They have actually come a long long way since those days. Btw I think it was about a dollar with unlimited refills.

    I have to say that in OPs defense, Maccas is all about context. If youre having terrible roadhouse brews, it can be a step up.

    Having worked there, I generally avoid eating it. ;) However Ill never forget riding through India with my wife, we rolled into a town and they had a Maccas - the first wed come across in India. At this point I had about 2 months of being vego from having seen the meat storage (bucket in the sun) & preparation (tear apart with greasy hands, in a bucket in the sun) and getting sick numerous times. My first thought was "international standard food hygene". My 2nd thought was "mmmmmmeat". I actually teared up walking in there, turns out the only meat was chicken, so I ordered 20 nuggets and a McChicken burger and it was one of the most enjoyable meals of my life. :)


  40. #40
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 7E434F47552C0 link=1331352268/37#37 date=1334982760
    I have wasted 45 mins driving around the shopping centre of an unfamiliar town in search of a cafe that looked like it might have decent coffee
    Have done this in the past, not any more, in the time it takes to go through this process I can be 100km closer to my destination.
    If the coffee looks rubbish I will buy a juice or soft drink and move on. :)

  41. #41
    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Thats the problem though Jon, it doesnt look like rubbish. You think "Hey, this place looks like they know what they are about (Barista wears a black T shirt) (got a decent looking commercial 3 group machine with an Italian name) lets give it a try".
    Be honest - when has an orange juice ever taken the place of your 10.00am coffee.

  42. #42
    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Quote Originally Posted by 0439353D2F560 link=1331352268/40#40 date=1335088520
    Be honest - when has an orange juice ever taken the place of your 10.00am coffee.
    Sadly, when Im on the road, quite often. :-?

  43. #43
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    Re: Macca’s hits the spot with its coffee.

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Quote Originally Posted by 202F223122252F2C430 link=1331352268/19#19 date=1332828429
    They have one individual working there who quite obviously doesnt drink coffee and thinks steaming milk is all about burning it with a bubble bath on top. The mgt there put this person in the McCafe every single day she works* :-X there is no point asking for a replacement as that person will just hand you another cup of the same thing.
    Couldnt agree more with this, I think you must live on the central coast! Unbelievable how badly they can heat the milk to further enhance the bitterness of the coffee..... Having said that, if given a choice I wont drink it. If given no other choice (very, very rarely happens - maybe only on road trips) I will drink it, better the amazingly average devil you know than none......or dare I say it....even worse, International Roast Caterers Blend! Speaking of which, when you are on a ship at sea for a few months and your much preferred caffeine delivery method is not available, the old sailors term of "any port in a storm comes to mind" :-[



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