When we think of McDonald’s, we mostly think of Big Macs, french fries, and McFlurries. However, McDonald’s has also opened its doors to a coffee bar in the middle of the fast-food rush. You can now get lattes, cappuccinos, caramel macchiatos, and choose from a whole list of iced coffee drinks, as well.
You may or may not choose to sit in a McCafe on a coffee date. But, on those days when you take your kids to get a Happy Meal after school, this coffee section can be a life-saver. An iced latte can give you the energy you need to tackle those long lines and survive the PlayPlace.
While McDonald’s has a wide selection of drinks, only one can be the best.
Our vote for the best McDonald’s iced coffee drink goes to the Iced Caramel Mocha. This tasty iced drink is made using espresso and whole milk with caramel chocolate syrup. You also get whipped cream and caramel drizzle to top it off.
This drink is pleasingly sweet and the chocolate and caramel flavors are a match made in heaven.
We’ve laid out other favorite drinks from the McCafe menu and ranked them from the yummiest on down. Also, we’ve included a guide on how to order coffee at McDonald’s.
How to order coffee at McDonald’s
When you go to order a drink from the McCafe, it’s important to speak the lingo. Here are some of the options you have when choosing an iced cup of coffee at Mcdonald’s.
McCafe drink sizes
McDonald’s sells iced coffee drinks in three sizes. These sizes correlate closely with Starbucks’ drink sizes.
- The McCafe small is 12 ounces just like the Starbucks tall.
- McDonald’s medium coffee is 16 ounces the same as the Starbucks grande size.
- And, a large McCafe iced coffee holds 22 ounces of delicious iced coffee. (Starbucks hot coffee venti holds a little less at 20 ounces, while Starbucks iced venti holds 24 ounces)
The milk options for your coffee at McDonald’s are whole milk, non-fat milk, and light cream.
If you are looking for vegan milk options at Mickey D’s, you’re pretty much out of luck unless you are in Australia. In 2021, McDonald’s began to offer oat milk in some of the Australian locations. However, for North America and other countries, there are no vegan options yet.
Vegan hack: The good news for vegans is that the flavors and syrups at McDonald’s are made without animal products. (Chocolate and caramel drizzles, however, may contain milk or butter.) So, to order a vegan iced coffee drink, just ask for no milk, and go crazy with the syrups.
Espresso-based drinks vs. Coffee-based drinks
McDonald’s offers iced coffee drinks as well as iced espresso drinks. So, what’s the difference between the two?
Iced coffee drinks use premium-roast brewed coffee as the base of the drink. This means that the coffee is run through a drip machine, cooled, and then poured over ice in your cup. You can then add milk and syrups as desired. (Most iced coffee drinks are made with light cream unless you say otherwise.) If you are looking for a decaf option, a decaf brewed iced coffee drink is the way to go.
Iced espresso drinks use Rainforest Alliance Certified espresso coffee as the base of the drink. The shots are brewed under pressure in an espresso machine. Then, whole milk is poured over the top to make your iced coffee espresso drink.
Espresso is short and stout and can give your drink a richer coffee taste. Some popular espresso-based drinks include iced lattes, macchiatos, and mochas. You won’t be able to get a decaf espresso-based drink at McDonald’s.
Hack: I’ve noticed that the coffee I get at McDonald’s is not as strong as other coffee shops. So, sometimes I will adjust for this by adding an extra shot of espresso to my coffee drink. I don’t mind paying for the extra shot, because most coffee drinks at Mickey D’s start out cheaper than the average cup of Joe. Some coffee drinks even make it to the $1 menu!
Mochas and Frappes at McDonald’s generally come with whipped cream and a chocolate or caramel topping depending on your drink. Iced coffees, lattes, and macchiatos generally do not come with toppings. But, if you really want a topping, you can always ask!
Hack: Most stores will not charge extra for up to three syrups in your iced coffee. This means that a flavored coffee drink won’t cost more than a plain Jane drink. So, make some syrup combinations by all means!
The 11 Best Iced Coffee Drinks at McDonald’s
|McCafe Drink (medium size)||Sugar (g)||Calories||Syrups, Toppings, Drizzle|
|Iced Caramel Mocha||38 g||300||Chocolate Caramel Syrup, Whipped Light Cream, Caramel Drizzle|
|Iced Caramel Macchiato||41 g||310||Caramel Syrup, Caramel Drizzle|
|Mocha Frappe||66 g||500||Mocha Coffee Frappe Base, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Drizzle|
|Iced Latte||9 g||120||None|
|Iced French Vanilla Latte||34 g||240||French Vanilla Syrup|
|Iced Coffee||28 g||180||Liquid sugar|
|Iced Mocha||43 g||320||Chocolate Syrup, Whipped Light Cream, Chocolate Drizzle|
|Iced Caramel Coffee||26 g||190||Caramel Syrup|
|Iced Caramel Latte||36 g||270||Caramel Syrup|
1. Iced Caramel Mocha
The Iced Caramel Mocha is our top pick for McCafe drinks. This espresso drink goes all out with its chocolate caramel syrup, whipped cream, and caramel drizzle. However, it somehow escapes without becoming sickeningly sweet.
The caramel and chocolate flavors blend nicely and the ice gives you a pick-me-up to get your day going in the right direction. This iced coffee drink is perfect when you can’t decide if you want to go with a chocolate or caramel flavor. Why not just get both?
2. Iced Caramel Macchiato
A caramel macchiato is good hot, but even better cold… especially on a hot afternoon. This drink is a classic favorite of coffee drinkers everywhere. Macchiatos are made like an upside-down latte. When the espresso is poured over the top of the whole milk, you get a beautiful, layered drink. The iced caramel macchiato at McDonald’s has both caramel syrup and caramel drizzle, making it a bit sweeter than the iced caramel latte and iced caramel coffee. This sweet treat is one you won’t want to miss.
3. Mocha Frappe
The mocha frappe is caught between an iced coffee drink and a bowl of ice cream. It’s hard to know whether you should drink it from the cup or eat it with a spoon! Whichever way you attack this cuppa, it is sure to please your tastebuds.
The coffee flavor takes a back seat in this cold drink and the chocolate hits the palate in full force. It is topped with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle to pack in more rich, creamy goodness.
4. Iced Latte
An iced latte is not fancy but still has a yummy taste. This coffee drink starts out with an espresso shot with cold whole milk poured over. It is unsweet on its own, but you can add a flavor shot for no extra charge. This basic drink is perfect when you don’t need a sugar rush. The latte likes to keep things simple and tasty.
5. Iced French Vanilla Latte
If you want to dress your iced latte up a bit, the Iced French Vanilla Latte is one of the most popular choices on the McCafe menu. The French vanilla syrup tastes deliciously light and fresh in this espresso in this drink. If you are looking to keep your sugar count down, there is also a sugar-free French vanilla flavor. If you want to go the brewed coffee route, you can also try the iced French vanilla coffee.
6. Iced Coffee
Iced coffee is basic and good. This drink starts with premium-roast coffee that is brewed and cooled. Some cream is poured over the top and liquid sugar (or another flavored syrup of your choice) is mixed in. This drink is my go-to McDonald’s drink and goes great with fries. Also, McDonald’s offers iced coffee fairly frequently on the dollar menu, which is another perk of this cold drink.
7. Iced Mocha
The iced mocha is the sweetest coffee drink on the McDonald’s menu. (Though it still doesn’t touch the Frappes for sugar count!) However, this drink doesn’t taste as sweet as some caramel drinks. That chocolate must be a good cover for the sweet.
You’ll get chocolate syrup in your drink and chocolate drizzle on top of the whip, as well. This drink is coffee for grown-up kids and we’re here for it.
8. Iced Caramel Coffee
This iced coffee recipe uses cream instead of milk and it’s delicious. The caramel is buttery and works well with both the cream and brewed coffee. This drink contains less sugar than its iced caramel latte relative and, for me, it’s the perfect amount of sweet. The coffee flavor also comes forward more in this drink.
9. Iced Caramel Latte
The iced caramel latte is very similar to the iced caramel coffee except it is made with espresso rather than brewed coffee. While I almost always find myself in the espresso camp, I’d have to say this coffee drink ends up tasting a little weak and sugary.
I’m happy asking the barista to cut the caramel syrup in half for this drink… and popping another shot of espresso into the drink while she’s at it.
10. Caramel Frappe
Let’s face it, this drink is basically just caramel ice cream with the barest hint of coffee. Still, it’s delicious. What’s even more delicious is if you ask them to top off your frappe with an espresso shot, affogato-style. You can then have your coffee and eat it, too!
You may need to ask for a bigger cup size though so you have room for your whipped cream and caramel drizzle. Ok, we may need to move this drink to the top of the list now…
11. Iced Hazelnut Coffee
Hazelnut is a flavor that pairs well with coffee. However, this flavor often gets forgotten behind the ever-popular caramel drinks on an iced coffee menu. The hazelnut flavor in the McCafe iced hazelnut coffee unfortunately isn’t as unforgettable as we could have hoped. This is why it still gets bumped behind the caramel drinks and into our very last spot. (Sorry, hazelnut, we were pulling for you.)
If you want to make this drink a little grander, you can take a page from McDonald’s secret menu and customize your iced hazelnut coffee. Add two servings of caramel drizzle, one pump of chocolate syrup, one pump of chocolate caramel syrup, then asked for whipped cream topping. You’ve just created an Iced Snickers Coffee. Okay, now that may be unforgettable.
McDonald’s is so well-known as a hamburger fast-food joint for kids that we tend to forget they also have coffee among their menu items. While McDonald’s may not have that trendy coffee shop atmosphere with leather chairs, they have a decent selection of coffee drinks. We’ve shared some of our top picks and hacks, now let us hear your favorites in the comment section.
What coffee does McDonald’s use?
McDonald’s coffee is 100% Arabica Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee beans. McCafe uses a medium roast for coffee drinks and a dark roast for their espresso-based drinks. These coffee beans are roasted by the gourmet coffee company, Gaviña.
What’s the difference between iced coffee and cold brew?
Cold-brew and iced coffee look similar but are brewed using two different methods. A cold brew is brewed slowly overnight. It usually contains more caffeine and less acidity. Iced coffee is brewed as hot coffee then cooled and poured over ice. You can drink cold brew and iced coffee as-is or doctor them up using your favorite creamers, syrups, and sweeteners.
Can you get an iced caramel cappuccino at Starbucks?
Yes, you can get iced caramel cappuccinos at Starbucks. This drink is made using 2 shots of espresso in a grande size, 2% milk, and of course caramel syrup. Instead of hot foam, this iced cappuccino is topped off with delicious cold foam.