What Is McCafe? (Why Was It Created, Drinks, Quality + More)

If you’ve been to McDonald’s, you’ve probably seen McCafe on the menu, but have you ever wondered what a McCafe is?

Fortunately, I’m going to tell you all you need to know about McCafe, including what kind of coffee it is and what you’ll find on the McCafe menu, so continue reading to learn all about it!

What Is McCafe?

McCafe is an independent food and coffee chain owned by McDonald’s, starting in 1993 in Melbourne, Australia. McCafe drinks are inside every McDonald’s location, and it offers a variety of espresso-based beverages as well as coffee, lattes, and more! Additionally, there are some sweet treats that McCafe offers to go with your drink.

Do you have even more questions about McCafe? If so, keep reading because I’m going to answer all of your questions below!

What’s the Difference Between McDonald’s and McCafe?

McCafe is an independent brand and operates as a separate entity from McDonald’s, even though McDonald’s owns the coffee and food chain.

Why Was McCafe Created?

The concept of McCafe was designed to create a cozy and warm atmosphere, bringing different kinds of coffee drinks to the consumer, different from McDonald’s coffee.

Furthermore, it was also created to get people in the door of McDonald’s in Melbourne, Australia, bringing European tastes to the Australians that first appeared in 1993.

Eventually, McCafe expanded to 13 countries, including a location within the United States by 2002. Now, the reach of McCafe extends into all McDonald’s restaurants all over the world.

Furthermore, McCafe features espresso-based coffee drinks instead of standard coffee beans in the common McDonald’s coffee drinks and has some tasty treats!

Is McCafe Coffee Good?

McCafe coffee is delicious and considered one of the best coffee options available, especially since there’s so much variety in flavors.

Furthermore, if you need a quick jolt of caffeine, then heading to McDonald’s for a McCafe drink is going to give you that push to get your morning going.

Additionally, McCafe coffee is so good because the coffee is made from Arabica beans, and Arabica is known for having a superior taste to other coffee beans.

On top of that, the fact that you can get a latte one day and then order a frappuccino or iced coffee the next gives you the chance to try new flavors!

Also, McCafe has some of the most reasonably-priced coffee available, with the prices being much better than Starbucks and Tim Hortons.

What’s more, McDonald’s serves coffee much quicker than other stores like Starbucks.

What’s a McCafe Drink?

There are several different drinks in the McCafe line, including lattes, cappuccinos, coffee, smoothies, and more trendy items like iced coffee.

Additionally, new drinks are being added regularly to the McCafe line of drinks (see below).

What Are the McCafe Menu Items?

McCafe has significantly expanded over the past ten years, continuing to add new drinks. But, what you’ll find on the McCafe menu currently includes:

  • Caramel Macchiato
  • Iced Caramel Macchiato
  • Cappuccino
  • Caramel Cappuccino
  • French Vanilla Cappuccino
  • Mocha Latte
  • Iced Mocha Latte
  • Latte
  • Iced Latte
  • Caramel Latte
  • Iced Caramel Latte
  • French Vanilla Latte
  • Iced French Vanilla Latte
  • Americano
  • Premium Roast Coffee
  • Iced Coffee
  • Iced Caramel Coffee
  • Iced French Vanilla Coffee
  • Caramel Frappe
  • Mocha Frappe
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
  • Mango Pineapple Smoothie

As you can see, the list of McCafe products is enormous compared to just McDonald’s’ standard coffee drinks. Therefore, it’s no wonder McDonald’s has McCafe coffee in its restaurants.

What Are the McCafe Bakery Items?

What Are The McCafe Bakery Items? McDonald's

Not only can you get coffee drinks at McCafe, but it also offers a variety of baked goods, similar to how Starbucks and other coffee shops operate. That said, McCafe bakery items include:

  • Apple Fritter
  • Blueberry Muffin
  • Baked Apple Pie
  • Cinnamon Roll
  • Chocolate Chip Cookies

What’s better than having a sweet treat to dunk into your cup of high-quality McCafe coffee or latte?

McCafe at Home Flavors

McCafe at Home allows you to have that amazing taste you’ve come to know and expect from McCafe, featuring the following flavors:

  • Premium Roast
  • Premium Roast Decaf
  • Breakfast Blend
  • French Roast
  • Colombian
  • French Vanilla
  • Chocolate Mocha
  • Cinnamon Mocha
  • Salted Caramel Mocha

Furthermore, you can purchase the high-quality McCafe at any retail or grocery store.

Additionally, you can get McCafe products in K-Cup pod form, whole coffee bean bags, and ground coffee cans so that you can use them with your home coffee maker.

Where Can You Buy McCafe?

Fortunately, there are plenty of stores that sell McCafe coffee, including:

  • Dollar General
  • Walgreens
  • Keurig Website
  • Food Lion
  • Publix
  • Kroger
  • Walmart
  • Meijer
  • Amazon
  • Target
  • CVS
  • Instacart
  • BJ’s
  • Sam’s Club

These are just some of the stores that sell McCafe. However, you might find that your local store not listed also sells McCafe!

Does McCafe Have Caffeine?

Unfortunately, most McCafe drinks contain caffeine, with even Decaf Premium Roast containing small amounts of caffeine.

However, if you have a sensitivity to caffeine, the decaf option will be the best for you, and McDonald’s can make a lot of the iced coffee with decaf instead.

Is McCafe Coffee Gluten-Free?

Yes, McCafe coffee is gluten-free, as most coffee is free of gluten. So, you can even order the frappe since it doesn’t contain gluten, either!

On top of that, the smoothies are gluten-free, so you have quite the variety in the McCafe drinks section if you’re looking for gluten-free options at McDonald’s.

What’s the McCafe Rewards Loyalty Program?

The McCafe Rewards Loyalty Program is available only through the McDonald’s app, which gives you points for each McCafe drink you purchase.

After you’ve bought five McCafe drinks, you’ll get the sixth one free!

Additionally, it’s similar to the stamp cards that McDonald’s handed out years ago. But, with the program in the app, you don’t have to keep track of a physical stamp card. 

How Do You Use the McCafe Rewards Loyalty Program?

To use your McCafe Rewards points, simply order the eligible McCafe drink and scan the digital rewards card in the app to collect one point for each purchase.

Once you’ve scanned five drinks (earning five points), a freebie coupon will pop up in the app under “Deals” found in the McCafe Rewards Card section.

Further, select the freebie coupon, and then if you want to eat inside McDonald’s, click on “Restaurant Redemption,” which presents a QR code that McDonald’s staff can scan.

Moreover, you can do all of this yourself if you use the McDonald’s Mobile Order & Pay app as well.

Do McCafe Rewards Loyalty Points Expire?

Unfortunately, the points do expire after 60 days, which is a new condition of the program. Therefore, you’ll have to use your points fairly quickly, or you’ll lose them!

Additionally, McCafe drinks ordered as part of a deal are not eligible for points, and not all McCafe beverages are eligible for points either.

To learn more about McDonald’s, you can also read our related posts on where is McDonald’s coffee from, whether you can recycle McDonald’s packaging, and the biggest McDonald’s burger.

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Marques Thomas

Marques Thomas graduated with a MBA in 2011. Since then, Marques has worked in the retail and consumer service industry as a manager, advisor, and marketer. Marques is also the head writer and founder of QuerySprout.com.

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