Friday, December 16, 2011

I love Christmas - Day 16

Here at ILookBadInHats I tackle the hard issues.  Stuff people really care about.  Today is no exception.  We are hitting a Christmas-y topic today - the better hot chocolate : McDonald's vs. Starbucks.  I consider myself quite the connoisseur of cocoa.  I don't drink coffee, tea, or wine, but I have a weakness for hot chocolate.  It's just so good.  I chose McD's and Starby's because these are both accessible and seemingly everyone has one nearby.  If I were to write about the best I have ever head in my life, I would be writing about a place in Paris called La Deux Magot (if I remember correctly).  This stuff was amazing!  It was like melted chocolate.  But not super thick.  Hard to explain, but I feel like I still remember the taste in my mouth right now... yummo.

So today we are reviewing these two, not something from France.  In the spirit of the holidays, I chose to compare the Peppermint Hot Chocolate.  Here are some of the criteria to compare :
  • Cost
  • Nutrition
  • Toppings & Presentation
  • Creaminess
  • Taste
McDonald's :
I gave them this...

And got back this.

The large cost an even $3.00 (prices may vary by location).  I ordered the large (20 ounces) with non-fat milk, but with whipped cream.  (To be honest, I never knew that non-fat milk was even an option at McDonald's.  In my mind, I had already given a negative mark for the lack of option, but the lady at the drive thru asked me which I preferred.  I was pumped).

Starbucks :
I gave them this...

And got back this.

The large cost me $3.34 (prices may vary by location).  I ordered the large (also 20 ounces) with non-fat milk, but with whipped cream. 

WINNER OF COST CATEGORY - MCDONALD'S (not by much, but $0.34 can add up if you are getting these often during the winter).

McDonalds :

Calories - 410
Protein - 12g
Fat - 17g
Carbs - 73g
Sodium - 210mg

Starbucks :

Calories - 480
Protein - 17g
Fat - 11g
Carbs - 89g
Sodium - 180mg

WINNER OF THE NUTRITION CATEGORY - MCDONALD'S (again, it was pretty close, but McD's pulled ahead with less of the bad-for-you stuff).

McDonalds :

This one had chocolate syrup drizzled on top of the whipped cream.  The whipped cream on this one looks like the stuff that comes out of the can (that is not a bad thing). 

Starbucks :

This one had shaved chocolate on top of the whipped cream.  The whipped cream here looks almost homemade or something.  Not so much like the canned stuff. 

WINNER OF THE TOPPINGS & PRESENTATION CATEGORY : STARBUCKS (just 'cause I like the shavings better than the drizzles). 

McDonald's :

I may not have thought that this was made with milk had I not been asked if I wanted regular or non-fat.  It was fairly thin.  I like mine much thicker. 

Starbucks :

This is very rich and creamy.  I would have thought that it was regular milk, had I not known that it was non-fat. 


McDonald's :

Obviously the most important category!  I really liked the peppermint to chocolate ratio.  It wasn't overly pepperminty, but you could definitely taste the flavor.  And, it was very chocolately.  I really enjoyed this hot chocolate.  The whipped cream mixed in with the hot chocolate really well with the chocolate.  Also, it wasn't ridiculously hot, which meant that I was able to drink it shortly after and not have to wait 30 minutes for it to be luke warm. 

Starbucks :

Really good taste.  It was chocolatey enough and pepperminty enough.  Two things that bothered me... the whipped cream didn't seem to blend and it was bloody hot!  So, I had to wait a long time to drink it and even then it wasn't fully mixed together. 

WINNER OF THE TASTE CATEGORY : MCDONALD'S (I was surprised by this as well!)

OVERALL WINNER : MCDONALD'S!!!  Pretty great that McD's pulled it out!  I honestly didn't think they stood a chance.  But, in my humble opinion, they edged out Starby's.  Not by much though.  It really was a close competition. 

This was, perhaps, the most ridiculous post I think I have ever written.  But, I took one for the team and went to both Starbucks and McDonald's and got some wonderful hot chocolate. 

After writing this, I remembered back to when McDonald's started their McCafe.  A lot of their campaign was about how it was so much more affordable than those "other" specialty coffee shops (by which I assume they meant Starbucks).  Again, I don't drink the other drinks that either has to offer, but if they are as close in price as the cocoa, then that campaign was misleading.  Ridiculous!  I hate when companies do things like that.  My guess is that the price has slowly been climbing upwards since they started this whole thing.  Ugh.  Anyway, they still get my vote for better hot chocolate.

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