I tried black coffee at 4 fast-food chains, and there's only one I would ever buy again

·3 min read
coffee taste test
I tried black coffee from four fast-food chains to find the best option.Erin Ajello for Insider
  • I ordered a small, black coffee from four fast-food chains to find the best one.

  • The drinks from Sonic, Wendy's, Burger King, and McDonald's all were cheap and convenient.

  • I would order black coffee from McDonald's again, but not the other chains.

I drink coffee two or three — OK, sometimes four — times a day and almost exclusively take it black.

Most days, I stick to my Keurig at home, but over the past few months, I've tried iced coffee and signature roasts from different chains.

This time, I ordered hot black coffee from Sonic, Wendy's, Burger King, and McDonald's to see which fast-food giant has the best brew.

I changed my opinion on Sonic's coffee as I kept drinking it

sonic coffee
sonic coffee

I felt that Sonic's coffee had an unpleasant aftertaste.Erin Ajello for Insider

I expected to enjoy this option, as Sonic's Green Mountain coffee is a mild blend, and I have tried the same brand's pods before.

At first, the drink had a pretty rich and fine flavor, but it soon developed a weird aftertaste that was more dry and bitter than I would've liked.

I enjoyed the first two sips, but the shift made me really dislike this option by the end. This was the only coffee that I changed my mind about.

Despite its generous serving size, Wendy's coffee offered very little flavor

Wendys coffee
Wendys coffee

Wendy's coffee tasted watered down to me.Erin Ajello for Insider

Wendy's website describes its regular coffee as a medium roast, but this drink was the bitterest out of all the options I tried.

In addition to its biting flavor, the coffee also seemed somewhat watery, which resulted in an unsatisfying combination.

But I noticed traces of a light hazelnut flavor, which at least made this option taste better than Sonic's.

I got plenty of coffee for a low price, as this drink was the largest of the four, but I wished it had a better flavor that made me actually want to finish it.

The coffee from Burger King was the most disappointing

Burger King coffee
Burger King coffee

Burger King's coffee tasted burnt to me.Erin Ajello for Insider

After surprisingly being handed large servings at Sonic and Wendy's, I was glad that Burger King's version of a small coffee was a manageable size.

Unfortunately, I disliked this drink the most.

This brew had very little flavor and seemed to be both watery and burnt, which did not make for a good combination.

In all fairness, I may have just been unlucky and gotten a burnt cup of what normally would've been decent coffee, but I still wouldn't go out of my way to give this option another chance.

McDonald's coffee was easily my favorite, and I would definitely get it again

McDonalds coffee
McDonalds coffee

McDonald's coffee was exactly what I was looking for.Erin Ajello for Insider

About the same serving size as Burger King's, McDonald's small coffee rose above every other option I tried for this taste test — it was exactly what I was looking for.

The chain's coffee had a great, rich flavor that wasn't bitter, making it really smooth even without any milk, sugar, or additional sweeteners.

I didn't like most of the drinks I tried, but there were some positives that every order had in common

coffee taste test
All the coffees were affordable and convenient.Erin Ajello for Insider

Every chain I went to charged less than $2.25 for a small cup of hot coffee, which made each drink a more affordable option than you'd find at high-end shops and restaurants.

If you don't want your coffee black and plan to add syrups and sweeteners, these are all affordable choices.

But if you're looking for a coffee that tastes so good, you'll forget how little you paid for it, then you should definitely check out McDonald's noteworthy cup.

Read the original article on Insider