The 7 Worst Coffee Chains in America

Collectively, Americans are consuming 400 million cups of coffee every single year. To that end, over half of the nation’s coffee lovers claim they’d rather gain 10 pounds than forever give up that cup of Joe. And while many of these caffeine feigns tend to brew their own at home, nearly two-thirds of the drinkers here in American are buying their coffee outside of their home. If you’re heading out to buy a latte, you may want to avoid these seven worst coffee chains. 

1. McDonald’s

McDonald's exterior.

Beware of the coffee machines’ cleanliness. | Tofumax/iStock/Getty Images

Coffee from McDonald’s just barely gets the job done if full and flavorful are your priorities. But more importantly, you may want to beware of the McCafe coffee machine’s level of cleanliness. One McDonald’s employee took to Reddit to warn customers against indulging in a caffeinated beverage at Mickey D’s. The employee claimed:

I work for McDonald’s and make sure everyone that matters to me never orders anything that comes out of the McCafe machine, as these are routinely neglected in practically all the McDonalds. All McCafe beverages run through a horrifically dirty machine—we’re talking 5+ inches of uncleaned, liquid making up its inside parts.

Next: This Canadian coffee crossover leaves much to be desired. 

2. Tim Horton’s

Tim Horton coffee shop

Customers complain the coffee is weak. | Spencer Platt/Getty Images

This Canadian coffee chain has expanded into the northeastern region of the United States, and while the customer service aspect of the company may be A+, the coffee often receives a failing grade. Claims have been made that “their coffee leaves their customers mostly disappointed as most of them claim it doesn’t taste like a real coffee. It is weak and watered down even if ordered plain black.”

Next: You know it, but do you really love it? 

3. Starbucks

Starbuck coffee

The coffee leaves something to be desired. | Southtownboy/iStock/Getty Images

Yes, it’s true that Starbucks isn’t the end-all for coffee. In fact, it’s far from it. Regardless of the brilliant marketing, success, and cool factor that the coffee chain may have under its belt, this doesn’t change the truth that the coffee isn’t all that great. Not only have hundreds of employees reviewed the company for having a less than attractive work-life balance, the coffee often tastes bland, leaving much to be desired.

Next: Mixed reviews still point to this being a poor choice for coffee. 

4. 7-Eleven

7 Eleven Convenience Store

It’s convenient — and that’s about it. | joshuaraineyphotography/iStock/Getty Images

Hey, when you’re in a pinch and must have a coffee, 7-Eleven is typically the most convenient cup to grab. The chances of a let down are crazy high, but then again, so is most gas station and convenience store coffees. It is common to pour a cup for yourself, only to get back on the road with stale, burnt-tasting coffee. If you can snag yourself a cup from a fresh pot, you’ll be in better shape.

Next: This Starbucks-owned company may not be delivering. 

5. Seattle’s Best Coffee

Seattle's Best coffee

It’s certainly not the best. | NoDerog/iStock/Getty Images

Don’t be fooled by its name. Seattle’s Best Coffee is a Starbucks company through and through. Coffee and routine go hand-in-hand, which makes arriving at a closed coffee shop during regular business hours the worst. One New York customer says that finding the store open is “usually hit or miss” and even though the coffee isn’t terrible all the time — it has its good days and its bad days. He said that he found the brew to be “terribly bitter or super watered down brew.”

Next: If you aren’t a fan of Seattle’s Best, you probably won’t enjoy this either. 

6. Burger King

Burger King Restaurants

Most franchises serve Seattle’s Best. | Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images

If you are avoiding Seattle’s Best Coffee, then you should also avoid Burger King. Most of the franchises serve Seattle’s Best Coffee brand and rest assured that the same rules apply. Thrillist described the cup of joe to have a “hard texture that makes me think of gas station hot plates and/or mineral oil. There was also something savory in there that reminded me of the mushrooms you find on cheap frozen pizzas.”

Next: When it doubt, pump your brakes!

7. Taco Bell

Taco Bell restaurant

Why are you going to Taco Bell for coffee? | Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

When you find yourself whipping through the Taco Bell drive-thru specifically for coffee, consider pumping the brakes and asking yourself, “Why?” The inside scoop is that the coffee is quite bitter and low quality. According to Thrillist, “The richness is overwhelmed by astringency and woodiness.” Tacos, on the other hand? Yes, please.

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