11 McDonald's Iced Coffees: Ranked Best To Worst

7 min read OCT 08, 2023

Here at Lifeboost we are not only dedicated to offering top notch coffee. It's also to empower our community with knowledge and appreciation, for the wide range of coffee options available, including those from well known global brands like McDonalds.

While most people associate the Golden Arches with their French Fries or the Big Mac they also offer a wide variety of Iced coffees. So how do these beverages stack up against each other? Is it just a quick caffeine fix, or could it be a delightful indulgence?

Driven by our curiosity and passion for the world of coffee we set out on this journey. Our objective? Not only to satisfy our curiosity but also to provide the Lifeboost community with a comprehensive understanding of these popular choices. You might be surprised by our findings.

Everything You Need To Know About McDonald's Iced Coffees

McDonald's sells their iced coffees under the brand "McCafé," their very own coffee-house-style food and beverage chain. The company launched its McCafé products to rival coffee giants like Starbucks, particularly their patented Frappuccinos. And we think they've come a long way since their launch in 1993. After all, they've secured a spot on the list of the tastiest and most affordable coffee drinks when it comes to C-store and fast food chains.

Taste-wise, most iced coffee drinks at Mac's taste great. Generally, all drinks have the classic coffee's nutty, chocolaty undertones but without excessive bitterness (mostly associated with espresso). So, if creamy, light, and delicious coffee is right up your alley, we think you'll love Mac's iced coffees as much as we do.

Besides taste and quality, what impressed us the most was the price. McDonald's offers their iced coffees in three sizes: small (12 ounces), medium (16 ounces), and large (22 ounces). Their small drink appears on their Dollar Menu, at a dirt-cheap price of $2 and under. The best part? You can ask for any iced coffee flavor or add-ons free of charge. It doesn't get better than this.

Here are some more McDonald's iced coffee facts:

  • McDonald's frozen drinks (like Starbucks' Frappuccinos) are called Frappes.
  • They don't offer decaf espresso drinks. But you can make your Macs iced coffee decaf.
  • You'll find two milk options for espresso-based drinks at McDonald's: nonfat and whole milk. Unfortunately, there's no dairy-free option. Most iced coffees come with a light cream.
  • You can find McCafé drinks at every McDonald's any time of the day.
  • You can customize your iced coffee using add-ons, flavors, and syrups any way you want, irrespective of whether it is on the menu.
  • You'll find four different syrup flavors for customizing your McDonald's iced coffee: sugar-free French Vanilla, French Vanilla, Caramel, and Hazelnut.
  • A flavored Mac's iced coffee is the same price as a regular Mac's iced coffee.
  • McDonald's uses 100% Arabica beans grown on Rainforest Alliance Certified farms.

Iced Coffees At McDonald's: Ranked Best To Worst

All iced coffee drinks ranked here are considered in their medium (16-ounce) size.

Mocha Frappe

Calories: 500

Sugar: 66g

Ingredients: Mocha Coffee Frappe Base, Whipped Cream, Chocolate Drizzle, Ice

Hands down, our favorite! Mocha Frappe is a frozen, blended drink resembling chocolate melted ice cream in a glass. You'd think the combination of coffee and chocolate would taste extra bitter. Surprisingly, the two flavors complement each other very well, and every sip felt like a step closer to dessert heaven.

If you love chocolate as much as we do, you might want to check out the Chocolate Lovers Combo Bundle from Lifeboost.

Iced French Vanilla Coffee

Calories: 170

Sugar: 23g

Ingredients: Premium Roast Coffee, French Vanilla Syrup, Light Cream, Ice
Our next favorite pick is Macs Iced French Vanilla Coffee, for obvious reasons. The sweet and light taste of French Vanilla goes well with their creamy coffee. It is almost the same as their iced coffee, but this one has a subtle vanilla flavor.

Iced Latte

Calories: 120

Sugar: 9g

Ingredients: Espresso, Water, Ice, Whole Milk

McDonald's Iced Latte comes with the least amount of sugar. So, if you want a jolt of energy without the sugar crash, you might want to stick to this drink. The 9 grams of sugar come from liquid sugar, added to sweeten the drink lightly. You can skip it if you like your iced latte bitter.

Iced Caramel Macchiato

Calories: 310

Sugar: 41g

Ingredients: Espresso, Water, Whole Milk, Caramel Drizzle, Ice, Caramel Syrup

There's a reason why Iced Caramel Macchiato is a favorite among sweet-tooth coffee lovers. It's undoubtedly the sweet, almost bitter, and buttery flavor of caramel syrup added to the drink.

As mentioned before, McDonald’s does not offer decaf espresso drinks. But don’t worry, you can always get the Lifeboost Caramel Macchiato Decaf to enjoy your very own homemade Iced Caramel Macchiato without having to step outside.

Iced Coffee

Calories: 180

Sugar: 28g

Ingredients: Premium Roast Coffee, Liquid Sugar, Light Cream, Ice

It can't get any more basic than McDonald's Iced Coffee. But that is not to say it's not delicious. A coffee-forward beverage, Iced Coffee is for anyone who wants nothing but coffee on a hot day to recharge their batteries.

Iced Caramel Mocha

Calories: 300

Sugar: 38g

Ingredients: Espresso, Whipped Light Cream, Whole Milk, Chocolate Caramel Syrup, Water, Ice, Caramel Drizzle

Here's another fantastic option for dessert fans. McDonald's Iced Caramel Mocha tastes like brownies dipped in caramel sauce. Truly, it's a sippable dessert topped off with whipped light cream and a drizzle of rich caramel sauce.

Iced Caramel Latte

Calories: 270

Sugar: 36g

Ingredients: Espresso, Caramel Syrup, Whole Milk, Ice

Iced Caramel Latte beautifully marries the bitterness of espresso with the rich sweetness of caramel. You'll taste subtle bitter notes from the espresso, but the caramel syrup will cut right through, creating a symphony of flavors in your mouth. Nothing too sweet or too bitter!

Iced Mocha

Calories: 320

Sugar: 43g

Ingredients: Espresso, Whole Milk, Whipped Light Cream, Water, Ice, Chocolate Syrup, Chocolate Drizzle

For a drink that has "mocha" in its name, we found it pretty bland. It tasted more like an Iced Latte. Perhaps you can ask for extra chocolate syrup and more chocolate drizzle to make up for the taste.

Caramel Frappe

Calories: 510

Sugar: 67g

Ingredients: Caramel Coffee Frappe Base, Caramel Drizzle, Ice, Whipped Light Cream

As hardcore Starbucks Frappuccino lovers, we have to say McDonald's has a lot to work on when it comes to its Caramel Frappe. The drink sure lives up to its name, but personally, we found it too full of caramel flavor and sweetness.

Iced French Vanilla Latte

Calories: 240

Sugar: 34g

Ingredients: Espresso, French Vanilla Syrup, Whole Milk, Ice

Don't be confused; the French Vanilla "Coffee" above uses Premium Roast Coffee, while this one has espresso. Surprisingly, instead of espresso's bitterness, the French Vanilla flavor shines through here. If you find it too sweet for your liking, you can request fewer pumps of syrup.

Iced Caramel Coffee

Calories: 190

Sugar: 26g

Ingredients: Brewed Coffee, Caramel Syrup, Light Cream, Ice

Unfortunately, McDonald's Iced Caramel Coffee was our least favorite. It tasted bitter, probably because of the brewed coffee and lack of caramel syrup. But when it comes to the price, it is definitely one of the cheapest caramel-based coffees you'll find on a menu.

How To Order Iced Coffees At McDonald's?

Here are some tips for ordering Iced Coffees at McDonald's:

All McDonald's Iced Coffees use whole milk (if the recipe calls for it). Usually, the flavor syrup sweetens the drink. If not, the drink has liquid sugar in it. You can swap whole milk with nonfat milk to cut down on calories.

The amount of ingredients in a drink can vary between locations. Meaning how many pumps of syrups goes into your drink isn't fixed. Hence, whenever you head to a new McDonald's, it's best to specify the number of pumps you want in your coffee.

You can order your iced coffee without sugar or milk too. Just make sure to specify while placing your order.

For people who are watching their caffeine content, unfortunately, McDonald’s does not offer any decaf espresso drinks. The solution? Lifeboost offers a wide range of decaf coffee on their website. Check it out and recreate your own MCDonald’s drinks at home.


How much does McDonald's coffee cost?

A small McDonald's coffee costs $2 or less. You can find them on their Dollar Menu.

What is the difference between light cream and light whipped cream?

The difference between light cream and light whipped cream is that, while the former is made with whole milk and cream, the latter uses nonfat milk and cream.

Does McDonald's use different coffees for their espresso and iced coffee drinks?

Yes, McDonald's uses a darker roast blend for their espresso drinks and a medium roast blend for their hot and iced coffee drinks.

Check out Lifeboost Coffee Cold Brew Grind.


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