Here’s Exactly Why McDonald’s Coca-Cola Tastes Better

Have you ever sipped an ice-cold Coca-Cola from McDonald’s and instantly involuntarily closed your eyes and exclaimed “Mmm!” You might have even thrown out a “Damnnnnn!” We’ve been there. And if you’ve ever wondered why Coca-Cola from other fast food restaurants just can’t elicit the same reaction well, there is a reason behind it.

It’s because McDonald’s does things a bit differently than the other chain restaurants. Tweaks that help to deliver the best flavor experience possible.

According to McDonald’s, there are three game-changing tweaks:

  1. Pre-chilling the Coca-Cola syrup before it enters the fountain dispenser.
  2. Setting the ratio of syrup to carbonated water to pre-adjust for ice melt (making sure your final product isn’t overly watered down),
  3. Chilling the filtered water that comes from the fountain dispenser, which makes the drinks colder than a typical machine (thus tricking your brain into thinking what you’re tasting is more refreshing while also slowing ice melt.)

McDonald’s also notes that its straw is a tiny bit wider than the competition — allowing the soda to hit your taste buds a certain way (more broadly). This may or may not be true but the logic holds to some degree. There is a connection between how you taste things and how they hit your tongue — it’s why wine and spirit tasters sip a pour a certain way and it’s why drinking a milkshake through a straw is more satisfying than eating a spoonful.

For a fast food restaurant with middling burgers, it’s impressive that McDonald’s goes to such lengths to ensure an amazing drinking experience — especially considering this is fast food, an industry that is built on cutting corners. Never change McDonald’s, we can’t get enough of that fountain Coke! (Though, to be fair, a super chilled can is probably still better.)