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Sydney McDonald’s Rude Awakening

Fuck McCafe.

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SYDNEY, Australia- I woke up in Sydney this morning and made my way to the McDonald’s down the street. I looked out at the translucent blue waves rolling up against Bondi Beach and thought about how nice it was going to be to sit over there sipping my morning coffee.

And then…




“I just want the normal, cheap McDonald’s coffee. Not your expensive McCafe shit.”

But I couldn’t get the normal, cheap McDonald’s drip coffee that has been served to coffee drinkers all over the world for generations because, here, it no longer exists. It’s either expensive McCafe shit or nothing.

I chose nothing.

Apparently, when McDonald’s noticed that nobody was going to their idiotic little McCafe booths — what moron is going to go to McDonald’s to get an overpriced cup of coffee when they could go to a real cafe for the same price? — they started depreciating their normal, cheap coffee in an attempt to force the customer into buying the more expensive alternative, essentially rolling the McCafe into the normal food ordering area.

Fuck that. I’m not going to spend US$4 for a cup of coffee — especially a McDonald’s coffee.

This makes me oddly sad; not because I didn’t get my coffee but because McDonald’s cheap drip coffee was like a global institution. The stuff really isn’t bad — actually, I like it better than Starbucks — and there is multiple generations of people who go to McDonald’s each morning just to get drink it. McDonald’s is the cafe of the working class, not the cafe of the cafe class.

I believe I’ve made this prediction before, but by 2027 McDonald’s effectively won’t exist. They don’t know who they are anymore.

Someday I will tell my young daughter:

“There used to be this place called McDonald’s that was everywhere all over the world that served these things called egg mcmuffins and had cheap $1 coffee that everybody drank every morning.”


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Filed under: Australia, Coffee, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3720 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

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