In an agreement announced Tuesday by Miami-based Burger King Corp. and Seattle's Best Coffee, based in Seattle, about 7,250 Burger King units will offer premium quality freshly brewed coffee, available hot or iced, with the option of vanilla or mocha flavor and whipped topping. Burger King plans to launch a massive new coffee line in its attempt to revise its breakfast menu and boost its weak business. The restaurants are in the process of gradual expansion that will begin this summer, executives told The Associated Press on Tuesday.
The move is in line with rival McDonald's Corp. The agreement also adds a new aspect to the coffee war, since McDonald's coffee campaign is considered to target Starbucks. However, selling a good tasting cup of coffee, which often has a sizeable profit margin, is generally considered a key part of any successful breakfast effort, both in good times and in bad times. Five years ago, Burger King launched its BK Joe coffee brand, which will retire when Seattle's Best takes over.
Hottovy said the measure allows Burger King to sell a highly profitable product and try to win back customers. The best coffee in Seattle is really smooth, especially compared to McDonald's “Premium McCafe” blend. When taking the first sips of each chain's coffee, I find that McCafe coffee is smooth, bitter and a little watery, with no substantial flavor notes or earthy characteristics. The Burger King mix is naturally a little sweeter, slightly nutty and noticeably less bitter, and has a higher drinkability factor on its own.
I didn't choose any of the advertised “chocolate” notes, but on its own it seemed sharper and better tasting than the McDonald's mix. But while I wouldn't prefer the Smooth Roast to chains like Starbucks or even my favorite, Einstein's Brothers, the Smooth Roast Coffee from Burger King's Best Coffee is a real improvement over Burger King's Best Coffee's previous Java attempts. Seattle's Best has been in business since 1970 and sells its branded coffees in more than 50,000 establishments. Once again, I enjoyed Seattle Best Coffee more and felt that the mild, light flavor better complemented the cream than the McDonald's coffee, which still seemed watery and disappointing to me.
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