Live and Learn: Make mine a McDouble

Luis Bahena

When did this trend occur where coffee was considered a dessert and no longer a morning pick me up? Where coffee beverages consist of more sugar than caffeine? What happened to coffee?

Starbucks did! At least that’s who I blame.

With Starbucks coffee shops being almost everywhere, it’s no surprise that more and more people are making the coffee giant their stop for their caffeine fix.

Sure, not everyone gets the same coffee beverage when it comes to getting their morning java. It’s hard to pass on the delicious tasting frappuccinos however.

Especially in these last couple of weeks, where the heat has spiked to a high 85 degrees.

As delicious as it might seem, the Starbucks coffee frappuccino is probably not the healthiest coffee beverage option.

In fact, back in 2005 when I was drinking a Venti coffee frappuccino almost twice a week, I managed to gain 15 pounds in a period of over two months.

Sure, there might have been other contributors like the lack of exercise, but for some reason it didn’t register that the frappuccinos were causing me to gain weight.

Looking closely at the famous coffee beverage, it packs 340 calories and 57 grams of sugar, according to

And that’s just the beverage alone, I personally like adding hazelnut syrup to my drink, which I believe adds another 100 calories.

Finally, add the whipped cream, which most of the frappuccinos come with, and you’re basically slurping down what can be considered a healthy calorie lunch.

Not to mention that these beverages are often paired with a lunch, that’s adding about 500 calories to whatever meal someone might be eating. Talk about a big lunch.

However, Starbucks is not the only giant competing for the coffee drinking clientele. The fast food giant McDonalds began competing with Starbucks when it introduced its iced coffees earlier in the year.

And now it has introduced a whole new coffee concept, McCaffe, where iced coffees, lattes, mochas and cappuccinos are being offered.

I have to admit, that I am a coffee drinker, and as much as I’m not a fan of McDonalds, their iced coffees are pretty good.

My personal favorite, Hazelnut iced coffee, medium, which is almost the equivalent of a Starbucks Venti, carries 190 calories and 29 grams of sugar according to

The cream that they use to cream up the iced coffee’s is a light cream, the syrup can be asked for sugar free, which brings the calorie content down, but all and all, it’s a pretty good deal for the price.

The Hazelnut iced Coffee cost around $2, plus tax. A Venti Hazelnut Coffee Frappucino can go anywhere from $3.50 to $4.

For someone who’s usually on the go, the convenience of drive through coffee is highly appreciated. Especially when the calorie content is lower than my breakfast and the price is decent.

I think I’ll pass on Starbucks’ sugary coffee beverage and stick to McDonalds’ iced coffee.