Grabbing a coffee on the go is as typical a morning ritual as brushing your teeth or making your bed. Whether this cup of joe is from your kitchen, the corner bodega, or a large chain like Starbucks, coffee helps many people start their day. If you are one of those people, McDonald’s offers a great option to get a caffeine fix while keeping your sugar intake down—McCafe’s iced coffee with sugar-free vanilla syrup. While not technically sugar-free, with only 1 to 2 grams of sugar, this refreshing beverage is a home run.
Around 2008, McDonald’s entered the beverage battle against Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts and began offering flavored iced coffees such as hazelnut, caramel, and vanilla. It was also a time when McDonald’s was moving toward healthier options, so a sugar-free vanilla flavor made perfect sense. It has about 10 percent of the sugar, 50 percent of the calories, and 40 percent of the carbohydrates compared to the regular version.
All of these benefits are in addition to McDonald’s sugar-free vanilla iced coffee being every bit as good as a regular iced coffee. This sucralose-sweetened French vanilla coffee has a light caramel color with smooth texture and consistency, and the coffee flavor is solid while the vanilla flavor is pleasantly strong with no artificial aftertaste. The sugar-free vanilla iced coffee should be on almost every McDonald's menu.
Pros and Cons
Besides the great taste and health benefits of this flavored coffee, the overall design and packaging are also spot on, making for a very enjoyable cold drink any time of the day. However, that's not to say that there aren't a few negatives.
There is an inconsistency in the preparation of McCafe's sugar-free iced vanilla coffee at different locations. There have been times that the coffee was burnt, or too much sweetener had been added, which drastically changed the flavor profile of the beverage. In addition, not all locations offer non-fat or skim milk and will use creamer instead, making for what should be a low-calorie drink a caloric start to your day.
As a result of all of this, ordering this flavored iced coffee can be hit or miss. But if you are able to get it as it was intended, the coffee is sure to satisfy.
As long as you add non-fat or skim milk to your sugar-free vanilla iced coffee, you can sip away pretty much guilt-free. However, if your location gives you creamer instead, you will double those calories, going from 60 to 120, so make sure to ask.
Per each 8-ounce cup, there are 80 calories, 41 calories from fat, 4.5 g total fat, 3 g saturated fat, 0 g polyunsaturated fat, 0 g monounsaturated fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium, 0 mg potassium, 9 g carbohydrates, 0 g dietary fiber, 1 g sugar, 1 g protein.