Tuesday, May 21, 2013

McCafe Orange Latte and Babychino (product information)

Image from McDonald's Japan. 

In the past 6 months or so, I bought 6 bottles of Torani syrup because doing so reduced the price by a fair margin. I was excited at the prospect of sampling a bunch of flavors at once, but the problem was that some of them were not worthy of my emotional energies. In particular, the coconut, which I had hoped to mix with the mango flavor and add to water for a refreshing tropical beverage, was less than inspiring. In fact, it really sucked.

At $4.00 a bottle, I was reluctant to simply dump it down the drain, so I tried to figure out other ways to consume it. The thing that worked was adding it to coffee. This didn't exactly make the coffee better, but it didn't really make it any worse. The coffee was strong enough that there was just a hint of coconut riding on the edge of the bitter waves. I'm down to about 1/6 of the bottle and wouldn't buy it again, but can't say that I hated using it as I have.

I think that coffee is a pretty forgiving beverage, but I would never really think about adding orange to it. In fact, citrus and coffee of any sort would seem to be a bad combination considering that one seems to alter the taste buds in a way that make the other taste funky in my experience. To each their own, but I wouldn't be trying to off-load my orange Torani in coffee (especially because the orange tasted fine mixed with water or my husband's drinks).

In addition to the orange latte, McCafe (which is the coffee arm of McDonald's) is offering something called a "babychino". As a way of introducing infants into coffee culture, they are selling steamed milk with sweet cocoa powder. The "babychino" is a mere 50 yen (about 50 cents), which is probably their way of pricing it as a "gateway drug". Later, they'll be able to hit the grown baby up for various coffee beverages in the $2.50-$3.50 (230-350 yen) range. 


Hirayuki said...

Don't necessarily write off coffee and orange! Back when coffeehouses got big around here, my favorite drink at our local independent cafe was a dark chocolate orange mocha. When it was made right, it was bliss, like a drinkable Terry's Chocolate Orange. (When it was made wrong--the shots added at the wrong time, most likely--the milk and whipped cream curdled and ruined the whole thing. Bleh.) I think the key in this flavor combo is actually orange + chocolate; the coffee gave a subtle boost to the chocolate like it does in, say, brownies.

Also, they serve "babychinos" in many coffeeshops in New Zealand (and other UK-tied countries?). They were mostly foam and sometimes even topped with sprinkles. It was a nice way to make the little ones feel more grown-up, and maybe even trick them into sitting still for longer than they might with a more mundane beverage.

Orchid64 said...

I haven't had a Terry's chocolate orange for years, but, back when I had more red than blonde hair (due to encroaching whiteness) and far fewer wrinkles, I loved those things. I think this absolutely would work if the chocolate was the essentially element and the coffee provided a flavor boost. I often put a little coffee in chocolate muffins, cakes, etc. to boost the flavor profile so I can see your point!

America has a lot of marketing toward kids, but we don't yet have "babychinos" (at least not in my area). I think we should keep that quiet as I don't want to give anyone any ideas. ;-) Actually, my guess is that parents groups would get all wadded in a knot if such a thing were released.

onemorehandbag said...

Interesting that they charge for the Babychino at all. I thought it was free everywhere (like it is in Europe, or at least where I live).

Carol said...

I went to the neighbours for coffee, years ago, and she had an orange coffee blend that was absolutely delicious. I've never tracked it down but I think it came from a Second Cup shop. I can only imagine how good it would be with a teaspoon of hot chocolate mixed in...mmmm.

Orchid64 said...

onemorehandbag: Nothing is free in Japan for the most part. I've been told that making things free puts people off, but I don't know if that is the case.

Carol: All of this talk about orange and coffee with chocolate has me wanting to do some experiments, but I first need to find some orange Torani syrup!

Carlyn Brody said...

I've never tried a coffee with orange flavor before. In Australia, we have babychinos too. Sometimes the babychinos are for free or at least less than five dollars.