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Subject:  Re: Hot Coffee Date:  3/1/2013  7:35 PM
Author:  sissylue Number:  418761 of 507816

Okay, I'll bite. What was McDonald's motivation to serve coffee hotter than what people expected?


190-200 degrees is the temperature at which you get maximum extraction. Brewing at even a slightly lower temperature you have to use more coffee to get the same number of cups of coffee of equivalent strength. (I can't believe with the number of posts in this thread no one has pointed this out).

It is reasonable to expect coffee hot enough to leave a tender red sploch of a burn mark that might even blister off the top layer of skin if you are clumsy enough to dump your coffee onto your lap. It is not reasonable to expect coffee hot enough to burn down to the bone and put you in the hospital for 8 days which was how hot the McDonalds coffee was. This had nothing to do with making sure that the customer's coffee was "hot". It was the direct result of making more money by being able to use a smaller amount of coffee to brew x number of cups. Given that McDonalds sold millions of cups of coffee such practice actually added up to a nice chunk of change for McDonalds and the fact that they had burned customers in the past was simply not enough of a motivation for them to change their brewing practice because even with settling the other suits it was coming out ahead financially.

This lawsuit was a "hot" topic amongst lawyers in Houston at the time not because of the facts of the case - which were pretty cut and dried and rather obvious as to McDonald's liability but because of the impressive juggernaut of pr misinformation and spin that the company put out. And although the jury was not swayed, public opinion obviously was.
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