McDonald’s sustainable coffee experience in Chicago

Sponsored by McDonald’s

A few weeks ago, I got an email from McDonald’s telling me about their initiative to source 100% of their coffee sustainably by 2020. Being the coffee lover I am, and someone that has taken an interest in sustainability over the last year or so, I was curious on how such a global brand was taking steps to make this happen. A few days later, I was on a flight to Chicago where McDonald’s global headquarters is located to learn more and experience the McCafé Sustainable Coffee Journey they had going on where they brought a Colombian coffee farm to downtown Chicago. If you follow me on IG, you definitely saw it. If not, there are photos below :)


Before heading to the McDonald’s headquarters, my day started early with a swim at my hotel’s pool (built in 1929!!). I then met up with some friends that were there for the same project for breakfast before walking to “Hamburger University” to start the day. 


We started with an educational workshop where we tasted coffee and had a cupping session before grabbing lunch at their global restaurant and heading to the McCafé Sustainable Coffee Journey. 

The pop-up was a large dome that had a mini coffee farm inside it. Walking through it, you learned about coffee facts and talked to real coffee farmers about the process of producing coffee. I was actually shocked to learn that it takes 37 gallons of water to grow coffee beans and process them to make 1 cup of coffee?? That’s a ton of water!! Also, by 2050, half the land used to produce coffee will no longer be available?? Talk about a coffee crisis (which I NEVER want to happen). All in all, seeing such a global company take strides in sustainability and bringing awareness to sustainability issues is SO SO exciting and gives me hope for the future!

Caleb Thill