Holiday Coffee Challenge: Which would you pick in a blind taste test?

Your tastebuds may not like the expensive coffee

By Eryka Washington - Investigative Reporter

ORLANDO, Fla. - If you're a coffee drinker, chances are you have a favorite brand. But could you tell the difference if challenged?

[WEB EXTRA: Holiday Coffee Challenge]

Local 6 put the popular holiday drinks to the tastebud test.

Helene Run frowns as she taste cup labeled No. 3, "not so good, I don't like this one."

Meanwhile taste tester Chef Michael O'Brian enjoyed cup labeled No. 2, "minty nice."

Jatiana Boone tasted cup No. 3 and says,"That one is sugary."

On the menu:
Peppermint latte and caramel creme brulee from 3 different stores: Starbucks McDonalds and Wawa.

Local 6 hid the labels and poured them into carafes marked #1, #2 and #3... And took them to the streets of downtown Sanford.

My instructions in this unscientific test--- were simple.

Local 6 told testers, "I'm going to let you taste them and tell me which one you like best and then I'll tell you where they are from!"

Philip Toll didn't hesitate picking his favorite, "I think I would pick #3 it taste more like coffee, the first was more like hot chocolate than coffee."

Wilson Gordon said, "No. 2 was bland and No. 3 is a little too sweet."

Nancy Groves said she liked cup No. 2 the best.

The reveal took a few testers by surprise.

Like Lauren Courtney who couldn't believe her choice, "Number 3 is actually Wawa…ugh! Which one is McDonalds #1? Starbucks is #1! Really?"

Courtney says she's a Starbucks loyalist-- but chose Wawa as her favorite. and said she couldn't believe she didn't pick Starbucks.

Emmanual Cadet said he is a big fan of Wawa. he tasted all three and made his choice.

"I believe number one would be my choice," he said.

So Emmanual Cadet-- a usual Wawa customer-- chose Starbucks.

I asked Juanita Boone, out of the three which one did she like the best? Her response,

"Number 2" But she thought Starbucks was #2.

A few coffee connoisseurs were on point-- like O'Brian who owns the corner cafe in downtown Sanford. "I think this is McDonalds, it is! I love their coffee."

Helene Run also was spot on, "Oh no def No. 1 …No. 1 without a doubt. No. 1 is Starbucks…cha ching!"

Wilson Gordon asked What is it? "Starbucks, Starbucks, now wonder I liked it at $4 a cup…its almost $5, its 4.75."

Chef Michael says, "When you go to Starbucks... You're paying for the experience."
And he's right.

A venti or tall peppermint latte at Starbucks will cost $4.75. The same drink at McDonalds will is $3.19 and Wawa $2.99.

I asked Barbara Menke would you pay 475 for a cup of holiday coffee? Barbara says, "yep I would I love Starbucks."

While Nancy Groves says, "I wouldn't pay and I don't like Starbucks."

So what's the bottom line?

You may think you know what you have a favorite-- but for these folks-- a blind taste test proved they may want to try something new.

Once our testers realized the difference in price most agreed they would opt for the cheaper cup of coffee.

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