Slate recently did an unscientific review of the mass-market cups of coffee and missed the mark by crowning Dunkin' Donuts their champion. I realize they were going for a broad, nationally appealing contest, but Dunkin's kind of a regional player compared to McDonalds and Starbucks, so why not consider Wawa too? They're not so small-time, selling 195 million cups of coffee each year. Perhaps Slate is too highbrow for gas station coffee?
Which is sad, because Wawa is doing something so right with gas station coffe at the in-store coffee hot-pot kiosk they refer to as Coffeetopia. Coming from the West Coast I had little previous experience with Wawa, but was first drawn in by the no-fee ATMs they sport, which are also really awesome considering my bank's ATMs don't line the freeways of the Mid-Atlantic region.
Like any naive, recent arrival on the East Coast, I was on a dangerous Dunkin' Donuts bender which bore the mark of nacent, longterm addiction as the daily injection of blistering-hot, coffee-scented syrup yielded quickly diminishing returns. A little used to do it, as they say, plus there was the growing donut side-effect. I needed an intervention of variety without the expense of Starbucks.
So I gave Wawa a shot and have been pleased by this discovery of the true nexus of cost, quality and variety in coffee. Just this morning, I enjoyed a cup of 100% Colombian Supremo with a splash of Irish Cream non-dairy creamer and was instantly transported to misty, old Dublin. Who knows where this adventure will lead next?