Which Gas Station Coffee Sucks The Least?

Welcome to Ranked , our recurring column in which we take a long, hard look at oddly specific things pertaining to Dallas and tell you the order in which you should care about them.

As much as we love visiting local coffee shops for a hand-crafted cup of the magic bean, life sometimes intervenes and keeps us from indulging in the extra time it takes for the quality brew. It's times like these when the appeal of gas station coffee makes perfect sense. And, to be sure, that convenience is one of gas station coffee's most endearing qualities.

But there are other elements to consider beyond easy accessibility. Some gas stations, actually, offer more than just a standard cup o' on-the-go Joe.

To that end, we decided to take a look into the offerings of some gas station cafes — and then, of course, to rank those offerings. Here are our findings.

5. Exxon.
Props can be given to the temperature of the coffee here — it's nothing short of scolding — but the overall experience is underwhelming. The beans used taste burnt and over-roasted with no real measure of flavor. This might explain the over-abundance of creams and sugars available, as you'll most likely need a fair amount of both — unless you like flavor notes of charcoal in your coffee.

4. Shell.
The coffee here is good for people who prefer things a little on the stronger side. It has a cleaner taste that makes it a little more tolerable to take black — although, admittedly, it's a bit sludgy. That said, it's pretty much your standard cup of coffee, with nothing much to write home nor complain about.

3. RaceTrac.
The brews here are on the bolder side, while still maintaining a clean, fresh taste. There are small hints of burnt flavor at times, but not often enough to make it a big deal. Here is where you can actually pick up on other flavor notes — like chocolate — if only faintly.

2. QuikTrip.
The selection here contains more specialty brews than expected — including one from Papua New Guinea, even. The coffees are full-bodied, with clean profiles and noticeable flavor notes. There's a balance of brightness and boldness here, as well as a natural sweetness that makes the amount of cream and sugar options available seem arbitrary.

1. 7-Eleven.
7-Eleven pays a surprising amount of attention to its coffee selection these days. Not only do they have the most specialty coffees available, but there are also digital timers on each urn that let patrons know the amount of time between each brew. The coffee itself is pleasantly bright, full-bodied and the sweetest out of all of the gas station options we tried. Flavor notes actually stand out here, too, as hints of berry and cacao could be identified almost immediately. The mega-chain seems to understand the importance of taste over additives, as there are less creams and sweeteners to choose from, but still enough to satisfy customers who seek them.

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