If you’ve been able to take advantage of any of today’s wonderfully generous coffee specials at some of the nation’s and world’s biggest chains, you’re probably bouncing off the walls of your office/classroom/favorite strip club by now. You see, today is National Coffee Day, according to the people who keep track of made up holidays, and that has had major companies scrambling to create catchy ideas and nifty deals to lure us into their local stores so we’ll spend more money than we would have if they weren’t giving away coffee all day today. And even if coffee isn’t your drink of choice, you can at least get a free chuckle out of the social media team from Charmin, as they’re always here to remind us that very subtle poop jokes are funny.
If you weren’t aware that some of your favorite coffee spots and fast food joints have been giving out free java today, don’t worry – the fun’s not over yet. Sure, Starbucks ended its promotion of free samples of some fancy pants new brand at noon today, but Dunkin Donuts and Krispy Kreme are giving out free medium and small cups, respectively, all day. McDonald’s has been giving away coffee during breakfast for two weeks, so there’s a chance that you might be able to walk in at any time on any day and say, “I’m here for the free coffee,” and the youngster behind the counter will probably just give you the whole pot. If that doesn’t happen, though, McD’s is still trying to give away a month’s worth of McCafe coffee. At the same time, Tim Hortons has been giving away free $10 “Tim cards” on Twitter, because you just knew that Canada would find a way to be nicer about it.
If leaving your home isn’t your thing, because you either like to fire up the Keurig or can’t stand talking to other humans, Seattle’s Best is offering $2 off blends and K-Cups. Basically, there’s plenty of coffee still to be had today.
“But Burnsy, I can’t drink fast food or coffee joint brews without the advice and expertise of someone who frequents these places all the time,” you are undoubtedly thinking. That’s okay, friends, because I’ve had a few cups of coffee in my day, and I’m always quick to whip up a very scientific ranking when the situation calls for it. National Coffee Day is definitely one of those situations, because when you live this fast-paced blogger life, every day is National Coffee Day, am I right? Yes. Always. Now witness just how right I am in ranking the best fast food and chain coffee selections. (Feel free to argue in favor of your local joints, but time is money in the bean trade.)
10. Burger King
I can’t remember the last time that I’ve had breakfast at Burger King, which is odd because in all of my extensive and incredibly wise writings of fast food breakfast (I’ve only written one thing, I think, but play along, please…) I should have mentioned that the Croissanwhich and especially the tater crowns are sorely underrated. But one of the true measures of how good a fast food breakfast joint is will always be the coffee, and I can’t remember the last time someone was like, “Bro, let’s get some BK coffee to wash down this heart attack.”
Forgive the assault on your fine coffee sensibilities, but I’m a blue collar bean imbiber. Yeah, I’ll grab a Venti iced coffee from the ‘Bucks every now and then, but I’m not ashamed to admit that when I’m drinking it, I’m pretending it’s from another coffee joint. Sorry but I’m not sorry if that makes me a coffee sleaze in your judgmental eyes.
8. Dairy Queen
Not only is the java at the DQ not terrible, but a piping hot cup makes a hell of a counterpart to a nice Blizzard treat. And if you’re brave enough to really throw down on the coffee love, have a squirt of the coffee syrup added to your Blizzard and then thank me later. What’s that? I’m part of the problem in encouraging obesity and health problems in America? I’d defend myself to such an accusation if I wasn’t so out of breath from typing this.
Your moral compass might point away from Chik-Fil-A, but it’s almost impossible for me to ignore one of their breakfast biscuit sandwiches in the morning if I happen to be driving by my local CFA joint. What makes this brew so good for a typical slightly-better-than-average-crap fast food joint is that you get more coffee for your buck, and the ladies at my CFA don’t even have to be asked to throw two creamers in that bag. In fact, they might be gypsy mind readers.
6. Seattle’s Best
Seattle’s Best over Starbucks?!?! Have I gone mad? Ain’t no shame in my coffee ranking game, especially when I’m admittedly drinking some locally-brewed stuff while I type this. I should probably disclose that I haven’t had Seattle’s Best in over a year, so this might be one of those situations in which I’m remembering something as better than it actually is, but here’s a secret – *whispers* I don’t care, coffee is delicious!
5. Tie – McDonald’s and Taco Bell
You don’t even have to ask – yes, I am trying to further antagonize the fast food apocalypse by tying these incredible enemies. But the fact remains that when you are absolutely crunched for time, and you need to swing through a drive-thru and grab both a breakfast snack and a piping hot coffee to get your morning off to a C+ start, these are your best choices for convenience and ease. However, I’d always rather take a few more seconds and get the better breakfast sammich with great coffee…
4. Dunkin Donuts
A lot of my friends live and die by the Double D and I certainly don’t blame them, because the donuts are solid, the breakfast sammiches are outstanding and the coffee is pretty rad. So why isn’t it the best then? Because this isn’t about the food. It’s about the coffee, and I need the energy juice that both tastes great with little effort and gets the engine running.
Now, if this was a competition about coffee and breakfast sammiches (yes, this is how I say it and I am an adult) Panera would run away with it based on the asiago bagel with egg, sausage and cheese, in addition to the bucket-sized large iced coffee they serve up. Certainly, a whiter sentence I’ve never written (short of including the insignificant fact that I actually enjoy the new U2 album and think Kitchen Crashers is the best show on DIY) but I’m color blind when it comes to throwing a cup of the hot truth in your faces.
2. Krispy Kreme
The K-Squared over Dunkin Donuts? Are you out of your f*cking mind, Burnsy? YES. I AM. And you know what pushes Krispy Kreme ahead on this pointless list? The Ghostbusters donuts. Dunk one in your cup of coffee and then experience what it must have been like for the Stay Puft Marshmallow man to be blasted by the proton packs.
When it comes to coffee, simple is best. Nothing is simpler than those giant canisters filled with 7-11’s random flavors, and while I don’t want to lay controversy on top of the outrage that I know I’m already brewing up – word play – if I had to pick the best 7-11 flavor, it would definitely be the blueberry brew. Sometimes I like my gasoline to have a little something extra to it, but not so much that I can’t get that 3 PM stomach ache that reminds me that five cups was four cups too many.