TA Travel Center Truck Stop Gas Station Coffee Review

TA coffee cup from the gas station
I purchased an enjoyed a small, black Columbian 100% house blend coffee.

by Lars H

I recently saw a TA truck stop on I-35 when I was driving from Denton to Dallas, so I stopped in to check out the coffee situation. Here’s what I found.

TA travel center Bunn coffee machines

TA uses Bunn commercial coffee machines, as well as a Bunn grinder where they grind the beans just before brewing. Grinding just before you brew gives you a fresher, better tasting coffee because ground coffee can lose its flavor pretty quickly. This was a good sign!

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I Tried Grinds (Gr1nds) Coffee Pouches – Review

4 cans of Grinds coffee pouches
Grinds coffee pouches in double mocha, caramel, wintergreen and vanilla.

by Lars H

I recently discovered that there’s a product called Grinds Coffee Pouches that is a nicotine free, tobacco free “chewing tobacco alternative” product that some people use to wean themselves away from smokeless tobacco, and others use because they want a caffeine kick but don’t want to deal with drinking a cup of coffee.

It seemed so weird to me that I instantly ordered a variety pack of the most popular four flavors on Amazon. I’ve never been a fan of chewing tobacco or dip because when I was a kid I always heard stories about some kid trying it for the first time and accidentally swallowing the juice and throwing up.

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Can you use dark roast in a super-automatic espresso machine?

QUESTION: Can you use dark roast in a super-automatic espresso machine? Most of the bags I see that are called espresso roast are very dark, but I heard that you don’t want oily beans to go through a super automatic. What’s the deal with that? – Alice K

CLEARLY COFFEE REPLIES: Do not use dark roast in your superautomatic espresso machine if the beans are oily, period. They will gum up and ruin your machine, requiring you to send it in for an expensive service. (Also, never ever use flavored beans because that flavor will ruin the taste of all future coffee beans!)

If you don’t want to believe me, then here it is straight from the instruction manual of my GE Profile Superautomatic espresso machine.

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Black Rifle Coffee Shop near I-75 Central Expressway Review

Black Rifle coffee company shop

I was recently driving south from Plano on I-75 Central Expressway when I noticed a Black Rifle Coffee shop just off the side of the highway in a small shopping center. I exited and circled back to check it out. I had heard of the coffee brand, but didn’t realize that they also had actual coffee shops.

Black Rifle Coffee Company was founded around 2014, but has grown and since gone public so you can even buy their stock. I had no idea they were that big!

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Scooter’s Coffee Drive Through Review

Scooter's Drive Through Coffee Shop on W Parker in Plano
Scooters Coffee drive through location on W Parker

by Lars H

I was driving through Plano on W Parker Road last weekend when I saw a drive through coffee shop I’d never seen before called Scooter’s Coffee. I guess you can tell I don’t spend a lot of time in Plano (I’m from nearby Dallas), because I quickly also noticed that their sign says the company was established way back in 1998!

The Scooter’s Coffee location I visited was drive through only. There was no seating area at all, and no walk up window, unlike some drive thru chains like Dutch Bros. or 151 Coffee, which are within 5 or 10 miles from this location.

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PJ’s Coffee Shop in Dallas, Reviewed

North Dallas PJ's Coffee Store, with a drive thru

by Lars H

Recently I was up in north Dallas for an appointment, and after I finished, I did a quick Google map search to see if there were any nearby coffee shops I had not yet tried. That’s when PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans popped up on the map, just a couple of miles away from where I was.

I’d never heard of PJ’s Coffee before, and learned it was a franchise that was founded in New Orleans in 1978.

When I arrived, it appeared to heavily promote its drive through window, suggesting that it gets a lot of regular customers who are on their way to work or just on the go. I parked and walked inside, where there were several customers drinking coffee and sitting at the various tables.

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Does 7-11 have decaf coffee?

Bunn commercial coffee machine dispensing 7-11 decaffeinated, medium roast coffee

QUESTION: Does 7-11 have decaf coffee? There’s one on the way home from work and sometimes I like to drink a decaf in the afternoons instead of regular coffee. – Will G

CLEARLY COFFEE REPLIES: Yes, 7-11 serves fresh decaf coffee at most locations! I drove to one near me to check the situation out and bought one to taste it.

One thing that I noticed is that the grind and brew machine did not have a decaf option. However, they did have it in the regular Bunn commercial machines. I grabbed one at about 10 a.m. and it was hot and fresh.

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