What kind of coffee does Chick-Fil-A use?
Chick-Fil-A’s standard coffee is a high end speciality coffee from an organization known as Thrive Farmers.
According to Chick-Fil-A, “The coffee THRIVE Farmers brews for Chick-fil-A is unique. It was specially developed to match the flavors on the restaurant’s breakfast menu. It’s also the first coffee in the quick-service restaurant industry to earn the distinction of “specialty grade,” a designation bestowed by the Specialty Coffee Association of America upon just 10 percent of the world’s coffee based on balance, body, taste and aroma.”
Chick-Fil-A says that after they switched to this coffee in 2014, they doubled their coffee sales a year later. In addition to regular coffee, Chick-fil-A serves iced coffee flavors which are made from a blend of cold brew coffee, milk, and simple syrup. The coffee is brewed overnight in small batches and then combined with milk and simple syrup. So as a coffee drinker I felt obliged to check it out.
I don’t usually eat breakfast at Chick-Fil-A, but was flying out of LAX airport recently and grabbed breakfast before my flight. It was a good opportunity to try out their coffee for the first time, so I ordered a cup and drank it black.
It was around 8:30 a.m. at the airport and the line was extremely long and slow at this airport Chick-Fil-A. I would assumed that the coffee would be relatively fresh, because you can see from my photo that the dispenser urn is not very big.
While in Los Angeles, there were only two places that opened up near my hotel before 7 a.m., and they were Dunkin and Starbucks. I ended up drinking Dunkin’ donuts original and Dunkin Guatemalan on consecutive days. I drank straight up black coffee and both proved to be a great cup of coffee. Dunkin, Chick fil-A and Starbucks all use 100% arabica coffee beans and as any coffee lover knows, arabica beans taste better with less bitterness.
So I am comparing my recent Chick-Fil-A to the coffees I had ordered the two previous days, and not to my home coffee setup with a high end automatic Krups coffee maker and my own regular beans. Which is probably a much fairer comparison.
Unfortunately, I did not really enjoy my Chick-Fil-A coffee flavor and ended up throwing it out and buying a different coffee elsewhere in the airport. Again I drank the coffee black, but on my informal taste test the coffee was overly strong as if there the ratio of coffee grounds to water was off. It tasted as if there was too much ground coffee and not enough water, and I’m not even sure that it tasted fresh. How long had it been sitting in that dispenser? Minutes? Hours? I don’t know.
I thought that it must have been just the coffee at that airport, but then I bought more Chick-Fil-A coffee at the regular Dallas store that I usually go to for lunch. Unfortunately, I found that it tasted the same as the airport coffee, which I consider to be bad. I find it surprising and disappointing, because I generally love Chick-Fil-A and wanted to say great things about their coffee too.
I don’t hate all fast-food restaurants coffee, by the way. To give you an idea, I think both McDonald’s and Dunkin’ coffees are perfectly good. Next time I will skip the line at Chick-Fil-A and get my cup of joe at one of the other fast food joints.
To any coffee fans, have you tried coffee from Chick-Fil-A? What do you think of it?