I recently stopped at a Love’s Travel Stop gas station in Hillsboro, Texas off of Interstate 35 to try the coffee there.
I was pleased to learn that Love’s has installed the same high end Swiss bean to cup commercial coffee machines as Racetrac and Circle K. The Shaerer Coffee Art C machine lets a station load multiple different coffee bean options at the top, and then it makes an individual, freshly ground and brewed cup of coffee each time you use it. You use the touch screen on the front of the machine, which is very straightforward and easy and walks you through your options.
Just because Racetrac, Circle K and Love’s use the same high quality Swiss coffee machine does not mean that their coffee is the same at all! It only means that you’re definitely going to get a well made cup with these machines that grind the coffee correctly and brew at the correct temperature, etc.
At the Love’s Travel Stop gas station I visited, there were three different options. House mild, Decaf smooth and Columbian balanced. I picked the Columbian balanced coffee, and drank it black. The coffee was high quality, with a good temperature, a little bit of crema on top. It was strong and not too bitter to drink black.
For customers who don’t want to operate the grind and brew machine (which I recommend!), there was also the option of gas station employee brewed coffee from a Curtis commercial machine. You just fill your cup from the spigot.
The problem I have with coffee from a tank like that is that you don’t know how fresh it is. Did the employees make it 10 minutes ago or 10 hours ago?
However, I should point out that Love’s is specifically using the Curtis commercial coffee maker with Intellifresh. What that means is that the machine itself keeps track of how old the coffee is and sends a notification to the gas station employees when it is time for a new batch to be brewed. So if the employees are paying attention to the machine and following up when they get the notification, the coffee should be fine. I did not try any from the Curtis machine on this trip.
Overall, if you’re looking for coffee from a gas station, you are safe at Love’s Travel Stop and will be able to find high quality coffee.