The Chick-fil-A employee told me that they'd recently switched to better beans and that people were ordering it much more. Immediately I was blown away. This was a very good cup of coffee. There was sweetness, acidity, a nice tang, and plenty of honey. There were big lemony notes that don't take a coffee PhD to enjoy, and a nice earthiness that keeps this in the wheelhouse of the average drive-thru drinker. It turned a bit acrid as it cooled, but if I walked into a random coffee shop I would be completely satisfied with this cup.
I hadn't looked into Chick's coffee before my visit, but it turns out that they've made a big investment in specialty-grade coffee and built out a separate website designed to introduce the concept to their customers, complete with profiles on their farmers and a series of coffee-for-dummies videos starring some of the most charismatic "random people off the street" ever. It's great to see a big company actually aiming for quality and making a serious play at selling their customers on it, but the coffee is so good you don't need to swallow the marketing to enjoy it. Drive-thru or not, this is just good coffee.
The beans: "With creamy notes of caramel and cocoa with a light citrus finish, Chick‑fil‑A coffee is uniquely crafted to pair with our breakfast menu and is sustainably sourced by THRIVE Farmers, a farmer-direct coffee company that enriches the lives and communities of those who grow it."
The price: $1.95
Dan Gentile is a staff writer on Thrillist's National Food and Drink team. He has complicated feelings about Chick-fil-A's politics, but not about their chicken sandwiches or their coffee (he has lustful feelings for both). Follow him to nuggets of guilt at @Dannosphere.