When you’re on the road, sometimes you need a pick-me-up. For many of us, that means coffee. But unless your commute takes you past a cute corner cafe or a drive-through Maccas, it can be hard to get your caffeine fix without taking a serious detour and trying to find a park on a busy street.
Luckily, more and more petrol stations are including fresh brewed coffee in their repertoire of convenience goods and services. While most petrol stations have a cold drinks fridge where you can find ready-made iced coffee, nothing beats a fresh hot brew. Some employ trained baristas, while others keep it cheap and convenient with self-serve machines. Either way, knowing exactly where your local servo-cafe combo is can help keep you and your car full of energy, to get you through a busy day.
Here is a review of popular service stations and their coffee offerings.
Selected Puma service stations include the brand’s own 7th Street cafe. Here, you can purchase barista-made coffee and fresh baguettes, salads, wraps and more. For extra convenience, some 7th Street cafes also offer seating areas with free Wi-Fi and phone recharging stations.
An increasingly large proportion of BP fuel stations include the company’s Wild Bean cafe, serving barista-brewed coffee, plus bakery items, toasties, sandwiches, and more. Wild Bean cafes are claimed to use 100% Fairtrade certified arabica and robusta beans.
Selected Caltex fuel stations include a Caltex Star Mart, where in addition to convenience items, drivers can grab fresh Caffé Aurora coffee and takeaway bakery snacks and meals. Caffé Aurora coffee is claimed to be made by trained baristas from 100% arabica beans.
Offering the cheapest cup of coffee of any service station in the country at just 80c (for a 200mL small), Coles Express servos make coffee quick and affordable with its self-serve machines. If you need extra caffeine, there is also a 350mL regular size available for $1.50. As Coles Express is increasingly focusing on providing convenient grocery products, you can also visit your local to stock up your coffee-making supplies.
The first to start the cheap self-serve coffee wars, 7 Eleven offers three different sizes at $1 (regular), $2 (large) and $3 (‘sup’). Recently, 7 Eleven has branched out with its new range of self-serve ice coffee, hot chocolates, and coffee melts made with Peters vanilla ice cream. For ice coffees and coffee melts, just grab a cup of ice or ice cream, peel back the lid, add your coffee and enjoy! ‘Hot Chockee’ cups are kept right next to the coffee machine ready for you to add steamed milk or hot water. All of these new treats are $2 each.
Some United Petroleum petrol stations include a Café Up, where self-serve coffee and fresh food (including sandwiches, pies, and hot dogs) are available to purchase. A few also have seating areas, so you can sit down and take a break.
Joining the cheap self-serve coffee trend, many Woolworths petrol stations offer $2 ‘I Love Woolworths Coffee’ as well as mochas, hot chocolates and tea. Alternatively, you could stock up on your own coffee-making supplies, with the co-branded Woolworths Caltex outlets usually packed with basic grocery items.
The servo-coffee trend
According to a Canstar Blue survey, 13% of Australians say they often visit a service station to buy something other than fuel. It’s now rare to find a service station that focuses primary on petrol – most outlets combine fuel services with convenience goods and services, such as ice, ATMs, gift cards, newspapers and magazines, and car maintenance products. What do you think service stations will start offering next?