I’ll set the scene for you. It’s 6:30 on a blustery December night. You worked late and have to stop and get gas on the way home. You figure you’ll save groggy future-you a stop. The Quik Trip by your house has better prices, but the 7 -Eleven is on the way home so 7-Eleven it is. Convenience is good. The season’s taken its toll on you already. Presents and holiday parties and all those bells and whistles on top of your daily commute? Plus, I mean, the weather’s being chaotic. 30 degrees last night, 60 degrees tonight. It’s just about enough to put a damper on anyone’s Christmas spirit. You figure, fuck it, you’ll stop and grab something to drink at the gas station. Cheer yourself up. While staring at the Yoo-Hoo, and the Egg Nog you can’t bring yourself to drink in public, you spy a cheery winter scene perched atop the Bunn industrial coffee machine. Enter the 7-Eleven Gingerbread Latte, here to save your Christmas spirit and warm your bitter Grinchlike heart.
The gingerbread men are huddled around what to them must seem a goliath green cup of coffee, presumably for warmth. One has a scarf, but I can’t imagine it provides much relief from the chilling arctic winds that are so severe they’ve frozen the trees blue. Thankfully they have found some comfort and warmth in the form of the Gingerbread Latte. As did I.
The sign that hovers above them, presumably made from the less fortunate gingerbread man’s scarf, loudly proclaims that the coffee has a “sweet gingerbread flavor with coffee, balanced with hints of honey and molasses”. Honestly? That scarf is right. I don’t expect a lot from my gas station coffee, but this gas station coffee tastes like Christmas, damn it. They’re not lying to you.
As with all gas station coffee, this one was served way, way too damn hot. I didn’t pull out a thermometer because I was already getting weird unwelcoming looks from the Juggalo behind the counter for taking pictures, but I’m going to guess this bad boy was initially sitting around the 150 degrees. I let that incredibly green cup sit for a few minutes and when it had cooled down enough to be consumable by human beings, oh man did it sing. The gingerbread flavor is, as the sentient-advertising-scarf proclaims, front and center. That gingerbread note is the star of the show, and it’s a light, airy flavor that brings to mind soft gingerbread cookies, particularly the kind fresh out of a kindly grandmother’s oven.
Most flavored coffees, especially the kind you can buy somewhere you can also buy gummi worms and chewing tobacco, tends to be overpowering in its sweetness. That is thankfully not the case here. The gingerbread flavor, while prominent, is well accompanied by a rich, traditional coffee flavor, and just the right amounts of a rich molasses flavor and a subtle but earthy honey sweetness that perfectly temper this drink and make it well worth the like $2.00 you’ll be out grabbing a large.
One thing does hold true with gas station coffee here, though. It gets a little grainy during that last sip. The cup I had, at least, got pretty grainy to the point where if it wasn’t for the betterment of all mankind (the noble goal of all of my junk food reviews), I probably would have just tossed it and let maybe, zero point zero five ounces of coffee go to waste. I’d say that those couple drops of coffee being less than stellar is fine for the price and convenience here.
This was some good gas station coffee, y’all. So, if you find yourself needing an infusion of holiday cheer, might I suggest swinging by the ol’ 7-Eleven? Sure, it’s no Shark Week doughnut, but this was a great little pick me up after work and a thoroughly enjoyable way to experience Christmas in a cup on the cheap.