November 6, 2010

Free Coffee, the Burger King version

Burger King and Seattle's Best Coffee sure seem like strange bedfellows.

A coffee I associate most with the cafes in Borders just doesn't seem to fit behind the counter of a fast food restaurant. The two brands mesh even less when you consider the fact that Seattle's Best is also served at Subway, a chain whose healthy food marketing doesn't exactly correspond with Burger King's ... heavy fare.

Regardless of whether it's a match made in heaven or an odd coupling, the King is trumpeting the partnership this month with free coffee Fridays. Never one to turn down a drink on the house, I picked up my 12 oz. cup on the way to work yesterday.

Calm down, lawyers. I moved the coffee from my dashboard to my cup holder before driving away.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I was a big fan of Burger King's old Cup of Joe. I wouldn't describe myself as miffed that it's gone, but I will miss it.

I should also tell you that Seattle's Best doesn't brew my favorite cup of coffee. The company was acquired by Starbucks a few years back, and its coffee has always struck me as Starbucks' lower-quality entry-level offering. It's not bad, it's just not great.

With that out of the way, I can say that my free coffee upped my opinion of Seattle's Best. The coffee starts out way too strong -- the first sip is a blast of bitterness and overpowering richness. It gets better as the coffee cools, which mutes the flavors a bit.  Roughly 10 minutes after serving time, everything settles into a pleasant balance of tastes.

Another thing that grew on me as I sipped was Burger King's coffee cup. When I was first served, the graphics simply did not work for me. The crisp lines of the Seattle's Best shield looked like they were about to be buried by a mudslide of flowing coffee and coffee beans. It appeared to be a very unhappy marriage.

The cup sat on my desk at work all day, and by the time I threw it out and headed home, it had grown on me. The tidal wave of coffee and that Seattle's Best logo must have gone to counseling at some point in the day, because I saw plenty of fun in their relationship. Time appears to be the salve that heals all graphical wounds.

At the end of the day, this wasn't my favorite coffee. In fact, I probably wouldn't pick it over Burger King's extinct Cup of Joe. Yet it was enjoyable, and the price was right. Three sporks out of five. I hope you pick up your own cup next Friday.


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  2. Anonymous10:16 PM

    Too bad there isn't a Burger King on my way in, I'd grab a cup, m'self ... Can you believe, Seattle's Best is the same stuff I put in the office coffeemaker every morning!