No Joke: Wawa Is Serving Fancy Coffee Now

And yes, it's included in their $1 any size coffee deal.

Photo by Sydney Kerelo

Coffee-conscious Philadelphians have their pick of single-origin pour-overs, locally roasted fair trade blends, and creamy draft lattes when they want to catch a buzz.

But the newest player looking to compete with the likes of La Colombe and Rival Bros. for coffee snob market share is also the city’s most ubiquitous.

That’s right: Wawa is now selling specialty coffee.

Amid the convenience store chain’s classic brown pots of French vanilla and hazelnut, you may have seen a sexy black urn labeled with gold lettering marked “100% Kenya AA,” a top-rated, high-elevation variety. Food & Wine reports that it’s part of the iconic chain’s Wawa Reserve line, its first foray into specialty coffee.

Wawa’s website calls the Reserve line “a sophisticated coffee experience,” made from beans that meet the Specialty Coffee Association’s regional grading standards (only 3% of the world’s coffee is graded high enough to be considered “specialty,” the site’s copy reminds us). And, they continue, Wawa Reserve coffees are roasted in small batches, which “carefully guides each green bean to its best roast.”

In fact, Wawa thinks their Reserve line is so good that they recommend drinking it black (!) “to best appreciate the specific nuance and character of each Wawa Reserve variety.”

And before you say it, yes, we got scooped on a Wawa coffee story by a national publication. We were too busy programming the temperature on our gooseneck electric kettles and tasting for notes of leather and blueberries in our small-batch, individually brewed cups to notice.