Don't get me wrong, I love great coffee. I appreciate the quest for it, the places you find it, how it smells as it is roasted, and the careful balance of flavors when prepared in delicate secultion. I used to consider myself a connoisseur of great coffee, and looked down my nose at anything else. There was only one problem:
I fucking love gas station coffee. There, I said it.
You might ask, "why?" And, while there may be a simple answer, the truth lies a bit below the surface.
Finding locally sourced, gourmet, whatever the hell special coffee is easy in Denver, as it is in many places. However, one is often limited to the local coffee house whose clientele aren’t often up and sipping cappuccinos at 4AM. Certainly the coffee house crowd isn’t typically demanding a five star latte as they prep for a 12 hour drive to the Grand Canyon, and you can bet your ass that cute little shop isn’t on your way out of town.
While there are always exceptions to the rule, particularly if you already live in an outdoor paradise and City on a Hill is your local joint. As for me, I’ve always found that gas stations are the best place to grab the cup of black gold before the sun comes up.
The thing is, gas station coffee is often the precursor to outdoor awesomeness. You wake up, stumble out of bed, it's 4:30 in the morning. By the grace of god you make it down the stairs without breaking an ankle, throw your pack in the back of your buddy's truck and hop in. And that when it starts.
You stop, fill your cup with some concoction of "hazelnut/vanilla/odd shade" roast and grab a donut that was likely made in the attendant's basement about a month ago. Now, chances are you've got to give it a minute in the car, because gas station coffee is usually served at about the same temperature that the core of our earth sits at. But then, all possibilities are open.
*I'm working on this a bit. I told myself I'd write and submit a short for the Dirtbag Diaries, and this is the first idea I've written anything on. So, this will likely expand and contract for a while.