Wednesday, November 7, 2007

The unsavory truth about Sonic coffee

I had an experience yesterday that still has me shaken a little bit. First, I drink a lot of coffee. Unless I'm outside doing something outside, I usually have a cup of coffee with me at all times. Usually, in the mornings, I'll stop somewhere and get some breakfast to eat on the way to Nashville. My favorite place to stop lately has been Sonic.

Yesterday, I pulled up to the order stand and order my usual:

Order Taker: Welcome to Sonic, may I take your order?
Donnie: I would like a breakfast burrito and a large coffee.
Order Taker: I'm sorry our coffee machine is not working right now.

Ok, at this point I went through a long thought process. Something like, hmmm grounds + water + heat, there's not a lot to go wrong there. What do I do? leave? McDonald's is close by. What else is there to drink? Finally, I had the bright idea

Donnie: Orange Juice, I'd like to have orange juice.

After a few minutes, they bring my order to me.

Donnie: You have an emergency call out to fix your coffee machine right?
Delivery Girl: No, what happened is that somebody forgot to thaw the coffee.
Donnie: ?!?!?!?!!?!?!?????!?!!!!!
Delivery Girl: It's a machine like they use in hospitals where the coffee comes in frozen blocks and you have to thaw it before you can put in the machine.
Donnie: yikes

Now, I'm not a coffee snob, at least I don't think I am. It doesn't have to cost $4 before I'll drink it, but I'm really struggling with the idea that its too much trouble to brew the coffee right there. I'm sure that there are lots of reasons to do something like this from a business perspective. But wow, that was a little bit of a shocker.

I know the local Sonic franchisee and he is a believer and a good man. But, I'm sure that decision is made by someone at the corporate office.


Amy said...

Oh my! Thanks for the info. Unbelievable. And I am a coffee snob unfortunately.

TARA said...

I wonder if this is why you can now get ICED coffee varieties at Sonic???

MuchoMama said...

That's somewhat strange. My husband is managing partner for Sonic Drive-Ins, and I remember his excitement over the new brand coffee they were going to market. I assure you, in Southern Illinois, they have true coffee grounds.

Sorry you had such a bad experience!!

victorclaar said...

Well, I don't know how they do it, but the quality of the drink itself at Sonic is always vastly superior to anything we brew up ourselves at work. And it's consistent: regardless of time of day, it is always delicious.

So perhaps ignorance is bliss in this case?

Anonymous said...

They could suck it out of the toilet for all I care. LOVE Sonic coffee- regardless of how it's brewed or not brewed. Haha

Justin Tanner said...

I think the grounds are frozen and then thawed at the local restaurant. They don't brew the coffee into a liquid form and then freeze it.

Justin Tanner said...

I think the grounds are frozen and then thawed at the local restaurant. They don't brew the coffee into a liquid form and then freeze it.

Janet said...

Sonic's coffee is the best!

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Anonymous said...

I'm drinking sonic coffee right now... it's pretty good! Some of us don't care if it was frozen. No different than using NesCafe'

Anonymous said...

Wow, what's with all the spam?
It's frozen beans, not a frozen liquid. I can see where you might have been confused. Don't you think your post deserves a different title now? It's not really that unsavory. I'm sure a lot of restaurants have to do something like this. I for one, could care less if it still tastes good, and in this case, it does.

Joey Ward said...

They have their coffee delivered. As in its basically made elsewhere. Like a secret recipe for the green mountain iced coffee. I love the stuff. Super glad it comes fresh frozen. Now I just want a big block at home