7-Eleven started it. Now Coles are trying to end it. The great service station coffee war.
7-Eleven have had their $1.00 self service regular size ground coffee for a while now. It's OK. Take your pick of expresso, flat white, cappuccino or latte. I've found the quality of the beans is a little inconsistent around town, but a half decent coffee when you are on the run for just $1.00, hey, you can't complain too much. 7-Eleven seemed to have the territory all to themselves.
The Coles-Express Shell service stations have commenced a counter attack blitzkrieg, aimed at ending 7-Eleven's dominance. The 80 cent cup of coffee. Yes, just 80 cents to have a freshly brewed coffee, "expertly blended by a 'World Barista' judge". There are two sizes, small and a regular for $1.50. Good for using your loose change. Just avoid the 30 minutes it takes every day to clean the machine.
And what is Coles' great rival Woolworths/Caltex doing during the war? They haven't matched Coles' inconveniently priced 80 cent coffee but have matched 7-Eleven's $1.00 brew with their 'I Love Woolworths Coffee'.
BP stores are being totally out flanked at this stage of the fighting. The store I visited wanted $3.70 for a regular coffee although it was made for you by a "trained barista" and uses "100% Fairtrade" coffee beans.
This war is largely about perceptions with some cunning propaganda and marketing spin. Coles' small cup is 250 ml compared to 275 ml for 7-Eleven's regular. But 80 cents is less than a $1.00. You be the judge.
If you're a coffee connoisseur or a believer in ethical free trade coffee then you're unlikely to enter the fray. The obvious winner of the coffee war will be the price sensitive, time poor coffee consumer.
But who do you think has the better brew and more importantly, who will win the great service station coffee war?