The Knoxville News-Sentinel newspaper reports that Pilot Travel Centers is launching several new marketing campaigns in our new year, including not only a new Facebook fan page but an extension of the one suggested by the image included here. As News-Sentinel reporters put it, “The company’s fleet of 325 tanker trucks now display the message ‘Best Coffee on the Interstate’ on the back panel of their trailers, a nod to recent recognition from the readers of Truckers News magazine.”
My story about road coffee in the March 2008 edition of Truckers News, published with results of an attendant survey about drivers’ preferences, did indeed see Pilot ranking no. 1, well ahead of McDonalds, Dunkin’ Donuts and other major truckstop chains for the quality of its coffee. And, well, being something of a coffee freak myself (Overdrive and Truckers News staff in the Tuscaloosa, Ala., office can undoubtedly attest to this), I can say that Pilot’s Dark Roast variety is killing a major source of on-road coffee competition, as far as my palate is concerned. On a recent trip from my current Nashville home base to South Carolina to visit family, I stopped in at both the Pilot at exit 36 on I-81 in Greenville, Tenn., and at the Johnson City, Tenn., Starbucks off I-26. The comparison between the two was easy — the truckstop won hands down. On the way back, I stopped there for another cup, be assured.
Anybody got any other particular favorite coffee spots out there? Let us know.