This Magical Coffee Chain Outshines Starbucks

When I hit a Disney theme park early in the morning, the first thing on my mind is usually caffeine, specifically coffee. A frequenter of Walt Disney World, I know each of the parks on the property has a Starbucks inside, but that’s not where I head to get my Mickey Mouse-approved morning pick-me-up. Instead, I locate the closest Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Company, the official coffee of Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and Disney Cruise Line. 

I speak from experience: I’ve spent the last decade exploring and writing about Disney parks and one of my biggest pro tips is to skip that extremely long Starbucks line, because everyone knows a major win in any Disney venue is beating the lines. And guess what? The coffee at Joffrey’s actually tastes better than Starbucks and it has better treats. Allow me to explain.

Why Joffrey’s Coffee & Tea Beats Starbucks in the Disney Universe

What makes Joffrey’s so good? In addition to high-quality roasted, blended, and flavored coffees, they sell gigantic frosted donuts, plus breakfast pastries that are perfect fuel for a morning spent hitting the rides and attractions in any Disney theme park. And for the non-coffee fans in your gang, Joffrey’s also makes a mean iced tea.

They also make signature Disney-themed beverages you won’t find at Starbucks. From the Toy Story-themed Round ‘Em Up Latte served near Toy Story Land at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, to the Team Blue Frappe, created to celebrate the new Tron: Lightcycle Run attraction at Magic Kingdom Park, there’s always something distinctly Disney being offered up at a Joffrey’s kiosk. 

Joffrey’s also creates coffee blends for several Disney resort hotels and restaurants. Its Kona Blend, for example, is an exclusive blend created for Kona Café at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort, while the Riviera Resort Blend is served atop Disney’s Riviera Resort at Topolino’s Terrace. Another thing I love about Joffrey’s? You can order these blends to enjoy at home, along with other Disney blends like the Ariel-approved Part of Your World Blend and a blend created just for Walt Disney World Resort (which you’ll find in K-cup form if you stay in a Disney resort hotel).

How Joffrey’s Became Disney’s Official Coffee

How did Joffrey’s become the official coffee of Disney? Chris de Mezzo, chief operating officer and roastmaster at Joffrey’s, says it started with a phone call. 

“One day, sometime in the early `90s, I was roasting coffee and my wife was working with me when the phone rang,” says de Mezzo. “She answered the phone and came back to me and was very excited, telling me there was a gentleman from Disney on the phone. I thought she was either teasing me or joking around so I ignored her and went back to roasting coffee, but she grabbed my arm and said, ‘I am serious here, talk to him,’ and handed the phone to me.”

His wife wasn’t kidding, de Mezzo says. “Sure enough it was a person from Disney reaching out to us. He said he really enjoyed [our] coffee and would like to discuss the opportunity of perhaps serving it on property.”

The rest is history. Today, Joffrey’s operates kiosks throughout Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland, creates proprietary coffee blends for many Disney resorts and restaurants, is the official coffee of Disney Cruise Line, and more. 

“Our sole mission since day one has always been to provide our customers with the very best coffee experience they have ever had, and we are still roasting, blending, and flavoring our coffees the same way as when I started roasting for Joffrey’s 36 years ago,” says de Mezzo. “We are laser-focused on quality and service and spend considerable time investing in our associates to ensure they can deliver the quality and service our customers have come to expect from a cup of Joffrey’s coffee.”

“I have always told people if they don’t know about us to try their favorite coffee order at one of our locations,” he says. “I think they will be pleasantly surprised to find that we took their favorite caffeinated beverage up a notch.” And that’s a Disney-level achievement.