Brace yourself middle England: Waitrose's free coffee could be under threat

Lynsey Barber
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Shocking changes are coming to Waitrose free coffee scheme (Source: Getty)

Middle England's favourite supermarket risks causing a rift among its quinoa and kale loving shoppers.

Waitrose is no longer serving up a free coffee or classic cuppa tea to customers in some of its stores in the way they've been used to.

The roll back on the tempting offer which was first introduced in 2013 - and has since rocketed the supermarket into the coffee big leagues - is being tested out in eight stores across the country.

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Now, customers will have to make a purchase to land their freebie hot beverage.

So successful has the scheme been, that it now rivals coffee shops such as Starbucks and Costa in terms of the sheer volume of coffee it "sells". But, the new restriction is being added to the loyalty card holder benefit.

The latest move follows outrage last year when it introduced a similar policy for those grabbing the freebie in Waitrose cafes. The trial is taking place at branches in Mountsorrel Leicester and Billericay in Essex while stores in Bury St Edmunds, Clifton, Leigh-on-Sea, Norwich, Southend and Swaffham will also have the new rules starting this week, according to the Sun.

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"We are carrying out a trial in eight branches where we will be making a small change. We'll simply be asking myWaitrose members in these shops to make a purchase before collecting their free coffee at the checkout," the company said in a statement.

It told the newspaper it has not decided on how long the trial will last or whether it will be applied to other locations, likely leaving middle England waking up in a cold sweat over the future of the freebie.

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