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Thread: Best Supermarket Coffee Brand??
- 09-29-2004 04:27 PM #1
Best Supermarket Coffee Brand??
What do you feel is the best brand/blend of coffee found on most supermarket shelves?
- 09-29-2004 07:34 PM #2
- 09-29-2004 07:45 PM #3
It all depends what you mean by the best coffee. In blind taste tests Maxwell House whups Starbuck's butt almost every time. In branded taste tests, Starbucks always wins.
If you want the brand that makes you feel like you "made it" go with Starbucks. If you want coffee that tastes the best, take a swing over to coffee review and look for the best tasting coffees in your flavor preference (light roast, dark roast, espresso, organic, etc.).
Peets is gaining national distribution and they have made dark roasts an art form. Buck's County in PA has some great coffees as do other roasters. Green Mountain has some great coffees and they roast for Newman's Own Organics. One of the Newman's Own coffees just got rated best among several coffees tasted in Eating Well magazine.
One of the challenges Starbucks has with quality is their size. I remember a few years ago McDonalds considered putting shrimp on their menu. They found out that there are not enough shrimp in the world to meet their need. Starbucks has some great coffee, especially in the Black Apron line just launched, but it seems that quality is slipping in their more broadly distributed coffees.
In general, though, Starbucks buys great beans. I tend to find fault with how they roast them more than with the beans themselves. I like to drink coffee for the coffee taste. Like great cuts of meat, who has them cooked well done? Roasting, especially charring the coffee, overwhelms the taste of the bean. Perhaps that is why Starbucks sells more milk by volume than coffee.
Don't get me wrong - I love what Starbucks has done for the industry. I just don't enjoy drinking their products. And even though I speak 8 languages, I prefer to order coffee in English. I mean, where else does tall mean small? Clearly some tall minded marketing monkey cooked that one up. Maybe they are trying to create a new language - Starbonics.Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water. ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674
- 10-01-2004 12:07 PM #4
You just can't get great coffee in the grocery store. Some of that stuff, if it's bagged, can be over six months old! Some of the binned stuff can be just as old.
If you're into good coffee, find a good local retailer and give them your business... you're more likely to go away happy. At our shop we never let a bean leave the store that is more than ten days out of the roaster!
- 10-01-2004 06:08 PM #5
Anyone who tells you there is only one way to do something is a. selling you something b. looking for a second term in the White House c. just lacks imagination. d. some of the Above. e. all of the Above. f. none of the Above.
Oxygen is the cause of stale coffee. If you can keep the coffee in an oxygen free environment, you can keep the coffee fresh up to 3 months before a skilled taster can notice the difference and 6 months before an ordinary palate can taste the difference.
After roasting you put the coffee in nitrogen flushed bins while they degass and then put the whole beans into packages with a one way value to enable degassing to continue and high package integrity (no leaks) then you can get fresh coffee in a supermarket. Not many companies go to this trouble, but some do. So the observation that there is a lot of old coffee in supermarkets is true. But it is not universally true.
If you have a neighborhood roaster, changes are they do not have the technology to degass in nitrogen flushed bins or the packagers and film to keep coffee fresh. They have little choice but to sell coffee shortly after it is roasted to keep it fresh. They also probably do not have the space to hold more than 10 days of inventory.
There is more than one path to great coffee. Not everyone choses one of them. But there are more than one.Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water. ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674
- 10-03-2004 02:17 AM #6
As far as pre-ground goes Maxwell House is by far the best. As far as whole bean all I have access too is Millstone. Which if bought whole bean and then ground just before brewing is slightly better than pre-ground coffee. All in all the only way to get good coffee in the cup is to buy freshly roasted coffee and consume it before it can go stale. That's why I am going to start home roasting. I am not satisfied with the mass market coffees. Too many corporations have been taking advantage of the American coffee ignorance, an ignorance I once had! However thanks to forums like these and other internet resources many Americans (like me) are discovering all the wonderful things that coffee can contribute to our lives. Not to mention our taste buds!
- 10-03-2004 07:58 AM #7
My family is from Knoxville, TN which has a local food production company called "JFG". They make peanut butter, mayonaise, jelly.... all kinds of stuff. They also make coffee and my parents and siblings are sold on it! Everyone they serve it to switches over to JFG as well.
I don't drink regular coffee, just espresso, so to me...It's Weak! But, when I HAVE to drink coffee, that brand is pretty good.
In my opinion......Millstone S-U-C-K-S!
Sorry if I offended anyone!
- 10-05-2004 12:10 AM #8
Yeah, there's more than one way to do anything I suppose. But I could hardly call anything that's prestaled in a staling room gourmet.
My entire point is this: coffee that's produced in a huge factory and left to sit around for god knows how long is a different animal than something thats tended to by someone who has an intrinsic care for what they're producing, and an aim to do it as well as possible. Buy a fresh roasted bag of coffee and taste it, and then tuck it away in your cupboard, freezer, or whatever for six months and taste it again. Anyone could notice the difference, even my old aunt blabby and she's missing her entire bottom jaw and her tongue.
If you live in any moderately sized city in the US chances are there's a local independent roaster or roaster/retailer that's cranking that stuff out fresh and tasty... find em, and make pals.
- 10-05-2004 07:52 AM #9
That brings me to another question.........how do you find the local roasters? There's no listing in the yellow pages.......where are they and how do you find one?
- 10-05-2004 08:05 AM #10
Where you at?"Wine is for aging, not coffee."
Ken Hutchinson, Starsky and Hutch
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