Coffee doesn't taste like coffee anymore.

DML

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Coffee just doesn't smell and taste the way it used to. What happened? My mother used to make coffee in a perculator. :shock: The whole house was filled with that wonderful aroma of fresh coffee. I don't remember the brand, but it was probably Maxwell House, Yuban or MJB. I tried all of them lately and they are tasteless.

For the last several years, I have been grinding my bean in a hand mill. I kind of settled on 8 O'Clock Colombian. It's not bad, but something is missing. A few years ago I bought some moka-java that was really good. When I bought the same brand again, it wasn't the same.

Sometimes McDonalds coffee is really good, but most of the time it's just like everyone else's, just hot brown water.

The closest I can come to describing the taste I looking for is good coffee flavored ice cream or hard candies. I'm not looking for a hint of strawberry or caramel, just good cup of joe.

Thanks in advance for your suggestions.
 
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DML

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That's not it. I tried that. The coffee itself is different. When you open a can or bag it just doesn't smell like coffee anymore.

I live in a small town in northern AZ. The health food store sells mostly Mexican and Central American organic coffee. They had some from Peru on sale. I decided to try it because it looked to be the least burnt looking. It's actually pretty good, but it still doesn't smell like coffee.

Maybe what I'm looking for doesn't exist anymore.

I have a friend who owns a B&B. He buys Starbucks in bulk at Costco. I asked how he can serve that crap. He told me that it's what people have become used to. That's probably true. I'm 65. I imagine that most people living today have never tasted the kind of coffee I remember.
 

equus007

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also

javahill is partly correct. The other thing you are missing is Robusto beans. Back inthe day most coffee served/sold in the US was Robusto as opposed to Arabica.
Personally I think you may be ignoring the fact that kids have much finer senses than adults do and to try and recapture that is futile but going with another type of bean may get you closer.
Not sure who(or who would for that matter)sells Robusto beans anymore. Try Old Gold if it is still around or a Vietnamese bean.
 
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DML

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You are probably right. The only thing that I wonder about is that occasionally, I do taste coffee like it used to be. There was a restaurant in town that had really good coffee, but they went out of business and I never found out what it was. And, as I said before, sometimes McDonald's has good coffee. Not always but sometimes.

Thanks for your input. Maybe I'm just chasing things of my youth like clean air, clean water and cheap gasoline. :wink:
 
Two other things that might have contributed to the taste of coffee at your mothers... the water and any residue inside the percolator. Those were often made with stainless exteriors and aluminum interiors. That was back in the day before they figured there might be a link between alzheimers and aluminum cookware.

As far as McD - they recently changed the coffee nationwide. They are using 5 roasters to cover their needs. S&D in the southeast. Seattle's Best in the northwest. Newman's Own Organics in the Northeast. I don't know who is covering the rest of the country. The only branded one is Newman's - the rest all are called whatever Mickey D is calling their coffee.
 
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DML

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I would agree with you, but coffee tasted pretty much the same everywhere. The coffee at a friends house tasted and smelled about the same as it did in most coffee shops. I was in the USAF in the '60s and the coffee was mostly pretty good. Who knows what was in it?

I use a drip coffee maker I got from Gavalia. I didn't care much for the coffee, but the maker works well. I use RO water most of the time. Our well water has arsenic in it. Not a lot, but I prefer not to drink it very often. When we first moved here, I did use the tap water and it didn't seem to make much difference in the taste.

Something just occured to me..... those Starbucks bottled coffee drinks taste a lot like what I remember and much better then the coffee served in their shops. I wonder what they use? (Of course, if you use enough sugar and cream, just about anything tastes good)
 

equus007

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starbucks

lets just say Starbucks uses a melange of different coffees in their bottled drinks. It is partly Nicaraguan I know because they used to buy from a plantation I worked for. They extract it in a toddy like process that is more akin to the extraction of cola for soft drinks.
USAF used the same as the Army I believe...maxwell house but even they are different now.
 

ourcoffeebarn

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Try some fresh roasted beans from an online vendor. A vacuum brewed coffee may give you what your looking for too. In general coffee is higher quality now than years ago. If you are from the south chikory may have been added to your mothers coffee too.
 
The coffee of our grandparents is not better. It was cheaper, lower grade coffee - and more distintive.

Going back what must be 40 years, I remember the coffee smell in my grandmother's kitchen. It is something I don't smell in coffee these days.

I've been in the coffee business almost a decade and I'd like to believe I know what good coffee is as we define it today. But you know, nobody has been able to put gramma's kitchen in a bag or even in a coffee bar. My gramma didn't have an espresso machine or a French press, but there was something about that coffee experience that was great.

That is the thing - it is a coffee experience, not just coffee. Coffee I had in Budapest or on Capri is in part about the place. When you can recreate your grandmother's kitchen you'll have a better chance of recreating the coffee.

This isn't just sentimantel crap. There is an increasing amount of research done by hooking people's brains up to scanners that proves the anticipation and the environment change they physical experience of taste.
 

coffeesage

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Hello

I'm Audrey and this being my first post, I thought I would say hello.

Coffee does not seem to be the same as it was when I was growing up and could smell the brew my mom had going.

She ALWAYS used Cain's coffee and though it is not a brand that I would favor, the aroma and flavor brings a thought of a happier day.

Today, coffee that I drink is much different and my mom loved coffee. Drank it as I do, all day, every day but I doubt she would have really been 'into' all the roasts/flavors/blends that I am into now.
 

jrnysend

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Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away . . .

Thank you Paul McC. My mom used nothing but Maxwell House in her perc pot and only used a perc pot. Her coffee was exceptional. I cannot copy it today. Maybe it's the lack of Mom or maybe I've tasted so many different coffees in the last 40+ yrs, my budds have moved on. Or maybe I just can't remember. I know she never cleaned her pot with anything except water and it was well water without any filtration nor adjustment. Kinda like a glass of silt. And yes, you could see stuff floating in it. All I remember is it made a major cup that I'd pay a pretty buck for now. I use nothing but spring water, roast, grind and brew my own and sometimes is great and sometimes is close and sometimes it's not. It's never the same nor is anyone elses I know. It's made by us humans and that's as clear as I can be. Then again, they don't make much of anything like they use to. I still think it's the lack of Mom. Moms know best.

Live well --
 
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DML

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I was at the local heath food store today and was looking at their selection of coffees. The thing I noticed right away was that all the coffee is from central America and Mexico. They do not have anything from Africa or any of the island countries. I wonder if that has anything to do with the taste and aroma?

I remember trying some Kenya AA a long time ago and it was pretty good. One of the guys at work says that he roasts some kind of coffee from Sumatra. He is going to bring me some to try.

There is a COFFEE BEAN & TEA LEAF about 25 miles from where I live. I'll have to see what they have. (HMMMM. I get 20 MPG @ $2.62 per gallon. That's about $6 round trip. It's cheaper to mail order it.)
 

Jackson

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If you drive to coffee bean and tea leaf, you might be able to smell the different coffee beans before you buy. You may not find the same coffee you remember from years ago, but you may be introduced to a new and better bean.
If you only drink one or two cups a day, the Kenya and Sumatra are both very good coffees. Both coffees are very unique, and make very good "after dinner" coffees. If you like to drink more than two cups in a sitting, I might recommend a lighter coffee. When I'm really in the mood to drink coffee, (this is usually on days that end in "y"), I like to drink Guatemalan Antigua or a nice southern Mexico bean.
My favorite bean in the world is India Mysore Golden Nuggets. This bean is difficult to find right now for some weird reason. Anyway, my last suggestion for a good coffee bean would be Costa Rican Terrazu. I can drink a whole pot of Terrazu before breakfast. I hope you make the drive, it will be worth it!
 
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