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Date: 15 Sep 2006 18:30:58
From: Kruger Kid
Subject: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
--------------------------

Is Superket Coffee Worth Drinking?

We find only one we can (barely) recommend.

It wasn't too long ago that if you wanted a cup of coffee, you had two
choices: brew it yourself at home with a superket brand, or buy a
watery, tasteless cup at your local convenience store or diner. Today,
specialty coffees abound, with boutique shops in every town selling
''premium'' beans so that quality coffee can be had at home. But what
about those old stalwarts, the superket brands of coffee? Are they
dinosaurs of an era past or are any of them worth drinking? At just
one-quarter the price of premium beans and widely available, there's
no beating the cost or the convenience

After sampling eight brands of ground coffee from the superket
(including Starbucks, a supposedly premium brand that is now available
in superkets already ground), we can safely say no. The best anyone
could say about our ''winner'' was that it was the ''least offensive''
of the lot.

We brewed the coffees to same strength (1.6 grams of coffee per ounce
of water, the ratio recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association)
and in the same model of electric drip coffee maker. The coffees were
tasted plain--no sugar, no milk.

Only one coffee is recommended, and even that one received mostly
negative comments from tasters, though a few found it palatable. The
problem most of the tasters had with the coffees was the lack of
depth; the overriding flavor in almost all of the samples was
bitterness, with no floral, fruity, or chocolatey flavors that you
would find in a good coffee. Chock Full o' Nuts (which also performed
well in our tasting of French roast coffees in the May/June 2002
issue) was less the most liked of the brands than the least hated of
them. As for the rest of the pack--well, let's just say that no one
even wanted to save the leftovers for iced coffee.

So is this just a case of money buying quality? Will the $12/pound
coffee you buy at the coffee shop always be better than the coffee you
buy in the superket? Well, yes and no. Starbucks, a premium brand
that is sold in most major superkets (as well as in dedicated
coffee shops), placed second-to-last in our tasting, yet it costs more
than three times as much as our top finisher, Chock Full o' Nuts. Our
reasons for not liking Starbucks, however, are different than those
for not liking the other superket brands. When we held our French
roast coffee tasting (''The Truth About French Roast Coffee,''
May/June 2002), we found that Starbucks tends to over-roast their
beans, which can lead to overtly bitter tones in the coffee, something
our tasters didn't like.

There are two likely reasons we didn't like the superket brands,
both having to do with the beans. The beans used by superket brands
are of a lower quality than those used at coffee shops. The second
factor is the grind; when you buy coffee at a coffee shop the beans
are ground when you purchase them (or shortly before). With
superket coffee, the beans are ground far in advance of when you
buy them.

Money, then, is not necessarily the best judge of coffee; rather, you
should go for freshness first and always buy high quality beans.

In order of preference:

RECOMMENDED

CHOCK FULL O' NUTS $2.69/13 OZ.
''Tastes like diner coffee,'' ''least offensive.''

NOT RECOMMENDED

MELITTA TRADITIONAL PREMIUM ROAST $3.99/11.5 OZ.
''Very sour,'' ''no aroma.''

FOLGERS CLASSIC ROAST $2.79/13 OZ.
''Bursting with charcoal flavors, and nothing else.''

HILLS BROS. $2.79/13 OZ.
''Tastes like hot water--but at least the bitterness is in check.''

TASTER'S CHOICE (INSTANT) $5.49/4 OZ.
''Sour,'' ''greasy,'' ''tastes like nothing.''

MAXWELL HOUSE ORIGINAL $2.79/13 OZ.
''No depth,'' ''highly bitter.''

STARBUCKS HOUSE BLEND $8.39/12 OZ.
''Burnt plastic flavor,'' ''smells like a forest fire.''

CHASE & SANBORN SPECIAL ROAST $2.49/11.5 OZ.
''Tastes like something--dirt, maybe?''




 
Date: 22 Sep 2006 14:37:25
From: daveb
Subject: Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
IF YOU THINK IT IS -- THEN IT IS.

DAVE



 
Date: 21 Sep 2006 06:42:32
From: Omniryx@gmail.com
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

John S. wrote:
> Makes me wonder if this was little more than an infomercial and who
> paid for it.


I had the same thought, John.



 
Date: 20 Sep 2006 06:59:40
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com wrote:
> In alt.coffee, Kruger Kid <kkofvirgo@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
>
>
> > TASTER'S CHOICE (INSTANT) $5.49/4 OZ.
> > ''Sour,'' ''greasy,'' ''tastes like nothing.''
>
> > MAXWELL HOUSE ORIGINAL $2.79/13 OZ.
> > ''No depth,'' ''highly bitter.''
>
> > STARBUCKS HOUSE BLEND $8.39/12 OZ.
> > ''Burnt plastic flavor,'' ''smells like a forest fire.''
>
> I find it interesting that Taster's Choice instant beat out Starbucks.
>

Makes me wonder if this was little more than an infomercial and who
paid for it.



 
Date: 20 Sep 2006 06:58:10
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

Lionel wrote:
> On 15 Sep 2006 12:43:08 -0700, "John S." <hjsjms@cs.com> opined:
>
> >Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
> >and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
> >coffees so they must be satisfied.
> >
> >In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
> >coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.
>
> No doubt. But of course the same comparison can be made between
> McDonalds & 5 star restaurants, & I know which I'd rather eat at.

I think you are missing the point, which is "...the answer depends on
who is doing the drinking..." Hopefully you do not forgo eating if a
5 star restaurant is not available.

> --
> W
> .


 
Date: 16 Sep 2006 04:22:51
From: LF
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

Kruger Kid wrote:
> The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
> --------------------------
>
> Is Superket Coffee Worth Drinking?
>
<snip >
A little sugar and cream or milk will cover many deficits in the
coffee. "Two regulars, please!"
Regards,
Larry



 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 17:57:46
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

St. John Smythe wrote:
> John S. wrote:
> >> Today, (generalization alert) the average American sedan performs better
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
> >> than all but the best of those European cars of a generation ago.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^
>
> > Huh??? Taurus vs BMW CS??? LOL!
>
> Let me run that by you one more time, more slowly.


Presumably the Taurus should perform on a level equal with or close to
the BMW CS because the CS was a good european car, but hardly among the
best of those of a generation ago.

>
> --
> St. John
> The full potentialities of human fury cannot be reached until a friend
> of both parties tactfully interferes.
> -G.K. Chesterton



 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 15:08:20
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

St. John Smythe wrote:
> John S. wrote:
> > Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
> > and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
> > coffees so they must be satisfied.
> >
> > In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
> > coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.
>
> Yes, and possibly not completely unlike the situation with American
> automobiles, looking back to the '50s. For those who weren't around
> then, they were pigs in their handling, to put it charitably, but there
> was light on the horizon in the shape of the cars starting to trickle in
> from Europe and England.
>
> Today, (generalization alert) the average American sedan performs better
> than all but the best of those European cars of a generation ago.

Huh??? Taurus vs BMW CS??? LOL!


> So
> over time, the taste of "a lot of people" really can be elevated. It
> just takes time.

I suspect that chains like Starbucks and Caribou have done a lot to
expose people who might have been content with Tasters Choice and Yuban
to the range of flavors that are possible in coffee. As a consequence
people will continue to move on to the independent roasters. I
realized that good coffee had really become big when the Wall Street
Journal did an interesting taste testing last fall.



>
> --
> St. John
> Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.
> -J.K. Galbraith



  
Date: 15 Sep 2006 18:23:35
From: St. John Smythe
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
John S. wrote:
>> Today, (generalization alert) the average American sedan performs better
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^
>> than all but the best of those European cars of a generation ago.
^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

> Huh??? Taurus vs BMW CS??? LOL!

Let me run that by you one more time, more slowly.

--
St. John
The full potentialities of human fury cannot be reached until a friend
of both parties tactfully interferes.
-G.K. Chesterton


 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 21:46:55
From:
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
In alt.coffee, Kruger Kid <kkofvirgo@yahoo.com > wrote:
> The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"


> TASTER'S CHOICE (INSTANT) $5.49/4 OZ.
> ''Sour,'' ''greasy,'' ''tastes like nothing.''

> MAXWELL HOUSE ORIGINAL $2.79/13 OZ.
> ''No depth,'' ''highly bitter.''

> STARBUCKS HOUSE BLEND $8.39/12 OZ.
> ''Burnt plastic flavor,'' ''smells like a forest fire.''

I find it interesting that Taster's Choice instant beat out Starbucks.


--
A nation of sheep will beget a government of wolves.
--Edward R. Murrow


 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 12:43:08
From: John S.
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
coffees so they must be satisfied.

In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.

Kruger Kid wrote:
> The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
> --------------------------
>
> Is Superket Coffee Worth Drinking?
>
> We find only one we can (barely) recommend.
>
> It wasn't too long ago that if you wanted a cup of coffee, you had two
> choices: brew it yourself at home with a superket brand, or buy a
> watery, tasteless cup at your local convenience store or diner. Today,
> specialty coffees abound, with boutique shops in every town selling
> ''premium'' beans so that quality coffee can be had at home. But what
> about those old stalwarts, the superket brands of coffee? Are they
> dinosaurs of an era past or are any of them worth drinking? At just
> one-quarter the price of premium beans and widely available, there's
> no beating the cost or the convenience
>
> After sampling eight brands of ground coffee from the superket
> (including Starbucks, a supposedly premium brand that is now available
> in superkets already ground), we can safely say no. The best anyone
> could say about our ''winner'' was that it was the ''least offensive''
> of the lot.
>
> We brewed the coffees to same strength (1.6 grams of coffee per ounce
> of water, the ratio recommended by the Specialty Coffee Association)
> and in the same model of electric drip coffee maker. The coffees were
> tasted plain--no sugar, no milk.
>
> Only one coffee is recommended, and even that one received mostly
> negative comments from tasters, though a few found it palatable. The
> problem most of the tasters had with the coffees was the lack of
> depth; the overriding flavor in almost all of the samples was
> bitterness, with no floral, fruity, or chocolatey flavors that you
> would find in a good coffee. Chock Full o' Nuts (which also performed
> well in our tasting of French roast coffees in the May/June 2002
> issue) was less the most liked of the brands than the least hated of
> them. As for the rest of the pack--well, let's just say that no one
> even wanted to save the leftovers for iced coffee.
>
> So is this just a case of money buying quality? Will the $12/pound
> coffee you buy at the coffee shop always be better than the coffee you
> buy in the superket? Well, yes and no. Starbucks, a premium brand
> that is sold in most major superkets (as well as in dedicated
> coffee shops), placed second-to-last in our tasting, yet it costs more
> than three times as much as our top finisher, Chock Full o' Nuts. Our
> reasons for not liking Starbucks, however, are different than those
> for not liking the other superket brands. When we held our French
> roast coffee tasting (''The Truth About French Roast Coffee,''
> May/June 2002), we found that Starbucks tends to over-roast their
> beans, which can lead to overtly bitter tones in the coffee, something
> our tasters didn't like.
>
> There are two likely reasons we didn't like the superket brands,
> both having to do with the beans. The beans used by superket brands
> are of a lower quality than those used at coffee shops. The second
> factor is the grind; when you buy coffee at a coffee shop the beans
> are ground when you purchase them (or shortly before). With
> superket coffee, the beans are ground far in advance of when you
> buy them.
>
> Money, then, is not necessarily the best judge of coffee; rather, you
> should go for freshness first and always buy high quality beans.
>
> In order of preference:
>
> RECOMMENDED
>
> CHOCK FULL O' NUTS $2.69/13 OZ.
> ''Tastes like diner coffee,'' ''least offensive.''
>
> NOT RECOMMENDED
>
> MELITTA TRADITIONAL PREMIUM ROAST $3.99/11.5 OZ.
> ''Very sour,'' ''no aroma.''
>
> FOLGERS CLASSIC ROAST $2.79/13 OZ.
> ''Bursting with charcoal flavors, and nothing else.''
>
> HILLS BROS. $2.79/13 OZ.
> ''Tastes like hot water--but at least the bitterness is in check.''
>
> TASTER'S CHOICE (INSTANT) $5.49/4 OZ.
> ''Sour,'' ''greasy,'' ''tastes like nothing.''
>
> MAXWELL HOUSE ORIGINAL $2.79/13 OZ.
> ''No depth,'' ''highly bitter.''
>
> STARBUCKS HOUSE BLEND $8.39/12 OZ.
> ''Burnt plastic flavor,'' ''smells like a forest fire.''
>
> CHASE & SANBORN SPECIAL ROAST $2.49/11.5 OZ.
> ''Tastes like something--dirt, maybe?''



  
Date: 20 Sep 2006 17:52:15
From: Lionel
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
On 15 Sep 2006 12:43:08 -0700, "John S." <hjsjms@cs.com > opined:

>Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
>and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
>coffees so they must be satisfied.
>
>In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
>coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.

No doubt. But of course the same comparison can be made between
McDonalds & 5 star restaurants, & I know which I'd rather eat at.
--
W
.


  
Date: 15 Sep 2006 16:00:06
From: St. John Smythe
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
John S. wrote:
> Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
> and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
> coffees so they must be satisfied.
>
> In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
> coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.

Yes, and possibly not completely unlike the situation with American
automobiles, looking back to the '50s. For those who weren't around
then, they were pigs in their handling, to put it charitably, but there
was light on the horizon in the shape of the cars starting to trickle in
from Europe and England.

Today, (generalization alert) the average American sedan performs better
than all but the best of those European cars of a generation ago. So
over time, the taste of "a lot of people" really can be elevated. It
just takes time.

--
St. John
Modesty is a vastly overrated virtue.
-J.K. Galbraith


  
Date: 15 Sep 2006 14:59:27
From: Harry Moos
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
While most of our friends like my fresh-roasted, fresh-ground, premium
coffees, we have a number of [mostly older] friends who prefer Folgers
produced in an aluminum percolator. It's what coffee "is" to them. They
tend to be "gulpers" rather than "sippers" and probably do not really taste
the brew. It is just a habit for them. Some complain that my coffee is
"too strong" while I consider their coffee "too bitter" to drink. Anyway,
they do outnumber us by far.

"John S." <hjsjms@cs.com > wrote in message
news:1158349388.544400.213860@e3g2000cwe.googlegroups.com...
> Guess the answer to the question depends on who is doing the drinking
> and who is doing the testing. A lot of people buy those superket
> coffees so they must be satisfied.
>
> In-fact it is probably safe to say there are more satisfied superket
> coffee drinkers than there are high-end speciality coffee drinkers.




 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 15:34:05
From: David G. Imber
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?
On Fri, 15 Sep 2006 18:30:58 GMT, Kruger Kid <kkofvirgo@yahoo.com >
wrote:

>The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
>--------------------------
>
>Is Superket Coffee Worth Drinking?

This article doesn't mention A&P's "Eight O'Clock" brand. I've
bought their whole beans over the years when nothing else was
available because I think it is just what this article is looking for
- not "good" but "least not-good". If fresh (and it's impossible to
know unless you can "read" the gas expulsion level from the shape of
the package) this brand is not bad, if brewed properly. Vacuum brewing
brings out its shortcomings, but dripping it works OK. It's certainly
better than most pre-ground, canned brands.

If anyone's interested, I was looking for their site and found
this:

http://www.bestcoffeeoffer.com/

You can get two bucks off a package by printing out a coupon.

DGI



 
Date: 15 Sep 2006 12:33:32
From:
Subject: Re: Is Supermarket Coffee Worth Drinking?

Kruger Kid wrote:
> The Following is from "America's Test Kitchen"
> --------------------------
>
> Is Superket Coffee Worth Drinking?
>
> We find only one we can (barely) recommend.
>
...
> TASTER'S CHOICE (INSTANT) $5.49/4 OZ.
> ''Sour,'' ''greasy,'' ''tastes like nothing.''


I always thought Taster's Choice was a good coffee imitation. If real
coffee isn't available, I'd definitely rather have that for my fix than
take a chance on some gas station or coffee house.

I probably depends on what your superket carries, though. Before I
was home roasting, I happily drank what my superket had in there
bins: Intelligentsia. Of course it doesn't hurt that they're just up
the expressway a bit. I would still be drinking it too if it were not
for that $10/lb they want for the stuff.

Matthew