I grew up thinking that coffee was disgusting. During my first trip to college, in the pre-coffee-shop-on-every-corner days, coffee was still disgusting. Then, one day, I had my first taste of decent coffee. It was a darker roast served in the union of my fourth college. As a mom working part-time and going to school full-time this yummy concoction soon became my best friend.
In the mid-nineties Starbucks came to a suburb near us. I was hooked. When we moved to Southern Indiana a few years later I couldn't wait for a trip to Indy for my Starbucks. Then I went to Europe and experienced Italian coffee. Oh my! That set me on a search for the closest flavor I could find to that dark richness.
Now I live in a city with a pile of Starbucks plus several good local coffee shops. (And possibly the worst coffee in most of the retaurants!) I can get great coffee without trying. I can pick my cup based on my mood and what sounds good. But it still costs money, so when I was offered three free pounds of coffee to review for my blog, I couldn't say no.
The coffees are Folgers Gourmet Selections. I was dubious about trying them because I still can barely tolerate the Folgers that is the standard at my mom's. But I decided that I would give them a try. They sent me three kinds. The first one I tried was the "Lively Columbian." This is described as a medium roast. The smell when I opened the bag cued me in on what was to come. It smelled like the coffee at McDonald's. That isn't good.
There is a characteristic that I associate with cheap coffee. It is a flavor that comes out mostly in the aftertaste that I can best describe as sour. It's an unpleasant twist on the wonderful bitterness that good coffee has. This was sour.
The second one I tried was the "Vanilla Biscotti." I've never been a fan of flavored coffees, although my mother-in-law buys good quality ones and I always enjoy those at her house. This one didn't taste vanilla as much as it tasted sweet. And it, too, had the sourness.
The last one I tried was the "Morning Cafe." This was a light roast. Surprisingly, I liked this one the best. It wasn't a coffee that I would search out or buy, but it was the only one that I didn't dump out. It was still a bit sour, but the flavor was gentler. I'm not a gentle coffee drinker, but this one, at least, didn't taste bad.
Now, if you're a Folger's drinker or like McDonald's coffee, don't take offense. And if you do like these, you'll probably love the Gourmet Selections.