Taste Testing Community Coffee House Blend

by Nigel Ong

Community Coffee is not an unfamiliar roaster to me. I have sampled several of their roasts, such as the American Classic, Breakfast Blend, New Orleans Blend, and more. So far, so good. 

However, it occurred to me that I had missed out on what was supposed to be their original roast – the House Blend. So, I picked up a bag to try it out.

I will brew and sample the Community Coffee House Blend in this post. I will also compare it with other relevant coffee in my collection before deciding if you should give this blend a try yourself.

About Community Coffee House Blend

While Community Coffee is a staple on supermarket aisles, its rich history remains largely untold. It was established by Norman “Cap” Saurage in 1919.

Legend said he started selling a unique coffee blend in downtown Baton Rouge, Louisiana, grocery stores. The blend became so popular that Saurage was compelled to move his operations into a converted barn in 1923. 

By the following year, the demand had grown so much that he focused exclusively on his coffee business.

Today, Community Coffee is a large coffee company with nationwide operations. It sources coffee beans from places like Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico, then roasts, packs, and sells them in the United States.

Community Coffee is also known for its support of the veterans. It runs a Military Match program, which sends coffee care packages to soldiers and veterans based on your purchases.

First Impression

I picked up a standard 12-oz Community Coffee House Blend bag, which equates to roughly 340 grams of coffee for those more comfortable with the metric system. This is a rather wallet-friendly roast priced under $10 at the time of purchase.

It comes with crimson, bright red packaging, just like its other sister roasts. The only difference is the color where the labels are printed. For the House Blend, the color is blue – perhaps Prussian Blue.

The packaging is well made and gives me the confidence that the coffee will stay fresh for a while. The packaging is air-tight, equipped with a one-way valve, and includes a ‘brew before’ date.

Upon opening the bag, a rich blend of smoky and aromatic scents enveloped me. I can pick up sweet notes of chocolate and fruits, too. The smokiness is there, but not too intense like a dark roast. 

Reviews on Amazon seem to show that drinkers appreciate the taste and how it makes a good daily go-to coffee. Many also rave about the price too. While I can agree on the price, as for the flavors, let’s go to the tasting to confirm how good it is.

How Does Community Coffee House Blend Taste?

To sample the Community Coffee House Blend, I will brew it in three ways. The idea is to try the coffee out in three major brewing processes – immersed, filtered, and concentrated.

French Press: This brewing style makes a murky, full-flavored coffee with floating particles. This should allow me to sample the coffee in all its ‘glory.’ I expect full flavor and strong flavor with this coffee.

Pour Over With Filter Paper: This method produces a ‘cleaner’ version of the coffee without too much oil and particles floating about. This should help me to sample more of the subtle notes. 

Espresso: This may be a medium-dark roast, but I will still brew it as an espresso. The reason is simple – I want to try the coffee with its flavor concentrated into a small cup. 

French Press

I turned to my trusty Bodum Caffettiera French press for the French press brew. I retained the same brewing process for my other reviews.

I use 15 grams of coffee and 180ml of hot water at around 185°F (about 85°C). That’s a 1:12 ratio. After stirring everything together, I let the coffee brew for 4 minutes before pouring.

This roast is not shy; it quickly releases its aroma and fills up my kitchen. From the smell alone, The aroma is fragrant, not too smoky, and should arouse your desire for a cuppa. As I pour the coffee out, it is dark in color with some slight transparency.

The taste of this coffee is as direct as how it smells. I picked up a rather intense taste of coffee and smokiness. I got a little confused here; the texture and body made me unsure if this was a dark or a medium roast.

In the flavor department, I can pick up a bit of chocolate, which is pleasant. There is also a bit of fresh wood and fruity notes. I would say it’s some kind of berry.

The coffee finishes rather intensely, too, leaving an aftertaste of chocolatey, fruity sweetness on my tongue tip after I swallow down the coffee. 

Pour Over With Filter Paper

For my pour-over coffee brew, I use my regular setup:

I brewed the coffee using a 1:18 coffee-to-water ratio. I form a little hill inside the filter basket with the coffee ground. I gradually pour hot water over them to maximize extraction.

Pour-over coffee is usually lighter and ‘cleaner’ than a French press brew. There is no exception here, too. 

This lighter and ‘cleaner’ taste is expected; the filter paper would do better than the steel mesh on the French press to keep fine particles out of the coffee, reducing the smoky and earthy flavors. 

However, the filter paper also sucked away some of the oils from the coffee, leading to a lighter taste. The good thing is that the loss of flavor is not too noticeable. Less smoke and less flavor equals just fine. 

To my palate, the reduced smokiness makes the chocolate and berry notes more prominent in the pour-over brew. It is also more enjoyable.


As a start, I don’t think Community Coffee created the Community Coffee House Blend to be brewed into an espresso. 

However, espresso can highlight a coffee’s flavor profile by condensing it into a small cup. Using my Wacaco Minipresso GR, I pulled a shot of espresso from the coffee ground.

The result? A wonderfully aromatic cup of espresso with a thick, rich crema. The appearance of the espresso is as good as what you see in cafes.

The aroma is a bit smoky but not to the level of regular espresso. I can pick up a bit of chocolate note, with some soreness from the crema.

Taste-wise, I’ll call this espresso a ‘tease.’ It is a bit smoky, just enough to bring out that desire for something strong. But this is a medium-dark espresso; it does not have that smashing darkness. 

But to call it a light, refreshing espresso would not fit, too. This cup of espresso is not light enough to compete with, say, Starbucks Blonde Espresso roast.

To my palate, the House Blend espresso is a bit of a ‘neither here nor there’ case. It’s not really recommended. However, try this yourself and see what your palate tells you.

Community Coffee House Blend vs Popular Medium Roasts

Next, I decided to compare the taste of Community Coffee House Blend with other popular medium roasts I have in my collection. These are:

I brewed all the coffee with my French press, then sipped them one after the other, together with the House Blend. Then, I added a milk shot into each cup and sipped them again to see if their flavors changed with milk.

All the coffee roasts are great in flavor when drunk black. Do note that these coffees are all blends, meaning they would be less edgy in flavor. In fact, this coffee may taste the same to an untrained tongue. 

However, I prefer the Lucky Jim Roast the most here, as it satisfies me the most. 

With milk, however, I would actually put the Gevalia first. The slightly malty note with Gevalia’s roast made it taste better with milk.

Is Community Coffee House Blend For You?

I would say that the Community Coffee House Blend is created for those who want a stronger coffee flavor than a regular medium roast but are not yet ready for regular dark roasts. 

To my palate, this coffee tastes as great as black coffee. As espresso, however, it leaves me hanging and unsatisfied. As a medium dark roast, it could not ‘smash’ my palate like a regular espresso. 

However, this coffee tastes better with milk since the chocolatey note complements it. If you like latte or cappuccino, you may enjoy this roast as milked coffee.

Like Amazon’s reviews, I see this as a daily go-to, especially when you want something stronger to start your day. I think the stronger flavor would also work well for me during colder days.

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