What kind of coffee is Folgers?

QUESTION: What kind of coffee is Folgers? Is it high quality? – Leta F

ANSWER: The Folgers brand was jump-started right in the heart of the gold rush boom in San Francisco, California, in the 1870s. The big coffee company in town at that time was called Pioneer Coffee Co., and they wanted to produce ready-to-brew coffee grounds to save people the hassle of preparing their own coffee beans. Pioneer had a vision, and they had sourced plenty of coffee beans. Now they just needed a mill to roast and process their coffee. Little did they know, the teenage carpenter they hired to build the mill, would soon own the company. In 1872, J.A. Folger, the young man who built the mill, bought Pioneer Coffee Co. outright and changed the name to Folger’s Coffee Co. 

The Folgers brand was a big success, and quickly spread all over America. The company was eventually incorporated into Proctor & Gamble, and later sold to popular preservatives brand Smucker’s. Folgers classic roast is supposedly the same blend recipe that has been used since the company was founded in 1872. Folgers describes the blend’s flavor as rich, and smooth. Folgers also makes a variety of other blends, including a mildly-roasted breakfast blend, a medium-roast Columbian blend, a dark-roast called Black Silk, a Half-Caf blend, which contains half the caffeine of their normal coffees, and a Decaf. Folgers coffee is also available in K-cup form, and they even have a line of cappuccino mixes and instant coffee.

Folgers classic roast is a very popular blend of medium-roasted robusta and arabica coffee beans. The ingredients are simple. Inside of every can of Folgers classic roast is 100 percent coffee. Folgers, like Maxwell House, and many other popular mass-market coffee brands, produce coffee in pre-ground blends. 

Arabica coffee beans are more expensive to grow, and more sought after, for they have a superior flavor and aroma, and prefer very particular climates. Robusta coffee beans contain a higher level of caffeine, but a more bitter, and overpowering taste. Many budget-priced coffees are made with blends in order to cut costs, using arabica beans to help tame the more pronounced flavor of the robusta beans. 

Many people love Folgers, and swear by it as their go-to coffee. There are plenty of people who will drink Folgers coffee for the entirety of their lives. There are probably at least a few hundred thousand people that actually believe that the best part of waking up is… well you get the point. And for what it is, (a pre-ground, budget-priced, mass-market name brand, white bread coffee), it’s not that bad. 

If you love coffee, however, and I mean really love coffee, then you probably know that Folgers is very underwhelming. I mean, it’s drinkable, if your palate has never experienced really good coffee, but once you have, there’s really no going back. Once you have a single-sourced, freshly-ground, high-quality coffee brewed in a pour over or French press, there’s a whole new best part of waking up in town. But in an emergency or compared to really bad mass market brands that aren’t even made from Arabica beans, Folgers coffee is an option to consider. 

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