If you’ve been a reader here for any time, or follow me on Twitter or Pinterest, you’ll know all about my love of coffee. Not just any coffee, good coffee, preferably swirled with half and half to create a luscious dark blonde color. I wake up and fill my home with the warm smell and am instantly energized. While it was a no-brainer when Seattle’s Best reached out to me and asked if I would like to try the new Seattle’s Best House Blend, I was also cautious.
Taste-testing a medium roast coffee made to be sold in grocery stores and suit a wide range of palates is a challenging prospect. As a self-proclaimed coffee aficionado, I’ve developed certain affinity for what I like in coffee. The deeper, darker the roast the better. I’m also not fond of quite a few regions of coffee — mainly because of some of the flavors they bring to the cup which I personally find unappealing.
I’m always up for a challenge, so I popped in at Publix, where Seattle’s Best is now available, and picked up a few bags (ok, 4) where it was on sale for the sweet price of $4.99 thru July 4, 2014. The k-cups was also on special for $5.99 so I picked a few of those up as well.
For the purposes of testing, I left off the half and half and did a traditional cupping at home to really test the coffee they’d sent me to purchase. The key things I was looking for are what you look for in any coffee:
- Chocolate like
- Rubber like
I made Seattle’s Best House Blend coffee as a pour-over and a French Press to taste test properly. However, for the sake of the everyday coffee consumer, I brewed a pot with traditional brewing methods (2 tablespoons to every 6 ounces of cold water) in my drip coffee maker — a Cuisinart with a thermal carafe — the results of which I’m sharing here. Finally, I made their cold brew method (recipe below) to create a proper iced coffee at home. None of these tests was done with any sweetener or cream, just pure coffee.
Aroma: The aromas I picked up on, along with my husband, were:
- Chocolate like — This wasn’t a sweet chocolate taste, but something akin to a 70% cocao flavor
- Caramel — Light
- Fruity/Citrus — I picked up grapefruit, but a more experienced taster would know for sure
- Woody – I’m wanting to say this was somewhat oakey. It reminds me of good bourbon that contains a higher rye content.
- Acidity — The Seattle’s Best House Blend is well balanced coffee with good acidity on the tongue. It doesn’t leave a sour taste, key to a well-balanced coffee.
- Bitterness — Light bitterness is apparent, but that’s not a bad thing. If it were an overwhelming bitterness, I wouldn’t have been able to drink this coffee as I’m very sensitive to bitter.
- Sweetness — I didn’t find any off-flavors in this coffee, which allowed the sweet flavors (chocolate/caramel/fruit) to shine.
- Saltiness — Normal coffee drinkers won’t look for salt. I do, but this is almost a sea salt taste.
- Sourness — People often confuse sourness with acidity. There was no sourness in this coffee, just great acidity.
- Body — Seattle’s Best House Blend has a great body. I let the coffee sit on my tongue and roll around in my mouth. It was bold, robust, satisfying.
- Astringency — None. Astringent coffees leave undesirable after-taste consisting of a dry feeling on the tongue when you’re done drinking them. The Seattle’s Best House Blend left a pleasant flavor
Seattle’s Best House Blend coffee was consistent across all tastings. Some of the methods I used for brewing intensified the flavors, making a much more robust cup. While I will still be drinking my darker roasts, Seattle’s Best House Blend is definitely a coffee I’m going to recommend to my mother, family and friends. (My mother in particular, as she’s happy with her brand, which I find personally find intolerable. Hi Mom!)
The only con for me in this whole experience is the actual grind of the beans. I prefer to grind my own beans in a burr grinder, and the grind is too fine to do a truly great French Press. This won’t stop me from keeping a bag of Seattle’s Best House Blend on hand for visitors who like a milder coffee for their morning cup. (Seriously.)
All in all, this is a great coffee for folks who are looking for quality coffee in their local grocery store. I’m seriously impressed by the quality and the obvious effort by the roaster to make a great coffee available on the shelf and in large quantities.
From 6/14/14 to 7/4/14, Seattle’s Best House Blend is on special at Publix: Roast and Ground House Blend packaged coffee is just $4.99, and House Blend K-cup® Packs are $5.99.
I’ll be adding my own recipe later this week for a refreshing summer treat using Seattle’s Best House Blend ground coffee. For more recipes from the source visit the Seattle’s Best website www.SeattlesBest.com.
Disclosure: I’m participating in a Seattle’s BestCoffee® blogger campaign and received compensation as part of the program.