Recently, I was given a sampler package containing several varieties of Folgers products.
It’s been quite some time since I have had any coffee other than my home roasted beans so I thought the Folgers sampler would make a good review article.
The sampler pack included some of Folgers “instant” coffee products, some gourmet coffee blends and a box of “K” cups. I tried all of the products except for the “K” cups since I did not have the proper brewer for them. I gave that box to a friend.
The first product I tried out were the “Fresh Breaks” single serve packets. These coffee packets are marketed for “on the go” people who don’t have time to brew a cup of coffee.
There are 8 single serve packets per package. The coffee is very easy to make; just boil 8 oz. of water, open a packet into your coffee mug, pour in the water and stir. The “instant” coffee cuts out the brewing time of other coffee making methods.
I tried two different blends of the Fresh Breaks. The first, called Black Silk is a dark roast. It had some bitterness in the flavor, thin body and I found many grounds in the cup. There were as many grounds (if not more) as a cup of coffee brewed in a french press.
The Breakfast Blend is a mild roast. I found it to be definitely milder than the Black Silk with a better mouth feel, but still lots of grounds in the cup.
I really didn’t care for either of these products. If you really have zero time in the morning to make coffee then, I guess this may be the answer for you. Otherwise, I suggest you find a way to fit in six or seven minutes to brew a real cup of coffee.
The second product I tried was the Folgers Classic Roast Instant coffee. This product comes in a jar and has larger “crystals” than the Fresh Breaks. I made a cup of this coffee by using 1 rounded teaspoon of crystals to 6 oz of water.
After I pour the water into the cup, I was surprised to see a large amount of foam that stayed even after stirring.
The instant coffee makes a thin cup with very little body. The classic roast instant coffee had more coffee flavor than the Fresh Breaks but still not as much flavor as a “normal’ cup of coffee would have.
Finally, I check out the two Folgers Gourmet blends. The first thing I notice is that the packaging for these gourmet blends consists of a one way air valve that helps keep the coffee fresher, longer. That’s a definite plus in my book, especially with pre-ground coffee.
I brewed both gourmet flavors in an auto drip machine with a gold basket to give them the best possible chance for full flavor and body.
First up is the Mocha Swirl. I made a couple cups of this blend and shared it with my daughter. The Mocha Swirl had a good room aroma while brewing but, I could detect a chemical aroma when I had the cup up close to my nose. I could see some coffee oils floating on top, thanks to the gold filter basket. At first, the blend had a bitter chocolate flavor and fuller body and flavor than the instant samples. Unfortunately, as the cup cools, the flavor just breaks down into more chemical than coffee and becomes undrinkable. Neither my daughter or myself could finish it.
The second round of coffee was the Folgers Gourmet Toasted Hazelnut. Again, I made a couple cups and my daughter and I gave this coffee a try. By far, the Toasted Hazelnut had the best aroma, both while brewing and in the cup. The flavor was better than the Mocha Swirl, even as the cup cooled. Thanks to the gold filter basket, the coffee had some good body and I found coffee oils floating on the surface.
The Folgers Gourmet Toasted Hazelnut was the best of all the products I tried. For a commercial roasted, pre-ground bean, it created a passable cup of coffee.
In summary, if you are in a rush, need a cup of coffee and barely have enough time to boil water, the instant coffee products may be a viable option for you. Otherwise, if you have the time and the equipment to brew a cup of coffee, take a look at the Folgers Gourmet series for a cup of coffee that will have more body and flavor.