All hail the coffee mutt!

I admit, I am a coffee mutt. I do not really know how to be a purebred, but does anyone really? A good cup of coffee to me has a blend of coffee, sugar, and cream (the real stuff), but sometimes it is just a blend of coffee and just condensed milk (sugar and milk in one), otherwise known as Cafe Sua Da.

I have tried pure bean coffees such as Sumatra Mandheling, Columbian, Kona, Jamaican Blue Mountain (hard to find so far only found it a Peerless and Peets), and French Roast (I don’t know what is in it), but could not appreciate the single bean experience. Made coffee from drip (American (very boring and sometimes sour) and Vietnamese (depends on the blend, but can be bold and intense)), expresso (give a darker/bitter flavor) (Italian and South American), and vacuum/siphon (definitely smoother and less acidic) methods, but still liked making it with mix of beans more.

According to, I seem to gravitate to Bold, medium acidic coffees. In my experience the famed “Blue Mountain” coffee was so boring by itself, but in a blind tasting jumped out, so I blended it and could not find anything comparable to it.

Again I have to ask America’s Test Kitchen, how could Starbuck’s win the tasting? If so which blend should I go for, since they have many blends, and the blend ratios do change from time to time due to availability. I personally blend my own (40% Sumatra, 40% Columbian, 10% French, and 10% Kona) at the supermarket, I gravitate to Millstone or Java (the market brand). That way I can buy just as much as I need, since I don’t really get snowed in around the Bay Area.

I don’t hate Starbuck’s, since they are the ones that pulled me to the dark side. They however, do not really stack-up in terms of mutt coffee to other mutt coffee bars. Here are my picks:

1. Ikea (cheap bold and smooth coffee with a nice view in Palo Alto)
2. McDonalds (really cheap bold and smooth hot coffee for seniors)
3. Cafe Sua Da (really intense coffee that is cheaper than conventional coffee bars)
4. Seattle’s Best (Bold coffee not so smooth and not so cheap)
5. Peete’s (more flavor and the original print that Starbuck’s model after)
6. Starbuck’s (over roasted over priced and bland)

Currently I am attracted to Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee, how sacrilegious is that?
What do you think? And should ATK also include their own blends and instant coffee?



2 Responses to “All hail the coffee mutt!”

  1. Jim Says:

    Instant coffee? Have you ever tried roasting your own. It really makes a difference in the taste and freshness and you can roast it to your own liking. You can roast more than one kind seperately and then blend them together to come up with what you like.

  2. chiangman Says:

    Hello Jim.

    I have not roasted my own coffee, but it is true nothing can really beat fresh roasted blends. I have tasted freshly roasted beans from a friend, which add his own flavoring as well. I have also seen a commercial and a home versions (such as the one sold on your site) and know how they work. Basically we but in the raw beans and roast them till we hear a pop. That is when the skin falls off and the coffee is nice and dark (like the ones we buy). Like pop corn mixing different type of coffee before roasting is not recommended because it can be done at different times and there can be under roasted ones (I believe that America’s Test Kitchen calls “quakers”).

    In the Bay Area I really have not found a really great roaster. Any recommendations?

    I am currently attracted to Instant due to convience, since my Bodum Santos makes more than I need in the morning. And I find the espresso machines changes the profile to much to enjoy.

    But thanks,

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