My second big grocery shop for all of life’s necessities in Austin took place at the original Whole Foods market in the heart of downtown. Great idea if my kitchen staples include items like jicama and organic sea salt, not a great idea if my kitchen supplies include rice and coffee–because these basic items cost way more than at a traditional grocery store (twenty bucks for a bag of coffee? ah!). So, I went home coffee-less, rice-less, and oatmeal-less… planning on grabbing some the next time I hit a regular supermarket (but I did gt the jicama).
The next time I went shopping, I found myself at Marshall’s with Dave, down their bonus aisle of random assorted food items like jalapeno olive oil, cookies, hot chocolate mixes, etc., when I came across Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Coffee. Because this little aisle in Marchall’s always enchants me, I fell for believing that the coffee was a special little find (at a store that buys defect products in bulk and resells them at cheaper prices… ahem..) and I grabbed it for $6.
The next morning, I brewed it, took a sip, and a saccharine taste washed over my tongue with a hint of caramel. Ugh. Not my kind of coffee.
Next up: a stop at HEB (for my New Yawkahs–it’s a big supermarket chain in Austin). This time I wanted to make sure I got something decent. After scanning the coffee aisle trying to balance quality and price, I ended up with a bag of Eight O’Clock French Roast. Instead of going for the bag of undeniably strong Starbucks, I convinced myself that while this other brand was old school, and the packaging looked fairly generic…. maybe it was a hidden awesome coffee gem of olden days. And French Roast is always pretty good, right?
You would think after all my posts exclaiming my love for coffee, I would be able to pick right from wrong, quality from crap, sure from unsure.
Did you know that French Roast is actually the type of roast used on beans that are of a mediocre quality? It is a technique that roasts the beans longer than average, making them very dark and masking the flavor of their country of origin (or of their staleness, if they were old). Do not be fooled by the beret wearing flavor name, that was probably just a [very smart] marketer’s ploy. Check out this little blog post here for the full details.
I’ve been doing a scoop of each brand in the mornings to mix the badness away and just finish them so I can buy another bag. Or, if you can spare some brand advice, I’m all ears. Just try not to go over $15 a bag–or do I have no choice?