What is good coffee?

teresavaDecember 26, 2011

I have a friend who is serving overseas in the military. I asked him if he and the soliders could use anything to make life a little easier? He said they have most of what they need, but good coffee would be a great luxury! Apparently they've got the bare basic kind and his words, "Good Coffee, Good Morale". So, I offered to ship some over, but I don't drink coffee, so what is GOOD coffee?

Obviously I know Starbucks or Kona coffee are the biggies, and they sell their own but they seem pretty $$$ and I don't want to break the bank buying that. I want to send a pretty good amount for the guys that will last. I saw a big bag of Dunkin Donuts at Costco tonight that looked pretty big for $20? A few of those maybe? Are they a decent brand?

Also for you military peeps-I have his APO address. About how long will a package take to go through there? Are we talking regular time or weeks?

Any ideas would be appreciated!


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was just going to suggest dd coffee...it's has high marks for several years...

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 9:59PM
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My favorite coffee is Eight O'Clock Coffee. Starbucks feels like it's eating through my stomach. Haven't tried Dunkin's.

You can get a large bag from Amazon. I wonder if they could ship directly.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:04PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

very very popular is Community dark roast here it is one of the originals manufactured in Louisiana and still is. It is the only coffee we drink and my family has only drank it for as long as I can remember. If you contact the company and tell them what you are doing I would bet they will send you some of their gift packs for free, I called them once to see if I could get it where I lived at the time, it was not available there but they shipped me a wonderful gift pack including coffee cups for free just for asking.

Community Coffee Company

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:10PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

oh I just found on the Community site this page that is a military match.
Military Match

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:17PM
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I think it's subjective, we love Maxwell House and others would say it's nasty or undrinkable. My favorite of all is Dunkin Donut's and Eight O'clock Bean in the French Vanilla flavor...but when drinking plain old coffee I like MH in a mild flavor. If you want EOB coffe, you can go to their website and get a $2 off two packages coupon..at least they had one last time I looked.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:23PM
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Another fan of Eight O'Clock Coffee!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:30PM
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We like Don Francisco best. Dunkin Donuts is good too.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 10:47PM
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Dunkin Donuts regular is great

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 11:09PM
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We also like Great Value (WalMart) 100% Colombian, and reasonably priced.

    Bookmark   December 26, 2011 at 11:38PM
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I love Dunkin' Donuts. Plus, I think if you risk going too expensive or exotic, you risk some people not liking it.

Dunkin' Donuts is a good solid coffee that most people I know like. In fact, I can't recall anyone ever saying they don't like it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:01AM
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My SIL, who drinks very strong coffee, says Dunkin Donuts
gives him a stomach ache.
I've read that Eight O'Clock coffee is very good, and some
of the Folgers coffees. I'm going to use up my Dunkin Donuts
and try the Eight O'Clock next....

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:14AM
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Teresa, ask your friend to be more specific. If what they already get is what you ship, that'd be embarrassing! Ask what he means by "good" coffee. A couple pounds of something really great might be far better than a lot more coffee that they don't care for.

I'd go with what he suggests, and if it is expensive, then just send less.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:29AM
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Toni S

My dh makes one or two pots a day. I enjoy the Dunkin doughnut brand the best.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:30AM
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Given that Dunkin Donuts coffee is made by Folgers, and I don't like Folgers, it's not surprising that I don't like Dunkin Donuts coffee. Never could stand drinking it when the donut shop was around (probably why they're not around here anymore - Dunkin is not a popular brand in this area) and I tried a sample of the packaged stuff. It got dumped out. Was given a 1# bag in a gift pack and tried it again. The pot was dumped and I gave the remainder to a Folgers drinker since I knew they'd like it, (which they did). However, Butter Nut is made by Folgers and I like that quite well. I still stick with Maxwell House for my own coffee drinking. McGarvey is a very popular commercial brand around here but I don't know about nationwide availability. Surprisingly, I even like the "Deli Express" brand when made properly. As for the preppy "coffee shop" brands, I did like Caribou the couple times I had it. Haven't tried many though.

Coffee taste is SO subjective (why do you think there's an aisle full of brands?) it really is tough to buy for someone else without knowing what they like. I'd ask him to survey the troops for their favorites. Maybe send a couple brands.

The biggest problem with making good coffee is you *can't* make good coffee with bad water. The other thing is you must have a clean coffeemaker or you'll get a bad taste from the coffeemaker. If you put their favorite brand of coffee into a dirty coffeemaker with lousy water they're not going to be happy troops. I think I'd try to find out what kind of coffeemaker they have and send a cleaning kit along with the coffee. It's no different than cooking food in dirty cookware and wonder why it doesn't taste right.

Then comes the issue of people who fill it with creamer and sugar and then talk about "good coffee". They don't taste the coffee - they taste the creamer and sugar! LOL

A suggestion: You might talk to a couple places and tell them what you're going to do. You might get a discount or a donation to send. It could be worth asking. My best to them. Hope they get something they like and are safe and happy through the New Year.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:01AM
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Why wouldn't you go with Community? Great coffee and a military program.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:04AM
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pekemon, a stomach ache from coffee is most probably caused by caffeine. Even if he likes strong coffee, if Dunkin' Donuts is stronger than his usual brand, it may just be enough more caffeine to give him a stomach ache.

sushipup, you have a point. They may really be after expensive coffee house coffee. But, a lot of times those coffees won't hold up too long if you buy them ground so you may need to buy the whole bean and include a grinder or ask if they have one.

Attached is an article from a couple years back that rating coffee brands (like from consumer reports). I haven't tried or even heard of some of the brands.

If all else fails, they would probably love a Keurig!

Here is a link that might be useful: Coffee Ratings

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:12AM
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I drink only Dunkin Donuts hazelnut or cinnamon spice. Love them.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 1:50AM
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I have stuck to Seattle's Best for 15 years. I have a friend who had it shipped here to VA before Starbucks bought it out and Harris Teeter carries it now. I drink level 4 which is pretty rich. Just 1 cup a day.

Teresa, whatever those troops want I will be glad to join in. I think my e-mail is on here. Just let me know.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 2:36AM
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I think starbucks is very strong, I didn't like it at all.
Many people like folgers an say its the best.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 6:44AM
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i love Folgers Black Silk and the Folgers Half Caf, which i drink in late afternoon or early evening. They will probably love almost any kind you ship over to them because anything is probably better than what they have. ;)

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 7:25AM
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Good Coffee? That first sip in the morning is the best :)

As to brand, I know alot of people like Dunkin Donuts. I just drink whatever's on sale and is dark roasted.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:10AM
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teresava, I like the idea, for your friend to give you an idea of a brand name...

Now, I have an idea too. Could we sign up to send coffee there too? Maybe you can share the address? if we email you?

Personally, I would love to help and send a pound or two.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:23AM
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I find cold water,fresh ground,get your own little grinder,keep coffee in fridge you get a good cup everytime,oh and a clean pot,I like perculatorpots.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 8:25AM
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It might be impossible to find one single brand to satisfy everyone's taste. Why not go with a selection? A few Starbucks, a few Dunkin's, a few of some other brand; some dark roast, some light or medium roast ... just whatever looks interesting.

The only thing I would avoid would be the "flavored" coffees -- alot of people don't like them. You could include some flavored creamers instead, that would be safer.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 9:23AM
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I went 50 years without being a coffee drinker. Oh, maybe a cup a month just to be polite when we're out with friends but that was it. Then my son came home from college. He moves back in with his whole bean coffee, grinder, and his French press coffee maker. One Saturday morning he says, "Dad, have a cup of coffee with me."
"No thanks."
"Oh, come on Dad."
Oh wow! That one cup and I'm hooked. It was soooo good. I've tried many different brands but prefer Velvet Hammer from Sams Club.


    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 9:34AM
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My soon works for Starbucks and they had a program where you could donate a bag of beans and once a month or so the company would send it overseas to the troops along with bags the company donated. I'm not sure if it still goes on but the feedback from the troops was that they loved the stronger coffee.

If you decide to go with Starbucks go in and ask the baristas what they might suggest. In fact, they now label their coffees according to how the beans are roasted since they have added a milder roasted bean. The last bag my son brought me had the new label.

Please don't take this as advertising for Starbucks - just passing on what DS had told me a while back. I am sure whatever you decide to send will be greatly appreciated. You are doing a wonderful thing for the troops. I have hard that in many places, chapsticks and lip balms are in short supply for those that are out in the extreme weather conditions. Those would be easy to toss in with the coffee.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 9:44AM
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Just the replies here will show how diversified our tastes are. I love a hardy, dark roast coffee, yet I really don't care for Dunkin Donuts coffee. So finding out what they consider to be 'good' will be important. I wonder if the prepacked envelopes of coffee would keep better for them? And if so perhaps you could do a few of each for them to try it out?

I agree with the avoiding flavored coffees, many don't like them. I drank black coffee for well over 20 years but discovered that adding a bit of cream enhanced the flavor of the coffee, not masked it, Cynic.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 9:49AM
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As mentioned by someone else and I had not really thought about it but they may have perfectly fine coffee but whoever makes it may not know what they are doing or the water they have there may ruin any coffee no matter how good it is. It may be old and sitting in the pot all day...etc etc....

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 10:59AM
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That's what I was going to say arkansas girl... it might not be the coffee itself or the brand of coffee but the way it's made. Or, it get's kept too long... Sending any coffee to the individuals might be a solution, if they have access to a coffee maker and know how to use it.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:46AM
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I'm still looking for that "good" cup of coffee...At one time, I did like Eight O'clock, and thought Dunkin Donuts was the best, especially when you were traveling and would get that coffee and donut to go...BUT, buying DD by the bag, I hated it, can't get Eight O'clock the way I want it and now we're using Maxwell House....I've found, instead of coffee, I'm leaning more to tea, good old, plain, Lipton tea......

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 11:48AM
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Toni S

Teresa, I wouldn't fret to much over this.

I grew up a Navy kid, my step dad is also Navy. I hear they didn't clean out the resevore very often. Maybe at the mess hall (or whatever they call it) but in the office or shop, unless the unit sec cleans it, they don't care if it looks well used. I'm betting any good name brand coffee dark or light will fit someone there. They may be used to a sitting pot, it may not always taste the best. Nothing you can do but send it and hope you've hit the spot. I'm guessing any nice coffee will be welcomed. They are people just like the kt. All kinds of taste buds.

I do think fresh ground is the best but they might not have a grinder or even want to. IMO, I'd send them ground. Open and pour.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:21PM
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Where overseas? The best coffee I ever had was Jacob's coffee in Germany. I've found it over here out West and recently at a European store in Lexington. But, I don't like strong bitter coffee. Can't stand Starbucks regular coffee or McDonald's. So, I would buy a variety for everyone's taste. I use Taster's Choice instant now at home. Buy whatever is on sale or cheapest for work, sometimes Folgers, sometimes Kroger brand or Maxwell House. They all taste the same to me.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:38PM
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Look what I found!

Here is a link that might be useful: Jacob's coffee

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 12:42PM
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ravencajun Zone 8b TX

I am so glad I read this thread and checked the Community coffee website and found their amazing military match offer, I did not know they had it available but it does not surprise me at all.
I am participating, my oldest grandson is in the military, so is his wife, I talked to them at Christmas, sending this kind of package to any military people anywhere would be a great idea and a nice surprise.

I love to support companies that also support our troops so it is a win win! plus it is a family owned made in USA product.
I remember after Katrina and Rita hit Louisiana the Community coffee facility was working hard to continue to supply coffee to everyone (they were providing it free for victims and workers). It was hard to get it for a while, I am so happy they have recovered and can still manage to give back.
thanks for this thread!!!

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 3:05PM
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DH recently started using a percolator for coffee. Love the smell!! I'm not a coffee drinker.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 3:23PM
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As the Consumer Reports article stated, Melita is a good coffee at a reasonable price. I agree. Even their decaf is good.

We like Melita 100% Columbian Medium Roast (Extra Fine Grind). Even better, though more expensive, is Melita European Dark Roast (Extra Fine Grind).

Melita says they use only the top 2% of Arabica beans harvested.

However, the only coffee I can drink two cups without distress is 100% Kona. We buy beans at Costco and grind just before brewing.

You do need good water, a clean pot, and HOT water. I prefer a thermos. A pot on a burner turns coffee bitter in minutes.

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 3:43PM
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As has been shown what is 'good coffee' depends on the personal taste of the drinker.
So, I would definitely ask the recipient exactly what coffee is wanted.

As for how long it takes a package it all depends on YOUR zipcode to HIS zip code and the nearest APO . Helpful info can be found at this website AND the one that is linked. Good luck!


Here is a link that might be useful: 'Any Soldier' website

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 5:26PM
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First off, I don't think they are going to be confronted with a pot sitting too long. I spent 8 years in the Air Force and we made our coffee in a 32cup percolator, and even with that size of pot, we had to make a pot at least once an hour, twice an hour on cold days.

After the military I drove truck for 10 years and ran all 40 continuos states. Believe me, I have drank every variety of coffee made, and in Lousiana I even drank that ink blank dank swamp water looking stuff they call coffee.

In about 1983 I about 1983 I entered the Plumbing Apprenticeship and finally retired as a Plumber....

If plumbing taught me nothing else, it taught me that I do not trust water unless it has been heated to a boil, then filtered through coffee grounds...LOL

All joking aside, I probably drink more coffee than anyone you know. I personally drink, on average 8 pots a day and all I drink is Black coffee so you can be sure that I am very particular about what brand of coffee we buy. For those of you who convert a cup of coffee into a hot milkshake with all that cream & sugar and who knows what else they add, you can squeak by with just about any brand, but for those of us who only drink black coffee, you can rest assured, we notice even the slightest bitter or oily taste.

According to a national survey that was posted on Yahoo about 6 months ago, Community Coffee, is rated as the #1 coffee in America, and I can tell you from first hand experience, it does make an excellant cup of coffee.

My all time personal favorite is 8 O'clock. Not only does 8 O'clock make an excellant cup of black coffee, if it is ground fine it also makes an excellant espresso and an even better cup of turkish coffee, but that is a chore to make.

Living here in Massachusetts I am right in the middle of the Dunkin Donuts domain, with a Dunkin Donuts store every 8 or 10 miles down the road. In fact, there are 5 Dunkin donuts stores within 4 miles of my house, but there is one thing that most ppl do not understand about Dunkin Donuts. Although they now sell Dunkin Donuts coffee in grocery stores nationwide, primarily Dunkin Donuts is a donut company like crispy kreme that originated in New England and it is blended for the New England taste, however in New England coffee is consumed much differently that what it is in the rest of this country. In most of this country when you tell your waitress to bring you a cup of coffee, she will return with a cup of black coffee and you add cream & sugar to your liking, but in New England if you order "Regular coffee" it comes with cream & sugar, "light coffee is cream only", "Sweet coffee is sugar only" and if you order "Black coffee" you will get a stupid look from the waitress as she asks, "are you sure thats what you want?" Personally, I find that Dunkin donuts coffee is a bit too bitter for my taste.

Although it originated on the west coast, I find Starbucks coffee to be in the same boat as Dunkin donuts, it is great if your into triple layte', double flipit flap, nonesense add ons and high end designer labels and you don't mind paying the inflated prices then Starbucks is definitely the coffee for you, personally, I don't like it at all, in fact, on the two occassions recently when ppl gave me a pound, I re-gifted it off to somebody else.

But if your on a budget like me and don't mind getting caught by your friends occassional shopping at a Walmart or dollar store then my choices of coffee would come down to three;

1. 8 O'clock
2. Maxwell House dark roast
3. Folgers Classic

    Bookmark   December 27, 2011 at 5:35PM
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Thank you for all the good advice!

I checked out Costco selection (Dunkin Donuts and Costco brand) and also the Community website. I emailed my friend (who is in Afghanistan) and asked for specifics of what they might like. I named the brands I was looking at and asked what their set-up was there. Just waiting for his response.

Costco is definitely cheaper but if Community is a decent coffee brand I may go with them since they have the Military Match if you buy 4 bags. Plus it looks like I might get free shipping to his APO address!! Seeems like a good company and good deal.

Thank you also to those who asked to donate with me. I can email you privately.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 5:19PM
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The BEST to me is Folgers Classic medium blend. I love it even more in a perculator.
Years ago I tried many different brands...always went back to Folgers, so now I don't try others because I feel I found the best!

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 5:51PM
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Our favorite coffee is Community Coffee dark roast although their medium roast breakfast blend is quite good as well. I'm even more impressed with the company since ravencajun posted the additional information. I'm all for being supportive to family owned USA companies that also show their support to our military.

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 5:57PM
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When I make coffee it's Folgers decaf. You might want to find out if they make it themselves with a coffee maker. if not I'd send instant.
and those 6/pk tubes of instant coffee for $1 are a great find and they can put them in their pockets and use steaming hot water on the go
just MHO

    Bookmark   January 12, 2012 at 6:17PM
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All that I was about to offer was to ask the recipients which they'd like.

I think that postage via APO is cheap - and it'll more than likely go by air.

Probably that unambitious doggie could offer some good advice, there.

Hi Determined Doggie,

Starbucks shares ain't done too bad lately - from about 9 bucks 3 - 4 years ago to about 40 now!

I don't think that I've ever had a taste: too high-priced for this cheap old .....

ole joyfuelled ... with occasional help from, usually, Maxie House

    Bookmark   January 14, 2012 at 3:57PM
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