Folgers coffee is one of the most popular brands of ground coffee in the US coffee market in 2011 and is regularly purchased by many consumers.
I have tried it but I found that the Folgers Classic & Gourmet Coffee Beans/Ground tended to be packaged just too large for my personal consumption!
You will certainly recognize the trademark red packaging for Folgers Coffee! Just in case you didn't, it's pictured on the left! But this red packaging hides a variety of price points, flavors, blends and products (some of which aren't even red!).
In fact, there are 8 different categories of Folgers Coffee available in the US marketplace: from ground coffee to instant to one cups, Folgers have a product for almost every segment of the marketplace! And they continue to innovate, roast and blend to this day!
But it certainly didn't start out that way! Folgers Coffee Company came from very humble beginnings in the California Gold Rush! Little did the Founders know that they would mining 'gold' blends for nearly 2 centuries!
In fact, the Folgers coffee company has a long and colorful history, beginning the early 17th century when the family arrived at Massachusetts Bay Colony from Norwich, England.
Over 200 years later, James A. Folger headed west along with thousands of others hoping to strike it rich in the California Gold Rush between 1848 and 1855.
James arrived in San Francisco but he lacked the cash to get to the mining fields. So in order to make that money he went to work at a local coffee and spice mill, the Pioneer Steam Coffee and Spice Mills, where he toiled as a carpenter. Pioneer bought coffee beans, roasted and ground them, then packaged the ground coffee for resale to the gold miners.
Eventually James became a partner and then bought the original owners out, changing the name to "J.A.Folger & Co". His son James A. Folger II took over when he died at the age of 51 and concentrated the company's efforts on coffee.
At that time their best blend and most costly was "Folgers Golden Gate Coffee" (look at this auction of this coffee product from 1931.
As Folgers grew and expanded the company gradually marketed their coffee all over the United States. In 1963 the company was bought by Procter & Gamble and a new ad campaign was launched, making it the country's number one coffee.
While this kind of advertisement would not sell well today, it highlights the attitudes and values of the time. Somehow, the ad captures that moment in time and managed to showcase Folgers Coffee for the audience of the time.
The main selling point of the campaign was that Folgers coffee is "mountain grown" and since people were largely ignorant of how coffee is grown they believed the coffee was superior to others on the market.
By the 1960s the Folger Company had abandoned its founder's ideals of buying only premium coffee beans, opting instead to cut costs and increase their volume of product. They bought coffee beans in bulk without regard to how or where they were grown as long as the price was right.
Beans from Mexico were mixed with those from Colombia and Brazil regardless of their individual qualities. They were then roasted in 500 pound batches before they were ground, packaged and shipped as Folgers coffee.
In 2008 the Folger Company used their new "pre-roasting" process as an advertising tool, stating that the finest coffee is pre-roasted. In their patent application they stated that the object was to prevent burning when roasting poor quality beans.
Most people didn't know that beans are dried at the coffee farm before they are shipped, bringing the moisture content to a little over 10%. Drying them more makes the beans brittle and gives them a bland flavor.
Still, everyone loved Folgers, mostly because they had no experience with other quality coffee. And in 2008, it was the most popular brand of coffee in the country, averaging 38% market share.
There's quite a large range of products on the market, too, now. So let's take a look at what you can buy: Classic products, Flavored Coffees, and their Specialist products. Folgers has expanded to cover more coffee market segments, including the premium quality segment.
This is where you'll see the range of Folgers Classic Coffee: including their Classic Red Cans, Classic Decaf, and Half Caff.
You also find: Folgers Classic Complements Coffee Blends in this group which includes their Breakfast Blend, Special Roast, Brazilian, House Blend, 100% Colombian Roast, a Medium-Dark French Roast, and their darkest roast the Black Silk; and...
Folgers Simply Smooth is a smoother, less acid variety or two for mornings. The Folgers Simply Smooth claims to be easier on the stomach and has been earning plaudits from some customers for its overall quality.
Folgers Gourmet Selections: a line of gourmet, varietals and flavored coffees. You will find 11 variations in the Folgers Gourmet Selections that aim to brighten up your day! Gourmet includes Bistro Blend, Brazilian Sunrise, and Lively Columbian; while flavored also includes Hazelnut creme, Vanilla Biscotti (pictured), Chocolate Truffle, and Caramel Drizzle.
Flavored Coffees are similar to the Gourmet selection but include 4 flavors: Hazlenut, French Vanilla, Chocolate Silk, Cinnamon. These Folgers Flavors are worth trying if you like flavored coffee drinks.
Cappuccino: Instant cappuccino powder available in French Vanilla and Mocha Chocolate.
Instant Coffee: Folgers Crystals are available in Regular and Decaf.
Not to be outdone by the more modern coffee brands, Folgers has produced more modern products:
Folgers Gourmet K-Cups. These are intended only for use with a one-cup brewing system. You can currently only buy four types: Caramel Drizzle, Lively Colombian and Vanilla Biscotti.
Folgers Singles: Single serve packets (like tea bags) that can be brewed in your cup and is available in Decaf, too.
You may also see some variety and more limited product ranges in other countries, too.
Folgers has been described as mediocre, at best. Some coffee lovers have described it as tasting like hot colored water or mildewed grain or even notebook paper. That's a bit unfair but having badly made Folgers coffee in your cup is definitely not the best part of waking up, and you can do better.
Making it stronger just increases the bitterness and vaguely unpleasant aftertaste. But you should also try the Gourmet blends, the flavored blends and a couple of other different varieties first before you decide for yourself.
Folgers Classic & Gourmet Coffee Beans/Ground is an affordable coffee brand for people who are looking for a morning jolt and not much else. You may even find a coffee coupon or two to make the coffee taste that much better! Is that a harsh judgment? Let me know. Drop me a line!
Do you have a great story about buying or drinking Folger's Coffee? Why not share it with me and the other coffee lovers at this site?
Click below to see other Folgers Coffee contributions from visitors to this page...
A little skeptical about Folgers Coffee? Try it first
I had been skeptical about Folgers Coffee because I live with someone who could best be described as a coffee snob. However, on one recent trip to …
Can you find Folgers Breakfast Blend K cups?
I can not find the Folgers Breakfast Blend K cups anywhere, and I'd love to order more! Any idea if/when I can get my hands on this! It should be fantastic! …
My Folgers Coffee Page: Individual Coffee Lovers' Reactions Not rated yet
Costco (see the Costco Coffee article) is the only place I typically purchase coffee. Their cans are twice the size as a regular grocer's, and they …
Folgers Coffee Roasts: From Folgers Simply Smooth to Folgers Kcups Not rated yet
I have tried many types of coffee, but I always come back to Folgers Classic Roast . It's the only coffee I use now. I wouldn't dare serve my guests …
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