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Jan 6, 2008 08:20 PM

Gevalia coffee, why is this not better? [Moved from Chains board]

I hope i'm posting this to the right board. Gevalia is a mail-order coffee purveyor that ships all over, but if this belongs in another board, please mods- place it where it should be. Thanks in advance.

I decided to start getting Gevalia coffee, from an email I recieved for a nice, "free" coffee maker. No problems with the maker, it's actually decent. My issue is with the coffee itself.

Am I missing something, with Gevalia? I order the Stockholm Roast, and the Irish flavored coffee. I'm drinking some of the Irish coffee as I type this, and...Ugggg...just...UGH. The coffee's been kept sealed, in a dark place and unopened till this moment. I have the ground coffee, as I never considered myself such a coffee drinker to start buying whole beans, and grinding my own. This is probably going to change soon, as i'm consistanly impressed with the coffee I grind myself at my local "natural" foodstore. (organic, and the cost is totally reasonable! $5.99 a lb!)

Perhaps i've discovered Gevalia's marketing strategy: Portray your comany as a luxury, high-end must-have, and people will buy it, and think it's good. All based on name, not quality. I'm just underwhelmed by what i've ordered so far from them (Hey, this concept works for luxury items like Prada, dosen't it??)

Do any Chowhounders get Gevalia? What do you like, and am I to think most get the whole bean, and grind at home? Perhaps if I get a better offering from them, i'll be happier. Does the royal family of Sweden really DRINK this stuff? IKEA's bagged coffee is comparable! Talk about the Emperor's New Clothes.....

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  1. What one person likes another may not, I'd suggest trying various coffees till you find one you like. And there is good coffee cheaper than Gevalia.

    As for grinding beans at home, IMO opinion it takes a difference. When you first open a bag of ground coffee, the taste is fine, but when you get to the bottom of the bag there's a noticeable deterioration in flavor,

    Cook's Illustrated tested coffee grinders, BTW, and decided the cheap blade grinders produced a tastier cup that the expensive burr grinders. So I bought a blade grinder and have to agree.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mpalmer6c

      Thanks for posting CI's findings. I happen to love ATK, and get the magazine as well, but must have missed that one. A cheapo blade grinder it is for me, then! A new adventure in coffee begins soon..

      1. re: mpalmer6c

        A blade grinder is better than an expensive burr grinder? Well, so much for Cook's Illustrated's credibility!
        Just to be fair Cook's illustrated never said blade grinders were better than GOOD burr grinders. They said they were better than cheap burr grinders. In any event, they are wrong and shockingly so!

      2. I would also add that it makes a difference how you make the coffee. Even if you grind your own beans, if you use a traditional drip filter maker, you won't get asflavorful a cup as you would from a french press. After being dissatisfied first with pre-ground beans, and then with the tepid brew from the drip makers, I now grind my own (with a burr grinder) and brew it in a Bodum French Press. Right now we use the beans from Trader Joe's.

        5 Replies
        1. re: dpan

          As far as that goes, I've found that when I'm using a french press coffeemaker, coffee ground in a blade grinder (specifically, the KitchenAid one with the removable bowl) is far superior to coffee ground in a burr grinder, because if anything, the burr grinder is somewhat TOO efficient. I am far more likely to get cup sediment from burr-ground beans than blade-ground beans, where I have more control and can stop the grinding before any of the beans get too finely ground.

          1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

            I've done it both ways and each produces an amount of sediment. I want consistency in the grind and (here I'm exposing my engineer anal retentitiveness) to have the maximum amount of coffee surface area exposed to the liquid. The only way I can do that is with the burr grinder.

            1. re: dpan

              I get no sediment whatsoever using a blade grinder. I prefer that.

              1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                But with the blade grinder you're heating the beans which affect the taste. The burr grinder doesn't do that.

                1. re: dpan

                  For the five seconds the grinder is running, I'm willing to take that risk.

        2. The Gevalia Coffee available by mail-order is not at all like the "real" Gevalia coffee. It is a different product marketed overseas by Gevalia brand. I have no idea why they do this when their original product is so fantastic. Case in point: Having moved back to New York after many years living abroad (nine of them in Sweden), my coffeeholic parents searched for a substitute for their beloved Gevalia Bryggs Mellan Rost (Medium Roast). Alas, there was none to be found (they went through all sorts of coffee phases, as I recall- and they were terribly disappointed by the mail-order Gevalia at least 12 years ago, when it was novel). In the end, they decided to begin shipping themselves the real deal from an online retailer in Sweden. Several years into it, they have probably spent more $$ on shipping than on coffee, but for them it's worth it. So yes, the Gevalia mail-order stuff is disappointing (though many people enjoy it for what it is), but this is more a reflection of their marketing practices than it is of their true product.

          6 Replies
          1. re: vvvindaloo

            Sweden is not, of course, one of the world's main coffee producing countries, although the per capita consumption of it there is, I believe,. very high - second only to Finland. There are plenty of companies both in the US and Canada that can supply you with a vast choice of coffees - ground, roasted bean, green bean, from Central America, the Caribbean (including Cuba in Canada), South America, ther Middle East, Africa and Asia. I found the best thing to do is try a variety of them and experiment, experiment, experiment until you find a blend and roast that suits you best.

            1. re: ekammin

              We were getting Gevalia by mail for years. One morning I looked at my husband and said, "You know, I don't think this is very good" to which he agreed. We were both drinking the stuff for years becuase we thought the other loved it! Now we order Dunkin Donuts coffee through the mail and we are both so much happier.

            2. re: vvvindaloo

              This is -exactally- what I feared to be the case, IE Gevalia made for the Swedish/European market being far superior to what's offered for the mail-order in the States. How depressing, yet expected. I wonder, do they think the US market is wanting a different type, or flavor in their coffees?

              Thanks to all who replied, and helped me come to grips with the inevitable truth before me: time to buy good, whole beans, and grind at home.

              1. re: Honeychan

                If it's any consolation, I have never seen or heard of true Swedish Gevalia anywhere outside of lower Scandinavia. Not sure why.

                1. re: Honeychan

                  I would have to agree with that assessment. Years ago I lived in Belgium for a short time, and bought the Douwe Egbert individual drip coffee containers from the supermarket. They were excellent for a mass produced store coffee. Back in the States, I could not find anything to compare with this kind of coffee anywhere. That's why I've been grinding my own.

                  1. re: dpan

                    It's funny you mention Douwie Egberts coffee. Here in Las Vegas, many coffee shops in hotels use this brand, in reconstituted bagged form. UGGHHH, this is just rancid, and a horrible excuse for coffee. It tates what I think dirty dishwater would. Anytime I see Douwie Egberts offered, I order hot tea instead! I guess this is a European brand as well, and much better over there.

                    Gevalia is overrated.

              2. That's the concept for a lot of "Luxury" items. Jeans, shoes, cars, and particularly food. If you spend more for it, you're going to be prouder of it, and show it off to your friends. After you rub it in their nose that you have superior financial means, it's hoped that they will attempt to do the same, with the same product. "Keeping up with the Joneses", and not the kind that puts you into a nicotine fit.

                Find a local roaster, and give them a shot. You'll be amazed at how great fresh beans taste. Whole coffee beans have lost a bit of their flavor within a couple of weeks of being roasted if they are sealed in a container that allows them to give off CO2 but not take in oxygen. If they are just stuffed into a bag, they'll be junk within a week, and within a few hours if it's ground.

                As far as coffee is concerned, there's nothing better than getting a nice, fresh, oily batch of beans from a local roaster.

                My Blog:

                1. You're not alone--we did the "free coffeemaker" deal a few years ago and out of guilt bought a couple of bags of coffee. I thought the coffee wasn't nearly as good as 8 o'clock French Roast so we didn't order any more. We were baffled at the thought that this was supposed to be such good coffee!