Choosing the ideal blend for your next cup of coffee can be more complicated than you might assume. Even if you don’t care too much about the quality of your coffee, everyone likes to throw some variety into their regular habits every once in a while. And when it comes to coffee, there’s certainly no shortage of options in this regard. Sometimes, even something seemingly simple like choosing between Folgers or Starbucks can turn out to be a complicated inner argument. And we certainly don’t blame you – it just shows you’re more serious about your coffee than the average person.
So how do you choose between Folgers and Starbucks, and which brand should you lean towards? As many things in the world of coffee, it comes down to certain personal preferences. Let’s take a look at the things you should keep in mind when pondering over this decision.
What Blends Does Starbucks Offer?
Starbucks is primarily known for their coffee shops, but the brand also sells their own line of different varieties of coffee beans. While Starbucks has a reputation for not always picking the best beans for their coffee, they still do a fine job with their packaged products, and they’re worth your money if you like a special taste every now and then. There are plenty of options to pick from, like the French Roast, perfect for French press lovers and those who enjoy a darker roast in general; or the Sumatra, known for its more unique flavor pattern and strong taste.
If you’re a fan of K-Cups, those are an option as well. The Breakfast Blend is a particularly good choice for starting your day, featuring a light but still rich flavor, and suitable for those times when you just want something mild and tasty, without jumpstarting your brain like a stronger blend would do.
Does Starbucks have Drip Coffee?
Yes, it does. In general, Starbucks has plenty of options for avid coffee enthusiasts and beginners in the field alike. Don’t make the mistake of disregarding them as the fast food equivalent of coffee shops, which some people seem to see them as. Especially on the packaged coffee front, Starbucks is a pretty reliable choice.
What About Folgers?
Folgers, on the other hand, is known more for the company’s dedication to good taste and quality beans. While the difference may not be immediately obvious, even to someone with a lot of experience with coffee in general, drinking enough Folgers over time will definitely leave a lasting impression on you. Especially if you compare it to some of the blends offered by Starbucks – but not all of them.
Folgers is perfect for fans of classic arabica blends, and they offer several variants that should be able to meet anyone’s needs. You’ve got your classic roast, Colombian coffee, as well as some fancier blends like “French Vanilla” and hazelnut. Not everyone is fan of sweetened coffee, but if you’re in that crowd, Folgers is definitely going to be an interesting brand for you to try.
Like Starbucks, Folgers also offers their own K-Cups. It’s a great way to get a cup of their classic roast, and Folgers K-Cups tend to be cheaper compared to other brands for the most part. Don’t get the wrong idea though – their quality is still top notch, especially if you prefer a classic, smooth taste without any extra additions. Asking questions like “which Folgers coffee has the most caffeine?” is probably not the right way to go about choosing the ideal blend for yourself, when the flavor profile can make such a huge difference as well. And remember that both brands offer decaf options for those who don’t want to get that buzz every time they have a cup of coffee. Which, if you enjoy the occasional cup late in the evening, is definitely a good option to consider.
Don’t Settle on Something Just for the Brand Name
Some people go for Starbucks just because it’s Starbucks. While there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a brand’s line of products, limiting yourself to a specific brand for the sake of its name can cut you out of many options that might potentially interest you. Whether you’re a fan of Starbucks or Folgers doesn’t matter – but if you’ve never given the other brand a try (or any other brands for that matter), then you’re likely missing out on a lot.
Sure, you might discover that you have been right to stay away from a certain brand all along. But you’ll never know that unless you give it a chance. And as a counterpoint to what we mentioned above, don’t be quick to discard Starbucks just because it’s the most “commercial” brand of coffee right now. The company rose to this place for a good reason, and people are clearly enjoying their products if they’ve managed to stay that popular. With that in mind, give them a try yourself – you never know, it might turn out to be your favorite coffee.
Preparation Can Matter Just as Much as the Blend
If you’re not pleased with the coffee you’re drinking lately and you can’t put your finger on the exact reason, it might not have anything to do with the blend. You could just be brewing it wrong. This can be true even if you’re doing what you’ve always done. If you’re not following an exact recipe, you might be altering certain aspects of your brew without even realizing it. Even small changes can affect the final outcome significantly and underestimating the importance of this is one of the classic beginner mistakes.
Try experimenting with some new preparation methods if you want to throw some variety into your coffee ritual. The same coffee can taste very differently when prepared in certain ways, and some blends are naturally predisposed to specific preparation methods. In fact, you might discover that you’ve been using the wrong method all along! This can be a huge change in the way your coffee tastes, so don’t underestimate it.
What Are the Experts Saying?
You might be tempted to listen to what the experts are saying. But when it comes to something like choosing between Starbucks and Folgers, you won’t necessarily always find objective opinions that align with your own tastes. Some will tell you that the blonde pour over Starbucks offers is the worst thing ever – but if you like it yourself, does it really matter?
As we mentioned above, brands like Starbucks tend to suffer from a bit of a negative reputation in the “elite” coffee community. But that doesn’t mean you should agree with those opinions. Sometimes, the simplest, most popular option will be perfect for your own needs. And even if that’s not the case, you’ll at least have tried – some people don’t even go that far.
Tips for Getting Consistent Results Every Time
We mentioned consistency above, and that’s an important point to expand on. Some people underestimate the importance of following exact measurements when preparing their coffee. But the truth is that making coffee is closer to baking than cooking, in the sense that even a tiny percentage of a difference can have a huge impact on the final outcome. With that in mind, make sure to write everything down, and follow those notes as precisely as possible every time you’re making a cup of coffee.
It might not seem like much, but it’s going to go a long way towards ensuring that each cup you brew is as close to perfection as possible. Then, you can start exploring different options for new blends, flavors, and other similar details.
What Should You Choose in the End?
So, with all that in mind, you’re probably starting to get a good idea of the thought process you should follow when choosing the ideal coffee blend for yourself. Don’t just settle on a specific brand for its name alone, and make sure to explore everything the market has to offer, even options you think you might not like for whatever reason. Also, write down every detail about the way you’re preparing your coffee. That way, you’ll be able to replicate that perfect cup every time once you’ve found the blend that works best for you.
And when it comes to Starbucks and Folgers in particular, make sure to explore all of their products. Yes, even those weird blends with caramel and other similar flavors that many people look down on. You’d be surprised how tasty they can be, especially early in the morning. Choosing the ideal blend for your morning routine can make all the difference in how you start your day. Keep your eyes open for new arrivals to the market as well! Especially with Starbucks, it’s common that the company would release some new products, and you never know when they might choose to launch something that’s right up your alley. It can’t hurt to subscribe to some online communities as well. Sites like Reddit have surprisingly detailed sections for coffee enthusiasts, including for brands like Starbucks.