Writer samples six coffee brands in search of best blend

January brings frigid temperatures and the start of a new semester at UNA. Cold walks across campus and late-night study sessions demand something to keep you warm and to help you stay energized so you can conquer the semester. I reviewed several coffee blends to find the best brew for you. All coffee blends can be purchased from Wal-Mart except Einsteins Bros. and Death Wish.

Einstein Bros. Bagels Cinnamon Winter Blend

This coffee will definitely wake you up in the morning — well, your taste buds, at least. I understand why this coffee is called “Cinnamon Winter Blend.” There is an unmistakable cinnamon flavor with hints of vanilla and nutmeg thrown into the mix.

Students can find this coffee fresh at Einstein’s Bagels inside the GUC. Although this coffee is quite delicious, it will leaves a bad aftertaste. There is no doubt you will have coffee breath after downing a cup with your breakfast.

Death Wish Coffee Company

Death Wish Coffee has to be the World’s Strongest Coffee. This coffee is organic, shade-grown and fair trade. “Based on our brewing recommendation a cup of Death Wish Coffee should have twice the amount of caffeine and loads more flavor than your typical store bought coffee,” according Death Wish Coffee’s FAQ page.

The aroma of this coffee was rich, chocolate and nutty flavored. It smelled like one of the world’s strongest coffees, but I was pleasantly surprised by its smoothness. It had no unpleasant burnt flavor some coffees develop. What I liked most about this coffee was the acidity did not take away from the flavor.

One pound of Death Wish Coffee costs $19.99 plus shipping. I think the price is a little steep, but this truly is a great brew. This coffee is for those who have the money to shell out and want a great coffee that will keep them going through the day.

Maxwell House 100% Colombian

When I first smelled the grounds of this coffee, the acidity was a little harsh on my nose. When brewed, the initial aroma was also quite acidic, almost coppery — almost offensive. The coffee itself had a very bright, earthy flavor, but I felt the aftertaste would stay on my tongue forever. I promptly poured this blend down the sink after trying it.

One pound costs $4.56. If you are looking for cheap coffee that gets the job done, go with this one. Serious coffee drinkers beware.

Seattle’s Best Signature Blend No. 3

The grounds for this coffee smelled divine, and the brewed liquid smelled even better. I could detect hints of chocolate and almonds as I wafted the aroma. The whiff was slightly deceiving, though. I expected a little more body and not quite as much acidity from this coffee. The aftertaste was more bitter than I expected, as well.

One pound of Seattle’s Best costs $8. Seattle’s Best has surely mastered the art of good, yet affordable, coffee. It holds its own among the medium roasts.

Red Diamond Classic Blend Medium Roast

The best word to describe this coffee is bland. It had a very light flavor. The only offensive part of this coffee was its lack of flavor. It had a very light body that could be pleasant with breakfast and the acidity was quite mild. Red Diamond is sold as “medium” roast, but I would put it in the “light” roast category.

One pound of Red Diamond Classic Blend coffee costs $6.56. If you are new to coffee and want a brew that is easy on the palate and affordable, go with this one. But, if you are ready to jump into some real coffee, skip the Red Diamond.

Starbucks House Blend Medium

The familiar brand did not disappoint. Starbucks House Blend has a pleasant and lively balance of acidity and boldness. The aftertaste was there, but it was not harsh. It has enough body to stand up to a super-sweet coffeecake, but not so bold that it would cause the casual coffee drinker to shy away.

One pound of Starbucks House Blend costs $9.92. The cost makes this coffee one of the most expensive in this review. If you want an everyday, balanced coffee, go with Starbucks’ House Blend.