This page will both have a simple ranking list and comparative reviews of the various coffee brands that my tongue had the opportunity to taste. I try to prepare the coffee the best that I can to give the coffee brand a fair chance, but I have found that good coffee beans will almost always taste good regardless of the preparation method. I will list the brands from worst to best, from the essence of fish liver to the finest of dark chocolate’s velvety pleasure.
Note: High gut irritation negatively affects cognitive function… In other words, bad coffee hurts my stomach, makes me take a shit, and makes me feel like passing out/sleepy. Another aspect to it is that a person with poor gut flora health would have a stomach sensitive to coffee. Interestingly enough, I was able to make my own stomach less sensitive to coffee by adding a lot of healthy fruit fiber (oranges) to my diet.
Table of Contents
Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Five Country Espresso Blend
Gut Irritation: Harsh
Taste: Burnt Charcoal
Comment: Now I understand that Dark Roast means to burn out the delicate flavors of coffee… This taste like burnt. Burnt grilled chicken. Burnt Kabob. You name it. Almost anything “burnt”. What a joke, it’s an “espresso” blend? Because it tastes burnt??? Also, there is not a sign of any crema when I brew this coffee. It’s as if I have bought the stalest coffee imaginable.
The Fair Trade Five Country Espresso Blend dark roast Coffee is horrible. Even if I try extracting the brew using hot-lukewarm water, similar to a cold brewing method, I find that the taste of the coffee is quite un-enjoyable. However, the only exception is when I absolutely use a cold brewing process for extracting the coffee. Then I find the taste borderline palatable. But compared to other coffee brands available, this one falls shorter than the Kirkland’s Signature Dark Roast Supremo Bean.
Kirkland’s Signature “100% Colombian Supremo Bean” Dark Roast
Gut Irritation: Harsh
Taste: Tar being heated on the road on a sunny day…
Crema: A Ton!
Comment: Kirkland’s Signature Colombian Dark Roast is quite a delicate coffee… Most coffee extraction methods end up passing to much bitterness into the brew. Maybe they threw in Robusta beans instead of only Arabica beans? But I found that a quick pour over or only brewing a single-strong cup of drip coffee helped to make sure that there was more the sharp-spicy undertone flavor instead of bitterness. I bet that an espresso machine is probably the best machine for this coffee. Otherwise, this coffee irritates my stomach every time.
Trader Joe’s “Joe” Medium Roast
Gut Irritation: Gentle and smooth (if properly prepared)
Taste: ‘Meh’… Savory grilled chicken?
Comment: I was expecting a lot out any coffee you can get your hands on from Trader Joe’s. But flavor profile I found after freshly brewing cup of the coffee is something along the lines of this: The taste can be best described as the finely freshly squeezed yellow elixir from bosom of a hen mixed with the innards of a cod… disgusting is to say the least. Now the sad thing is that this is how the coffee tasted right after I opened the can; not fresh at all. And I found that the expiration date was still a year away, so expiration is not excuse. I believe that the coffee “fermented” or went bad right before the roaster roasted the coffee.
Edit: Funny enough, the taste of this coffee grows on you, and now I prefer it much more over the Kirkland crap.
Trader Joe’s “Kenya AA” Medium Roast
Gut Irritation: Caressing-a-Baby Gentle.
Taste: Fine Dark Chocolate… Sometimes lemonade.
Comment: With this brand, I though I was sipping liquid chocolate when perfectly brewed… The taste was so fine and perfect… It became more sour-y when I made the coffee using a pour over method with a long brew time, but sour taste was of a savory-lemonade kind that pleases the tongue. I overall highly recommend this coffee, it’s pleasant to the stomach and the tongue.
Chock Full O Nuts Coffee Gourmet Roast Ground
In my experience, or at least out of this list, the Chock Full O’ Nuts Gourmet Roast Coffee is the most gentle coffee I’ve ever tried- especially so with the addition of some coconut almond milk. There is virtually no stomach irritation or hurt, and does not endow a harsh, bitter feel whenever I take a sip.
I find that the strength of the flavor is quite subtle. But because there is virtually no bitterness in this coffee, I tongue can easily detect flavors reminiscent of melon, a fruitiness of fine cocoa, and faintly of hazelnuts.
Because this coffee came with the beans already ground up, and I believe that it was stored as such for a long time, the crema formation is minimal. But it does not affect the pleasure in consuming this brand of coffee
Buying the Chock Full O’ Nuts brand of coffee was a pleasant surprise. I usually expect any supermarket generic coffee to taste pretty bland and bitter. But true to it’s label, this coffee is literally mild, smooth, and aromatic. I would recommend giving this coffee for a spin if you need something cheap, but good.
Another thing that I’ve noticed is that many coffee connoisseurs say that a darker roast is suppose to be easy on the stomach. That’s not true in my experience; for example, this Chock Full O’ nut gourmet coffee is a light roast coffee that happens to be super easy on my gut. So it looks like darker roast coffees are actually harder on the stomach; not the lighter variety.
I suppose the misconception that darker roast is suppose to be less irritating comes from the fact that darker roasts are more alkaline. But that’s ironic, because contrary to popular belief alkaline substances, when consumed, can upset stomach acid pH. So you’ll find yourself experiencing acid reflux because your esophagus sphincter needs to detect the stomach’s low pH to close.
And it makes sense that I have less acid reflux symptoms and gut irritation symptoms with this gourmet coffee brand, since a lighter roast is more acidic than the darker roasts.