Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Good Coffee, Disappointing For Dark Coffee Drinkers: Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Is Mediocre.

The Good: Appropriately caffeinated, Good aroma, Reasonably priced!
The Bad: Not the most impressive flavor, Sugar completely dilutes its flavor!
The Basics: Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Coffee is average, which is a little disappointing for those who love dark coffee blends.

As a dark coffee drinker, it surprises me that it has taken so long to acquiring and reviewing a Maxwell House coffee. So, today that changes with my review of Maxwell House South Pacific Blend coffee. It should be noted that the South Pacific Blend is a medium dark blend. As a result, this might be a bit much for those who like average, medium, beanwater. But for those of us who start their day on a dark roast, the South Pacific Blend is, unfortunately, predictable weak. It’s not bad, but this is more what an average cup of coffee ought to be as opposed to anything considered even remotely possessing flair.


One of the dominant coffee roasters and distributors in the United States, Maxwell House produces a number of blends. South Pacific Blend is one of the medium darkest blend by Maxwell House that I have found in stores and for the 1 pound, thirteen point three ounce plastic container. South Pacific Blend is fairly dark, but not particularly flavorful. At least Maxwell House does not make you pay extra for the mediocre flavor bump! This is a 29.3 oz. plastic canister of ground coffee. Because it is not whole bean, no grinding is required. With a plastic lid that one simply lifts off, the South Pacific Blend Coffee is easily protected from absorbing scents of other foods. The container has a nice grip to the side of it, to make the otherwise bulky container easy to handle.

South Pacific Blend Coffee is an aromatic blend that smells potently of coffee beans and it is a caffeinated blend.

Ease Of Preparation

South Pacific Blend Coffee is remarkably easy to prepare, no advanced culinary degrees necessary! First, open the can. Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Coffee is vacuum sealed when first purchased, but it has only a foil seal to get through to break the vacuum seal. After removing the foil seal, procure a scoop (not included) and measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. South Pacific Blend Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers, like my Hamilton Beach coffee maker (reviewed here!). This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed.

Consult your coffee maker's instructions for how to brew the coffee. However, as far as the basics go, you'll need a coffee filter, like the Melita coffee filters (reviewed here), which you put the South Pacific Blend Coffee in and then brew through your coffee maker. The directions recommend making a pot at a time. Maxwell House does not take a stand on refrigerating the container after opening it.


Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Coffee has comparatively strong coffee smell to it. Those used to a standard, medium, blend will find the full, forceful scent of this slightly darker roast to be the equivalent of a very strong cup of coffee. It smells like coffee. However, for those used to dark blends, the South Pacific Blend lacks the eye-opening force of aroma one would expect from a dark coffee blend.

On the tongue, South Pacific Blend Coffee has a very muddy flavor. This might take the place of an actual dark coffee flavor, but the South Pacific Blend has an earthy, dirty taste to it that makes it taste less like a strong cup of coffee and more like someone took a weak cup of coffee, spilled it on a dirty floor, then put it back in the mug. This is not horrible on the taste front, but it does not taste particularly dark or flavorful (in a positive way). The South Pacific Blend has only a slightly bitter aftertaste.

A teaspoon of sugar, South Pacific Blend Coffee is entirely overwhelmed by the sugar. Creamer holds its own with this dirty blend, cutting out the coffee flavor (not the dirt flavor), making for an unfortunate beverage. Fortunately, with a flavored creamer, one actually gets the flavor of the creamer instead of a weak, loserific coffee.

With additives, the South Pacific Blend has no aftertaste whatsoever.


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the canister does not have any ingredients, so I am forced to assume all that is in this blend is coffee beans, which would fit what it tastes like.

This is a caffeinated blend, though and it feels like it! This has enough caffeine to pop one's eyes open between the taste, aroma and caffeine. Because it is a caffeinated coffee, it appears to not have undergone any of the chemical processes that sometimes cause complications in decaffeinated coffees.


South Pacific Blend Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with the top firmly on. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the top on is highly recommended. There are different schools of thought on refrigerating open coffee and I have a very clean refrigerator with a lot of ways to segregate coffee, so I tend to come down on the side of refrigerate it. Stored properly, this coffee might have easily made it to the June 20, 2013 expiration date found on the bottom, but we didn’t let it survive that long!

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. This does not seem like an ideal coffee to make a second pot with (second brewings I attempted came out 1/2 to 5/8 as potent as the first brewing) unless one is in a household with a number of people some who like powerful coffee and others who like powerful water. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost.


Maxwell House South Pacific Blend Coffee is average coffee. It is not bad, but it is in no way extraordinary. As such, this should be considered a baseline, not a superlative blend.

For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Seattle’s Best Level Three
Tasters Choice Gourmet Roast
Folgers Gourmet Supreme


For other drink reviews, please check out my Drink Review Index Page for an organized listing!

© 2013 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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