Monday, April 1, 2013

Unremarkable, But Expensive, Gevalia House Blend Coffee Failed To Grab Me

The Good: Appropriately caffeinated, Strong coffee flavor
The Bad: Very expensive, Exceptionally bitter, Aftertaste
The Basics: Gevalia House Blend Coffee was not as powerful or dark as I might have liked, but it was unpleasantly bitter, so at least one has to pay a lot to not be particularly thrilled by the flavor.

I like dark coffee. I like dark coffee that is flavorful, so when my wife picked us up some of the Gevalia House Blend Medium/Dark Coffee, we had every expectation we would enjoy it. If anything, my preconception was the coffee wouldn’t be strong enough (there are a number of dark blends that don’t grab me for being too weak. As it was, I found myself surprised that the coffee was very bitter without tasting strong and actually flavorful. The result was that I found myself fairly disappointed by this premium coffee.

House Blend is a standard-line coffee from Gevalia where the name tells one nothing about its flavor, except that it is supposed to be a medium to slightly dark coffee. In this case, it just means bitter. And Gevalia makes one pay for that!


Gevalia is a premium coffee company that tries to meet the specific tastes of each coffee drinker. The standard size for House Blend Medium/Dark is a 12 oz. bag.

The Medium/Dark House Blend is an aromatic blend that smells potently of coffee beans and hazelnuts and it is a caffeinated blend. This is intended to be a bold coffee and it does come across as that, from the aroma to the first sip!

Ease Of Preparation

House Blend Coffee is remarkably easy to prepare, no advanced culinary degrees necessary! First, open the bag. Gevalia House Blend Coffee is vacuum sealed when first purchased, so when it is opened, the bag will likely plump up a little. Then, measure out one heaping tablespoon for every two cups of water in your coffee maker. House Blend Coffee is intended for automatic (drip or percolating) coffee makers. This is NOT an instant coffee. As a result, it needs to be brewed and I use a Hamilton Beach machine (reviewed here!) with Melitta coffee filters (reviewed here!).

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, which you put the House Blend Coffee in and then brew through your coffee maker. The directions recommend making a pot at a time and serving it within twenty minutes and brewing complete pots does seem to net a more unified taste to the coffee (nothing too weak or inconsistent!).


Gevalia House Blend Coffee smells nutty, like a dark coffee that might actually have hazelnuts in it. Given that it is supposed to be a standard coffee flavor for the baseline of Gevalia, the aroma was initially surprising and a little off-putting to me.

In the mouth, though, there is no hint of nuttiness. The House Blend is a fairly strong cup of coffee, with a watery aftertaste. This is an initially powerful cup of coffee; the flavor is entirely of coffee beans, concentrated, but then it finishes with a slightly sweet, weak and watery aftertaste. Initially very bitter, the House Blend is not dry at all, but its less-concentrated secondary flavor is a more diluted flavor, but the bitterness lingers.

With a single teaspoon of sugar, the coffee flavor does not diminish and the bitterness is cut very little. Instead, the sugar seems to accent the watery aftertaste, which is odd. Creamer effectively cuts the bitterness out.


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Gevalia House Blend Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the bag 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 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.


House Blend Coffee ought to be stored sealed in its container with the top firmly closed. Coffee is known to absorb flavors of food nearby it, so keeping the top tightly closed 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. The container makes no recommendations on that count.

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. These grounds may be thrown in the trash when used or put in a compost pile, if available. Coffee grounds make great compost.


Gevalia Medium/Dark House Blend Coffee was much more bitter than flavorful and when it wasn’t indistinctly bitter, it was strangely watery, making for a fairly unimpressive blend not worth the price.

For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Folgers Gourmet Supreme Coffee
Starbucks Cafe Estima Coffee
Kahlua Coffee


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

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