Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A Wonderful Mass-Market Coffee: Maxwell House Intense Bold Coffee Satisfies!

The Good: Strong flavorful taste, Appropriately caffeinated, Good aroma, Reasonably priced!
The Bad: Very bitter aftertaste.
The Basics: Maxwell House's new Intense Bold Coffee is good, especially for a major brand!

When one reviews many things over the course of several years, it is interesting to see how one's perception can change. For me, one of the big things that has changed, the more I have reviewed coffees of all types, is what I perceive as expensive for a good container of coffee. I tend to be a fan of darker blends of coffee and there are a lot of brands that seem happy to charge more for them. But, every now and then, I encounter a dark blend that is affordable and good. Despite a bitter aftertaste, Maxwell House Intense Bold Coffee manages to satisfy. And it is not overly expensive, which is nice.


One of the dominant coffee roasters and distributors in the United States, Maxwell House produces a number of blends. Intense Bold is one of the darkest blends by Maxwell House that I have found in stores and for the 1 pound, fourteen point six ounce plastic container it is priced on par with the other, similar sized, containers. Intense Bold is decent dark coffee flavored coffee that tastes good when brewed. This is a 30.6 oz. plastic canister of ground coffee, which is a truly obscure volume of coffee. Because it is not whole bean, no grinding is required. With a plastic lid that one simply lifts off, the Intense Bold 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.

Intense Bold Coffee is an aromatic blend that smells dark and rich and entirely like coffee beans and it is caffeinated.

Ease Of Preparation

Intense Bold Coffee is remarkably easy to prepare, no advanced culinary degrees necessary! First, open the can. Maxwell House Intense Bold 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. Intense Bold 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, I prefer a permanent filter (reviewed here), which you put the Intense Bold 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 Intense Bold Coffee is aromatic when brewed. In fact, it is one of the few coffees that I can recall reviewing where the brewed coffee has a scent very close to the potency of the beans in the canister.

In the mouth, Intense Bold Coffee has a dark, smoky flavor to it. The coffee tastes like super concentrated coffee, entirely like a Intense Bold, dark coffee ought to. The fully roasted flavor makes for a rich, full beverage. The Intense Bold coffee finishes bitter, after only about five seconds in the mouth. The bitter aftertaste endures in the mouth for

A creamer, the Maxwell House Intense Bold Coffee remains coffee flavored, but the bitterness is diminished.


This is coffee, not something that appears on the nutrition pyramid! Maxwell House Intense Bold Coffee does not contribute anything to one's daily recommended allowance of anything. In fact, the canister lists only 100% pure coffee as the only ingredients.

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.


Intense Bold 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 April 30, 2017 expiration date found on the bottom, but I am bound to drink it up well before then.

After brewing, coffee grounds ought to be disposed of. This does not seem like an ideal coffee to make a second pot with (though a second brewing came out at least half as potent, which is about as strong as a standard cup of coffee). 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 Intense Bold Coffee is one of the best mass-market coffees I have yet found and at prices far less than premium brands, it is a steal for anyone who loves truly dark coffee blends.

For other coffee reviews, please visit my reviews of:
Tim Horton's Fine Grind Coffee
Kahlua Mocha Coffee
Illy Medium Roast Ground Espresso


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

© 2016 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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