On a couple of occasions this last month, I was served inferior Robusta coffee at friends houses (even elite coffee drinkers go with the Robusta beans when serving a big party) and didn’t seem to mind them. Faced with fierce competition, they are improving. Folders continues to dominate the household coffee market, but it wants to gain back its lost elite customers. For the last few years, Folgers has been developing a new roasting technique, “the biggest innovation since the launch of decaf.” See Douglas Quenqua, “Folgers Markets a New Coffee to Cost-Cutting Home Brewers,” NYT (Sept. 19, 2008), p. C10. To do so, Folgers has overhauled its factory in
Folgers is realistic about its goals in dissuading a snob coffee drinker like myself, who will pay the price for organic and fair-trade. But I will give a try. I suppose, I’m a little old-school about some things. I cannot stand the new plastic coffee cans. This summer, we bought a grill. I was looking for a good-old-coffee can to turn into a cylinder for lighting charcoal to no avail. The good old metal can that you could recycle into multiple household uses has expired as a product of the 20th century. Newly wed couples will not be able to tie up a gigantic Folgers coffee tub behind their “Just Married” automobiles. The metal can warded off evil spirits on its way to a new household. The Saatchi and Saatchi TV aspires to strike some domestic chords through sound (drawers opening, spoons rolling in a coffee mug, the slippers of a man in pajamas squeak), but I don’t think it will succeed in the apotropeic magical qualities of pre-Starbucks Folgers.