Perhaps we can start a series of commentaries about truly awful coffee, both past and present. I am currently rueing the purchase of two pounds of "Pride of Arabia" coffee from Loblaws (Canadian geeks should be well familiar with this brand). It says 100% Arabica beans, and would appear to be roasted not that long ago, but it is close to the worst coffee I have ever had. I have tried espresso, drip, and french press, but there is NO FLAVOUR to this "coffee" whatsoever. The beans could have been made from play-dough and I would get more coffee flavour from them . It makes simply a hot, brown liquid that leaves me longing for a Folger's! It reminds me of my favourite "Archie" coffee joke:
Reggie: "Ecch!! This coffee tastes like mud!"
Jughead: "Funny, it was just ground this morning".
(Get it? "ground"? As in "dirt"; "earth"; "soil"?). That Jughead cracks me up!
My wife had the unfortunate luck to be admitted to the hospital for a 6 week stay. This was before I started in the coffee business. The machine in the vending room had this freeze dried crap that was pretty darn good. I looked forward to it nightly. At least it was better than the Folgers singles if I remember correctly.
Doctor, every time I drink coffee I get a sharp pain in my eye. Try removing the spoon from the cup. (Bazooka Joe, circa 1965)
You might be thinking of chicory. It's a common extender in canned coffee. You can get away with a little but greed sets in and things get really bad.
Do you remember Brim pods? They were just like espresso pods only about the size of a jelly donut. One of the early efforts to sell convenience at a hefty profit. Didn't work then but they've gotten better at it.
My contribution for the worst was a coffee service product we once had at work. It was a thick liquid made by brewing coffee and then boiling it down to remove most of the water. It came in a poly bladder inside a cardboard box. The dispensing machine re-diluted it with hot water into your cup. It tasted like something that had been on the hot plate overnight.
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