The New Coffee

As part of Microsoft’s efforts to make its employees happier, healthier, and generally more productive, Microsoft is in a lengthy process of replacing the old-style coffee machines (large, rapid-production drip coffee makers) with new Starbucks machines that produce one cup at a time of Starbucks coffee. My floor got its machines this morning, so I rushed over to fill a pot.

It is definitely better than the Farmer’s Brothers office coffee (or “office brown” as I called it), but there’s still something I don’t like about it — it tastes a bit weak. Of course, I’ve become rather attached to very strong pots of very dark roast, so I’m not exactly an expert in subtle palette choices.

So I guess I’d have to enter my review as 6 stars out of ten and I’ll keep making my own coffee in my office.

Comments (6)

  1. Try "Kick Ass" blend from Kicking Horse Coffee.  You don’t have it nearly as bad as we do in Government.  We have to pay for our coffee and it comes in a big can from Cosco.  I feel for you brother.

  2. johnmont says:

    Joost, please don’t get me wrong for one second: I love Microsoft and think I have a great deal here. It’s not just the free coffee, it’s the fact that our senior management listened to those of us who complained about the old coffee and figured out how to make it work. The last company I worked at that had that kind of deal with employees had only 100 of them, not 70,000. It’s like I’m complaining that, "Yes, it was a massage, but it was only a 50-minute massage, not a full hour." It’s what my first manager called "rich people’s problems." This was before he left to go work to improve the lives of various underrepresented minorities in the Virginia area.

  3. Xepol says:

    My family seems to think it isn’t coffee until you use a pound of grounds and then let it sit on the hotplate for 8 hours…


    Might as well just make instant coffee in reverse proportions…

    I’ll keep my medium roast, reasonable amount of grounds coffee, thanks.  Guatamalan or Arabica… mmmm..

    Sadly, today I am on Foldgers mountain roast because I haven’t gotten to starbucks to buy more beans yet (gotta have that emergency reserve foldgers for when that happens…)

  4. johnmont says:

    Evidently, medium roast is what the coffee experts use during "cupping" evaluations. What I’m told is that the darker roasts overwhelm the actual taste of the bean, and lighter roasts keep any flavor from coming through.

    Folgers, however, is definitely not my favorite. Right now I’m rotating among Whole Foods "Allegro," Peet’s, Torrefazione Italia (recently purchased by Starbucks), and Safeway’s house brand. All are good, but in very different ways.

  5. Xepol says:

    Ya, Folgers is an adequate "survival" source of caffine when the budget runs low, but aside from that….

    Dark roast just takes burnt to me, I have no idea why people like maxwell house – it takes like water strained through charcoal to me.  Light roast might as well be boiled twigs.

    If you are grabbing starbucks brand, try the Guatemalian they have – very nice.  Grind your own (a grinder is less than 20$) for best results as ground coffee is only differentiated from sawdust by a matter of months.

    A typical pot can be made using just enough beans to cover the center blade mounting usually.  Adjust for taste and size of pot, of course.

    Coffee does not need to be syrop or etch the pot to taste good and provide a nice caffine kick.

    One day I WILL replace my french press from Bodum, once I am sure that people in this house are done killing my coffee pots.

    1 french press, 1 30 cup brewer, 2 drip machines and an express maker pot in like 5 years… It has been hell.  I have converted a large uber=sized mug from 7-11 into a french press in the event of emergencies.

    The bean must flow…

  6. Philip Munce says:

    A mate of mine swears that if you mix the Maconna decaf (good Australian blend) with the Nescafe Blend 43 (bland Australian blend) you can make yourself a half decent cup of Joe.