The Caffeinated Chemist

Maxwell House Original Medium Roast Ground Coffee

Maxwell House Original Medium Roast… Good till the last drop! Or is it? More than anything, this coffee will reinforce the notion that you get what you pay for.

Found in nearly every supermarket that sells coffee, the Maxwell brand has been an affordable staple for over 125 years. It’s a taste that most coffee drinkers will be very familiar with as it is often used in offices, churches, and police departments that provide coffee.  While many people love Maxwell’s medium roast (it has nearly a 5-star rating on Amazon & other sites), I just can’t get behind it.

There are two big problems I have with this blend. The first is that it’s sold under the label of medium roast. However, this has got to be one of the darker roasts I’ve had in a long time. It is incredibly bitter, strong, and has a very burnt aftertaste to it. If you’re into STRONG coffee then definitely check this one out!!!! The second major issue is the grind size. While analyzing the coffee, I used 30 g of ground coffee with 475 mL of water; this is a very standard ratio that is used for most pour-over coffees. A good test of grind size while using a pour-over device is timing the amount of time it takes the water to drip down after pouring over the grounds. The average time water takes to drip through the grounds with a good grind size is ~45-75 seconds after pouring all the water in (for a standard 500 mL brew). If it is below 45 seconds it’s a sign that the grounds are too coarse which contributes to an increased acidity flavor. Anything above 75 seconds is a sign of over-extraction. How long did it take Maxwell’s popular grounds? 20 seconds. This tells us that the grounds are definitely on the under-extracted, acidic side of coffee. And you can definitely taste the acidic flavor!!!

Overall, if you are looking for a cheap, highly caffeinated blend that is incredibly strong then get Maxwell’s medium (actually dark) roast! However, if you’re looking for a balanced cup that doesn’t taste of leather and burnt sawdust then you may want to look elsewhere.  While I know some people are hard-core Maxwell fans, I personally would recommend Folgers Classic Roast as an alternative. It is comparable to Maxwell’s affordable price, but has a much more balanced and flavorful blend, in my opinion. But don’t take my word for it, try it yourself and let me know your thoughts

Category: Tag:
Overall-Flavor:4 out of 10 stars (4.0 / 10)
Aroma:6 out of 10 stars (6.0 / 10)
Body:8 out of 10 stars (8.0 / 10)
Balance:2 out of 10 stars (2.0 / 10)
Aftertaste:2.5 out of 10 stars (2.5 / 10)
Strength:9 out of 10 stars (9.0 / 10)
Price:10 out of 10 stars (10.0 / 10)
Average:5.9 out of 10 stars (5.9 / 10)
Acidity(low-to-high):8 out of 10 stars (8 / 10)

Maxwell House Original Medium Roast Ground Coffee





  • VERY affordable
  • Strong!!
  • Sold in large quantities


  • Has a burnt taste (bad aftertaste)
  • Get what you pay for


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