[For the Love Of ‘Fee] Irresistables Le Cafe Guatemala Coffee

‘For the Love of ‘Fee’ is one coffee-lover’s attempt to machete through the tangle of coffee beans and brews to find an awesome cup of coffee. Juan Valdez follows ME! ๐Ÿ™‚

Welcome to my first coffee review! I am sure it will take me a bit to get the “coffee review format” just right, so bear with me.

Deets:

  • Irresistables brand Le Cafรฉ Guatemala Premium Ground Coffee
  • Bought on sale, August 16, at Metro, Main St, Stouffville, Ontario; $6.94 for a 340 g bag – 50 cents off (woohoo…).
  • Percolated using a Cuisinart brand electric percolator, cold water from the fridge and basket paper filter inside the coffee ground reservoir to prevent grounds from getting into the brewed coffee.
  • For the purpose of comparison, I also have a can of Maxwell House 100% pure ground Colombian coffee, an average-based all-around “for everyone” coffee that I will use to compare aroma, look and texture of the ground beans.

Description:

First of all, this coffee is under the Irresistables label, but “prepared for Metro Brands”, so essentially, Irresistables is a shell to disguise it as a store brand. Metro, for those who don’t live in Canada, is what A & P used to be. Sometimes I like to try the store brands because they’re cheap, and maybe they taste half decent. Metro took over A & P’s store brands when they were sold, so one name you might know is the “8 O’clock Coffee” brand.

The ground coffee is packaged in a foil-lined plastic bag. The bag’s cover has a stylized image of plants and a dragonfly in shades of yellow, brown and green. The package boasts the coffee as a medium roast, which is my preferred type of coffee. The older I get, and the more coffee I drink, the less interested I am in espresso-type coffee (too strong for me tummy). This means, I don’t normally go for Starbucks’ strong brew, or dark roasts.

First impressions:

I have little knowledge or experience on what tastes better with respect to coffee beans from around the world. The common coffee I am used to drinking is Colombian. Moving from a drip coffee maker to a percolator is where I have noticed a change of taste; I find percolated coffee to be more full-bodied in taste, but that’s just me. The difference between Colombian and Guatemalan beans, however? Meh, no idea.

Upon opening the package of Le Cafรฉ Guatemala coffee, I am hit with an agreeable and recognizable smell of coffee with a light whiff of earth and wet wood.* The coffee beans being pre-ground meant that I didn’t have to grind them myself using my burr mill. For a medium roast, the grounds look pretty dark and appear more finely ground than the Maxwell House coffee I have in the cupboard.

How it smells and tastes compared to regular Colombian (Maxwell House):

The brewed Guatemalan coffee actually has a faint aroma of dark chocolate, but more of a common coffee shop flavour on your tastebuds. The dark colour of the grounds did not signify a dark roast; the finished brew isn’t particularly strong and I was initially fearful that calling this a medium roast was a misnomer. The difference between this and “regular” Colombian? In terms of flavour, honestly, they both smell and taste similar. Le Cafรฉ Guatemalan did make a decent cup o’ fee, but I didn’t find it to be anything unique or celebratory really.

Worth the price?

Hmm. Because Le Cafรฉ Guatemala Premium Ground Coffee is decent coffee, but because it tastes so similar to the run-of-the-mill coffee, it’s probably not something I would purposely choose to buy in the future. That said, 340 g bag of coffee for $6.95 vs a 311 g can of Maxwell House for $5? I say save your pennies. But, then again, your mileage may vary.

7/10

*Hey, I know I say “yeah it smells like coffee” and you’re probably thinking “duh”, but you’ll find out in future reviews that some coffees don’t smell a darn thing like coffee until you add hot water to them.

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30 comments

  1. LOL Maxwell House is not the best standard to compare another brand to. But then, if Guatemalan coffee seems to be comparable to Maxwell House , then I won’t buy Guatemaln coffee. Maxwell House is the least liked coffee here at home. To be fair, we actually have no idea which is the best brand. Do you know the water we use sometimes alters the taste of the coffee?

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    1. Hi Ren,
      Good to hear from you! ๐Ÿ™‚
      Well, if Maxwell House isn’t the best standard, I don’t know what is, frankly. Max is widely available, most people in North America that brew coffee at home and beyond have used Max or its counterpart Folgers. My thinking is to start with something common, widely available and known, and work from there.

      Coffee taste is purely subjective. Some people like Maxwell House, others like Folgers, and some swear by the store brand. Starbucks vs Tim Hortons vs Country Style vs Dunken Donuts

      It is true water can change the taste of coffee, just like method of brew – drip, french press, perc – all change the output of coffee. I’m no expert at all – I just like my Joe. As for Guatemalan, I don’t recommend THIS coffee, but there is Nescafe brand Guatemalan that might be better. There are so many layers to this coffee thang! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      1. That’s true. It really is to his /her own taste. About the water….. when we were in the Philippines, we drank the coffee that we brought from US…. Folgers…. and believe it or not, it tasted better. Then we got to taste the local Nescafe instant coffee, 3 in 1, and it tasted wonderful ! ! So we bought a lot to bring home stateside. I mean, a lot ! ! For some reason, it didn’t taste the same here… we were like, what the heck ! LOL

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        1. Thank you. Mostly, this is like my hidden object reviews – it’s so I can keep track of what coffee I’ve tried, what I like, what I don’t like. Coffee can be expensive, so I’d rather spend my scratch on what I like – but I have to find it first! If anyone else out there finds this helpful, then HUZZAH! ๐Ÿ™‚

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          1. But hey there’s still a gaming connection here, everybody (well, not everybody, but lots of people) like to drink coffee while gaming. So hell, review that coffee too! It’s part of the experience.

            By the way got the new Blu-ray player yesterday and it’s enabled for Netflix, so it’s inevitable that I’ll be trying it shortly.

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            1. Yeah, go for the month trial, and see! You don’t like it, then cancel it. I watch something on there practically every day.
              So the Blu-Ray is running well then?

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            2. Absolutely. Just watched my cottage vids on the TV for the first time. That was fun! And just signed up for the free month. Jen’s out to Bingo, so I’m going to play around with it.

              By coincidence we JUST had to get a new Rogers box this morning too. Two power outtages this weekend and that box was blown.

              The only crappy thing about that was that Jen had recorded an old Leafs game from ’93 in San Jose, that her and her dad had attended. She saw Don Cherry and yelled “HEY GRAPES!” He looked up and saw the girl in the Leafs jersey and motioned for her to come down. So that night, Jen and her “DOUGIE G FOR PRIME MINISTER” sign were on Hockey Night in Canada.

              So we lost that, unfortunately. We do have part of it on VHS, the part with her and Don Cherry but not the whole game.

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            3. Gee that sounds like a great keepsake! I’ll assume you scrounged the internet for a video, right?
              Similarly, K’s back-up terabyte for his YouTube channel might be pooched. It’s connected to my computer right going through a disk check. He wasn’t able to access anything off the thing, windows explorer wasn’t even recognizing it. It might be done. Not everything is lost, but man, bummer.

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  2. Hey Sarca,I chuckled when I seen your pic of the coffee bag, someone gave it to me at work as someone bought it for our Keurig( we call our afternoon coffee break BRUE@2) but a few people didn’t like it….so I brought home and brewed it… Me and Q, my wife enjoy it..not bad at all…..

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    1. Hey Deke,
      Yeah, it isn’t bad at all. Not my first choice, but definitely not bad. I’d drink it if it was given to me for free! But, it’s a bit more expensive than the average brew. ๐Ÿ™‚

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  3. Excellent idea. Coffee is so essential, it would fit into any blog with any theme. It is a universal language. Just like music!

    For those with access to PC products (here in Canuckland), I heartily endorse the PC West Coast Dark Roast Gourmet Coffee. When it’s not on sale, the big 875g tub (which is the only way to buy it, let’s be serious) is about $15. When it’s on sale it’s about $8 and I buy two. But it’s so worth it. Sorry stephen1001, it owns on the Great Canadian, even though that is also a good coffee! I’d go for the gournet everytime.

    I’d also recommend the Kemble Mountain coffees, if anyone’s into ordering online. It’s locally roasted around here and they’re super-nice folks. Local plug!

    And when Mike and I are in Taranna, we always get a Moon Bean. And I bring home a bag of the beans. My lovely wife LOVES their coffee. My Dad said he used to go to a place over on the Danforth called Jet Fuel. I have no idea if it’s still there. I love the name, though.

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    1. Jaysis, Aaron, you’re waaaaaaay far advanced on the coffee know how. Slow down, dude! I am HUMBLE before you. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Geoff from 1001 albums said the PC coffee – you said the PC coffee…I’ll stop by No Fills sometime this week and get some coffee!

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      1. I am a stay-at-home Dad to two kids, 5 and 3. I take coffee pretty seriously! ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Naw, I just know what I’ve tried and like. If you wanna plunk for expensive amazing coffee, get yourself some Jamaican Blue Mountain. It’s about $25-$30/lb but very rich, very dark. A real treat. My Dad brought some back from Jamaica years ago, and it blew our minds.

        The nice thing, these days, is the proliferation of trendy little coffee shops every second block (in most towns). Chances are they have two or three really good ones right there near your house that you can try, and beans to take home when you get a winner! Last time we were in Montreal we found an excellent fair trade coffee in a little shop in NDG (Notre Dame de Grace). Totally random chance we walked in and boom. Great coffee. [UPDATE: not “boom,” but “voila!” Ed.]

        But on any given day I’m just as likely to take hot water off the tap (we have super-hot water in our house, thanks to our on-demand water heater) and some dry instant Nescafe and be drinking it in ten seconds or less. When the point is to get it down yer neck, this works great. But if it’s a sit-down coffee, or when we have people over, yeah I’ll get out the press and do it right.

        The PC West Coast Dark Roast is so excellent, it’s my lovely wife’s fave right now too. They do sell it in a smaller tub for about $8, if you just wanna try it and not be stuck with a huge tub of coffee you found out you didn’t like and what in hell was Aaron thinking?! but the little tub is the same price as the big one when it’s on sale, so proceed according to your own choices!

        Best part: I never even liked coffee until a few years ago. When we lived out in SK, in the winter, everyone would offer you coffee so you could warm your bones. I started out putting so much sugar and milk in it it wasn’t even coffee. But it grew on me pretty quickly and now I drink it neat.

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        1. I used to drink coffee with milk. But, I’ve gotten used to neat, and it’s great.
          My hubs is on the instant when I’m not around and just needs a cuppa. I’m not a fan really – it’s a acquired taste…

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      2. Oh yeah, and when yer at No Frills, make sure to read the labels closely. Both the Great Canadian and the West Coast come in black labelled containers. But the Great Canadian has a picture of a pile of beans on it, whereas the West Coast is just straight black label with lettering. I know it seems a small point and DUH you can read, but I’ve grabbed the wrong one before, when I was in a rush. It wasn’t a hardship, we still had good coffee! But yeah, heads-up!

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      3. r.e. bolo – All I could think of was the knife. But that didn’t make any sense, so I had to look it up. And now I know! These web-speaking abbreviations and acronyms don’t always make sense in my brain. You are teaching me stuff!

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