I’ve had a lot of coffees that are decent, a few that are great and a handful that are transcendent. I don’t know that I have the mental fortitude to drink nothing but transcendent coffees – would my mind melt in an orgiastic foam of caffeinated ecstasy? Not to mention those coffees tend to be pretty rough on the ol’ pocketbook.
What I strive for is affordable and sustainable greatness. I want a coffee that always makes me go “mmm” when I sip it and remark to my sweetie “this is a damn fine cup of coffee” like I’m Dale Cooper’s understudy in “Twin Peaks.”
I think Seattle’s Best’s new Level coffees are a good idea, an easy-to-understand gradient of coffee from very light to dark as night without all the code words (how dark is French Roast again?). And I hope they’re selling well. I’m doing my part: I bought three bags of the teal-colored Level 4 (out of 5) coffee. As they describe it, it’s “rich, elegant and complex,” “A coffee for both the connoisseur and those who occasionally have trouble spelling it.” And as a person who likes darker roasts, I’m not even a little disappointed. Plus, the price was right, at about $6 per 12 oz. bag on sale at Kroger. I believe even when it’s not on sale it’s a solid dollar and a half cheaper than the Starbucks brands.
Go over to Seattle’s Best Coffee’s website to take a look at the levels and pick which ones appeal to your taste.