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Maxwell House Coffee Vs Folgers: Which Is Better?

As a coffee connoisseur, many of us often find ourselves choosing between two of the most popular coffee brands: Maxwell House coffee vs Folgers. 

Both coffee companies have a long history.

With Maxwell House original blend coffee as a well-known household name dominating the American coffee market for a long time, almost a century, before being overtaken by the Folgers coffee company in the 1990s and recent years. 

This ongoing competition has sparked an interest among coffee aficionados to dive deeper into the differences between these two brands.

Plus figure out which of them truly has the best flavor, better coffee, superior taste, and quality.

Maxwell House vs Folgers

coffee in a cup with coffee beans

A real difference between Maxwell House and Folgers classic roast coffee lies in the type of bean they use for their roasts. 

In 2007, Maxwell House switched to using 100% Arabica beans. Which is a better choice for their superior taste and consistency. 

Folgers, on the other hand, opts for a blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Which contributes to their characteristic bitter taste buds. 

This, in turn, has an impact on the overall flavor profile of the coffee. Making it a significant factor when comparing the types of coffee made by the two brands.

However, it is important to note that taste preferences are subjective, and what may suit one person’s palate might not necessarily appeal to another. 

The choice between Maxwell House and Folgers ultimately boils down to an individual’s preference for a fuller, richer taste or a stronger, more robust and smooth flavor. 

It is important to note that the National Coffee Association is the leading trade association for the U.S. coffee industry. 

By considering factors such as coffee bean variety, caffeine content, and brand history, one can make an educated decision about which brand to choose for their morning cup of coffee.

History of Maxwell House and Folgers

Maxwell House Coffee History

Maxwell House Coffee was introduced to the market in 1892, founded by wholesale grocer Joel Owsley Cheek. 

The name “Maxwell House” was derived from the Maxwell House Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee, where the brand’s coffee was first served. 

In 1884, Joel Cheek met a British coffee broker who could identify the origin of coffee just by smelling the green coffee beans. They collaborated and spent a few years creating the perfect blend.

Maxwell House began serving their coffee at the hotel in 1892. Giving 20 pounds of regular coffee at no cost for the hotel to try. 

The blend was well-received and soon became the hotel’s exclusive coffee offering. 

Over the years, Maxwell House continued to grow, becoming a well-known brand of coffee in America.

They continue to create great coffee and it is still a popular choice for many people to drink a cup of Maxwell House original coffee everyday.

Folgers Coffee History

Folgers Coffee was established in 1850 by James Folger in San Francisco, California. 

With the California Gold Rush underway, James became a pioneer in coffee roasting, grinding, and packaging, catering to the influx of miners and settlers entering the city.

James gets his first job in 1852 after seeing an ad for William Bovee’s coffee mill and spice mill construction.

Folgers expanded its reach in the following years. Making a name for itself in the coffee world of the American market.

In 1901, the J.A. Folger & Co. was established, focusing more on coffee production, processing, and sales.

Today, Folgers Coffee is recognized as a favorite coffee brand and as one of the leading coffee brands in the United States.

Both Maxwell House and Folgers have long standing histories, tracing their roots back to the 1800s. 

While Maxwell House is renowned for its stronger aroma and flavors, Folgers is a better option because it has captivated coffee enthusiasts through strong marketing. 

Although their coffee profiles may be distinct, both brands continue to hold substantial market share in the US coffee industry as a coffee giant.

Coffee Beans, Roasts, and Flavor Profiles

coffee beans in a cup

Arabica and Robusta Beans

When it comes to the coffee beans used in Folgers and Maxwell House products, there are some differences to note. 

Folgers primarily uses a mix of Arabica and Robusta beans. While Maxwell House has shifted to using 100% Arabica beans since 2007. 

Arabica beans, known for their milder and more nuanced flavors, are generally considered superior to Robusta beans, which have a stronger, more bitter taste.

Types of Roasts

Both Folgers and Maxwell House offer various roasts to cater to different taste preferences. 

Roasts can range from light roast, medium roast coffee, dark roast coffee, with each level affecting the flavor and aroma of the coffee. 

For example, a medium-dark roast is recommended for Maxwell House. As it highlights the nutty and bready notes reminiscent of dark chocolate. 

On the other hand, Folgers tends to have a slightly sweeter flavor with a more pronounced caffeine boost or a higher caffeine content.

Flavored Coffees

In addition to their original blends, both Folgers and Maxwell House offer a range of flavored coffee options. Some popular options of different flavors include:

  • Hazelnut
  • French Vanilla
  • Caramel
  • Mocha

These flavored coffees can provide a unique twist to the traditional coffee experience. Allowing for a more personalized and enjoyable cup. You can create your own coffee taste when using these syrups.

Enjoy your Dunkin Donuts with a flavored cup of coffee in a local coffee shop. Whether it be a breakfast blend, black silk coffee, or caribou coffee, all are great to drink.

Overall, both Folgers and Maxwell House provide coffee drinkers with a variety of beans, roasts, and flavors to choose from. Catering to a wide array of personal preferences.

Packaging, Varieties, and Availability

Ground and K-Cup Coffee

Maxwell House and Folgers both offer a wide range of ground coffee and K-Cup pod options for consumers. 

They maintain an assortment of roasts, such as light, medium, and dark roasts. Some popular ground coffee varieties from both brands include:

  • Maxwell House’s Colombian, House Blend, and French Roast
  • Folgers’ Classic Roast, Colombian Roast, and Black Silk

Both Maxwell House and Folgers K-Cup pods are compatible with Keurig home brewing systems. Plus they offer popular roasts in pod format.

You can often find these coffee brands in general foods grocery stores, coffee shops, or online retailers.

Instant Coffee

For consumers who prefer instant coffee, Maxwell House and Folgers have options available. 

Maxwell House Instant Coffee comes in Original Blend and Decaffeinated coffee versions.

While Folgers Instant Coffee offers Classic Roast, Classic Decaf, and Crystals packets.

Nescafé is another instant coffee brand available in the market, providing similar offerings.

Coffee Products and Varieties

Apart from the standard ground coffee, K-Cup pods, and instant coffee, both Maxwell House and Folgers have more specialized products tailored for different tastes:

  • Maxwell House:
    • Iced Coffee Concentrates
    • Cafe-Style Pour Over Coffee
    • International Coffee Flavors
  • Folgers:
    • Home Cafe Pods for a one-cup brewing system
    • Flavored Coffee varieties
    • Simply Gourmet Natural Flavors

These products cater to a diverse range of preferences and brewing methods, making it convenient for customers to find the right coffee for their tastes or experiment with new varieties. 

By offering such extensive options, Maxwell House and Folgers manage to cater to a broad consumer base, meeting everyone’s coffee needs, but also making it a hard time to determine the clear winner.

Taste Comparisons and Differences

cup of coffee with coffee written in it

Aroma Profile

When it comes to the aroma profiles of Maxwell House and Folgers coffee, there are some differences that can be discerned. 

Maxwell House coffee is known to have a slightly sweet aroma, which can be more appealing to some people.

Folgers, on the other hand, have a more earthy and smoky scent, which can be a bit stronger.

Bitterness and Flavor

The bitterness and flavor of the two coffee brands also vary. 

Folgers coffee is known to have a higher level of acidity and a more bitter taste compared to Maxwell House. 

This could be due to the fact that Folgers uses a blend of arabica and robusta beans, while Maxwell House uses 100% arabica coffee beans. 

Consequently, Maxwell House tends to have a sweeter and more drinkable flavor, while Folgers has a heavier and more bitter taste that may require cream and sugar to be enjoyed by some people.

Caffeine Content

In terms of caffeine amounts, there is not much difference between Maxwell House and Folgers coffee.

Both brands provide a morning boost with a fairly similar caffeine content (mg of caffeine)

However, the exact amount of caffeine may vary depending on the specific blend or roast.

To summarize, the bottom line is that here are some key taste comparison points between Maxwell House and Folgers coffee:

  • Aroma Profile: Maxwell House has a sweeter aroma, while Folgers has an earthy and smoky scent.
  • Bitterness and Flavor: Folgers tends to be more bitter due to its blend of arabica and robusta beans, whereas Maxwell House is sweeter and more drinkable with its 100% arabica beans.
  • Caffeine Content: Both brands offer a similar amount of caffeine, providing a morning boost to consumers.

While these differences and similarities in taste, aroma, and caffeine content can provide some guidance, individual preferences will ultimately determine which brand coffee drinkers may enjoy more.

Market Presence and Popularity

Maxwell House and Folgers are two well-established brands in the coffee industry. 

These budget coffee brands or cheap brands have been catering to American household coffee drinkers for over a century, with Folgers entering the market in the 1850s and Maxwell House launching in 1892.

In terms of market share, Folgers leads the pack as the best-selling ground coffee in the United States and has some of the more affordable coffee prices.

As an alternative, Kraft Heinz also owns a premium coffee brand called Gevalia.

As of May 2020, it accounted for over 25 percent of the U.S. ground coffee market.

In contrast, Maxwell House’s market share declined from 8 percent in 2013 to 6.7 percent in 2018, highlighting a significant loss over a five-year period.

Folgers and Maxwell House both offer a variety of coffee options, including different blends of Arabica and Robusta beans. 

Their long-standing presence in the coffee industry showcases their adaptability and ability to cater to evolving consumer preferences. 

As for their respective popularities, taste preferences might differ among individuals.

However, it’s worth noting that the only difference is that Maxwell House is generally preferred for its taste and consistency over Folgers, which is known for its bitter taste.

To briefly summarize their positions in the coffee industry:

  • Folgers:
    • Founded in the 1850s
    • Best-selling ground coffee in the U.S.
    • Over 25% market share
    • Offers a variety of blends (Arabica & Robusta)
  • Maxwell House:
    • Founded in 1892
    • Market share declining (8% in 2013, 6.7% in 2018)
    • Preferred for taste & consistency
    • Offers a variety of blends (Arabica & Robusta)

While both brands maintain a strong presence in the coffee industry, it’s evident that Folgers holds the upper hand when it comes to market share.

Whereas Maxwell House takes the lead in terms of taste and consistency.

Advertising and Slogans

dark coffee in cup with beans around it

Maxwell House and Folgers are two well-established coffee brands known for their distinctive slogans and marketing efforts. 

Both companies have used these marketing tools to compete with and differentiate themselves from each other. 

Their catchy jingles and slogans have attracted coffee lovers since their inception.

Maxwell House

Maxwell House’s slogan, “Good to the last drop,” dates back to the early 1900s and is often linked to former US President Theodore Roosevelt. 

This phrase has served the company well for over a century, becoming synonymous with the brand. 

Maxwell House Original Roast is one of the various roasts they offer, including light, medium, and dark, as well as in different forms like whole bean, ground, and instant.

Roger Nolley Smith, a notable marketing figure who has collaborated with Maxwell House, has contributed to the brand’s success. 

His work has played a vital role in establishing the brand’s presence in the market and gaining recognition among coffee enthusiasts.


Folgers, on the other hand, opted for a different approach with its jingle, “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” 

Most people are familiar with this tune, and it has become an essential aspect of the brand’s identity. 

The catchy jingle has been an extremely successful marketing campaign, helping Folgers secure its position as a popular coffee choice.

In addition to their memorable slogans, both Maxwell House and Folgers invest heavily in advertising and marketing tactics to attract consumers. 

They utilize various channels, including TV commercials, print, and digital media platforms, to expand their reach and capitalize on their competition.

Some other aspects of their marketing strategies include:

  • Seasonal promotions and discounts
  • Partnership with retailers for exclusive deals
  • Engaging campaigns on social media platforms
  • Sponsorship of events and activities related to coffee culture

In the competitive coffee industry, Maxwell House and Folgers have managed to create lasting impressions with their slogans and marketing tactics. 

While their approaches may differ, both companies strive to cater to coffee lovers and maintain their market presence.

Price and Affordability

Maxwell House and Folgers are both well-known coffee brands that offer a wide range of affordable coffee options for consumers. 

They have gained immense popularity due to their reasonable pricing and decent quality, which appeals to a large number of coffee drinkers who are looking for a budget-friendly cup of coffee.

The price of these coffee brands varies depending on the size and type of the product, but generally, they are quite similar in terms of cost. 

For instance, you can find Maxwell House coffee at your local Walmart for approximately $5.00 to $10.00 a box, depending on the location and the specific product.

Folgers also offers its coffee products within a similar price range, making it a comparable choice for those who are price-conscious.

In terms of affordability, both Maxwell House and Folgers are considered budget brands that deliver a decent quality coffee at a reasonable price. 

This makes them popular choices for households and workplaces where a high volume of coffee is consumed daily.

It’s important to note that while both of these coffee brands offer reasonably priced options, they may not be classified as high-quality coffee when compared to more premium, specialty coffee brands. 

Nevertheless, they do provide an acceptable taste and aroma for those who are looking for an inexpensive cup of coffee.

In summary, Maxwell House and Folgers are both affordable coffee brands that cater to consumers who are looking for a budget-friendly option without compromising on decent taste and aroma. 

Their similar pricing and quality make them suitable choices for those who want a reasonably priced cup of coffee.

Final Thoughts

coffee beans in bag

Both Maxwell House and Folgers have their own unique characteristics that set them apart in the coffee industry. 

Remember that how you brew your coffee also affects the taste. A French press can be used to manually make coffee if that is what you prefer.

Maxwell House, since 2007, uses 100% arabica coffee beans, while Folgers opts for a blend of arabica and robusta beans in their roasts.

Despite these differences, both brands are known for their affordability and accessibility for everyday coffee drinkers, with Folgers generally having a lower price range compared to Maxwell House.

When it comes to taste, personal preference will ultimately determine which brand one may lean towards. 

Some may find the flavor profile of Maxwell House coffee more appealing, while others may prefer the taste of Folgers.

It’s crucial to remember that the best coffee for you depends on individual preferences, and both brands have loyal followers who appreciate their respective offerings. 

Thus, the choice between Maxwell House and Folgers boils down to factors such as bean type, price, and personal taste preferences.

maxwell house coffee vs folgers Pinterest image

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