Maxwell House Coffee Review

Tara Williams

Food Writer & Editor For KitchenSanity

Tara Williams is a seasoned food writer and editor who's been with KitchenSanity since its beginning. With a knack for experimenting with food and creating delicious recipes, she's your go-to for straightforward kitchen advice and practical tips from personal experiences. As a mom of two, Tara understands the value of time. She crafts articles that enhance your cooking skills and free up time for what matters most—like family moments.

Learn more about KitchenSanity's Editorial Guidelines.

When President Theodore Roosevelt proclaimed the coffee, “Good to the last drop!” Maxwell House coffee had a slogan.

Today, Maxwell House coffee is available in household quantities, bulk or in K-cups for single serving enjoyment. Maxwell House is certified Kosher and is naturally decaffeinated.

Maxwell House Coffee Reviews

Maxwell House Original Roast

Maxwell House Original Blend Instant Coffee, Medium Roast, 8 Ounce Jar (Pack of 3)

This blend is a medium roast for a crowd-pleasing coffee and is a great choice for general consumption.

While many coffee fans prefer an intensely dark coffee and may even enjoy a shot of espresso, it should be noted that intense coffee flavor and the extra burst of caffeine provided by espresso may not be pleasant or healthy for all drinkers.

If you’re a strong coffee fan, consider laying in a store of individual filter packs of this milder flavor product for guests.

This blend is a medium roast for a crowd-pleasing coffee and is a great choice for general consumption.

Related | Death Wish Coffee Review​

Maxwell House Master Blend

Maxwell House Master Blend Light Roast Ground Coffee (44.5 oz Canister)

The Master Blend roast by Maxwell House is an ideal blend for fans of intense coffee flavor, but has no dark roast bite. It has a full flavor without any dark smokiness and will please many coffee fans.

It can be easily amended to avoid the bitter edge that can come from a strong coffee flavor, and offers between 10 and 15 milligrams of caffeine per ounce of coffee.

Maxwell House Wake Up Roast

Maxwell House Wake Up Roast Medium Roast Ground Coffee (30.65 oz Canister)

If the Master Blend is a bit stout for your palate, the Wake Up Roast may be a better choice. This coffee is a light roast, offering less bitterness and a lower acid content than the Master or Original blend.

Maxwell House Intense Bold

Maxwell House Intense Bold Ground Coffee, 30.6 oz Jug

The Intense Bold roast offers fans of dark roast coffee a rich, full-flavored beverage.

This coffee is more intense in tone, fragrance and flavor than Maxwell House Original or Custom Roast, but doesn’t produce a smoky taste in the cup.

If you like a strong cup of coffee but don’t care for espresso-style flavor intensity, this is a great choice.

As with any coffee, burning is always a risk if the coffee is over the heat source for too long. As possible brew coffee into a carafe or transfer it once it’s brewed to avoid burning it.

Maxwell House’s darkest roast is a great choice for fans of coffee shop coffee. This product offers a full, smoky flavor without a great deal of coffee acidity.

It works well in refillable K cups for fans of pod coffee and is packaged with an airtight FlavorLock seal. Intense Bold is Kosher.

Related | Can You Reuse K-Cups?

Maxwell House Decaf Blend

Maxwell House The Original Roast Decaf Medium Roast Ground Coffee (29.3 oz Canister)

Here is where Maxwell house shines. Their commitment to the subtle characteristics of the Arabica bean make it possible for fans of coffee who’ve switched to decaf the full flavor of a delicious cup of coffee.

While some versions of decaf use only robusta beans, Maxwell House uses only Arabica, even in their decaf. This has resulted in an excellent quality product for coffee fans of every stripe.

If you’re cutting back on caffeine, you can be confident that mixing in a bit of Maxwell House decaf will still result in phenomenal flavor. This decaf smells and tastes like great coffee!

Their decaf coffee is made from pure arabica beans and is highly regarded among decaf drinkers. Coffee beans are inherently caffeinated, so the decaffeination process requires stripping the beans of many oils and flavors.

Many coffee roasters use robusta beans for the decaffeination process, resulting in an unpleasantly bitter beverage.

While Maxwell House claims a “natural decaffeination” process, it is not chemical free. The only chemical free process for decaffeinating coffee beans is the Swiss Water Process method, which is costly and time consuming.

The Maxwell House decaf brand does not claim a SWP certification, so it can be assumed that their arabica beans are chemically stripped with methylene chloride or ethyl acetate.

Drinkers of decaf can be comforted with the knowledge that neither of these chemicals will ultimately wind up in your coffee cup and both are USDA approved for this process.

Maxwell House Flavored Coffees

Maxwell House International Hazelnut Cafe-Style Beverage Mix, 9 oz Canisters (Pack of 4)

Maxwell House offers beans with a hint of sweetness for a special coffee treat.

Both Hazelnut and Vanilla ground coffee are available in a medium roast for a smooth cup of coffee with a hint of sweetness.

For a more intense flavor, consider the Mocha Latte International Coffee powder, designed to be mixed with hot water for a sweet sipping treat.

Folgers vs Maxwell House

The primary issue to consider when comparing Maxwell House to Folgers is your intended use.

From decaf to dark roast, each coffee processor offers a great quality product for those who have that particular taste preference.

Dark Roast Comparison: Black Silk Vs. Intense Bold

Dark roast coffee has a strong presence, a specific odor and an unmistakable flavor. Like the smell of a charbroiled steak, when you open a great container of dark roast coffee, you know that something special is locked inside that grind.

For fans of dark roast coffee, the Folgers Black Silk is hard to beat. This coffee is sold ground, and from the moment you open it the smoky roast quality is obvious.

If you don’t like a bit of burn in your dark roast, Black Silk isn’t for you. From the time you remove the flavor seal, this shiny black ground coffee is intriguing.

There is a bit of burn to this beverage, and it offers a caramelized, smoky edge. With a bit of creamer or just a touch of sweetener, it will bloom. It also serves as an excellent foil for a bit of fat, if you like your coffee bulletproof.

Like all dark roasts, Black Silk is lower in caffeine than mild or medium roasts, but not by much. Over the course of 16 ounces of coffee, you may lose 10 milligrams of caffeine. The flavor will be completely worth it. From first opening to last sip, Black Silk coffee is a lush treat.

Decaf Comparison: Folgers vs. Maxwell House

If you enjoy a good cup of decaf, the Maxwell House decaf must come to the top of the list. Their decision to leave behind the nasty, scratchy flavor of robusta beans and use arabica beans for the difficult process of decaffeinating a perfectly good coffee bean is commendable.

The decaffeination process requires manufacturers to remove all of the flavor components out of the bean, strip out the caffeine and put the flavor back.

The real challenge in this process comes from using arabica beans, which Maxwell House has chosen to do.

While robusta beans contain more caffeine, they have little to no flavor subtlety. To decaffeinate robusta beans, you strip out the bitter, take out the caffeine and put the bitter back in.

Arabica beans are a much more complex product and thus require a much more diligent commitment to quality by the manufacturer.

For many years, decaf coffee has had a bad reputation because decaf producers used the easy bean, resulting in a dreadful cup of coffee.

Maxwell House has, mercifully, broken with that tradition, and coffee fans of both caffeinated and decaffeinated varieties should be thrilled!​

Coffee Ingredients & Sizes

Maxwell House coffee is made with arabica beans only; the company chose to remove robusta beans from their blend in 2007 per business expert Susan Buchanan of MarketWatch.

Most authorities consider robusta beans to be mere fillers as they have a bitter, rather flat taste. Arabica beans are grown primarily in Central America, as well as Brazil and Colombia.

Maxwell House coffee is available in:

  1. Whole Bean
  2. Ground
  3. K Cup, with both Master Blend and Original Roast flavors
  4. Pre-bagged filters of both regular and decaf for easy use and disposal
  5. Instant coffee in freeze dried crystal form
  6. Flavored grounds, including Hazelnut and Vanilla
  7. Mocha latte beverage powder, easily mixed with hot water for a sweet coffee treat

Related | Best Coffee Flavors

Where is Maxwell House Coffee Roasted?

In the United States, Maxwell House beans are roasted in Jacksonville, Florida and San Leandro, California. As with other major coffee roasters, processing the beans close to ports is critical for freshest roasting and best use of green, unroasted coffee beans.

How Much Caffeine in Maxwell House?

The caffeine found in Maxwell House Original Roast is within the safety range, providing approximately 160 to 200 mg of caffeine in a 16 ounce serving.

Per authorities at, it should be noted that their decaf also contains trace amounts of caffeine, between 5 and 15 mg of caffeine per 16 ounce serving.

Maxwell House Company Information

Maxwell House Coffee is a blend originally created by salesman Joel Owsley Cheek. Mr. Cheek was born in rural Kentucky in 1862 and moved to Nashville at age 21.

His initial employment was as a traveling salesman (or drummer, to drum up business) for a local grocer. While he was successful at promoting all the products offered by the grocery firm, coffee held a special interest to him.

Once settled in Nashville and no longer traveling, Cheek went to work to develop a quality coffee blend rich enough for local hotels and high end eating establishments.

One such intended customer was the Maxwell House, a luxury hotel built in 1859 by John Overton in honor of his wife, Harriet Maxwell.

Final Thoughts

Each coffee fan has their own favorite intensity, flavor and temperature. Luckily, the Maxwell house line of coffee beans offers drinkers several excellent options.

Whether you need to start with a mild cup to get the day rolling, desire something dark and intense with a lush dessert, or want to wind down at the end of the day with a flavorful cup of decaf, Maxwell House may be your new coffee of choice.

Written By Tara Williams

Tara Williams is a seasoned food writer and editor who's been with KitchenSanity since its beginning. With a knack for experimenting with food and creating delicious recipes, she's your go-to for straightforward kitchen advice and practical tips from personal experiences. As a mom of two, Tara understands the value of time. She crafts articles that enhance your cooking skills and free up time for what matters most—like family moments.

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