Why Does Folgers Coffee Taste So Bad Now?

There was a time when Folgers coffee used to be the beloved coffee brand for many households. The aroma, flavor, and taste were unbeatable… or well, that’s what I had heard. However, over time, many people have noticed that the coffee doesn’t taste the same anymore. In fact, I came across countless Quora and Reddit posts where once happy Folgers fans were now confused about how terrible it tastes. Apparently, the once-pleasant aroma is gone and the flavor is now bitter and unpleasant.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’ve experienced this issue too. But the good news is that you’re not alone, and in this article, I will explore why Folgers coffee tastes so bad now.

So Why Does Folgers Coffee Taste Bad Now?

plain black coffee

I hate to outright call any coffee bad because taste is so subjective. In fact, even if I don’t love a coffee selection, I encourage everyone to still give that coffee a chance because what I dislike, another person may love. That’s how drinks and taste buds work.

But after hearing how Folgers used to be so good, I decided to give it a shot. The first thing I do when opening a new coffee package is to smell the beans. With good coffee, there can be an intoxicatingly delicious smell.

When I smelled the Folgers coffee, it unfortunately smelled like an ashtray to me and I don’t know why it smelled so harsh. Despite that, I decided to try it and unfortunately again, the coffee tasted just as bad.  I tried it twice and vowed to never buy such a coffee again *starts sobbing*

So in this article, I’m going to explore why Folgers may have possibly tasted awesome a long time ago and why it just doesn’t taste good anymore.

#1. The Selection of Beans

peaberry beans lined up

One of the reasons why Folgers coffee tastes so strong and bitter now is because of the selection of beans. Folgers used to choose high-quality Arabica coffee beans which were known for their smoothness and mild flavor.

However, in an effort to cut costs, they started using Robusta beans, which are cheaper and more accessible. While Robusta beans are more full-bodied, they also have a higher acidity level, which results in a more bitter flavor.

The coffee definitely has a bitter, ashy taste to it.

#2. The Roasting Process

The roasting process can also impact the flavor of the coffee. Previously, Folgers used to roast their beans in small batches, which allowed for better control over the final flavor.

However, to keep up with demand, they have started using a continuous roasting process, which results in a more bitter and burnt flavor. Additionally, the shorter the roasting process, the less time the beans have to release their natural sweetness and aroma, leading to a less pleasing flavor. And to some of us, a lot less pleasing is what we smell and taste.

#3. Storage Conditions

fresh coffee that's not over roasted has least oil

The way Folgers coffee is stored can also impact its flavor. Coffee beans are sensitive to humidity, light, and air, which can affect their flavor and aroma. When stored in large quantities and for long periods, coffee can lose its flavor and become stale.

Unfortunately, Folgers now stores their coffee in large warehouses, which isn’t an ideal environment for preserving the beans’ flavors.

#4. Chemical Additives

Folgers has recently been accused of using chemical additives to enhance their coffee’s flavor and smell. They may use ingredients such as propylene glycol, a chemical compound commonly used in antifreeze, and ethyl acetate, a solvent used in nail polish remover and paint thinner.

Although these additives are approved by the FDA, they can change the coffee’s natural flavor and aroma and make it unpalatable.

So if you’re someone who wants chemical-free coffee, you may want to look for another coffee altogether anyway.

#4. People’s Taste Preferences

Lastly, people’s taste preferences change over time. As people become more exposed to other coffee brands and flavors, they may develop different tastes.

For people who used to drink the Folgers coffee that people loved a decade ago, it may no longer appeal to them now because they have tried other coffee blends that they enjoy more.

Did Folgers Coffee Change its Recipe?

It’s not that Folgers has outright come out and announced any major changes they’ve made. I can speculate that the change in flavor may be due to any or a combination of the factors listed above.

Until Folgers discloses what kind of beans and additives they use in their product, we will never 100% know for sure why it tastes so bad now. I will never understands how having Folgers in your cup made for a good morning.

Do People Still Drink Folgers Coffee?

Yes, there are still people who drink Folgers coffee, and that’s okay. In fact, Folgers is one of the most recognized and bought coffee brands in the United States.

According to Statista, Folgers coffee generated over $1.2 billion in U.S. retail sales in 2019 alone. Here are some interesting statistics about Folgers:

  • In 2020, the total number of households that purchased and consumed Folgers was estimated at around 16 million
  • The same year, the brand accounted for more than 12 percent of all ground coffee sold in the US
  • On an average day during 2020, around 1 million Americans drank a cup of Folgers Coffee
  • A survey conducted by Harris Poll revealed that 33% of consumers aged 18–34 had purchased Folger’s within the past three months

Is Folgers Coffee Free of Pesticides?

Unfortunately, Folgers coffee is not certified to be free of pesticides. While most leading coffee brands test for pesticide residue, Folgers does not provide any information about their testing process or the results on their website.

Additionally, according to a report by the MDNR, several samples of Folger’s coffee tested positive for traces of chemicals like lead.


So, what happened to Folgers coffee?

The selection of beans, the roasting process, the storage conditions, and the use of chemical additives are all possible reasons.

Personally, I never understood why people loved Folgers and when I tried it, it definitely wasn’t my cup of coffee.