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Maxwell House

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So after having read the wonderful article last month by Warren Zanes on Tom Petty and Maxwell House, I finally decided to actually go to the supermarket and get a tin.  After having tried it this morning, I have one big question in my head.  Could it be possible that Tom was pulling Zanes' leg with a good yarn that the fresh brewed coffee waiting in the studio every morning during the interviews was Maxwell House?  And that instead it was indeed some premium fancy blend?  Because I'm drinking Maxwell House now for the very first time and it's barely drinkable!

So I'm left with 2 options:

1)  The story is true, the coffee was Maxwell House, and Tom Petty just doesn't have great taste in coffee (impossible to believe)!

2)  Tom was getting one over on Zanes and made up the entire Maxwell House story while the whole time, only premium artisanal coffee was served at the Petty residence.  Which would make for an excellent joke. 

(And I know some might say it had nothing to do with the actual taste of the coffee and that the Maxwell House in the story became representative of something from Tom's youth.  But the story starts out with Zanes complementing Tom on the delicious coffee he was served every morning.  So it was about the taste too). 

What do y'all think? 

 

 

 

 

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Well I think you're right.  It tastes like crap.  It's a nostalgia thing - one time I bought some "Folgers" because that's what my Mom always drank, and it's also terrible. We're so used to that really strong, bitter and burnt taste that Starbucks and every other coffee stand dishes out, that we can't stand the old school coffee. 

But it is strange - some of these diners like "Denny's" and so on, have great tasting coffee.  And it's probably friggin' Maxwell House or something similiar.  So what do I know?  Maybe it's the coffee machine itself.  Didn't Tom buy a really expensive machine to brew the coffee?

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16 minutes ago, TomFest said:

Well I think you're right.  It tastes like crap.  It's a nostalgia thing - one time I bought some "Folgers" because that's what my Mom always drank, and it's also terrible. We're so used to that really strong, bitter and burnt taste that Starbucks and every other coffee stand dishes out, that we can't stand the old school coffee. 

But it is strange - some of these diners like "Denny's" and so on, have great tasting coffee.  And it's probably friggin' Maxwell House or something similiar.  So what do I know?  Maybe it's the coffee machine itself.  Didn't Tom buy a really expensive machine to brew the coffee?

Tom did buy a really expensive machine (a Bunn Automatic) to brew the coffee.  But can the machine make that much a difference?  And make a bad tasting coffee into a good tasting brew? 

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Well, I have been using Bunn coffee makers for more years than I care to mention. I've switched between Maxwell House and Folgers for years and they still taste like crap! If you have a store that sells 8 O'Clock coffee, try that. But get it at a store that sells the bags of whole beans and has an 8 O'Clock grinding machine next to the bags. Simply open the bag and pour it into the grinder and select your grinding preference, put empty bag under the shoot and press start. 8 O'Clock was the house coffee at A&P grocery stores (The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company). A&P had customers tell their favorite times to have coffee and the overwhelming times were 8am and 8pm, so they named their house coffee 8 O'Clock coffee. You can usually find a 36 ounce bag on sale for $13.99, but occasionally it's on special for $9.99 a bag. Check it out, it's pretty good. BTW, once you grind it in the store and put the bag in the car for the drive home, your car will smell of great fresh roasted coffee by the time you get home!!!! It comes in many flavors too.

https://www.eightoclock.com/

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I've found maxwell house to be very finicky.  The first time I made it I very carefully measured it with the scoop and used a knife to level it off as Tom described in the Zanes article.  Since then my wife has made it a number of times but she does not meticulously measure and it really tastes like crap. :( 

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Yeah there's a lot of things to consider when making a cup of coffee, so...it could just be that there's only one way to do it to make it taste good.  But I like some varieties of Folgers myself.  Not all of them, but some of them make a decent pot of coffee.  And it's all I can afford, so...

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Well maybe it was nostalgic for Tom to drink and buy Maxwell house , so he could say to himself , I haven't change , I'm still working class , lol.

Myself , being the poor soul that I am drink whatever is on sale when I run out.  It's usually a store brand and it's $4.99 for a big can....I use 2 and a half scoops to make 2 cups....it's strong and good.  

My son likes Starbucks as does my daughter , the flavor ones. But that's their generation.  I guess I'm old school..

Or at least I've been out of school about 4 times longer than I was in it lol.  It's funny though , when I worked and would call off sick it still felt like I was skipping school !! That feeling stays with you a long time after the fact.  Now that I've recently retired for health reasons , it's a different feeling .  But it's good. Lol.

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I hate Maxwell House. It tastes bitter to me. 

Well, I'd say Tom has had a lot of coffee in his day, and a LOT of it depends 1) personal preference 2) the coffee maker, preparation, and storage of the coffee. There are so many different ways to make coffee. At my house, we just have a crap little 4 cup drip and my dad drinks Maxwell House. Choc full o Nuts used to be his favorite when I was a kid, but he says he wants something stronger, so that's what he drinks now. 

I'm not a coffee connoisseur. I usually have decaf with plenty of flavorful and sweet and creamy additives, so the coffee gets a little lost in the mix, lol. Though, I did have some cheap, light coffee one time at a local Mexican restaurant with just a little Splenda and loved it. I guess I like a lighter roast, smoother coffee. I think Maxwell House tastes bitter and burnt. 

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Bonus... 
He's said that about Maxwell House to more people than Zanes. I think Tom was genuine about it. 
We have an article on the Archives that dates back to before Tom mentioned it to Zanes where Tom tells a similar story in an interview. 
 

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On 11/19/2018 at 12:13 AM, nobodyinparticular said:

Thanks for the intel.  I'm amazed that Tom could've drank multiple cups of black Maxwell House per day.  That stuff don't go down easy. 

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On November 1, 2018 at 10:34 AM, Yopietro said:

Tom was getting one over on Zanes and made up the entire Maxwell House story while the whole time, only premium artisanal coffee was served at the Petty residence.  Which would make for an excellent joke. 

He could've been joking about it. Certainly their instant coffee isn't too good. Starbucks is swill without I'm supposing cream and sugar to give it taste. 

 

And there's this factor too, just because Tom liked it doesn't mean anyone else would. I often take artist's recommendations (not that he was in this case) and preferences with a lot of skepticism, too often I have a book a read or a song a listen because someone who's work I liked recommended it and turned out disappointed.

 

Maybe Tom just had shitty taste in coffee.

 

Too bad the other Heartbreakers haven't spoken on this.

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6 minutes ago, nurktwin said:

Here's a good point. IF smoking dulls the sense of taste, people wouldn't eat as much and America wouldn't be overweight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It dulls the taste, doesn't mean people don't have taste!

I think the corn syrup in a lot of American products is what contributes to obesity; as well as the carefully configured chemical balanced tastes in product, certain amounts of salt to trigger highs in people when they eat junky food. Is it still possible to control what you eat? Yes. Then you factor in people overworked, addiction to social media, tv and that's a lot of sitting around and not exercising, hell, barely walking day to day.

cheers

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17 minutes ago, nurktwin said:

Here's a good point. IF smoking dulls the sense of taste, people wouldn't eat as much and America wouldn't be overweight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Er, while nicotine is an appetite suppressant, there's more factors to it than that. As MaryJanes2ndLastDance mentioned, the reliance on high-fructose corn syrup in many processed foods is one.

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5 minutes ago, TomFest said:

doesn't mean that willpower translates to weight loss.  It doesn't.  Weight loss is completely different.  You don't have to smoke to stay alive, but you do have to eat.

Quitting smoking and eating healthier/exercising are different but it's willpower that makes someone eat broccoli instead of pizza or go to the gym and lift weights than watch tv. Skip dessert. Eat smaller portions etc.

Willpower changes bad habits to good ones; generally speaking. That's leaving out people on medicine with side effects like weight gain or people injured who can't exercise etc. They're operating from a disadvantage.

But for others it's discipline and new habits winning over the long haul. But it starts in the mind. Someone has to decide to make the effort, but that's with most things on Earth.

You can apply it to learning guitar. Unless you're a savant or a genius it takes a certain amount of time to get used to holding it, putting pressure on strings, memorizing chords and notes, learning to barre chord but that comes from willpower and/or discipline as well. It's no fun slowly learning to hold down a G chord, checking the diagrams to make sure you got the fingering right, strumming, it sounds...tolerable and now you gotta switch to a D. What the heck? This stinks. Your fingers hurt. It looks so easy on tv. But hang in there and you can learn. But you have to choose to.

cheers

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Oh yeah, I definitely say that losing weight in America is a challenge. Doable but there's fast food everywhere, tons of junk food commercials, the high from sugar, and that's not factoring weight gain from beer. Holidays, desserts, giant portions, carbs...! The corn syrup. The rewards are great but I think it takes some amount of willpower to get into shape and maintain it. And you're right, people need to eat so it requires even more discipline. 

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