I remember the first time I came across a breakfast blend. It was one morning in a hotel lobby while getting my “premium” continental breakfast. I waited in line with my plate full of scrambled eggs and bacon getting cold in one hand, and an empty coffee mug in the other. As I finally had my turn at the coffee counter, I was given three options: tea, decaf, or this mystery “breakfast blend”. What made the coffee a breakfast blend? I was stumped.
Well, thankfully for you, after reading this article, you will have the answer I searched for quietly while I worked through my breakfast that morning (and I mean worked because that bacon was tough as heck!).
Keep reading, as we explore what it is, what it tastes like, how much caffeine you’ll find in it and which ones should you consider buying.
Oh, as a heads-up, throughout this article, we’ll be using the term “morning blend”. Spoiler: it’s the same thing and the terms are interchangeable.
What Is Breakfast Blend Coffee?
There is no hard-and-fast rule as to what blend of beans make up a morning blend. It’s ultimately up to each company/producer to create their own custom blend of beans from around the world. But in general, these will be a lighter roast that allow the beans to keep more of the original flavor, typically a fruitier one. With this, you can expect an overall bright, mild, and well-balanced drink.
Is Breakfast Blend coffee good?
Most people do enjoy a lighter tasting coffee in the morning while still being able to enjoy a nice warm beverage with caffeine (think: bumblebees gently landing on flower petals in a dew-dipped meadow vs. a punch-in-your-face, angry alarm clock). This is especially good news for anyone with more sensitive stomachs. However, those who are more used to the bold and rich flavors from drinking darker roasts might find morning blends to be too “watered down”.
Does Breakfast Blend Coffee have more caffeine?
Let’s break this one down. There are two circulating myths about coffee roasts and caffeine content; they also happen to be opposites.
Breakfast blends usually come in light roast. Some people firmly believe that the lighter the roast, the higher the caffeine content, while others believe it’s the other way around. The truth is, assuming the origin beans are the same, if you measure your coffee by scoop, a cup of lightly roasted coffee will have more caffeine since the beans are denser (maintain more water in the roasting process). However, if you measure your coffee by weight, darker roasts will have more caffeine because roasted beans have less mass overall (and therefore you would use more scoops per cup). The caffeine content in the bean is equal in both roasts (you cannot “roast off” the caffeine content of a bean – it has to be removed with chemicals). That being said, the difference is almost negligeable and you probably won’t notice any tangible difference in mental alertness.
The factors that actually change the caffeine content of a single cup of coffee are more complex and include the type of bean (altitude of growth), brewing method, grind-size, water temperature, ratio of water to coffee grounds, and time. (1)
Is Breakfast Blend Coffee stronger than dark roast?
In almost all cases, no. While there is no official standard as to the source of the beans or how they’re roasted, they are typically milder tasting. The beans are usually sourced from Central and South America and the roasts are kept light to bring out those crisp, sweet flavors.
If you’re new to drinking coffee or don’t like your coffee too strong tasting, morning blends are perfect for you. However, if you’re used to darker, bolder roast, this blend will not have the flavor you’re looking for.
What are the Best Breakfast Blend Coffees?
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters have a lot of their own specialty blends but one they’ve really mastered is their breakfast mix. They promise a “Clean and bright taste, with a balanced sweetness, nutty flavor, and silky mouthfeel”.
We’ve found this blend to be on the lighter side but still flavorful. People who aren’t avid coffee drinkers will find this a good introduction to coffee while still getting that natural caffeine in the morning.
In terms of the company itself, they were founded on sustainability and promotion of small farm businesses. It’s a big company with a small company feel. Any problems with the K-cup pods? Just call the company and they’ll replace the pods, free of charge. That’s awesome assurance to have. Also, as a bonus, their coffee is now 100% responsibly sourced. This is great for those of you who want to support ethical companies.
Our Joe Rating: 9.5/10
This is Amazon’s brand of coffee. They’re not known for their coffee but that doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad. Let’s take a closer look.
It features a blend of beans from Latin America and Africa, that gives a smooth and fruity flavor with an intensity of 3/10 (according to their site). Quality and taste are comparable with other budget options such as Donut Shop and Costco’s Kirkland brand.
What really makes this a top contender is its fantastic value for money. Each pod comes in at around $0.30 a piece.
As a negative, they only offer this blend in K-cups. So, if you’re more of a purist and like making your coffee by grinding up beans in the morning or you simply don’t own a Keurig, this isn’t for you.
Our Joe Rating: 9.0/10
Starbucks uses Latin American beans in this blend. The region is known for growing crisp, clean coffee with good acid and a bright aftertaste. They’re also cooked to a medium roast so you can get those richer notes of nuts, cocoa and soft spice.
It’s Starbucks, so you know you’ll be getting an overall higher quality taste but with that comes the cost.
More on the pricy side if you plan on making it your daily morning go-to coffee. Cost of the K-cups is about double that of Amazon brand (above). However, unlike Solimo, it does come in ground and whole bean form so it could go a longer way.
Our Joe Rating: 9.5/10
Folgers is a brand that has developed a loyal following and is enjoyed by millions of people every day. They’re the leading brand in the United States. Fun fact: in 2020, Folgers produced sales in excess of one billion U.S. dollars, double that of its next closest rival, Starbucks.
That’s a long way to say that A LOT of people like their coffee because of its taste, accessibility, and cost.
This mild roast morning blend of theirs is low on acidity, strong on flavor, and very smooth.
One drawback is that as opposed to their regular coffee, the breakfast blend can be challenging to find in some local grocery stores. Best to order it online. <link> Sadly, it’s also only available in ground coffee form which is of course great for brewing a pot for the whole office but not so much if you’re in a rush. However, as a bonus, that distinctive Folger's red plastic can be repurposed hundreds of different ways. If you’re looking for an alternative K-cup, you could check out their mild roast morning café.
Our Joe Rating: 9.6/10
Lastly, we cover Maxwell House’s version of the morning brew. This is another huge brand that’s been around for a long time and you can easily find someone who swears by this coffee. But… is it just nostalgia, or does it actually taste good?
Well, despite it being a light breakfast blend, it brews darker in color than others, is flavorful, and overall satisfying.
It isn’t the most expensive, but it isn’t the cheapest option either. You can find it as part of the Amazon “subscribe and save” option, which reduces the cost per unit.
Unlike Folgers, this blend does come in K-cup pods which are recyclable.
Our Joe Rating: 9.4/10
Where to buy them from
You’ll find it more difficult to find breakfast blends in your usual grocery stores or big box stores because it’s less common. The best place to buy to ensure the maximum select and best price is through Amazon.
We hope you enjoyed our in-depth review of Breakfast blend coffees and that your questions were answered in our research. As always, we recommend giving it a taste yourself!
Do you have any experience with morning blends? What do you think of them? Did we miss anything? Leave a comment below.