Don Francisco’s Coffee has a certain special place in my heart.
I get very… sentimental over it.
Sometimes I lie awake in my bed in the late night hours just thinking about it and how good it’s been to me since my high-school days, and give a delightful little sigh.
All while cradling a big aluminum can of this coffee.
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Ok now seriously, this coffee was my coffee of choice for a while, back when I first started having my coffee black.
It’s sort of a grocery store coffee and it’s not known for being the most amazing, delicious coffee on the planet. But in my opinion, it’s really not the worst.
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Here is my review and some info about the coffee and the man himself, Mr. Francisco.
Basically, if we’re talking about grocery store coffee – which can range everything from low to high(er) quality coffees like Folgers, Maxwell House, Don Francisco’s, to Starbucks – Don Francisco’s is a medium quality coffee, I would say.
It’s certainly better than Folgers and Maxwell House, which for me personally are untouchables!
But it’s maybe not quite as good as Starbucks (which isn’t the best coffee in the world but it’s pretty good).
Don Francisco’s has at least a few flavored coffees. I mostly drank the flavored coffees when I was drinking it all the time. Flavors like vanilla and hazelnut.
These are pretty good coffees! The thing is, if you drink flavored coffees, it’s much harder to pick up on the natural flavor notes of the coffee.
That being said, Don Francisco’s Coffee has a pretty rich and robust flavor no matter which kind you get, flavored or non-flavored, medium or dark roast.
Interestingly enough, on their website, they don’t have any light roast coffees listed, only medium and dark roast.
I personally prefer medium and dark roast coffees over light roast. So for me this is a strong point! But it’s also surprising because most coffee companies proudly offer light roasts.
Some Info About Don
If you’re anything like me… you’ve seen the picture of Don on the coffee can and wondered, who is this intriguing fellow!?
Maybe it’s just my silly, curious mind, but ever since I’ve bought Don Francisco’s coffee since I was in high school, I’ve wondered this.
You can find info about the man himself on their website. But I’ll just give you a recap.
He was born Francisco Gaviña in the mountains of Trinidad, Cuba.
Born into a family of coffee growers, he got his degree in the US and worked at the Federal Reserve Bank, but had to return to Cuba at some point to take care of his ill father.
While back in Cuba, he obtained a license to roast coffee, and got in on the family business of coffee. This thrived in Cuba during the days of the Great Depression.
His motivation for coffee brought him back to the US, and he moved to Los Angeles. He would become known as “the fussiest man in coffee” because he was very particular about coffee, and good coffee at that!
He grew the business in LA, while helping his sons carry on the tradition and the coffee trade. While his sons did the groundwork like roasting, packing and selling, Don himself was developing new blends and crafting the coffee.
F. Gaviña & Sons, Inc. was growing and the business became as well-established in the states as in Cuba by 1984.
Every morning Don Francisco had a routine of reading the Wall Street Journal, inspecting the quality of the coffee in the warehouse, drinking a decaf shot and following it with a Cuban style espresso.
Personally, I think Don would be a really cool person to meet.
This information came from the company website.
My Recommendation (Get The Strong Stuff)
Disclaimer: this is just my opinion.
And then I have to digress anyway because I used to drink the flavored coffee from Don Francisco’s, and it’s actually pretty good.
But, my recommendation is to go with the Colombia Supremo from Don Francisco’s coffee.
This is probably their most popular coffee. It has the biggest section in the Wal-Mart I’ve shopped at. It’s also prominent on the Don Francisco website, the second listed coffee on their “best-sellers” page.
There’s nothing wrong with the flavored coffee. I still enjoy it actually! My favorite when it comes to their flavored coffees is vanilla nut. I’ve tried different ones and that’s the one I’ve gravitated to the most. So if you prefer a flavored coffee, I would recommend vanilla nut.
But otherwise, my main recommendation is Colombia Supremo. This is an all-around good, medium roast coffee. Colombian coffees really have a certain feel to them, and a certain acidity, it’s very distinct!
On the website it describes it as, “Sweet floral aroma and winey notes you savor with every cup, made with the finest Colombian coffees.”
When I tasted it, I can agree that it has a sweet aroma and winey flavor notes. It has a nice smoothness to it.
I would recommend brewing this with some kind of pour over or drip method. These help that flavor profile shine the most.
It’s not necessarily that this is the strongest coffee they have, but it’s ‘stronger’ than their flavored coffees.
The most popular choice is definitely not always the best, but Colombia Supremo is a great choice when it comes to this brand.
I have links for both of these coffees and it is very convenient to order coffee online right now, since as I write this we’re currently in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic.
But you can also find both of these coffees in almost any local grocery store.
They Sell Kona Blend… Don’t Do It!
I wrote an article about Kona coffee.
Kona coffee is a great thing. It’s delicious.
Kona “blend” coffee on the other hand, is a rip-off. Do not ever get Kona blend.
If you get 100% Kona coffee, awesome. It’s the real thing… pure, unadulterated Kona coffee. But Kona blend is a mix of 90% other, regular coffee with 10% Kona coffee.
You’re really paying a higher price for average coffee.
If you wanted a bottle of Fiji water, you wouldn’t buy a bottle of water that’s 90% backyard hose water and 10% Fiji water that’s called “Fiji blend”, right? Nope!
So don’t ever buy Kona “blend”, from Don Francisco’s or any other coffee company, only buy 100% pure Kona coffee if you want to actually taste the Kona coffee!
Wrapping It Up
Here’s the bottom line: Don Francisco’s coffee is medium quality coffee that’s not very expensive, and if you’re on a budget or wanting to purchase some inexpensive coffee, this is better than Folgers or Maxwell House.
It’s not bad, and that includes the regular coffees and flavored coffees.
Remember, just don’t buy Kona blend.
I left a link to buy it on Amazon, but the truth is it’s also available in pretty much any grocery store you can think of!
That definitely does not mean it’s bad quality though! Peet’s Coffee is also available in grocery stores, and that certainly isn’t bad coffee. Peet’s is good stuff!
So you don’t need to go to a specialty coffee shop or buy it online to get Don Francisco’s coffee, and you can find some great prices for it in grocery stores.
I do hope you enjoyed reading my review of this coffee, and the information about Don himself!
Please feel free to let me know if you have any questions or comments below!