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Chock Full O' Nuts?


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The salesman who supplies my advertising novelties, (like left-handed flying pink pig pens), is originally from the NYC area.

He remembers his dad drinking Chock Full o' Nuts coffee, (this would have been in the early 60's), and although he's not a big coffee drinker himself he opined he might enjoy trying a cup. I figure to surprise him the next time he stops in.

I notice Chock Full o' Nuts offers both an "Original" and a "New York Roast". What's the difference, and which would you suggest?

SB (has read the interesting story of Chock Full o' Nuts in Mark Pendergast's "Uncommon Grounds") :unsure:

Edited by srhcb (log)
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I notice Chock Full o' Nuts offers both an "Original" and a "New York Roast". What's the difference, and which would you suggest?

My guess is that the difference is mainly marketing. At least judging from the copy on their web site, I'd say the "New York Roasts" are an example of relatively recent brand extension (i.e. since the Sara Lee buyout), and the "regular" is probably closer to what your salesman's dad would have been drinking. Exactly what the "New York Roasts" are is a little hard to tell from the vague descriptions. A "Little Italy Espresso" that "is made specifically for your espresso machine, but can be brewed in any regular coffee maker" is probably, like Australian table wine, not so much for drinking, but for laying down and avoiding.

"I think it's a matter of principle that one should always try to avoid eating one's friends."--Doctor Dolittle

blog: The Institute for Impure Science

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I notice Chock Full o' Nuts offers both an "Original" and a "New York Roast". What's the difference, and which would you suggest?

My guess is that the difference is mainly marketing. At least judging from the copy on their web site, I'd say the "New York Roasts" are an example of relatively recent brand extension (i.e. since the Sara Lee buyout), and the "regular" is probably closer to what your salesman's dad would have been drinking. Exactly what the "New York Roasts" are is a little hard to tell from the vague descriptions. A "Little Italy Espresso" that "is made specifically for your espresso machine, but can be brewed in any regular coffee maker" is probably, like Australian table wine, not so much for drinking, but for laying down and avoiding.

I think I'll go with the "Original". It can't be too bad if it's lasted all these years?

THANX SB

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What's to wonder and guess about? Buy and brew both and compare side by side. If there is a difference in flavor, aroma, strength, etc. then it is time to ask what the difference in beans may be and if this is merely a marketing device. My guess would be that the NY roast is a bit lighter than regular. Now you;ve got me wondering.

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What's to wonder and guess about? Buy and brew both and compare side by side. If there is a difference in flavor, aroma, strength, etc. then it is time to ask what the difference in beans may be and if this is merely a marketing device. My guess would be that the NY roast is a bit lighter than regular. Now you;ve got me wondering.

I agree! Taste test time!

"We had dry martinis; great wing-shaped glasses of perfumed fire, tangy as the early morning air." - Elaine Dundy, The Dud Avocado

Queenie Takes Manhattan

eG Foodblogs: 2006 - 2007

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Heh. Having grown up as a dedicated coffee drinker in the New York Metro area (I was drinking coffee with Sunday brunch as early as age 12, which was in 1968), I remember Chock Full O' Nuts ... but I personally don't remember it as being particularly remarkable coffee. By the time we ran it through our Pyrex percolator (which was really cool looking, but was, after all, a percolator), any brand of coffee tasted pretty much the same.

Back then, coffee was coffee, and there really wasn't any kind of gourmet-coffee thing floating around. When I went to college in Boston in 1975 and wandered into my first for-real gourmet coffee house (the old Coffee Connection in Harvard Square, which, sadly, has long since been bought out by $tarbux), and tasted my first Viennese roast in my first french press pot, it was a revelation. Even after all my previous coffee drinking, I had never realized coffee was capable of being so complex and rich in flavor.

Nowadays, even the random $tarbux-knockoff grind-your-own coffees I find in supermarkets taste (IMO) worlds better than the coffees I drank as a kid. Some of that, I'm willing to bet, is simply the difference between using a modern drip coffeemaker instead of a percolator. Some is using fresh-ground beans instead of pre-ground from a can. But I think some is really due to the fact that even today's pseudo-gourmet supermarket coffee is better than the stuff we got in the 1960s--better beans, better roasted. Mind you, I could be totally wrong about that last ...

Anyway, srhcb, I expect your business associate will probably be touched at your gesture of serving the Chock Full O' Nuts, but I also suspect he won't be able detect anything special about it unless you somehow have the can prominently displayed where he can see it. :wink:

FYI: here's a review of Chock Full O' Nuts regular pre-ground coffee (the stuff most like what we drank in the 1960s), and a review of their new-fangled whole-bean 100% Columbian. Note that the new stuff gets a pretty good review, while the old-school stuff gets rather less so.

Edited by mizducky (log)
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Anyway, srhcb, I expect your business associate will probably be touched at your gesture of serving the Chock Full O' Nuts, but I also suspect he won't be able detect anything special about it unless you somehow have the can prominently displayed where he can see it.  :wink:

FYI: here's a review of Chock Full O' Nuts regular pre-ground coffee (the stuff most like what we drank in the 1960s), and a review of their new-fangled whole-bean 100% Columbian. Note that the new stuff gets a pretty good review, while the old-school stuff gets rather less so.

RE: "The aroma is faint and faintly sweet. The cup displays a pruny fruitiness that plays peek-a-boo with a distinctly unpleasant rubbery taste. In the finish the sweetness prevails, though barely."

Hmmmmmm. My friend was too young to drink coffee himself when he lived out East. He did mention that his Dad's coffee had a unique aroma.

SB (like burning rubber?) :shock:

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RE: "The aroma is faint and faintly sweet. The cup displays a pruny fruitiness that plays peek-a-boo with a distinctly unpleasant rubbery taste. In the finish the sweetness prevails, though barely."

Hmmmmmm.  My friend was too young to drink coffee himself when he lived out East.  He did mention that his Dad's coffee had a unique aroma.

SB (like burning rubber?) :shock:

Yeah, that review is a riot. But my favorite line was:

Who should drink it: People who enjoy licking sugar off tires. (Sorry.)

I think you might be better off getting the new stuff, which actually got a decent review from these guys. Or maybe just a commemorative coffee mug with the original label/logo, which IMO is a really lovely hunk o' nostalgia (regardless of the quality of the coffee it decorates).

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A couple years ago I had a sentimental urge to buy some Chock Full O'Nuts. Is was just as I remembered it from the 1960's while growing up in upstate NY.......just a so-so coffee. And since my mother always bought Chase and Sanborn, I know so-so coffee when I drink it!

Dave

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I don't know about the actual coffee, but I always understood from my mother that the main reason she went to the Chock Full O' Nuts coffee shops in the 50's and 60's was for the whole wheat donuts.

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