On coffee, quality, and integrity

Pro Tip: When the bag of coffee in the store says “Kona Blend” or “Jamaica Blue Mountain Blend” or something similar, chances are that up to 90% or more of the actual coffee is something else.

The Vons/Safeway chain recently settled a lawsuit brought on by an unhappy consumer over the contents of a “Kona Blend” coffee. The Kona Coffee Farmers Association joined the plaintiff’s complaint that the coffee sold by Vons contained very little actual Kona coffee, misleading consumers and ultimately harming the reputation of USA’s only significant coffee varietal.

Via U-T

Two years ago, Vons/Safeway had agreed to change the labels on their coffee to read, “10 percent minimum Kona blend.” This was prompted by a complaint by not only the trade association, but the Hawaii Department of Agriculture. As this article illustrates, a year later coffee was still found on shelves containing the old labels. At the time (August, 2012), Vons spokespersons stated that the reason was simply due to old inventory.

In other words, the coffee on the shelves at Vons can easily be over a year old.

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