If you go into your local store to purchase K-Cups, you’ll often see coffee from Eight O’Clock Coffee.
Sure, people today may have heard of Starbucks, Peet’s, Seattle’s Best, etc. But not many people are aware that Eight O’Clock Coffee has been around since 1859 and was the most popular brand of coffee in the United States in 1930.
Created by the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (later known as A&P) in 1859, A&P was once the largest food/grocery retailer in the United States from 1915-1975 and was one of the well-known brands.
Founded by George Gilman as Gilman & Company, the company opened a small chain of retail, tea and coffee stores in New York City and by 1878, there were 70 stores. By 1900, there were 200 stores. And in 1936, they adopted the self-serve supermarket concept and opened 4,000 larger stores.
But back in 1859, their coffee, while not having a true name was featured in advertisements as “Eight O’Clock Breakfast Coffee” and by 1919, after conducting a survey about what time people drink coffee, the answer was 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and so, A&P would rename their coffee to “Eight O’Clock”. By 1930, it was the most popular brand of coffee in the United States.
But with modernization, by the 1970’s, A&P lost its flair and by the 2000’s would have to compete against Wal-Mart and other grocery stores.
As for its coffee, in 2003, A&P spun off the Eight O’Clock Coffee brand to Gryphon Investors, a private equity firm based in San Francisco and they would create the Eight O’Clock Coffee Company and introduced a ground coffee line. The company would then be sold to Tata Global Beverages in 2006.
By 2009, Consumer Reports rated Eight O’Clock Coffee’s 100% Colombian brew as the “Best Buy” for ground brews.
As for A&P, while A&P purchased Pathmark, one of its biggest rivals and became the largest supermarket operator in the New York City area, the recession proved to much to A&P and in 2015, the company filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy and all of its supermarkets were sold or closed by December 1st.
While A&P may no longer be the dominant brand or well-known grocery store of yesteryear their original coffee continues to be popular today as Eight O’Clock Coffee Company continues to thrive under its new owner Tata Global Beverages.
As for Eight O’Clock Coffee’s 100% Colombian Peaks Medium Roast Coffee, the Arabica Beans are cultivated at a high altitude in Colombia’s rich volcanic soils and harvested at their optimum ripeness.
Tasting the coffee, you can taste the fresh, smooth medium roast with a full body finish. Not bitter at all but which Colombian Medium Roast is better…this, Green mountain Coffee’s Fair Trade Select Coffee, Cafe Bustelo’s 100% Colombian or Folgers Lively Colombian Coffee? It’s all subjective to the individuals taste in coffee.
But I will say that it’s one of the better priced packages you can find online. Keurig sells the Eight O’Clock Coffee 100% Colombian Peaks Medium Roast Coffee for $12.99 for a 24-count.
Overall, I do like this coffee for its taste but I also enjoyed Folgers Lively Columbian as well. So, with various varieties of Colombian Coffee in the market. Definitely give it a try and see which one works for you!