You heard it here (in this forum) first (2007), folks...
"If you're looking for a standout among blended coffees, you may be disappointed. Blends, the best-selling type of ground coffee, contain beans from at least two regions or countries. Of the 24 ground caffeinated blends we tested, none was excellent or very good. " - ConsumersReports.org
For the past year or two Eight O'Clock brand coffee, once the mainstay of "very good" to "excellent" grocery store coffee, has been tasting like less than average crap. It was the only mass-merchant brand I could buy with confidence and expect a pot of coffee that was on the high side of good. I stopped buying it as a fill-in to my homeroasted coffee several years ago because it had fallen off so far. I'd buy a bag every once in a while to see what was up but, each time, feh. And this week Consumers Reports dropped the Eight O'Clock rating below "Very Good." Too bad for coffee lovers. This used to be a great tasting and reliable brand. Their reasoning for failing quality in blended coffees was flawed, I thought, and doesn't explain the decline in blends labeled "100% arabica."
Back to the BBQ roaster when the ice thaws.