Such a Pretty Package… Millstone’s Mountain Moonlight Coffee

  • Rating: Rating: ★★½☆☆

If you’re a parent, or have ever had the dubious joy of giving a gift to a small child (a niece, or a nephew, maybe) then you will be passing familiar with the experience of said child opening the pretty package, glancing appraisingly at the carefully selected gift inside… and then dumping the gift on the floor to play instead with the box it came in. Such is the stuff that memories are made of.

Little did you know that you were thus prepared for the experience of Mountain Moonlight, a Fair Trade Certified™, Organic coffee from Millstone Coffee (a Proctor & Gamble company). Mountain Moonlight offers what is surely the most seductive bit of packaging on your grocer’s coffee aisle… a luminous bag that depicts romantic moonlight playing on tropical leaves, while outstretched hands cup just-picked coffee cherries. It’s quite lovely, really.

And once you’ve sampled the coffee inside, you’ll better understand that small child who threw away the contents of the pretty package… ’cause what’s inside this lovely bag simply doesn’t deliver on the promise of its packaging. Just-ground, its fragrance offers vague notes of cedar. Brewed, the predominant aromatic is wet cardboard with a touch of raisin. Its flavors tend toward wet earth and wood… and for a cup that tastes subtly of mud, it has surprisingly little body, but it does offer a fairly harsh, stale finish.


Ya know… I appreciate that Proctor & Gamble have dipped their collective toe in the Fair Trade program. I really do. Their influence — not to mention their buying power — could do a tremendous amount of good. But based on this experience, I have to conclude they’re just not trying very hard.

Not recommended.


  1. And you have to wonder if Trans Fair cut them a special deal for certification a la starbucks.

  2. What this experience made me have to think about was whether Millstone has very intentionally produced an altogether forgetable cup. Imagine the shopper who buys and brews this and concludes… “So that’s Fair Trade, huh?” and never bothers to try a FT coffee again.

    Not that I’m much into conspiracy theories… ;)



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