A Press Herald taste test found no stark difference in appearance or texture of B&M beans made in Portland and elsewhere. The Portland-made beans, top, were slightly darker in the bowl. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

The Portland Press Herald staff conducted a taste test to try to get to the bottom of customer complaints that B&M beans have tasted different since the factory moved out of Maine.

After scouring several Greater Portland stores, we were able find two B&M cans of the same variety – Boston’s Best – that were made in Portland and elsewhere. Of the two test cans, the one with a Portland address had a use-by date of of Feb. 22, 2023, while the one that had a New Jersey corporate address had a use-by date of March 30, 2024.

In the can, the Portland beans had a slightly darker liquid, though both seemed to have about the same amount of liquid. There was no sheet of slimy goop, as some bean lovers have found. When heating up on the stove in pots, both batches looked about the same.

In a blind tasting, some staffers found the Portland beans slightly softer, but certainly not mushy. But some said the Portland ones were a little firmer, and more flavorful. The differences in the two batches were not stark.

Some tasters liked the flavor of the Portland beans better, though not everyone could agree on what made them better.

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