Hurt provides a spoken introduction on this song where he explains that he's brand-loyal to Maxwell's House coffee, but the girl who used to make it for him up and left, and now he's stuck making his own brew, and it just won't do. Of course, it's not really the coffee he misses.
This is the song that provided the band name for the Lovin' Spoonful, as that phrase is repeated a few times in the lyric. Lovin' Spoonful founder John Sebastian, known for his talents on harmonica, had been performing with Hurt around the time he formed the band in 1965. When he told Fritz Richmond, a jug player in the Kweskin Jug Band, about his new group, he described it as a cross between Hurt and Chuck Berry. Richmond immediately suggested they call it the Lovin' Spoonful.
According to John Sebastian, this song is about cunnilingus. "It was always a big crowd pleaser because of his particularly innocent delivery and his guileless way of presenting it," he explained. "His audience was frequently filled with beautiful college women - he always had appeal for the women in the audience. He would usually start by taking a sip from a coffee cup that was onstage. It was usually on a little stool by his chair, and he'd sip from the cup and say, 'I always have my cup of Maxwell House coffee, 'cause it's good to the very last drop.' And then resume playing, and with great innocence play this song that would go, 'I love my baby by the lovin' spoonful.' And as he began to sing about it, by the third or fourth time, when he'd come to the words 'the lovin' spoonful,' everybody would know what he was referring to. It was a set piece for him, and that's why it was memorable."