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If you drink coffee regularly, you know what a difference a good cup of Joe can make. Today, we want to introduce your taste buds to some of the best ground coffee the internet has to offer. From budget-friendly to gourmet blends, we reviewed several brands and narrowed down our favorite picks.
These are some truly exquisite roasts that are sure to energize and excite. After you’ve looked over our rankings, be sure you hang around for our buyer’s guide. It’s loaded with useful tips and information that will help you get the most out of your coffee.
We really enjoyed the opportunity to try out some new brands of coffee that we weren’t familiar with. So before we move along, we’d like to share with you a couple of blends that stood out from the rest.
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Our favorite coffee overall goes to Café Bustelo. We fell in love with this blend the moment we took our first sip. It’s bursting with rich flavor and works really well as an espresso. The price is just right, too, making this a great brew regardless of your preferences.
If you’re new to drinking coffee and want to try something mild to get you started, Starbucks has you covered. Their Veranda blend is a perfectly-balanced brew that isn’t too strong, but still packs plenty of flavor.
Alright, we’re just getting started. We have 8 more excellent blends that are sure to please. Regardless of how long you’ve been drinking coffee, we’re confident that you will find these entries to be worthy of your time.
This wonderful espresso roast is packed with flavor and comes at an affordable price. It’s a great coffee to mix with milk for a mocha-like finish. But regardless of how you take it, you’re guaranteed to get full, rich flavor in every cup.
Café Bustelo is available in just about every form you could want. From K-Cups to ground to whole bean, you can enjoy this lovely blend any way you prefer. Its flavor is dispersed evenly during preparation, leaving you with an intoxicating aroma.
What stands out the most about this ground coffee is its robust flavor. Its boldness is brilliant and never tastes burnt. Some may find the taste to be on the bitter side, but we didn’t think it was enough to knock this entry down. In fact, we felt that it complemented it more than anything.
Robusta beans are known to be bitterer than Arabica, but that’s not the case here. The bitterness is just right, providing a well-balanced and enjoyable experience.
It gives you the perfect kick to get you motivated, making it the perfect companion to a hurried morning.
Café Bustelo retains its richness no matter how you prefer your coffee. Whether drip brewed, espresso, cappuccino, or iced, you’re sure to get a flavorful cup every time.
Starbucks delivers a lighter roast with this deliciously smooth blonde blend. If you prefer a more mellow approach to your morning routine, Veranda in the choice for you. If you’re new to the coffee scene and prefer to keep things mild, we can’t think of many better blends.
You’ll notice a light hint of cocoa and nuttiness, making this a great choice for those who are just getting their feet wet in the world of coffee-drinking. We like that Starbucks used Arabica beans. In our opinion, they provide the best taste for this particular blend.
From K-Cups to instant packets, this roast is available in a wide variety of preparation methods. There is a very light bitterness to each of them, but it’s certainly not enough to turn you away. We felt like this one worked for the mellow brew.
It’s a very well-balanced texture and flavor that makes it easy to get down. If you’re a beginner, you won’t feel overwhelmed by its taste.
Regardless of how you prepare your coffee, Starbucks’ Veranda blend retains its smooth flavor. It’s never too bold, making this an excellent coffee for beginner drinkers.
If you like a little added flavor to your morning Joe, you have to try Cameron’s Highlander Grog. This light and sweet blend is packed with delicious hints of vanilla, caramel, rum, and butterscotch.
Blending these flavors with Arabica beans results in a unique roast that is both smooth and memorable. We found the strength to be just right; never overly potent, but enough to excite your taste buds.
If you prefer your coffee black, you’ll likely want to look elsewhere, as the flavor detracts from the coffee bean’s natural taste.
Cameron’s Highlander Grog is so flavorful on its own that you can forego adding in cream and sugar. It is perfectly balanced and sure to leave an impression.
If you’ve never heard of Death Wish, it is known as the strongest of all coffees. While that is up for debate, there’s no denying how incredibly bold this blend is.
Death Wish is not for the faint of heart. Nor is it for the inexperienced coffee drinker. This is for those who have built a tolerance to caffeine and want something with some serious kick. But be careful what you wish for, because Death Wish certainly delivers.
This is a bit more expensive compared to most brands. However, if you’re in need of coffee that brings something new to the table, you’ll be plenty pleased with the quality.
Death Wish offers their unique blend in K-Cups or whole beans, as well. This coffee is most definitely not for beginners. The caffeine content is going to be way too much for first-timers.
Made with Arabica beans, Caribou Coffee delivers a fresh and flavorful roast. While there are many blends available, all of which taste brilliant, nothing quite compares to the Caribou Blend.
As coffees go, there simply aren’t many that are this good for the price. You’re getting ground beans that are packed with notes of berry, leaving you with a mildly sweet taste. The bold blend’s cedar finish will get you moving no matter how you like your coffee.
It retains its well-balanced taste whether you serve it brewed, iced, or poured-over. And if you own a Keurig machine, Caribou offers their specialty coffees in K-Cups, as well.
If you’re on a budget or simply want to try a great-tasting coffee, Caribou is a home run either way. It has enough to make it unique while maintaining an affordable price.
The versatility of Caribou proves itself by the many methods of preparation. We tried the blend brewed and iced and were very pleased with the flavor of both.
Death Wish makes the list once more, this time with their Valhalla Java blend. Thanks to South American and Indonesian beans, you’re getting a ground coffee that’s loaded with flavor.
This is easily some of the richest coffee we tried. It has quite a bit of bite to it, so tread carefully if you’re unaccustomed to strong caffeine.
If you’re looking for a new blend to try that will light you up, you’ll find Valhalla Java to boast some of the richest flavors around.
The Valhalla Java roast brews up a bold cup of coffee with a kick. If you’re OK with plenty of caffeine, you’ll find this to deliver a solid and strong-tasting blend.
If you have never tried Hawaiian coffee, you really should treat yourself to Kauai Koloa Estate. It carries a unique taste that features both a fine flavor and intoxicating aroma. It comes down to the high-quality Arabica bean selection, providing you with an excellent cup of coffee.
Although Kauai Coffee is relatively new, they have proved that they can deliver some of the best-tasting blends around. What sets them apart from other manufacturers is their unique floral notes found in every sip.
You can enjoy Koloa Estate either brewed hot or iced. The floral notes stay locked in to give you a smooth and unique taste you won’t soon forget.
Hello, Newman. This delicious organic blend is a best-seller for good reason. It’s a well-balanced blend of ground Arabica beans, offering up a taste that’s smooth and not too strong.
The price is more than acceptable and delivers a reliable cup of coffee. We appreciated the lack of bitterness found in Newman’s Own, too. There is a slight nuttiness to this breakfast blend, if you like that in your roasts. We found it to complement this one really well.
You can pick up this blend in K-Cups for easier preparation. You can add cream and sugar if you like, but we found the taste to be quite pleasant on its own.
Are medium and dark roasts too much for you? Do you just want a cup of coffee that won’t have you running laps around your house? Then you should definitely look into Green Mountain’s Breakfast Blend.
This is a very light roast that won’t give you the jitters. It has a mildly sweet taste that is both crisp and silky. We like the balanced flavor, as it provides a hint of nuttiness that doesn’t overwhelm.
The price is really affordable, too. Just another reason to give this one a shot. As light coffees go, Green Mountain makes one of the very best.
Green Mountain also offers their ground coffee in K-Cups for easier preparation. We found this blend to brew evenly, retaining its mild taste in every sip.
Peet’s is pretty expensive when compared to most of the other brands we reviewed. But it provides lots of rich, smoky flavor that’s worth the price of admission.
This dark roast is quite strong, so keep that in mind if you’re sensitive to high caffeine content. But if you find you’ve become a bit bored with your current coffee of choice, you should give Peet’s a chance.
You won’t taste any burnt flavors here. This stuff is quite smooth and carries a light spiciness that makes it stand out from others. There are many more equally great-tasting flavors to try, but the Italian Roast gives you the most kick.
Peet’s Italian Roast brews smoothly to deliver a dark blend with bite. You’ll want to have some experience with darker roasts before diving into this one. While not as strong as Death Wish, it can send you reeling if you’re new to high caffeine content.
When it comes to selecting great-tasting ground coffee, there are two types of beans you’ll come across: Arabica and Robusta. What is the difference, you ask?
Well, Arabica beans tend to have a more refined taste. They possess a sweeter flavor that is often accompanied by some mild bitterness. Arabica beans are very climate-dependent, meaning they grow only under certain conditions.
Robusta beans, on the other hand, can grow just about anywhere. They are known for their bitterness and high caffeine content. It matters not which bean you choose, as it all comes down to personal preference.
Aside from beans, it’s important that you keep an eye out for special attributes. These can also greatly impact the flavor of the coffee for better or for worse, depending on what you like. Let’s discuss a few of these so you know what to watch for.
Some folks love it, others hate it. Whichever camp you are in, one thing is certain: flavoring radically alters the taste of coffee. If you prefer your Joe black or with cream and sugar, it’s best to steer clear of flavored brands.
Often, you will see hints of chocolate, cherry, vanilla, rum, and more added to coffees. If you’re thinking about becoming a coffee drinker but aren’t too keen on its taste, a flavored blend can serve as a great starting point. Once you have become acclimated to the taste, you can move onto regular blends.
This is important if you are an environmentally-conscious person. When you see ‘organic’ on coffee, it means there were no chemicals used during the coffee’s growth. Some people swear by the difference in taste. Again, this comes down to preference. But there’s no denying that organic is certainly safer to consume.
Now let’s talk about what goes into getting the most out of your ground coffee. This is where ground coffee is rather unique, as it begins to lose its freshness just moments after the grinding process. Purchasing from a manufacturer is generally going to be a safe bet because they use methods to keep it fresh, like vacuum sealing.
But once you open it, things start to happen that need to be kept in check to avoid losing its taste and aroma. Take contact with air, for example. The more contact, the less you’re going to get out of your ground coffee. This process is called…
When oxygen comes in contact with coffee, it begins to break down. In fact, from the moment you break that freshness seal or open that bag, oxidation has begun to take effect. Over time, that delicious-smelling coffee won’t smell as potent.
Not only that, it will lose its rich taste, as well. So, is there a way to avoid this, and if so, how is it done? It all comes down to the right care and storage. By taking the proper precautions and being diligent, you can prolong the life of your ground coffee.
When sealed CO2 escapes from the packaging upon opening, the coffee starts its degradation cycle. Whole beans lose their qualities even faster than ground ones. But both can be prevented to an extent by proper storage.
Once opened, you want to place the contents into a non-transparent container. This prevents light from coming in contact with the coffee, which can also cause coffee to lose its flavor. Once you have done this, place the container in a dark, cool place.
While it is convenient, you don’t want to keep coffee in its original packaging once opened. Many people like to transfer the contents to an air-tight container and place it in the freezer. This is completely fine, as the freezer is much better than the refrigerator.
The reason for this is all about odors. Your coffee stands a better chance of absorbing all the odors in your fridge. As you can imagine, this will affect both the smell and taste.
You may not realize it, but the air inside your home has moisture in it. And moisture is quite damaging to coffee. It’s a big reason why coffee gets ruined so quickly upon opening its packaging. The moment that wet air hits your coffee, the breakdown begins.
As you can see, coffee is rather fragile. It takes a lot to ensure that it is well cared for. But doing so will protect its rich flavoring and prolong its lifespan.
Now that we know what goes into keeping coffee fresh, let’s go over some other important aspects. This will help to ensure you’re buying coffee you’ll be pleased with.
Since we know coffee isn’t the most ‘durable’ of foods, you want to make sure the brand you are buying is as fresh as possible. If you get some that is too close to its expiration date, you risk not getting much enjoyment out of it.
We know that just opening it starts the process of degradation. So naturally, you want your coffee to be as fresh as you can get it. Obviously, it will last a lot longer after opening.
So, you might be wondering what the time frame is on opened coffee. This is important to know so you can better gauge expiration dates on the packaging.
Typically, coffee will keep its taste and aroma within 4 to 6 weeks after opening. So if you’re at the store and see that the date on the packaging is sooner than that, you want to steer clear.
OK, we’ve covered proper care and storage techniques. Now let’s move on to a few more things that have to do with how the coffee tastes. Again, a lot of this comes down to your personal preferences. But as you’ll see, there are some things besides freshness that can negatively impact your coffee.
Just about any coffee you come across is going to be roasted. You can specialty-order unroasted, but otherwise it can be difficult to find in most stores. There are some diehards who like to roast their own and go out of their way to purchase unroasted.
Whether this tastes better comes down to what you prefer. But it’s interesting to note that unroasted coffee does indeed have a longer shelf life, for what it’s worth. If you like experimenting with flavor and are adamant about keeping your coffee fresh, you might want to look into unroasted.
Using a quality coffee maker will greatly improve the taste of your coffee. Even if you have the most expensive coffee in the world, its taste can be jeopardized by a subpar coffee machine. This is because the preparation of coffee means everything.
It’s all in reaching the right temperatures in the serving process. Low-quality machines typically don’t reach the optimal temperatures. This results in lost taste and flavoring. You want to ensure that you are using a unit that will heat up enough to pull all the flavor out of your coffee grounds.
Before we wrap things up, let’s go over a few of the most-asked questions when it comes to coffee. We touched on some of these earlier, but we’ll go into more detail here.
As we discussed, we know that coffee can indeed expire by losing its freshness. Once that happens, taste is lost, along with aroma. If the right steps are taken, you can make that coffee last for a good while. In fact, with the proper care, coffee can keep its freshness for years.
But if you were to simply open your coffee without any follow-up care, it is actually quite short-lived. Whole beans tend to last around a week or two before needing to be replaced. Ground coffee is much, much sooner; you’re looking at only 1 or 2 days. It’s important to add that this coffee is still safe to drink. It’s just that it will have lost what makes it so good.
This is pretty incredible, but coffee can begin to go stale in as little as 20 to 30 minutes after the grinding process. Knowing this, we can now take the proper steps to ensure we store it correctly immediately after grinding/opening.
We know that storing coffee in an opaque, air-tight container will greatly prolong its life. It’s also a good idea to freeze any coffee that you aren’t going to immediately use after opening. You can store unused coffee like this for as long as 3 months.
The coffee will likely lose its smell, but it will still have the majority of its taste. And for many, that’s the most important part.