There is nothing like a fresh cup of coffee, whether it is the first thing a person has in the morning, or the extra kick that helps them get over the afternoon hump. Walking or driving to get coffee can be a hassle, taking valuable time and dollars away when all is needed is a hot cup of brew. A great solution to this is making coffee at home or the office using ground coffee.
Everyone has their favorite type of coffee. Light roasts, medium roasts, and dark roasts can each have a wide array of flavor notes and varying strengths. To figure out which type of ground coffee to buy, customers need to not only figure out their preferred brand, but whether they are interested in bold or weak coffee, and between subtle or strongly flavored. We’ve taken a look at some of the most popular brands to see what sets them apart:
Death Wish Ground Coffee
- Mix of beans. This coffee producer combines both Arabica beans and Robusta beans to make a unique blend maximizing the flavor profiles of both types of coffee beans.
- Small batches. Death Wish roasts all of their batches of coffee in small amounts, usually less than 65 pounds per session. This helps ensure a fresher taste than mass-roasted grounds.
- Cherry notes. From the first sip coffee drinkers may be able to taste a subtle note of cherry. This adds some subdued sweetness to an otherwise dark roast flavor.
- Plain aroma. For a coffee that many consider to be so flavorful, the aroma doesn’t jump out at you when opening up the coffee bag. This in of itself isn’t a problem, but some people live for that strong fragrance in the morning.
- Recommended servings. Some may find that the manufacturer’s recommended serving size is rather much; a pot of coffee would take an entire coffee filter’s worth of ground coffee to brew.
Death Wish Ground Coffee is a small-batch mix of Arabica and Robusta beans. By mixing these two types, the coffee aims to be less bitter but with a higher caffeine content.
Peet’s Ground Coffee
- 6 varieties. Customers can choose between seven different roasts. Big Bang and Brazil are the medium roasts, while House, Brazil, Colombia, and Major Dickason’s Blend are the dark roasts.
- Decaf option. Not all brands offer decaffeinated versions of their specialty roasts. Peet’s has created a decaffeinated version of Major Dickason’s dark roast, which is perfect for those hoping to enjoy a flavorful sip while eschewing all of the caffeine.
- Experience. A fun fact about Peet’s Coffee is that they employ a small team of roasters who do quality control, with only around ten people with this responsibility. This helps ensure that the taste is consistent from cup to cup.
- Sell-by-date. When purchasing this coffee, pay attention to the sell-by-date printed on the container. Sometimes the packages for sale are rather close to the time of purchase.
- Grounds too fine for some coffee filter. The pre-ground coffee beans can be a bit too fine, which can either filter through a non-disposable filter or make the coffee taste a bit too bitter.
Peet’s Coffee is well-known and well-liked as a brick and mortar coffee shop. Its ground coffee has some of the favorite flavors of the coffee shop, allowing customers to replicate that taste at home.
Tim Hortons 100% Arabica Medium Roast Original Blend Ground Coffee
- Mellow taste. This line of ground coffee is not particularly bitter, creating a mellow and smooth taste. This is great for those who worry about bitter coffee giving them an upset stomach.
- Accurate representation of classic coffee shop. Tim Hortons has been selling coffee in shops of the same name in Canada for over half a century. For those who have had their coffee, this home brew is a refreshingly accurate representation of that flavor.
- Value. This coffee can be purchased for as little as half a dollar per ounce, one of the lowest prices one can find for a well-regarded coffee. The price-per-ounce decreases with the size of the container.
- Freshness. While the 2 or 3 pound container of coffee may provide the most savings, the coffee grinds may not stay as fresh as they were when purchased. The coffee should be stored away from heat, light, and moisture.
- Not the strongest flavor. This line of coffee does not have the strongest or boldest flavor, which might be a bit disappointing to those who like flavorful dark roasts.
Tim Hortons Arabica Medium Roast can be bought in large 2 or 3 pound containers, creating great savings for customers looking to have a smooth and mellow coffee. This coffee almost exactly resembles the coffee that is served at Tim Horton coffee shops.
Best Single-Origin Coffee
Bulletproof Ground Coffee
- Maximized for Bulletproof-style coffee. This brand of coffee is known not only for the quality of its beans, but also for what they do with their coffee after the brew it. Bulletproof coffee is often mixed with certain butters and types of fat – usually an oil – as a way to get extra fat and calories early in the day.
- Organic farms. The beans that comprise this coffee are harvested from farms that don’t use pesticides, herbicides, or other chemicals on the plants. The beans are hand-picked, so those concerned with the source of their food and drinks will have comfort in that knowledge.
- Single origin. These beans only come from farms limited to a specific geographic area, meaning they aren’t mixed in with other beans of the same breed from other places. This means the coffee will have unique notes and flavors (chocolatey and citric in this case) that are hidden in blends.
- Price. This is definitely a luxury coffee brand, which most single-origin coffees are. It can cost as much as three or four times as much as coffee blends.
- “Bulletproof” coffee needs extra purchase. Those hoping to make “Bulletproof”-style coffee will need to buy extra products, some of which are not easy to find at every store. It would be nice if there was a way to order in a bundle.
Bulletproof Coffee is harvested from organic farms and is a single-origin line of coffee grounds. Those who are interested in the keto diet may be familiar with “Bulletproof”-style coffee, which people make by combining butter and oil with coffee.
Best Dark Roast
Black Rifle Coffee Company Blackbeard’s Delight Dark Roast Ground Coffee
- Dark roast. Though this coffee producer makes light, medium, and dark roasts, it is the dark roast that stands out. It is bold and strong, but smooth and not too acidic.
- Pleasant aftertaste. This coffee has very little in the way of aftertaste, but the flavors that linger are pleasant and not bitter. Great for those who don’t like coffee breath.
- Veteran-owned. This brand of coffee is not only owned by US veterans, but it employs (and is thus operated) by veterans of various military departments. A portion of the proceeds go to veterans’ and civilian servicemens’ causes.
- Only one size. This product is only available in one size. It may satisfy those with particularly large mouths.
- Expensive. Customers may have pause when seeing the price this product is usually sold for. It is one of the more expensive snoring aid products available.
The dark roast from Black Rifle Coffee Company offers a strong flavor without overwhelming acidity or aftertaste. Owned and operated by US veterans, a portion of the proceeds goes to supporting their causes.
How We Picked
Coffee can be a ritual for some people; each sip to be savored and enjoyed for its flavor and strength. For others, it is just a plain necessity. Because coffee serves so many purposes and fulfills needs across spectrums, it is helpful to know what you are getting before making a purchase. Here are the main factors we looked at:
Coffee is like any other agricultural product. It comes from somewhere on Earth, is harvested and picked a certain way, and is delivered to the consumer within a variable timeline. Many people who drink coffee are probably interested in how their favorite coffees rate considering these three factors.
Coffee producers can make blends or single-origin coffee; meaning it either is a mix of a type bean (Arabica or Robusta typically) that can hail from anywhere, or it is a bean from a certain region. Blends typically are more consistent in taste and single-origin coffees might have stronger, more distinct flavors.
The length of time it takes from harvesting to delivery can affect the taste. Pay attention to the “sell-by” date printed on the package; most coffees should have this printed on their container somewhere. If there is a “harvested-on” date, consumers can even know the date the beans were picked or sorted.
Coffee that is farmed on a farm that doesn’t use chemicals, pesticides, or herbicides may be preferable to some consumers. These organic farms and coffee producers will usually get some certification that will be displayed on their products. Many times, if there is no label saying as much, then it is probably not organic.
Coffee grounds prices can live anywhere on the spectrum of cost. Some of the more inexpensive brands can be bought in bulk, sometimes two or three pounds at a time of coffee. These types of coffee are typically blended varieties of Arabica or Robusta, and usually do not have exotic flavors.
Single-origin coffees tend to cost more, sometimes much more. Coffee connoisseurs may opt for a special bean from a far-flung region where coffee beans are harvested with specific environmental conditions. Those looking for organic will probably have to stump more as well.
Not sure which ground coffee is right for you? Before making your decision, take a look at the following suggestions:
- Do you already make your own coffee?
- Many people only buy coffee from coffee shops or when it is offered to them at work or other settings. It can be hard to replicate coffee shop coffee, but often times these brands have their own take-home lines of coffee grounds.
- Making coffee at home opens up a world of taste specialization; the amount of grounds per pot and the type of coffee can all be modified your tastes.
- How strong do you like your coffee?
- Take a look at dark roasts or medium roasts if you are a person who likes bold coffee. Many single-origin coffees also have a strong, flavorful taste.
- Lighter roasts may be preferable to those who aren’t coffee aficionados or like to mix milk and sugar with their brew. These tend to be a little less bitter. Bear in mind that lighter roasts tend to have a bit more caffeine.