The Best Coffee Grounds You Can Buy, According to Our Readers

You voted on your favorite coffee grounds and we pitted the top picks against each other in a blind taste test to see which ones were the best.

A variety of coffee bags arranged on an orange background.
Photo: Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

For a lot of people, it's hard to imagine starting a day without a cup of coffee. Even though there are countless options available, it's hard to know what is best. From big brands to specialty roasters, the choices at the grocery store can be overwhelming. So we took the top picks from our Community Choice Awards and pitted them against each other to see which ones scored the highest in a blind taste test.

The first thing to consider is the type of coffee bean. There are two main varieties: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica beans are known for their smooth, balanced flavor and are often used by specialty roasters. On the other hand, Robusta beans have a stronger and more robust flavor, hence the name. Robusta beans are often used in less-expensive, mass-produced coffee blends but that doesn't mean they aren't still good.

The next thing to look at is the roast level. Light roasts have a more delicate flavor, however, they have more caffeine. Dark roasts have a bolder, more intense flavor but can be a bit more bitter. The roast level is largely a matter of personal preference, but for this tasting we went with all medium roasts so we could find the ideal balanced flavor.

How We Tested

All coffee was purchased as ground and medium roast. We then brewed a cup using the pour-over method with 2 tablespoons of grounds and 1 cup (8 oz) of 200 degrees F water. The coffees were tasted blind, i.e. without knowing which brand was associated with each cup of coffee we were trying. All of the brewed coffees were tasted without cream or sugar, even though only a few of us usually drink it that way. After a good dose of caffeine, here were our favorites.

Best Bold Coffee: Peet's Coffee Alameda Morning Blend

A bag of Peet's coffee grounds
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

This Organic coffee from Peet's uses 100% Arabica beans from Latin America, Ethiopia, and Sumatra and has a smooth, balanced flavor with notes of cocoa, caramel, and brown sugar. It's widely available at most grocery stores but could hold up to the other specialty brands in the blind tasting.

Best Mild Coffee: Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend

A bag of Dunkin' coffee grounds
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

For the coffee drinkers who don't love a strong flavor, the Dunkin' Donuts Original Blend hits the spot. This medium roast is made from a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans and has a smooth, classic flavor. It's a great value for the price, especially if you're someone who wants the caffeine without any bitter flavor.

Best Half-Caff Coffee: Green Mountain Coffee Half-Caff

A bag of Green Mountain coffee grounds
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

Made with 100% Arabica beans, this coffee was a top choice among a lot of the tasters. It's rich flavor had notes of dark chocolate, almond, and a touch a cinnamon all without the bitterness that some of the other coffees exuded. The fact that it's one of the few coffees available with half the caffeine was another quality that many tasters liked.

Best for Espresso Lovers: Lavazza Classico

A bag of LavAzza coffee grounds
Jesse Blanner/Allrecipes

If you're looking for a strong coffee with notes of dried figs, raisins, and nutmeg, the Lavazza Classico is for you. Made with a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans from South America and Africa, this coffee had a deeper, richer flavor in line with what you'd expect from Italy.

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