What Cheap Coffee Tastes Best?

By Mark Ramos

The first question to ask yourself is how much you are willing to pay for your coffee for delicious flavor? However, many Americans are not aware that you can save money when purchasing grocery store coffee due to the findings of a recent market poll. This poll revealed that coffee brands on the market that were cheaper often had a better taste than more expensive commercial brands for sale.

As a general rule of thumb, it is important to purchase fresh roasted beans because coffee can easily go stale two weeks after it has been roasted. Additionally, grinding coffee beans causes them to oxidize and go stale within 30 seconds, so purchasing pre-ground coffee at the grocery store will guarantee that it is staler than it should be.

That being said, many people still choose pre-ground supermarket coffee, and in a recent issue of Consumer Reports, 13 top pre-ground coffee brands were taste tested, as well as six brands of pre-ground decaffeinated coffee. All of these coffees were rated on their taste characteristics, like being fruity, nutty, or earthy, as well as negative flavors, like papery, burnt, or woody.

Three caffeinated pre-ground coffee brands came out with stellar ratings, and the number one choice was Eight O'Clock Coffee 100% Colombian, which is also one of the most affordable choices at $6.28 for a pound. If you use the suggested amount from the manufacturer, this averages out to $.15 for a 6 ounce cup of Joe, which is a better price than you can find at a coffee shop. This brand beat out more expensive alternatives, like Gloria Jean's and Peet's, which weighed in at almost $14 a pound to average at $.32 per cup. These more expensive brands only received "good" ratings.

So what does this mean for your finances as a coffee drinker? If you drink several cups of coffee each day, you can choose a less expensive pre-ground option to save $.30 each day, which will average out to $9 a month and $108 a year. It really does make a difference! It was also estimated by Consumer Reports that Americans drank 400 million cups of coffee on a daily basis, so when you switch to the cheaper alternative of $.15 a cup, America could save $60 million on coffee each day. Shocking!

If you normally drink decaf, you may be happy to know that the top three market choices were priced at less than $.20 for a single cup. The first choice by far was Dunkin' Donuts Decaf, which was priced at $.19 per cup, followed by the runner-up Millstone Decaf 100% Colombian Medium Roast at $.14 per cup. Another contender was Folgers Gourmet Selections Lively Colombian Decaf Medium Roast at $.11 per cup, which all received good ratings. Ironically enough, one of the more expensive choices, Starbucks Coffee Decaf House Blend Medium, only received fair ratings.

So what will it be? Coffee does not have to be unreasonably expensive, and you may have been overlooking some affordable and delicious coffee choices at the supermarket.

Mark Ramos
Article by Mark Ramos
Mark Ramos is a coffee fanatic and owns The Coffee Bump. For a great selection in all things coffee and espresso machines, check out www.thecoffeebump.com.

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