Shop by Department

All Products

  • All Products

  • Appliances

  • Auto Parts

  • Babies & Kids

  • Books

  • Cameras

  • Clothing

  • Computers

  • Electronics

  • Flowers & Gifts

  • Furniture

  • Grocery & Gourmet

  • Health & Beauty

  • Home Improvement

  • Indoor Living

  • Industrial Supply

  • Jewelry & Watches

  • Magazines

  • Movies

  • Music

  • Musical Instruments

  • Office

  • Pets

  • Software

  • Sporting Goods

  • Toys

  • Video Games

 

Coffee Buying Guides

provided by

Consumer Reports has no relationship with advertisers on PriceGrabber

Getting started

The story that an Ethiopian goat herder discovered coffee when his berry-eating goats became frisky is likely apocryphal, but it's generally believed that coffee first came from that region. These days, Americans consume about 25 percent of the world's coffee. The average coffee drinker enjoys 3.3 cups a day, or about 1,200 cups a year. Maybe that's why there seems to be a coffee shop on every corner.

But how can you make a good cup of coffee at home with brands you can find in the supermarket? When we test coffee, we look for smoothness and complexity with no off-flavors. The beans should be neither under-roasted nor charred, and the brew should have at least moderate aroma and flavor, and subtle top notes. Some sourness and bitterness are desirable, too, to keep the coffee from tasting bland.

All coffees consist of arabica or robusta beans, or a combination. Arabica beans are more expensive and tend to make better coffee. And as with wine grapes, where the beans are grown makes a difference. Coffee is cultivated across the world in a belt generally bounded by the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Brazil is the top coffee producer, followed by Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Mexico. Ethiopia is number six.

At Consumer Reports, we test the coffees that our readers are most likely to drink. We've tested Colombian because it comes from one of the most popular regions. We've also tested and tasted blends because they're the best-selling type of ground coffee. Blends contain beans from at least two regions or countries. We plan to test coffee from more regions and recently tested Kenyan and Sumatran.

The tastes of coffee drinkers have become more discriminating in recent years and coffee drinkers are demanding more flavor from the cup. Here are some things to remember when buying your beans.

Consider how you take it. Excellent and very good coffees taste fine black. Milk and sugar can improve a mediocre coffee, but not even cream is likely to help the lowest-scoring coffees.

Choose a good coffeemaker. The best coffeemakers reach 195 degree to 205 degrees F during brewing, the temperatures required to get the best from the beans and avoid a weak or bitter brew.

Consider grinding for fresher flavor. Even the best pre-ground coffee can't beat a good quality fresh ground when it comes to taste.

Visit ConsumerReports.org for our latest information on Coffee

Copyright © 2006-2012 Consumers Union of U.S., Inc. No reproduction, in whole or in part, without written permission.

Getting started

1. Getting started

2. Types


Looking for Grocery & Gourmet? PriceGrabber.com offers the best online shopping experience. Browse thousands of popular Grocery & Gourmet brands, compare prices, read reviews from real consumers and experts, and find the best deals in your area. Our unique comparison shopping site offers extensive inventory for Grocery & Gourmet, Health & Beauty, Home Improvement and more. Shopping for Grocery & Gourmet has never been easier!