Most of us really like coffee and can’t begin to imagine getting started in the morning without a cup of it. OK, let’s be honest, for most of us, it’s more like several cups and perhaps a one to booster us up in the afternoon and even in the evening with dinner, if we’re feeling fancy.
But as many of us prefer our coffee prepared a certain way or using a specific brew style, we may also have a brand and even a roast or blend from that brand that is our goto. It may be rare that we deviate from that choice, and when we do, we often wish for our usual standby!
There’s a lot to consider when investing in a new coffee brand or variety. While price and availability will undoubtedly be factors for many, coffee lovers may often look at other points more precisely. One such point is sourcing. What region are the coffee beans from, and how are they sourced in that region? This is where issues like single-origin and sustainability may come in. Then, there’s, of course, a variety of roasts and flavors. These consist of flavors inherent to the beans, like chocolate and cherries, and those added during roasting, such as French vanilla and hazelnut. Some prefer a darker roast, while others want medium or light, and others may want a blend of flavors. It’s all about the options that most fit your tastes and interests.
But since we’re drinking so much coffee and doing so every day, maybe it’s not a bad idea to brew up some new finds to give a try. We may find a new favorite to add to our rotation!
1. Brooklyn Roasting Company Bespoke Blend
BEST GROUND COFFEE
No one would stop by this unassuming Brooklyn spot and believe the beauty that awaits inside. While the independent roaster has some fantastic fresh-roasted whole bean options, its ground coffee is a good value for its incredible quality. The Bespoke Blend has a mocha java feel, originating from Guatemala Huehuetenango, Colombia Tolima, Seasonal Harvest with cocoa, honeysuckle, and malt notes.
2. Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend
BEST BUDGET COFFEE
West coasters consider Peet’s Coffee a mainstay, but even for those who do not have a local cafe to drop into, Peet’s is now easy to find in nationwide retailers. It remains a high-quality option at a surprisingly friendly price. Major Dickason’s is one of the original roasts from Peet’s, and it remains a favorite (and a classic) thanks to its rich dark roast with a flavorful, full-bodied taste.
3. La Colombe Coffee Roasters Corsica Blend
While it’s hard to go wrong with La Colombe — its cafes are a trendy crowd favorite for a reason — this is a downright luxury to have in your home for your morning brew. While it’s not as budget-priced as some other options, it’s undeniably an excellent value due to its quality. The Corsica Blend is a beautiful blend of beans ethically sourced from Colombia, Brazil, Mexico and Honduras. It’s a rich, deep, chocolatey flavor, it’s strong but not too strong and doesn’t have the burnt taste of many more robust coffees, and it is a perfect way to start the day on a high note.
4. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender
BEST INDEPENDANT ROASTER
Originating in Portland, which many see as the American headquarters of great coffee, Stumptown has made quite the name for itself among subversive coffee connoisseurs. The hand-roasted Hair Bender is the brand’s most popular blend for a reason, containing coffee from Africa, Indonesia and Latin America. This coffee is sweet and balanced, with just the right level of strength and complexity and lots of rich flavor and texture that will have you coming back time and again for more.
5. Death Wish Coffee Co. Whole Bean Coffee
BEST STRONG COFFEE
While this coffee brand has a reputation for being the strongest coffee you can find, it’s not just about strength — it’s also good coffee. It is a USDA-approved and organically grown dark roast. This bold coffee is highly caffeinated, so be prepared to get a lot of work done after a cup of this in the morning. But, while being bold and a dark roast, it doesn’t taste burnt or acidic. Don’t let that skull and crossbones on the package scare you off. This coffee is strong and will leave its mark, but it’s nothing to fear. Unless you hate a great coffee buzz, that is.
6. Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend
BEST FOR ESPRESSO
This coffee is as much of a household name as an espresso brand can be, and for good reason. Espresso has a reputation for being strong and bold, but this Lavazza blend is actually mild. It’ll make a perfect morning latte that is creamy and full of flavor. The long-lasting and smooth finish will lead to a morning espresso to remember — until you come back for another the next day. This brand has a history of over a century, which is more than most other coffee lines can say. The result is a beautiful, well-rounded aromatic cup of espresso.
7. Green Mountain Coffee Colombia Select, Single-Serve Keurig K-Cup Pods
BEST FOR K-CUPS
Green Mountain Coffee has it all — taste, variety, flavor options, convenience, and great value. The beauty of a K-Cup is, of course, that it’s a single-serve pod. That lends itself well to variety in and of itself because you can easily switch out one pod for another, so everyone over for brunch or at your dinner party can have the type of coffee they want with no hassle. These Colombia Select K-Cups are a perfect medium roast crowd-pleaser, with complex, full-bodied Colombian coffee and a smooth, rich finish.
8. Community Coffee Ground Blend, Coffee & Chicory
BEST COFFEE BRAND THAT GIVES BACK
Community Coffee’s Coffee & Chicory is a spicy blend of a New Orleans favorite that combines Arabica beans with roasted chicory. The result is balanced, sweet, and has a great body. It’ll be perfect with steamed milk and a bit of sugar. Community Coffee is not only good coffee; it’s charitable coffee — it gives back through programs such as Cash for Schools and Military Match and partners with nonprofit organizations to promote sustainability for coffee farmers and their families. Following the devastating impact of Hurricane Ida, Community Coffee Company is donating 10% of retail sales proceeds, up to $250,000, from the sale of Community coffee products until October 28, 2021, to support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Ida relief efforts in Louisiana.
9. RĀKO Coffee Roasters Sidamo Kercha – Ethiopia
BEST ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
This single-origin sustainably sourced coffee is a rich blend with notes of butter, ginger snap and a hint of berry. This is also a bean with a story behind it. The Kedir Hassen Sibu washing stations have been owned and operated by the same family for over 20 years. They have helped build schools, off-site medical care, and tons of employment opportunities for the community. This small-batch specialty coffee is always freshly roasted to order and is a rich, full-bodied choice cup after cup.
10. Grace Farms Foods Drips – Whole Bean Coffee Collection 4-Pack
BEST FOR SUPPORTING WOMEN
If you are just looking for a simple, great cup of coffee, these organic whole bean coffees are handpicked, sorted, and roasted to peak flavor, resulting in a great cup of coffee. But if you are looking for a bigger picture, this brand invests in female farmers and entrepreneurs from women-led co-ops in Ethiopia, Colombia and Indonesia. Coffee always makes the world feel like a better place, first thing in the morning. But some brands do, in fact, help the world be a better place. An excellent way to experience this brand is this collection of four 12 ounce whole bean bags that include two River Roast and one bag each of Single Origin Asoprosierra and Single Origin Ketiara.