Our Test Kitchen Found the Best Brands of Coffee

You start every morning with a cup. Why not make sure that morning joe is the best coffee you can buy? Our Test Kitchen shares which brands they prefer.

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Most dedicated coffee drinkers out there have a brand or two that they prefer, the one that they buy over and over and over again. But do you ever wonder if your favorite cuppa is actually the best coffee out there? After all, it’s hard to know if your brand is better than another if you never try them side-by-side. That’s where our Test Kitchen comes in!

What We Looked for in a Great Coffee

Our culinary and editorial staff tried 12 brands of coffee that you commonly find at the grocery store. All coffees were purchased ground and were brewed using the same method. In this blind tasting, testers sipped and slurped while considering these criteria.

  • Flavor
  • Aroma
  • Bitterness
  • Acidity

Considering that all 12 brands were medium roasts, we wanted a coffee that offered a good balance of flavor. Bright but not overly acidic, flavorful but not too bitter. This is a fine line to walk, but when you strike the right chord with coffee, you can make some truly delicious things like this tipsy iced coffee spiked with a hint of amaretto. Brewing a pot at home? We tasted 30 different types to find the best coffee brands.

Our Test Kitchen-Preferred Coffee Brands

Let’s see which brands our coffee aficionados and Test Kitchen experts ranked as the best coffee.

Best Organic (and Fair Trade!): Newman’s Own Organics Medium Roast Breakfast Blend

Newman's Own Organic Breakfast Blend Ground CoffeeVia picknsave.com

For a great balanced cup, our Test Kitchen can’t recommend Newman’s Own enough. This organic and fair trade (always a bonus!) blend offered an irresistible aroma that had testers going in for sip after sip. The coffee itself was flavor-forward and smooth to sip—all without any bitter aftertaste. This coffee is bold enough to jump-start the day while being balanced enough to please company when served up alongside dessert.

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Best for to Wake Up To: Green Mountain Medium Roast Nantucket Blend

GREEN MOUNTAIN COFFEE ROASTERS® Nantucket Blend® CoffeeVia keurig.com

Our Test Kitchen also recommends Green Mountain Coffee Roasters‘ medium roast coffee. This coffee tasted slightly darker than our other medium roasts but still offered plenty of flavor with just a hint of vanilla and floral flavors. A bit more acidic than our other choices, many testers loved this bright blend. We also noticed that Green Mountain perked us a bit more than the rest. Perfect for your morning cuppa!

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Smoothest Coffee: Gevalia Traditional Roast

Gevalia Mild Roast Whole Bean Coffee (12 oz Bag)Via amazon.com

Our Test Kitchen also enjoyed Gevalia’s medium roast option. The coffee was smooth, drinkable and not overly acidic, perfect for sipping as you enjoy good company and a few treats with your coffee klatch. If you sipped slowly, you could notice a few fruity notes in the background of this cuppa, which many testers found pleasant.

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What to Make with Coffee

While most folks rely on coffee to jumpstart their day, there’s so much more you can do with a cup of joe. But before you do anything, make sure you’re avoiding these brewing mistakes. Then think about jazzing up your morning pick-me-up by turning it into a coffee shop-inspired drink. Or add some grounds to your desserts to perk them up a bit (coffee does wonders for chocolate!). Heck, coffee can even be used to create a fork-tender roast beef. You can use coffee in so many ways!

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But what we’ve really got our heart set on is this tipsy coffee. Look how easy it is to make—and what a pretty presentation!

Note: This blind taste test was performed by our staffers and was not part of a sponsorship. All opinions shared are our own, and have not been influenced by advertisers.

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is a former Taste of Home editor and passionate baker. During her tenure, she poured her love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa also dedicated her career here to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.