Which? reveals Best Buy ground coffeeSupermarket, branded and high street coffee tested

17 September 2015

Cafetiere coffee

Which? reveals the best premium ground coffee

Need a decent coffee to kick-start your day? We've tasted 16 ground coffees – from supermarkets, well-known brands and high street chains – to find the best-tasting coffee for your cafetière or filter coffee machine.

We pitted medium-strength ground coffees from supermarkets, including Aldi, Tesco and Waitrose, against well-known brands, such as Carte Noire and Lavazza and high street chains Costa and Starbucks.

The good news is that you don't need to pay a premium to get a first-rate coffee: some supermarkets' own-brand coffees were among the highest-scoring – and cheapest – on test.

To find out which ground coffees were crowned Best Buys, and which deliver a mild flavour or pack a hefty punch, have a look at our best ground coffee review.

Finding the best ground coffee

Four coffee experts tasted each of the 16 ground coffees with and without milk, awarding ratings for aroma, appearance, flavour/taste, strength/body, sweetness and aftertaste. The ratings were then combined to generate an overall score.

This was a 'blind' taste test, meaning that all branding and labels had been stripped from the coffees before they were brought into the tasting room. This ensured the experts didn't know which coffee they were tasting until all 16 had been rated.

Ground coffees on test

Our experts tasted:

  • Aldi Specially Selected Roast & Ground Ethiopian 100% Arabica Coffee – £1.79/200g
  • Asda Extra Special Colombian Roast & Ground Coffee – £2.98/227g
  • Cafédirect Machu Picchu Coffee – £3.50/227g
  • Carte Noire Roast & Ground Coffee – £3.79/250g
  • The Co-operative Truly Irresistible Guatemalan Fairtrade Roast & Ground Coffee – £3.59/227g
  • Costa At Home Roast for Cafetière and Filter – £3.50/200g
  • Lavazza Qualità Rossa Roast & Ground – £3.25/250g
  • Lidl Deluxe Guatemalan Roast & Ground Coffee – £1.79/200g
  • Marks & Spencer Single Origin Colombian Roast & Ground Coffee – £3/227g
  • Morrisons M Signature Colombian Coffee – £2.99/227g
  • Percol Fairtrade & Organic All-Day Americano – £3.90/200g
  • Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Kenyan Fairtrade Ground Coffee – £3.30/227g
  • Starbucks House Blend Ground Coffee – £3.50/200g
  • Taylors of Harrogate Fairtrade Organic Good Morning Blend - £3.89/227g
  • Tesco Finest* Java Sumatra Roast & Ground Coffee - £2.99/227g
  • Waitrose Sumatra Mandheling Ground Coffee - £3.29/227g

Prices/pack sizes correct at the time of publication.

Coffee strength and flavour

All the premium ground coffees we tasted were 'medium' or 'full-flavoured' roasts that should be suitable for breakfast. But our experts noticed a big difference in strength and flavour when they tasted the different brands of coffee.

Read our full best ground coffee review to find out the truth about coffee strength and labelling.

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