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25 Mar 2022

Best Colombian ground coffee: the supermarket versions that beat Taylors

Get a luxury brew on a budget with our supermarket Best Buys
Making coffee in cafetiere

Is your favourite supermarket making ground coffee that's superior to big brands such as Taylors and Starbucks?

If it's Lidl's, M&S or Sainsbury's, the answer is yes, as ground Colombian coffee from these retailers beat big coffee brands in our latest consumer taste test.

Single-origin coffees are a step up from your everyday brew, with flavour profiles distinct to the area in which the coffee beans were grown, making them ideal for those looking to upgrade to something a bit more luxurious.

But they can be expensive, with some pricier brands costing more than £4 per pack, so it's worth choosing carefully to make sure you're getting your money's worth.

To find out which supermarkets offer the tastiest options, we asked a panel of coffee lovers to blind-taste and rate Taylors, Starbucks and Cafedirect Colombian single-origin ground coffees alongside nine supermarket own-label offerings.

Lidl's cheap Colombian coffee came top overall, and was also our top value pick, proving that you don't need to splash out for a first-class coffee.

Read on to find out more about our top picks, how tasters rated other supermarket own-brand Colombian coffees and which brands fared best.

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Best Colombian ground filter coffee

We uncovered two Best Buy Colombian coffees, and the best is also the cheapest, so it could be worth a trip to Lidl if it's not your usual haunt.

Best Buy: Lidl Deluxe Colombian Supremo Roast & Ground Coffee - 75%

£2.59 for 227g (£1.14 per 100g)

Lidl Deluxe Colombian Supremo Roast & Ground Coffe

Great news for Lidl shoppers - Lidl's Deluxe Colombian coffee took first place in our taste test, outshining pricier brands including Taylors and Cafedirect.

Two thirds of testers thought the strength of flavour was spot on, and three quarters said it had just the right level of bitterness.

As one of the cheapest coffees we tested, it's also excellent value for money, so we've made it our Great Value pick.

Available from Lidl (in-store only).

Best Buy: Sainsbury's Taste the Difference Fairtrade Colombian Coffee - 74%

£3.50 for 227g (£1.54 per 100g)

Sainsbury’s Fairtrade Colombian Coffee

Sainsbury's Colombian coffee also earned a Best Buy, scoring top marks for its great flavour. A third of people said it was too bitter for their liking, though, so it's best suited to those who don't mind an edge to their drink.

While it's not as cheap as top-scorer Lidl, it still offers a saving of around £1 per pack compared to Taylors and Cafedirect, so is worth trying if you shop at Sainsbury's.

Available from Sainsbury's.

M&S Collection Single Origin Colombian Ground Coffee, and Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Colombian - 73%

£3.70 for 227g (£1.63 per 100g) and £3.50 for 227g (£1.54 per 100g)

Morrisons The Best Fairtrade Colombian and M&S Col

M&S and Morrisons were among the best-rated coffees for flavour, tying in joint-third place just behind Sainsbury's.

While they just missed out on a Best Buy, both of these supermarket coffees made a tasty brew, according to our testers.

Just over 40% felt that Morrisons coffee was too weak for their liking, so you may find you need to add a bit more coffee to get the right strength of flavour.

Available from Ocado and Morrisons.

Instant coffee buying guide - from regions to beans, we explain the jargon behind your brew

Taylors, Starbucks and Cafedirect vs supermarket Colombian ground coffee

Lineup of ground coffees on test

While Lidl and Sainsbury's were the standouts, all of the supermarket coffees we tested scored well with our panel, so it's worth trying the own label wherever you shop.

Starbucks got the highest score of the three brands, while Taylors and Cafedirect fared less well, falling to the bottom of the rankings.

  • Starbucks Single Origin Colombia Medium Roast Ground Coffee - 71%. Rated better than other branded coffees, although 53% said it was too bitter. £3.75 per 200g pack. Available from Asda, Morrisons, Ocado, Sainsbury's and Tesco.
  • Tesco Finest Colombian Supremo Ground Coffee - 71%. Scored well overall, with high marks for flavour. £3.50 per 227g pack. Available from Tesco.
  • Waitrose No.1 Colombian Reserve Ground Coffee - 71%. A decent option, although a quarter found it too bitter.£3.50 per 227g pack. Available from Waitrose.
  • Aldi Specially Selected Colombian Roast & Ground Coffee - 70%. The cheapest we tested, Aldi's coffee is worth a try for the price. £2.49 per 227g pack. Available from Aldi.
  • Asda Extra Special Colombian Fairtrade - 70%. Cheaper than most other supermarket coffees - a good-value option. £2.75 per 227g pack. Available from Asda.
  • Co-op Irresistible Fairtrade Single Origin Colombian Roast & Ground Coffee - 69%. Not bad, but more than half found the flavour too weak. £3.60 per 227g pack. Available from Co-op.
  • Cafedirect Fairtrade Colombia Reserva Ground Coffee - 67%. Nearly two thirds said the flavour of this pricey coffee was too weak. £4.50 per 227g pack. Available from Ocado, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.
  • TaylorsColombia San Sebastian Ground Coffee - 63%. The lowest-rated coffee for flavour, and one of the most expensive on test. £4.50 per 227g pack. Available from Ocado, Sainsbury's and Waitrose.

For more food and drink recommendations, check out our guide to the best food and drink.

Coffee food assurance labels

Coffee farmer

Some coffees have a food assurance logo that shows that the coffee has been certified as compliant with certain sustainability and welfare standards.

Apart from Starbucks, all the Colombian ground coffees we tested are either Fairtrade or Rainforest Alliance certified. Starbucks says it is committed to 100% ethical coffee sourcing in partnership with Conservation International.

For more advice about food logos to look out for and what they mean, see our guide to decoding food labels.

How to keep your coffee fresh

Ground coffee stored in airtight jar

Storing your coffee in the correct way will help keep it fresher for longer.

Most packs recommend storing your coffee for up to two weeks in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

It's important to make sure it's kept in an airtight container, as contact with air causes the essential oils to evaporate, which can affect the flavour.

While some packs suggest storing it in the fridge or freezer, coffee expert Giles Hilton advises against this, as there's a risk the damp atmosphere could negatively impact the coffee, and it may absorb flavours from your fridge.

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How we tested Colombian ground coffee

The coffees were assessed in January 2022 by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and consume coffee. Each coffee was assessed by 51 people.

The make-up of the panel broadly represents the demographic profile of adults in the UK.

The coffees were prepared using a cafetiere according to pack instructions. The panellists rated the taste, mouthfeel, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.

The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn't know which brand they were trying. The order they sampled the coffee was fully rotated to avoid any bias.

Each panellist had a private booth so they couldn't discuss what they were tasting or be influenced by others.

The overall score is based on:

  • 50% taste
  • 30% aroma
  • 10% mouthfeel
  • 10% appearance

These weightings are based on consumer rankings of the importance of different coffee attributes.