Whether it’s part of your morning ritual, or something you get out when you have guests over, ground coffee served in a cafetiere (also known as a French press) is a simple and tasty way to make your brew.
In September 2021 we tested ‘house’ or ‘signature’-blend ground coffee from big brands including Starbucks and Costa alongside supermarket own-brand house blends from the likes of M&S, Tesco and Waitrose.
We found that you don't have to spend big to get a tasty brew, with some supermarket blends getting the balance of great taste and value for money just right, plus our results reveal which branded options are best.
We tested these coffees in September 2021 but we checked availability and updated the prices in February 2022.
£1.09 for 227g (48p per 100g)
Aldi’s coffee is the joint-cheapest on test. Does this lead to a compromised brew or is it a cheap and cheerful option?
Available from Aldi stores.
£1.98 for 227g (87p per 100g)
Asda’s grounds are made from 100% arabica beans, but is it worthy of your morning coffee?
£2.65 for 227g (£1.17 per 100g)
Co-op’s ground beans are among the pricier of the supermarket brands; are they worth the extra cost?
Available from Co-op stores.
£3.80 for 200g (£1.90 per 100g)
If you’re looking to recreate the Costa experience at home, these might be the beans to get.
£2.50 for 227g (£1.10 per 100g)
This coffee from M&S is Fairtrade-certified, but does it also satisfy when it comes to flavour?
£2.29 for 227g (£1.01 per 100g)
Morrisons reckons you can drink this at any time of day, but does it actually taste good?
£2.30 for 227g (£1.01 per 100g)
There is nothing but arabica coffee beans in this Sainsbury’s blend, but is it the right coffee for your cafetiere?
£3.50 for 200g (£1.75 per 100g)
The biggest coffee shop chain in the world; but is bigger better? We reveal if its supermarket ground beans hit the mark.
£3.75 for 227g (£1.66 per 100g)
Whether it’s a lazy Sunday or a manic Monday, is Taylors the ideal brew?
£2.30 for 227g (£1.02 per 100g)
100% arabica beans make up this ground coffee from Tesco, but see if our tasters noticed the difference.
£3.25 for 227g (£1.44 per 100g)
This Waitrose coffee is the most expensive supermarket blend on test. Is it worth it?
Edy Piro, founder of Terrone & Co coffee roasters, says that preheating your French press with hot water before making coffee will make a big difference to the quality of your brew. Remember to pour out this water before adding coffee.
In terms of the brewing process, he told us:
'Pour on enough water to cover the ground coffee and let it bloom for about one minute, then proceed to fill it up with the desired amount of water.' This helps to release trapped carbon dioxide caused by the roasting process.
'Let it brew for a further five to six minutes, then start plunging but don't push to the very bottom of the carafe, leave it a few centimetres from the surface of the coffee.'
Finally, he says, if you aren't planning to drink the whole lot straightaway, it's best to pour any extra into another container to stop the coffee over-brewing and becoming too strong and bitter.
You'll often see mention of the type of coffee bean in coffee advertising and packaging, but why does it matter?
Arabica is a more subtly-flavoured, acidic bean grown at higher altitudes than robusta. The taste and characteristics also vary considerably by where and how it is grown.
Robusta, meanwhile, has a lower acidity and its bitter notes are much more obvious than many arabicas. Robustas are more resistant to bad weather and disease, but the pronounced bitter taste of robusta and more complex flavours of arabica mean that arabica is considered a more desirable bean, which is reflected in its typically higher price.
The ground coffees were brewed in the same way and blind-tasted by a large panel of consumers who regularly buy and consume ground coffee. The make-up of the panel broadly reflects the demographic profile of adults in the UK.
The tasters were able to add their choice of milk and sugar to all the coffees - or drink them all without either - according to their usual preference, but they had to be consistent in the amounts they used for every coffee they tasted.
Each coffee was assessed by 64 people. The panellists rated the taste, mouthfeel, aroma and appearance of each product and told us what they liked and disliked about each one.
The overall score is based on:
The taste test was blind, so the panellists didn’t know which brand they were trying, and the order they sampled the coffees 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.