Ground coffee reviews

CHOICE’s expert tasters find some of the best brews at very affordable prices.
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In brief

  • Fourteen brands of ground coffee tested
  • Our top-rating brands include fair-trade and organic coffees, as well as one relatively cheap supermarket generic brand.

We only tested ground coffee marked as suitable for espresso machines, as this method of brewing coffee brings out its full flavour. Nonetheless, we found more than 30 brands in the major supermarkets – too many to test them all – so we narrowed it down to 14, all made from arabica beans, and one extra to see if price determines quality (see World’s Most Expensive Coffee). 

Please note: this information was current as of December 2009 but is still a useful guide to today's market.

How we test

Our tester brews each coffee in the same way using a Breville ESP8B Café Roma espresso machine. Three experts rate the coffees, giving them scores for the colour and thickness of the crema (the tan-coloured foam on top of an espresso), aroma, flavour, mouthfeel (creaminess or wateriness) and aftertaste. The coffees are presented in random order identified only by numbers, so the experts don’t know which brands of coffee they’re tasting. 



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