What are the best coffee brands?
If, like PurelyCoffeeBeans was, you were given a new coffee maker... you may still not be sure what coffee brands to buy? As PurelyCoffeeBeans latterly found out, there are so many types of coffee now available, some are popular, some are premium, while others are virtually unknown.
Choosing a great bag of beans can help make things easier for you, as long as you trust your taste buds more than the advertising! Just pay attention to the types of beans, the bean’s roasting quality, and how you make your coffee.
We'll take a look at a list of the different product names, as well as the list of coffee drink names? Then we'll break them down into several manageable categories, then we'll offer some tips on buying good coffee for your home, office or wherever from among these or other popular or quality coffee brands.
- Popular Coffee Brands
- Imported Brands
- Specialist Brands
- How To Buy Coffee Beans
- Coffee: 101 Varieties
- It's the beans, Joe! Just buy the coffee beans!
- What kind of coffee beans?
- What roast did you say?
- It's Time to go Shopping: Three Things Remember
- Coffee Brand Names in 3 Countries
- The 600lb Gorilla
- US Coffee Brands
- UK Coffee Brands
- Canadian Coffee Brands
- Conclusion, Download & More
Popular Coffee Brands
Many individual brands are available in larger stores, markets and online. So choosing a popular brand can be as simple as going to your favorite store and adding a bag of beans to your shopping cart. But if you do that, you'll be missing out on some wonderful coffees from a world of roasters!
- Kirkland which is a private label brand, sold as part of the Costco Kirkland range that includes Starbucks, Folgers, Magnum, etc..
- Starbucks and Starbucks Coffee Company
We'll also be looking at Nescafe, MJB, 8 O'clock Coffee, Jacobs and Caribou, and many of the other less popular consumer brands, so why not subscribe to our newsletter to keep up to date on these posts!
So why would you consider the popular brands of coffee? Familiarity, ease of purchase, and competitive pricing are the hallmarks of the popular brands. While you won't necessarily get the absolute best quality, you will find a standard quality that means, from cup to cup, you can rely on getting a drink that you will enjoy.
The brands of coffee imports are well-known, though they have less of a market share than the domestic majors. Amongst these, we find many European brands, and even some household names, too.
Most notably, are the Italian and German coffees, and a few others that you may also see occasionally in the local supermarket or whole food stores.
Many of these coffees are regarded as the best brands in Europe, but many are available in stores all over the world, especially better quality stores, supermarkets and specialist stores. Though many are among the best brands of ground coffee, you may find that you can buy real beans for personal grinding.
The last group of coffee brands are perhaps the least obvious, on TV. Yet if you are a coffee drinker of any regularity, you may still know these brands of coffee beans.
- Seattle's Best
- 85C Bakery Cafe
- Kona Coffee
The specialist brands are typically available in smaller markets, smaller coffee shops or chainstores, via direct mail or online. Some may even be available through gourmet coffee clubs only.
Part of the allure of the specialist coffee brands are their access to smaller crops of beans that larger companies would not be able to use. So you may find that you can try some really good brands that are not generally available.
How To Buy Coffee Beans
Whether you spend a little money on your coffee or a lot, you shouldn't be a snob about your coffee! Why? Coffee tastes are as individual as the person. Spending $5.00 on a cup or a cheap bag of coffee beans really won't make a difference if you can't appreciate what you're drinking.
Tell me this, coffee snobs.
Who really likes coffee more?
You, who spends $5 for a sumptuous cup at Temple?
Or me, who likes it so much I even enjoy Costco’s Kirkland brand — 3 lbs for $9.
— rog (@rog916_) October 21, 2019
In this post, I hope to show you how to buy better coffee for a better cup of coffee you will enjoy every day, regardless of your budget! Whatever kind of coffee you are looking for, we suggest that you buy coffee beans as fresh as possible from roasting date, care for them tenderly, and use generously. You'll never regret drinking your coffee that way!
If you're wanting to improve your coffee, my recommendation is simple: buy coffee beans. But perhaps you're not sure where or how to choose the best coffee beans or what types of coffee you can get?
Look no further: we'll help you discover what kind of beans to buy, and you'll learn about the grind, the roast, and much more... So let's get to it!
Coffee: 101 Varieties
Do you even know what is in your cupboard right now? Is it instant? Is it bags? There are many types of coffee, brands of coffee, and related products on the market and in the supermarket shelves. And supermarkets don't really encourage you to try something new, do they?
On one recent trip to a local convenience store, I was able to count nearly 100 brands, types, and formats, ranging from instant sachets to iced coffee in jars. And that was just a convenience store.
However, having as many choices as you do, you need to know what makes the best kind of coffee for you, for your budget and for your situation.
It's the beans, Joe! Just buy the coffee beans!
Image: Blue Mountain Jamaican Beans
For the longest time, I was buying pre-ground thinking that was the best I could buy. In those days, it was difficult to buy coffee beans in the stores. Not even the larger supermarkets and whole food stores carried much, if anything. Certainly nothing worth drinking.
Now, you can buy coffee beans available everywhere, pre-ground just doesn't compare to whole beans ground to order.
Even grinding them on the spot can increase your own satisfaction! Guaranteed. Of course, you have to have some basic (obvious) skills to help you identify the best beans! But it's not hard.
In fact, it's a lot of fun!
Tip: Why not read my Coffee Guide to get you started, it's a one-page (printable, too, in PDF) cheatsheet for buying coffee, taking you through the process of how to buy good beans.
What kind of coffee beans?
Now that you know how important freshness is, you should decide what types of beans you want to look for. What types of beans do you prefer? Are you a fan of strong, dark roasts that would wake the dead or do you prefer a light, fruity brew?
It will help a lot if you know about the different countries and regions that coffee is grown in and what types of flavors those areas produce.
Examples to consider:
- if you like a bright flavors with a fruity undertone, you will probably want to buy coffee beans from Kenya Coffee.
- If you prefer a bold, earthy brew you'll like the beans from Indonesia.
- Brazil Coffee Beans have a smooth, nutty flavor with slight floral undertones.
- Colombian coffee produces a cup of rich, full-tasting brew that is clean and bright.
- Right now, I'm enjoying Indian Malabar Coffee.
More Reading: If you want to read a good one page summary, why not check out WiseGeek's article on different types of whole beans, and come right back!
What roast did you say?
Grocery School helps you choose the best beans, presented by Sarah East from FoodVu.com.
Your preference is also important when you want to buy beans or even popular coffee brands. You need to decide how you like your coffee beans roasted.
If you like French or Italian Roasts, you like dark roasts. There is nothing wrong with this type of roast but since the beans are subjected to higher temperatures, much of the individual flavors and undertones are burnt away.
You could actually be buying an inferior bean that has been dark roasted to disguise its shortcomings! Of course, you may just prefer to drink pure espresso made only from the best espresso beans, by definition, these are roasted dark!
There are some superb dark roasts that may appeal to those who buy whole coffee beans; but for the most part, this type of roast is like burning a fine filet mignon — you get a piece of meat but all the remarkable attributes have been destroyed.
You might want to try a medium-dark roast, or even just a medium roast instead, and see if you enjoy all the different flavors and undertones you can taste when the bean has been caressed by the heat instead of scorched by it. Do check out the different kinds of roasted beans (for more information about roasting levels) you can buy before settling on the cheapest or most easily available.
For the more experimental, you could even buy a home coffee bean roaster and learn how to roast beans in smaller quantities by yourself, but perhaps that's really not necessary right now.
Also, if you're sensitive to high levels of caffeine content, you may consider buying a decaffeinated roast to reduce the amount of caffeine. There are many quality decaffeinated whole beans available if you absolutely must buy coffee beans!
It's Time to go Shopping: Three Things Remember
Once you've decided what beans and roasts you're interested in, it's time to do a little shopping for the essentials:
i. The Beans: There are many places to buy coffee beans from, from stores that sell bulk coffee (at good prices) to the gourmet coffee club that sells and ships to you premium coffee roasts on a monthly or multi-monthly plan (ideal if you want great coffee regularly shipped). There are even places to buy coffee online.
If you go to the supermarket to buy coffee beans, check the beans carefully for freshness, date, and condition before you buy! Remember, just like fresh fruit, good beans look and smell appetizing! Once roasted, they don't keep that long!
ii. The Coffee Maker: What are the best makers? That's hard to say because there are so many different types. Personally, I prefer simpler methods with less machinery because reliability is important to me, as well as simplicity. But you can take a look at some of the other ways to make coffee here.
iii. Essential Supplies: Also, if you are shopping for supplies, you'll need a few other important coffee making supplies, including milk, creamer (typically coffee mate), spoons and cups or mugs, sugar or low calorie sweetener, and so on. You may even like to add flavorings (syrups, powders or roasted flavors) to your cuppa!
... and save the pennies!
Of course, you needn't spend a lot of money on coffee shopping, many companies offer discounts and coupons on their products if you have the patience to collect and wait! You should be able to get deals on beans, and even coffee makers.
One thing you should plan on: buying adequate and protective coffee bean storage jars and equipment to keep your coffee in best condition! You will really need these.
Purely Coffee Beans -Freshly Roasted!
Anyone who enjoys a good cup of coffee would agree that, if you want to buy coffee beans, the best coffee is made from freshly roasted and freshly ground whole beans.
While the list isn't extensive, and you only need to purchase most items once out of necessity, I do suggest that you make sure that you have the best coffee beans and basic equipment to hand. The enjoyment of your cup of coffee will be worth it. I promise.
Overviews: Keep updated
I'll be doing overviews of as many coffee brands as I can reasonably consume without caffeine poisoning! And I'll be scouring the local marketplaces to find brands that could be on this list but aren't.
These 'overviews' aren't reviews as such, more just suggestions, experiences, insights, and tips on which coffees seem better (or worse) ... and how to make the most of your bag of beans!
Do bookmark this page, and check back regularly to see what I've updated. You can also take a look at my coffee guide which will help you with some basic questions.
For more on these or other popular or quality brands of coffee why not check out what other customers are saying about the popular, imported and specialist coffees generally available.
Coffee Brand Names: Check This Shortlist of Popular Coffee Brands
There are so many coffee brand names on the market, in the supermarket, or the local market. It can be really hard to find or choose the coffee brand you would like. I used to be loyal to just a couple of coffee brands, and even a couple of regular blends. Now I've become omnivorous (not that's about eating), omnipotent (eh, no! I'm not god), ... omni-something-that-drinks-all-kinds-of-coffee...!
While you may have already quite a few different brands, you would be surprised at how big the complete lists actually could be. To help, I've created checklists of popular brands.
But first a question: where does the coffee brand name above come from? If you don't know where this brand comes from, just look a little closer, and you'll find out the answer!
On this page, you'll find the coffee brands broken into three groups: United States of America, Canada and the UK. There are so many brands and not surprising these vary a great deal from country to country, though there are still a few brand names that are present in most developed markets.
I will present the top twelve brand names in each market, so let's get started looking at brands in the US, the UK, and Canada.
Currently the US coffee market is the biggest marketplace in the world in terms of cups served and dollars earned. However, surprisingly, the US is not the heaviest per capita consumer either.
According to recent statistics, it ranks next to Portugal! Canada consumes more. The UK far less. And the top consumer: Finland at 12kgs per person (I'm not sure what their secret is apart from long winter nights).
Some reports suggest that Americans consume approx. 400 million cups of coffee per day! I'm sure that is probably why the US market reigns supreme and has sales of about $18 billion per year, so it's a big gulp of the global market.
So these top brands are actually making the biggest dent in the US market, with many brands being available nationwide.
You can check out some of the US brands available.
- Maxwell House
- Dunkin Donuts
- Peet's Coffee & Tea
- Seattle's Best
- Eight O'Clock
- Green Mountain Roasters
Brands like Folgers and Maxwell House focus more on the at home market with their instant and pre-ground products, etc. While Dunkin Donuts, Peet's, Starbucks, Seattle's Best are found in specialist shops primarily, though you can find them in the supermarkets, too.
There is some overlap with the US market, so you'll find some familiar names:
While some names are truly international, I was dismayed by how many names are still producing instant coffee. It's hard to change lifetime habits... but once you change you can never go back to instant coffee!
- Maxwell House
- Douwe Egberts
- Carte Noire
- Caffe Nero
But there are also popular local brands that have both cafes and in-supermarket products, too. In recent years, there has been quite a surge in demand for coffee, especially quality products in the UK. Even despite the recently poor economic situation, the number of cafes operated by the well-known chains has grown by over 1/3 in the past three years alone.
Coffee consumption in the UK is however considerably less than in the States. By some estimates, we only consume about half of the US figure at about 2.8kgs per person per year! Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised by this because we consume so much tea! There are many UK coffee brands available, too.
- Tim Horton's
- Maxwell House
- Douwe Egberts
- Timothy's World
- Van Houtte
I've only found about 11 popular brands from Canada, though I could be missing a few! Canadian coffee consumption is a staggering 6.5kgs per person per year! Making the Canadian consumer our #1 out of the three countries surveyed in this report!
The premier brand by the longest distance is of course, Tim Horton's Coffee which has become iconic in Canada. There are no competitors that come even close in market share because Canadians are tremendously loyal to this brand. You can check out some of the Canadian coffee brands here.
If you know of any other brands, or indeed other brand names that I've forgotten in any of the three markets, please drop me a line or share in the box below!
What are the best coffee brands, find out here!