Category Archives: Step 2. Popular Brands of Coffee

I’ll be doing reviews of as many popular brands of coffee as I can reasonably consume without getting caffeine poisoning! I’ll be scouring the local marketplaces to find brands that could be on this list but aren’t.

Two of my favorite go-to coffees of the moment! 


These 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! We’ll cover brands from the US, the UK, and other places that come into my purview. You can be safe in the knowledge that I won’t be testing or drinking Nescafe or anything similar! My mission here is to proselytize for good coffee brands, not junk brands!

So what do you look for in a good brand? The criteria aren’t difficult, but surprisingly big brands try to obfuscate the important details. So here’s my short list.

Production Dates

Yes, even Starbucks has reneged on its advice and no longer prints its roast date. Yet it is common knowledge that the best flavors are enjoyed within a few short weeks of roasting. Many coffee companies would rather  you not know that their beans were roasted 9 months before (or more!).

Types of Beans

We don’t ask for a lot of information, but we sure would like to know which part of the world our coffee comes from. Knowing the country, region or terroir gives us insight into what to expect from the coffee we’re about to enjoy. Simply printing a list of origins in small type on the back of the bag hardly qualifies as empowering your customers, does it?

Reasonable Packaging

Punctured bags, loose beans, paper bags, … you name it! I’ve seen all sorts of packing in the supermarkets, and there has been quite a few packaging fails on part or all of the stock. I want to see good, resealable bags, with one-way valves. I expect to see the coffee stacked as carefully as other items. Failures happen, but don’t take them out on your customers!

So my base criteria for coffee quality isn’t high, is it? Yet only last week, I was picking up ripped packages at one of the countries top supermarkets! Why, oh, why!

So for more on these or other popular or quality coffee brands why not check out what other customers are saying about the popular, imported and specialist coffees generally available.

Do bookmark this page, and check back regularly to see what I’ve updated. (Hint: CTRL+D)

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

Return to Coffee Brands Page

Lavazza Coffee: Which is the best Lavazza coffee?

PurelyCoffeeBeans reckons you may be familiar with the gold packaging of the Lavazza Coffee! For me, though, I first discovered the delights of Lavazza in a coffee shop, though I am sure that I had seen the coffee brand in the more expensive supermarkets at the time. Is Lavazza coffee good? With their ground coffee products, coffee beans,… Read More »

Top Coffee House in Taiwan Mixes Arabica with Robusta Coffee Fraud

Coffee House apologizes for mixing coffee beans; products recalled   PurelyCoffeeBeans worries because this story about coffee fraud makes me sad on so many levels… There was absolutely no need to adulterate Arabica with Robusta WITHOUT changing your ingredients label. Taipei, Nov. 26 (CNA) One of Taiwan’s largest coffeehouse chains on Tuesday made a public apology after admitting… Read More »

Kirkland Local Origins: Nicaraguan Select Lots & Organic Peru

PurelyCoffeeBeans visited Costco here in Taiwan just before Chinese New Year, and noted that they were selling several new Kirkland Local Origins coffees that I hadn’t ever seen before. In fact, a Reddit sub-thread mentioned that the Nicaraguan Coffee was being stocked in their store. I was in San Diego last week and was visiting a Costco in… Read More »