Best Buys: Coffee

(National) Jan. 21, 2005 - Consumer Reports just tested 42 different coffees, both decaf and regular. Some were Colombian, some Kona from Hawaii and many were pre-ground. Others were whole bean or the kind you grind yourself.

Testers prepared each pot with precision. A measured amount of water was poured into identical coffeemakers.

Erin Gudeux with Consumers Reports says the coffees were taste-tested without cream or sugar to avoid masking any of the flavors, "An excellent coffee should be fragrant. It should be bright, complex and well-balanced."

Many of the coffees didn't measure up. Starbucks ground Colombian that costs $10 a pound was one of the lowest rated, although Gudeux says the whole bean was better, "The ground Starbucks was quite bitter. It also tasted burnt and astringent."

Most of the Kona coffees were also disappointing and they can cost $30 a pound.

In general, the highest ratings went to Colombian whole bean coffees.

Eight O'Clock Whole Bean Colombian was one of the best and, at $5 a pound, is a Consumer Reports best buy. Another best buy was the Eight O'Clock 100% Colombian Whole Bean decaffeinated coffee.

Consumer Reports top ratings went to Caribou Colombian coffee beans. But at $11 a pound, it's expensive. Consumer Reports also named a Dunkin Donuts coffee a best buy. It's Dunkin Donuts Original Blend Arabica. It's ground Colombian coffee and goes for around $7.50 a pound.

Reported by Judi Gatson
Posted 5:53pm by BrettWitt