Best Ground Coffee : 12 Brands That Make An Awesome Brew In 2021

If you don’t have access to a quality grinder or a Bean to Cup Machine to grind your fresh beans for you, then you will want to get the Best Ground Coffee you can.

But a quick look online and you can quickly become overwhelmed by the huge choice available. Good coffee is a real treat, and if you buy the wrong coffee beans, then you you have more a trick than a treat.

In my ground coffee review I will give you the buying guide that will help you always choose the best coffee for you, as well as reveal the top 12 ground coffees available in 2021 as chosen by selected coffee connoisseurs.

The Top 3 Ground Coffees

For those that just want a recommendation of the best ones without reading the whole article. Then just for you here you go :

Best Budget Option

This is a fantastic store cupboard coffee. If you are looking for a budget staple this is it

Best Buy

Lavazza Rossa is a fantastic ground coffee. Loved the world over, Italian Coffee Bar Favourite

Best Strong Coffee

For serious caffeine lovers, get a wake up hit like never before. The strongest available

The Best Ground Coffee

Lavazza-Qualita-Rossa

Specifications

  • Beans : Arabica beans and Robusta blend
  • Roast : Medium Roast
  • Grind : Medium
  • Best for : French Press/Cafetiere, Percolator, Espresso and Filter Coffee

The Lavazza Rossa was not surprisingly my number choice for best coffee bean, it is just as good whole or pre-ground.

This is the best selling coffee in the UK as well as Italy, and believe me the Italians know their coffee.

It is quite hard to describe the flavour other than just saying it is what you imagine coffee in a Milan Espresso Bar to taste and smell like.

You know what, that is because it is the most used of all the ground coffee brands in Italy.

This is a great tasting coffee, that will have your kitchen filled with the Aroma of Italy.

Happy Belly Gorund Coffee

Specifications

  • Beans : 100% Arabica Beans
  • Roast : Light Medium
  • Grind : Medium grind
  • Best for : Cafetiere/French Press, Filter or Moka machines

Happy Belly for those that do not know, is an Amazon brand. But before you get to snobby about this, it deserves the number two spot on the list.

For starters it is made from rain forest alliance, 100% Arabica beans from Brazil, that are hand roasted in Italy by master roasters

Amazon offer a full range of different flavour profiles to choose from according to your preference. While they are all good, I have chosen the “Brasile” for its soft flavor notes and nutty undertones. It makes a great afternoon brew.

Misty Morning Coffee Beans

Specifications

  • Taste : Strong and Bold
  • Beans : 100% Organic Arabica Beans (Single Origin)
  • Roast : Dark Roast
  • Grind : Medium Fine
  • Best for : Espresso, Cafetiere, Filter and Aeropress

The Marley Coffee Company, is a Jamaican company founded by the family of Bob Marley. They focus on producing high quality organic coffees. For every bag sold they also donate to the “One Tree Planted” Non-Profit. Who plant one tree for every dollar.

This is a full strength coffee and has plenty of body, with apple and apricot tones, and a long lasting nutty after taste.

Highly recommended for those that like their coffee with some intensity.

Lazy Sunday Ground Coffee

Specifications

  • Taste : Milk Chocolate and Gentle Citrus
  • Beans : 100% Arabica Coffee Beans
  • Roast : Slow roasted, for a Light Roast
  • Grind : Medium / Coarse
  • Best for : Filter or Cafetiere / French Press

Taylors of Harrogate are more commonly known for their teas, but they have actually been in the coffee business since they began trading in 1886. So they have over 130 years of experience in the field.

The master blenders and roasters at Taylors source their coffees to match occasions and not for a specific flavour.

As the name suggests this one has been blended with “lazy sundays” in mind. It has been gently slow roasted to give off gentle hints of milk chocolate and citrus fruits.

Will certainly suit any coffee drinker

Brown Bear Real Colombia Beans

Specifications

  • Taste : Nutty
  • 100% Arabica Colombian Beans
  • Roast : Medium Roast
  • Grind : Medium
  • Best for : All types of coffee machines

The Brown Bear Roast Coffee Company offers a range of different ground coffee varieties, that have all been roasted right here in the UK. This Particular is ground from Colombian Coffee beans.

This particular option is a perky coffee that will certainly get you going in the morning, bright and with notes of marzipan, toffee and fruit.

5% of all sales are donated to the “free the bears UK Charity” which has to date rescued close to a thousand bears in SE Asia and re homed them in sanctuaries.

This gentle flavour coffee is suitable for those that like a hit without a bold aftertaste.

CafeDirect Cauca Valley Organic Ground Coffee

Specifications

  • Taste : Full Bodied
  • Beans : 100% Arabica
  • Roast : Light Medium Roast
  • Grind : Medium
  • Best for : Filter or Cafetiere / French Press

CafeDirect source the beans for this blend from the Cosurca Co-operative in South Cauca, Colombia. This is a mountainous region where three different ranges meet to form the Andes.

Being grown at this higher altitude results in a medium bodied coffee with a great aroma. Smooth, velvety and with a chocolaty finish.

This is an easy drinker and is perfect any time of the day.

CafeDirect also run their own charity the : CafeDirect Producers Foundation. It is through this that they donate 50% of the profits back into the farming communities they work with, and so far this is over £6million. Amazingly this is in addition to their commitments under the “fairtrade” scheme.

Pellini Espresso Gusto Bar

Specifications

  • Taste : Well balanced and Rounded
  • Beans : Blend of finest Arabica and Robusta
  • Roast : Medium roast
  • Grind : Fine
  • Best for : Espresso Machine

The Pellini Espresso Gusto Bar ground coffee blend, is the iconic Italian espresso blend.

What Pellini do is source beans from around the world which they think will suit different brewing options. They then roast these individually and to different levels before combining to make the perfect blend.

This is just perfect for an Espresso, it results in a well balanced and fully rounded coffee, with notes of dark chocolate.

If you are an epsresso lover then this is one of the best ground coffees you could hope for.

lavazza-caffe-decaffeinato

Specifications

  • Taste : Full Bodied with Dried Fruit
  • Beans : Blend Of Arabica and Robusta
  • Roast : Light Medium Roast
  • Grind : Medium Coarse
  • Best for : Filter, French Press, Moka

I thought I should at least include one decaffeinated option on my list of the best ground coffees, and if I am being totally honest it deserves its place.

There is little doubt Lavazza know what they are doing when it comes to all things coffee, and this is another hit. As ground coffee brands go they are one of the best.

Normally I find when you decaffeinate the beans they lose something special, and for this reason I am not a huge fan.

But with this blend they have managed to remove the caffeine without removing to much of the luxury of Italian coffee. Blended mainly with beans from the Central and South America region, and the roasted my the masters in Italy.

I keep a pack in the house as it is perfect after an evening meal when I want a nice cup of coffee without the caffeine.

Costa Coffee Signature blend Ground Coffee

Specifications

  • Taste : Smooth and Nutty
  • Beans : Arabica and Robusta
  • Roast : Medium
  • Grind : Medium Coarse
  • Best for : Cafetiere and Filter

I know this is going to cause a little controversy even as I am writing it, but I am going to stand my ground, because this is one of the best medium roast ground coffee blends available.

Costa are the biggest chain of Coffee Shops in the UK and they didn’t achieve this buy blending bad coffee.

This is their signature blend and is perfect for anyone who wants to recreate the cafe experience at home. Slow roasted for a nutty and smooth finish, expect sweet caramel after taste.

Medium roasted it is not too strong, nor too weak, in fact it sits right in the middle and will suit any palate.

Skull Crusher Extra Strong Coffee

Specifications

  • Taste : Full Bodied and Smooth
  • Beans : Blended
  • Roast : Specially Dark Roasted to deliver higher caffeine levels
  • Grind : Medium
  • Best for : Suitable for all but best in a French Press

There is no beating about the bush here, this as the name suggests one seriously strong coffee. In fact they claim to blend the worlds strongest, although I have been unable to verify that claim. But I think we are splitting hairs, this is the strongest coffee currently available in the UK.

They have chosen their beans and roasting method to ensure a high caffeine level, but without conceding flavour. They are small batch roasted to ensure quality and standards are maintained.

Each cup of coffee has up to 350mg of caffeine, which is roughly 3 times more than a standard cup.

If you are a serous lover of caffeine or need on heck of a jolt then these are for you. They have thousands of great customer reviews online.

Give them a go

Illy Classico

Specifications

  • Taste : Rich and Full Bodied
  • Beans : 100% Arabica
  • Roast : Medium Roast
  • Grind : Fine
  • Best for : Moka Pot

Illy Classico are probably the most recognisable coffee companies in the world, but they are more than good marketers. Yes they do actually produce a really good coffee.

Blended from 100% Arabica beans and medium roasted in Italy, it is almost a necessity in Italian households. Best brewed in a stove top moka pot, not only will it produce a full bodied espresso with a rich and thick crema, but it will fill your kitchen with a beautiful aroma.

Apart from being an awesome coffee, Illy also pack their blend in an air-free pressurised container that keeps them fresh longer.

It has been one of the best ground coffee for years.

Der Franz Crema Organic Ground Coffee

Specifications

  • Taste :gentle, balanced taste with flowery note
  • Beans : 100% Arabica
  • Roast : Medium Roast
  • Grind : Fine
  • Best for : Espresso Machines or Bean to Cup (with a bypass)

Austrians are not that well known for producing coffee, when was the last time someone mentioned coffee and you thought of Vienna?

But they do have a thriving Cafe culture and they love their coffee as much as any Italian. Der-Franz is the best among the Austrian roasters.

Their Crema Organic is blended from arabica beans grown in highlands to produce a light, fruity and perfectly balanced coffee.

The Beans are long-term drum roasted, which is a method of roasting at a lower temperature for a longer time. This produces a smoother, gentler coffee that is easier on the digestion.

Perfect for anyone sensitive to coffee.

Ground Coffee Buying Guide

I promised you the ultimate guide to buying the right ground coffee for you. This is not an easy decision and depends a lot on your preferences and brewing method.

So here goes, after this you will be armed with the right information to make an informed decision…..

Arabica Or Robusta

The majority of the coffee consumed in the world comes from either Arabica or Robusta beans. But which should you choose?

Arabica beans : These are the most popular of the two, and because they have a higher sugar content they produce a smoother and sweeter brew. But because it is more difficult to grow the Arabica plant, they are more expensive.

Robusta beans : Have a higher caffeine concentration and contain much less sugar than the Arabica bean, this produces stronger and more bitter flavour. The Robusta is mostly grown in South East Asia and West Africa and cost less to cultivate. The Robusta bean makes up around a quarter of all coffee grown.

Another option when choosing which is the best ground coffee is to buy a mix of Arabica and Robusta, this will open up the opportunities of flavour combinations.

Grind Size

The grind size you buy will be dependant on the brewing method you use. Below is a handy guide to make sure you buy the right size:

Extra Coarse : Cold Brew

Coarse : Cafetiere/French Press or Percolator

Medium Coarse : Cafe Solo, Coffee Dripper

Medium : Pour Over, Aeropress, Coffee Dripper

Medium Fine : Pour Over or Aeropress

Fine : Aeropress or Espresso Machine

Extra fine : Espresso Machine or Turkish Brew

The Roast

This is generally split into three categories, light, medium and dark roasted. One is not necessarily better than the other and will come down to preferences.

Light Roast : Is more aromatic and subtle, higher acid and caffeine levels. Floral and fruity

Medium Roast : A great all round option, they are a little sweeter and have a lower acidity level.

Dark Roast : Bolder flavours and bitter undertones. Full bodied and Hints of dark chocolate

Some people (myself included) like to have a selection of different roasts available so I can enjoy different drinks at different times.

Tasting Notes

Coffee taste is so diverse, the type of plant, the region, the soil and the altitude all play a huge role in determining the flavour profile.

Different flavours include nutty, chocolates, sweet caramel, earthy undertones, fruity, berries and floral.

Which is best for you, will purely depend on what you like? Again there is no right or wrong, just look out for the tasting notes on the pack.

Price

Price does not always correlate with a better quality coffee, sometimes your are simply paying extra to fund an expensive marketing budget.

However some locations such Kona or Jamaican blue do command a premium due to the limited crops each year and the high specifications to achieve the label.

Being organic or a member of a trade association, such as fair trade will also affect the price

All of the ground coffee I recommend is a decent standard and will represent good value for money.

How Much to Buy

This is not a case of buy as much as you can afford or can store, in fact that is the wrong approach to take.

No instead you should try and buy enough so that you always have enough and you supply is always fresh.

Ideally you should aim to buy enough ground coffee for 2 weeks or 4 weeks if you plan to freeze it. If you drink 1/2 cups a day then a small bag will be enough. If you use more then get a bigger bag.

Another consideration, have you tried this ground coffee before? If not then maybe get a small amount to start with.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there a difference between ground coffee and instant coffee?

The main difference is instant coffee has been pre-brewed and dehydrated, all you need to do is reintroduce water to make a drink. While ground coffee is just coffee beans ground up and you still need to brew them to make a drink.

Can you use ground coffee for cold brew?

This depends on the grind level, you can use ground coffee for cold brew, but they need to be a coarse grind. This gives a greater surface area for the infusion to take place.

Fair Trade or Rainforest Alliance?

Both the Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance are credible schemes, but have distinct and separate objectives. Fair Trade focuses on empowering small holders and tackling poverty. The Rainforest alliance aims to promote biodiversity and conservation, and ensuring sustainable livelihoods.

Both are fine and you can buy either with a conscience. If you want further information then check out this guide

Are regular coffee beans and espresso beans different?

No Espresso beans are not different to other coffee beans. Different plants grown in different regions will suit the espresso method of brewing more. These will generally be dark roasted and labelled and marketed as “Espresso beans”

Are ground coffee beans good for plants?

Ground Coffee is highly acidic and is therefore not good for all plants. You really need to make sure your plant is a lover of acid, such ashydrangeas, rhododendrons or azaleas.

Is ground coffee a good fertiliser?

Ground coffee is highly acidic and can increase the soils nitrogen levels. It is best to add it to the compost pile. Adding directly to the soil may increase the nitrogen and acid too much.

What brewing method is the best for ground coffee?

There is no best method for brewing ground coffee. This is dependant on the beans you grinds come from and personal preferences.

How long does the ground coffee remain fresh?

Fresh ground coffee is sealed and vacuum packed will last4-6 months from the date of grinding. But once you open the pack you will need to consume within 2 weeks if you keep them in an airtight container. If you freeze them then they will stay fresh for 1 month.

Coffee beans deteriorate when exposed to air, when they are ground you increase the surface area and speed this process up.

The Final Verdict

Lavazza Qualita Rossa 1

There hundreds of different roasters, who all produce several different coffee options to choose from. It is not possible to say beyond doubt what is the best ground coffee, as this is dependent on your tastes and brewing method.

But if you want the opinion of a panel of coffee connoisseurs, and are just looking for a good all rounder, that will suit most brews.

Then, it has to be the Lavazza Rossa, it is the flavour of Italy and the aroma alone will whisk you away. But best of all it can brewed in any method you see fit.

About Jacques Carner

Jacques is the man behind behind We Spill The Beans. He as a lover of all things coffee, and has previously worked as a buyer for one of the biggest coffee companies in the world. You can find more about him here.