Whether you love the taste, need the energy boost, or a little of both, coffee is one of the most universal beverages around. It’s a morning staple for many and is just as common in the afternoons for a midday pick-me-up. It’s known for getting tired people through a long day of both work or a day of fun.
In addition to providing fantastic energy and amazing flavors, one of the most beautiful things about coffee is the sheer diversity of it. There are different kinds of coffee beans and a whole host of different ways to make and brew coffee – it’s almost endless. While this is amazing it can also be overwhelming trying to decide which coffee is best for you.
The reality is too, that not every coffee is made equal. In terms of quality and health benefits, some are far superior. A lot of choosing a coffee comes down to personal preference and priorities. Do you want something with an amazing taste, do you want something produced with the cleanest and most sustainable process, or something low in acid? The best coffee brands use only the best methods, whereas plenty of cheaper brands will cut corners and use processes that are faster but not necessarily healthier.
There are many amazing brands of coffee and determining the best ones is somewhat of a subjective mission as personal preference plays a big role, but the following brands offer some of the best quality and most diverse options.
The Best Coffee Brands
1. Seattle’s Best
Seattle’s Best is a popular line of quality coffee that’s made well but still budget-friendly! There’s no shortage of fancy, expensive coffees out there and while they’re no doubt delicious, you don’t always need to break the bank!
Seattle's Best also offers a little of everything to suit everyone’s needs – whole bean, pre-ground, and even K-cups! While the freshest, best-tasting coffee comes when you grind your beans right before brewing, no one has time for that every time they want a cup of coffee! Ground coffee is perfect for mornings when you need to save a few minutes, and the pods are perfect for the busiest of mornings.
They also have a variety of medium and dark roast, with options across the spectrum. Each coffee comes with a rating that notes whether it’s medium, dark, or somewhere in between. They also have a variety of flavors, many of which include a hint of chocolate. Some are smoky, some are bright and crisp, and all are wonderfully smooth.
2. Death Wish
Not only is Death Wish a premium-quality and great-tasting coffee, but it’s also known for being one of the strongest around. This explains the name – as you have to have some kind of a “death wish” to even think about drinking this stuff.
This coffee is for the days when you got no sleep and have too much to do, or for when it’s crunch time at school and you’re cramming for a major test or exam. These are just a couple of examples – but we’ve all been there at some point, tired but needing to go on. Death Wish is the perfect solution.
It’s become such a novelty that in addition to their selection of coffee, you can also get Death Wish coffee merch to show off your love for the most intense cup of coffee you’ll ever drink. Their selection of coffee includes a few different blends and a selection of both medium and dark roasts. They also sell a selection of their coffee in K-cup form for those that just love their Keurig!
You can also get a cold brew in a can for those hot, sweaty days where you still need a pick-me-up but can’t imagine downing a hot beverage in the heat.
3. Peet’s Coffee
Peet’s Coffee is a premium brand that strives to produce only the highest-quality coffee possible. They use beans harvested from around the world and roast everything fresh and by hand to bring out every flavor and nuance in every bean so that you get an amazing cup every time.
They have all three levels of roast – medium, dark, and light! Light roast coffee isn’t as common as medium and dark and therefore, many brands don’t even make it. Peet’s is committed to meeting everyone’s coffee needs, though, so they have it all.
You can also get their coffee in many formats, including whole beans, K-cup pods, espresso, iced espresso, and several different blends. Their blends include a regular cream flavor as well as a rich vanilla creme.
If you love the quality and flavor of their coffee, you may very well be just as excited about their tea! They have a fantastic selection including black, green, white, herbal, oolong, and matcha. The teas are made with just as much care and commitment as their coffee.
4. Lavazza Coffee
Lavazza Coffee has been creating amazing coffee for a very long time – they have remained committed to quality and sustainability since 1935. Not only do they strive to make the best possible coffee, but they are passionate about helping and supporting the communities in which they operate.
They do this through a special non-profit foundation they began in 2004 that operates more than 30 projects in 19 countries throughout three continents. They work to support the social, economic, and environmental health of the communities they work with. This means you can rest assured that your money is not just getting you amazing coffee, but is also going towards their efforts to make the world a better place.
Their coffee is available as whole beans, pre-ground, and K-cup pods. If you find a flavor and style you absolutely love, they also offer subscription services so you never run out of your favorite coffee!
5. Equal Exchange
Equal Exchange is an amazing company with a few different things to offer, all of which are focused on an “equal exchange.” This means that they use small, farmer-grown ingredients, they are co-op-owned with their partners, and they focus on sustaining and supporting small and local economies.
In addition to some fantastic coffee, they have tea, chocolate, snacks, cooking and baking materials, and many more food and supply options. Their entire selection is carefully curated and always top-quality. And their partnership arrangements mean you can have full confidence that all the people involved in growing and creating the goods are fairly compensated.
Their selection of coffee includes a breakfast blend, French roast, organic, decaf, a Guatemalan medium roast, and many more. They offer it in whole bean form, ground, and K-cup pods.
How to Make the Best Tasting Coffee
There are so many ways to brew coffee – from Keurigs to drip filters and the much more time-consuming French press. Each method brings out different strengths and weaknesses in your coffee, so choosing your best brew largely comes down to personal preference and also how much time you have.
Beyond the brew though, there are some things you can do, regardless of how you’re making your coffee, that will help it taste better! These are some little-known tips that many people neglect, but they can make all the difference.
Grind your beans immediately before brewing, if possible. This makes the freshest possible cup and will give you stronger and more noticeable flavors.
Store your beans properly. To maintain flavor and integrity, ensure you keep your beans in a container that doesn’t let air in. Once you cut open the bag they come in, don’t just roll it up and put it back in the cupboard. Transfer them to a tin or jar with an air-tight lid for maximum freshness! You also want to make sure the environment is at a moderate temperature, not too hot, and not too cold. Lastly, no light! Try not to keep them on the counter.
Pick a good brewer. Your coffee maker is crucial and not all of them are made the same. It’s best to get one that’s easy to clean as regularly cleaning your machine will prevent old, stale water or coffee grounds from seeping into a fresh cup. It’s also worth noting that a lot of machines don’t even get up to the ideal brewing temperature of 195 degrees – so always double-check this!
Use filtered water. The quality of your water will affect the taste of your coffee. Try brewing your coffee with water from a Brita or a home reverse osmosis system. You may also consider adding a mineral packet of some sort to the water as a moderate amount of minerals can bring out a coffee’s flavor.
Bloom it. This is a quick trick that too many overlook. This involves just barely saturating your grounds and letting it “bloom” for about 30 seconds before brewing. Once saturated, the grounds should look like they’re slightly bubbling or popping. They’ll also emit a pleasant scent at this point. This process releases carbon monoxide from the grounds, which, if not released, can create more bitterness in the final product. Blooming your coffee will give a smoother, sweeter, less acidic taste.