The Best Coffee

Real Simple

Whether you favor light, medium, or dark roast coffees, these winners are all buzz-worthy.

Photo : Bob Hiemstra

Light Roasts, Best Ground

Allegro Coffee Organic Breakfast Blend

Grown without pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers, this fragrant mix has “delicious hints of blackberry,” said a tester. “It wakes up your mouth,” added Jonathan Rubinstein, owner of the Joe cafés, in New York City.

To buy: $11 for 12 ounces.







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Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Light Roasts, Best Whole Bean

Newman’s Own Organics Nell’s Breakfast Blend

This delicious concoction “is smooth, mild, bright, and refreshing,” said Rubinstein. Said a fan: “Love the citrus tang.”

To buy: $9 for 10 ounces.



Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Medium Roasts, Best Ground

The Organic Coffee Company Zen Blend

“I adore the aroma,” said a tester of the chocolate and nut notes. “And it’s pleasant to drink from start to finish.” Bonus: The company helps fund schools for the growers’ kids.

To buy: $9 for 12 ounces.






Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Medium Roasts, Best Whole Bean

Tully’s Coffee House Blend

Processing in small batches in a vintage cast-iron roaster renders these beans, in the words of one coffee lover, “buttery and silky, with delicate sweet tones.”

To buy: $11 for 10 ounces.



Photo: Chris Bartlett

Dark Roasts, Best Ground

Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend

“The “earthy, robust punch” of this full-bodied coffee impressed several testers, who went back for seconds. Said one, “It’s strong but smooth.”

To buy: $11.50 for 12 ounces.





Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Dark Roasts, Best Whole Bean

Starbucks Coffee Italian Roast

As with most Italian-style coffees, the beans of this intensely smoky brew are roasted very dark, making any espresso lover happy.

To buy: $9.50 for 12 ounces.





Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Decaffeinateds, Best Ground

Maxwell House Decaffeinated Original

This arabica coffee has “none of the chemical flavor some decafs have,” said a staffer. Others called it “one hundred percent smooth,” “balanced,” and “a good medium roast.”

To buy: $5 for 11.5 ounces.





Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Decaffeinateds, Best Whole Bean

Eight O’Clock Coffee Decaffeinated 100% Colombian

This entry has an almost flowerlike flavor that our testers found “delightful and mellow, with no bitter aftertaste.”

To buy: $7 for 12 ounces.





Photo: Bob Hiemstra

Best Cult Coffees

The following coffees were recommended by Rubinstein:

Counter Culture Coffee 21st de Septiembre. A cherry- and nut-scented coffee.

To buy: $12.25 for 12 ounces, counterculturecoffee.com.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender. A complex, citrusy morning roast.

To buy: $11 for 12 ounces, stumptowncoffee.com.

Blue Bottle Coffee Co. Three Africans. An extremely smooth dark roast with a chocolate aroma.

To buy: $19 for 16 ounces, bluebottlecoffee.net.

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