The Best Ground Coffee Brands: Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Reviewed by Urban Bean Coffee Team

on August 6, 2021

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Products Considered

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Hours of Research

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Experts Interviewed

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Customers Consulted

Ground coffee is convenient, but picking a good one is even more difficult than choosing the best whole beans.

Pre-ground coffee loses its taste and aroma very quickly, and if it has been on warehouse and supermarket shelves for a long time, you risk getting a drink with an inexpressive taste and unpleasant bitterness.

But don't worry—you can avoid this problem!

We tested the best ground coffee on offer for over three weeks. We ordered a variety of ground coffees and prepared drinks from each one in different ways.

First, we chose coffee from roasters. This is the surest way to get your beans freshly roasted, ground, and packaged just for you.

We also chose coffee from manufacturers who deliver goods to online stores in small batches so that the product is always fresh.

Let's get started.

Quick Summary

  • Our Top Pick: Lifeboost Ground Coffee
    "Voted the world's healthiest coffee, Lifeboost is organic, low in acidity, and mycotoxin-free."
  • Best Dark Roast: Koa Kona Coffee
    "Coffee from Koa Coffee's plantation was voted "Best in America" by Forbes."
  • Best Light Roast: Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
    "Volcanica supplies coffee from Ethiopia that Starbucks uses."
  • Best Subscription Service: Trade Coffee Company
    "Trade Coffee's quiz will help you choose best ground coffee for your brewing method."
  • Best Flavored Pick: Lion Hawaiian Coffee
    "Flavored coffee is a great choice for those looking to try something new."
  • Most Caffeine: Death Wish Coffee
    "Death Wish has twice the caffeine of regular coffee thanks to the addition of Robusta."
  • Best for Cold Brew: Bizzy Coffee (Two Bags)
    "This coarse-ground Arabica blend allows you to make excellent cold brew coffee."
  • Best Ground Decaf Pick: Equator Coffees
    "The coffee is decaffeinated without chemicals so all the natural flavors are preserved."

Best Ground Coffee

Choosing the best tasting ground coffee is not easy. However, we did some research and found the 10 best ground coffees. They differ in the type of roast, grind size, and flavor profiles. You can be each of these coffees will be delivered fresh. Let’s take a look:

1. LifeBoost Coffee - Best Ground Coffee Brand

Editor's Rating: 9.7

LifeBoost Coffee Medium Roast

Specifications

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Nicaraguan mountains
  • Roast: Medium
  • Flavor profile: Dark chocolate and sweet shades of brown sugar
  • Key feature: USDA Organic certified low-acid coffee

The fresher the coffee, the tastier it is. And this is where the main problem of ground coffee comes in—it loses its freshness faster than whole beans.

Lifeboost Coffee solves this problem. Unlike large online marketplaces or physical stores, Lifeboost delivers coffee straight to you immediately after roasting and also uses airtight bags. Therefore, the ground coffee always arrives at your door at the peak of freshness.

For its complex taste, Lifeboost coffee is highly regarded by coffee connoisseurs around the world. The secret is that coffee beans are shade-grown. This allows them to ripen longer and absorb more nutrients, which gives the coffee a rich, complex taste.

When we brewed Lifeboost's coffee, the whole team noted that its taste is head and shoulders above other coffee brands. We smelled notes of dark chocolate, brown sugar, and wine.

But it is ahead of the competition in other respects as well. Natural health expert Dr. Charles Livingston named Lifeboost coffee the healthiest coffee. He noted that this coffee is free of mold and mycotoxins, does not contain pesticides, and is less acidic than other brands of coffee.


2. Koa Coffee - Best Dark Roast

Editor's Rating: 9.5

Koa Ground Kona Coffee

Specifications

  • Beans: Blend of Kona varieties
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Roast: Vienna (medium-dark)
  • Flavor profiles: Sweet creamy flavor with a hint of coconut

Kona coffee beans is becoming more and more popular. It has a unique tropical fruit flavor due to the climate where it's grown.

This is real American coffee—it is grown, processed, and roasted in Hawaii.

Koa Coffee is one of the plantations in the Kona region. Its coffee was voted "Best coffee in America" by Forbes and when you taste it, you can see why.

This medium-dark roast blend has a rich, mellow flavor with minimal bitterness.

It reveals its taste very well when brewed in a filter or drip coffee maker. You'll experience a sweetish creamy taste with hints of coconut.


3. Volcanica Coffee - Best Light Roast

Editor's Rating: 9.3

Volcanica Espresso Beans

Specifications

  • Beans: Single-origin 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Roast: Medium-light
  • Flavor profile: Citrus fruits and berries

Volcanica Coffee Company offers Ethiopian Yirgacheffe ground beans. This coffee is often used by Starbucks and other popular coffee shops.

In Ethiopia, only high-quality Arabica coffee beans have been grown, and the Arabica coffee trees have mutated over time. This is how varieties appeared that are not found anywhere else in the world.

The most popular Ethiopian variety in terms of taste grows in the Yirgacheffe region, which is how it got its name.

Its flavor profile varies depending on the roast but typically includes berry and fruit flavors.

Volcanica's medium-light roast ground coffee works well when brewed in a French press. You will notice the taste of citrus fruits and berries as well as hints of sweet chocolate.


4. Trade Coffee - Best Subscription Service

Editor's Rating: 9.0

Trade Coffee

Specifications

  • Beans: Single-origin Arabica, Arabica blends, Arabica-Robusta blends
  • Origin: Many origins available
  • Roast: All roasts available
  • Flavor profile: Found in the description of each coffee

Trade Coffee is suitable for those who want to choose from a variety of ground coffees for a specific brewing method.

Trade Coffee partners with 50 of the best roasters. They have a huge selection of roasts and flavor profiles. With this coffee subscription, you’ll never get the same coffee twice. Each coffee has information about the country of origin, roaster, processing, and even a comment from the roaster himself. With this approach, you can easily become an expert in coffee and learn to distinguish notes of taste and aroma.

In addition, you can take a 7-question quiz. It is designed to offer you the best coffees for your taste.

If you’re tired of constantly choosing new coffee, you can subscribe. In this case, you choose the frequency of delivery and the amount of coffee to be delivered. You will receive freshly ground coffee that is roasted right before being sent to you.


5. Lion Coffee - Best Flavored Pick

Editor's Rating: 8.7

Lion Coffee

Specifications

  • Type of Beans: Single-origin Arabica
  • Origin: Hawaii
  • Roast: Light
  • Flavor profile: Toasted coconut (flavored)

Do you like flavored coffee? Then you should take a look at Lion Coffee. They have a huge assortment of flavored ground coffees. In addition, you will find ground decaf coffee and even antioxidant coffee.

Lion Coffee uses only natural flavors. They offer a wide variety of flavors including caramel, chocolate, hazelnut, and more.

In addition to flavored coffee, Lion Coffee also makes coffee from 100% Kona beans. This coffee is more expensive than normal coffee, but you can choose blends with 10% Kona beans to save money.

This coffee is finely ground and ideal for preparing in an home espresso maker.


6. Death Wish Coffee — Most Caffeine

Editor's Rating: 8.5

Death Wish Ground Coffee

Specifications

  • Beans: Arabica-Robusta blend
  • Origin: India and Peru
  • Roast: Dark
  • Flavor profile: Cherry and chocolate

Do you want to be awake all day? Well, get out of bed and immediately grab a packet of Death Wish ground coffee with the strongest coffee beans.

A distinctive feature of this ground coffee beans is its double caffeine content. One cup of espresso is enough to keep you awake all day. This is achieved through the use of a Robusta-Arabica blend. Robusta gives a stronger coffee, while Arabica softens Robusta’s tart flavor. Also, they only have dark roast ground beans.

The benefits don’t end there. The beans are grown without the addition of chemicals, and Death Wish is USDA certified organic coffee brand.

As for the palate, the drink has a long, bold finish with notes of chocolate, blueberries, and almonds. Death Wish is a medium-fine grind perfect for a drip coffee maker.

All these benefits make Death Wish one of the best ground coffees.


7. Bizzy Coffee (Two Bags) — Best for Cold Brew

Editor's Rating: 8.3

Bizzy Organic Ground Coffees for Cold Brew

Specifications

  • Beans: Arabica blends
  • Origin: Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua
  • Roast: Medium/dark
  • Flavor profile: Caramel and hazelnut/Dark chocolate and cocoa notes

Looking for best ground coffee for cold brew and French press? Look no further than Bizzy Organic.

This is a coarse-ground coffee. The large grounds will lead to slow extraction and a great taste. This makes Bizzy coffee excellent for immersion brewing methods.

Bizzy uses certified organic beans from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua. This coffee features sweet notes of caramel and hazelnut. The taste is most fully revealed when making cold brew, so you should definitely buy this coffee if you like cold brew. You can also check out our the best coffee for cold brew reviews.


8. Equator Coffees — Best Ground Decaf Pick

Editor's Rating: 8.2

Equator Coffee Ground Decaf Coffee

Specifications

  • Beans: Arabica blend
  • Origin: Colombia, Brazil
  • Roast: Medium-dark
  • Flavor profile: Chocolate and nuts

Equator's decaf coffees is prized for its unique flavor profiles, and this coffee is no different. This ground coffee has a full and complex flavor with chocolate and nuts hints.

This is a medium-dark roast ground coffee that’s perfect for drip coffee makers, pour-over, and even cold brew.

The Equators' coffee is decaffeinated without chemicals so all the natural flavors are preserved. We also featured it as one of the best decaf coffee brands.

If you have to give up caffeine, but still love coffee, then this is your choice. 


Why Ground Coffee?

Ground coffee is suitable for those who prefer to save time. Plus, it’s a great choice for those who don’t have a coffee grinder at home or don’t want to bother grinding coffee.

What to Look for When Choosing the Best Ground Coffee

If you would like to choose ground coffee yourself, we have compiled a list of the best ground coffees. However, before choosing one, we recommend that you read through this buying guide.

Grind Size

The grind size depends on the brewing method. Below you can find the right grind size for each brewing method.

The grind sizes for different brewing methods

Type of Roast

When choosing the best coffee, pay attention to the roast. Taste and caffeine content depend on the roast.

  • Light – Light flavor saturation, pronounced acidity.
  • Medium – Light, bittersweet notes on the palate. Light acidity, richer taste.
  • Dark – Pronounced bittersweet taste, minimal acidity.

How to store ground coffees

Now you have purchased ground coffee beans and you want it to retain its taste. If you know how to properly store ground coffee in order to preserve its aroma and taste, then it’ll stay tasty. Remember the main rule of storing coffee: limit its interaction with air.

You should know and follow the basic rules for storing coffee:

  1. Coffee must be stored separately from all other products, as it absorbs other odors very quickly and easily. It’s best to designate a separate drawer, cupboard, or shelf for storing coffee.
  2. It is advisable to maintain the same humidity and temperature in the room and hide the coffee from direct sunlight.
  3. Remove the ground coffee from the packaging and divide it into single portions. Store small portions of coffee in the refrigerator in an airtight container—an iron or glass jar. Ground coffee has a maximum shelf life of seven days.
  4. In a sealed vacuum package, coffee can be stored for up to a year.

It is best to purchase ground coffee in small portions. If you follow the above rules for storing coffee, you will preserve its aroma and taste for a longer time.

The ground coffee beans roast level

When choosing the best coffee, pay attention to roasting beans. The taste qualities, as well as the effect on the body, depend on this.

The taste and aroma of the resulting drink are not only affected by the degree of roasting coffee, but also its grade. However, at each stage of this process, you can observe certain taste characteristics. There are 5 main degrees of categorization for roasting beans:

  • weak (the lightest or Scandinavian) roasting;
  • medium roast;
  • medium-dark roast;
  • dark roast;
  • the darkest roast.

How to choose the ideal grind size

First of all, if you’re looking for how to grind the coffee, check our big guide on this topic. So you won’t have any questions on how to ground coffee beans.

But now let’s discuss how to choose the ideal grind level.

So, how to use ground beans and which level of grinding is better to use for different methods of brewing? Let’s figure it out.

Grinding for brewing in a cup

If you don’t have a coffee machine, you can brew a drink in a cup: the method is called “Warsaw-style.” Place ground beans in a cup, pour hot water over, stir, cover with a saucer and leave for a few minutes. The more finely ground the beans, the better. The pulverized grind level is perfect.

Especially for brewing in a cup, the Starbucks chain of coffee houses produces ultrafine grinding coffee in vacuum packaging, advertised as a substitute for instant coffee. This grinding is very good for brewing in a cup. But if you can not obtain such a dusty type grind, the usual fine grinding will do.

Grinding coffee for the Turkish cezve (Coffe Turk)

Coffee for a Turk is powdered. Particles of beans make the drink thicker. At home, grinding grains to this consistency is almost impossible. You have to either buy ready-made superfine ground coffee, or grind in specialized stores. It is advisable to use the coffee powder as quickly as possible: it expires within a few hours.

Espresso Grinding

Fine espresso grind was invented especially for coffee machines: a little smaller than fine, but larger pulverized grinding.

Ground coffee should not be used for brewing espresso: the drink turns out to be bitter, with the smell of burning grains. The small particles actually clog the filters of coffee machines.

Grinding for geezer coffee makers and aeropress

For brewing coffee, in a geyzer coffee maker or Aeropress, the grinding should be fine or medium. The finer the grinding, the stronger the coffee, but be careful not to use ultrafine, since the pulverized grinding powder clogs Aeropress filters.

Grinding for Pour over and Chemex

It is believed that medium-ground coffee is best suited to pour over: a bit larger than for Aeropress. If disposable paper filters are used, the grinding may be thinner as long as the water passes through the thicket. But in the pour-over with metal or fabric filters, finely ground coffee can not be brewed as the grain particles fall through the holes.

Grinding for drip coffee machines

In drip coffee machines, it is customary to brew coffee with medium grinding.

The exact same grinding is good for brassing in the Brazilian way. Coffee is poured into a cup, filled with hot water and stirred. After 4 minutes, the floated thick particles are removed with a spoon.

Grinding for a french press

The best coffee for French press should have a courser level of grinding: fractions should reach the size of crystals of sea salt or even pearl barley. But the drink from the grains of such grinding has a slightly sour taste, which not everyone loves.

In a french press with a nylon filter, you can brew medium-ground beans. If you buy an American press, finer ground beans are also appropriate. These modifications of the French press are equipped with a special filter for coffee to ensure the particles do not fall into the drink.

What Are The Drawbacks Of Ground Coffee?

Ground coffee is convenient and can be delicious, but you need to take into account its main problem: It spoils quickly. Vacuum-packed ground coffee can be stored for no more than two weeks after opening. The essential oils in it evaporate very quickly.

Also, ground coffee can lie in warehouses for weeks, and then on a supermarket shelf. By the time you purchase it, it could be devoid of aroma and flavor.

The second problem is that you can’t buy just one ground coffee and use it for every brewing method. If you want to try a new brewing method, you’ll have to look for a new ground coffee with a specific flavor profile, grind size, or roast.

However, there is a solution to these problems: sign up for a coffee subscription. You can choose your brewing method and flavor profiles to get a ground coffee that suits you perfectly. In addition, you will receive new flavors and roasts at the frequency that suits you.

FAQ

How can I choose the best ground coffee?

To choose the best ground coffee, first pay attention to your brewing method. The grind size depends on the brewing method. The wrong grind size will result in sub-par coffee. Then look at the coffee’s flavor profile. This is influenced by the country of origin, the degree of roasting, how the beans are processed, and whether they’re is single-origin or a blend. Also, make sure the coffee is fresh.

How can I choose the ideal grind size of ground coffee?

The grind size of the ground coffee should match the brewing method. Pay attention to which coffee maker you are using, and then find out which grind is right for it. For example, for a French press, coarse ground coffee is suitable, and for an espresso machine, only fine ground coffee should be used.

When does the best ground coffee go bad?

In an unopened vacuum package from which all gases have been removed, ground coffee can retain most of its properties for 12 months. If you open the package, the coffee will lose its flavors and aromas within two weeks. If you leave the package open, the coffee will go bad in 1 day.

Where should the best ground coffee be stored?

At room temperature in a dry place protected from sunlight. The main thing is that the temperature must be constant and not change too sharply. The coffee should be stored in a hermetically sealed opaque container. Make sure the lid is tight and does not allow oxygen to enter. If the coffee storage container is transparent, store it in a cupboard. The sun’s rays are harmful to coffee beans.

Sources

  1. The home coffee-brewer’s dilemma: grind at home or buy pre-ground? – Quartz
  2. Back to the Grind – NCAUSA Blog
  3. How to Store Whole Bean and Ground Coffee – The Spruce Eats