Saturday, February 7, 2009

Best Coffee In America So Says Consumer Reports

Folgers, Maxwell House, and Starbucks are America's best-selling ground coffees. But all three were iced by Eight O'Clock Colombian coffee in our taste tests. As for Starbucks, it didn't even place among the top regular coffees and trailed among decafs.

Our tests of 19 coffees also show that some of the best cost the least. At about $6 per pound, Eight O'Clock costs less than half the price of Gloria Jean's, Peet's, and other more expensive brands.

Like your joe without all the caffeine? Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone were the front runners among the decafs. But Folgers Gourmet Selection Lively Colombian came in close behind and costs up to $3 less per pound. But even the best decaffeinated coffees couldn't match the best regular brews in our taste tests.

What we tasted
Our coffee experts focused on 100 percent Colombian — a best-selling bean — for regular coffee. Most of our decaffeinated coffees are a blend of different beans.

What makes a great cup of Colombian? Lots of aroma and flavor, some floral notes and fruitiness, a touch of bitterness, and enough body to provide a feeling of fullness in the mouth. Woody, papery, or burnt tastes are off-notes.

Weeks of sipping and swirling confirmed that even 100 percent Colombian coffee and its Juan Valdez logo don't guarantee quality. Our trained testers unearthed other surprises:

Still so-so after all these years
Chock full o'Nuts and Maxwell House have pushed coffee that's "heavenly" and "good to the last drop" since 1932 and 1907, respectively. But off-notes, little complexity, and, for Chock full o' Nuts, variable quality put both behind Eight O'Clock.

When boutique isn't better
Midwest-based Caribou and Kickapoo beat an array of larger players among regular coffees. But Bucks County Coffee, from Langhorne, Penn., tasted only OK, and Peet's, from Berkeley, Calif., was burnt and bitter, despite costing $14 per pound. Peet's, Archer Farms, and Kickapoo also varied from batch to batch.

Caffeine differences
None of our decaffeinated coffees had more than 5 milligrams of caffeine per 6-ounce serving. But among regular coffees, Caribou and Bucks County had roughly four times the caffeine (195 milligrams) of some of the lowest-level brews. Medical experts say up to 600 milligrams per day is probably safe for most and can help keep you alert. But heart patients and women who are pregnant or nursing should stay below 200 milligrams, which might mean sidestepping those brands among the caffeinated coffees we tested.

How to choose
Several of our top coffees could save you $25 to $70 per year over pricier brands even if you drank just one 6-ounce cup per day. Here's what else to think about:

Consider how you take it
Coffees judged very good taste fine black. Milk and sugar can improve a mediocre coffee, but not even cream is likely to help the lowest-scoring decafs.

Choose a good coffeemaker
The best coffeemakers from our January report reached the 195º to 205º F required to get the best from the beans and avoid a weak or bitter brew. A top Michael Graves model costs just $40.

Consider grinding for fresher flavor
Even the best pre-ground coffee can't beat the best fresh-ground when it comes to taste. One top grinder from our January report, the Mr. Coffee IDS77, costs only $20.

(from an article By entitled "Consumer Reports Picks the Best Cup o' Brew)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Antioxidants In Coffee Give Body Benefits

Getting eight hours of rest, a good diet and taking multivitamins are the best ways to maintain a healthy body. But did people know that drinking coffee is also beneficial because it has antioxidants? This was discovered after researchers did further tests to check if there are any effects of drinking coffee aside from increased alertness. Studies conclude that taking two to three cups daily can prevent various diseases such as Parkinson’s disease, depression and the prevention of cavities.

Another study shows that the antioxidants contained in coffee are more effective than those coming from fruits and vegetables. This is because not all of the nutrients here have done much to protect the individual from various diseases.

Aside from coffee, other substances that also contains caffeine, which can help boost the immune system, are tea and chocolate. Red wine or beer is also helpful but these must be consumed in moderation.

Green coffee beans for example have something inside called chlorogenic acid. This is an antioxidant that helps regulate the digestive system and makes the body absorb oxygen much better than other liquids.

Regular black coffee on the other hand has caffeic acid, melanoidins and N-methylpyridinium.

There are people who drink coffee with cream, milk or sugar. Even if one or all three are mixed with coffee, the level of antioxidants remains the same so people can still reap the benefits of drinking it.

So, the next time you go to a café and decide to get a drink, chances are coffee will be ordered instead of a cup of tea. You will just have to choose from the different variants now available which could be either hot or cold.

Studies have shown that there is nothing wrong with drinking more than three cups of coffee daily. Some people are able to do it while others can’t. The best thing to do is know when enough is enough. After all, there is always tomorrow and it isn’t that difficult to brew up a new batch. By engaging in other things that will benefit one’s lifestyle, you will surely live until one is in 70’s or 80’s.

The only ones who shouldn’t drink coffee are those who are pregnant, are suffering from heart disease or children who will become restless with the excess energy due to the caffeine.

Article Source: gourmet food reviews website ( )

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Most Expensive Coffees In The World

Here is how gourmet or specialty coffee is defined by the SCAA (Specialty Coffee Association of America)... “Specialty coffee is defined as a coffee that has no defects and has a distinctive flavor in the cup…Like wine and honey, specialty coffee has a unique flavor thanks to the micro-climates that produce it.”. The SCAA also estimates the specialty coffee market at 12 billion per year: According to, here are the top ten most expensive specialty coffees:

Coffee: Kopi Luwak

Grown in: Indonesia
Cost: $160 per pound

Coffee: Hacienda La Esmeralda

Grown in: Boquete, Panama
Cost: $104 per pound

Coffee: Island of St. Helena Coffee Company
Grown in: St. Helena
Cost: $79 per pound

Coffee: El Injerto
Grown in: Huehuetenango, Guatemala
Cost: $25 per pound green at auction
Expected to retail for more than $50 per pound

Coffee: Fazenda Santa Ines
Grown in: Minas Gerais, Brazil
Cost: $50 per pound green at auction

Coffee: Blue Mountain
Grown in: Wallenford Estate, Jamaica
Cost: $49 per pound

Coffee: Los Planes
Grown in: Citala, El Salvador
Cost: $30 per 12 ounces ($40 per pound)

Coffee: Kona
Grown in: Hawaii
Cost: $30 per 14 ounces (about $34 per pound)

Coffee: Yauco Selecto AA
Grown in: Puerto Rico
Cost: $22 per pound

Coffee: Fazenda Sao Benedito
Grown in: Minas Gerias, Brazil
Cost: $21 per pound

(source- )

Top Ten U.S. Coffee Brands

While Starbucks tries to fend off growing competition from the likes of McDonald's and Dunkin' Donuts on the restaurant level...there's plenty of competition for the coffee dollars of consumers at home. A company called Super Coffee takes a look at the top coffee brands in the U.S. based on their own research ( ) to the coffee-loving community to help consumers make tasty decisions

10) Yuban: This coffee brand, part of Kraft Foods, promotes itself as being environmentally friendly by helping protect the environment and wildlife in coffee growing regions.

9) Eight O'Clock: This coffee brand was formerly owned by The Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company until 2003 when A&P sold it to an investment firm, creating the Eight O'Clock Coffee Company.

8) Seattle's Best: This coffee brand, part of Kraft Foods, promotes itself as being environmentally friendly by helping protect the environment and wildlife in coffee growing regions.

7) Millstone: The Millstone coffee brand, with only a small portion of the market, was a private coffee brand until Proctor & Gamble purchased it in 1996.

6) Chock-Full-of-Nuts:
This coffee brand started as a New York store in 1932 and evolved into the sixth largest coffee brand in the USA.

5) Maxwell House Master Blend: This gourmet spin-off of the Maxwell brand is part of the Kraft Foods family and is gaining in popularity by coffee lovers everywhere.

4) Folgers Coffeehouse:
An offshoot of the main Folgers brand, the Folgers Coffeehouse series is a gourmet branded coffee. The Folgers Coffeehouse line is a Proctor & Gamble brand.

3) Starbucks: Although Starbucks is the largest coffeehouse company in the world, it's the third overall coffee brand on the U.S. Super Coffee list in the U.S.

2) Maxwell House: The second most popular coffee brand and another Proctor and Gamble Brand with a large market share based on research.

1) Folgers: For many, Folgers remain the best way to wake up. Arguably the largest selling coffee brand in the United States, Folgers tops SuperCoffee's list of the top-ten brands of coffee.

For more information on these and other coffee brands, visit -