Mandatory Caffeine Junkie’s Awards to the Very Best Coffee Brands
Coffee is one of the few good constants in life. We wake up every day anticipating that first cup of Joe (and then eagerly await the opportunity to have another and another). But not all coffee is created equal; in fact, brands vary wildly, from the abominable watered-down, church-basement variety to full-bodied, luxuriously layered and flavorful brews.
After tasting an insane amount of java, we’ve deemed the following 10 brands as the best of the best. Each has its own winning attributes that make it worth getting addicted to. Without further ado, these are the Mandatory Caffeine Junkie’s Awards. Raise your favorite mug to them and get ready to beg for a refill.
Cover Photo: RgStudio (Getty Images)
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Best Public Pourover: Blue Bottle Coffee
Roasted by hand in small batches, Blue Bottle Coffee believes in bringing simplicity back to coffee making without sacrificing complex flavor. The company was founded with the pourover method in mind, so pick any of their delicious brews, then follow their step-by-step instructions for the perfect cup.
Photo: Blue Bottle Coffee
Best Organic: Counter Culture
This coffeemaker has been around for 25 years, and was the first certified-organic roaster in North Carolina, so you know you're getting grounds from experienced, ethical roasters. Choose from single origin, signature blends, and limited release coffees with confidence that your java is socially, fiscally, and environmentally sustainable as well as organic.
Photo: Counter Culture
Best Diner Style Coffee: Dunkin'
Dunkin' has developed a cult following -- and for good reason. Its smooth mouthfeel and clean finish make it the go-to java for many caffeine junkies. Of course, you'd be remiss if you didn't pair your cup of Joe with a gooey glazed donut.
Best Medium Roast: Groundwork Coffee - Venice Blend
Talk about a flavor sensation! This brew features notes of toasted marshmallow, dark chocolate, and summer fruit for a subtle sip that even those who are lukewarm on coffee will love.
Photo: Groundwork Coffee
Best Sustainable Brand For Travel: Kuju
You can go anywhere in the world and still get your caffeine fix with Kuju coffee. Its single-serve pourover coffee travels well and tastes even better. The company was founded by two Eagle Scout brothers and offers six organic varieties in light, medium, and dark roast.
Best Light Roast: La Colombe - Java Blend
This mellow blend features notes of nougat, ginger snap, and blackberry tea for a sweet and clean coffee experience. If you like your java bright, citrusy, and tangy, this brew's for you.
Photo: La Colombe
Best Espresso Brand: Lavazza
For those who like a little extra kick, and a lot of sophistication, in their morning beverage, you can't go wrong with Lavazza. Its espresso is highly aromatic, full-bodied, and gives you the robust energy boost you need.
Best Budget Coffee: Seattle's Best
Hey, not everyone can dump all of their money into a coffee habit; some of us have student loans to pay. But just because you're on a budget doesn't mean you have to sacrifice flavor. Seattle's Best does the job for a reasonable price, delivering a well-balanced brew that's tasty enough on its own to drink black.
Photo: Seattle's Best
Best Dark Roast: Verve – Buena Vista Dark Roast
This bestselling brew combines the intensity of dark chocolate with sugary caramel for a deep and enduring flavor experience. If you thought you couldn't drink your dessert (much less have it for breakfast), this brew will prove you wrong.
Best Cold Brew: Stumptown
Stumptown has been experimenting with cold brew for a while now but its latest collaboration with OATLY is really groundbreaking. Available in original, chocolate, and horchata flavors, this sweet and smooth plant-based cold brew blended with oat milk is 100 percent vegan and has the caffeine equivalent of 8 ounces of coffee in each 11-ounce recyclable carton. It’s the perfect, portable afternoon pick-me-up.
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