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Posted Sunday, August 21, 2011
Hours of testing finds new champs among Colombian and Ethiopian varietals; America’s best-selling brands, Folgers and Maxwell House, score only fair
Yonkers, NY — Consumer Reports brewed over 1,000 cups of coffee to deem two new champs among Colombian varietals in the latest issue available on newsstands today. Gloria Jean’s Colombian Supremo Medium Roast and Newman’s Own Organics Colombian Especial Medium Roast beat Consumer Reports top pick from the March 2009 report, Eight O’Clock Coffee. The former champ delivered less flavor than in past tests even though their slogan claims, “New Look, Same Great Taste.” While America’s best-selling brands, Folgers and Maxwell House, scored only Fair far from perfect taste profiles.
“The new Colombian champs offered fairly complex, well-balanced flavors that our experts found stronger and fruitier than the flavors of most others we tasted,” said Gayle Williams, deputy health editor of Consumer Reports. “Overall, the Colombian coffees we identified as the tastiest aren’t the highest priced per serving. It’s important for shoppers to know their taste preference and check our Ratings before purchasing.”
The 23 coffees Consumer Reports tested included three Colombian K-Cup products. Those products require a coffeemaker that can accommodate a K-Cup container, a type of single-serving coffee packaging. K-Cups were found to be more expensive per 6 fluid ounce serving than traditional packaged coffee and were only Good in tests — and may be best enjoyed with milk and sugar to mask the off-notes.
Consumer Reports also tested four Ethiopian whole-bean coffees, which have a taste that someone accustomed to standard blends might find unusual. Consumer Reports two picks from that group, Caribou Ethiopia Finjal Organic Medium and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Light Roast, a CR Best Buy, had very complex, well-balanced flavors.
How to Choose
If the cost of morning java matters more than getting the ultimate taste, there’s good news. Walmart’s Great Value 100% Colombian Medium scored on par with the Starbucks Colombia Medium for a fraction of the price. It also had, for the same price per serving, a stronger, fruitier aromatic character than the Folgers and Maxwell House 100% Colombian coffees.
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