QUESTION: What’s a good cheap coffee brand? I’m not into fancy coffees. I just have a regular drip machine and I buy ground coffee at the grocery store. – Jeanette R
ANSWER: There’s lots of great coffee out there for the tasting without spending a pretty penny to get it. Here’s a list of the best budget-friendly coffee brands out there. You should be able to find most of these at the grocery store, although different supermarkets carry different brand assortments. Lots of great choices though, so you’re sure to find something you like.
Aldi is known for hacking the supermarket model to make things cheaper for its shoppers, with coin-return carts, minimalist displays, and brand-owned products. The coffee you get at Aldi has been recommended by shoppers for its flavor and budget-friendly price. Especially recommended is the Barissimo variety that will cost you about $3.99.
One of the hallmarks of the coffee aisle, Cafe Bustelo is depended upon by lots of coffee drinkers who hail it as the best cheap option. In addition to the regular espresso style can, you can also buy Cafe Bustelo in Brazilian, Colombian, Nicaraguan, Decaf, and Supreme.
Caribou is labeled as a medium roast, but reviewers say that it comes in on the lighter side. However, unlike a lot of medium roasts, you won’t have to worry about acidity from this brand, despite the lighter roast. (Light roasts get a bad rap for being too acidic in certain preparations.) If you like a consistent, light cup of coffee, Caribou may be the one for you. It’s especially recommended for those with sensitive stomachs.
Chock Full O’ Nuts
Are you looking for a medium roast? Chock Full O’ Nuts is recommended as “the smoothest medium roast anywhere.” Best of all, you can find it just about anywhere that sells coffee. Reviews are mixed, but those who love Chock Full O’ Nuts recommend it for its smooth, nutty taste.
Some reviewers don’t like Community Coffee, while others recommend their Dark Roast. The only way to know for sure whether this budget brand is for you is to give it a taste.
Costco Kirkland Signature
There’s a lot to be said for the bulk pricing you enjoy when you purchase something from Costco, especially something like coffee that you know you’ll be using a lot of. Reviewers especially recommend the Colombian Supremo and Kona varieties.
You may have gotten used to the taste of Dunkin Donuts coffee by purchasing it a cup at a time from the coffee and donut shops that carry the brand name. But Dunkin Donuts coffee is sold in lots of other places, too, making it a widely available affordable choice. For those who love light or medium roasts, the flavor is unbeatable despite the price being a little more than it is for some of the others on this list.
Eight O’Clock coffee is known for its high review ratings and low prices. You’d be hard pressed to find a coffee that’s as tasty and consistent as Eight O’Clock for the price. Its rich flavor doesn’t have the telltale aftertaste that accompanies some more budget-conscious brands.
The Black Silk line is recommended for coffee drinkers who love things on the darker side. While the caffeinated version is touted as having amazing flavor, reviewers were particularly impressed with the decaf offering. Folgers managed to remove the caffeine while keeping the flavor profile intact. Lots of Americans think “the best part of waking up is Folger’s in your cup.”
Comes in a budget-friendly bulk bag for shoppers who want to get the most bang for their buck. Reviewers say the dark-roasted Italian-style beans work well in both espresso and coffee preparations. Flavor nuances include notes of almonds, brown sugar, and honey. Comes in a 2.2-pound bag of whole bean coffee.
Lion Coffee offers a complex, flavorful taste in their French roast. The coffee is available in an affordable bulk bag and also comes pre-ground. It’s able to avoid the pitfalls of bitterness that can plague dark, rich coffees or cheap coffees. This particular coffee comes in on the lighter side of average.
Most people think of Maxwell House a lot like Old Faithful: reliable and dependable for a piping-hot cup. Maxwell House is a super affordable brew that has a lot to offer if you like the taste, which some people find a little too light to be palatable. But if you’re looking for the right light or medium roast, this just might be it.
While it’s unlikely that you’ll be visiting a McDonald’s restaurant every day to get your coffee, the McCafe line is sold so that you can bring it home and prepare it yourself. While lots of people love the flavor and consistent coffee drinking experience they get from McCafe, some shoppers have environmental concerns that can be a drawback for this brand. On the other hand, we’ve heard nothing but good things about McCafe’s decaf line, if that’s your pleasure.
Where Sam’s Choice shines with coffee is the organic line. Most organic coffees come along with a substantial hike in price. Sam’s Choice Organic medium roast has reviewers praising its smooth flavor partnered with that exceptional price point.
Tim Horton’s provides a consistent flavor experience across the board. The coffee is known for being affordable, and you can trust that each cup will be just as tasty as your first. The moderate flavor is balanced and nuanced, not too dark and not too light.
These brands are so affordable, you can easily plan your own taste test if you like. There’s no reason to empty your wallet for flavorful coffee.