Lack of "excellent" coffee blends: Consumer Reports

Tue Feb 2, 2010 7:36am EST
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NEW YORK (Reuters) - After tasting 37 different blended coffees, Consumer Reports couldn't find one that measured up to its "excellent" or "very good" ratings, the publication said Tuesday.

The less-than-glowing report follows a year that saw tight supplies of high-quality arabica coffee beans in Colombia, followed by steep premiums that caused some roasters to look for cheaper and more available options for their blends.

Ranking at the top of the list of 14 caffeinated blends -- earning a rating of "good" -- are the Starbucks House Blend, calculated at 26 cents per cup, and Green Mountain Signature Nantucket Blend Medium Roast, at 23 cents per cup.

Blends are the best-selling type of ground coffee and contain beans from at least two regions or countries, the publication said.

The highest score for the 13 decaffeinated coffees also failed to reach the top two categories. The better scoring varieties included Allegro Organic Decaf, Blend Medium Dark, Peet's Decaf House Blend, Caribou Daybreak Coffee Morning Blend Decaf and Bucks County Decaf Breakfast blend.

Consumer Reports has a rating criteria in which the tasters look for specific characteristics including the flavor and aroma.

The publication advised coffee drinkers not to count on familiar brand names or expensive price tags, noting that the cost doesn't accurately reflect the cost per cup due to varying grind densities, and recommended ratios of coffee to water.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union, an independent nonprofit organization that does not accept outside advertising or free test samples, it said in a release.

Full results of the coffee ratings will be available in the March issue of Consumer Reports and online at

(Reporting by Marcy Nicholson; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

<p>A waiter carries two cups of Turkish coffee at a coffee shop in Istanbul October 19, 2007. REUTERS/Osman Orsal</p>