Today’s coffee market is completely oversaturated with coffee brands. There are aisles entirely dedicated to different coffees of ever flavor and roast out there to try. Instead of digging through them all, skim through this list to find a perfect match for your every-day coffee.
This list pulls together some of the best affordable coffee brands that you can find on the market today. All of them are known for their delicious flavour and sustainable practices, while still each having their own individual styles. These brands are the perfect medium between grocery store staples (like Folgers) and insanely expensive speciality coffees.
Our 5 Top Picks
There’s a brand for everyone on this list, from all-nighter to early bird. If you want to find the perfect brand for your at-home maker, our list of favorites is sure to house something just right for you!
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While we wouldn’t recommend joining most cults, this one has us sold. Koffee Kult is our top pick for at-home brewing.
This brand has a variety of different roasts available, but our pick would be their classic dark roast. This full-bodied, rich brew is 100% Arabica beans, making it smooth and never bitter. It is a low-acidity brew, so anyone with acid reflux won’t have problems drinking Koffee Kult.
Notes of cinnamon and chocolate can be found in their dark roast, adding to the depth of flavor. The flavors of these coffees are pretty consistent throughout their range as of the writing of this article. Overall, consumer reviews are very positive, leading us to believe that it’s an exceptional coffee, cup after cup.
- Full Body
- Low Acidity
One of the most fabulous things about this brew is that every bag of Koffee Kult shipped is roasted to order, and the roast date is clearly visible on the bag. This guarantees freshness, which is definitely a plus. When it comes to a classic, at-home brew, Koffee Kult is the ones to beat.
If you consider yourself a coffee connoisseur, you have probably heard about Death Wish Coffee. Touted as the “strongest coffee in the world”, Death Wish is known for its spooky label and devilishly-fun fanbase.
The coffee is a mix of Arabica and Robusta and comes in two brews:
- Their classic Death Wish Coffee
- Moreover, the more recently created Valhalla Java
There are some differences between the two blends. While the namesake blend is all about power, Valhalla is focused more on taste than energy. That being said, we’ll mostly be focusing on the Death Wish blend.
As for the strength of the coffee, anyone who’s experienced it could personally verify the validity of their claims. Every cup of Death Wish is said to contain twice the amount of caffeine as an average cup. Consumers have very rarely challenged this claim.
If the Death Wish blend doesn’t give you the energy that you need; however, Death Wish Coffee guarantees to figure out what the problem was and send you a fresh roast, free of charge. It’s clear that, when it comes to power, this company means business.
Not Just Strong
What is impressive about Death Wish is that the brand not only lives up to its caffeine-packed hype, but it is also just an enjoyable cup of coffee. While the roasters at Death Wish are obviously not focusing on the underlying flavor notes, nothing about either of the blends offered at Death Wish is bitter.
The acid content is really low in both roasts, giving the drinker a smooth and satisfying cup every time. While it may not seem mind-blowing for coffee to escape the grasp of overwhelming bitterness, it is kind of impressive for a coffee of this strength that is made partially with Robusta beans.
- Full Body
- Low Acidity
Clearly, the people at Death Wish Coffee are doing something right. If you need your coffee to give you a big boost of energy in the morning, we couldn’t recommend it more.
Peet’s Coffee is well-known amongst coffee lovers as the granddaddy of at-home brews. Peet’s is a brand initially created by Alfred Peet—the man credited with first introducing the darker roasts that American’s are still most fond of today.
Today, Peet’s offers a large variety of coffees, all primarily dark roast of course. Their all-time most popular blend, Major Dickason’s, is a smooth and deep brew. Peet’s coffees are known for being full-bodied in the truest meaning. Each cup is complex and decidedly not bitter.
Wonderfully, this brand also comes with a freshness guarantee. Peet’s is another brand that always roasts to order and even has same-day shipping! It’s clear that this brand takes that guarantee seriously.
Opinions about their most popular blends are high, but a few of their other offered blends have not been as well received. If you’re trying out Peet’s, we recommend sticking to Major Dickason’s or the Arabian Java Mocha blends.
- Medium to Full Body
- High Acidity
Peet’s is the most affordable of the list here, with prices comparable to what you’d find at the grocery store. With the history behind this coffee along with those prices, we just couldn’t put Peet any lower than this!
Kicking Horse Coffee is a name that might not sound as familiar as those higher up on the list. If that’s the case, it’s probably because it is a brand born and bred in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. If you’re a coffee lover in Canada, however, there is definitely a chance that you’ve heard of them especially since they are the #1 Whole Bean seller in the country!
Kicking Horse coffees are top shelf at-home beans. All of their blends are organic and fair trade. They also put a lot of effort into keeping things sustainable, which is a huge plus.
They refuse to sell their coffees in single-serve form due to the environmental havoc that one-use pods are wreaking. Their coffees are full bodied and rich in flavor. Kicking Horse makes six different blends, ranging from light to dark roast. The flavors span a large variety, with the tasting notes in their blends ranging from rich chocolate to juicy berry.
- Medium Acidity
- Full Body
Each of their roasts is smooth and have medium to low acidity. Their most popular blend seems to be 454 Horse Power dark roast. It’s a powerful coffee that packs a punch but doesn’t seem to be too bitter.
Volcania Coffee is definitely making a name for itself in the category of at-home gourmet brands. Their signature Peaberry Coffees are sourced from different regions, each blend being named for such.
This lets you know where exactly your beans came from, making this brand the most transparent of the bunch. The blends here, especially their most popular Tanzania blend, are almost unanimously praised.
These coffees are smooth and tasty, giving off a delicious aroma that is only matched by the taste. While the roasts are primarily dark, it doesn’t mean bitter. A cup of Volcanica is velvety, with the consistently lying perfectly balanced between thick and thin.
This coffee is the most acidic of those listed here. If you don’t deal with acid reflux, though, that acidity is definitely to the benefit of this coffee. The acid brings a tingly and bright feel to each cup, reminiscent of good wine.
- High Acidity
- Full Body
When it comes to taste, bitterness is one of the most important things to look at. It’s one of the primary tastes that our tongues can sense, so bitterness is usually not subtle.
While a bitter taste can add depth, it’s not something that you want in abundance. An overdose of bitterness can be a very undesirable feature in a coffee, sometimes masking the flavor entirely.
We obviously aren’t going to give a good coffee brand a bad review when the bitterness is a plus. So, bitterness here is being used only when negatively affecting the overall taste of the coffee. Coffee brands that are known for some of their blends being too bitter are ranked lower than others.
The “body” of a coffee is, in layman’s terms, a sort of measurement of viscosity. The thicker a coffee is, the richer it is probably going to feel in the mouth. A coffee’s body comes from the oils and fiber in the beans themselves. This creates a creamier and sometimes gritter texture to the coffee.
Coffees with full or “heavy” bodies are going to leave more residue on the tongue. Light-bodied coffees will, instead, have a consistency similar to water.
In terms of coffee made at home, the body not always going to translate perfectly. While all of the coffees in this list have a medium to full body, this factor depends on not only what coffee you are drinking, but how you are preparing it as well.
Using paper filters will make even diminish the most full-bodied coffees out there. When using paper filters, the tightly woven material absorbs any oils or fibers from the coffee. Metal filters, however, allow oils to get through.
It has been debated whether acidity in coffee is a good or bad thing. Though high acidity can improve the overall coffee drinking experience in extremely high-quality brews, it isn’t usually something that you want in an affordable, every-day coffee.
Acidity in affordable coffees can sometimes add to the flavor profile, but most of the time it takes away from it. Acidity in coffee can also be really bad news for those of us with acid reflux, making the rest of the day very uncomfortable.
For these reasons, we decided to put less acidic coffees higher on the list. Thankfully, most of the coffees on this list are not sporting a supremely high acidity rate, making it basically even across the board. This ensures that the coffee you’re getting is smooth, tasty, and won’t require an antacid.
In this review, we have gathered our data for quality from customer reviews. We wanted this list to reflect how the average coffee drinker would feel about the coffee, so we depended on the people for that input.
All of the coffees on this list had pretty good reviews all around. Though, there were definitely exceptions to that rule.
Before investing in any gourmet coffees, the best thing to do is to read through the reviews. Reading through other people’s complaints and praises can give you a more solid understanding of what you’re investing in when it comes to these more expensive brands.
One of the most important factors to look for when shopping for coffee online is a “roasted on” date. We wanted to praise the companies that are being clear about when their beans were being roasted. We love the transparency this brings to the table and wish more companies would do this in other aspects of products.
So, in this category, brands that made sure to roast as close to shipping as possible have been ranked higher than others. It’s clear that the best experience of a coffee blend is going to happen as close to the roast date as possible, so the brands shown here are ones that we trusted to give you fresh beans every time.
A quick tip for getting the freshest beans is to buy through the actual company instead of through Amazon. For most of these companies, if they are selling to you directly, they will ship the beans immediately after they’ve finished being roasted.
If they have to send those beans to a third party, though, the process is going to go slower, and they just aren’t going to be as fresh. This, unfortunately, isn’t something that the seller can control at all, but it’s just something to keep in mind.
The aftertaste (very often referred to as the “finish”) is not something that many people will think to consider when shopping for a coffee. And while the word “aftertaste” might bring up sour, uncomfortable flavors in your mind, it’s not inherently a negative thing in this context.
The aftertaste of a coffee is going to be found after the end of a cup. In the best of cases, it will be sweet and light. In the worst, it can leave your mouth with a bitter or burnt flavor.
The case of bitterness, this is usually found in coffees that have been over-extracted. This can also be a result of a less “quality” coffee bean, or a blend that uses more Robusta beans than Arabica.
In the case of the coffees shown here, not many were said to have a bad aftertaste. If the aftertaste was received poorly, it is going to be lower on the list than those who had a very pleasant finish. Some of the coffees here had a very notably pleasant finish, which helped in them getting a higher ranking.
It’s important for a coffee brand to not only care about their customers directly but give thought to the world as a whole as well. A majority of the brands on this list are working actively in some way to produce their coffees ethically and sustainably.
There is a difference between an ethically sourced and produced coffee and a sustainably packaged coffee, however.
When it comes to creating ethics, coffee companies who know exactly where their beans are coming from and are transparent about the sources are going to be the biggest winners here. A company that is also open about who is working for them and where they are producing is going to be recognized as more ethical than those who do not.
Sustainability, on the other hand, is about what the companies are doing to promote a less wasteful product and process. Most of the companies on this list are clear about the efforts that they are making to create a product that both comes from and gives back to the earth. These are important factors to consider in any brand, so they were taken into account.
There are hundreds of different at-home brands to choose from, but these are the ones that stand out the most. The brands on this list are popular for their taste, affordability, and overall quality. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and if you ask 100 people, you may get 100 different answers. So if your favorite coffee brand isn’t up here, that’s totally okay too.
No matter is was said in this or any other article, it’s important to remember that no one can tell you what coffee to enjoy. A coffee with any of the traits that are not regularly praised can be the best coffee for you, so keep exploring different brands and blends. Do try the ones on this list, though. They’re a great place to start.