Investing in the best ground coffee is crucial if you are hoping to enjoy a brilliantly brewed beverage at home. Nowadays, you will find a wide range of caffeinated and decaffeinated ground coffee blends for home brewing available, with premium beans from the finest growing regions in the world. No matter what brewing equipment you have to hand, be it a simple French press or advanced Espresso machine, our go-to guide has everything you need to know about buying the best ground coffee the market has to offer.
History of Coffee
Although many people think coffee is synonymous with South America, the cultivation of coffee in fact has its roots in Africa and the Middle East.
Some legends hold that coffee berries were first consumed on the plateaus of ancient Ethiopia, where local goat herders first noted the invigorating properties of the caffeine-rich berries of the coffee plant.
Eventually, the reputation of coffee soon spread to the Arabian Peninsula. From here, coffee would cement itself as the drink of choice for many and become a truly international export.
By the seventeenth century, coffee was being enjoyed across Europe after travellers returned home from the Near East. Not everyone was as enthusiastic about the new drink, however.
Many puritans viewed the energy-boosting beverage with suspicion. The pope himself was consulted about the inherent evils of the product, but coffee was quickly given the papal seal of approval after Pope Clement VIII expressed his enjoyment after savouring the drink.
In the years that followed, coffee became a firm fixture of capital cities across the European mainland and beyond. By the middle of the 1660s, London alone was home to hundreds of coffee houses. From that point on, the worldwide appeal of coffee was cemented.
It was brought to North America during the colonisation of the continent, where it replaced tea as the drink of choice for most. Those relocating to America noted how coffee plants thrived in the climate of the New World, with coffee cultivation quickly expanding to the far reaches of South America.
Today, coffee remains one of the most mass-produced commodity on the planet.
Where is Coffee Produced?
Coffee is grown in dozens of countries across the globe. Most coffee production occurs in Central and South America, although there is a thriving industry in places like Africa, Asia and the Caribbean as well.
Arabica makes up the vast majority of coffee cultivation globally, with this particular variety grown across Africa, India and South America.
Coffee Strengths Explained
Coffee strengths are used as a handy guide to consumers to determine the intensity of the product they are buying. Strength levels are ultimately determined the roasting process.
The scale itself begins at Strength 2. This is by far the weakest of all options available, with little in the way of flavour and intensity.
Strength 3 is the entry-point option for many, with more noticeable flavours and aromas. Strength 4 relates to beans that have been roasted for longer. Strength 4 beans and the resulting ground is darker in colour, with the flavour also taking on more intense character.
A longer roasting process produces Strength 5 coffee. Here, you can expect much more intense flavours and aromas. For a long time, Strength 5 topped the scale of available coffee, but Strength 6 has recently supplanted it. With this variety of coffee, you can look forward to much more exaggerated intensity and fuller flavours.
When to Use Fine Ground Coffee
Fine ground coffee is often the go-to product for those looking to make a fresh cup of coffee more quickly. It is the ideal coffee option for those with equipment like stovetop equipment.
Fine grind is the way to go if coffee preparation techniques will involve shorter overall brewing time. The less time the grind has to infuse with the water, the less intense the final flavour and intensity. A finer grind will infuse more quickly with the water, producing a better overall result.
How is Ground Coffee Produced?
Ground coffee starts life as raw coffee beans. These coffee beans are then roasted. Lower strength coffee is roasted for a shorter time relative to stronger coffee varieties. When the roasting process is finished, the beans are then mechanically ground to produce the product were all familiar with.
Ground Coffee or Instant Coffee?
Coffee drinkers often find themselves asking this question. Admittedly, the range of instant coffee offered today is impressive. Many find the ease-of-use of instant coffee outweighs any limitations when it comes to strength and flavour.
However, the more discerning coffee lover will often find a ground alternative the best way to go. Preparing ground coffee is slightly more time-consuming, but a variety of coffee maker solutions make this preparation relatively straightforward.
Some may even prefer a compromise between the two. Today, you will find instant coffee infused with a smaller ratio of coffee grounds. This beverage is prepared exactly the same as instant coffee, leaving behind a small residue of coffee grounds at the bottom of the cup.
Another easy alternative is coffee ground bags. As with tea bags, you simply add a coffee bag to a cup, pour over boiling water, squeeze and stir.
Coffee Bean Varieties
The most popular variety of coffee bean is Arabica. It accounts for more than three-quarters of beans used in the production of coffee today. Generally speaking, Arabica is a higher-quality bean and the go-to for premium coffee blends and gourmet beverages.
They are relatively light in caffeine content when compared to other beans, but deliver better flavour and richer aromatics. Arabica beans are grown throughout the world.
The other main type of coffee bean is Robusta. It is seen as a less premium option when compared to Arabica, but is often used alongside it in blends. Robusta beans are relatively easy to grow and harvest, with the Robusta bean thriving at altitudes lower than what Arabica requires.
When it comes to flavour, Robusta beans are known for their bitter edge. However, they do contain markedly more caffeine than Arabica, which is why they are regularly used alongside to produce caffeinated blends.
Coffee Machines and Equipment
When it comes to preparing coffee at home, you have several options.
A French Press, otherwise known as a cafetiere, is without doubt the cheapest and user-friendly model on the market. This brewing device includes a pot made from glass or stainless steel, along with a lid that includes a plunger and mesh filter.
To use, you simply add ground coffee to the pot itself, pour over boiling water and leave for several minutes. Once the coffee grounds have had time to infuse with the water, the plunger is pushed down to separate out the coffee grounds from the liquid prior to pouring.
If you are looking to use ground coffee for cappuccino beverages and espresso drinks, an espresso machine is definitely worth considering. This brewing machines include a compartment, sometimes known as a puck, for ground coffee.
Once ground coffee has been loaded into the machine, pressurised boiling water is forced through it to produce a thick espresso coffee beverage. This can be enjoyed as it is or combined with frothed milk if you are looking to savour a cappuccino.
Filter coffee machines work in much in the same way, but utilise lower pressures to produce a smoother, less viscous beverage. Filter machines are also the way to go if you are looking to produce larger quantities of coffee in one go, with a hotplate and large-capacity jug integral parts of their design.
Other popular choices of coffee makers include moka pots, more commonly known as stovetop coffee makers. These devices force pressurised water at boiling temperatures through ground coffee to produce a piping hot beverage in relatively little time.
If you are seeking an altogether fresher cup of coffee, you may wish to invest in a bean to cup machine instead. With these machines, you are in fact producing your own coffee grounds from whole beans.
A bean to cup coffee machine utilises an internal grinding component than reduces whole beans into fine grounds. These grounds are then combined with hot water from the machine tank before being dispensed.
Another piece of equipment to consider is a pod coffee machine. These machines include an integrated water tank and require so-called coffee pods, or discs, to be loaded into them. The pods themselves are loaded with enough coffee grounds to produce an optimal single serving of various coffee varieties.
Once you have loaded your pod into the machine and activated the machine, hot water is forced through the pod itself at high pressures before your finished beverage is dispensed directly into a cup. Pod machines are relatively affordable, but the cost of coffee pods makes them less economical than conventional ground coffee.
Product Reviews of 12 Best Caffeinated Ground Coffees
Read on to find our pick of some of the Best Caffeinated Ground Coffee products currently available on the market.
If you are someone who values high strength and full flavour, Happy Belly Espresso Crema will definitely impress.
This roasted ground coffee packs a real punch with its full-bodied flavour and aromas, while an underscore of sweet caramel and dark chocolate notes make this a very refined choice.
The creamy texture of this coffee will also tick all the right boxes for the more discerning customer. The fine grind of this caffeinated blend also makes it a good bet for those looking for ground coffee for espresso machines.
Grown by UTZ certified farmers, Espresso Crema is also a good option for eco-conscious coffee lovers. With no less than four 250g packages of coffee grounds, this is also a very affordable choice.
An easy choice of ground coffee for those looking for simple stovetop preparation, with these grounds produced with moka pots in mind.
illy Classico is also a good option for those looking for ground coffee for cafetiere preparation.
This medium roast coffee will also impress with its flavour.
There is a real sense of sweetness on offer here, with subtle notes of sweet caramel and orange blossom, along with a lingering note of jasmine.
Made from sustainably-grown Arabica beans, these grounds should hit high notes with even the most discerning coffee drinker.
This premium illy blend comes in an airtight can to seal in natural oils and aromas, making for a superior cup of coffee that is smooth in texture and full in flavour.
If you are searching for a superior blend of ground coffee, this Kirkland Signature Cafe 100 Percent Colombiano will not disappoint.
This particular filter coffee blend is advertised as one of the richest options on the market.
When you delve into the background of this particular product, it is easy to see why.
Made from hand-picked ‘Supremo’ grown at high altitudes in the Andes, this coffee produces a deliciously dark roast that is rich in full-bodied flavours and sweet aromas.
This Kirkland Signature coffee is ideal for those looking for a superior choice for morning caffeine kicks, but offers plenty of complexity for those after something more refined.
Suitable for use in stovetop coffee makers and cafetieres alike, this is bound to become a favourite.
Those searching for a stronger caffeine kick will find plenty to enjoy from Taylors of Harrogate After Dark Ground Coffee. With a roast level of 5, you can look forward to plenty of complex flavours and aromas here.
This delicate blend is deep in colour, with a slow release of beautiful flavours. Look out for brown sugar sweetness and a hint of cocoa bitterness.
A perfect addition to your morning routines, this dark ground coffee is also an ideal choice for evening enjoyment thanks to its rich profile and elegant notes.
Premium Organic Ground Coffee – 100% Arabica Spanish Espresso Blend from Award Winning Café Saula 500g (2X 250g)
This Premium Organic Ground Coffee from Cafe Saula brings together no less than four superior varieties of Arabica beans for a quality cup of coffee.
Organically grown using environmentally-friendly methods, this coffee is made using hand-picked crops harvested at just the right levels of ripeness for the best possible results.
The unique blend on offer here is in accordance with a secret family recipe, with the results being a deliciously full flavour that is silky smooth in texture and rich in enticing aromas.
This award-winning coffee is one you definitely want to try.
Qualita Rossa from Lavazza is a popular choice for many coffee lovers.
This classic Italian recipe is a medium roast made with a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans, producing maximum intensity levels.
Golden and creamy in appearance, this coffee will welcome you in with signature coffee aromas and hints of chocolate, while the flavours are full and beautifully rounded.
The perfect choice for those looking for premium quality and easy preparation, Lavazza Qualita Rossa will never disappoint.
Consuelo Gran Aroma packs a real punch with an incredibly rich aroma and a terrific taste that is full in flavour.
Made from a superior blend of Brazilian Arabica and Asian Robusta beans, this ground coffee boasts enticing aromas and complex flavours that will hit all the right notes at any time of day.
Roasted and packed in Italy to lock in natural oils and flavours, this coffee boasts an intensity rating of 5/6, making it an ideal choice for those looking for a premium caffeine kick.
This Solimo Roast & Ground Coffee is an affordable choice that everyone will enjoy.
Ethically grown by UTZ-certified farmers, this roast and ground coffee blend is a mild and delicate option.
With an intensity rating of 3, it is a go-to option for those looking for a more pared-back caffeine kick. This premium blend is rich in Arabica beans, resulting in plenty of complexity in flavour and aromas.
The taste profile itself is relatively mellow and balanced, making it a go-to pick for those who prefer a soother cup of coffee.
Ideal for preparation with cafetieres, moka or filter machines.
This Cafe Direct Kilimanjaro Tanzania Ground Coffee is a real treat. Made from pure Arabica beans, you can count on a premium cup of coffee here.
The flavour profile is incredibly lively and bright, with an intense coffee taste that is perfectly undercut by blackberry sweetness.
This coffee has a strength rating of 3, making it an ideal option for those looking for something less aggressive first thing in the morning.
Well worth considering if you are looking to mix up your morning routine, these coffee grounds can be prepared with filter machines and cafetieres alike.
AROMISTICO | Rich Strong Dark Roast | Premium Italian GROUND COFFEE | NAPOLI BLEND | For Cafetiere / French Press, Filter, Pour Over, Drip, Moka Pot or Aeropress | SMOKY, MALTY and DARK CHOCOLATE-Like
This Aromistico Napoli Dark Roast Selection Blend will certainly impress with its rich and strong character.
This coffee is incredibly elegant, with a taste profile that is both smoky and malty, giving it a dark chocolate vibe.
A premium blend of coffee beans has been carefully selected from across Brazil, India and Central Africa to produce this quality blend, with Arabica and Robusta beans making up the core of this coffee.
These grounds are suitable for use with cafetieres, moka pots, filter machines, pour over equipment and drip machines.
If you like your coffee strong, you will love this ground coffee from Sons of Amazon. Advertised as the strongest coffee blend available in the UK, this rocky grind gives you an incredible caffeine kick.
In fact, there is somewhere in the region of 440 milligrams of caffeine per 8 ounce serving.
The high-quality Arabica and Robusta beans used in this blend have been carefully selected to produce the punchiest flavours and aromas possible, ensuring maximum satisfaction.
Misty Morning from Marley Coffee comes from the family of Bob Marley himself. This dark ground is an ideal choice for those looking for a richer cup of coffee.
The beans have carefully selected for their complex flavours, with hints of red apple and apricots on offer. There is also a lingering nutty finish to look forward to.
Beautifully balanced and strong enough for those who need a serious caffeine kick in the mornings, this is a delicious choice of dark roast.
Product Reviews of 12 Best Decaffeinated Ground Coffee
Below you will find our personal pick of some of the best decaffeinated ground coffee options currently available on the UK market.
This decaffeinated ground coffee is light and balanced, with a low 2/5 strength rating.
Despite it being decaffeinated, this blend offers plenty of complexity with mild fruity aromas and plenty of rewarding flavour.
A delicious choice for those after a lighter-bodied option, this ground coffee is suitable for use with cafetieres, filter machines or moka machines.
This Roast 4 blend has been made with pure Arabica beans, bringing you the very best in coffee flavour and character.
This decaf coffee has been produced using a natural water method, followed by a delicate roasting process that yields a smooth and malty flavour, underscored by a hint of caramel sweetness.
Suitable for use with cafetieres and filter machines, this is an easy choice.
illy Espresso Ground Coffee is definitely worth considering if you are looking for a decaf coffee option that does not skimp on flavour.
This medium roast is made from pure Arabica means, with a fine grind that ensures optima extraction when prepared with espresso machines.
This decaffeinated coffee boasts a lingering sense of sweetness, with delicious undertones of sweet caramel, orange blossom and jasmine.
The illy Espresso Ground Coffee has been carefully produced to ensure a smooth texture, balance of flavour and no hint of bitterness. A top-tier decaf option that will definitely impress.
Fresh Ground Coffee Bags | Fairtrade Decaf Roast | San Ignacio, Peru (3 Boxes of 10 Individually Wrapped Coffee Bags, 30 Bags in Total) | Great for Home | Office | Camping | Travelling | Hotels
If you are searching for an organic choice of decaf roast, give New Kings Coffee a try.
This particular blend is smooth and mild in flavour, with an undercurrent of sweetness and notes of dark chocolate and roasted peanut.
Made from pure Arabica beans from a single origin, this decaf coffee has also been made using the Swiss Water process for premium results.
You also have the benefit of this blend being a coffee bag solution, meaning you only need to pour over boiling water to produce a premium cup of coffee.
If you do not have access to specialist equipment or coffee machines, this is a user-friendly alternative.
Grumpy Mule is a quality choice of decaffeinated coffee that packs plenty of full-bodied flavour.
With an intensity rating of 3, this brings all the same kick of a conventional cup of coffee, with none of the coffee.
Made with quality beans from seasonal producers, this decaf blend is incredibly smooth with hints of dark chocolate and a hint of acidity for maximum taste satisfaction.
Guaranteed to become a firm favourite and a fixture of your morning routine, this ground coffee is suitable for use with cafetières and filter machines.
Kenco is a leading authority in the coffee market for good reason, as this decaf blend proves.
This organic decaffeinated coffee has been made from the very best whole beans, producing a superior choice of coffee ground you can enjoy at any time of the day.
This Kenco decaf has been expertly roasted to produce the biggest flavours possible, along with that signature smoothness that is synonymous with this iconic brand.
Suitable for use with conventional French Press and filter machines.
If you are looking to enjoy your favourite takeaway coffee at home, this McCafe Premium Roast Decaf is worth investing in.
Bringing you the same great flavour and enticing aromas of your favourite McDonald’s decaf, this Premium Roast is made from pure Arabica beans to produce a silky smooth and beautifully balanced cup of coffee.
With an intensity rating of 3/5, you can still look forward to a punchy cup of coffee, only without any of the caffeine you are looking to eliminate from your intake.
Brown Bear Cool Brazil, Decaffeinated Ground Coffee, Swiss Water Decaf Process, 227 g, 5% of sales donated to Free The Bears UK
Brown Bear Cool Brazil scores highly in every respect.
This choice of decaf coffee has been made using the innovative Swiss Water process, resulting in a ground coffee that is 99.9 percent caffeine free.
You can look forward to plenty of rewarding flavours and aromas here, with a silky-smooth texture and creamy body.
The flavour profile is incredibly complex, with hints of dark chocolate and hints of walnut on offer.
Whipping up a cup of coffee with these grounds is also straightforward. All you will need is a French Press, AeroPress or Filter machine and you are good to go.
If you are looking for a choice of ground coffee for cafetiere or filter machine preparation, Lavazza Dek Classico is worth a second look.
This quality Italian coffee might be lacking in caffeine, but there is no shortage of flavour here.
Expect an incredibly rich and full-bodied coffee here, with enticing aromas and a lingering finish.
Incredibly satisfying and smooth on the palate, this is an obvious choice for those looking to prepare coffee in an authentic Italian manner.
Take the hassle out of coffee preparation with Moreish Decaf Coffee Bags.
This is a delicious choice of Brazilian coffee for those who value big flavours and aromas, but do not want any of the caffeine to go along with it.
Decaffeinated using the Swiss Water technique, the coffee grounds found within each bag are rich in coffee bean character, with an intensity rating of 3.
To prepare, all you need to do is pour boiling water over a bag, squeeze gently and stir a few times before leaving to brew for a 3-5 minutes.
Superior decaf made simple.
Grind – Organic Decaf Ground Coffee | Suitable for Aeropress, Cafetiere, Filter Or Moka Machines | for Coffee with Milk | with Lighter Floral Notes | Decaf Blend – 227g
Enjoy the premium taste of your takeaway coffee at home with Grind Decaf Blend.
If you have every enjoyed a freshly brewed cup of coffee from one of the many Grind coffee locations dotted around London, you will know what to expect here.
This decaf blend has been made using wholly organic coffee beans, sustainably sourced and roasted for maximum taste satisfaction. This ground coffee is suitable for use with a wide variety of equipment.
You can use it with filter machines, AeroPress equipment, cafetieres and moka machines alike.
If you like your coffee bold in character and big in flavour, Cafepod Ground Coffee Decaf might be for you.
This Strength 8 ground coffee is made from quality beans that are freshly roasted in the UK to ensure the best taste and aromas when you come to prepare and enjoy a cup at home.
Despite being a decaffeinated option, this coffee is particularly strong when it comes to classic coffee character, with sweet notes of caramel and lively citrus fruit accents making for an incredibly pleasing pick-me-up.
Some of the FAQ’s on Coffee Grounds
Are ground coffee beans good for plants?
Many people enthuse about the usefulness of coffee grounds in the garden. However, it is worth remembering that coffee grounds are astringent and contain high levels of natural acids.
As such, as they should be reserved for plants that prefer acidic conditions. Certain flowering plants like azaleas might benefit from the introduction of coffee grounds to their soil, as will some berry crops.
Can ground coffee be used as a fertiliser?
As we have already mentioned, some plants will suffer from the acidity introduced by coffee grounds.
While ground coffee can be used as an effective fertiliser, you should avoid introducing it to your growing soil if it already contains high levels of acidity and nitrogen.
Check the acidity and nitrogen levels of your soil before adding any secondary fertiliser, including ground coffee.
What ground coffee/water ratio should I use with a French press?
To ensure the best results from brewing with a French press, you need to master an optimal ratio of water and ground coffee.
As a general rule, look to add two heaped tablespoons of ground coffee for every six ounces of water you are adding to your French press.