The best ground coffee is roasted by small independent roasteries that roast their coffee multiple times each week for maximum freshness and delicious tasting coffee. In order to find the best ground coffee you need to do a little digging and you’ll find some hidden gems.
You won’t find the best ground coffee in supermarkets because they have limited space and as a general rule they only deal with large companies that can supply the huge volume that they require.
There is nothing with the ground coffee on the supermarket shelves but there is nothing special about it either.
The supermarkets are all in competition with each other so they try and create the best value possible for the customer which is definitely a good thing overall but not necessarily when it comes to coffee.
Look down the coffee aisle in any of the big supermarkets and you’ll find a lot of low-priced ground coffee. The only way to get to that price is to use lower quality Robusta coffee instead of Arabica and mass-produced coffee.
It has to be that way because Tesco doesn’t want to seem more expensive than Sainsbury’s or Morrisons and they are all in competition with the super cheap discount supermarkets such as Aldi and Lidl.
If you are looking for something half decent in a supermarket then to be fair to Waitrose and M&S they do actually have a half-decent offering so if you must buy from the high street then give one of them a go.
But even getting it from one of the premium supermarkets still won’t get you the freshness you get from a smaller coffee roaster. If you live near one that’s the place to go but not everyone does so we have recommended some below that you won’t find in the supermarkets that do some great value fresh ground coffee.
If you are not into grinding whole coffee beans yourself and you just want the convenience of adding pre-ground coffee straight to your coffee maker of choice without any faff then buying the freshest possible coffee is essential to keeping those delicious flavours intact.
When you buy pre-ground coffee from the supermarket you will find a use-by date because that is a legal requirement but what you won’t find is the roasting date.
The best ground coffee will always have the roasting date on the packaging as well as the use-by date so you know how fresh the coffee is.
This is particularly important for ground coffee because it starts to lose its freshness quickly once it has been ground down from whole coffee beans.
Although the pre-ground packets in the supermarket are vacuum packed where all the air is removed before being sealed it still doesn’t seal in the freshness the same as grinding whole beans yourself because it still takes time to get them into the packet after they have been ground.
In addition, because you only see the use-by date you have no idea when the coffee was roasted and that means it could have been months ago so when you combine that with low quality coffee it isn’t going to give you the best experience.
On the other hand, if you choose to try ground coffee from some of the respected smaller producers they will always tell you the date the coffee was roasted and you will know that they have personally taken care of the process and taken great personal pride in the coffee.
Slightly surprisingly, it also doesn’t make a big difference to the overall price that you pay compared to some of the cheaper supermarket ground coffee but it does make a big difference to the flavour you get in your cup.
Fresh recently roasted, good quality coffee is significantly more delicious than the pre-packed ground coffee you find in the supermarket.
These are a selection of some of the best ground coffee available in the UK:
This is a family-owned business in Spain where the beans are carefully roasted and blended from whole coffee beans sourced from 3 different countries to create a very distinctive strong but smooth taste.
It matters when a coffee company is owned by the family that produces it because they care more and are passionate about producing the best they can and this is a shining example of that.
You get 500g in total but it comes in 2 x 250g tubs so that you can drink it at its freshest. It’s vacuum-sealed to lock the flavour in but when you break the seal it will start to lose the aromas over time. With 250g in each tub, you’ll always be able to enjoy it at its best.
This is a really good price for organic coffee because organic costs a lot more to cultivate and produce as its completely pesticide-free and much harder to harvest and with coffee it makes a big difference to the flavour.
Roasted with beans from South America, Indonesia and Central America this is a medium roast coffee suitable for all coffee makers.
This is one of our favourite coffees and one that I use on a regular basis in my home albeit I buy the whole coffee beans and my coffee machine grinds them for me.
If you don’t have the time or the inclination to grind your own beans then Spiller and Tait will do it for you with this excellent blend using beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, India, Columbia and Kenya.
Blended and roasted in the UK by a roaster whose owners have decades of experience in the UK coffee market, their knowledge of the British market really shows in this hugely popular and highly rated coffee.
Easy drinking, this full flavour coffee is good for drinking throughout the day.
This a wonderful way to sample a wide selection of different quality coffee’s in the most convenient way possible. You get 25 pouches in total from 5 different speciality coffee estates from 5 different countries.
Coffee from Brazil, Columbia, Ethiopia, Honduras and Guatemala are all packaged in individual hand-roasted pouches each containing 20 grams of ground coffee which will produce 300ml of brewed coffee (1 mug or 2 cups).
You get to taste a large variety of freshly brewed coffee without the need for any coffee making equipment whatsoever. Just open the pouch, pour in the water, wait for a few minutes and pour. That’s it.
The filter is in the pouch so when you pour, the coffee comes out and the coffee grounds stay in. It’s a great way to taste fresh ground coffee with zero hassle.
This is an excellent option if you are not sure what kind of coffee you like, it’s great for work and brilliant as a gift for coffee lovers.
Roasted in Italy by a family-run business on the shores of Lake Garda this coffee is roasted regularly in small batches to ensure it’s freshness. This is not one you will find anywhere on the high street but is highly rated by those lucky enough to have found it already.
Blended with beans from Brazil, India and Central Africa this is a dark roast coffee with a rich and strong flavour profile. This coffee is perfect first thing in the morning to set you up for the day.
This is a reasonably fine ground suitable for all coffee machines and in particular cafetiere, filter coffee and Aeropress.
This is a wonderful gift for any coffee lover or perfect if you want to try a range of different coffees to find something new you like without paying out for a large quantity only to find you don’t like it.
There are 10 different packets of coffee from 10 different countries with 60 grams of ground coffee in each packet. It comes in a fabulous presentation cloth bag with the country of each coffee printed in each packet so you keep the ones you like the most and buy coffee from those countries to enjoy ongoing.
You also get an information booklet that describes each coffee in detail and what you can expect from it in terma of aroma and flavour profile.
Really good value for money and more of a coffee experience than just simply buying a standard bag of coffee.
Taylors of Harrogate have been around for Donkey’s years and if you are looking for an easy-going budget ground coffee for everyday drinking you can do a lot worse than this.
It’s so good and represents such good value for money that the supermarkets have started doing it as well in some of their bigger stores.
This is a medium roast coffee blended with beans from Africa and Latin America that produces a mellow flavour with citrusy fruit notes.
Really good value for money coffee for the whole family.
Taylors of Harrogate do a whole range of different coffee’s to suit all tastes but this is another of our favourites. This is a dark roast coffee that is high in caffeine and perfect to kick start your day.
This is a coffee for those that like it nice and strong with beans from India Brazil and Indonesia. This is definitely one that will get all cylinders firing.
What is the best ground coffee brand?
Brands become well known for a variety of reasons with one of the biggest being their advertising spend.
If you have millions of pounds a year available to market your brand like Nespresso or Apple or Coca Cola then you are going to get pretty well known pretty quickly.
The amount of money they spend on advertising may or may not equal the best product as well just because they can spend a lot of money telling people about it.
Maybe Apple do have the best phones and maybe Coca Cola does have the best Cola drink but just because Nespresso pay George Clooney a fortune to promote their coffee it doesn’t mean that Nespresso do the best coffee.
There are a whole bunch of coffee roasters that operate small to medium-sized businesses and they can’t afford to spend any money on marketing or advertising but they do really good coffee.
When it comes to coffee, the best ground brand is not from a huge brand that you have heard of but one of the hidden gems listed above that have a passion for each and every batch of coffee they produce.
Ground coffee or instant coffee?
Instant coffee is the lowest quality coffee that you can drink because it is mostly made from lower quality coffee beans that have been pre-brewed and frozen before being broken into the tiny granules you add to your cup with boiling water.
Coffee is best when it is fresh and instant coffee is the opposite of fresh, it’s been made months before!
You can find out more in this article:
Ground coffee beats instant coffee every time because unlike instant coffee it hasn’t been made before, it is simply roasted whole coffee beans that have been ground down ready to be brewed.
The fresher the coffee the better it tastes and whilst pre-ground coffee is not better than grinding whole coffee beans yourself it is much better than instant.
This article explains in detail:
Can you make ground coffee yourself?
You most certainly can and it is a lot easier than you think. All you need is some whole coffee beans and a coffee grinder.
Any decent coffee roaster that sells ground coffee will also sell whole coffee beans so if you don’t mind spending about 60 seconds to grind your own coffee then it’s well worth a try.
If you are just getting started there is no need to spend a lot of money on a coffee grinder. There are many different types to choose from ranging from about £10 to well into the £100’s.
If you have never ground your own coffee beans before you can start with a blade grinder that chops your beans up into a powder and then once you realise how good it is to do it yourself you can invest in a burr grinder that provides a more consistent grind quality for even better flavour.
Here are a few articles that will guide you on your options for coffee grinders whatever your budget:
Benefits of grinding your own coffee
The biggest benefit of doing it yourself is you get to choose how fine or coarse the coffee is.
When you buy pre-ground it is what it is and you can’t change it. It will often say on the packet “suitable for all types of coffee machine” but the truth is you need to grind your coffee to a different size depending on the brewing method that you use.
If you buy pre-ground coffee and you like to use a cafetiere to brew your coffee then it will probably be ground too finely because you need a coarsely ground coffee to get the best out of it in a cafetiere.
If you use whole coffee beans and grind them yourself you have full control of the grind fineness as well as getting the freshest possible taste.
This article goes through the best way to grind your coffee:
If you do go down the road of grinding your own coffee then there is a world of choice out there for you to investigate.
We have a really informative article that will guide you through the best way to choose some delicious tasting whole coffee beans: