YONKERS, NY -- None of the 37 varieties tested by Consumer Reports coffee experts for its March issue earned "excellent" or "very good" ratings. Starbucks House Blend and Green Mountain Signature Nantucket Blend Medium Roast, however, were among 14 caffeinated blends that earned a "good" rating from the magazine.
At 26¢ and 23¢ a cup, respectively, both the Starbucks and Green Mountain coffees offer a good combination of taste and price, according to the report. Both were found to have an "earthy," "woody" taste, but Starbucks was found to be a fairly bitter to very bitter darker roast, while the Green Mountain was described as having a "green/sharp" flavor.
Among the 13 decaffeinated blends tested, Allegro Organic Decaf Blend Medium Dark, Peet's Decaf House Blend, Caribou Daybreak Coffee Morning Blend Decaf, and Bucks County Decaf Breakfast Blend were among the higher-scoring varieties.
In rating coffee, Consumer Reports experts look for smoothness and complexity, with no off-flavors. The beans should be neither under-roasted nor charred, and the brew should have at least moderate aroma and flavor, and subtle top notes. Some sourness and bitterness are desirable, too, to keep the coffee from tasting bland, the magazine explained.