The best ground coffee brands that won’t break the bank

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Finding the best ground coffee that aligns with your taste preferences and budget can be daunting. The options can be overwhelming, with countless brands, roasts and flavors. Whether you’re a casual sipper or a seasoned connoisseur, this guide aims to simplify your search for the perfect cup.

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Navigating the world of coffee involves considering various factors such as flavor profiles, roast levels and even ethical considerations like sustainability. Fortunately, you don’t have to break the bank to enjoy a cup of good-quality coffee. From well-known supermarket brands to specialty roasters, this guide aims to introduce you to a range of ground coffee options that are high in quality and affordable.


Lavazza is often considered to be moderately priced. It’s usually more expensive than supermarket brands like Folgers or Maxwell House, but it’s typically less expensive than many specialty or third-wave coffee brands.

Lavazza offers a wide range of products, from their more budget-friendly options like Qualità Rossa to their more premium lines. The cost also varies based on the package size, with larger quantities usually offering better value per ounce.

If you enjoy Italian-style espresso or French press coffee, Lavazza offers a good balance between quality and price. It’s often available at a discount when bought in bulk or during sales, making it even more affordable.

So, while Lavazza may not be the cheapest option on the shelf, many people find its quality and price to offer good value, positioning it as a relatively affordable choice for the best ground coffee among higher-quality coffee brands.

Peet’s Coffee

Peet’s Coffee is generally considered one of the best ground coffee brands. They’re a high-quality coffee brand that falls somewhere between supermarket brands and specialty or third-wave coffee roasters in terms of price. Their coffee is often sourced from reputable suppliers, and the company emphasizes the freshness of their product, often providing a roasted on date on their packaging.

In terms of affordability, Peet’s Coffee is generally more expensive than mass-market brands like Folgers, Maxwell House or even Eight O’Clock Coffee. Still, it is usually less pricey than specialty brands like Blue Bottle or Stumptown. Their most popular blends, like Major Dickason’s Blend, offer a complex and satisfying cup that is worth the slightly higher price tag compared to basic supermarket options.

So, if you value your coffee’s quality and flavor profile and are willing to pay a bit more for a superior product, Peet’s offers a good balance of quality and cost. It’s a step up from the budget brands without requiring you to stretch your budget as much as you might for some of the high-end specialty brands.


My favorite ground coffee is consistently Dunkin. It’s readily available to purchase online, in grocery stores and at Dunkin’ locations. Their ground coffee has a consistent flavor that I enjoy and tastes like ground coffee that is much more expensive.

In terms of pricing, it typically falls in the moderate range — more expensive than budget supermarket brands but generally less pricey than specialty options. They frequently run promotions and offer bulk-buy options, making it even more cost-effective for regular consumers.

When it comes to quality, Dunkin’s coffee is designed to be crowd-pleasing with a medium roast profile that aims for a smooth, balanced flavor. While it may lack the nuanced flavor notes and ethical sourcing practices that some specialty brands boast, it consistently offers a familiar taste that I love and regularly incorporate into my bulletproof peppermint mochas.

For those who frequent Dunkin’ locations and enjoy the coffee there, buying their ground coffee for home brewing can provide a similar experience at a per-cup cost that’s usually lower than buying individual cups at a shop.

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Eight O’Clock Coffee

Eight O’Clock Coffee is often cited as one of the best options for those seeking quality coffee at an affordable price. The brand has been around for over 150 years and has built a reputation for consistency and flavor. It’s widely available and usually priced lower than specialty coffees and even some mainstream brands like Starbucks and Peet’s.

The brand offers a range of blends and roast levels, from their original blend, a medium roast, to more specific varieties like their hazelnut or Colombian peaks. While it may not have the artisanal cachet of specialty third-wave coffee brands, Eight O’Clock is often praised for its smooth and balanced flavor profile, which makes it a perfect pairing alongside a slice of coffee cake. Many people find that it punches above its weight in terms of quality, given its lower price point.

If you’re looking for a coffee that you can easily brew in your coffee pot at home that offers reasonable quality without breaking the bank, Eight O’Clock Coffee is a solid choice. It’s accessible both in terms of price and availability, making it a convenient option for daily coffee drinkers who are mindful of cost but don’t want to sacrifice too much on quality.

Kicking Horse Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee is a popular Canadian coffee brand known for its organic, fair-trade beans. They offer a variety of roasts and flavors, many of which are available in ground form and whole bean. This brand has developed a strong following as one of the best ground coffee brands, particularly among those concerned about ethical sourcing and environmental practices.

Their range of roasts makes them a viable option for pour over coffee enthusiasts who want to enjoy a cleaner, more nuanced cup. One of their most popular blends is Kick-Ass, a dark roast that promises a bold, rich flavor. Other popular blends include three sisters, a medium roast, and Cliff Hanger Espresso, a medium espresso roast. Their coffees are generally well-reviewed for their impressive flavors and high quality, though they can be a bit pricier compared to supermarket brands.

If you’re looking for a blend of quality, ethical sourcing and variety, Kicking Horse is definitely worth considering. It’s widely available in stores in Canada and the United States, as well as online, making it relatively easy to find.

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Café Bustelo

Café Bustelo is often considered a budget-friendly option for coffee drinkers who enjoy a strong, bold cup. Originating from a Cuban-style espresso tradition, this brand is particularly popular among those who favor Latin American coffee styles. Café Bustelo is commonly found in both supermarkets and online stores, making it easily accessible for most consumers. Price-wise, it’s typically cheaper per ounce than many mainstream and specialty coffee brands, making it an attractive choice for budget-conscious shoppers.

Despite its relatively low cost, Café Bustelo doesn’t compromise much on flavor, which is a primary reason it’s considered one of the best ground coffee brands. It offers a robust, full-bodied experience that stands up well to milk and sugar, making it a popular choice for drinks like café con leche or cortados. While it may not offer the nuanced flavor profiles that some specialty coffees boast, it delivers a strong, consistent taste that many find satisfying.

If you enjoy Latin-style coffee or prefer your coffee strong and bold, Café Bustelo provides excellent value for the price, blending affordability with a taste profile that has garnered a dedicated following.

Final thoughts

Navigating the world of ground coffee can be a journey filled with complex flavors, ethical considerations and, of course, price tags. This guide featuring the best ground coffee brands has offered a glimpse into a range of brands that balance quality and cost to varying degrees.

A cup of coffee on a saucer on a brown background.
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Lavazza brings a touch of Italian finesse to your coffee cup without breaking the bank. Peet’s Coffee, on the other hand, skews toward the higher end but justifies its price with superior flavor and ethical sourcing. Eight O’Clock Coffee is an affordable yet quality-driven choice, while Kicking Horse Coffee tempts those who prioritize organic, fair-trade options — even if it means paying a bit more. And then there’s Café Bustelo, an easily accessible and budget-friendly pick that doesn’t skimp on flavor, particularly for fans of Latin American coffee styles.

Among these offerings, Dunkin’ remains my go-to brand for consistent, smooth, moderately priced ground coffee. Its medium-roast profile is a familiar comfort that I love, and it’s accessible both in terms of price and availability. Ultimately, the best ground coffee for you is the one that meets your criteria for taste, ethics and budget. So whether you lean towards Lavazza’s Italian flair or find yourself satisfied with Eight O’Clock’s reliable taste, remember that the best coffee is the one that brings you joy in each sip.

Sara Nelson is the food blogger behind Real Balanced, a site that shares easy and balanced recipes. Since 2017, she has shared delicious, nutritious and allergy-friendly recipes with thousands of blog readers and social media followers. Sara lives in Wisconsin with her husband, two children and their dog.

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