When it comes to coffee, more people are catching on to the fact that it's best to brew your own. I've posted my rant against the high-priced, and in my opinion, too-strong Starbucks coffee here before. But, if you're going to buy and brew your own, what's the best? Consumer Reports has actually put that question to the test.
CR taste-tested 19 different brews, and the results were a bit surprising. One of the cheapest Columbian coffees rates at the best: Eight O'Clock ground Columbian rated at the top of the home-brews. Starbucks didn't place anywhere near the top of the regular coffees.
The best decafs were Dunkin' Donuts and Millstone brands, available at your local grocery store. I usually purchase Maxwell House, but Consumer Reports rated it and Chock Full o' Nuts behind Eight O'Clock. This might be one of the reasons I often find Maxwell House on sale.
Another hint: if the label doesn't say "100 percent Columbian", then it isn't. Many store-bought coffees are a blend of different beans, and some of them are definiely of lower quality. Also, coffee tastes better if you grind your own beans just before brewing. My Magic Bullet (remember the infomercial?) works perfectly as a coffee grinder.
The coffee maker makes a difference, too. The best reach 195 to 205 degrees, according to Consumer Reports. Although I have a Black & Decker automatic coffee maker, the best I have ever tasted was from a French Press coffee maker. These can be found at kitchen supply stores and even on eBay.
If you're looking to save a few bucks and get your caffeine fix, brewing your own favorite coffee, Eight O'Clock or otherwise, is the way to go.