Have you ever found yourself staring at the coffee section in the grocery store for five minutes too long?
How about 10 minutes too long?
I won’t say if I have or not. But I’ll bet now you know, anyway!
It certainly depends on which grocery store you go to and how big it is, to say what the best coffee is in their selection.
But there are some pretty standard options across the board. Before we say the best one(s), let’s look at an incomplete list of our options, when we stand there with a blank stare at the coffee section of our grocery store wondering… what’s the best grocery store coffee?
Lots Of Options
We have plenty of options for coffee and grocery stores!
Vons, Ralphs, Stater Bros, Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Aldi, Whole Foods, Albertsons, Sprouts, Walmart, and not to mention all the local health food grocery stores and newer chains that are popping up.
Funny enough, a consumer survey (currently) says that Trader Joe’s is the most popular grocery store in the US… followed by 7-Eleven, with Kroger in third.
Anyway, there are many grocery stores out there. The thing is, these grocery stores all have different coffee selections. Thus, it can be hard to say what the best coffee is for sure.
I mean, if a grocery store carried Stone Street’s Sumatra or maybe Good as Gold’s Tanzania Peaberry I’d be like… that is definitely the best, hands down!
But alas, grocery stores don’t usually have such artisan, quality coffee like that. So we take what we can get from a grocery store.
We have to just say generally… but generally, grocery stores have different flavors and varieties from brands such as Folgers, Yuban, Maxwell House, Chock Full o’ Nuts, Eight O’Clock Coffee, Dunkin’ Donuts, McCafe, Don Francisco’s, Starbucks, Peet’s Coffee, etc.
Online Shopping Or Grocery Store?
Many people buy their coffee at the grocery store.
This is understandable. It’s usually less expensive, you have the coffee immediately when you buy it, and I’m sure there are other convenient factors as well.
The truth is, both online coffee shopping and grocery store coffee shopping have their perks.
With online shopping, you have to wait for it to ship and it can be more expensive, but you have many more options, and honestly much better quality options.
So before I get into the best grocery store coffee, just remember that. It’s becoming more and more convenient to order coffee online. In my opinion, with many coffees available for purchase online that have fast shipping times, it’s worth it if you get a delicious coffee!
On this site I’ve reviewed quite a few coffees that are all available online and I have links to purchase! I’d invite you to browse through the review section if you’re interested.
The BEST Grocery Store Coffee!
I’m going to throw in a bonus here.
I won’t only tell you the best grocery store coffee, I’ll give you the best three!
Let’s just get right into it.
Typically, unless it’s a smaller or special grocery store, the best coffee you’ll find in a grocery store is…
#1 Peet’s Coffee – Major Dickason’s Blend!
Peet’s Coffee is a well-known, quality coffee brand. I don’t drink Peet’s on a regular basis or anything. But I’ve had it enough to know that it’s a good brand that makes nice delicious coffee!
Sure, it’s also a big chain like Starbucks. I would say on the overall quality scale, Peet’s is probably a notch above Starbucks. Starbucks is also in most grocery stores.
Major Dickason’s Blend is a rich dark roast coffee, complex and well-balanced. It’s got a nice robust dark roast taste. With its quality, its well-balanced dark flavor, it ranks number one on the list of coffees typically in stock at most grocery stores.
#2 Starbucks Coffee – Komodo Dragon/Verona/Sumatra/Italian Roast
Coming in at number two on the grocery store shelves, we have Starbucks.
Ok yes I’m sure you noticed, I don’t have just one type of Starbucks coffee in second place.
Basically, these are some of my favorites when it comes to Starbucks coffee. I consider Peet’s to be the best brand that grocery stores stock, and Starbucks the second best. So you could just insert your favorite Peet’s coffee in first place, and Starbucks in second.
To be fair, I would write Komodo Dragon because that’s my favorite Starbucks whole bean coffee. But grocery stores usually have many flavors of Starbucks coffee. The chances are that they have your favorite Starbucks flavor… that is, if you even like Starbucks!
The quality gap between Starbucks and the next lower coffee is bigger usually. This brings us to number three!…
#3 Don Francisco’s Coffee – Colombia Supremo or Northwest Blend Dark
It’s a bit difficult to fill the third place for grocery store coffees.
It seems that many grocery stores also carry Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s coffee. If that’s the case, then it will go in second, in my opinion, with Starbucks being a very close third. But it seems that some or many grocery stores carry Starbucks but not Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.
In all honestly, I think Coffee Bean may be slightly better, but that and Starbucks are practically tied.
Some people may think that Coffee Bean is much better than Starbucks, but I think if it really is better, it’s just slightly.
Anyway, I digress… after Starbucks comes Don Francisco’s Coffee. As you can see in my pictures, the grocery stores stock up big time on the lowest rung of the ladder, ‘let’s not go there’ coffee. These would be brands like Folgers, Maxwell House, Yuban, Great Value, etc.
I might start just calling these the ‘let’s not go there’ coffees. It has a good ring to it.
Don Francisco’s is definitely above those coffees. It’s not as good as Peet’s or Starbucks. But it holds its own.
The Colombia Supremo is a great coffee. On here I also listed the Northwest Blend Dark. Since I love dark roast coffees, why not put that one on here!? I like most every Don Francisco’s coffee that I’ve tried. And if you want something a bit less expensive than Starbucks or Peet’s, it’s a great option.
Sometimes There’s Even Better Coffees
Nichey, craft, quality coffee has caught on in the mainstream more and more in the last few years.
This has even happened at grocery stores too!
I think it’s pretty cool actually. On the grocery store shelves, you can find everything from Folgers to Peet’s.
But, I was pleasantly surprised the other day when I went to Vons grocery store to take some pictures for this article… and I saw something remarkable. I saw…
Intelligentsia is a craft coffee roaster, and quite popular with coffee aficionados and hipsters.
I don’t remember ever seeing or really noticing Intelligentsia coffee in a grocery store before. So it was certainly surprising to see this in Vons! They also had Lavazza, a great Italian coffee company. It seems that stores, or at least Vons, are seeing the competitiveness of the coffee market.
Intelligentsia is even better than Peet’s I would say, in terms of quality and taste. They also had Lavazza, Illy, and others that I can’t actually comment on too much because I haven’t tried like Ethical Bean and Organics Brand. But these have a good reputation.
It’s nice to see some great quality coffee at the grocery store!
Here’s a pro tip for browsing coffee at the grocery store… Usually, the better quality coffees are higher up on the shelves, and sometimes there are less of them.
For example, the Intelligentsia coffee is in the highest shelf, and there’s just a few rows of it.
I Prefer Online Ordering…
When I say this, I’m not just trying to get you to buy coffee from my links or say don’t buy from the grocery store or anything.
But for me personally, because of the very large selection of high quality coffee, I prefer to order coffee online and have it shipped straight to my doorstep.
There are other benefits from it, but these would be the main reasons I like ordering coffee online. The coffee I’m drinking as I write this is the amazingly delicious “Grizzly Claw” dark roast coffee by Kicking Horse Coffee. It’s just awesome.
This is an expensive coffee, at least more expensive than most of the coffee you’ll find in the grocery store, but you can’t get this coffee at a grocery store.
I mean, let’s face the music… if you drink coffee every day, it’s really only a matter of time before you’ve tried all the coffee in a grocery store that’s any good.
While I try not to be judgmental about any coffee, I know that grocery stores basically always carry brands like Folgers, Maxwell House, and other stuff like that. There’s no way I personally could recommend any coffee by these brands.
Just don’t even go there.
That being said, your options for coffees that are at least tolerable are wearing even more thin!
So, why not do both actually!? Buy grocery store coffee sometimes if that’s what you like, or if you’re on a tighter budget, but why not treat yourself at least sometimes to some amazing coffee like the one I just mentioned above or some of the other delicious ones I’ve reviewed!?
If you look at the ones I review though, please just make sure it’s one that I really recommend or that sounds good to you!
I’ve definitely tested and reviewed some coffees that I don’t highly recommend, and I make it clear in the review if I give it the ‘Danny seal of approval’ or not.
Bagging It All Up
So if you prefer to buy your coffee at the grocery store – I mean, there are advantages to it – then these are my recommendations!
Just remember to look at the higher up shelves if you want the better quality coffee! That’s a good rule of thumb.
Some stores might not have Peet’s, so just look on the higher shelves and see what they have. On the other hand, some stores may have better coffee than Peet’s! Like Vons.
It’s a great change that stores are making to carry some great brands like Intelligentsia and others.
Do you have a favorite coffee to buy, either at the store or online?
Let me know and I’m interested to know what your favorite is!
I hope this article was helpful for you! If you have any questions or comments please let me know in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to hear from you. Whether you buy your coffee in the store or order it online… coffee cheers!