5 Best Cheap Coffee Brands

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Like waking up to a fresh cup of homemade coffee? We'll tell you the best affordable brands and give you tips for choosing your own.

According to a study by Wakefield Research for Seattle’s Best Coffee, 32 percent of coffee drinkers say a morning cup of joe with your significant other is the best way to maintain a healthy relationship.

While I’d say honesty, good communication and understanding probably top coffee as keys to a successful relationship, that survey may be on to something. After all, Consumer Reports says the average coffee drinker consumes about 1,200 cups a year, which adds up to a lot of time spent on coffee. Sip together and you’ll be spending that time as a couple, which is part of a healthy relationship.

Too big of a stretch? Maybe, but I’ll take any excuse to drink coffee. I love the stuff — so much so that I’ve tried brewing a few dozen different brands at home. Excessive? Maybe, but I’ve found some of the best cheap coffee around. Below is my list. For ease of cost comparison, the prices I’ve provided are for Walmart.

1. Folgers 100 Percent Colombian

Folgers says the “best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup” and the Harris Interactive 2013 EquiTrend study indicates that Americans agree. Folgers made the top of the list in the coffee category. I like the Folgers 100 percent Colombian brew. It’s a dark, nutty roast with a ton of flavor and a small price point, only 32 cents per ounce or $8.68 for 27.08 ounces.

2. Eight O’Clock Coffee Original

I picked up this brand because of the great reviews – 4.1 stars on Amazon – and I wasn’t disappointed. It has a good, rich flavor and doesn’t leave a bitter aftertaste like some other cheaper brands. Plus, it’s only about 42 cents per ounce or $4.98 for a 12-ounce bag.

3. Sam’s Choice Organic Ground Medium Roast

If you’ve been brewing organic, you know that most brands carry a pretty hefty price tag. I used to brew Newman’s Own at home but it got to be too expensive and I gave up on organic until I found this brand. It has a smooth flavor. The medium roast costs about 45 cents per ounce, or $5.48 for a 12-ounce bag.

4. Chock full o’ Nuts Original

Chock full o’ Nuts has been around since 1932 and claims the title of “New York’s classic coffee brand,” so I figured it would be all hype and little taste, but I was wrong. The original blend delivers on the claim — a medium roast coffee with a bold flavor. And it’s cheap, only 33 cents per ounce or $3.78 for an 11.3-ounce bag.

5. Community Coffee New Orleans Blend

I live in New Orleans and the Community Coffee brand is everywhere, so you’d assume they make a great cup, right? Not exactly. I’m not big on Community Coffee’s other flavors, but the New Orleans blend is a great drink for strong-coffee lovers. The blend of coffee beans and chicory produces a dark, strong and robust flavor. I recommend it to any coffee addicts I meet and it only costs 50 cents per ounce or $5.98 for a 12-ounce bag.

Those are my top five brands and flavors. I’d recommend you try them all. And if you want to find your own favorite, here are a few tips:

  • Check online reviews. Sites like Coffee Review, CoffeeGeek.com and Amazon post reviews of different brands. Get their take before you buy.
  • Try smaller batches. Look for sample sizes so you don’t waste money if you end up hating the flavor.
  • Start with the recommended brew. All bags have a recommended brewing guide on the back. Start with those measurements and adjust later if needed.
  • Check the date. Some bags of coffee come with a roasted date. Look for the most recent date you can find for the freshest beans.

Do you have a favorite cup of coffee? Sound off on our Facebook page and tell us about it.

Stacy Johnson

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