Consumer Reports rates blended coffee mostly all lame

Local coffee retailer Caribou's Daybreak Morning Blend Decaf coffee rated just "good" in a recent Consumer Reports evaluation of blended coffees for the March issue of the publication. But "good" is about as good as it gets among those tasted results show. "Of the 24 ground caffeinated blends we tested, none was excellent or very good," the article says. However, it goes on to say, "There's slightly better news for decaf drinkers."

Although none of the ground decaf blends we tested scored better than Good, several performed at least as well as their caffeinated brand mates: Allegro Organic Decaf Blend Medium Dark, Peet's Decaf House Blend, Caribou Daybreak Morning Blend Decaf, and Bucks County Decaf Breakfast Blend. That's quite a feat, because the decaffeination process can harm flavor.

The article recommends foregoing coffee blends for single-source coffees, recommending Arabica beans as a particularly good go-to. "Arabica beans are more expensive and tend to make better coffee," the article says. "And as with wine grapes, where the beans are grown makes a difference."

Caribou's Colombia Timana (made with 100 percent Colombian Arabica beans) rated "very good" in a taste test the magazine conducted last year.

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