7 On Your Side: Consumer Reports researches the best coffee

Ever wonder what the best type of coffee is?

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Although most Java drinkers choose to wake up to a cup made with ground coffee, a growing number are turning to fancier alternatives, like gourmet or premium coffee. They're even going so far as to grind their own beans.

Consumer Reports tested 21 Colombian coffees in a search for the tastiest.

If you want the best tasting coffee, Consumer Reports advises you to avoid grinding your beans at the market, because your coffee can pick up flavors of other beans.

If you want the freshest tasting coffee, give whole beans a try.

Consumer Reports coffee experts focused on Colombian coffee, ground and whole bean ranging from $5 to $25.

The experts tasted them blindly and found a few that rated excellent. The top rated coffee is La Golondria, Colombia certified organic from counter culture. It's a complex coffee with fruit and citrus notes and traces of berry, floral and chocolate. At $.59 for a six-ounce cup it might seem steep for home brew, but it sure beats coffeehouse prices.

Nine of the Colombian coffees are very good. Whole beans from Allegro Colombia Augustino and Forest from Whole Foods have notes of citrus, honey, milk chocolate and hits of malt and toast. At $.23 per cup, it's a Consumer Reports Best Buy.

Another Best Buy is Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo Whole Bean from Costco for $.13 per cup. This medium-dark roast has chocolate notes and a hint of dried fruit.
Consumer Reports tested pre-ground coffees that were very good. Gevalia's Colombia is a ground coffee with fruity top notes, for just $16. per cup.

Some think that to keep your coffee fresh you put it in the fridge, but that's not quite right.

"Do not keep coffee in the refrigerator or freezer, where it can pick up moisture and flavors from other foods and heat and light can oxidize the beans' oils," said Ellen Kloz of Consumer Reports. "So just put it in an airtight container in a kitchen cabinet."

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What goes best with a cup of coffee? Some say, another cup.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
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