A test performed for the December 2004 issue of ’Consumer Reports’ found Caribou coffee the best among 42 regular and decaffeinated Colombian and Kona coffees.
Caribou whole beans Colombian coffee was ranked better than any other of the 41 types of coffee analyzed in a test performed by Consumer Reports’. Caribou coffee was the only one to obtain the “excellent” rating.
The judges were, as ‘Consumer Reports’ state, two coffee experts, but their names were not unveiled.
Eight O’Clock and Dunkin’ Donuts were ranked second and third, respectively, with a “very good” rating.
Caribou is though a bit expensive, selling for $11.25 a pound. The second-place Eight O’Clock is priced at around $5 a pound, and Dunkin’Donuts at $7.66 per pound.
The study revealed that whole beans are preferable to ground coffee, and that the best tasting coffee is not necessarily the highest priced, nor the most famous, brand name.
Starbucks whole beans for example is quite pricey, selling for $10.45 a pound, but the magazine ranked it only 25th. Starbucks Colombian ground finished last among the 42 coffees at test.
Advisers also suggest that coffee should be chosen based on the consumer’s habits. E.g., if one likes black coffee, one should go for a top-ranked. Sugar and milk usually hide a defective taste. Coffee expert Kenneth Davids says that we should be reserved as far as “best buy” dates and major supermarket brands are concerned.
A previous ‘Consumer Reports’ test aimed at the coffee market was done back in 2000. Many brands that, at that time, rated “excellent”, made it only up to “good” this time around.
Caribou is a privately-owned company, first established in Minnesota. Today it numbers 290 stores all over the US. Caribou is expected to report $150 million sales at the end of the year.
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