Best Ground Coffee in the UK

If you’re looking for the best ground coffee in the UK, you’ve come to the right place!

Ground coffee is perfect for a variety of machines and coffee makers including filter coffee machines, a French press and percolators.

However, when making a great tasting coffee, you can have the best equipment in the world at your disposal but if you don’t have the right coffee to hand, your results and going to be underwhelming.

We’ve tried and tested many different varieties and examined thousands of reviews. After many caffeine headaches later, we’ve come up with the ultimate best ground coffee guide so that you never have an underwhelming coffee again!

Best Ground Coffee Overall: Union Coffee

This incredible tasting ground coffee contains notes of dried fruit and milk chocolate which gives it a sweet but well balanced taste. It’s a first rate choice for filter coffee in particular and leaves an aftertaste that is fresh and clean.

Union get our vote for the best ground coffee overall. Union are one of the most unique coffee makers in the world and it’s their unique approach to the whole supply chain that explains their great tasting coffee.

When creating the company in 2001, they realised that they needed to educate the very farmers who were growing their beans. Most coffee farmers around the world never get to taste the coffee they grow so they don’t necessarily understand the flavour profiles of each bean.

This process of education means Union pay extra to farmers around the world but it all pays off in the end with perfectly grown and perfect tasting coffee!

Features

  • Hand roasted Arabica coffee
  • Artisan roasted to bring out the flavours
  • Fairly traded to build long term relationships
  • Indulgently smooth and dark

Pros

  • Can be used in a variety of coffee machine and makers
  • Enjoy at home or whilst in the office
  • Strong flavours with no bitter aftertaste
  • Is a perfect coffee for any time of the day
  • Buy from an ethical company

Cons

  • The packaging is on the larger size for the amount of ground coffee inside

Final Verdict

If you possess a filter coffee machine, this is a must have coffee for any time of the day. The sweet but strong taste is truly refreshing yet it doesn’t leave an acidic after taste like some other brands’ ground coffee which is always a danger. Overall, a top tier ground coffee.

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Runner Up: Cafe Direct

Cafe Direct’s Machu Picchu is our runner up for the best ground coffee. This is a slightly darker roast and is full bodied with a honey and chocolate aroma and a smooth and creamy taste.

This ground coffee is particularly suited for either a filter machine or a cafetiere and gives you a perfect excuse to top up your cup.

This particular coffee is grown in the high altitude that is the Inca heartlands in the Andes. The altitude at which coffee beans are grown have an influence on the overall quality of the coffee you get in your cup with higher altitudes usually resulting in a higher quality taste. That’s certainly the case with the Machu Picchu!

If you’re struggling to find great organic coffee, this is for you.

Features

  • Sumptuously rich and smooth
  • Smoother tasting coffee
  • Organic fresh ground coffee
  • Medium strength coffee with a delicious aroma and taste

Pros

  • Is rich, dark and smooth tasting
  • Perfect for those who prefer a medium strength coffee
  • 50% of their profits go to the farmers who make the coffee
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • We’d advise against buying this if you don’t have a filter machine or cafetiere

Final Verdict

Peruvian coffee is one of the best coffees in the world and the aptly named Machu Picchu is truly a wonder of the ground coffee world. Cafe Direct know their onions, or in this case, we should say their beans!

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Best Budget: Rave Coffee

High quality coffee doesn’t always have to come at a high cost. Rave Coffee and their Signature Blend are our pick for best budget as they encapsulate taste, price and quality all in one 250g bag.

This particular coffee is smooth and full bodied with chocolate and caramel undertones and provides a refreshing, lingering after taste. If you think the fun stops there though, you’re wrong! As this particular ground coffee is a blend, every cup is ever so slightly different, assuming you can pick up the subtleties.

Beyond the magnificent tasting coffee, Rave support the farmers who grow their coffee beans by paying a sustainable price for it without passing the price on to customers which is something we can get behind.

Features

  • 250g Rave Coffee ‘Signature Blend’ Roasted & Ground Coffee
  • In the Cup: Chocolate, Caramel & Almonds
  • Suitable for Cafetiere & Chemex Brewing Equipment (course grind)
  • Roast: Medium – Dark
  • Their best selling Signature ‘House’ Blend is designed to be delicious however you brew

Pros

  • Perfect if you like a darker roast
  • Leaves a really nice, lingering aftertaste
  • Can be enjoyed in many different coffees including filter, espresso or our personal favourite; a double shot flat white
  • It’s not too far into any flavour camp so makes for a good all rounder
  • It’s got quite a big caffeine kick (if you’re into that…)

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

We’re huge fans of this coffee and for the price, it’s really great value. For an extra treat, use these ground coffee beans for a double shot flat white with whole milk. Trust us, it’s worth it!

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Best Ground Coffee (Fair Trade): Grumpy Mule Coffee

Grumpy Mule coffee is one of the best fair trade coffees on the market and comes in hot (pardon the pun) with the second Peruvian coffee on our list.

This particular single-origin coffee includes a dark chocolate taste that gives way to mild citrus and cocoa, creating a richness of flavour. It’s one of those coffees that is perfect for a lazy duvet day.

Beyond the coffee, Grumpy Mule has created a successful company on the back of sustainable and ethical motives. Their Bird Friendly seal of approval ensures forests are preserved and protected, guaranteeing the environment of many species of birds.

They’re also part of the Cafe Femenino Project which means the coffee is grown, processed and traded exclusively by women.

Features

  • Balanced, rounded and versatile with a good, full-bodied mouthfeel
  • Ethically and sustainably grown
  • 227g at a very reasonable price

Pros

  • Can be used in any filter method but stands up equally well as an espresso
  • Grown at a high altitude (almost 1600m) which gives it a signature quality taste
  • Perfect for those who enjoy a medium strength coffee
  • Received the Great Taste award in 2016

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

This is the second Peruvian coffee to make our list and you might be starting to notice a theme here. Sometimes, coffee just tastes better when it comes with a side of ethics and sustainability as is the case here.

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Best Ground Coffee (Medium Roast): Costa Filter Coffee

Costa filter coffee is still some of the best ground coffee you’ll find on the market. With years of experience, knowledge and testing comes a product liked by many and this is the case with Costa Coffee’s Signature Blend.

It’s smooth and nutty with notes of caramel and goes down very nicely. Whilst it’s not the star of the show, we think it’s a good all-rounder that will leave everyone happy. In fact, I recently spent a month at an Airbnb and survived on Costa’s filter coffee and am inexplicably missing it slightly!

Features

  • Perfect balance of delicate Arabica and strong Robusta beans, slow-roasted for a smooth and nutty flavour and rich aroma.
  • Use this Mocha Italia Signature Blend in your cafetiere or filter coffee machine with ease for maximum convenience
  • The flavour of this ground coffee is smooth and nutty, with notes of caramel – perfect for sharing a cup of coffee with friends
  • This Mocha Italia Blend is a medium roast, with a strength of 3 – not too strong, not too weak but rather just in-between
  • Costa’s ground Signature Blend is certified by the Rainforest Alliance, ensuring sustainable farming to encourage sustainable livelihoods by transforming consumer behaviour

Pros

  • It’s a good all rounder and will be liked by everyone
  • Can be used in filter machines and cafetieres
  • Cheaper than buying in store
  • It’s not bitter at all and is smooth to drink

Cons

  • None

Final Verdict

Whilst many coffee aficionados prefer independent roasters, sometimes you just can’t doubt experience. This coffee is a great all rounder and is guaranteed to suit everyone, regardless of taste preferences.

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Best Dark Roast: Buffalo Soldier

For those who prefer a dark roast, you should definitely try the Buffalo Soldier from Marley Coffee.

We’ve only recently tried this coffee but in true Bob Marley spirit, it’s soulful, uplifting and very smooth. Expect notes of dark chocolate and a rich, roasty finish. This is one of those coffees you look forward to having in the morning when you’re lying in bed at night.

Beyond the coffee, Marley Coffee are another brand with sustainability at their core. They’re committed to donating to One Tree Planted which plant trees all across the world.

Features

  • Buffalo Soldier is an earthy and bold dark roast blend
  • 100% Organic – ideal for cafetiere, filter and aeropress
  • They donate to the One Tree Planted Non-Profit organisation who focus on planting trees around the world

Pros

  • One of the best-tasting coffees you’ll find
  • It’s 100% organic
  • Perfect for those grim mornings when you need the most pleasant caffeine injection to get yourself ready for the day
  • Great value for money
  • Gives off an amazing aroma when brewing which, really, is half the joy of making coffee!

Cons

  • It makes some other coffees taste disappointing (if you can call that a con)

Final Verdict

The Buffalo Soldier coffee is one of the best tasting coffees on this list and is certain to hit the right notes if you’re a fan of a darker roast. We highly recommend giving this a coffee a go regardless of your preferences.

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Best Alternative: Taylor’s Ground Coffee

Coffee doesn’t need to be too complicated to give you a great taste. Taylor’s Ground Coffee is a perfect example of this.

If you ever wanted to know what Lionel Richie’s song Easy (Like Sunday Morning) was like as a coffee – it would be this. It has flavours of smooth milk chocolate and a gentle citrus resulting in the ultimate lazy day coffee.

Grab a cup of this, take 5 minutes and take it easy. Life isn’t always a rush…until the caffeine kicks in, of course.

Features

  • 100% Arabica Coffee
  • Slow-roasted for a soft, easy-going character
  • Perfect for weekend relaxation – press pause and sink into your comfiest chair
  • Ground for Cafetiere and Filter
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified: Rainforest Alliance certification helps protect the environment and ensure sustainable livelihoods

Pros

  • Perfect for the casual coffee drinker
  • Low cost per gram
  • Smooth chocolatey flavour
  • The pack size is good to last you over a week
  • Not insipid but not overly bitter like some other blends and brands
  • Available as a subscription

Cons

  • It’s a great value coffee but is not quite top tier on our tasting chart

Final Verdict

This is one of those feel good coffees best enjoyed on a chilled, lazy day. It goes down very easily despite its limited taste profile but is worth keeping in stock.

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If You Want to Treat Yourself: Guatemala Elephant Coffee

If you’re in the mood for treating yourself, have a try of the luxurious Guatemala Elephant coffee by Whittard.

This single origin is one of the best ground coffees available. It has a bold flavour with deep roasted bass notes, fruity top notes and finished with a smooth, well balanced sweet chocolate. The complicated taste profile ensures you pick up different flavours with every cup.

Beyond the taste, what else makes the coffee so unique? Well, it’s cultivated on the volcanic slopes of Lake Atitlan where the beans grow to be around 3 times larger than other coffee beans. Now we’re not saying bigger is always better…

Features

  • 100% Ground Arabica Coffee
  • Suitable for vegetarians and vegans
  • Roasted and packed in the UK
  • Packed in a protective atmosphere

Pros

  • Suitable for all kinds of coffee makers and machines including a cafetiere, AeroPress, Stovetop, and V60
  • Complex tasting profile ensures you pick up different notes with each cup
  • Enjoy hot, cold brewed or iced
  • Would make a great gift

Cons

  • It’s on the expensive side and in the opinion of some, isn’t worth the increased cost

Final Verdict

This Guatemala Elephant coffee is on the expensive side but is one of the best ground coffees available. Whether that’s worth the extra cost is a matter of opinion. We think this would make a great gift for the coffee lover in your life but is perhaps a bit too expensive for what it is to drink regularly.

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Summary

Once a coffee bean has been roasted and ground, it will become victim to the oxidation process and its flavour will start to be slowly muted. It’s for this reason that you need to choose the very best ground coffee if you don’t use a grinder at home.

The best coffee brands such as the ones we’ve included in this article will ensure the coffee is stored immediately in airtight valve packs to ensure the coffee remains fresh until it’s ready for you to consume.

Whilst there are many new coffee roasters popping up every single day in the UK, we believe this is the best of a very good bunch of roasters at this current time. We’re always testing new independents and will update this article accordingly should we come across something better!

Inspired to get yourself a new piece of kit? Feel free to take a look at our recent “best filter coffee machine” article where we break down the best filter coffee machines currently on the market in the UK.