The key to delicious low-price coffee is to go with a darker roast. The flavor caused by roasting brings out a good taste from less-expensive coffee beans. In fact, expensive espresso roasts are usually made with inexpensive beans.
The hidden treasure on the bottom shelf of many supermarkets is Seattle’s Best Number 4 Roast. It’s roasted just enough to be delicious, but not enough to get a burnt taste. The No.4 is basically an Italian roast, which is parent company’s Starbucks best-selling roast.
I tried a Number 2 roast, but it tastes cheap. The Number 3 was okay, but really, Number 4 is the sweet spot of this line of coffee. The Number 5 is basically a French roast, and it smells good. It tastes good too, and is an excellent choice for mixing with hot milk to make French-style cafe au lait.
The Other Great Cheap Coffee
For a dark roast, Café Bustelo is supreme . It’s café espresso molida, which means roasted and ground for espresso, but despite the fine grind, Café Bustelo makes a complex and reliable cup of dark drip coffee.