Medium roast is an excellent choice for java enthusiasts who enjoy their coffee Goldilocks-style: just right. It’s flavorful without the acidity that often accompanies lighter roasts, and contains more caffeine than darker roasts. Add in the convenience of ground coffee, and you’re all set. However, picking the best medium roast ground coffee is harder than it seems. What if you have a penchant for exciting flavors or love your French press above all else?
We review ten distinct options for you to brew up the ultimate cup of morning joe. Whether you’re after an organic blend or something sweet and unique, you’re bound to find your match.
Best Medium Roast Ground Coffee at a Glance:
- 1 Top 10 Medium Roast Ground Coffee Brands
- 1.1 Peak Performance Organic Coffee
- 1.2 Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend Medium Roast
- 1.3 Starbucks Pike Place Roast
- 1.4 Bulletproof The Original Ground Coffee
- 1.5 Community Coffee Pecan Praline
- 1.6 Illy Classico Espresso Ground Coffee
- 1.7 Maxwell House Medium Roast Ground Coffee
- 1.8 Caribou Coffee Caribou Blend
- 1.9 Koffee Kult Gourmet Blend Medium Roast
- 1.10 Death Wish Coffee Valhalla Java
- 2 Medium Roast Ground Coffee Buyers Guide
- 3 Skip the Daily Grind
Top 10 Medium Roast Ground Coffee Brands
Let’s discuss ten of the best medium roast ground coffee on the market:
If you value sustainability, Peak Performance Organic coffee lives up to the name: it’s USDA-certified organic and fair trade.
These beans are single-origin, hailing from the Guatemalan Highlands. Beans grown at higher altitudes tend to be denser, which translates into more antioxidants in your morning joe.
As for flavor, you can anticipate a smooth, clean taste.
Bear in mind that this delicious, third-party-tested coffee does come at a price—it isn’t cheap.
- Fair trade
- USDA Organic
- Smooth flavor
Dunkin’ Donuts Original Blend is the brand’s classic signature coffee. It’s made of premium Arabica beans from Central and South America and offers a distinctive, full-bodied flavor.
As a medium roast, there is little acidity and no bitter aftertaste. This flavorsome blend works well alone or can be blended with milk or other ingredients to recreate your favorite Dunkin’ drinks at home.
However, you might find yourself missing that heady coffee aroma—some reviewers report it as weak or nonexistent.
- Rich flavor
- Not acidic
- No bitter aftertaste
- Weaker aroma
Starbucks devotees will appreciate this rounded, hearty medium roast ground coffee. The name honors the first Starbucks store that opened in 1971 in Pike Place Market, Seattle.
This 100-percent Arabica blend has a pleasant kick to it. There are subtle undertones of toasted nuts and cocoa, which add to the wholesome taste.
You’ll need to have a container at the ready: the packaging is far from airtight once opened.
- Notes of cocoa and toasted nuts
- Hearty flavor
- Slight kick
- Poor packaging
- Not as strong as some other brands
Healthy and eco-conscious coffee drinkers alike will appreciate this clean, sustainable coffee. Beans are hand-picked by Guatemalan farmers to ensure top-tier quality, and each batch gets tested for toxins.
This medium roast delivers a burst of energy by itself or as a part of Bulletproof coffee. It offers a fresh, balanced taste with mild undertones of caramel—although some buyers complain that the flavor is underwhelming.
- Rainforest Alliance certified
- Hand-picked beans
- Somewhat bland
- Earthy tones may be undesirable for some
If subtle, discreet undertones aren’t your thing, this pecan praline medium roast could be the perfect match. Those of you with a sweet tooth will also relish the creamy praline and sugary pecan flavor.
This 100-percent Arabica bean mix is sustainably sourced. Community Coffee roasters have certification from the Specialty Coffee Association of America’s Roaster’s Guild.
Unless you’re after a robust and non-coffee flavor, you may find the taste too overbearing.
- Delectably sweet
- Rich and smooth
- Might be overpowering to some
Illy Classico is a medium roast ground coffee for espresso lovers. It’s finely ground for optimal extraction to get the most out of the rich flavor. Nine types of Arabica beans go into this blend to produce subtle caramel-and-chocolate undertones. For more information about the best espresso beans on the market, check out our review!
The practical, airtight can eliminates the need for another container. This also allows your coffee to last longer. The taste is smooth and full-bodied. It is also less intense than other Illy roasts.
- Quality packaging
- Notes of caramel and chocolate
- Nine varieties of Arabica beans
- Milder taste than other Illy roasts
This budget-friendly House Blend by Maxwell House is ideal for heavy java drinkers. One 24-ounce container produces up to 210 cups of coffee. Plus, the canister preserves the ground coffee even after you open it.
The taste is balanced enough to take black. It also pairs well with milk and sugar. Unfortunately, more discerning coffee snobs might get let down by the flavor profile.
- Balanced flavor
- Wide appeal
- Not as refined as other coffees
This medium roast coffee will entice those of you searching for something unique and full-bodied. The Indonesian beans have contrasting sweet and spicy notes and undertones of berry, cocoa, and cedar. Woodsy, spicy notes balance out the fruitiness and acidity.
Caribou Coffee is Rainforest Alliance certified, meaning your Caribou Blend is sustainably-sourced. Unfortunately, you won’t get much of a caffeine kick here.
- Interesting flavor notes
- Rainforest Alliance certified
- Low acidity
- Not very strong
This artisan coffee has a heady, delicious aroma straight out of the bag. Despite the robust scent, you can expect a mellow and smooth taste. As it’s a gourmet blend of Arabica beans, the ground coffee works well French-pressed and for cold brew.
If you’re after intense and complex flavors, you might end up disappointed—some drinkers found the taste watery.
- Suitable for French press and cold brew
- Wonderful aroma
- Mellow flavor
- Might be too watery for some
Death Wish Coffee produces invigorating blends for next-level caffeine consumers. This ground coffee is no exception—one cup will go a long way toward reviving you.
Valhalla Java isn’t strictly medium roast; instead, it’s a medium-dark roast. However, it has your typical medium flavor characteristics of smoothness with minimal bitterness.
If you like to savor multiple cups of coffee throughout the day, you might have to give up that habit. One cup will go a long way.
- Smooth with no aftertaste
- Powerfully caffeinated
- Fair trade and organic
- Caution required: don’t drink too much!
Medium Roast Ground Coffee Buyers Guide
Selecting the best medium roast ground coffee requires careful consideration. There are critical criteria to take into account to ensure you’re happy with your purchase:
Keep your favorite caffeinated beverage in your mind as you shop. You might want a brand with more robust flavors if you take it all-natural. Otherwise, a plainer coffee is better-suited to doctor up with sugar and milk.
Yes, medium roasts fall squarely between stronger light roasts and weaker darker roasts in caffeine content. However, that doesn’t mean they’re identical—some will have more of a kick than others.
There are four types of coffee beans: Robusta, Arabica, Liberica, and Excelsa. The former two are the most common—Liberica and Excelsia, a variant of Liberica, are less so.
Arabica beans tend to be more fragrant with sweet undertones, whereas Robusta is generally stronger and more bitter. Many blends combine the two for a powerful yet rich taste.
The manufacturer is responsible for ground coffee freshness, which is why you’ll want to pick a reputable brand. The coffee should be packaged right after grinding using a grind and brew coffee maker for optimal flavor.
Does your ground coffee come in an airtight container, or is the bag ready for the garbage you open it?
Unavoidable elements such as moisture and oxygen will inevitably degrade your coffee over time. Aim to invest in an airtight container so that your purchase doesn’t go to waste if the packaging doesn’t reseal.
Coffee flavors can range from subtle infusions of fruit to bold statement tastes such as vanilla and peppermint. Think about what you add to your coffee—if you’re heavy-handed with milk and sugar, you’ll want a stronger flavor that won’t be overwhelmed.
Decaf vs. Caffeinated
You can still enjoy a tasty cup of joe without the added caffeine kick. However, you might find the taste is somewhat milder than caffeinated alternatives.
There is a range of certifications you might want to be on the lookout for. These include the following:
- Rainforest Alliance: This seal indicates that your coffee is sustainably farmed to avoid harming our rainforests.
- Fair Trade: The brand measures up to fair trade standards. This ensures coffee farmers won’t be taken advantage of.
- USDA Organic: The coffee meets the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines for growth and harvesting procedures.
- AA: The coffee meets the highest tier of Kenya’s coffee sorting system, which works according to size. AA beans are the biggest.
Skip the Daily Grind
In an ideal world, you would have the time to play barista every day to produce delicious, fresh-brewed coffee. Realistically, ground coffee is a time-saving, budget-friendly alternative that is equally flavorsome and enjoyable.
Make an internal list of your unique preferences while you shop for the best medium roast ground coffee. Keep in mind storage concerns, and don’t be afraid to hold out for a brand that’s in line with your values concerning sustainability and trade.