Stiftung Warentest tested a total of 21 coffee beans from different manufacturers, including 6 espresso beans and 15 cream coffee beans. Read here which brands work best. We reveal tips for healthy coffee preparation in the video.
Stiftung Warentest made coffee: the consumer organization prepared and tested 21 products based on espresso beans and caffè crema for the edition of its “test” magazine (issue 01/22). The coffees were not only tested for taste, smell and appearance, the lab also verified the products for critical ingredients, declaration and packaging ease of use.
Roasters were guided by consumer expectations: “This is how you create a general flavor,” is the verdict. Above all, coffee made from cream beans hardly differs in taste. Body, bitterness, acidity, and toasty aroma are almost always moderately pronounced. With espresso beans, on the other hand, the flavor differences are greater.
Coffee beans at Stiftung Warentest: these are the winners
Both espresso beans According to tasters, two Italian brands stand out with clear toasty and bitter notes, an intense aftertaste and a stable cream:
- Lavazza Creamy Italian Espresso – overall rating “good” (grade 1.8)
- segafredo Intermezzo – overall rating “good” (grade 1.9)
Both coffee beans with cream cheap discount products can be placed on top. These are the best cream beans at Stiftung Warentest:
- net Coffee Coffee Cream Barista ()
- Aldinorth brown coffee cream
- Lidl Bellarom Tasty Cream Coffee
Cheap winners are priced at eight to ten euros per kilogram. This makes them significantly cheaper than Lavazza-brand espresso beans, which cost around €15 per kilogram. In the last section you can read why price alone should not determine your choice of coffee.
Popular products and stores
Lavazza Creamy espresso, whole beans, 1 kg
Segafredo Espresso Intermezzo, whole beans, 1kg
More information about Alternative
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Whether expensive or cheap: no problem with contaminants
The price differences in the test are large: the beans cost between 8 and 34 euros per kilo. Overall, there is hardly anything to complain about in terms of quality. All of the test candidates fell below the guideline value set by the EU Commission for the contaminant acrylamide, which is produced during roasting and can change genetic material and possibly cause cancer. It is 400 micrograms per kilo.
Furan, also a roasting byproduct that has caused cancer and liver damage in animal experiments, is not a problem in the coffee brewed by the test candidates: only a little of the volatile substance that the testers found in the bean enters the cup: “No coffee scores worse than satisfactory in the evaluation of contaminants”, was the conclusion. Overall rating is “good” for 20 products, only one rated as “satisfactory”.
Sustainability before price savings
However, the foundation advises concerned consumers not to make their coffee purchases solely dependent on price. Only nine products in the test carry an organic or sustainability seal. Because coffee plantations are moving to higher altitudes due to climate change, the rainforest is being cleared there for cultivation. “If you are worried about all this, you should not look for the cheapest offers, but buy sustainably grown coffee.” Coffee from companies that rely on direct trade can also be a good choice.
However, in the current test, Stiftung Warentest only found a few products with the EU organic seal and the common Rainforest Alliance, Utz and Fairtrade sustainability seals. This latest certification guarantees producers a minimum price for green coffee and a premium.
With the right machine for the perfect coffee
In the following table you can see the most interesting fully automatic coffee machines. All details about the individual products and further information can be found in our detailed purchase advice.