In a new edition, Stiftung Warentest examined a total of 21 coffee beans from various manufacturers. This includes six espresso beans and 15 caffè crema beans. You can read here which coffees are the best. You can also see tips on how to prepare coffee in the video.
The Stiftung Warentest has made coffee: The consumer organization has made 21 espresso and caffè crema bean products for the current issue their magazine “test” (issue 01/22) prepared and tasted. The coffees were not only tested for taste, smell and appearance, the laboratory also checked the products for critical ingredients, declaration and user-friendliness of the packaging.
The roasters responded to consumer expectations: “This is how a mainstream taste is created,” is the verdict. Coffee made from crema beans in particular hardly differs in taste. Body, bitterness, acidity and roasted aroma are almost always medium-strong. In the case of espresso beans, however, the differences in taste are greater.
Coffee beans at Stiftung Warentest: These are the winners
Both Espresso beans According to the testers, two Italian brands stand out with clear roasted and bitter notes, an intense aftertaste and a stable crema:
- Lavazza Espresso Italiano Cremoso – overall rating “good” (grade 1.8)
- Segafredo Intermezzo – overall rating “good” (grade 1.9)
Both Caffè-Crema-Bohnen inexpensive discounter products can place themselves at the top. These are the best crema beans from Stiftung Warentest:
- Net Cafèt Coffee Cream Barista ()
- AldiNorth Moreno Caffè Crema
- Lidl Bellarom Caffè Crema Gustoso
In terms of price, the cheap winners are eight to ten euros per kilogram. This makes them much cheaper than the branded espresso beans from Lavazza for around 15 euros per kilogram. You can read in the last section why the price alone should not determine your coffee choice.
Popular products and shops
Lavazza Creamy Espresso, Bohnen ganze, 1kg
Segafredo Espresso Intermezzo, whole beans, 1kg
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Whether expensive or cheap: No problems with pollutants
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 test candidates fell below the guideline value set by the EU Commission for the pollutant acrylamide, which is produced during roasting and can change the genetic material and possibly cause cancer. It is 400 micrograms per kilo.
Furan, also a by-product of roasting that has led to cancer and liver damage in animal experiments, does not pose a problem in the test candidates’ prepared coffee: Little of the volatile substance that the testers detected in the bean passes into the cup: “No coffee comes off worse than satisfactory in the pollutant assessment,” is the conclusion. The overall rating is “good” with 20 products, only one is “satisfactory”.
Sustainability over price savings
The foundation advises problem-conscious consumers against making coffee purchases only dependent on the price. Only nine products in the test carry an organic or sustainability seal. Because coffee plantations are moving to a higher location due to climate change, rainforest is being cut down there for cultivation. “If you don’t care about all of this, you shouldn’t look for the cheapest deals, but buy sustainably grown coffee.” Coffee from companies that rely on direct trade can also be a good choice.
In the current test, however, Stiftung Warentest found only a few products with the EU organic seal and the common sustainability seals Rainforest Alliance, Utz and Fairtrade. The latter certification guarantees the growers a minimum price for the green coffee and a premium.
With the right machine for the perfect coffee
In the following table you can see the most exciting fully automatic coffee machines. You can find all details about the individual products as well as further information in our detailed purchase advice.