14 Starbucks Ground Blends, Ranked Worst To Best

For many coffee fans, starting the day off with a hot cup of joe needs to include two important elements: convenience and great taste. It's no secret that Starbucks dominates the coffee chain world. What started as a humble coffee shop in Seattle has since grown into a global empire with over 35,000 locations worldwide (per Statista). However, many Starbucks fans are actually sourcing their Starbucks from somewhere that may surprise you: the grocery aisle. In fact, Starbucks is one of the best store-bought coffee brands you can get your hands on.

But, which types of Starbucks coffee grounds should you bring home? While you may have your drink order memorized from saying it to the barista so many times, it can be difficult to tell which flavors and roasts translate well to the format of ready-made coffee grounds. In order to help start your next morning off right, we've rounded up some of the top Starbucks grounds available and ranked them from worst to best.

14. Mocha

There's no doubt that mocha is one of the most popular flavors of coffee out there. The term mocha actually has a complicated origin story. Back in the late 1700s, mocha referred to a type of coffee coming from the port of Mocha in Yemen. However, the mocha we know and love today comes from Italy combining its love of both mocha coffee and chocolate, therefore creating the famous chocolate and coffee drink. 

Mocha flavoring as we know it today combines flavor notes of chocolate, coffee, and cream. You usually can't go wrong with this reliable style. Most coffee shops offer a mocha and who doesn't love some chocolate notes to sweeten up their day? It's no wonder that mocha flavoring has been a mainstay at Starbucks for a long time, and the brand has even expanded to add twists to the flavor, like peppermint mocha or white chocolate mocha.

Unfortunately, the Starbucks Mocha Flavored Coffee Grounds just miss the mark. While many Starbucks fans love ordering a mocha coffee in person, consumers found that the bagged, ground version of the drink tends to leave a rather unpleasant aftertaste when brewed. Additionally, purchasers of the grounds frequently mentioned its bitterness and overall artificial taste. While not all consumers experienced these taste issues, if there's one bag of grounds on this list we definitely recommend steering clear of, it's this one.

13. Hazelnut

Hazelnut is a classic coffee flavor that offers sweet nuttiness and dimension to your morning cup of joe. Warm and toasty, a good hazelnut coffee should feel like a hug in a mug. The hazelnut's sweetness plays off the bitterness of the coffee and brings out its richness. It's no surprise that Starbucks hazelnut bianco latte is one of the most popular coffee flavors.

Unfortunately, some consumers had similar complaints about ground hazelnut to those about Starbucks' mocha grounds. The negatives of the Starbucks Hazelnut Flavored Coffee Grounds included an unpleasant aftertaste, bitterness, and artificial taste. Some purchasers even mentioned that the grounds were lacking in hazelnut taste, which, of course, defeats the purpose. While some consumers seemed to have no issues with the hazelnut grounds, it seems to be a fairly hit-or-miss flavor. You may want to stick to ordering your hazelnut-flavored Starbucks coffee in person for better results.

12. Vanilla

While some may think of vanilla as a basic flavor lacking complexity, there are many reasons for its popularity. While (when added correctly) vanilla can be a rather subtle flavor, it can really elevate your morning coffee. Its natural sweetness softens the bitterness typically found in plain black coffee. Its aroma also compliments the deep earthiness found in freshly brewed coffee, making your morning cup of joe a multi-sensory experience that will feel more like you're at a local bakery than at your own kitchen counter.

Most consumers praised the smoothness and delicate flavor of the Starbucks Vanilla Flavored Coffee Grounds. Many also recommended combining it with a vanilla-flavored add-on from one of the best coffee creamer brands for an extra boost of vanilla goodness. Some purchasers noted that their batch seemed to lack flavor but that seems to have been a rare occurrence. Overall, at-home coffee fans agree the vanilla-flavored grounds are worth picking up on your next trip to the grocery store even if less universally reliable.

11. Pike Place

Starbucks' Pike Place Roast is one of the company's most classic blends. Named after the original Starbucks store's location within Seattle's Pike Place Market, the blend is meant to be a basic and approachable medium roast option. It is made from a blend of Latin American coffees with subtle notes of cocoa and toasted nuts. The blend has been around since 2008 and is a favorite of many longtime Starbucks fans.

However, some longtime fans of the Starbucks Pike Place Roast Coffee Grounds claim to have noticed a recent shift in the blend's flavor profile. Some purchasers describe recent bags of the grounds as having a darker roast than previous bags they purchased. Some claim that this leads to more of a burnt and bitter-tasting coffee when brewed. Starbucks maintains that although the packaging has recently changed that the blend itself remains the same. Some fans, new and old alike, still claim to love the blend, so to find out whether this blend is for you, you may just have to give it a try.

10. Caramel

Smooth, buttery caramel goodness. It's hard to go wrong with this classic coffee flavor. A perfect match, the sweetness of the caramel perfectly compliments the depth and acidity of the coffee. Like vanilla, hazelnut, and mocha, you can find caramel-flavored coffee at most coffee shops as a standard flavor these days due to its wide appeal.

Starbucks is no exception to this with caramel offered year-round as a coffee flavor at Starbucks locations around the world. Naturally, due to the flavor's popularity in Starbucks cafes, the brand created the Starbucks Caramel Flavored Coffee Grounds for at-home drinkers to enjoy. Many purchasers complimented the sweet, smooth taste and noted that as an added bonus, the coffee's delicious aroma fills your kitchen. Purchasers also noted that, unlike some other flavored coffee grounds by Starbucks and other brands, there was no artificial taste in the caramel flavor. Overall, the caramel grounds seem to be a safe, middle-of-the-road option.

9. Cinnamon Dolce

Sweet and spicy, Starbucks' Cinnamon Dolce coffee grounds are sure to start your morning off right. The blend offers delicious notes of cinnamon, butter, and brown sugar. This combination quickly evokes memories of your favorite desserts, and the flavors are nicely balanced by the mellowness of a lighter roasted blend. Unlike some of the other flavors on this list, these coffee grounds are fairly unique to the Starbucks brand and can't be found in just any old coffee shop.

Fans praise the Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Flavored Coffee Grounds for both its flavor and aroma. Its balance of sweetness and depth elevates the coffee-drinking experience. Many purchasers dubbed it a new favorite and complimented its ability to fill the air with the delightful smell of sweet cinnamon. While there may be other more popular grounds on this list, we certainly recommend giving this one a try, especially if you have a fondness for cinnamon buns.

8. House Blend

Another original Starbucks blend on the market, the Starbucks House Blend Coffee Grounds is unique to the brand. In fact, the Starbucks' House Blend actually goes all the way back to the very beginning of the brand as the very first blend that Starbucks created when it opened back in 1971. Clearly, the House Blend has staying power, because it is still well-loved by Starbucks customers today, so much so that it has been made available as take-home coffee grounds.

The Starbucks House Blend is a medium-roast coffee with notes of cocoa and toffee. The blend is made with Latin American coffee beans roasted to perfection. Many purchasers praise the House Blend as their new "go-to" coffee flavor thanks to its perfectly balanced flavor profile. For a reliable, balanced cup of morning joe, be sure to pick up the Starbucks House Blend Coffee Grounds on your next grocery trip.

7. Colombia

Colombian coffee is some of the most famous coffee in the world, as coffee fans everywhere are already aware. Starbucks offers its own medium-roast coffee made up of beans from the South American country. The flavor profile includes subtle notes of nuts and fresh herbs. It can be deliciously prepared in a wide variety of ways that any coffee lover is sure to enjoy.

The Starbucks Colombia Coffee Grounds offer a juicy and nutty flavor profile that are well-worth the special high elevation of 65,000 feet at which the coffee must grow. Many purchasers praise its balanced flavor profile, which makes it an easy point of entry for those who do not like their coffee to be too dark or too light. This medium roast serves as a great middle-of-the-road option, with wide appeal, perfect for entertaining family and friends with a wide variety of flavor preferences. Be sure to add Starbucks Colombia coffee grounds to your next grocery list.

6. Toasted Coconut Mocha

A fun, new twist on traditional mocha, Starbucks' Toasted Coconut Mocha adds a layer of complexity with the addition of delicious tropical and nutty notes. This warm, toasty, chocolatey goodness is now easily brewed in the comfort of your own home. If you're looking for a coffee flavor to transport you to a tropical island, this is it.

Many purchasers complimented the balance of the flavors, noting that, unlike many other coconut-flavored coffees on the market, the Starbucks Toasted Coconut Mocha Coffee Grounds do not have an overpowering coconut taste. The sweetness of the chocolate notes and the deeper notes of the coconut perfectly complement the coffee beans and create a well-balanced cup of coffee. Toasted Coconut Mocha is a limited-time release for the spring season, so grab yourself a bag while you can! Thanks to positive reviews from Starbucks lovers everywhere, we're hopeful this one will return again next year.

5. Blonde Sunrise Blend

While medium-roast coffee tends to dominate the market (even Starbucks' original House Blend is medium-roast), in recent years, requests from consumers for lighter-roast coffee blends have increased significantly. While it is a common misconception that darker or "stronger" tasting coffee has more caffeine, the truth is actually the opposite. The lighter a roast is, the more caffeine it contains, making blonde roasts the group with the most caffeine. For those looking for both an extra caffeine boost and a lighter, more approachable flavor profile, Starbucks blonde roast coffee is definitely for you.

The chain's answer to this market demand is the Starbucks Blonde Sunrise Blend Coffee Grounds. Light, smooth, and approachable with subtle notes of chocolate, the Blonde Sunrise Blend uses lightly roasted Latin American coffee beans. Many purchasers praised the blend's approachability and its lack of bitterness that many darker roast blends tend to have. If you often find yourself complaining that medium or dark roast blends are too bitter or burnt-tasting, then the Blonde Sunrise Blend should be next on your list.

4. Caffe Verona

The Starbucks' Caffe Verona blend actually has a long and storied history with the brand. One of the oldest blends, Starbucks has been serving it up since 1975 in its original Seattle location. However, it wasn't always known as Caffe Verona. Back in the day, it was originally called Jake's Blend, followed by 80/20 Blend because of its recipe. No matter the name it was served under, it never stopped being a favorite among customers, and today, Starbucks lovers can even make it in the convenience of their own homes.

The Starbucks Caffe Verona Cofee Grounds are on the darker roast side with notes of dark cocoa and caramelized sugar. It is made from multi-origin beans from both the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. Purchasers have complemented the blend's strong, robust flavor and praised it as a great lower-caffeine option when compared to typical medium roasts (without being too dark). If you're looking to transition from medium roasts into stronger coffee flavors, then this blend is a great option for you.

3. Italian Roast

One of the darkest roasts the brand has to offer, Starbucks' Italian Roast brings rich flavors to the table. It's made to be darker than the brand's espresso roast, but without the smokiness brought out in the brand's French Roast. With rich dark chocolate notes and sweet undertones of marshmallow flavor, the Italian roast offers depth and complexity in every cup.

The Starbucks Italian Roast Coffee Grounds are made with multi-origin beans, coming from both the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. Purchasers have praised its subtle sweetness and low acidity. Rich and bold without being too overpowering, the blend is great for dark roast lovers who are still looking to avoid the bitterness or heavy smokiness that some dark roast blends have. If you're on the hunt for a darker roast coffee blend that still has a hint of sweetness, then Starbucks' Italian Roast may be a great option for you.

2. Sumatra

Full-bodied, smooth, and lacking acidity, Starbucks' Sumatra roast offers a unique coffee-drinking experience. The blend's earthy and herbal notes offer a hint of spice. These grounds are sourced from the island of Sumatra in Indonesia, where they get their name. The Starbucks Sumatra Coffee Grounds are on the darker side of the coffee roasting spectrum but remain closer to the middle than many other dark roast coffees. This means the coffee's flavor profile is lighter and more approachable than extremely dark blends like Italian roast, espresso roast, and French roast. 

Many fans have complimented its light floral and herbal notes for bringing brightness to the dark brew. Some purchasers are even requesting that Starbucks bring back the decaf version of Sumatra so they can drink it at any time of day because they love it so much. If you're looking for a dark roast coffee that is still approachable and can be bold without being overly heavy or "burnt" tasting, then you may want to give Starbucks Sumatra a try.

1. French Roast

As the darkest roast the brand has to offer, the Starbucks French Roast has intensity, depth, and smokiness to rival all others. Another one of the brand's original blends, Starbucks' French Roast has been around since the company's inception. With sweet and smoky caramel notes, we find that French roast brings a unique flavor that is unlike any other roast Starbucks has to offer.

The blend's special roasting process contributes to its depth and smokiness. In order to get each batch perfectly roasted, a master roaster is said to watch the beans and correctly time the process down to the second. Otherwise, the roaster will be left with beans that could burst into flames and create a bitter, burnt taste no longer fit for consumption. The beans sourced for the French Roast are multi-origin and come from both the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America. 

This blend has stood the test of time, garnering popularity since the 1970s for a reason. Purchasers praise its strong, bold flavors and count on it as a part of their morning routine. If you're a big fan of dark roasts and are always looking to go darker and stronger, then this is the perfect blend for you.