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Which bottled, canned coffees are best?

June 6, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Think people have enough coffee options? Apparently not. Sales of ready-to-drink coffees are heating up, with more people buying bottled and canned coffees. Consumer Reports tested to see which chilled coffee concoction might be a good way to get the shot of java you're craving.Whether you like your coffee hot or cold, some people can't imagine a day without it. Dedicated coffee drinkers say it's the only thing that gets them up in the morning. Some even say it's their favorite "food" -- that might be a stretch.

More companies - from well-known Starbucks to lesser-known Bolthouse Farms - are offering canned and bottled coffee drinks. Consumer Reports' Leslie Ware says these drinks pack a lot more than caffeine.

"Coffee drinks can have lots of calories and sugar. The ones we tested per serving had 100 to 180 calories," said Ware.

And they had 17 to 31 grams of sugar. Consumer Reports, which has been testing coffee for decades, had sensory panelists taste test ready-to-drink coffees. While all the coffees did very well, only Starbucks Doubleshot Espresso & Cream rated excellent.

"Starbucks Doubleshot had a nice balance of sweet coffee and rich dairy flavors. But it had the most fat of any of the products we tested," Ware said.

So you can enjoy these drinks -- but be careful not to enjoy them too often. And if you want to cut down on fat and calories, there's always the old-fashioned brewed cup of coffee.

Consumer Reports says another grab-and-go coffee drink that you might want to try is the Caribou Coffee Iced Plus Espresso. While it's not quite as tasty as the Starbucks Doubleshot, it has fewer calories and just half a gram of fat per serving.


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