When people think about good coffee they usually think about the quality of the bean. That’s correct, of course. Nothing else will do for a great cup of coffee other than using the best coffee beans
But when you walk the aisles of your local grocery store, you’ll notice the endless array of coffee. The choice is endless and confusing. From rich roasted to organic coffee beans. Single origin coffee to brands claiming to have the strongest coffee. All these options can feel overwhelming.
Coffee comes from the Arabica and Robusta species. There are more than 100 unique coffee strains. At SoloEspresso we are here to guide you through this intricate world. Whether you brew on the way to work or are a coffee expert, this article will guide you to pick the best coffee each day.
At a Glance: Our Coffee Beans Top Picks
The Best Coffee Beans Reviews
Ground Premium Hawaiian Coffee – Koa Coffee
Kona coffee is one of the best coffee strains, not only in the United States but also in the world. Farmers grow the beans on the slopes of Mauna Lau and Hualalai volcanoes. The altitudes reach 3,000 feet. These rich growing conditions yield complex flavors that make the coffee from this region a standard for excellence.
The price per pound of Kona coffee isn’t cheap, but the world-class flavors justify the cost. People that get a medium or dark-roast ground premium Hawaiian coffee from Koa Coffee will get the treat of a chocolaty medium-bodied beverage. Make sure when you buy a bag to buy from Hawaiian sellers. This ensures you’re getting an authentic experience and taste.
Kona also has a unique grading system for coffee beans. The highest mark is Extra Fancy, which includes ten percent or less defects per bag, followed by Fancy and No. Besides to whole coffee beans, Koa Coffee offers pre-ground varieties as well.
These propriety blends of 100% Kona coffee beans come in a grind tailored for most coffee consumers. The complexion is granular and sits in the middle of the grind spectrum.
Dark Roast Coffee Beans – Koffee Kult
There are plenty of ways for someone to describe Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast Coffee Beans. Gourmet. Artisanal. 100% Arabica. Low acidity. This fresh roasted coffee won the number one for strong, bold flavor.
Koffee Kult hand roasts each batch of coffee. They achieve some of the best coffee blends and single-origin coffee on the market. The company is in Hollywood, FL, but they get their distinctive blend from Colombian, Sumatran, and Brazilian beans. They then roast the beans on-site to get a rich dark roast without oil.
In this way the coffee has a smooth and balanced flavor profile.
If you are the kind of person who likes cocoa and cinnamon or a sleek, yet strong body, Koffee Kult's Dark Roast Coffee Beans is for you.
Consumers use these coffee beans for anything from espressos to pour-overs to AeroPresses to Cold Brew Coffee. The only limit to enjoying this coffee bean is in the imagination.
People who invest in Koffee Kult coffee will enjoy a rich flavor that is reminiscent of dark chocolate. The fact that it comes from a family-owned and operated coffee roaster (who makes their beans with care for the environment) is a bonus.
El Salvador Peaberry Coffee – Volcanica Coffee
Growing coffee in volcanic mountains regions yields some of the best coffee possible. That is the philosophy that drives Volcanica Coffee Company. They strive to harvest beans from the fertile soils and cool climates that only exist at high elevations around volcanoes.
Volcanica Coffee’s El Salvador Peaberry Coffee is a single origin bean from the region of Santa Barbara. According to the company, the peaberry coffee bean only makes up five percent of the crop from the area. So, the intensive aroma and remarkable tasting notes of the coffee beans are perfect for coffee lovers.
One of the perks of peaberry coffee is that the beans are more straightforward to roast than flat berries because they are rounder shapes. This complexion allows the coffee beans to rotate in the coffee roaster. So, peaberry beans have a unique flavor, even compared to other coffee beans from the same harvest.
Each batch of El Salvador Peaberry Coffee is fresh roasted in a state of the art roasting facility in Atlanta. The single-origin organic coffee is then packaged and shipped to coffee aficionados across the country. Best of all, this 100 percent peaberry coffee also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction guarantee.
Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend – Café Don Pablo
Medium-dark roast lovers rejoice at the sight of the five-pound bags of Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend by Café Don Pablo. The blend delivers a low acid flavor with a silky smooth cocoa finish. They package each bag of coffee beans for greatest freshness and quality, so consumers can get the best coffee beans possible.
Café Don Pablo uses a unique blend of Brazilian, Guatemalan, and Colombian coffee beans. Each bean that goes into the bag is 100 percent Arabica and GMO-free. Café Don Pablo grow, pick, and process their beans in an organic way, with more than one million trees in their South American locations alone.
Furthermore, Café Don Pablo never blends Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Nor do they allow past crops or defective beans into the mix. These subtle measures add up to a sizeable difference in quality when it comes to the brew of the final product.
Before getting your hands on this medium-dark roast, Café Don Pablo has to prepare the coffee beans in the roaster. The company uses small artisanal batches for roasting that develop in sight, smell, and sound until they reach the best complexion. The investment in time and effort yields a caramelization tone from the natural sugars of the bean that gives the coffee a sweet aftertaste.
Café Don Pablo’s Gourmet Coffee Signature Blends works for drip machines, French presses, espresso, hand drips, and more. Regardless of how you brew your cup, it should be smooth, rich, and flavorful.
Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee – Death Wish Coffee Co.
A pound of whole coffee beans from the brand Death Wish Coffee Company delivers on multiple fronts. First, the product is USDA certified organic with a perfect dark roast. That alone makes it worth its weight in gold. Second, you will get a jolt of caffeine as this coffee (from the Death Wish organic strain) promises to be The World’s Strongest Coffee.
When something packs this much of a punch, many people might expect a stomach-churning experience to be at the other end. That is not the case. While coffee from the Death Wish organic beans is an intense and bold blend of Arabica and Robusta coffee, the flavor profile is always smooth. That means drinkers can enjoy subtle notes of cherry and chocolate instead of bitterness.
Besides the high caffeine content and fair trade organic certification, Death Wish Coffee Company uses a premium roasting system. The coffee roasters use a unique combination of temperature and time variation for a slow dark roast. The result is a delicious yet low acidity and strong tasting notes.
When it comes to coffee, Death Wish's organic and quality commitment is so strong that they use only USDA Organic organic beans and only roast in small batches. In fact, every batch that the company roasts is in 65-pound intervals or less. This method allows Death Wish to preserve the quality and taste of the coffee beans from the roast date.
Get the energy you need to make it through the day with a bag of dark roasted coffee beans that packs twice the amount of caffeine per cup. When it comes to packing as much value into the price, Death Wish organic coffee is one of the best options on the market.
100% Colombian Peaks – Eight O’Clock Ground Coffee
The odds are you have seen 100% Colombian Peaks from Eight O’Clock Ground Coffee at your local grocery store. The medium roasted coffee delivers a complex flavor and full-body finish. Moreover, farmers grow the coffee beans in lush volcanic soils in the high altitudes of Colombian mountains for greatest taste.
Eight O’Clock Coffee has been around for more than 150 years. Since opening its doors, the company has brought coffee lovers high quality, 100 percent Arabica beans.
After they have harvested the coffee beans, the company performs the roasting at their Maryland facility under the guidance and instruction of master roasters.
The rich taste from the roasting process makes 100% Colombian Peaks one of the best coffee beans there is. Consumers can enjoy wine-esque notes that come with an elegant aroma and a full body profile. The kosher certification of the coffee beans doesn't hurt, either.
100% Colombian Peaks appeals to first time brewers and coffee aficionados alike. The reasonable price, mild roast, and commitment to high-quality sourcing, provide consumers with a drink they are sure to love.
Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee – Death Wish Coffee Co.
Death Wish Coffee Company packs a wallop of flavor and caffeine into its brews like no one else. They "harness the power of Odin with this masterful artisan roast", that comes through with a blast of strong coffee taste and a smooth finish.
Death Wish says, “With great flavor and incredible aroma, this blend will bring you back from the nights you thought you’d never wake up from.”
Death Wish also emphasizes fair trade and organic coffee beans in their harvests. This is due, in part, to their selecting only the highest quality coffee beans for their blends. It is also because they want to produce coffee through sustainable practices.
There are significant benefits to the coffee when a company takes the time to do this. When the USDA does not deem a coffee certified organic, it means the plant gets fertilized with synthetic nitrogen and phosphates. As a result, the compounds deplete the soil of nutrients, and leave toxic chemicals in the ground.
Investing in organic products is, so, beneficial to the end-user. Caffeine consumers enjoy the smooth, yet bold taste of Death Wish's Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee, and rest assured knowing that the product will be around for many years to come.
The Original Whole Bean Coffee – Bulletproof
Bulletproof is the most health-centric coffee on this list. The medium-dark roast comes with certified organic beans grown in the heart of Central America. Additionally, Bulletproof targets people who care about the consumption of toxins or maintain specific diets.
The clean and caramel taste of The Original Whole Bean Coffee is no accident. Bulletproof took an entire decade to identify “every step of performance-robbing toxin formation in coffee," and then find a consistent source. This methodical resource helped mitigate mold toxins grown on coffee beans that can contribute to health issues.
The meticulous preparation doesn't end there. Each bean is grown on a high altitude estate in Guatemala that offers rich and fertile soil for healthy beans. Once the coffee beans reach their perfect point for harvesting, Bulletproof has the best coffee beans handpicked, processed, handled, and roasted.
It is only after the best beans go through proprietary lab testing that the company will release the final product to the market. While the FDA has not verified the statements, Bulletproof says the coffee helps people stay within a keto diet, improve mental acuity, and lower body toxin levels. The coffee also comes with one of the most distinctive preparation styles of any beans on this list.
The first step is to get a blend and add eight ounces of brewed coffee, along with one to two tablespoons of unsalted butter or ghee. Then add one serving of Bulletproof Brain Octane or XCT oil, or as much as two tablespoons. After blending, you can add collagen protein before enjoying the final frothy drink.
Mushroom Ground Coffee – Four Sigmatic
If you want an ethically sourced coffee that also packs health benefits, look no further than Four Sigmatic’s Mushroom Ground Coffee. The coffee markets itself as being compatible with vegan, paleo, keto, dairy-free, and gluten-free diets. Additionally, it does not contain fillers or additives.
Now, we know what you're thinking: "Mushrooms are not something I want to taste in my coffee." Don't worry. There is no mushroom taste. These coffee grounds taste like, well, coffee. Four Sigmatic even recommends adding a splash of coconut milk or almond cream for a touch of creaminess in the body.
The mushroom name comes from the organic Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushroom powder that Four Sigmatic mixes into the blend. The 500 mg per serving is meant to improve mental sharpness, focus, and concentration as well as enhance the immune system. The FDA has not yet verified the accuracy of these claims.
The effort to curate a healthy and organic product extends to the sourcing side as well. Four Sigmatic gets its best coffee bean from the La Paz region of Honduras, which is more than a mile above sea level. The hospitable environment helps cultivate a bean that results in a fair roast with a balanced flavor and no finishing bitterness.
Four Sigmatic pre-grinds its coffee beans to ensure the maximum effectiveness of the product. The delicate bittersweet complexion comes in a medium-coarse blend, which makes it ideal for Chemex coffee makers, Clever Drippers, and Café Solo Brewers.
What You Need to Know Before You Buy
For many of us, drinking coffee is a daily ritual. We take solace in the taste and type of coffee, even if everything around us is chaotic. That is why in our reviews it is vital to find good coffee beans brand for your preferences and palate.
Of course, there is a plethora of factors to consider when it comes to making the perfect elixir. For instance, you have to consider where the farmers have grown the coffee beans, the number of blends, the acidity, and the cost. Before diving into the nitty-gritty of finding the best coffee beans, here is a brief overview to acquaint you with the subject.
Types of Beans
As we mentioned at the top of the article, there are two prominent types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta. Arabica is originally an Ethiopian strain that is now grown all over the world while Robusta started in the Congo and currently inhabits Africa and Asia. There are other less significant commercial types as well as mixed blends and roasts.
Arabica is the more popular strain of the two powerhouses, in part because of its wide range of flavor notes. Depending on the variety, consumers can taste anything from sweet and soft notes to sharp and tangy ones. It doesn’t hurt that when the coffee beans are unroasted they smell fruity and sugary.
When you drink coffee, the odds are that you are drinking Arabica or a blend of it. Part of that popularity is traceable to the physical differences between the two. For instance, Arabica contains 60 percent more lipids and double the sugar of Robusta.
The drawbacks to Arabica, though, come into play on the production side. The coffee bean is relatively fragile and requires a narrow range of climates, specifically ones that are rich in nutrients, shade, sun, and moisture. If you have ever wondered why so many coffee companies grow their beans in subtropical or volcanic climates, this is the reason.
Furthermore, Arabica coffee beans are vulnerable to attack. Weather-wise, they need to stay at high altitudes and cannot handle severe temperature drops or low-maintenance. They are also suspect to pests like cicadas, borer beetles, and flies.
Robusta coffee beans are significantly less popular than Arabica, mainly because of the taste. Some people have said they taste like burnt rubber, which is not a marketable flavor. If you have had Robusta in your coffee, it was likely part of a blend.
People can attribute the taste difference between Arabica and Robusta to the fact that Robusta has less sugar. Conversely, it has nearly double the caffeine content of Arabica. This makeup is what makes Robusta the best coffee bean for espresso.
Robusta has managed to stick around for so long because the plant is less labor-intensive, has higher yields, and is more durable against pests. In fact, the coffee seeds act as a toxin to many bugs. Many farmers use mono-cropping to grow Robusta, which also makes it a more cost-effective variety.
Ultimately, Robusta is most frequently used in coffee blends as a filler, cost-saving measure, or caffeine enhancer. Roughly 40 percent of the global cultivation of coffee is Robusta. The most concentrated areas of growth are in Papua New Guinea, Africa, Vietnam, and Indonesia.
The third significant type of coffee is a blend of Arabica and Robusta. Thus, many companies blend different strains of Arabica based on the individual flavor profiles. Depending on the mix, consumers can cater to the body, flavor, notes, and roast of the coffee to their preferences.
For instance, the Death Wish coffee blends mentioned above include sizeable portions of Robusta in their mixes. That is part of their secret to making The World’s Strongest Coffee. Having Arabica in there, though, keeps the mixture delicious with chocolate notes.
Kona coffee is synonymous with Hawaii as the strain of Arabica grows on the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. The climate is textbook when it comes to growing conditions, which makes Kona one of the best coffee beans in the world. Kona coffee is also one of the most expensive.
Currently, there are nearly 800 coffee farms in the state. While there is some variety, the beans generally have a slightly syrupy body and floral aromas. Companies like Koa Coffee, Volcanica Coffee, and Keala’s Hawaiian Coffee are known for having authentic coffee from Hawaii.
Jamaica doesn’t have the name cache of Italy or Ethiopian. Still, the country produces some of the best coffee in the world. The cream of the crop comes from the Blue Mountains, which tower over the city of Kingston.
Jamaican coffee has a distinctive smooth texture. Drinkers can also detect rich and nutty flavors that are low in overall acidity. If you want to try the real deal, know that authentic Jamaican coffee will have a Blue Mountain Coffee certification and you will understand why Jamaica is considered one of the best coffee beans country.
Kenya is one of the largest suppliers of coffee in the world as it sells to brands such as Starbucks and retailers on Amazon. The beans are robust, yet sweet with an intense profile comparable to strains in Ethiopia. Many Kenyan coffee beans exhibit flavors of winey richness and citrus. We have a full article dedicated to Kenya coffee beans if you want to know more.
The distinctive profile is one of the reasons why many people believe Kenya has some of the best coffee in the world. The easiest way to get your hands on a cup of Kenyan coffee is to visit your local Starbucks. You can also check out Coffee Bean Direct.
The elevation of 4,000 to 6,000 feet combined with moderate temperatures and fertile soil has made Colombia a destination for coffee lovers. The country grows 100 percent Arabica beans with hundreds of thousands of families invested in the industry. Many Colombian coffee beans come from small family-run operations in the countryside.
Flavor-wise, Colombia’s coffee beans are distinct in their flavors of chocolate, nuts, fruits, and acid. Of course, these tastes vary from region to region. Don Pablo, Eight O’Clock, and Volcanica Coffee are a few of the companies that offer bags of pure Colombian coffee.
When people want bright and vibrant coffee, they select Tanzanian beans. The medium-bodied coffee comes with flavors ranging from chocolate to black tea to kiwi. Additionally, you may detect notes similar to tobacco.
Coffee bean farmers reside primarily in Meru, Oldeani, Pare, and the Moshi district. These locations are specifically advantageous because of the altitude and ideal drying conditions. One of the most famous Tanzanian coffees is from Lavanta, which has a seamless balance of sweetness and acid.
Sumatra is a region of Indonesia known for some of the best tasting gourmet coffee. That includes strains such as Mandheling, Ankola, and Lintong. These varieties are low in acidity and have distinctive earthy and herbal tones.
Of course, each strain is unique as Mandheling leans more towards chocolate while others have essences of cinnamon and nutmeg. One of the catalysts behind the great flavor is the consistent elevation above 2,500 feet. Whether you are brewing an espresso, latte, or cappuccino, Sumatran coffee beans are sure to provide some of the highest quality and most reliable flavor.
Indonesia is so diverse in its coffee growing regions and strains that this section alone could be a book. That said, the primary coffee-growing areas in the country are Bali, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Java, Timor, and Papua. Combined, the regions produce more than a billion pounds of beans per year.
Generally speaking, the coffee beans are known for a full-body complexion, low acidity, and rich flavors. If you want to get your hands on some Indonesian coffee, you have no shortage of options. Koffee Kult has a Sumatra Mandheling, and Volcanica has a Sumatra Gayo to name a few.
Coffee Arabica was born in Ethiopia, and the country is still among the foremost coffee producers today. Ethiopians have grown and harvested the plant for millennia. They also have one of the most diverse genetic pools of coffee.
Coffee still grows wild in Ethiopia, so there are likely many undiscovered varieties still out there. Ethiopian coffee is known for its velvety body and exceptional floral aromas. Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee and Harrar’s Single Origin Ethiopian are two of the best examples of this style.
Single vs. Blend Origin
The names say it all. Single-origin coffee comes for an individual region or country. These beans may even come from the same harvest or farm. Because of this narrow sourcing, single-origin coffees can have limited availability.
Blending combines different strains or types of coffee beans. It is not uncommon to see a single coffee blend having upwards of eight or nine sources. Blended coffee also tends to cost less overall.
While acidity and bitterness don’t seem like desirable flavors, they can provide the accents that bring out the best in your coffee. Acidity, for instance, can bring a bright and fresh flavor to the brew. Citric acid is a popular option as it provides notes similar to lemons, oranges, and grapefruits.
Bitterness is a straightforward taste that works to balance sweet notes. Of course, too much bitterness can be unbearable. If you have to avoid brewing bitter coffee, avoid over roasting or over grinding the beans.
The brew method that you select will depend on the filter, grind, texture, experience, and procedure of the brewing assuming you want to use coffee beans or ground coffee and not k cups or pods. The most common method is the pour-over, which works best for medium grinds and a tea-like mouthfeel. These are also considered to be an entry-level technique.
French press is also a simple and common brewing method. It involves an immersion brewing method and coarse grain coffee. More complex variations include the siphon and AeroPresses.
Organic – Non-Organic
Whether you opt for organic or conventional coffee is a matter of personal preference. Traditional coffee will use fertilizers and chemicals during production to limit the impact of pests, which in turn helps lower costs. Organic coffee eschews chemical treatments as a way of producing a natural and supposedly healthier product.
What coffee beans are best for espresso?
The best coffee beans for espresso are a mix of Arabica and Robusta. A mixture will give consumers the intense aroma and robust flavor they want with the benefits of caffeine, respectively. Lavazza, for instance, uses an 80/20 blend in its Super Crema Espresso. If you love brewing your espresso with on the stovetop, here are the best coffee beans for moka pot reviews.
What coffee beans are best for French Press?
In our opinion the best coffee beans for French Press lean towards 100 percent Arabica coffee beans. Koffee Kult offers a variety with a dark roast that has hints of cinnamon and cocoa. The key with any tasty French press brew, though, is to make sure the grind is coarse for maximum efficiency.
What coffee beans does Starbucks use?
Starbucks uses coffee beans from across the world, including farms in Latin America, Africa, and Asia. The lighter varieties, such as Veranda, Breakfast Blend, and Pike's Place, all come from Latin America while the dark blends, such as the Italian and French Roasts, come from Asia. The company also has stated its commitment to getting the best Arabica strains possible.
Can coffee beans go stale?
Yes, coffee can go stale. Generally speaking, coffee beans last for three to five months, or up to two years in the freezer. You can extend the life expectancy of your coffee beans by placing the contents in a cool, dry, and airtight container. If you use coffee powder, it can last even less. Also consider that fresh ground coffee is a better option than pre ground.
Where are the best Arabica beans grown?
Where do the best coffee beans come from? It is an almost impossible quest to pick the best coffee bean brand or where the best coffee beans come from. This is because flavors and preferences vary so dramatically. Still, we are going to try to answer this question. Thrillist recently ranked Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, and Costa Rica as the five best countries for coffee beans, thanks in part to the strong presence and history of Arabica coffee.
Can coffee beans be frozen?
Yes, coffee beans can be frozen. When you store coffee, you should limit their exposure to light, moisture, and air. One potential storage location is the freezer. But if you choose this method, make sure the packaging is truly airtight. Frozen coffee can stay fresh for up to two years.
What coffee beans have the most caffeine?
The coffee beans that have most caffeine are Robusta. Most coffee drinkers overwhelmingly think the best coffee beans are Arabica. Robusta beans however are the ones that pack more punch in the caffeine department. That includes 2.2 to 2.7 percent caffeine compared to 1.2 to 1.5 percent from Arabica. There are great decaf coffee beans selections to consider if you want to go decaf, and they also make decaf K Cups for Keurig users
Why are beans roasted?
Roasting a coffee bean can alter the final taste of the product. A light roast will allow for the grainier flavors to shine through while a medium or fair color provides more balance overall. A dark or extra dark roast brings a smokier or more substantial flavor profile. If you wish you can also try to roast the beans at home.
What are the best coffee for cappuccinos?
The best coffee beans for cappuccino are the espresso coffee beans. A cappuccino is an espresso-based coffee mixed with hot milk. The best coffee beans for espresso are pure Arabica or a blend, depending on the flavor profile you want. For instance, light roasts have floral and citrus notes, while dark roasts replace that with scents of nuts, caramel, and chocolate. You can also flavor to the beans yourself if you want a more personal taste.
What type of coffee roast is best?
To answer what type of coffee roast is the best we need to answer the real question behind it: What kinds of coffee flavors do you like? If you want a well-balanced taste that is not overly smoky or acidic, you should go for a medium roast. If you want a heavier or charred flavor, however, dark roast is the way to go. Different roast process is used for white coffee.
Can you eat coffee beans?
The short answer is yes, you can eat coffee beans. There are several different ways to do it. For example eating green coffee beans is not as eating roasted ones or flavored ones. Overall there are also some benefits in doing it. Check out what we have discovered on the topic of eating coffee beans in details in our article.
The essential thing to remember when it comes to coffee is that it is all about personal preference. It doesn’t matter what a coffee snob says, whether or not something tastes good to you is what counts. Hopefully, this article has provided you with a roadmap for finding your favorite brews.
If you are just starting with coffee, we highly recommend trying a couple of different brands. That way, you can get a feel for whether or not you prefer specific roasts, blends, or aromas. Once you get the hang of the basics, then you can try different brewing methods and custom varieties until you've found the perfect brew for you.