10 Best Espresso Beans 2020 – A Complete Buyer’s Guide

Are you looking to have the best coffee experience? Then think espresso beans. Espresso beans are the raw and purest form of caffeine, an excellent body booster. It can be taken in the early hours of the day, during that lunch break or late in the day, depending on the user’s intents. The use of espresso beans to make coffee is dated back to 1884, when Angelo Moriondo from Italy, patented the first-ever espresso machine. The machine brews espresso beans to turn out the coffee we drink.

Although the espresso machine determines, to a large extent, the quality of the coffee produced, the beans used are likewise as critical. In fact, it is the most crucial consideration when it comes to espresso. You could mar the taste of your coffee by using low-quality espresso beans. That’s why you should take out time to find out what espresso beans to go for. I’m glad that’s what you are doing right now. Espresso making requires that you get the correct blend, true crema, the perfect flavor as well as the right beans. Perhaps, you hold the notion that beans are the same. Not true! When it comes to making espresso, all beans are not the same. And that’s why in this post, I will be giving you a detailed guide on all you need to know about getting the best espresso beans.

Best Espresso Beans

How to Choose the Best Espresso Beans

There are a few things to take into account when choosing espresso beans. Although most of them boil down to personal preference, some other factors are paramount and cut across all persons. If you do not know yet what you like or suit you, you may want to try out a couple of different options before settling on what matches your body architecture. Here, I will be offering vital suggestions, with the hope that you will have a guided blueprint on what exactly you want.

Roast

The roast is a very critical factor when talking about the flavor of the espresso beans. It is your preferred flavor that informs your decision on the beans to get. If you like your coffee to have a mild, faint flavor, you should go for a lighter roast. However, coffee from lightly roasted bean may lose the coffee feeling if mixed with other things like milk and sugar. If, on the other hand, you prefer your coffee to have a harsher and bitter taste, then a blend of a darker roast is your best bet. Since this is harsher, the coffee flavor is still preserved even upon mixing with other ingredients.

Freshness

Whether it be bread, cake, biscuits, etc., stale food items have a diminished quality and are not as tasty as when freshly produced. The same thing applies to espresso beans. The coffee flavor rapidly diminishes just after roasting. Therefore, to get the best taste of flavor, go for the freshest beans. It is easy to figure out which is fresh and which isn’t. Just check the printed roast date on the label of the package.

Typically, the coffee is best served within 7 to 14 days after roasting. You really don’t want to go for one after three weeks of roasting. The decline in the flavor quality begins to occur two weeks after roasting. This is worth noting.

Origin

Looking at the package of the coffee bean, you can see the source of the bean. For most packaging, it is boldly written below the brand name. The origin tells that origin where the bean was roasted. In some cases, a particular coffee brand may have various sources. For instance, Café Joe coffee bean has products tagged Brazil Single Origin, Colombia Single Origin, Costa Rica Single Origin, and Tanzania Single Origin. This means that the product was made in those countries. Due to factors like temperature difference, climate, air humidity, and other atmospheric conditions in each country, the coffee tastes differently.

Single Origin or Blends

Single-origin means that the beans originate from one source. They are quite different from blends in terms of taste, especially. Single-origin beans have stronger or lighter flavor depending on the country where it was produced. In contrast, blends usually have a more poised and balanced taste.

Ground or Whole

You could choose whether to go for pre-ground or whole beans. Beans that are pre-ground do not necessarily require you a lot of time to brew. But pre-ground beans begin to lose its flavor immediately after grinding. So, if you know you would have time to brew your beans yourself, you should get the whole beans and ground them when you are about to use it. This way, you savor the total flavor of the bean.

Certifications

There are many espresso beans brands out there, and it may be challenging to determine which was produced under standard conditions and with the right specifications. One viable way of being sure is by checking for certifications. You really should go for one with a certification than with one with none at all. You can check for some of these batches on the labels.

  • Organic
  • UTZ Certified
  • Fair Trade Certified
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified
  • Shade Grown

You may also be mindful of the aroma and color of the espresso beans.

Now that you have a good idea of what to look out for in espresso beans, I have compiled a list of the best espresso beans you can get.

Top 10 Best Espresso Beans

ModelRating
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend4.8
JO ESPRESSO: 12 oz, Medium Dark Roast4.8
Kicking Horse Coffee, 454 Horse Power, Dark Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 lb4.7
Valhalla Java Ground Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company4.9
Verena Street 5 Pound Espresso Beans, Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean4.8
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans4.7
Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee, 5-Pound Bag4.7
Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee - Classic Italian Espresso4.8
Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee, The World's Strongest Coffee4.9
Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee4.6

1. Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Lavanna is reputed for producing and distributing the best quality espresso beans since 1895. Every bag of Lavanna Espresso beans is filled with the best-flavored coffee beans in town. Lavanna generally makes use of 20% Robustas and 80% Arabicas. It is a blend of Arabica collections from Columbia, India and Brazil, and Robustas from Indonesia and Vietnam. This beautiful mixture produces a soft creamy and highly flavored espresso roast, which is perfect for lattes and cappuccinos.

The Lavanna Super Crema Espresso is a sweetened and brighter coffee with a medium roast. Its flavor note is honey, dried fruits and almonds. So, expect a light taste of almonds and honey, which is perfect to accompany light breakfasts. You definitely would relish every sip of the espresso bean coffee. Because it is whole grained, it is prepared with an espresso machine. It is good practice to have a particular machine for this so that the flavor would be preserved.

These beans pack a 4.4 rating on Amazon at the time of filing this report. It is ranked number 1 in roasted coffee beans and number 9 in Grocery and Gourmet Food.

Pros

  • A perfect blend of chocolate, and almond fruits
  • Nice aroma and extract
  • Brilliant package

Cons

  • Some people may find it too mild

2. JO ESPRESSO: 12 oz, Medium Dark Roast

Jo Espresso is a reasonably dark roast espresso bean, available in whole grain organic Arabica. They are Fair Trade Certified and a USDA Certified Organic Espresso. The producers tag the finish as elegant as they boast of buying only from the best 2% of Certified Organic raw coffee worldwide. The espresso bean is known for its decaffeinated roast, which is suitable for people with panic or anxiety problems or other health issues. It’s low caffeine content also allows you to take coffee in a relatively higher amount with no side effects. The Jo Espresso beans has a nice and creamy taste and are relatively cheaper.

The espresso beans are made with no additives. It is decaffeinated employing the Swiss water process. The espresso bean is also completely unflavored. The beans are oily and with dark rich crema, proven to last longer when brewed, among its other counterparts.

Pros

  • It is decaffeinated
  • Very affordable
  • It has an elegant taste and finish even without adding flavors.

Cons

  • It may not be everyone’s favorite.
  • It sometimes can get too oily for your machine blades.

3. Kicking Horse Coffee, 454 Horse Power, Dark Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 lb

The name itself gives the feeling that it has a strong and robust flavor. That’s precisely what the 454 Horse Power is. It has a black packaging with which you can use to tell this is a bean for veterans. It is a blend of Indonesia, South and Central America, with a touch of nutmeg and cacao nibs. Its heavy tasting note is of sweet tobacco, and its finish, dark and juicy.

The 454 Horse Power beans are on the best espresso beans you can find in the Canadian market. It has the right balance of flavor with an earthy and vibrant brew but velvety savor that keeps you coming back for a cup. It is important to emphasize that the caffeine content is strong and newbies in the art of taking coffee should steer clear of this one.

Pros

  • It has a high level of caffeine concentration
  • 100% organic
  • It is at an inexpensive price point.
  • The Rocky Mountain roast is arguably the best quality in Canada

Cons

  • It is not appropriate for people who can’t deal with dark, strong brews.
  • It is advised not to be taken frequently.

4. Valhalla Java Ground Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company

This is an espresso beans by Death Wish Coffee that prides itself on an impressive artisan beans roast. The beans are carefully selected and roasted to give a superb and compelling taste. The notes are of both nut and chocolate, inundated with a refined and sophisticated flavor. A cup of self-brewed Valhalla Java Ground coffee is enough to convince you never to get already made coffee anymore. Its flavor, coupled with an excellent aroma, makes it just perfect.

The caffeine content makes you wide awake if taken at night but leaves you with the feeling as though you just woke up refreshed from a sleep you never had. It has a stunning caffeine rush that energizes you and keeps you hyper. The finish is smooth and has no burnt chemical particulates or aftertaste whatsoever. It has a cumulative 4.4-star rating from over 4000 customer reviews on Amazon.

Pros

  • It is good for staying awake and energized all night
  • The finish is super smooth, fine and fantastic

Cons

  • It is relatively expensive

5. Verena Street 5 Pound Espresso Beans, Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean

This espresso beans have a nourished body with a sweet complexity and nice creamy. It is certified by one of the highly acknowledged Kosher certifications in the world, the Orthodox Union. It’s velvetiness, yet full roast bean is excellent for both course grind coffee and fine grind espresso. It is a mix of various origins and roasts levels, which gives it a unique flavor that cannot be replicated in any single bean type.

The beans are fairly dark roast, the coffee is well decaffeinated and is without any unpleasant taste or aroma. If you are like butterscotch and alcohol, you would like this bean especially, since it has a sharp liquor taste and aroma.

Pros

  • It has a reasonably cheap price
  • Its flavor is strong and it smells amazing.

Cons

  • Its taste may not be palatable for everyone

6. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans

For coffee drinkers that drink rarely, the Koffee Kult Espresso Beans is one of your best alternatives. Koffee cult is owned by a family from Florida. Their beans are usually hand roasted in a serene environment and are done in tiny batches to ensure the highest obtainable freshness. The beans are obtained from Columbia, Guatemala and Sumatra to produce a low-acidity and smooth fine coffee. It’s reputed dark roast is sourced organically and is certified as Fair Trade.

If you enjoy your coffee with a substantial body and hint of cinnamon, the Koffee Kult is the perfect blend for you. The beans can be prepared as espresso, in a French press or retail coffee makers. These beans are great if you have sophisticated espresso machines that gets jammed by oily roasts as in Death Wish. Its flavor is slightly sweet but you can be sure to get some intense caffeination with a heavy body. What’s more? It doesn’t have an aftertaste which makes it a great pick for late-night drink.

Pros

  • It has a low content of acid
  • It is completely organic

Cons

  • It may not give as substantial caffeine boost as the 454 Horse Power

7. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee, 5-Pound Bag

This Italian espresso bean should be your favorite if you like to have an aromatic and enjoyable blend of coffee. The Coffee Bean Direct company, founded about a decade ago, is known for producing and doling out carefully crafted espresso beans with shades of flavor profiles. The Coffee Bean is slowly roasted in line with the company’s peculiar roast procedures, which account for its tasteful flavor and strong aroma. They further make sure that the beans stay fresh for a more extended period by roasting them right away, before packaging.

The Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso is impressively smooth and has very low level of acidic content. The beans are quite oily so you should make sure your espresso machine can bear it without being clogged.

Pros

  • It can quite retain its freshness for a longer period
  • It is perfect for both espressos and milk-based beverages
  • Its flavor is well balanced

Cons

  • The beans can get too oily for your machine

8. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee – Classic Italian Espresso

This classic espresso bean was founded by Eliana and Darron Burke. The company gets its pure Arabica beans from its self-planted trees, earmarked for espresso in South America. The volcanic soil of South America is known for producing the best calibers of Arabica beans in the world. All their beans are hand-roasted and are as well in roasted in small batches to preserve in freshness, value and reliability.

The perfect blend of Sumatra Mandheling and Colombian Supremo combines so well to give it a ravishing flavor after being brewed in the espresso machine. Although the flavor is intricately sophisticated, the coffee is not so overpowering. It is rich, but not too intense.

The Café Don Pablo Classic Italian Espresso actually leave an aftertaste, although it is faint. Every Café Don Pablo espresso bean is certified.

Pros

  • Its amazing roasting technique removes bitterness and makes it a balanced beverage to taste
  • Arabica beans are self-planted and are known to be one of the best in the world
  • The coffee is certified organic

Cons

  • It makes use of only Arabica beans, no blend
  • It leaves an aftertaste, however faint.

9. Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee, The World’s Strongest Coffee

This particular one claims to be to the most potent coffee bean in the world. Well, it does not make you have death wishes but makes you want to live yet another day. Just like its 454 Horse Power, its black packaging gives you the impression that it is for the firm and stronghearted. Death Wish has a stronger kick and very high caffeine level. It is designed for people whose thirst is not met by the 454 Horse Power.

Interestingly, the drink tastes delicious and is very enjoyable. The coffee originates from Peru, is organic and has a very velvety texture. There are notes of cherry and chocolates in the coffee which gives it the nice flavor. The coffee is highly caffeinated and is really dark roast. If you are not used to this type of coffee, you may experience a burnt taste after taken it first time.

You can guess, the Death Wish is way more expensive than others in the list. You are strongly advised not to take it late in the day except you are ready to stay awake all night even against your will.

Pros

  • It has high caffeine boost
  • Nice flavor and lovely notes of chocolates
  • It is sourced from Peru and 100% organic

Cons

  • It is freaking expensive.
  • It can be extreme for newbies

10. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee

Here is another popular choice which gives you a fine mix of lightly roasted cholates. The packaging is too inviting but it has risen the ranks to be one of the best espresso beans. Its flavor and taste make it more compelling. Just a sip and you won’t ever want it to finish. It is rich, sweet and tasteful with a note of a perfect mix of chocolate, dark fruits, fudge – you would love. The roast is light and is not too oily, making it suitable for most espresso machines, especially the automatic ones.

The composition of the ingredients is balanced and in the right proportion. The Stumptown Haribender Espresso last longer and has unparalleled smoothness. The espresso bean however isn’t organic.

Pros

  • Its taste is just unique
  • It stays fresh for more extended periods
  • Its composition is balanced

Cons

  • Some may find the many flavors crushing.
  • It is not organic

Best Espresso Beans

FAQs

Why is espresso better than drip coffee?

Espresso is more specific. It gives a richer and more concentrated richness of the particular ingredients. You also get the opportunity to prepare it to your taste and specification.

Why are espresso beans oily sometimes?

Oily espresso beans are due to the chemical reaction that takes place when oxygen combines with the internal shell of a coffee bean. If a bean is oily, however, roasting it can dry it up a little. Generally, the lighter roast is not always as oily as the darker roast.

Do espresso beans go bad?

Just like any other food, espresso beans go bad after a while. In this context, bad means getting moist and beginning to form mold. And thus, lose their flavor and quality when kept for too long. To elongate the life of the coffee, you should store in a cool dry place.

What is the appropriate water to coffee ratio for an espresso shot?

For a single shot, the general rule is 30 to 44 ml of water and 7g of coffee. A double shot implies about 75 ml of water to 7g of coffee.

What temperature is best for brewing coffee?

From chemical studies, it is best practice to keep the water temperature at 95 to 98-degree Celsius. Less than this temperature doesn’t allow for sufficient caffeine to be extracted from the espresso beans. Above this temperature causes a considerable increase in the acidity.

What type of espresso machine should I go for?

You should buy a pumped-powered machine rather than a steam-driven machine. The pump-powered machines are relatively fast and way efficient. They are also stronger as they can get to 9 atmospheres in contrast to others to barely reach 3 atmospheres.

(Read more:

Best Portable Espresso Maker

Best Stovetop Espresso Maker)

Conclusion

There you go. I have listed the factors you should consider when selecting your espresso beans. Whether you want it intense or mild, dark or light toast, single-origin or blends, you should find your perfect match from the list. I have also listed some of the best espresso beans; you can find the market to ease your difficulty of selection, you would surely find one or two that you love.

You should also try having more than one combination to know which best suits you fully. Begin by getting a good espresso machine, understand the process of brewing, get the best espresso bean in town, and enjoy the goodness the world of caffeine has to offer. You can be assured of a very vibrant morning, with you fired-up for new accomplishments.

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