Some people drink coffee strictly for its ability to infuse caffeine to their brain and jolt them awake. But not you. As a true coffee aficionado, you’re more discerning, so every cup you make must be perfect, a finely tuned marriage of taste, aroma and flavor to bring a happy dance to your mouth.
Real coffee gourmands know that no matter which method of brewing they prefer, the best tasting and most satisfying cup of coffee begins with the beans. That’s right. It’s in the beans.
It just doesn’t make sense to expect something delicious to happen when a coffee is made from inferior beans. Quality beans are not hard to find – it’s choosing the best bean for you that can be a challenge. From a single source to a blend and the roasting technique to the origin of the beans, many factors figure into finding that perfect product to please your palate.
We feature the five best kinds of coffee beans you can buy online. Read on to find the blend that suits your taste.
Top Pick Best Medium-Dark: Counter Culture Coffee Whole Bean Coffee
If light roast coffees are mild and smooth, medium roast coffees are smooth and aromatic, and dark roast coffees are smoky and full bodied, then what can you expect from a medium-dark roasted blend made from beans from Latin America and Africa? Pure coffee perfection.
For a medium-dark roast comprised of washed and natural coffees that always taste fruity, chocolaty and complex, we recommend Counter Culture Coffee – Whole Bean Coffee – Fresh Roasted, Sustainably Farmed (kosher) – Hologram, 12 oz. (1 Bag), for all your coffee needs.
This rich, aromatic blend is sustainably farmed and environmentally sustainable. Comprised of 65 percent Urcunina, Colombia, 13 percent Gede Natural, Ethiopia, 12 percent Muda Natural, Ethiopia and 10 percent Kushikamana, Kenya, these beans come together in a harmony of flavor that will restore your faith in what good coffee tastes like. And while the components change over the seasons, the complex flavors remain fruity, milk chocolate and syrupy with a roast level of 70.
And perhaps one of the best parts is that the coffee is roasted on the day it is shipped – it doesn’t get much fresher than that.
- Sustainably sourced
- Roasted the same day it is shipped
- Certified kosher
- More expensive than other brands for a 12-ounce bag
Top Pick Best Dark Roast Organic: Bulletproof French Kick Whole Bean Coffee
There’s nothing like a dark roast blend to make your toes curl and your heart sing. And when the beans are ethically sourced, hand-picked and organically grown, then the enjoyment factor is off the charts.
We recommend Bulletproof French Kick Whole Bean Coffee, Premium Dark Roast Gourmet Organic Beans, Rainforest Alliance Certified, Perfect for Keto Diet, Upgraded Clean Coffee (12 Ounces) to fulfill all your organic coffee dreams.
This is a delicious dark roast blend that is smooth and sweet with a hint of a smoky aroma, with baking chocolate notes that finishes very clean and has a medium body. The beans are dark roasted in small batches in the United States under the strictest conditions, which minimizes the formation of toxins from the roasting process to provide you with a clean, delicious cup of coffee.
Upgraded beans are harvested in Central America from passive organic estates without chemicals (herbicides, pesticides, etc.). Each bean is hand picked by experienced coffee harvesters, skilled people who only pick perfectly ripe berries. A proprietary process optimizes every step of coffee production and performance by minimizing any opportunities for performance-robbing mold elements to mix with the beans.
The beans used in this blend are meticulously grown at a high altitude on single estates in Guatemala, hand-harvested, carefully processed, handled and roasted to maintain maximum integrity and flavor. The final roast then undergoes proprietary lab testing to verify that it meets quality and purity standards to ensure toxin-free coffee. So all you get is superior taste, quality and peace of mind in every cup.
- Organically grown coffee beans
- Hand-picked beans and sorted for high quality
- Tested for toxins
- Sustainably washed, mechanically dried
- Dark French roast, smooth and sweet with pleasant chocolate notes
- More expensive than other brands for 12 ounces
Top Pick Best Espresso: Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend
Some coffees are made to be used in most brewers, while others, like beans roasted for espresso, are best savored brewed in only an espresso machine. If you are looking for a superior medium roast whole bean blend to make a fine cup of espresso, then this is the blend for you.
We recommend Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso roast, 2.2 Pound (Pack of 1). Blended with a consistent velvety crema and persistent aroma, this is a perfect aromatic blend for a mild and creamy espresso. With an aroma level of 4 out of 5, its honey, almonds, and dried fruit notes make this a unique blend for a great cup of espresso. A mix of 60 per cent Arabica varieties from Brazil, Colombia, and India and 40 per cent Robustas from Indonesia and Vietnam creates a mild and creamy medium espresso roast.
This blend is for you if you crave a traditional espresso coffee that has a full, rich taste without a hint of bitterness. The sweet aroma and sharp flavor, as well as an easily attainable thick, compact crema, is easy to enjoy black, as is, without sugar. Blended and roasted in Italy and produced in a nut-free facility, you can best enjoy this aromatic blend by preparing it in an espresso machine.
- Comes vacuum packed with one-way valve
- Mild and creamy medium espresso roast with notes of hazelnuts and brown sugar
- Affordable two-pound bag
- Best used in an espresso machine
Top Pick Best Budget: Seattle’s Best Coffee Portside Blend Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
For some people, one or two cups of coffee a day is fine. For others, they are on to their fifth cup by late afternoon. And for families where everyone drinks a lot of coffee, plowing through a few pounds of the delicious brewed bean a week is not unheard of. If you consume a lot of coffee and are looking for a quality bean that is easy on the wallet, then perhaps this blend is for you.
We recommend Seattle’s Best Coffee Portside Blend Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag for great coffee any time, and all the time, that you need a java fix. This blend consists of 100 percent Arabica beans exclusively sourced from Latin American to make a medium roasted coffee with a well-rounded, smooth flavor.
This coffee doesn’t disappoint. With a consistency of flavor you’ll come to savor, you don’t have to worry about unexpected bitterness or aftertaste. Rigorous quality checks are performed throughout the raw-bean-to-roasting process, along with an expert roasting technique, so you can rest assured that each bag of beans will give you an easy, delicious cup of coffee, every time. And at such a good price, you won’t mind sharing your brew with all of your friends.
- Medium roasted coffee with a well-rounded, smooth flavor
- May not be strong enough for some tastes
Top Pick Best High End: Hawaiian Gold Kona Medium Roast Gourmet Blend Whole Bean Coffee
When only the best will do, true coffee addicts search the globe for premium coffee beans. The challenge? Finding a consistently delicious coffee that is deeply rich and indulgent. If you want to dip your toes into the luxurious waters of a richly textured and unforgettable coffee adventure, we recommend Hawaiian Gold Kona Medium Roast Gourmet Blend Whole Bean Coffee, 2 lbs bag (pack of 2).
The beans in this blend are hand-selected from locations across the globe, from the lush tropical jungles of Costa Rica to the rich soils of Ethiopia. Only a handful of carefully selected coffee plantations meet the demands of this superior-tasting coffee. Once picked, the beans are roasted in small batches, relying on the skill of the roaster. Similar to a fine wine, each coffee possesses unique regional characteristics, so the taste of each coffee varietal is determined by the microclimate in which it is grown, and the precision of the roast.
This coffee produces a vibrant taste, with a strikingly exotic character, enhancing this blend of Hawaiian fancy Kona coffee beans and other high-mountain-grown Arabica coffee beans. The deeply rich and indulgently smooth flavors fuse with a radiant sparkle, to create an irresistible aftertaste that will linger long after you’ve consumed the last delicious drop.
- Hand selected beans
- Contains Kona coffee beans from Hawaii
- Roasted in small batches
- More expensive than other blends
Things to look out for:
Consider these things when looking for coffee beans so you will choose the ones that best suits your taste:
Single source versus a blend:
A single-source coffee comes from a single known geographic location, such as a farm or estate. This allows you to appreciate the specific nuances that a particular growing region provides. So if you prefer your coffee black, you will be more likely to perceive and enjoy this subtlety of flavor easier.
With a blended coffee, most of the time, specific single origins are chosen to create a complex and balanced espresso or blend while still having a milk-based beverage in mind. The coffees have been carefully selected to provide increased body, some delicious brown sugaring flavors, or to simply add some floral complexity in order to help balance the blend.
Where the coffee comes from:
Coffee grown in one country will taste different from the next, as an array of variables such as altitude, rainfall, soil conditions and sunlight, contribute to how coffee tastes. As a guideline, beans from Central and South America offer up a clean, sweet taste, while African beans are fruity and complex, and Asian beans are earthy and luscious.
If you seeking fruit driven flavors and floral aromas, start with African coffees. In Kenya, most of the coffee is grown without shade and processed using a fermentation soak. This gives Kenyan coffees savory-sweet flavors like tomato and black currant that may sometimes pucker your lips.
An Ethiopian blend has more of a complex berry and wine-like aroma. For clean coffee exhibiting delicate sugar browning sweetness like chocolate or buttery pastry accompanied with a softer fruit character, choose a blend from South and Central America. Brazil is well known for producing coffees with a heavier body and peanut character, while in Colombia, the care and attention from thousands of small family farms contribute to consistently mild coffee with well-balanced acidity, caramel sweetness, and occasional notes of nuttiness.
Coffee from Indonesia includes Sumatran coffee and Java, and other aged coffees that have a deeper body and lower acidity.
For optimum flavor, look for beans that are roasted no longer than two weeks from when you receive them. After that, the beans will start to lose flavor, although how the beans are packaged, preferably in a vacuum pack, will extend the freshness factor.