The Best Espresso Beans – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

best espresso beans

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Even if you buy the best coffee machine in the world, your drink won’t taste good unless you get the best espresso beans too.

Espresso- the purest and finest form of caffeine that can provide everything from a daily morning boost to a tantalizing daytime drink tests the caliber of your beans perfectly. You could also make a latte or other fancy brews taste good using good cream and milk. But with espresso- it is nothing but pure caffeine delight.

We always suggest our users buy espresso beans separately. There is no one-size-fits-all approach here. If you are looking for a truly refreshing drink, you need beans that have been roasted for that perfect refreshing aroma and that strong and everlasting taste.

Espresso making is an art, and only a few people know how to excel at it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be an espresso barista sitting at home with your modern coffee maker. Anything is possible if you have the right roast, the right blend, the right flavor, and the right beans by your side.

Our Picks for the Best Espresso Beans

Still don’t know what to buy? Don’t worry. We have compiled a list of the best espresso beans that will make your day, week, or an entire year. This carefully compiled list has a coffee for everyone. Whether you like fruity flavors, chocolaty smoothness, bitterness, sweetness or decaf, there is one coffee on this list that will definitely meet your demands.

Ready to dive in? Let’s get started.

1. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans

The full flavor of Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans is exceptional. You will know the distinctive taste of these beans as soon as you drink the brew. It is roasted in the US because of which it meets all our food standards and remains fresher for longer. It also meets the SCAA specialty grade coffee standard. The coffee is 100% organic and sourced from Columbia, Sumatra, and Columbia, providing you the best blends made from the highest quality coffee.

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Coffee Beans - Small Batch Gourmet Aromatic...
  • ROASTING these whole coffee beans medium dark are small batch...
  • TASTE Strong black coffee with bold flavor but smooth hole bean...

It is not too bitter, and the acid content is low as well. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans are great for several gourmet specialty coffees as well and made of pure Arabica, which gives it a consistent, aromatic taste. To get a strong taste, use one tablespoon of coffee with six ounces of water boiled at 200 degrees Fahrenheit. It doesn’t leave a strong aftertaste as well which makes it good for a late evening drink too.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Low acid content
  • US roasted meets all food standards
  • 100% organic
Cons
  • May not be strong enough for those looking for an extreme caffeine boost

2. Lavazza Super Crema Espresso

This Lavazza Super Crema Espresso coffee brings to you lighter and sweeter coffee. It comes with mild Central American beans mixed with sweet Indonesian beans and then blended with the smooth and delicious Brazilian variety. It has a very velvety and creamy taste because of which it is ideal for espressos as well as French drips. You can also make fancier drinks with lots of creamers and whipped cream. These beans are not too oily because of which they are better suited for super-automatic espresso machines.

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2LB...
  • One 2.2 pounds bag of Lavazza Super Crema Italian whole coffee...
  • Mild and creamy medium espresso roast with notes of hazelnut and...

If you like caffeinated drinks served in Italian coffee shops, Lavazza Super Crema Espresso would certainly be one of your favorites. It has a rich dark brown color too. The aroma of these beans is excellent, and they have been roasted perfectly for that creamy and awesome taste. A very European flavor, this coffee lacks any fruity flavors.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Mild flavor
  • Works well with french dips, automatic coffee machines
  • Versatile roast can be used for milk based, iced or hot coffee drinks
Cons
  • Mass produced, typical coffee shop taste
  • Could be too mild for some users

3. Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso

A milder cousin of the 454 Horse Power coffee, this Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso is for people who like medium roast coffee. Sources from Africa, South America, Central America and Indonesia, this coffee is not just organic but fair trade and kosher as well. These beans have a delectable chocolaty smooth flavor. It doesn’t feel too dark or extreme.

In fact, it is a good start to a sunny day. You can use it during the day or even the night, as an after-dinner dessert. The bold Rocky mountain roasted which means that they are processed at three thousand feet above the sea level for a premium taste. The Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso medium roast is still a little stronger than others, which means that some users may feel a stronger aroma and taste.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Caffeine boost without the burnt aftertaste
  • Bright and sunny brews
  • Organic, fair trade and kosher
Cons
  • Stronger than typical medium roasts

4. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso

If you are looking for an aromatic and delicious blend of coffee, then make sure you get this Italian favorite home. The slow roasted Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso gives you a full and unique flavor. These whole beans stay fresher for longer durations too. These beans usually have a black, rich, and heavy flavor and an oily texture because of which it works really well for espressos and iced coffees.

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee, 5 Pound Bag
  • Italian Roast Espresso: A rich, full bodied gourmet coffee with a...
  • Happiness is Brewing: We source coffee from Brazil, Costa Rica,...

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso is an impressive smooth coffee with low acidic content. You can use it for lattes as well. For people who like a balanced caffeine kick and flavor, this one is just right. The oiliness of the beans could be a problem for some users. Make sure your espresso machine can handle it.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Well balanced flavor
  • Good for espressos as well as milk-based drinks
  • Retains freshness for longer
Cons
  • Beans are too oily

5. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee

Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee 100% whole bean, Arabica dark roast is sourced from Colombia Supremo and Sumatra Mandheling. If you are a fan of drinking chocolate, this product will definitely be on top of your favorites list. It has hints of cool and sweet cherry as well.

Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee - Signature Blend - Medium Dark Roast - Whole Bean...
  • ORIGIN - This Don Pablo Signature Blend Gourmet Coffee offers a...
  • MEDIUM DARK ROAST - This coffee has a rich, sweet, and complex...

You can use it in a traditional espresso machine, a French press, and a drip machine. However, Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee is not for those who want a good dose of caffeine. This coffee is decaf. It has a strong caffeine flavor, but that is pretty much it. Also, it does not have an aftertaste. The taste is also very light.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Arabica roast, light and aromatic
  • Works in espresso machines, French press and drip machines
  • 100% decaf
Cons
  • Not good for those looking for a caffeine boost
  • The taste could be too light for some

6. Stumptown Hair Bender

There is something about Stumptown Hair Bender that makes it a favorite among many coffee lovers and even the beginners. It has a boring, rather uninviting packaging. The chances are high that you may consider it just another coffee on the shelf. The opposite is true. It is one of the best espresso roasts around and isn’t too oily because of which it is a perfect fit for super automatic coffee machines.

Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee - Hair Bender 12...
  • Contains one (1) 12 Ounce Bag of Stumptown Hair Bender Whole Bean...
  • Hair Bender: The sweet and balanced coffee that started it all....

The coffee has a mind-blowing roast. It is rich, delicious, and flavorful and has notes of literally everything you love- from toffee to fudge, chocolate to dark fruits and everything in between. It is basically a bright and sunny blend that is great for a blissful start to the morning. You can even use Stumptown Hair Bender in the night. It isn’t too heavy, doesn’t make you want to run a marathon but helps in calming you down and focusing better, even though it is a dark roast. The coffee isn’t organic and is sourced from Africa, Latin America, and Indonesia.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Mild but robust flavor
  • Flavorful notes of fruit and toffee
Cons
  • Not organic
  • Too many flavors may feel overwhelming

7. Kicking Horse Coffee 454 Horse Power

If the name doesn’t inspire a powerful and strong taste in your mouth, its flavor will. We don’t know about you, but the mystical black packaging of the Kicking Horse Coffee 454 Horse Power beans is enough to make you realize what you are buying. These Rocky Mountain roasted Canadian beans are one of the best you can find on the market. The dark roast blend is perfect for that morning ‘kick’ and remembers, it is the ‘kick’ of the horse, so it is bound to be strong.

Kicking Horse Coffee 454 Horse Power Dark, Whole Bean Coffee, 12.3-Ounce...
  • Easily the most powerful concoction we've created. This...
  • Canada's #1 organic Fair Trade coffee

The flavor of Kicking Horse Coffee 454 Horse Power is smooth, and the acidity is low. The beans also come with a mild chocolate flavor in this 454 Horse Power coffee. Some hints of nutmeg could also be found. The organic product is sourced from South America, Central America, and Indonesia. The balance in the flavors is perfect, and the brew has an earthy, robust but velvety taste that you would love every morning. It is not designed for the faint of heart. If you want something mild, stay miles away from this one.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Strong caffeine boost
  • Premium quality Rocky Mountain roast
Cons
  • Not an everyday coffee
  • Not suitable for people who cant handle strong, dark brews

8. Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast

If you are a fan of rich flavor but can’t handle the firepower of the Kicking Horse, try the relatively mild but equally rich Blue Horse Kona Dark Roast. The place where it is sourced from, Big Island Kona in Hawaii, has had a volcanic history and you can almost taste a volcano in your mouth every time you drink this one. The beans are slightly ‘ashy’- giving them that distinctive flavor. Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast is also less oily. So, they are best suited for super-automatic espresso machines and people who love their brews but not the maintenance of their machines.

Farm-fresh: 100% Kona Coffee - Medium Roast - Arabica Whole Beans - 1 Lb or...
  • OUR BRAND STORY: Monumental volcanoes and lush, verdant steep...
  • 100% HAWAII KONA (NOT A BLEND!): Kona Estate Quality - Made of...

This roast provides you the most authentic Kona blend on the market. This coffee is not organic. It is sourced from a single-family farm, which preserves the taste and authenticity of the roast. You will find notes of vanilla and almond in Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast but get ready to pay a hefty price. This coffee isn’t really something you can buy off the shelf and never look at the price tag.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Single-farm sourced
  • Retains authentic and distinctive taste
Cons
  • Less oily
  • Priciest coffee on this list

9. Lavazza Crema e Gusto

If you don’t want to experiment too much with the roasts and blends or notes but still want the best flavor. Compared to the other coffees on this list, the mass-produced Lavazza Crema e Gusto doesn’t really look like a good option. However, this 80% Robusta and 20% Arabica blend is perfect for people who want hassle-free coffee. It is also good for people who want a more familiar taste in coffee that is used in restaurants.

Lavazza Crema E Gusto Ground Coffee Blend, Espresso Dark Roast, 8.8 Oz...
  • 4 8.8-ounce bags of Lavazza Crema E Gusto Italian ground coffee
  • Full bodied dark roast with creamy flavor, rich aftertaste, and...

The intensity of Lavazza Crema e Gusto roast is good, as compared to other mass-produced varieties. The full-bodied flavor is also commendable. The flavor is quite authentic, and it is quite popular among Italians. You will find some notes of chocolate in between. The coffee is not organic and is sourced from Indonesia, Africa, and Brazil. It doesn’t carry a hefty price tag also. So, if this is the first time you are using whole beans in an espresso machine, go for this one.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Comes cheap
  • Carries a delicious blend of earthy and sweet flavors
  • Can be used for milk based drinks too
Cons
  • Mass produced, typical flavor
  • Not organic

10. Death Wish Coffee

No! this coffee isn’t your death wish, but it will create a brew that will make you want to live another day. Marketed rather satirically with skull and bone marks on black packaging, Death Wish Coffee  product is for people who need a kick- a stronger, more menacing kick than the Kicking Horse 454. It is suggested to have a very high level of caffeine. Most people expect it to taste like ‘death,’ but it is actually quite an enjoyable drink.

DEATH WISH COFFEE Ground Coffee Dark Roast [16 oz.] The World's Strongest...
  • WORLDS STRONGEST COFFEE: Our coffee grinds will transform your...
  • QUALITY BREW: Hands down, the best ground coffee in the world....

The coffee is organic and sourced from Peru, but it comes with a highly caffeinated kick (almost twice as much as any other brand) with a smooth texture. Death Wish Coffee may contain notes of chocolate and cherry as well. If you are not accustomed to high caffeine level or extremely dark roasts, you may experience a burnt taste in your mouth.

Also, Death Wish is one of the most expensive beans on our list. The skulls and bones are not just funny marketing; they are a warning sign. If you haven’t tried dark roasts before, you shouldn’t be seen in the vicinity of this product. Also, make sure you don’t drink it any time after 4 pm unless you need a maddening caffeine boost and pull an all-nighter.

Pros & Cons:

Pros & Cons

Pros
  • Super quality coffee boost
  • Peru sourced and 100% organic
Cons
  • Very expensive
  • Can leave a burnt aftertaste if not done right

Factors to Consider Before Buying Best Espresso Beans

Espresso Beans

Buying best espresso beans could be confusing, even for the most seasoned coffee lovers. We have the most definitely coffee bean buying guide that you will admire. Take a look at the factors you must consider before buying.

  • Freshness

Freshly packed coffee is the best. If you ever have to choose between a coffee that was sourced last month as compared to the one sourced last week, always choose the latter. The freshness of the coffee gives it a very distinctive and admirable taste that you will love for sure. Don’t buy coffee beans that do not have a clear ‘date of roasting’ printed on the packet. Technically, coffee is cherry and a carefully processed agricultural produce. It will go bad if it is not fresh.

  • Packaging

Check what material and technology have been used to pack your beans. Leak-proof packaging that keeps oxidation away from the beans is ideal for you. Check what all is written on the packaging too. You must ideally get all information about the brand, date of roasting, source, flavor, etc. from here. Bad packaging means the products gets stale quickly.

  • The roast type

First- note if the coffee is an espresso roast or a filter roast. The former is good for espresso machines while the latter is good for manual brewing. Ideally, the espresso roasts have been caramelized slightly more than the other variety to give you a delicious brew. The filter roast is more acidic and isn’t developed much, giving it a very distinctive and strong taste.

  • Single origin or blends

If you are buying a single origin coffee, get ready for the strongest, classiest and most memorable espresso shot of your life. Blends are good too, but they usually double up for milk-based brews as well. Both are equally good, and it usually depends on your personal preference.

  • Origin selection

When you look at coffee labels, you will find several ‘origins’ listed there. As we mentioned above, coffee is an agricultural product with careful and limited processing. This means that the temperature, climate, growing conditions, etc. could make a huge difference in how your coffee taste. Asian coffee is very earthy and has a very rich and delicious texture. African beans come with a complex and fruity flavor. For those looking for sweet, clean and sunny brews, opt for Central and South American beans.

Conclusion

Newbies shouldn’t handle espresso, especially if they are dark roasts. Get a good coffee machine, learn the perks of the process, and buy the best coffee bean in town to ensure that you get the most exciting flavors every day. Remember, espresso is not an average joe in the world of coffee- it is the Supreme Leader. You need water at approximately 200-degree Fahrenheit and 9 bars of pressure which continue for at least 25 to 30 seconds to get the best flavors. Low-quality beans simply can’t handle this kind of pressure, and they give you that bland, vomit-inducing taste that you can barely endure.

You need a dedicated espresso machine for getting that the coffee you want, every day. Going to a coffee shop around the block on your way to work doesn’t even make sense. Coffee should energize you first thing in the morning. When you feel prim and proper, finish your chores, have your breakfast and travel to work like a boss. Don’t even think about standing in a queue and wasting $5 on a coffee when you can make it fresh at home. Get a good home espresso machine and try one of the best espresso beans mentioned above, according to your taste and preferences. We promise you that your mornings will be 100% more energetic and save you a lot of money too.

Here are the Best Espresso Coffee Beans of 2019
  • Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
  • Lavazza Super Crema Espresso
  • Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso
  • Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso
  • Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee
  • Stumptown Hair Bender
  • Kicking Horse Coffee 454 Horse Power
  • Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast
  • Lavazza Crema e Gusto
  • Death Wish Coffee
4.5

Summary

Espresso- the purest and finest form of caffeine that can provide everything from a daily morning boost to a tantalizing daytime drink tests the caliber of your beans perfectly. You could also make a latte or other fancy brews taste good using good cream and milk. But with espresso- it is nothing but pure caffeine delight.

Espresso making is an art, and only a few people know how to excel at it. It doesn’t mean that you can’t be an espresso barista sitting at home with your modern coffee maker. Anything is possible if you have the right roast, the right blend, the right flavor, and the right beans by your side.

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