We’ve all been there before – looking for a new type of coffee to try, and not sure what will work best for your preferred method of preparation. Maybe you’re new to the world of espresso, and overwhelmed with choices. Maybe your normal brand of beans is out of stock or discontinued, or – even worse – the flavor profile has been changed beyond recognition. No matter what the case, we’re here to help you find the best espresso beans currently available online. While the decision of which is best will depend largely on your personal preferences, these beans have been hand-selected to provide a full body, rich flavor, and a great aroma. Our reviews should help you narrow your search for what to try next.
The best espresso beans is a personal preference, find the one that's right for you...
Why does the type of Espresso bean matter?
According to the official definition of espresso, it’s not actually a type or roast, but rather a method of brewing. This means that there is no right or wrong bean to use – as long as you’re grinding it to the right texture and brewing properly. Still, we like to know that the espresso we drink is crafted with the level of care we expect – and there are beans that are more expertly cared for than your average supermarket variety.
In general, any artisan-roasted beans that are fresh and well-stored will yield a good cup of espresso, when your settings and timing are appropriate for the blend. We have gathered four of our favorite brands available on Amazon to get you started in the right direction.
Our 4 Favourite Espresso Bean Reviews
Dark roast lovers, rejoice – Koffee Kult has a dark roasted whole bean coffee that’s made specifically for espresso brewing. These beans are artisan-crafted under the supervision of a roast master with over 25 years of experience. They are roasted until the second crack in batches of 15 or 16 kg – offering an exquisite flavor profile and even customized brewing tips (if you contact the roaster and request their PDF file). It should be noted that this is a very dark roast, just shy of bitter, but those looking for a hearty coffee flavor with a slight smoky finish will love it.
Our only complaint with this particular brand is that their Amazon product page describes the coffee as “organically sourced”, but looking into the matter reveals that it is not certified USDA organic or certified fair-trade. It is process washed before roasting to ensure there are no residual pesticides, so if this is a minor consideration for you, the coffee is an amazing premium bean. A few customers have reached out to Koffee Kult about changing the description to remove the misleading information but there have been no changes made yet. If the quality of your coffee is more important than its actual organic/fair-trade certification, this coffee is sure to please.
Lavazza Super Crema was built for milk-based drinks, and it does an incredible job at harnessing your super automatic machine’s power and delivering a superior cappuccino or latte. These beans are not as dark as the Koffee Kult beans, as they are roasted to the Italian espresso standard – with a hearty enough crema to be present even when made in a drip coffee maker. If you’re looking for a lush, frothy coffee that’s roasted to perfection, this is it.
One of our favorite things about Lavazza beans is that they aren’t as oily as most darker roasted beans, which makes them safer for super-automatic machine grinders as well as cheap blade grinders. (Although, we must say – those cheaper grinders are still not going to give you a good grind.) Our only real complaint with this brand is that they do sometimes send out older bags, roasted months before – we recommend returning them if the “roasted on” date is older than you prefer. Once they reach your kitchen, take care with storage to prevent any degradation of the complex profile.
For those who grind their beans separately and want a dark, oily blend, Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Coffee is a bold, full-bodied, and smooth drink that will remind you of the local coffee shop (even if your closest café is a national chain). The beans don’t have the “roasted on” date that the Lavazza beans have, but they do provide certification that they are fair-trade, organic, and shade-grown. The container they come in is not easily resealable on its own, so we do recommend storing it in a separate, airtight container once opened.
While Kicking Horse Coffee offers four different varieties for the everyday coffee connoisseur, we felt that Cliff Hanger offered the best roast for espresso. Those looking for a coffee that will perform just as well in a drip brewer as they do in manual or semi-automatic espresso machines need look no further. The packaging even offers an in-depth look into the entire coffee making process, from bush to cup – making it a wonderful choice for those who want a little background with their brew.
Coffee Bean Direct offers customers a different approach to their whole bean purchases. They don’t use as small of batches as some of the other brands on our list, which means they can offer a lower price per pound than many supermarket brands. Of course, this will depend on where and how you shop. Large batches are less than ideal for professional coffee tasters and coffee connoisseurs, but for those who are new to the world of espresso, this is an amazing entry at a budget price.
Whenever you’re buying a budget product, you should expect some downsides – and, in Coffee Bean Direct’s case, it’s that there are some inconsistencies between batches. This is most likely due to the large-batch roasting, which has the potential to leave some beans lighter roasted if extra care isn’t taken. All in all, if you’re still developing your palate for espresso, we don’t think you’ll notice as much. For the price, this roast is usually amazing and always