Best espresso beans
Are you a fan of espresso and you want to know what are the best espresso beans? Our detailed reviews of the Amazon top-rated espresso beans and our buyer’s guide will help you buy the best espresso coffee.
You may think that an espresso machine is all you need for making yourself a strong and flavorful espresso. However, that couldn’t be far from the truth. While you can definitely use an espresso machine to make your favorite brew, it is not mandatory to use one. The secret of making a good espresso lies in the quality of the espresso beans. If you want to be able to make a good espresso at home, you need some quality beans.
So stick around for a full break down of the best beans for espresso.
Death Wish Coffee Company Ground Coffee
- Roast: Dark Roast
- Aroma: Bold, Strong
- Tasting notes: Notes of Chocolate and Cherry
- Blend: Arabica and Robusta
- Origin: India and Peru
Death Wish Coffee Company Ground Coffee has a unique blend of USDA Certified Organic and Fairtrade Arabica and Robusta beans. They are slowly roasted and naturally produced to offer higher strength than regular coffee. In fact, Death Wish has two times the strength of the average cup of coffee, all with zero added extra caffeine or additives.
The coffee is bold, intense and delicious. It is stronger than average but it is not bitter or acidic. Its intense and bold flavor is perfectly complemented by subtle notes of chocolate and cherry.
An important selling point for Death Wish Coffee is its freshness. Under 65 lbs are roasted per one batch in New York through slow roasting. This offers a unique freshness, consistency and guaranteed high quality.
When you receive your package, you see sell-by dates posted on the bag and the box. You can expect fresh coffee every single time you receive a package since this is one of the most important things for the roaster.
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
- Roast: Dark Roast
- Aroma: Smooth, Heavy Body
- Tasting Notes: Cocoa and Cinnamon
- Blend: 100% Arabica
- Origin: Brazil, Colombia and Sumatra
Koffee Kult Dark Roast has a very strong bold flavor that is smooth, with really low acidity and no bitterness. This makes it a wonderful choice for gourmet coffee shops. Koffee Kult prides itself on being family-owned and fully operated by artisan coffee roasters. Roasting facilities can be visited by anyone that desires to do so in Hollywood, Florida.
Thanks to the roasting process of the artisanal whole bean coffee, you can enjoy a very strong and tasty espresso shot. The coffee can also be combined to create cappuccinos, macchiatos, and lattes. This is because the roasters are simply obsessed with the quality of their coffee. Koffee Kult Dark Roast has a brown color, zero bean oils, balanced acidity, and a smooth flavor. Also, you get the coffee beans in resealable packages so you do not need an extra storage container.
Nicoletti Coffee Espresso Roast Beans
- Roast: Very Light Roast
- Blend: 75% Arabica, 25% Robusta
Nicoletti Coffee Espresso Roast Beans are only roasted in very small batches. They are perfect for home or commercial espresso machines.
When you buy, you can be sure to get freshly roasted beans, with a clear Roast Date stamp placed on the bag. Roasting is only done based on order so the espresso beans never sit inside warehouses for long periods of time. In order to get a perfect espresso, be sure to use espresso beans as fast as possible after opening the package.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Italian Roast Espresso Coffee
- Roast: Dark
- Aroma: Bold, Rich
- Tasting Notes: Dense and bittersweet red fruits
- Blend: 100% Arabica
The blend is specifically created for coffee enthusiasts who enjoy a dark, strong cup. It is suitable for espresso and iced coffee, although it can also offer a tasty classic drip-brew. Italian Roast Espresso Coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC is available in 2 lbs. and 5 lbs. bags.
The process used to roast the beans starts with carefully choosing the coffee. This includes considerations of quality, flavor profile, and origin. Roasting techniques used are environmentally-friendly and, once the package reaches your home, you should store the espresso beans inside a ceramic, metal or opaque glass airtight container to preserve freshness.
The Italian Roast Espresso Coffee aims to protect the original Italian espresso concept. This means that flavors are palate blasting and you can expect rich foam. All the Fresh Roasted Coffee products are Kosher certified. Coffee is sustainably sourced, then roasted, blended, and packaged by the seller in the US.
Java Planet Organic Coffee Beans, Espresso Blend
- Roast: Dark
- Aroma: Smooth, full-flavored
- Blend: three different coffees
Java Planet prides itself for offering coffee beans that are never over roasted or bitter. This is done by sourcing and roasting only organic coffee that has zero chemicals and pesticides. The espresso bean is then roasted at very high temperatures to absorb as much heat as possible. This results in a dark roast with a bold body and rich taste.
The dark roast is always done in small batches to guarantee flavor. You can buy the Espresso Blend in 1 pound, 2 pounds, and sample packs. All are 100% USDA Certified.
Java Planet Organic Coffee is a certified family-owned business operating in Tampa Bay, Florida, since 2009.
Blue HorseFarm-Fresh: 100% Kona Coffee
- Roast: Medium Roast
- Aroma: Mellow, aromatic
- Tasting Notes: Chocolatey, with hints of vanilla and almond
- Blend: 100% Kona
- Origin: Hawaii Island, Hawaii
Blue Horse Kona Coffee offers a trusted 100% Kona coffee blend that is perfect for espresso lovers. The blend is certified and inspected by the government. All beans come from a single coffee land. This is really important since, with most beans on the market, they come from different areas.
Farm-Fresh: 100% Kona Coffee features beans that are picked by hand. Then, they are dried in the sun, before being roasted. No pesticides are used and, right after roasting, the beans are packed in Hawaii. They are shipped to various Amazon warehouses so quick delivery is guaranteed after purchase.
Which Coffee Beans Are Best For Espresso?
Regular coffee beans do not give you the best espresso. This is due to numerous reasons, with the following being the main ones:
Traditionally, espresso beans are roasted darker. Because of this, people expect a specific flavor of espresso that you cannot get from the regular beans.
Better taste with milk
When using espresso in drinks like cappuccinos and lattes, the roast has to be darker to complement the milk’s creaminess.
Single-origin coffee is preferred by people that use a French press or a filter but blends are better for espresso. This is often due to budgeting. Buying single-origin coffee is always more expensive.
What Roast Is Best For Espresso?
While dark roasts are preferred by most espresso enthusiasts, you can choose out of several roasts, based on personal taste. The most important things to know about the roasts are presented below.
Light roasts are dry and have very little oil present. The flavor is earthier.
Since more roasting means more caffeine, a light roast offers a very strong punch. Acidity is also higher, which means you can expect a fruitier state.
Most people agree that light roasts produce disappointing espressos. This is because the coffee will have no richness and will be flat.
A medium roast offers beans that are a little fuller than a light roast. Acidity is slightly lower and the taste is more balanced.
Usually, the medium roast is recommended if you did not try espresso in the past and you want to start experimenting.
As coffee beans are roasted to the medium-dark level, aroma becomes indicative of the resulting flavor. Various flavors are possible, ranging from caramel to bittersweet, depending on origin and age of the espresso bean.
The medium-dark roast develops something that is usually referred to as “body”. The term “body” describes the beverage’s physical properties and is linked with the sensations of roundness, denseness, richness, and fulness.
If you travel to Italy, you will meet many baristas that recommend medium-dark roasts as the best espresso beans for the perfect espresso.
The dark roast features a shiny and oily exterior. The beans are dark and are heated at over 100 degrees Fahrenheit more than the light roasts.
Dark roasts have flavors that are fuller and smokier. Usually, these are recommended for French presses or standard brewing methods. However, the flavor is really intense and many espresso enthusiasts appreciate it more because of it.
Should You Choose Dark Roast Espresso Coffee?
Generally speaking, most people prefer roasts that are at least a bit darker than the regular beans. However, when it comes to dark roasts, there is a large possible variance.
As a beginner, it is best to first try a roast that is not very dark or very light. This offers coffee that is suitable for single-shot espresso, flat whites, and lattes. Over time, you can experiment with darker roasts if you see that you prefer a more intense flavor or something with stronger notes.
You can figure out how dark the roast is by looking at the coffee beans. When you notice oil migrating towards the outside, you’re looking at a dark roast. When the surface is almost shining, it is very dark. The very dark roast is usually referred to as Italian or French style roast. When the coffee bean is dry but dark, the term “full city” roast is usually used.
Does Roast Date Matter?
As with all coffee types, espresso is always better when you use fresh beans. However, this factor is not as vital as when you want filter coffee.
Usually, the best period for a tasty espresso is two weeks to two months after the beans have been roasted. So whenever you shop online, it is best to buy from the roaster to be sure you’re always getting the freshest roasted beans. This will cost more as shipping costs are higher but the taste of the espresso will be a lot better.
Arabica Or Robusta?
One of the most common debates going on among espresso lovers is what to choose between arabica and robusta. Many will tell you that robusta is inferior but this actually depends on where you buy it from. Arabica is generally safer if you do not know the seller and you have to buy coffee from the grocery store.
Robusta coffee is less acidic and less sweet. Its taste is different and can easily be described as crude. However, it also creates more crema and has more caffeine. These factors can be really important to some people.
When referring strictly to espresso beans, it is possible to break coffee rules. This is because the beverage is highly concentrated and doesn’t have much acidity. If you use properly washed and grown robusta coffee, the taste can be really delicious. In addition, the fact that you can get more crema is preferred by some.
Robusta is often appealing because of the price in the commercial blends. The problem is that many commercial blends are not that tasty. Whenever buying from a source that you cannot fully trust, opt for arabica instead of robusta. When you can choose espresso coffee beans like those mentioned above, robusta can be trusted.
Is There A Difference Between Espresso And Coffee Beans?
Single-origin beans are considered to be bad for espresso. This is because the classic espresso starts at least with a medium-dark roast, which has an impact on how espresso tastes.
In the espresso machine, the brewing environment is cooler than the French press. This is due to the water-to-coffee ratio used. With espresso machines, the brew does not get as hot as when you use a pour-over technique.
To keep it simple, most coffee beans are ok to use for coffee brewing methods that use dripping. The same beans work great in traditional methods like making coffee in a pot. However, when the same coffee beans are used inside an espresso machine, there is a risk that the taste will become sour.
Espresso machines work best with darker roasts but this is only relevant if you plan on using high-quality coffee. Many roasters try to save money, therefore, they use cheap beans since the darker roast masks low-quality beans and dull flavors. For those that really love coffee, the solution to deal with this problem is to purchase single-origin beans that are more expensive. Alternatively, when you cannot afford the high prices, you can choose a roaster that uses a mix of beans from several regions with the goal of striking a good balance between bitterness and sweetness.
Does Coffee Bean Origin Count?
Flavor always depends on various factors surrounding the place of origin. Countless things like shade, altitude, soil chemistry, and rainfall will impact coffee bean flavors and, consequently, espresso taste.
It needs to be known that most of the coffee beans that you find in stores come from the Bean Belt, which is a region around the equator. In this region, currently, over 50 countries produce coffee. Obviously, some of them are more popular. Usually, this is due to the natural flavor profile.
The most common origins you will see in espresso beans are:
• Columbian – They are well-balanced, mild and have a prominent caramel flavor. Sometimes, nuttiness is also present. Most of the Columbian coffee-growing industry is made out of family farms.
• Brazilian – More flavor profiles are available than with Columbian flavors because altitude shits are present. The classic flavor usually labeled as Brazilian has a heavy body and is slightly spiced or nutty.
• Kenyan – Increased sunlight exposure is present so the result is an espresso with tart sweetness.
• Ethiopian – Much variety is possible. With Ethiopian espresso beans, you can expect anything from floral to wine-like palates.
• Hawaiian – Commonly referred to as Kona beans, they are highly preferred by many fans of specialty coffee because of their unique flavor. In Hawaii, there is a lot of sunlight and heavy rainfall present. As a result, the coffee is rich and has floral and sweet notes.
• Indonesian – These are known by many names, like Sumatran or Java. The main characteristic is a deeper body.
• Arabica – Arabica coffee is grown at a high altitude so cultivation always demands higher care. Arabica coffee beans are milder and more aromatic, with fewer bitter and sharp tastes than Robusta.
Does The Grind Of The Espresso Bean Count?
Many believe that expresso beans need to have a different grind compared to coffee beans used for other caffeinated beverages. This is incorrect. Proper espresso is traditionally brewed with the use of a fine grind. However, this is not an indication of a good espresso. You can easily use an Aeropress at home for a fine grind and end up with a shot that is not true espresso. Choosing good espresso coffee blends is much more important than the grind used.
Pre-Ground Or Whole Beans For A Great Espresso?
The products recommended are whole beans but you often find pre-ground espresso coffee in stores. The huge difference between the two is the freshness. When you buy pre-ground coffee, you can be sure that the freshness level is always lower.
Generally speaking, if you want the best cup of coffee, espresso or not, it is best to buy whole beans. You also need a good grinder so you can grind your beans before use. This offers the most flavor. Fresh grounds can help compensate when your grinder machine is not good but only if freshness is guaranteed.
As an extra tip, if you do not own a grinding machine, always buy whole beans and grind in smaller batches. Grounds have to be kept inside airtight containers for freshness to be maintained.