10 Best Coffee Beans (Review) In 2020

The best coffee beans listed below have been selected by MyFriendsCoffee because of their superb quality, premium roasting process and sourced from the best locations in the world. 

French press, brew duration, water temperature are many things you can do to greatly improve your coffee experience, but without the superior coffee beans, these processes won’t be any good, because it has a huge effect on the flavor. If you aren’t buying the top rated coffee beans, you are missing out on truly, delicious coffee, so here’s a detailed guide on the most popular coffee beans on the market.

If you’re looking for a more specific coffee, you can start with recommendations from other articles: Best Instant Coffee, Best Coffee for Cold Brew, Best Coffee for French Press, Best Ground Coffee Brands.

The Best Coffee Beans

PreviewProductPrice
OUR TOP PICK

Lavazza Super Crema

  • Available in several sizes
  • Well packaged
  • Can be used with espresso machines and even French press
  • Best for espresso

Check Price

Best Medium Roast Beans

Peet's Coffee

  • Guaranteed freshness
  • Available in two different sizes
  • Much better than other coffee blends such as Folgers

Check Price

Best Dark Roast Beans

Kicking Horse

  • Harvested in a socially and environmentally friendly way
  • A sweet, smoky and audacious blend
  • Can be used with a drip machine, pour-over, French press, and cold brew

Check Price

Best Light Roast Beans

New England

  • Light roast
  • Smooth and mellow taste

Check Price

Many Various Flavors

AmazonFresh

  • One way freshness valve
  • Columbia, medium roast

Check Price

Therefore, you might find it hard to choose only the best coffee beans brand from the crowded market, and this is where we come into play. MyFriendsCoffee has reviewed the top 10 best coffee beans in the world today and has given you a buyer’s guide to help you out. Here they are:

1. Lavazza Super Crema Best Cofee Beans

What is the best tasting coffee brand? Definitely it’s Lavazza.

Conceived over 120 years ago, Lavazza’s mission ever since its inception is to pursue nothing less than perfection with every cup. The company has now been through four generations of entrepreneurs, where each family involved has only helped the company grow from a small business to a leading coffee supplier worldwide.  

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend comes in at the #1 position on this list of best coffee beans for several great reasons, starting with the fact that their beans are perfectly roasted in Italy, from where they are shipped to customers around the globe. This blend has several kinds of coffee beans and it is an excellent choice for espresso lovers but also hits the right notes for cappuccinos thanks to the frothiness of its crema and smooth blend. 

The Lavazza Super Crema is a medium roast blend that grinds finely and emits a honey and almond aroma for a mild and creamy espresso. It can be ordered in several different sizes including a pack of 1, where each is packaged well in silver foil bags. Roasted to perfection, this specific blend consists of Indian Arabica, natural Arabica, and Robusta beans from Indonesia, Columbia and Vietnam, so you get a global fusion of the best coffee beans for espresso from around the world with each cup. 

Robusta beans are included in roughly 40 percent of global production owing mostly to their high caffeine content, whereas Arabica beans offer more sugar content. And when both are blended, you get a well-balanced aroma complete with honey and almond flavor.

Unlike a few other medium roast beans, the Lavazza Super Crema blend features evenly roasted, medium to dark brown beans, with little or no oil on them. The less oil means that they will not cause damage by clogging your espresso machine. These beans are highly versatile in that they can be finely ground to use in espressos, but can also be used in coffee machines and French-presses when coarse ground. 

The Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Blend is best used with espresso machines, but you can use it with other coffee equipment as well. If you’re going to use it with an espresso machine, it is best to follow the instructions of your espresso machine manufacturer for the best results. However, if you don’t have access to an espresso machine, you can still enjoy the flavor of these beans in a French press, pour-over or a drip machine. 

Pros

Available in several sizes

Well packaged

Can be used with espresso machines and even French press

Cons

Maybe too mild for those who prefer strong espressos

2. Peet’s Coffee Beans 

Peets has been around for five decades and is committed to bringing you the freshest, fullest flavor with each cup. The company offers a freshness guarantee, where your order once placed is roasted in small batches, sealed immediately using our special packaging techniques and shipped within 24 hours. 

The Big Bang Whole Bean Coffee by Peets Coffee is a remarkable blend that was created to celebrate the founder – Alfred Peet and the company’s 50th anniversary. It is infused with exotic fruitiness and topped with a smooth medium style tropical fruit. Peet’s beans have always been roasted with quality in mind, and this is the same results you get with this blend from the company. 

It is roasted by an expert roaster with experience of over 15 years and who roast it by hand individually and without the use of machines. Adding to this, it offers an exciting twist by adding the sweet and aromatic citrus notes that are a product of Ethiopian Super Natural. These beans are best enjoyed by first grinding them at home immediately before use. 

Speaking of which, this blend by Peets is easy to brew, where you first measure two tablespoons for every six ounces of water you use, use cold and fresh and cold filtered water for the brewing process, and drink the coffee within 30 minutes after preparation for best results. In terms of storage, these beans will maintain their freshness when stored in an opaque, airtight container.

Pros

Guaranteed freshness

Available in two different sizes

Much better than other coffee blends such as Folgers

Cons

Maybe a little mellow for some coffee drinkers

3. Kicking Horse Coffee Beans 

What is the best tasting dark roast coffee? I’m sure it’s Kicking Horse coffee.

Kicking Horse grabs the #3 position on this list of best coffee beans for several different reasons. The company does exactly what the name would suggest creates kick-ass coffee, which is what you can expect from the dark Roast, Kosher coffee. Kick-Ass Coffee took flight 20 years ago, and bills itself as Canada’s #1 selling whole bean coffee. 

The Kick-Ass can be ordered in two different colors including dark roast and medium roast, and two different sizes. It is a sweet, smoky and audacious blend, and when brewed properly gives you a bold invitation to wake up and get ready for your day. It features a molasses, chocolate malt, licorice, and other earthy lingering finish, and can be brewed in a drip machine, pour-over, French press, and even cold brew. 

The beans included in the package have been harvested in a socially and environmentally friendly way from Indonesia and South American regions, and by farmers with dependable sustainable businesses they can count on. Adding to this, it is 100 percent certified by leading coffee experts and is roasted deep, dark and delicious in the peaks of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. 

It is a fair trade blend, meaning that most of the profits from this blend are used to empower farmers to help them invest in their and their community’s future. Furthermore, it is 100 percent organic, so it is grown without the use of any chemicals and without sacrificing the future. If you’re looking for the best coffee beans, one that won’t disappoint you in the morning and all through the day, the Kicking Horse Dark Roast beans are worth every single penny. 

Pros

Can be ordered in two different colors

Harvested in a socially and environmentally friendly way

A sweet, smoky and audacious blend

Can be used with a drip machine, pour-over, French press, and cold brew

Cons

A bit on the expensive side but worth every penny

4. New England Coffee Beans

New England Coffee has mastered the art of roasting coffee and has been delivering flavor-rich cups for the past 100 years. The company was founded in 1916 by Menelaos Kaloyanides and his brother George Kaloyanides, where they first started by delivering delivered coffee to restaurants all over the city. 

The company eventually garnered a stellar reputation for providing consistently good coffee and is committed to quality as a top priority. The New England Donut Shop blend can be ordered in a plethora of different flavors and three different sizes. It features a smooth and mellow taste, and the company claims it is their lightest roast to date. 

This 100 percent Arabica beans are made in the USA and are gluten-free and kosher certified. Adding to this, it is roasted in the same as it was 100 years ago, so you are guaranteed a great-tasting cup each time. To brew this blend properly, you should use one tablespoon of coffee for every six ounces of cold water. 

And in terms of storage, the New England Donut Shop blend should be stored in a tightly sealed container and kept in a cool dry place. The vanilla flavor of this blend is quite strong yet extremely smooth and rich in flavor. Adding to this, it does offer a decent caffeine buzz, making it a great choice for all types of coffee drinkers. 

Pros

100 percent Arabica coffee

Light roast

Smooth and mellow taste

Cons

Packaging may vary

5. AmazonFresh Coffee Beans

AmazonFresh is one of the biggest and most trusted names in the coffee segment, and the Columbia Whole Bean Coffee blend is yet another excellent addition to their award-worthy lineup of products. It can be ordered in a wide range of flavors including Donut Café and Just Bright and is 100 percent Arabica harvested in Columbia. 

This full-bodied, balanced, medium roast features a smooth finish and is roasted and packed in the USA. Speaking of which, the coffee is packed as soon as it is roasted and comes with a one-way freshness valve that is designed to deliver a superior quality experience at its optimal flavors. 

The beans are roasted in individual batches to unlock its optimal aromas and flavors. Adding to this, each batch is carefully timed by the roastmasters to ensure that the toasty flavor of the roast compliments the bean’s unique characteristics. This blend is a great choice for those who enjoy fuller body and medium acidity and is infused with notes of cocoa and brown sugar for a smooth finish you are bound to love. 

Pros

One way freshness valve

Expertly roasted

Packaged in the USA

Columbia, medium roast

Cons

Maybe too mild for some coffee drinkers

6. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans

Coming in at the 6th position on this list of best coffee beans is none other than Koffee Kult…a company that doesn’t truly believe in anything ordinary hence delivers only the best. For this reason, the company roasts beans from all across the globe, which results in simply delicious coffee that caters to even the most discerning coffee drinkers. 

The Koffee Kult beans can be had in two different sizes and features dark roast whole coffee beans. These beans do not contain any oil, so you can be rest assured that they as fresh as you can get. These 100 percent Arabica beans have been sourced from three countries – Guatemala, Columbia and Sumatra, and were even voted #1 for a strong bold flavor that’s smooth and not bitter.

The Koffee Kult roastmasters are obsessed with what they do – roasting hence the dark roast blend features a smooth flavor and balanced acidity. It contains aromas and flavor notes from cinnamon, cocoa, smooth, heavy body with a long finish. These premier coffee beans also make a great espresso shot, so you can either drink one for a powerful adrenaline boost or combine it with steamed milk to create delicious cappuccinos and lattes.

Tucked away in the heart of Hollywood Florida, Koffee Kult has been creating some of the world’s best coffee blends for over 20 years. This family-owned and operated business has earned a reputation as one of the most trusted coffee roasters in the USA and is dedicated to the pursuit of coffee perfection. All their coffees are locally roasted and are 100 percent gourmet Arabica beans. 

Pros

Two different sizes

Strong bold flavor but not bitter

Can be used to make espressos

Beans sourced from Guatemala, Columbia, and Sumatra

Cons

Limited to just dark roast

7. Military Grade Coffee Beans 

Military Grade Coffee claims to produce some of the strongest coffee on the planet. But the best part is that the company 10 percent of its net profits to veterans and their families through the Gary Sinise Foundation. Furthermore, their premium beans are carefully selected and roasted to provide organic and dual duty caffeinated coffee. 

The Military Grade can be ordered in a choice of three different sizes and is truly smooth without the bitter taste. It doesn’t even emit burnt tastes but rather features subtle hints of caramel and chocolate. The beans are carefully selected by a Q grader and are roasted beyond perfection to deliver one of the best tasting and freshest tasting coffees you can buy. 

The coffee comes in a one-way valve, vacuum-sealed resealable bag, which is designed to keep your coffee strong and fresh. It is 100 organics, meaning it contains no GMO and is the USA approved. To top things off, the Military Grade comes with a 100 percent money-back guarantee in case it does meet your taste. It is fortified to be strong and bold just like the brave men and women of the military and put through a stringent roasting process. 

This premium, organic coffee beans offers bold and rich flavors from start to finish and has moderate notes of caramel and cocoa for that deceptively smooth taste. The company is owned by a veteran Purple Heart recipient, which also provides military-grade K cups to sip your coffee. 

Pros

10 percent donated to veterans

Noted of caramel and cocoa

Vacuum sealed with one way valve

Three different sizes

100 percent money-back guarantee

Cons

Only one flavor available

8. Schuil Coffee Beans

Founded by Garry Schuil while traveling overseas in the 1970s, Schuil are all about roasting consistency, and product freshness. The company remains committed to upholding Garry’s vision and legacy, and produces coffee beans and rival the competition. Schuil is in a league of its own and can be had in a wide range of sizes. 

It is roasted in small batches for guaranteed consistency, and to ensure that every bean is to the company’s desired specifications. This process allows the company to bring out the best flavor in each bean and results in a higher quality standard. The Holiday Blend is a light roast coffee blend by mixing a variety of whole bean coffees, so the result is a light roast color that is rich in flavor and is mild and smooth.

This product has been roasted in Michigan since 1981 and is sold as fair trade. The beans are imported from across the globe from regions such as Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Ethiopia, and then put through an innovative roasting process. The company also boasts a wide range of exotic flavored coffee beans and sells 14 different types of holiday brands. The Schuil is USDA approved as organic coffee, so you can rest assured that it is made without the use of harmful chemicals or pesticides. 

Pros

100 percent organic coffee

Sourced from Colombia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Indonesia, and Ethiopia

Roasted in small batches for guaranteed consistency

Light roast

Cons

May not be strong for some coffee drinkers

9. Kenya AA+ Karundul Coffee Beans

RhoadsRoast is not your average coffee retailer in that they provide the freshest, high-quality beans and ship them across the world. Each order is custom roasted by the company and shipped the very same day. Further, the company is founded by a Navy veteran and is supported by a hard-working and terrific coffee team. 

The Kenya AA+ are medium roast beans that can be ordered in several sizes including three pounds and fifteen-pound packages. It is freshly roasted each morning and shipped the same day by noon. These beans are infused with chocolate and fruit flavors and feature a sharp, full-bodied fragrance. 

Hence, it is slightly sweet with a trail of the top-notch balance of body and acidity. Adding to this, it features strong overtones of citrus and berry fruits and originates from Kenya. This super grade coffee is a blend of citrus and blackberry flavors and is the medium body. It is the best that comes from this region, and what makes it even better is that it is put through fair agricultural practices. 

It is grown at elevations between 4900 – 6800 feet, and on volcanic soils and then is wetly processed and then harvested. It features sharp acidity, and a bold and heavy body, and is sure to impress given that is the best coffee beans to come out of Kenya. For great tasting coffee beans from Kenya at a great price, the Kenya AA+ Karundul Coffee Beans are hard to beat. 

Pros

Excellent balance of body and acidity

Fruity flavors

Comes from Kenya

Grown at high elevations

Available in several different size packages

Cons

Maybe too sweet for some coffee drinker

10. Caribou Coffee Beans

Caribou Coffee comes in at the #10 position on this list of best coffee beans for one or more great reasons. The company produces a massive number of coffee blends, each with beans that are sourced from some of the top producing countries in the world. The Decaf Caribou Blend by Caribou Coffee is 100 percent premium Arabica beans and is certified kosher. 

Adding to this, it features a smooth, medium roast and classic taste, which are bound to satisfy the most discerning coffee lovers. These beans come from one of the finest coffee locations in the world and can be brewed in several different types of coffee equipment including French press. It is roasted to perfection, so you will not be disappointed with brewed into your cup. 

Pros

Smooth, medium roast

Roasted to perfection

Comes from the best coffee location in the world

Cons

Only available in one size

Best Coffee Beans – Ultimate Buyer’s Guide

When it comes to buying the best coffee beans, you ideally have tons of options to choose from! This is why you need to buy the right ones, because if you don’t, then quite simply you won’t be enjoying amazing coffee. That said, here’s what to look for in the best coffee beans when on the shopping trail. 

Types of origin

The taste and aroma of coffee depends on the place in which it is grown. Climate features, plantation height above sea level, fertilizers used by farmers, and the number of days when the sun is shining affects the drink, which ultimately ends up in your cup. Let me tell you in which countries these factors all come together to grow the best coffee beans.

Brazil

Brazil is the world’s leading coffee producer. Here, Arabica was grown later than in most other countries. But the conditions were so favorable that they quickly led to the global expansion of Brazilian coffee.

Coffee from Brazilian beans is appreciated for an even balanced taste – most varieties can be safely recommended to those who are just starting their coffee journey. Depending on the region of origin, the aroma of the drink may contain nutty, floral, or chocolate notes.

Colombia

This country is famous not only for the ominous Medellin cartel and the brilliant Gabriel Garcia Marquez. For a coffee lover, Colombia is first and foremost a refined variety of coffee. The delicate aroma and taste of Colombian coffee made it the standard for aesthetes.

In Colombia, there is the so-called “coffee triangle.” It includes three departments – Kindio, Caldas and Risaralda.

Honduras

The high plantations of this Central American country produce a truly excellent product. Strong and brutal Arabica from Honduras is an excellent option for a morning invigorating cup of espresso.

Ethiopia

Ethiopia grows bean varieties with amazing and distinctive aromas. Sometimes these carry the notes of herbs, and often wine tones. Experts praise the taste of Ethiopia in their coffee. The best varieties stand out from other good coffees.

Indonesia

Coffee is grown in many Asian countries, but Indonesia is the undisputed leader in the production of gourmet varieties. This country supplies expensive upscale Arabica with a bright aroma, in which there are sharp notes of spices. The best varieties of Indonesian coffee come from Sumatra.

Of course, excellent coffee is grown in other countries. But to embrace the immensity in one article would hardly have succeeded, so the most reputable manufacturers were chosen.

Type of coffee beans

When selecting the best coffee beans, you will come across two different types to choose from – Arabica and Robusta coffee beans. Even though when both types are roasted, they look the same, there is a significant difference between the two types when roasted. Apart from flavor, they also differ in growing conditions and prices.

Starting with Arabica coffee beans, they tend to be a preferred choice in terms of flavor and quality compared to Robusta coffee beans. Speaking of taste, they tend to showcase a softer, sweeter taste, richly infused with fruit, sugar, and berries. Their acidity is much higher but produces a pleasant winey taste.

Robusta coffee beans contain more caffeine than Arabica, hence have a stronger and harsher taste. Apart from that, Robusta coffee beans also have a peanut, grain-like overtone aftertaste, and are generally considered a lower quality version of Arabica coffee beans.

Not all Robusta beans feature the same quality, but many are of high quality and offer great value for their deep flavor and good crema especially when used in espressos. Robustas are also easier to grow and can be grown at lower altitudes. Furthermore, they are less vulnerable to weather conditions and pests and produce fruit quicker than Arabica beans.

Type of roast

Due to the roasting of coffee beans, the drink obtained from them acquires certain taste properties. Until the beginning of the last century, freshly roasted coffee was most often consumed in beans at home in pans and in ovens, but after the end of World War I, heat-treated coffee was mainly used.

The taste of the drink directly depends on the type of roasting, so it is useful to deal with the accepted classification. There are three main degrees of roasting: weak or light, medium, strong or dark. But in fact, almost a dozen types are recruited – from the first degree of weak roasting to the highest degree, and there is also a separate roast – espresso roasting.

Light roast

1. Cinnamon and Scandinavian

Beans are subjected to short-term heat treatment at low temperatures, therefore, they only slightly increase in size and, not fully revealing the potential of aromas, emit a slightly sour smell associated with fresh yeast baking. The drink is light brown and has a mild flavor.

Varieties of Arabica from Jamaica, Kenya, Nicaragua are often used for light roasting.

The name “cinnamon” is no accident, since such coffee has traditionally been customary to drink while baking with cinnamon.

High-tech equipment for roasting coffee beans allows you to achieve ideal results, which is almost impossible to achieve at home.

2. American or New English

Beans are heated to the first crack, after which they instantly begin to emit the aromas of coffee oils and change color by converting starch into saccharides. Moisture leaves the cracks.

The drink has a greater brightness of taste and a pleasant aroma, but without special expressiveness.

3. Partial city

Coffee beans are roasted to a state between the first and second cracks. A reddish tint with a characteristic variegation of color is achieved. Cracks become more noticeable, and grassy is mixed with a coffee smell. The drink is obtained with sourness.

Medium roast

Medium roast is also known as universal. It is good for beans from Costa Rica, Brazil, Colombia and Ethiopia. You can prepare any style of coffee.

When roasting, to the first degree they go further than first crack. Beans give off droplets of oil and become even more variegated. The drink has a beautiful shade, bright aroma, and a perfectly balanced taste with sourness and bitterness, thanks to nutty tones.

1. Vienna, French light, business roasting, velvet, velveteen

The beans are roasted until dark brown with an oily gloss and a gray haze. Cracks are heard louder and more often, with a strong coffee aroma around.

Drinks are free from sour tastes and become sweet with a slight bitterness.

Dark roast

1. French or Turkish

The beans are brought to a dark brown color after the second cracking has subsided. Beans are 20% lighter due to moisture loss. In the process of roasting, aromatic oils are actively released and sugar is caramelized.

From grains of strong roasting, a thick aromatic and strong drink is obtained. It is customary to cook it from varieties that are supplied by Guatemala, Cuba and Brazil.

2. Continental, European, New Orleans

The color of the beans approaches a shade of dark chocolate, its entire surface is speckled with cracks and a smoke is visible. When roasting, you need to ensure that the beans do not start to burn, since they are on the verge.

Drinks are very thick and strong. Bitter-caramel notes and smoke aroma are well distinguished. Varieties of beans with high sugar content are characterized by shades of burnt sugar.

3. Spanish, Mexican, Cuban

At this final stage of roasting, the beans almost lose water, become brittle and turn black-brown. Due to the fact that coffee oils and saccharides pass through the pyrolysis stage, the prepared drink has a sharp taste. Typically, these beans are added to different blends to give coffee a depth of taste and aroma.

4. Espresso – Italian, Neapolitan, Indian Roast

This type of roasting is carried out according to a special technology: first, the beans are very hot, then quickly cooled, for which a stream of compressed air is used. Depending on the technology chosen, the beans can then be reheated. Due to these manipulations, coffee reveals its natural bright taste and aroma.

Roasting Coffee Beans

Given that Arabica beans have double the sugar of Robusta beans, the roasting process brings about a fuller variety of Maillard reactions than it does in Robusta coffee, which results in a more interesting taste. Roasting is considered as a sensitive process, owing mostly to the fact that high heat can produce bitter compounds and can spoil the taste of your drink.

Food experts for several years believed that caffeine was the primary source of bitterness in coffee. Although it is true to a certain extent that pure caffeine does have a bitter flavor, the fact is that it contributes to only a small amount of flavor given that it is present in really low proportions in an average cup of coffee.

The bitterness of coffee can be attributed to chlorogenic acids, which is a family of chemicals that is also present in peaches, tea, and prunes. It is worth noting that these acids are bitter by themselves, but transform into two related chemicals — lactones and phenylindanes when roasted. To describe the effect of these two chemicals, lactones provide soft, pleasant bitterness, while phenylindanes are more harsh and powerful and are found in higher concentrations in dark roasts.

Achieving the right roast whole bean coffee is more of an art rather than a science, where expert coffee roasters must pull sample beans constantly from the heat to check the aroma and color. These markers serve as proxies for the concentration level of lactones and phenylindanes. Food experts are constantly working on ways to make the process more scientific, so in the future, you may ask the person at your local coffee shop the exact balance between the balance of lactones and phenylindanes rather than if its medium roast or dark roast.

Similarly to how there is a science to selecting beans and roasting, the same applies to brewing and drinking coffee. The amount of coffee that results in your cup depends on the type of brewing method you choose, where drip machines and percolators are used in most cases, they are not the most efficient at transferring chemicals from bean to cup. In terms of numbers, the final result is generally between 1.3-2% coffee, and the remainder is water.

This will work great if you prefer a milder coffee but it will be weak for others. Similarly, French press coffee is also mild, but features high oil content, resulting in a body preferred by some coffee drinkers. Then there are espresso machines, which provide more than 5% coffee bean because they force the coffee compounds into the water. Regardless of the type of brewing method you select, you should drink your coffee immediately as the lactones break down into acids as the hot coffee rests.

Roasting Date of Coffee Beans – Why is it important?

The first thing worth noting is that roasted coffee beans do not expire, so they can be kept on the shelf for a while when stored properly. But the longer the coffee is kept on the shelves, the more the intensity of its flavors tends to decline over time. To achieve a great brew, coffee needs to rest for one or two days for the flavor compounds to be properly extracted. The resting time of coffee after it is roasted can be four to twelve days, and it is not recommended to prepare coffee right after it has been roasted.

By knowing the date of roasting, you will be able to determine the days that it needs to rest to get a better extraction. The freshness of coffee is somewhat similar to that of fruits and vegetables, which generally relates to the date of harvest. In terms of coffee, it means that only a few hours or days have passed since it has been roasted. The date of roasting plays an important role when you’re trying to determine when the coffee is at its peak i.e. the best time to brew it.

This is one of the questions you may want to ask your roaster as they have developed the coffee and roast profile and will be in a better position to give you the information on whether the coffee is fresh or not. Coffee does not physically expire, and the expiration date is simply not the best indicator of its freshness. So, if you open a bag of coffee after six months or even a year, the coffee beans will still be there, but the aromas may not be the same depending on how it was stored.

Best Way to Store Coffee Beans

If you’re shelling out big bucks for premium coffee beans, you should be aware of how to store them correctly. Simply put, better beans when stored properly make better coffee, so here’s how to do it the right way. If your coffee has been packaged in papercraft bags with a thin lining, chances are that it’s not going to stay fresh for that long, so give it a week until it gets stale.

If you transfer the coffee to an airtight container, it will stay fresh for a longer time, but make sure to store in your cupboard, away from light, and at room temperature. There’s often debate about whether you should put your coffee in the fridge or freezer, and the short answer is that it is best to avoid this storage process. But if you must store coffee in your freezer, make sure the bag is sealed and unopened. Before drinking, you’ll have to let the beans thaw to room temperature to preserve some of those fresh flavors.

Decaffeinated or caffeinated

Questions that may arise immediately: why buy decaf, what does it look like, for whom such coffee is suitable, and is there any difference compared to ordinary coffee? Let’s take a look.

Decaffeinated coffee is an ordinary coffee that takes on an additional process to remove caffeine. However, none of the modern technologies that are used today, will eliminate caffeine by 100%. If you want to preserve the coffee taste, then you should not be afraid of anything at all. The minimum caffeine concentration can usually be 0.1% (in most European countries it is the standard). The amount of caffeine in a normal serving of a drink will not be 100 milligrams, but only 4. In this case, coffee can be called “decaf.”

Is such a drink interesting to most? I think not. Who is decaf coffee suitable for?

Those people who, because of diets or for health reasons, cannot tolerate a regular coffee drink.
Those who would like to drink a cup of drink at night without being up until dawn.

Single Origin vs Coffee Blends

The question is very interesting and can be discussed indefinitely. I’ll just talk about what you get in both cases, and you can decide for yourself what you prefer. There can be two fundamentally different types of beans on sale – mixtures and single origin.

Coffee beans blend

Blend is a mixture of a variety of beans, which are combined exclusively as the manufacturer wanted. On the other hand, single origin is one specific bean variety, usually even from one farm or beans from several farms of the same variety from the same region.

The vast majority of coffee sold in stores is blended. As a rule, such mixtures are roasted to one common indicator, which means that they are equally strong.

There are also special mixes that are used in bars, restaurants and cafes for a consistent signature taste. Even 5 years from now. Professionals use a lot of experimenting and play with different types of roasting and other tricks.

Single-origin

In principle, they were mentioned above. Usually, when you buy a single origin, you know exactly the name and type of bean, the crop year, the processing method, and the place where the beans were collected. Therefore, single-origin is trustworthy and clearly defined. Producers of single-origin take this very seriously.

With a defined variety and name, you can clearly identify your preferences. The way a variety of coffee makes you feel is important in choice. Customer attitude towards coffee varieties determines sales. Matching name to flavor, you will love or completely ignore these coffee beans.

What is the difference between single origin and blend coffee beans?

The most important difference between single-origin and blends is, of course, taste. Recognizable, characteristic, expected. Unlike mixtures, each single-origin variety has its own character, its charms, and its shortcomings.

Those who love single-origin coffee tend to often try new ones. The most interesting part of coffee culture, I realized, is constantly trying new varieties.

Trying new beans and blends means constantly experiencing new tastes and sensations. All coffee is unique and varied, and the variety is beauty.

Acidity

Coffee is naturally acidic, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Acidity is what gives coffee its flavor, but not all beans have the same level of acidity. Some people may be sensitive to these acids. Several years ago, most Americans divided coffee between two distinct types – regular and decaf, and today are concerned about every last detail starting from whether they are organic, the amount of pressure that was applied while brewing or the bean’s country of origin.

First, you must understand that there are three main attributes of coffee – acidity, bitterness, and body. And the key is to achieve the right level of balance between these three attributes. As coffee makes its way from tree to your cup, producers have to keep balance as their top priority. Research indicates that coffee contains more than 1000 chemical compounds, so this is truly not such an easy task.

Take the first element as an example – the bean – even though there are 70 species of coffee, only two as mentioned earlier dominate the segment – Robusta and Arabica. These two types of beans have several chemical differences between them, where the latter has 60 percent more fat than the former, and most people prefer coffee with more fat.

Fat is not such a bad thing as it helps create a more even roast, and a high concentration of sugar. A sugary bean generally makes a better brew, and you have to consider roasting to understand this. For starters, freshly picked coffee beans have little or no flavor, it’s the roasting that does the trick. The roasting process triggers a multitude of chemical reactions such as but not limited to the breaking down of sugar also known as caramelization, which contributes to the brown color of the coffee.

But that’s not all. Roasting also helps enhance coffee’s unique aroma and flavor such as furans for that nutlike taste and diacetyl for a butterscotch flavor. Roasting also produces Maillard reactions – named after French chemist Louis Camille Maillard. These complex reactions take place when the heat is applied to amino acids when sugars are present. Just like caramelization, they are responsible for browning and producing several chemicals that collectively provide unique flavors to cooked meats, dark beers, baked bread, coffee, and toast.

Some of the acids found in coffee are:

  • Citric acid – this acid is generally found in Arabica beans that are grown at higher elevations. This is the same acid that is found naturally in citrus fruits and is associated with tones of orange, lemon, and grapefruit.
  • Malic acid – this is often associated with tones of peaches or plums, but commonly offers a more pear or apple taste in the coffee.
  • Phosphoric acid – this acid tastes sweeter than most acids, but can transform what could be tasting citrus flavor into a sweeter mango or grapefruit.
  • Chlorogenic Acids (CGAs) – these are largely responsible for the acidity in coffee and degrade rapidly in the roasting process compared to other acids. This is one of the key reasons why light roasts are described as “bright” more often than dark ones.
  • Quinic Acid – this is produced as the acids start degrading, and darkly roasted coffee generally has high concentrations of it. Higher concentrations of this acid are even found in coffee brewed several hours ago and kept warm on a hot plate as well as in stale coffee. It is the main acid that turns stomachs sour, but on a brighter note gives coffee its clean finish.
  • Tartaric Acid – it tends to produce a sour taste at certain levels of concentrations, but it offers up grape-like or winey notes, which isn’t surprising given that it is found in grapes.
  • Acetic Acid – this is the same acid that is found in vinegar, which generates a high level of pleasant sharpness at lower concentrations. But as you might have guessed, higher levels of acetic acid can be unpleasant, so coffee with high levels of this acid probably wasn’t processed properly.

Bitterness

Bitterness is the last primary taste sensation combined with sweet, salty and sour. Even though all these are found in coffee, they must be well balanced and you don’t want too much of any. Salty coffee will be terrible in taste, but coffee that has a specific level can be described as neutral or soft coffee.

Poor quality is generally the reason for too much bitterness, and sometimes could also be low-density coffee that’s over-roasted. This usually means that the coffee was improperly ground or too much of it was put in the filter. As a result, the water hasn’t been able to flow properly, which causes a bitter-tasting brew. Brewing is an important factor in good tasting coffee, where the ideal time in less than four to five minutes.

Organic or Non-Organic

Trees for organic coffee differ from others in that they are grown without the addition of chemical additives. Also, the areas for trees themselves are not treated with pesticides. As a result, packaged beans were grown and produced in the most natural way, without the intervention of synthetic chemistry.

Now the majority of espresso coffee brands care, above all, about the health of their customers. Organic coffee pleases modern customers who want to have healthy products in their body. You simply develop a habit of caffeine, which doesn’t cause any harm. Also in favor of a healthy product, you can add the fact that good organic espresso beans have a more pronounced invigorating effect. In other words, you will need one spoon of organic coffee for three days, while one spoon of inorganic coffee would be enough for a day.

But here it is necessary to note that there is a restriction: you can drink no more than two cups a day.

Caffeine level

Simply put, this criterion is the total amount of caffeine that is contained in the beans. Robusta has a higher level of caffeine, but in practice this value is almost the same for any drink.

Let’s see in what drinks what content of this substance.

  • Espresso contains 50-68 mg of caffeine, while the volume of the drink is 0.8-1.1oz.
  • Americano contains 50-68 mg of caffeine, while the volume of the drink is 1.7-2.4oz (a portion of espresso + 1oz of water).
  • Cappuccino contains 50-68 mg of caffeine, while the volume of the drink is 4.7-6oz (a portion of espresso + 1oz of milk + 1oz of milk foam).
  • Black coffee contains 38-65 mg of caffeine, while the volume of the drink is 3.4oz (the caffeine content will depend not only on the type of coffee but also on the method of preparation – in a Turk, a geyser coffee maker, etc).
  • In instant coffee contains 31-48 mg of caffeine per 3.4oz of drink.
  • Coffee without caffeine is a product in which 97% of this substance is removed.

As you can see, there are practically no differences either. Therefore, this is not a very important indicator.

Ways of bean processing

To process the beans that were collected on the plantations, there are three methods:

  • Dry method (Natural);
  • Semi-dry method (Pulped Natural);
  • Wet method (Washed or wet processing).

The main part of the espresso beans is prepared using two main methods: dry (Natural) and semi-dry (Pulped Natural).

Dive deeper.

Dry processing (Natural). Coffee is dried without purification. At the end, the drying pulp, which is redundant, is removed. 2-3 weeks after the start of drying, the pulp absorbs sugars and other substances that successfully form its taste. Bright aroma, increased sweetness, and rich flavor distinguish coffee with such processing. If we talk about the countries where this method of making coffee is used, then Indonesia, Brazil, Ethiopia, and Yemen can be distinguished.

Semi-dry treatment (Pulped Natural). Before drying, the flesh is left, but the skin is removed from the berries. Coffee that is processed in this way has a mild aroma, balanced and good taste, as well as muted acidity. This process yields more final crema, another factor that distinguishes this treatment from others. Beans are processed this way in Brazil.

Wet processing (Washed or wet processing). Before final drying, the flesh is removed as well as the skin. High acidity, bright fruit / floral aromas, and tastes – this is what characterizes wet processing. I want to say that coffee processed in this way is almost never used in its pure form. Such a method is needed in order to obtain beans which will then be added to richer mixtures so that the intensity of the beans is reduced. Since dark roast destroys the aroma of the beans, a mixture containing wet processed beans is usually lighter than the rest.

How to grind coffee beans

You can grind coffee in two ways: using a coffee grinder or improvised tools.

Grinding coffee beans in a coffee grinder is not difficult, so I will only list their types:

  • Blade Grinder;
  • Burr Grinder;
  • Manual coffee grinders.

A much more interesting question is how to grind coffee without a coffee grinder and now I will share with you 5 ways.

Using a mechanical spice mill

How can you grind coffee beans without a coffee grinder? Try a spice mill. Such a device is probably present in every home. It is used for grinding black pepper, coriander and other spices. But it turns out that the appliance is also suitable for grinding coffee beans. Using a mill, it is possible to grind coffee beans fairly evenly, but you should not rely on very fine grinding.

Grinding grains in a blender

Another way to grind aromatic beans is to try a blender. But it should be noted that the knives in the blender are set very high and far from the wall blade.

Such household appliances as a blender are designed for torsion grinding, for example, turning the product into a liquid state or for whipping liquid products. The coffee grinder also has torsion grinding, however, due to the low location of the knives and the small volume, a vacuum is created from above, where the entire volume of the mixtures rises, then it drops and grinds again. This process occurs in a circle several times.

The blender will give you the opportunity to grind coffee to a state of a uniform powder. And the smaller the particles obtained, the more aromatic the drink will be.

The use of a meat grinder for grinding coffee

Probably the easiest way to grind coffee is an electric or conventional meat grinder. A modern unit is sold with knife sets for various products. You can grind coffee with the help of nozzles designed for spices, for example, black pepper peas. As a result of this procedure, we get a uniform grinding. But to achieve a satisfactory result is possible by passing the beans through a manual meat grinder several times. An electric meat grinder is able to cope with the task the first time.

Please note that before starting the grinding process, thoroughly rinse and dry all the parts of the equipment that will come in direct contact with the beans. If you do not follow this advice, they will absorb the smells of those products that were previously immersed in the unit.

If these devices are not at hand, you can use the simplest available tools.

Hammer

The hammer is perhaps the most extreme method. However, it is also used for grinding. First of all, you need to take some beans and wrap them in a newspaper. Then we start to hit them until they are completely chopped.

The surface for such a process must be chosen solid. It is better to take a sturdy and large chopping board.

Oddly enough, this gives a good result. Instead of a hammer, you can also use heavy paperweight or other weighty kitchen utensils.

Mortar

Mortar is one of the oldest methods that allows you to get a grinding of excellent quality. After putting the desired amount into the bowl, begin to grind the beans in a circular motion with pressure from the pestle until you obtain the required particle sizes.

Alternatively, you can use a coffee grinder in a supermarket. Almost all supermarkets selling these aromatic beans have appliances that will grind them.

How to store coffee beans

If you’re shelling out big bucks for premium coffee beans, you should be aware of how to store them correctly. Simply put, better beans when stored properly make better coffee, so here’s how to do it the right way. If your coffee has been packaged in papercraft bags with a thin lining, then chances are that it’s not going to stay fresh for that long, give them a week before they go stale!

If you transfer the coffee to an airtight container, it will stay fresh for a longer time, but make sure to store in your cupboard, away from light, and at room temperature. There’s often debate about whether you should put your coffee in the fridge or freezer, and the short answer is that it is best to avoid this storage process. But if you must store coffee in your freezer, make sure the bag is sealed and unopened. Before drinking, you’ll have to let the beans thaw to room temperature to preserve some of those fresh flavors.

Best Coffee Beans FAQ

Where Do the Best Coffee Beans Come From?

The best coffee beans are grown in the following countries: Brazil, Colombia, Honduras, Indonesia and Ethiopia.

Are Arabica coffee beans the best?

Yes, it is Arabica that creates the great taste in your cup of coffee. This variety is significantly more expensive than Robusta due to the difficulty of growing and because of its taste characteristics. But it is coffee of various varieties of Arabica which bear the emporium of flavors that we love so much.

As for Robusta, the caffeine content in Robusta is 2-3 times higher than in Arabica. Pure Robusta does not have a bright taste, the drink is strong and bitter. Taste characteristics are boring and earthy. Robusta carry a low cost due to ease of cultivation. Robusta is not afraid of pests and resistant to bad weather. It requires much less maintenance.

Is it safe to eat coffee beans?

Yes, it’s also beneficial. Coffee beans contain many essential oils, volatile substances and acids, which have a beneficial effect on the oral cavity: they destroy harmful bacteria and freshen your breath. Such cleaning of the tongue, gums, tooth enamel and the surface of the cheeks prevents the development of cavities, since when chewing, a soft coating is cleared, which is a hotbed of bacteria.

Moreover, these same bacteria also cause an unpleasant odor from the stomach and mouth, which means that chewing coffee beans is quite capable of replacing chewing gum.

Keep in mind that the beans are quite solid and you need to make an effort to crack them. People with thin, sensitive tooth enamel and weak teeth are not recommended to chew coffee beans, as this can cause enamel damage or tooth decay.

Coffee beans in large quantities cause the same effect as a cup of a prepared drink, so they should not be eaten too often or constantly. They are also not recommended for people with high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems.

Is coffee a bean or nut?

Coffee is a berry.

To make coffee, producers use beans (two grains lying flat sides facing each other), which are inside the coffee berries.

A ripe berry is red. Under the red skin there is a dense pulp, then there is a viscous layer of the fruit, under which there is a coffee bean covered with a thin film – parchment. Inside the berry there are usually two coffee beans, which are located facing each other and are separated by a thin membrane.

Can old coffee beans make you sick?

Such a drink does not directly affect your health. After all, there is completely no evidence of cases of poisoning or negative reactions that occurred after drinking expired coffee. Beans (as well as powder) do lose their taste and aroma after the expiration date, but you need to understand that this process does not occur at the click of a finger. In fairness, it must be said that for beans it lasts a little longer than for ground coffee.

With age, the dose of caffeine in coffee decreases. That is why drinks prepared on the basis of expired raw materials are often not able to give the very invigorating effect.

Final Thoughts

When looking for the best coffee beans, our list should ease your buying decision. The best coffee beans listed are from reputable manufacturers that source their coffee beans from the best locations in the world. Further, they also have a team of master roasters, who are highly experienced and roast to nothing short of perfection. 

If you want to buy best coffee beans online you can do it on Amazon. Most if not all the coffee beans are shipped the same day after placing your order, so you can expect nothing but fresh results in the morning or whenever you have a java binge. But that’s not all, we’ve even provided you with a detailed best coffee bean buying guide that includes everything you need to know to make the right choice for your taste. 

Furthermore, we’ve also provided a list of the most common brewing methods and the best equipment that you will need for each. And since you’re buying coffee beans, you will also need a coffee grinder, so we researched a bit further and have listed the best cappuccino makers, where some make more than just that, best coffee machines that come with an integrated grinder and even standalone coffee grinders. 

John Beans
Categories Coffee

Leave a Comment