Alex has never been professionally involved into the world of coffee, however he knows much more than any average barista. Being an avid coffee lover, Alex is constantly searching for new tips, tools, and techniques to make his morning cup of java even more perfect.
Mary has been dealing with coffee almost all her life long: in her teenage years, she worked as a barista in a number of well-known coffeehouses, later developing her knowledge and skills while studying at the university as well. Several years after graduation, she managed to open her own small coffee bar.
Last updated: May 28, 2021
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If you consider yourself a true coffee fiend, then you should always be on the lookout for the best coffee beans. After all, if the only reason you get out of bed in the morning is to have your cup of coffee, you should make it a darn good cup. A true coffee addict knows that the best coffee comes from whole beans ground right in the home.
In this comprehensive review and buyer’s guide, we have thoroughly reviewed the best ten coffee beans found on the market today. Including our Editor’s Choice, Mayorga Organics Café Cubano special dark roast blend, which is an organically grown and ethically sourced bean that produces a strong cup of coffee with a hint of sweet vanilla. You can find a full review below and compare it to our other picks to see if you agree with our choice.
Our reviews are completely comprehensive, covering everything you need to know about your coffee beans before you buy them. We considered the type of beans, origin of growth, roast, special notes about the blend, and finally, the bag size. You can join us for this complete overview and read in-depth reviews of each product as well as our exclusive buying guide. However, if you are in a hurry, we have included a table for quick reference as well.
This one is our editor’s top pick! Mayorga Organics Café Cubano dark roast coffee is specially sourced from local organic farmers in Latin America. Each batch is inspected for high quality and perfection. The best organic grown coffee beans really do make a major difference in the quality of a cup of coffee. This is a cup of organic coffee that you can really feel good about because it is 100% ethically sourced.
Martin Mayorga, a founder of the Mayorga Organics coffee brand, began importing from Latin America due to his passion for supporting small farmers that stemmed from his childhood. Mayorga remembers his own father importing Cuban cigars and the strong smell of dark brewed coffee steaming from cups as the men played dominoes. These fond memories sparked his interest in supporting small organic farmers.
This signature blend for the Mayorga Organics brand provides a distinctly bold cup of coffee that is not overpowering. Like most dark roast brews, the Café Cubano dark roast has a hint of sweetness among a strong aroma of a sweet smokiness. This sweetness is a light vanilla hint that comes through in a finely brewed cup of coffee.
Some batches may contain more oil used in the preservation of coffee beans before shipment. While uncommon, excessive oil can cause coffee to taste overly bitter and collect unwanted foam at the top of your brew. These are the best coffee beans for espresso.
This dark roast coffee bean is perfect for use in several different coffee brewing methods. Including machine espresso, stove-top espresso, coffee drip maker, and pour over coffee brewing methods.
Koffee Kult is owned and operated out of Hollywood, Florida, where a family business has turned into a loveable cult. By cult, we mean a fabulous following of adoring coffee fans, of course. This coffee-loving family business began with one man’s dream to find the perfect coffee bean. Over time, it has grown into a huge facility and an admirable business.
This hand-roasted dark roast coffee blend is inspected by artisan expert coffee roasters in an environmentally friendly coffee roasting facility. Once a small batch has finished roasting, the batch is immediately packaged for shipping to ensure maximum freshness.
Koffee Kult sources their beans from all over the world, but mostly from Guatemala, Columbia, and Sumatra. However, this dark roast maintains a high -quality taste with a hint of cinnamon and cocoa to boot. These are some of the best dark roast coffee beans.
Koffee Kult can be prepared in a variety of ways. This includes creating a highly concentrated espresso shot. When mixed into a cappuccino, this artisanal roast maintains its smooth and smoky flavor with a mild hint of cinnamon and cocoa traceable through the mix.
Sometimes, Koffee Kult beans are reported to be a little bit bitter. If this is the case for you, then you might reconsider your brewing method. A simple drip coffee might be preferable for your taste buds than an espresso shot out of this particular brew.
Overall, Koffee Kult has built an exceptional roast in their dark roast blend of coffee. Although the source is extremely difficult to impossible to trace, the overall taste of the beans is well above average.
From a small family in Lafayette, Indiana, comes the Copper Moon coffee roasting brand. During the journey that led them to become one of the top roasting companies, their mission has remained extremely simple. They want to bring out of this world taste to coffee lovers around the world.
This 2 lb bag of coffee beans brings an arabica taste to your morning brew that is almost too good to put into words. Copper Moon focuses on roasting one small batch at a time to ensure the maximum amount of attention on every single batch of coffee beans.
Specific to the Sumatra, this bag of coffee beans is a blend of coffee beans that has a surprisingly mild taste when brewed. Once brewed, the coffee has a sweetly bold taste, but it is not overpowering or overly bitter. This is the best coffee beans for a French press.
A 2 lb bag of coffee beans is actually a quite generous size. The best thing about this bag is that you are getting café level coffee for buying at a bulk price. This coffee is not an extremely gourmet flavor, but it is more high-quality than most of the shelf brands you will find in the local supermarket.
However, if you are looking for a bold flavor or a traditional dark roast coffee taste, the Copper moon is likely not the best choice for you. Copper Moon Sumatra is tasty, but it has a flavor much more similar to medium roast coffee than to a dark roast.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters is a company based in Portland, Oregon, that has been operating for 21 years. Their popularity among the coffee fans has only grown during that time. This company is committed to providing sustainably sourced, whole coffee beans that are among the best in the world. To be quite frank, they are doing a pretty good job of achieving that goal.
Hair bender is by far the best medium roast coffee bean on the market today. Stumptown maintains that the quality comes from the production of the bean far before the roasting of the bean. While Stumptown has a great reputation all around, their commitment to quality from growing to shipping is truly what they special.
Stumptown has artisan expert roasters watching the machine as it roasts these specially sourced beans from start to finish. Again, Stumptown has a commitment to quality and attention to detail like no other company ever seen before.
This blend makes a really good shot of espresso. If you are looking for a serious buzz, then you cannot go wrong with Stumptown’s Hairbender. These are some of the best coffee beans for a super-automatic espresso machine. They make a mean cappuccino too. Hints of citrus and dark chocolate peak from behind a smooth brew with a strong and sweetly smoky aroma.
As an added bonus, Stumptown has a serious commitment to sustainability and giving back to the environment. This is a serious commitment to this company and one that they have proven they are willing to keep.
SF Bay Coffee is a long-standing company that has come a long way in the forty years since they joined the coffee roasting business. A renewed focus on waste reduction and sustainability is a marked accomplishment for this monumental coffee company.
Not only is SF Bay Coffee committed to sustainability, but they take the ethical sourcing of coffee beans to a whole new level. By paying small organic farmers above the asking price for sourcing beans, SF Bay Coffee has set an entirely groundbreaking standard for treating farmers the way they deserve to be treated, and they are changing the lives of small business farmers.
SF Bay Coffee’s Fog Chaser is a highly impressive medium roast coffee bean that hits you in the face as soon as you open the bag. The strong aroma is the sign of a high-quality bean, but this is our pick for the best value as well. If you are looking for a high-quality bean for a budget price, then this is absolutely the pick for you.
This medium roast coffee bean is grown in both Central and South America. As mentioned before, the sustainable company makes it a point to pay their farmers above the average price, which is a win in our book.
This is also our pick for the best coffee bean for pour over brewing method. The flavor in this blend is actually quite impressive. As overwhelming as the combination might sound, the hint of milk chocolate, mandarin orange, and toffee really does have the smooth finish that this bag boasts of on the outside of the package.
If you are a fan of blended coffee, then this Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazilian signature blend from Don Pablo gourmet coffee is a really great choice for the fan of the blended bean. In fact, the Don Pablo company has family ties in Columbia, and they hand pick their Columbian beans making this a great option for the best Columbian coffee beans.
A medium-dark roast coffee is expected to have a bold taste with a slightly tinted sweetness to it. Don Pablo does not disappoint with his overwhelming flavor. The roasting process brings out the natural sweetness within the beans by caramelizing the sugars found in the beans themselves. Unfortunately, this coffee bean is roasted in massive batches. This means it is not as well roasted as some other options on the market.
Don Pablo has a commitment to moving the coffee beans straight from the roaster into the packaging for shipping. They understand that freshness is key when it comes to a really delicious cup of coffee, and they are striving for greatness in this area.
One of the major downfalls of this company is that very little information is available about how they source their coffee beans and whether or not they practice sustainability. However, the beans are certified non-GMO, which is a great benefit to these coffee beans.
Overall, this 2 lbs. bag packs a really great flavor and will make some really great coffee from the comfort of your home.
Vahalla Java is made by Death Wish Coffee Company, a company that has a reputation for serious caffeine content and really great coffee. Vahalla Java, more specifically, is created by a famous guitarist, Zakk Wylde. Vahalla Java says that their beans are grown in Indonesia, Central, and South America.
This is a coffee bean that is roasted by hand and claims to have one of the highest contents of caffeine in the world. Many coffee lovers claim that Death Wish Coffee Company excels in one thing: caffeine. So, we can trust that Vahalla Java, when brewed correctly, will pack a serious energy punch.
The flavor of Vahalla Java is nutty, but it definitely has a serious sweet hint to it. Coffee lovers rave about the milky chocolate hint mixed with a smooth blend of unknown flavors. This 12 oz bag is not going to be enough if you become a fan of Vahalla Java as so many before you have.
Death Wish Coffee has a great reputation for customer service, which makes this coffee a great option for more than just its flavor in our book. This coffee is strong, nutty, chocolatey, and good. However, if you are not satisfied, you can rest assured that Death Wish Coffee Company will be more than happy to make it right in order to be a good company with great service.
If you are a fan of Hawaiian coffee, then you should absolutely give Kauai Coffee Koloa Estate a chance. This medium roast coffee tastes like heaven and is an extremely pure grown coffee bean. So rarely can you find a 100% arabica coffee bean, but Kauai can be trusted to give you just that.
Kauai has the largest coffee growing business in Hawaii, which is an excellent place to grow and farm coffee beans. Actually, Kauai began as a sugar farmer in Hawaii in the 1800s. They switched to coffee in 1987, and coffee has become the company’s bread and butter very quickly.
This blend has an excellent taste, and this coffee is the best cold brew coffee beans. Each cup has a smooth taste with a sweet yet flowery experience. Exactly what you expect from the perfect vacation island’s high-quality coffee experience.
Kauai Coffee does a great job with sustainable coffee growing and has even built programs to give back to the environment to make a great change in the environment in the long run. After all, coffee grown on an island means the farmers must understand the value of the limited land.
Lavazza Coffee has a huge reputation around the world. However, they are most well known as the favorite brand in Italy. While Italy might be most well known for its pasta, coffee is a huge part of Italian culture.
Lavazza Coffee has been growing and roasting coffee for over 120 years, which makes them one of the pioneer coffee roasters in the world. They were one of the first companies to experiment with blending beans and have become experts in the smell and taste of really great coffee.
This blend is a really great choice for a smooth expresso. However, it is also a great choice for a cappuccino. If you’re in the mood for a plain drip coffee, this blend is great for that too. It really is a jack of all trades.
Lavazza Coffee has perfected the blend of coffee that they now ship all around the world. This blend is smooth and mild, but not so mild that it tastes a bit like coffee water. On the contrary, this blend makes the perfect cup of coffee, no matter what end you are trying to achieve.
It has hints of hazelnut and brown sugar, leaving a tiny bit of sweetness as it goes down. However, that sweetness is mild, and so is the boldness of this medium roast coffee.
Starbucks breakfast blend is the absolute best Starbucks coffee on the market. Unfortunately, Starbucks coffee is mass produced, and it simply is not given the stark attention that a well-known company like Starbucks should be giving its coffee choices.
The blend itself is one of the lighter roasts made by Starbucks, although it claims to be a medium roast coffee on the bag. It has a mild taste with hints of a fruity taste and a slight nod to chocolate. Although, the company does boast of sweet orange and brown sugar in the roast overall.
Overall, this coffee is wildly disappointing in comparison to the other brands, although it will make a perfectly fine drip coffee. It is not going to compare to the quality of drink you can get at an actual Starbucks. However, for our list, this one wins the best light roast whole bean on the list.
Whether you are a coffee fanatic, or a newcomer buying the right whole bean coffee for your needs is actually quite a complicated process. This buyer’s guide will break down all of the essential factors to consider before making your final purchase.
Why making coffee at home?
Most of us drink coffee each and every morning before we head out of the door to go about our day. Or at least, we stop at the coffee shop before beginning our day. However, coffee brewed at home is more often than not more economical and more flavorful than you can buy at a coffee shop.
Further, through making your coffee at home, you have the control to choose what types of coffee and what types of brands you support. For example, you could support our sustainability friendly and ethically sourced organic editor’s choice, Mayorga Organics; or you could unknowingly support a huge environmentally challenged corporation like Folgers.
Features to consider before you buy coffee beans
Buying Coffee beans is kind of like taking a small child to pick out one toy in a toy store. The decision is hard to make, and it is overwhelming. This is why we are here to guide you on selecting the right coffee bean for your desires.
Understanding all of the features of your coffee bean is the first step to becoming a coffee connoisseur. The type of coffee, origin, roast, notes and bag size are all important to how the coffee is going to taste and the value that you are getting as a customer. As an added bonus, each of these features is fully discussed in each of the reviews we have listed above.
Before we get any further into discussing coffee beans, you need to understand the types of beans that you might be looking at. There are two main types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica beans are considered far superior to the Robusta type. These beans have a rich flavor, which is why many coffee lovers prefer Arabica over Robusta. One of the reasons that Arabica beans are more expensive than Robusta beans is that there are very specific growing conditions that can produce an Arabica bean.
On that same note, Arabica beans have a less concentrated amount of caffeine on them. They are really well suited for decaf coffee.
Robusta beans are far easier to farm, and they can be produced in much larger quantities because of this quality. Robusta beans are not affected by most insects because they have an extremely high concentration of caffeine.
Unfortunately, their flavor is less than impressive, often described as rubbery. This is why you will often see “blends” of coffee, such as Lavazza coffee blend featured above, that is made in Italy. Because the taste of arabicaarabica with the caffeine and affordability of Robusta makes the very best coffee.
The origin of the bean is actually quite simple to understand. The origin of the blend is referring to what region of the earth the bean was grown in.
Coffee cannot be grown in a greenhouse; it has to be planted outdoors. Different climates and different soil will produce certain features within the coffee bean.
Ethiopian coffee, for example, is known to be somewhat fruity. While Brazilian Coffee is darker and heavier.
If you are not roasting your own coffee beans, then it will be important for you to know which type of coffee beans roast you prefer. Light? Medium? Dark? If you are not sure what the difference is, then you definitely need to read this section before you go buying a bunch of coffee beans.
Light roast coffee beans are dry and pale in appearance. They most closely resemble the look of a raw coffee bean. Light roasts are the least acidic and the most robust coffee flavor.
Medium roast coffee beans are a tad sweeter than light roast. The roasting process actually forces the caramelization of the sugar within the coffee bean. Medium roasts are moderately acidic and might actually taste a bit bitter.
Dark roast coffee beans are much stronger in flavor than the other roasts. They have a roasty taste with very little of the coffee bean flavor left. These brews will appear thicker and slightly oilier when brewed than the other roasts.
The tasting notes that you see under each review give you an idea of the hints of flavor that you might find within that particular blend of coffee. For example, SF Bay’s Fog Chaser has hints of chocolate. By reading the notes about the flavor, you know what to expect in the taste of your coffee. This is a quick guide meant to help you make quick decisions about trying a particular blend of coffee. As explained earlier, the notes within your coffee will come from the soil in which it is grown. Further, the type of bean and roast will bring out certain flavors more than others.
Bag size simply gives you an understanding of the size of the bag that we are reviewing in this particular review. This helps you understand the value of the price you pay for the coffee you are considering purchasing.
This will depend on what type of coffee you prefer and the tools that you have available at your exposure. Most commonly, people use a drip coffee maker to brew coffee at home, and for a beginner, this is the best option so as not to overwhelm yourself in the beginning of your coffee journey. However, you might consider purchasing an espresso machine to make shots of espresso and open up your options to making cappuccinos and lattes at home once you are more comfortable in your coffee experience. True coffee experts might also consider trying a French press.
We chose SF Bay’s Fog Chaser as our best choice for pour over coffee. These beans are not going to be ground as finely as some of the other choices because they are a giant blend of arabica and robusta beans. While the flavor might be lacking a bit for this blend, it makes a really easy and clean choice for pour over coffee.
If you want to make espresso shots at home, then you are going to need a few tools. You can either invest in an expensive espresso machine, or you can purchase a French press. Whatever tool you choose will help you determine the method through which you will make espresso at home.
Our favorite coffee bean is by far the Mayorga Organics Café Cubano dark roast whole bean, and we really like the flavor, but also all of the things that the company stands for. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted is our premium pick for all the really great flavor that it packs. And our best value pick goes to SF Bay Coffee Fog Chaser Whole Bean for all of the great flavors at a great price. We hope that you have been able to learn everything you need to know in order to pick the best coffee beans for your personal needs from our comprehensive guide.