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: January 24, 2021
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Many people across the world love coffee. What some of them might not have tried are the bold and intense flavors of dark roast coffee beans. Many coffee connoisseurs swear by dark roast coffee, even if the masses generally prefer having a lighter roast as their favorite drink.
In this guide, we have reviewed the ten best dark roast coffee beans to give you an amazing opportunity to take the next step in your journey to find the perfect coffee. In terms of the best dark roast coffee, it’s hard to look past Death Wish Coffee. It represents itself as the strongest coffee in the world, and it certainly gives you a kick. The flavor is rich and smooth while having some subtle tones of cherry and chocolate. That being said, we have also looked at nine other incredible coffees, which might be more to your taste.
Our dedicated team has spent countless hours to make sure we’ve found the very best dark roast coffee beans out there. As well as focusing on that all-important flavor, we have looked at the types of beans, the size of the bag, and where the beans have come from. In order to give you all the information, we’ve made an easy-to-scan comparison table and detailed reviews for each bag of beans. In the end, we have a buying guide to give you all the information you need to get the perfect dark roast coffee beans.
"This popular type of coffee has fantastic aroma and flavor of bittersweet chocolate with caramel. The airtight package can keep them fresh quite long, allowing you to enjoy your favorite beverage repeatedly."
"This blend is a magnificent choice for drip coffee makers because of the deep chocolatey taste with hints of caramel and long-lasting aftertaste. The company used an authentic Italian experience to make it."
Many coffees that we have looked at on the market have dark and edgy packaging. Here we see a different approach that reflects the message that this coffee is being sourced and made in the most responsible way possible.
The 100% Arabica beans come from the Central American country of Honduras. They are able to give you an incredibly rich depth of flavor. The velvety and chocolaty tones will delight you with just one sip.
There are plenty of people out there who struggle with the acidity of regular coffee. If that sounds like you, then this coffee would be perfect. The low acidity it has tells you how mild and enjoyable your beverage will be.
It comes in a 2-pound bag, which might be a waste if you don’t like the taste, but we’re sure that you will. It is suitable for all brewing methods, and therefore, you’ll be able to get great coffee whichever way you like it.
If you’re looking for pure Kona coffee, then you can stop your search right here. This brilliant coffee by Blue Horse will be able to give you exactly what you need with its taste and aroma, which will amaze you.
It is shade-grown to ensure that only the best beans are used as they are also handpicked. The final result is a dark roast coffee, which has a bittersweet chocolate taste with wondrous hints of caramel.
The sealable one-pound packaging will allow you to keep the coffee fresh for however long it takes you to go through the whole bag. These coffee beans are coming straight from Hawaii. Kona beans are highly sought after on the market what makes quite pricey.
The Kona coffee tastes fantastic, and if you’ve never had it before, then you need to give it a try. When you do you’ll also be able to enjoy the wonderful aroma that it will release around your home or office as soon as the pack is opened.
Death Wish is a coffee that immediately grabs your attention due to the company states that this is the world’s strongest coffee. The amount of caffeine in each cup is doubled compared to average coffee. It’s an incredibly strong whole bean coffee, which is sure to give you a kick.
Aside from the high level of caffeine that it’s able to deliver, the coffee also has some interesting tasting notes. As well as notes of cherry, you’ll get some chocolatey flavors, which really heighten your impression.
The distinct coffee taste might be a little too much for some taste buds since some people weren’t able to appreciate the coffee. With coffee being an individual preference, it makes sense that some might not like it.
For most people, they are going to love how smooth is the drink and how low is the acidity level. The packaging is also extremely cool, and it’ll be a talking point for anyone that sees it. Another benefit is that this coffee has been organically grown, which improves the flavor even more.
With the name of Real Good Coffee Co, you’d want to make sure that you’re living up to the name. Thankfully, the result here is an excellent coffee, which you are more than likely going to enjoy.
Most of these coffees come in a large bag, and that can pose a little bit of a problem if you’re not hugely in love with it as it could be seen as a waste of money. However, with these premium quality Arabica beans, it is a low chance that you are going to have this issue.
There are many hints of flavor with this coffee, and you’ll like being able to discover them. There are undertones of raspberry and anise with a rich dark chocolate taste that many people adore. Moreover, there is absolutely no bitterness in your drinks with this pack.
These coffee beans are roasted and packaged in Seattle. You’ll also be able to use them to brew coffee with drip coffee maker, French press, and pour-over method. It ticks all the right boxes, and when it comes to dark roast, you won’t be disappointed.
Kicking Horse coffee is sure to give you a kick! It will be able to give you a unique and distinctive taste, which many people will fall in love with. It works perfectly as both a hot and cold brew, whichever way you like it.
There are great flavors to be found with chocolate malt, molasses, and licorice. The finish is also great to leave you with a warm and cozy feeling inside.
There are a few different sizes available to allow you to get exactly what you need. It’s made with 100% Arabica beans to give you confidence in its quality. The taste is very highly rated, and there is a great chance this will quickly become your favorite coffee.
Even though some customers reported that they had received a stale batch of beans, it’s not a common issue.
With the coffee being certified as organic, you will be happy to drink a cup of high-quality coffee. Each pack is made responsibly and has Fair Trade certification too. Overall, we recommend you to try this magnificent blend of dark roast coffee beans.
Amazon is developing an increasingly good reputation at putting its name to some high-quality products at affordable prices. We can see that here with this fantastic AmazonFresh dark roast coffee.
They ensure that the coffee you receive is fresh as it’s packed straight after it has been roasted. Moreover, the package has a one-way valve to prevent the air from getting in. Once you have brewed yourself a cup, you will be able to enjoy the clean and smooth taste that these coffee beans give.
That flavor has elegant notes of dark chocolate, which many drinkers are fond of. The finish is quite mild when compared to other dark roasts, and the quality of the product is great.
The company states that it is what you want to have for making espresso. Many customers shared the information that these are great coffee beans for cold brew as well. It’s a versatile coffee, which can be enjoyed in many different ways. It might not be to everyone’s taste but, the vast majority will be very happy with it.
Koffee Kult is another company that has been able to make a perfect dark roast coffee. It delivers an impressive level of consistency while also giving you an excellent taste, which is smooth and rich.
For those who really into making coffee with dark roast beans, they might see this as a little bit on the weaker side. But most drinkers are going to love the cocoa and cinnamon flavors. It has a pleasant finish, which can’t be found in cheaper brands.
Aside from the taste of coffee, another aspect people adore is the rich aroma that some beans provide. Furthermore, the beans have no oil on them. This might be something you were searching for. They have an astounding smell that will give you a great feeling once your cup is poured. Then, once you taste it, you’ll be in heaven.
It’s another brand, which has done brilliantly with its advertising. The packaging looks great, and you’re able to buy it in three different size options depending on your preference. These are wonderful dark roast coffee beans, and we are sure they’ll please you.
Brazil is a country that is well-known for producing high-quality coffee beans. Lavazza has made the most of that by using beans from the country to produce this marvelous dark roast coffee bursting with flavor.
As well as having the chocolatey taste, which is commonly associated with dark roast coffee, this brew will also have hints of caramel, which help to make it special. Together with having a long aftertaste, the feelings you get are unmatched.
It gives you multiple depths of flavor that will make you adore the coffee all over again every time you are having a cup. You get a consistent level of quality with every bag that you buy, and you’ll never be disappointed.
One possible issue for some people is that the beans are slightly milder when compared to other dark roast coffees. On the other hand, this blend of Italian dark roast coffee beans is perfect for drip coffee makers. You will appreciate the great aroma of this unique high-end coffee.
Starbucks is the king of the coffee show, and they have been able to make an astonishing bag of dark roast coffee.
There are plenty of buying options available, you’ll be able to get it in multiple different sizes as well as different types of dark roast. This bag is perfect for making espresso, and it’ll give you the wake-up call you need.
This coffee has a special caramel taste. It is full-bodied and bold, so you can feel how intense these dark roast coffee beans are. If you are fond of the caramel sweetness and drinking a cup with steamed milk, you’ll love this coffee.
Unfortunately, some users have reported some delivery issues, but most have been able to receive this premium coffee.
As you’d expect with a Starbucks branded coffee, the quality is very consistent, as you’ll get the same great coffee every time. You might prefer to go for a less common coffee brand, but if you’re a Starbucks fan, you’ll definitely be happy with this.
Black Knight makes a very bold claim of their coffee being a “dangerously dark roast”, and, in terms of taste, it is true. It’s incredibly strong and will be perfect for those who wish to embrace the bold flavors of a dark roast.
If you’re not used to dark roast coffee, then there is a chance that you will find it a little too strong, which is something to be aware of. For most coffee fans, they will enjoy the tropical notes with a delicate hint of caramel.
The whole process of coffee making is completed in the USA. Even better than that, this coffee is USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified. There are various bag sizes, so you can choose an option according to your needs.
With 100% Arabica beans, you’re going to be able to have a lot of faith in the quality of the coffee. It works with many different brewing methods including both hot and cold brew.
What we liked:
Organic and fair trade
Great for numerous brewing types
Perfect dark taste
Works great for cold brew
What could be better:
It could be too strong for some
Things to Consider
Choosing the best dark roast coffee for you can be difficult. Considering that coffee is such a personal preference, the best coffee in the world to one person might have a taste of an average drink to another.
There are things that you can do to help yourself. Choosing a highly-rated coffee will increase your chances of finding the right product. Knowing how it was made, and the flavors it has is vital too. Here, we are going to take a look at what you need to learn before buying the best dark roast coffee for you.
How to choose the best dark roast coffee beans?
Dark roast coffee beans can come from many different places from all over the world. While some regions are more preferred than others, high-quality beans can come from anywhere with the appropriate climate for these plants.
You’ll find everything about the way they’ve been roasted, what type of beans have been used as well as more personal factors such as the size of the bag you want to buy and your favorite brewing method. It’s great to get a list of what you’re searching for and then get the coffee that most accurately matches your needs.
Type of beans
There are many types of coffee beans across the world, but by far, the most common are Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica – between those two types of beans, Arabica is the most common as it accounts for around 70% of coffee beans used. They are able to produce a well-balanced flavor and are generally milder than Robusta beans.
Robusta – when compared to Arabica beans, Robusta has more caffeine but has a more bitter taste to it. They are cheaper, and usually, they are blended with Arabica to get the best of both worlds.
Kona – named after a district in Hawaii, Kona coffee can only be sourced from the slopes of Hualalai and Mauna Loa. It has a full-bodied flavor with a great aroma, but it is quite expensive. If you want to try it make sure you get 100% Kona and not a blended version. For example, you might want to try the BLUE HORSE 100% Kona Coffee.
There are different types of roasting available, and here we look at the most common ones.
Vienna – to get dark roasted coffee, the beans must be roasted a lot longer than other types of coffee. Vienna roasting will result in small spots of oil on the surface, which will enhance their flavor.
French – this is a common dark roast where the beans have dark brown colors, natural flavor, and sometimes even bittersweet notes. We recommend you to check the Real Good Coffee Co Dark French Roast. It has exotic hints of anise and rich undertones of raspberry and chocolate.
Italian – Italian roasted coffee is taken on the very brink of being burned. The beans are much oilier and darker than with a French roast. If you are interested in bittersweet notes or even charred, you should consider Lavazza Gran Filtro. It has a deep chocolatey taste with hints of caramel.
It’s worth noting that these methods don’t necessarily mean that the coffee was roasted in these places. Instead, it’s simply the name of the method of brewing.
Most of the coffees that we have looked at are roasted in smaller batches.
The advantage of this comes with being able to have more even consistency and more freshness than with large batches. The taste and aroma of the drinks are richer as well.
Central America – a diverse range of flavors to be found in this region. Here, the farmers grow a great all-around coffee with a mid-level of acidity with many different aromas. Wonderful Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Coffee Dark Roast comes from Honduras, providing a rich flavor and velvety body.
South America – Columbia and Brazil account for a huge percentage of the world’s coffee production. You generally get high-quality beans with low acidity from there. These full-bodied in flavor beans make great coffee just like Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark Roast. The blend contains beans from South America and Indonesia.
Africa – the Arabica trees come from Africa, and it is able to produce many bold and intense coffees. There is a variety of flavors here, but you often get fruity notes depending on how it’s processed.
Southeast Asia – Robusta is the most commonly grown type in this region. However, there are about 10% of Arabica beans. The flavors are often extremely bold and intense with more earthy notes.
India – due to their conditions and the way it is processed, India makes a special coffee taste, which is both mellow and rich. For example, our Editor’s Choice the Death Wish Coffee World’s Strongest Coffee with notes of cherry and chocolate has high caffeine amount and low acidity level, which is definitely worth trying.
Each type of coffee has its own distinct flavor. That’s because they all grow in various places and conditions. Your beverage can have different notes and aftertaste. You can find anything from mild to strong, very dark roast.
Most dark roast coffees will have chocolatey tones. Sometimes these can be on the more milkier side of the chocolate range with other being really dark. Along with this chocolate taste, there can be fruity or caramel tones depending on what you desire. The most exotic on our list is the Real Good Coffee Co Dark French Roast. In addition, it has no bitterness and can be used for many brewing methods.
The choice is up to you, but it’s always a good idea to go beyond your comfort level and try out something new. It could be that you quickly discover your new favorite coffee.
The coffee bags that we have looked at here come in a wide range of different sizes. You might want to guard against potentially wasting money and avoid getting a very large bag. It will be a minor issue in case you don’t like it.
All the coffees that we have looked at here have a very high level of quality, and therefore there is a very good chance that you’re going to enjoy them. A 1- or 2-pound bag is a wonderful starting point to see if it will be a coffee you’ll fall in love with.
Freshness is a vital part of coffee. The beans lose their freshness quickly if they are not packed just after roasting. You want to minimize this time gap. We would like to mention the AmazonFresh Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee here because the company follows this rule. In addition, each bag has a one-way valve that prevents the air from getting inside.
In order to get the most out of the coffee, you need to make sure that you are grinding the coffee right before brewing. You want to make sure to store the beans in the airtight container to keep their exposure to oxygen minimal.
Each coffee company can have multiple certifications for their products. These can give you the assurances on the quality. Here are the most common that you can find.
Fair Trade – it means that coffee farmers and companies work in better trading conditions, follow environmental standards have more sustainable development.
Rainforest Alliance – if coffee has this certificate, then the farm it comes from is audited and meets a number of key factors relating to the environment for conservation.
USDA Organic – your coffee will receive this certificate if it’s organic. This means that the company avoids using substances that can be harmful to your health, including using synthetic pesticides and herbicides.
They all need different sizes of grinds, coffee to water ratios, temperature and brewing times. If you haven’t explored all of these brewing options, then it’s a good idea to try them out as you might find a new favorite way of brewing coffee.
What about the prices?
The price of dark roast coffee beans can vary quite a lot depending on a few different factors like the type of beans, origin, and flavor. Arabica beans are the most expensive as they are generally milder. Moreover, some companies offer coffee for different brewing methods.
There is a common misunderstanding when it comes to the strength of coffee. The roasting depth just adds a difference to the taste of the coffee, and it doesn’t relate to how strong it is. The taste is bitterer with darker tones, but that doesn’t mean that the coffee is stronger.
Instead, strength is determined by the coffee to water ratio during the brewing process. You can have a light roast cup of coffee, which is stronger than a dark roast and vice versa.
People also think that dark roast coffee beans contain more caffeine than light roast coffee beans. It is not true because the longer you roast, the more caffeine content they lose. But relatively to the cup of coffee, both roasts have the same amount of caffeine.
The exact temperature you should brew at is up for debate, but it should be in the range of 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t be afraid to brew your coffee at the lower end of that scale as you may find that it’s smoother with less bitterness.
There is another misconception that you want to use boiling water to make your drink. True coffee aficionados know that the temperature must be below the boiling point.
Coffee can be good for you for many reasons. First of all, dark roast coffee beans will help to reduce the aging process with the antioxidants that it contains. It will help with weight loss as well as it can work to increase your metabolism.
Coffee is able to increase your mental focus and alertness, allowing you to perform better at key tasks. It can work to keep away depression and reduce your risk of certain diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
However, remember to avoid drinking too much coffee because it can increase anxiety, lead to nausea and other unpleasant states. Having a glass of water after a cup of coffee would be a perfect piece of advice.
Hopefully, by now, you have a great idea of which dark roast coffee you want to try out. They all have their unique characteristics, which you will love. All you need to do after is grab your favorite mug and choose a brewing method.
For all-around qualities, the Death Wish coffee really stands out. It is our Editor’s Choice because it has amazing strength while being full of flavor.