Beans for Coffee

15 Best Beans for Coffee

The Best Coffee Beans of 2020

Okay, let’s be real, you’re probably here to find out what the best coffee beans you can get are. We won’t waste your time, here are the top 15 best beans for coffee in 2020!

If you want to learn more about WHY these are the best beans for coffee, or see a more detailed look at each of our best coffee picks, keep scrolling.

Here's a quick look at our 15 best beans for coffee!

The Coffee

Available As...

1. Nicaragua Mycotoxin Free Coffee


Nicaragua Mycotoxin Free Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel

2. Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee


Volcanica Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of fruit & wine

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3. Hawaiian Kona Estate Coffee


Hawaiian Kona Estate Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, with floral, cocoa, nutty & herbaceous notes

4. Honduran Marcala Coffee


Honduran Marcala

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of milk chocolate, walnut & lemon

5. Kenya AA Coffee


Kenya AA

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Sweet, notes of milk chocolate, walnut & lemon

6. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee


Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, notes of fruit and wine

7. Costa Rican Cumbres del Poas Coffee


Costa Rica Cumbres del Poas

Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of peach, cherry & orange

8. Indonesian Sumatra Gayo Coffee


Volcanica Indonesian Sumatra Gayo Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, earthy & spicy notes

9. Mexican Chiapas Coffee


Mexico Chiapas Coffee Wild Foods

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of nuts, caramel & Baker's chocolate

10. Indian Monsooned Malabar Coffee


Indian Monsooned Malabar

Roast: Light

Taste: Mellow, notes of Baker's chocolate, earth & fruit

11. Italian Gran Espresso Coffee


Lavazza Gran Espresso Whole Bean - 2.2 lbs per bag

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate, spice & earth

12. Indonesia Bali Blue Moon Coffee


Indonesia Bali Blue Moon

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, earth & spice

13. Rwanda Gitesi Coffee


Rwanda Gitesi

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of caramel, brown sugar and ginger

14. Jamaican Blue Mountain Peaberry Coffee


Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain Peaberry Coffee

Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet & clean, notes of chocolate, orange & mint

Get 10% OFF when you use code:

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15. Dark Colombian Supremo Coffee


Colombian Dark

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Complex, notes of earth and cherry

Where to Buy the Best Beans for Coffee?

Regardless of where they come from, the best beans for coffee are beans that are freshly roasted. Needless to say, the easiest way to get your hands on freshly roasted beans, is to buy from a local roaster!

Let me make this abundantly clear, grocery stores are not local roasters, and your odds of finding a bag of beans that have been recently roasted on the shelves of a grocery store are very low.

Local roasters typically take the form of an independent coffee shop that roasts their own beans. That is not to say that there aren’t any chains that offer freshly roasted beans, but your odds are certainly better with a smaller shop. Smaller, independent roasters typically roast in small batches, often multiple times per week, and sometimes even daily!

By all means, ask the owner about their roasting process, they will probably be happy to tell you all about it! If you know the days of the week that your local coffee shops roast their beans, you can plan your purchases accordingly. Not only is the selection better, but the beans are as fresh as can be!

While purchasing coffee beans from a local shop is likely the best way to ensure freshness, that doesn’t mean that you can’t get freshly roasted coffee online. There are a number of coffee companies that
roast to order.

What exactly does that mean?

It means that these companies do not roast huge amounts of coffee ahead of time and store it somewhere in a warehouse. It means that they freshly roast your beans when you order them to ensure that you get the best beans for coffee.

Coffee companies that roast to order typically get your beans to you within a few days, as their whole operation places a high value on delivering beans that are as fresh as possible.

It’s worth noting that when you order fresh coffee beans from a company that roasts to order, you have to place your order directly with the roaster. If you order their product through a third party, the freshness factor is out of their hands, and you might receive something that’s been collecting dust on a shelf somewhere!

The bottom line - Buy from your local roasters if you can, otherwise, order directly from online coffee roasters who roast to order. Our top 15 best beans for coffee list, of course, focuses on companies that roast to order!

How to Choose the Best Beans for Coffee

Okay so you know WHERE to look, and that beans that are roasted to order are your best bet, but how do you actually decide what type of coffee to pick? As you’ve probably noticed, there are a lot of coffee brands out there…

Seriously, there are thousands of options. So how do you sift through the noise and find the best beans for coffee? Let’s walk through the method to the madness by taking a look at the factors that contribute to the overall quality of coffee.

Coffee Roast Date - Does Coffee Go Bad?

If it was at all unclear before, or if you skipped the last section (we won’t hold it against you), the coffee roast date is of critical importance. Coffee will taste its best up until about 3 weeks from the day it’s roasted.

How long does a bag of coffee usually last you? A week? Two weeks? However long your bag may last, if you want to get the most out of it, the beans need to have been roasted very recently.

Let’s be clear here, coffee doesn’t “go bad” after 3 weeks, or a month, but you’ll start to lose the intricacies of the taste profile after about the 3 week mark. It will still be coffee, and it’ll still have caffeine in it, and you can be sure that we would still drink it… but if you’re seeking the best coffee possible, it’s gotta be fresh.

Robusta Coffee Beans

Whole Bean Coffee vs Ground Coffee

Pre-ground coffee products may offer some minor conveniences that whole bean coffee products do not, but that’s where the advantages end. When you grind up coffee beans, you drastically increase the surface area that is exposed to air. This will result in your coffee losing freshness at a much faster rate.

If you’re serious about getting the best taste out of your coffee, you have to go for a whole bean option. On top of that, you should grind only when you’re ready to brew!

Speaking of grinding...

Grinding Coffee Beans

Coffee bean grinding is the single most important part of the coffee making process.

Without going into relentless detail about coffee grinding, it’s worth mentioning that not all coffee grinders are built equally.

Using a burr grinder, as opposed to a blade grinder will result in a much more uniform grind. A more uniform grind will result in a more consistent extraction of soluble solids from your coffee. Basically, the point we’re trying to make is that a burr grinder will make your coffee taste better.

The taste difference will be especially pronounced with freshly roasted beans. So again, don’t grind until you’re ready to brew!

Burr grinders can get expensive in a hurry, but there are some reasonably priced options that will get the job done and last a long time. An afforable, quality option that we recommend is the Capresso Infinity Plus.

How to make coffee in a French Press Coffee

Coffee Brewing Methods

Everyone has different preferences when it comes to which beans are best with each brewing method, so we recommend experimenting as much as possible!

That being said, here’s a quick guide to get you started:

Brewing Method

Best Coffee

Pour Over

Trust the flavor notes. Go for whichever flavor profile description sounds best to you! Our favorites are Hawaiian Kona Estate and LifeBoost’s Nicaraguan.

French Press

Go for a darker roast to get a nice full-bodied brew. We recommend Colombian or Mexican Dark Roast!

AeroPress

Some of our favorites include Tanzanian Peaberry, Kenya AA, and Honduran Marcala!

Espresso

Cold Brew

Some people think light roasts make the best cold brew, some disagree. If you’re in the light roast camp, go for Monsooned Malabar, if you prefer a darker roast, go for Rwanda Gitesi.

Single Serve / K-Cup

While we tend to recommend going for the whole bean options when you can, if you’re looking for single serve / K-Cup options, Fresh Roasted Coffee has got you covered. We've included several of their best beans in our list!

Drip Coffee Machine

Literally any of these 15 picks. Go for the whole bean option and don’t grind until you’re ready to brew!

Roast Preference

Finding your favorite roast level really just comes down to trying an assortment of different roasts. It’s a great excuse to try a whole bunch of different beans!

Your favorite roast level may very well be different from bean to bean, origin to origin, and depending on the brewing method you’re using.

While roast level in itself can’t predict the exact flavor profile of a coffee, some generalizations can usually be made. 


Light Roast

Medium Roast

Medium-Dark Roast

Dark Roast

Taste

Retains taste of origin

Often grainy, fruity or floral

Retains much of origin taste

Often caramel & sweeter fruit notes 

Retains some of origin taste & some of roasting process 

Often chocolate, nuts, caramel

Taste is primarily that of roasting process

Often smoky, ashy, earthy, dark chocolate

Body

Mild, mellow

Medium - Full 

Full - Heavy

Full - Medium - Thin

Acidity

High

Bright, crisp

Medium

Balanced

Medium-Low

Balanced or muted

Low

Muted

Coffee Roast Level

Single Origin vs Blend

You’ve likely often seen coffee beans with a “single origin” labeled being pitched as a selling point. But what does it actually mean for a coffee to be single origin?

Single origin means that the coffee beans come from a single known geographical origin. This can range in specificity from a large, but defined region to a single farm. This is an admittedly loose classification.

The idea is that all of the beans are more or less the same, and the product will be a good representation of the specific origin. It is for this reason, that our top 15 best beans for coffee list consists primarily of single origin selections. We believe that getting an unadulterated taste of a specific region is the best way to find your favorite taste profile!

Popularity and demand for single origin coffee has skyrocketed in recent years, which has led to the increased availability of a wide variety of high quality coffees! While this is certainly great for consumers, it’s worth noting that a coffee being labeled as single origin doesn’t make it inherently better than a blend - there are tons of fantastic blends out there! It really just comes down to personal preference.

Blends often get a bad name because many cheaper coffee brands sell blends of whatever the cheapest beans currently on the market are. The inferior quality does not come from the practice of blending, but the quality of the beans to start with.

Fair Trade Coffee

The best beans for coffee will typically come with a fair trade certification. 

This certification indicates that the particular coffee beans have been purchased from a single farm or group of farms at a price that is deemed to be fair to the farmers. The price is determined by a group of different international fair trade networks in order to ensure that it is in fact, fair. 

Fair trade helps to improve the quality of life of citizens of developing countries that produce coffee. Fair trade practices are part of an effort to fight for income sustainability and fight against poverty.

Fair trade coops assist communities in need by building schools, investing in clean water, women’s health, and numerous other important causes.

Fair trade practices result in farmers and their communities receiving a larger percentage of the final export price, which in turn allows more money to be reinvested in their processes, and leads to a better product.

Coffee beans with a fair trade certification are coming from farms that have every possible incentive to provide the highest quality coffee possible, as doing so leads to a tangible, positive impact within local communities and promotes a source of sustainable economic support.

Organic Coffee

You’ve likely seen a USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) Organic certification label before, but what does it actually mean to be organic?

The organic certification indicates that the coffee has been grown without the use of artificial chemicals, fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides, and with a focus on shade-grown crops that allow birds and animals to act as an alternative source of natural pest control.

The certification process has a number of specific requirements, and it is a costly endeavor. 

Although it is absolutely a positive for a coffee to be certified organic, it should be noted that many smaller and independent farms may meet the organic standard, but may not have the means by which to finance the certification process. 

The lack of a certificate should not be held against these producers, so it is important to look at independent providers on a case to case basis.

1. Nicaragua Mycotoxin Free Coffee

Roasted By: LifeBoost Coffee


Nicaragua Mycotoxin Free Coffee

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate & caramel


Body: Full

Aroma: Sweet, caramel

Sweetness: Caramel-toned

Acidity: Very low

Aftertaste: Smooth, hint of sweetness


Origin: Nicaragua

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Mycotoxin Free, Organic, Single Origin, Fair Trade


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, french press or good old fashion drip!


Nicaraguan coffee is known to be rich and sweet. This coffee fits the bill perfectly. Delicious notes of chocolate & caramel and are evident in this smooth, low acid brew. This one is for the health conscious, low acid coffee enthusiasts out there!


LifeBoost coffee is well known for their focus on health conscious coffee, and are one of very few roasters to test for mycotoxins. What are mycotoxins? Mycotoxins are toxic, potentially disease causing metabolites produced by a variety mold species. Needless to say, you don't want them in your coffee!


On top of being certified mycotoxin free, LifeBoost coffee is also pesticide free, organic, shade grown and fair trade! These beans are a little more expensive than some other options, but you truly get what you pay for here - LifeBoost even offers a money back guarantee if you're not satisfied!


Learn more about the health benefits of LifeBoost coffee and find discounts here!

2. Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee


Volcanica Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Not available as single serve

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Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of fruit & wine


Body: Full, buttery

Aroma: Intense, wine-toned

Sweetness: Strong, fruity

Acidity: Bright, wine-toned

Aftertaste:  Light & dry


Origin: Tanzania, Mount Kilmanjaro

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Fair Trade, Single Estate


Brewing Method: We recommend AeroPress, pour over or cold brew! 


Tanzania has an esteemed reputation when it comes to peaberry coffee, and Volcanica's Mount Kilimanjaro variety surpasses the highly set bar. This coffee provides everything that has come to be expected from Tanzanian coffees, and does so in intense and concentrated fashion, as is expected of peaberry varieties. Growth in the volcanic soils of Africa's highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro, make for a fully developed taste profile.


These beans consist entirely of peaberries, which are thought to produce a more concentrated flavor profile. This coffee is rich, with notes of fruit and wine. A bright wine-toned acidity sticks around for a dry, yet light finish. You really need to just try a Tanzanian Peaberry coffee to understand all of the hype around it.

3. Hawaiian Kona Estate Coffee

Roasted By: Koa Coffee


Hawaiian Kona Estate Coffee

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, with floral, cocoa, nutty & herbaceous notes


Body: Silky smooth

Aroma: Sweet, cocoa

Sweetness: Moderate

Acidity: Balanced, vibrant

Aftertaste:  Smooth as can be


Origin: United States, Hawaii, Kona, Captain Cook

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, french press or drip coffee!


If you fancy yourself a coffee connoisseur, you're probably pretty familiar with Kona beans, or at least aware of their reputation. Kona coffee is grown on the western coast of Hawaii within a micro-climate that offers fantastic coffee growing conditions. These single origin beans come from the community of Captain Cook, located in South Kona, Hawaii.


This coffee is silky smooth, with rich notes of herbs, nuts & chocolate on display. A vibrant, yet balanced acidity adds a layer of complexity to the cup without comprising that signature smooth, mellow taste that is expected of Kona coffee.


Assuming you want the real deal and not a 10% Kona blend, Koa's Kona estate coffee is your best bet!

4. Honduran Marcala Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee


Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet, notes of milk chocolate, walnut & lemon


Body: Medium, smooth

Aroma: Roasted nuts, chocolate

Sweetness: Sugary

Acidity: Bright, citrus

Aftertaste: Bright, lemon-toned bite


Origin: Honduras, La Paz, Marcala

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin, Organic, Fair Trade


Brewing Method: We recommend AeroPress, pour over, or espresso!


Honduras has seen a well deserved increase in popularity in recent years. Fresh Roasted Coffee sources these beans from the municipality of Marcala, which lies within the region of La Paz, in south-west Honduras. This area, and much of Honduras benefits from ideal weather, rich soils & high altitudes.


These beans showcase the signature Honduran coffee taste profile very well. This coffee is naturally sweet, with notes of milk chocolate & nuts, with a bright citrus-toned bite that sticks around in the finish. This is a must try for black coffee drinkers.

5. Kenya AA Coffee

Roasted By: Cooper's Coffee Company


Kenya AA

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of honey, Baker's chocolate & cherry


Body: Heavy

Aroma: Floral & wine

Sweetness: Dark cherry

Acidity: Bright, wine-toned

Aftertaste: Hints of fruit & wine


Origin: Kenya

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin, Organic, Fair Trade


Brewing Method: We recommend french press, AeroPress, or drip!


Kenya AA coffee is widely considered to be one of the best coffees in the world. These beans are the highest quality, (grade 1) and one of the biggest sizes, (AA) in the Kenyan classification system.


This coffee offers a honey-toned sweetness and bittersweet notes of chocolate that set it apart from many other Kenyan beans. The bright, wine-toned acidity that is expected of Kenya AA beans is as evident as ever here. If you tend to prefer a darker roast, you'll want to check out these beans!

6. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee


Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium

Taste: Complex, notes of fruit and wine


Body: Full, thick

Aroma: Earthy, fruity, cinnamon

Sweetness: Moderate, fruity

Acidity: Bright, fruity

Aftertaste: Resonant 


Origin: Ethiopia, Sidamo, Yirgacheffe 

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, AeroPress, or drip!


As one of the top coffee producing countries in the world, Ethiopia is home to a number of distinct flavor profiles. Yirgacheffe coffee beans are perhaps the most renowned of them all, coming from an area located within Ethiopia's Sidamo region. Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a testament to the exceedingly high reputation of the region.


A complex combination of fruit & wine with an appropriately bright acidity, and a hint of cinnamon make up this splendid cup. If you’re ever asked if Yirgacheffe beans live up to the hype, simply hand the confused individual a cup of this, and wait for them to be enlightened.

7. Costa Rican Cumbres del Poas Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee


Roast: Medium

Taste: Balanced, notes of peach, cherry & orange


Body: Mild, clean

Aroma: Fruity

Sweetness: Fruity, peach

Acidity: Vibrant, citrus

Aftertaste: Smooth, hint of citrus


Origin: Costa Rica, Central Valley, Sanbanilla de Alajuela

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin, Organic


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, AeroPress, or drip!


Fresh Roasted Coffee sources these beans from a small family owned farm located in the Central Valley region of Costa Rica. Third generation coffee producers Dona Francisca and her husband Oscar Chacon run the mill seamlessly with many years of experience under their belts. Water conservation and organic practices are put at the forefront of this operation, as sustainability is taken very seriously. 


This coffee has a wonderfully fruity profile, with notes of peach, cherry & orange. While the overall profile tastes mild & clean, a citrus-toned acidity adds a level of complexity to the cup. Hints of citrus remain in a nice, smooth finish. If you're a fan of fruity flavor profiles, you'll probably fall in love with these beans!

8. Indonesian Sumatra Gayo Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee


Volcanica Indonesian Sumatra Gayo Coffee

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, earthy & spicy notes


Body: Heavy, syrupy

Aroma: Exotic, earthy & spicy

Sweetness: Moderate

Acidity: Low

Aftertaste: Clean & smooth


Origin:  Indonesia, Sumatra, Gayo

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Fair Trade, Organic


Brewing Method: We recommend french press, drip or espresso!


Indonesia is home to a large number of islands that offer a variety of distinguished coffees. Sumatra is one of the most renowned islands, and is considered to produce some of the best coffee beans in the world. Volcanica provides a wonderful representation of the Gayo region of Sumatra.


Notes of earth and an array of spices are present in harmony in a pleasantly heavy, syrupy body. This Indonesian coffee is low in acidity, rich in flavor, and finishes nice and clean. These are very high quality coffee beans, with a number of distinguished qualities on display. More experienced coffee drinkers are likely to thoroughly enjoy and appreciate these beans.

9. Mexican Chiapas Coffee

Roasted By: Wild Foods


Mexico Chiapas Coffee Wild Foods

Not available as ground

Not available as single serve

Roast: Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of nuts, caramel & Baker's chocolate


Body: Creamy

Aroma: Strong, chocolate

Sweetness: Caramel-toned

Acidity: Mild

Aftertaste: Smooth & creamy


Origin:  Mexico, Chiapas

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin, Organic, Fair trade, Charitable Contributions


Brewing Method: We recommend french press, cold brew or espresso!


Wild Foods sources these beans from Chiapas via sustainable, organic and fair trade practices. Priding themselves on using only the highest quality ingredients, Wild Foods is completely transparent about the sources and processes involved in the creation of their products. They also make charitable contributions to Pencils of Promise and World Concern


Wild Foods is a very respectable roaster in every department, including the quality of their coffee! This dark roast is rich, with notes of nuts, caramel & hints of Baker's chocolate. These beans are quite versatile, translating very well into both cold brew and espresso.

10. Indian Monsooned Malabar Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee


Roast: Light

Taste: Mellow, notes of Baker's chocolate, earth & fruit


Body: Full, Creamy

Aroma: Chocolate, musty

Sweetness: Fruity

Acidity: Low

Aftertaste: Mild, chocolate hints


Origin:  India, Mysore

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, french press or cold brew!


Monsooned Malabar coffee refers to coffee that has been exposed to the monsoon winds and rainfall of the Malabar coast in India. The exposure causes the beans to swell considerably and change from green to a yellow / light brown color. Beyond the aesthetic change, the process greatly diminishes the natural acids present in the beans, and enhances both body and the sweetness.


These beans have a signature musty aroma that is expected from Monsooned Malabar coffee. Don't get hung up on the negative connotations associated with the word musty! A variety of flavor notes including fruitearth & Baker's chocolate are encapsulated by a full, creamy body. As advertised, the acidity is muted. Despite the harsher nature of the aroma, this coffee remains mellow throughout, leaving an aftertaste with hints of chocolate.

11. Italian Gran Espresso Coffee

Roasted By: Lavazza


Lavazza Gran Espresso Whole Bean - 2.2 lbs per bag

Not available as ground

Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of chocolate, spice & earth


Body: Creamy, velvety

Aroma: Chocolate, spice

Sweetness: Moderate, caramel

Acidity: Mild

Aftertaste: Smooth, caramel


Origin:  Brazil, Honduras, Uganda

Species: Arabica & Robusta

Cert(s): 


Brewing Method: You guessed it, espresso! 


This coffee is a blend of beans from Brazil, Honduras and Uganda. Lavazza has been around since 1895, so you'd better believe that they have their blends down to a science. This blend produces a perfect espresso coffee with all of the desired qualities of a good shot.


This coffee has an intense, chocolate & spice toned aroma that is to die for. The espresso shots produced with these beans are rich, smooth, & never-bitter. A perfect golden crema is produced time after time, making for the perfect shot.

12. Indonesia Bali Blue Moon Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee


Roast: Medium

Taste: Rich, notes of dark chocolate, vanilla, earth & spice


Body: Full, creamy, syrupy

Aroma: Spicy, chocolate

Sweetness: Moderate, vanilla

Acidity: Minimal

Aftertaste: Smooth & spicy


Origin:  Indonesia, Bali, Kintamani Highlands

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Fair Trade, Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend AeroPress, french press or espresso!


Here's another one from Indonesia, this one representing the island of Bali. This single origin coffee is grown in the Kintamani Highlands and shows that Bali has more to offer than just beautiful beaches. 


A vast array of flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla, earth and spice are seamlessly interwoven into a creamy, rich mouthful. The spice portion of the profile sticks around and compliments a nice smooth finish.

13. Rwanda Gitesi Coffee

Roasted By: Cooper's Coffee Company


Rwanda Gitesi

Not available as single serve

Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Rich, notes of caramel, brown sugar and ginger


Body: Full, silky smooth

Aroma: Floral, spice

Sweetness: Honey-like

Acidity: Balanced

Aftertaste: Sweet, sustained


Origin:  Rwanda, Gitesi

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Organic, Single Origin, Fair Trade


Brewing Method: We recommend cold brew, pour over, or drip!


Although coffee from Rwanda is not nearly as highly regarded as the coffee that comes from some other African countries, the reputation of Rwanda coffee has been picking up steam in recent years. Rwanda coffee is often compared to Kenyan coffee, which is quite the compliment.


This coffee has a nice, silky smooth body. A mouth watering floral aroma gives way to the rich, sweet flavor profile. Notes of caramel, brown sugar, and a hint of ginger are balanced to perfection. A wonderful honey-like sweetness and a moderately bright acidity complete this complex cup of coffee.

14. Jamaican Blue Mountain Peaberry Coffee

Roasted By: Volcanica Coffee


Volcanica Jamaican Blue Mountain Peaberry Coffee

Not available as single serve

Get 10% OFF when you use code:

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Roast: Medium

Taste: Sweet & clean with notes of chocolate, orange & mint


Body: Full, smooth

Aroma: Floral, buttery

Sweetness: Sweet cream

Acidity: Medium, citrus

Aftertaste: Lingering chocolate & fruit


Origin:  Jamaica, Wallenford Estate

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend pour over, AeroPress or espresso!


Okay, okay, you knew there would be some JBM beans on this list, here they are! Jamaican Blue Mountain beans are often considered to be among the best in the world.


Due to the exceedingly high reputation, Blue Mountain coffee is very expensive. Because of the constant demand and high asking price, there are many companies out there that are eager to pass off their products as Jamaican Blue Mountain, when in fact they are blends with only a small percentage of the real deal. There are no regulations as to what constitutes a blend, so be careful! 


If you want the full experience, your best bet is to select a certified 100% Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee... for example, this one!


This coffee sports a nice sweet taste, with prominent notes of chocolate & orange, as well as hints of mint. A balanced citrus-toned acidity is present, but the cup remains clean throughout. A pleasant chocolate aftertaste lingers long after the cup is finished. This is truly exquisite coffee, ideal for a special occassion or as a gift to a coffee lover. 

15. Dark Colombian Supremo Coffee

Roasted By: Fresh Roasted Coffee


Roast: Medium-Dark

Taste: Complex, notes of earth and cherry


Body: Full, thick

Aroma: Earthy, cherry

Sweetness: Moderate, honey-like

Acidity: Balanced

Aftertaste: Sweet & Smooth


Origin:  Colombia

Species: Arabica

Cert(s): Single Origin


Brewing Method: We recommend french press, drip or espresso!


Colombia is a massive producer of coffee and considered to be home to some of the best coffee beans in the world. Colombia sits well within the coffee belt, a latitude range that centers around the equator, and benefits from an ideal climate enabling coffee growth all year.


This medium-dark roast coffee is full-bodied and has a thick mouth feel to it. Notes of cherry and earth are nicely accentuated by the darker roast. A mild acidity and honey-toned sweetness are balanced to form a complex cup. There is a lot going on in this one, you’ll likely want a second cup to fully appreciate it.

How to Store Coffee Beans

Still here? Alright then, let's keep talking!

We keep saying that you shouldn’t grind your coffee beans until you’re ready to brew, so how do you store them in the meantime?

DO NOT PUT YOUR COFFEE IN THE FREEZER!

You may have heard of some people putting their coffee in the refrigerator or freezer to keep it fresh… don’t do this. It doesn’t keep your coffee fresh, and it can actually ruin the flavor.

How exactly does this ruin the flavor?

Exposing coffee to cold temperatures will cause a degree of condensation that pushes the oils of the beans to the surface, where they will degrade more quickly. By tossing your beans in the fridge or freezer, you’re actually causing your coffee to age faster!

Another downside, that is admittedly kind of interesting, is that coffee has a tendency to absorb aromatics. Due to a porous cellular structure, coffee can actually absorb the aromas of whatever you have in your freezer and alter the taste of your brew!

While this would likely just ruin the taste of your coffee, what would happen if you put a bag of coffee beans in the freezer that was empty, except for one item with a favorable aroma? Would you create naturally flavored coffee? 

Probably not… but please let us know if you successfully pull this off!

OKAY FINE, WHERE DO I STORE MY COFFEE?

If your coffee beans come in a sealed bag with a one-way valve, (like Volcanica offers), then you don’t need to worry too much about finding a storage container. Simply keep this bag out of direct sunlight, in a cool, dry place like a cupboard or pantry.

If your beans come in a paper bag, or anything unsealed, you’ll want to transfer them to an opaque coffee canister as soon as possible. 

Arabica vs Robusta

If you’ve concerned yourself with learning about different types of coffee species, chances are you’re familiar with Arabica and Robusta. Arabica and Robusta are the major players in the consumer coffee game.

Arabica

Arabica coffee beans are widely considered to be superior to Robusta beans in the flavor department. Arabica beans are typically grown at higher altitudes than Robusta beans. Growth at higher altitudes occurs more slowly, which in turn allows a longer period of flavor development. 

Arabica beans offer a wide array of nuanced flavor profiles. Arabica beans are used in coffee shops, cafés and account for most of the beans that you purchase. 

All of the entries in our 15 best beans for coffee list are of the Arabica species with the exception of Lavazza's Gran Espresso blend, which is a blend including some Ugandan Robusta beans. 

Nothing personal against Robusta beans… but they don’t quite have what it takes to be placed alongside the best coffee beans in the world.

Robusta

Robusta coffee beans are frequently found in instant coffee products and in less expensive coffee blends. 

Robusta beans are grown at lower altitudes, and have significantly more caffeine than Arabica beans. This higher level of caffeine makes Robust beans more resistant to disease. Overall, Robusta beans can be grown more easily in a variety of conditions, and result in a higher yield. You might say that Robusta beans are… well, robust. 

Liberica & Excelsea

Originally from Liberia, Liberica beans are far less common than both Arabica and Robusta. Liberica trees grow much larger than both Arabica and Robusta trees, but taste much the same as Robusta beans.

Excelsea beans were considered to be their own entity in the past, but were reclassified to be a type of Liberica in 2006. As you could probably guess, Excelseas beans are quite similar to Liberica beans.

Both Liberica and Excelsea beans are used for purposes similar to Robusta beans.

Low Acid Coffee - Coffee Acid
Low Acid Coffee

Acidity vs Bitterness

Natural Acid in Coffee

Coffee, especially Arabica coffee, is naturally acidic. Not in the melt-through-human-flesh kind of way though! Coffee is acidic in the sense that it’s pH is below 7. For reference, tomato juice is more acidic than any coffee you’ll get your hands on!

Acid in coffee is responsible for the bright, crisp or sharp sensation. It’s that pleasant bite that coffee offers. It can be fruity or wine-toned, or citric or something else! Acidity adds a dimension, and coffee without it would be pretty dull.

Typically, beans grown at higher altitudes are more acidic than beans grown at lower altitudes, and lighter roasts are more acidic than darker roasts.

Acidic vs Bitter Tastes

While it’s true that some coffee beans offer up a sort of pleasant bitterness akin to something like dark chocolate, more often than not, bitter coffee is the result of over-extraction during the brewing process.

In a similar sense, although coffee has natural acidity, an overly acidic taste is typically the result of under-extraction!

Hold on a second, extraction of what? Glad you asked. Extraction of soluble solids during the coffee brewing process!

Extraction has an immense impact on the final taste of your drink!

In general, a good coffee has between 18% - 22% of soluble solids extracted from the grinds. If you stray too far either way from this range, you’ll start to get undesirable tastes!

Extraction %

Taste

< 18% 

Under-extracted - sour, acidic taste.

18% - 22%

Just right.

> 22%

Over-extracted - unpleasant bitterness and dull flavor.

A number of factors influence extraction, including:

  • How finely you grind your beans
  • The temperature of water used to brew
  • The amount of time the water is in contact with the grinds

These principles are illustrated nicely by the french press. If you use fine grind coffee instead of usual coarse grind, OR wait too long to plunge, you’ll get over-extracted, bitter coffee.

If you try to brew with hot tap water instead of near boiling water, you’ll probably end up with under-extracted, sour, acidic, (and probably watery) coffee!

What were we talking about again? 

Right, acids in coffee! 

The take home point is that desirable acids in coffee are part of what makes beans from different regions of the world distinct, and probably play a role in shaping the taste profile of your favorite brew!

But don’t worry, if you have trouble with acidic coffee, we’ve included some low acid options for you in our 15 best beans for coffee! 

Check out Nicaraguan Mycotoxin Free, Sumatra Gayo or Bali Blue Moon

Final Thoughts

Well, that certainly took a while. Congrats if you've read all the way to the end! You're now equipped with the knowledge to acquire and brew yourself up some of the best coffee in the world!

Cheers!

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Michael Allen
Michael Allen
4 months ago

Solid list. I’d have Ethiopian Yirgacheffe in my top 3 for sure. I like that JBM is toward the bottom, a bit over rated in my opinion!

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