Best Of The Best Coffee In 2023: Here Are The Top 5 Brands Most Recommended By Experts

“But first, coffee.” “The best part of waking up is Folgers in your cup.” Caffeine-inspired catchphrases like these have been at the forefront of pop culture for as long as we can remember. For better or worse, many of us need that cup — and we mean the very best cup of coffee one can ask for — to get going in the morning, afternoon, or even after-hours. But which coffee brands would experts agree are the hands down top of the line? 

This is great question to ask, because so many people make coffee a part of their daily routine. Roughly 80 percent of U.S. adults consume coffee or caffeine every day, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. While the stimulant is no replacement for healthy sleep patterns, studies suggest that consuming coffee may lead to longevity, improvement in alertness, lower risk of cancer, reduced risk of cognitive impairment, and even enhanced exercise performance.

One recent study reports that consuming two to three cups of coffee each day lowers heart disease risk and the risk of death from all causes. The findings applied to a wide range of coffee varieties, including instant, ground, and decaffeinated coffee. Other studies indicate that coffee can even help ward off Alzheimer’s and dementia. Researchers at Indiana University in Bloomington reveal that caffeine is among some 24 compounds that could delay the onset of dementia, which afflicts millions of Americans annually. 

One thing is clear: the cumulative research on coffee points in the direction of a health benefit, according to Harvard Public School of Health. But these benefits are largely variable based on the type of coffee bean used, how it is roasted, the amount of grind, and how it is brewed.

So that leaves us all back to the question at hand: Which brand of coffee is the very best on the market? For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which coffees were rated the highest to jumpstart your day in a healthy way. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended coffees across these sites. Rise and shine!

The List: The 5 Best Coffee Brands, According To Experts

1. Stumptown Coffee

Portland-born company Stumptown Coffee has gained national recognition for its selection of mouthwatering blends like Holler Mountain, House Blend, and Trapper Creek.

“Stumptown is synonymous with the third wave of coffee—a 21st-century rise in small boutique roasters,” The Spruce Eats writes. “Stumptown is more expensive than many brands found in the grocery store, but the cost isn’t outrageous. Plus, the quality and care put into the coffee are evident in every cup you drink.”

The company, founded in 1999, is also well-respected for its direct trade business practices and its ethical and long-standing relationships with farmers and producers.

“Smooth yet robust, the Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain is a full-bodied blend that might just make you ditch your local barista. Highly approachable, the medium roast fuses the chocolatey flavors of South and Central American coffees with the bright crispness of East African beans,” Mashed writes.

2. Intelligentsia 

If you’re looking for an excellent quality coffee that gets straight to the point and gives you a strong kick in the morning, Intelligentsia’s selection of coffees and espressos are the right fit for you.

“The fruity and chocolatey flavors don’t need to be covered up with excess cream or sugar to be enjoyed, as it’s plenty tasty on its own. And with the company’s Direct Trade practices, these beans are ethically sourced,” writes Delish.

The business motto is “great coffee is not the result of chance” and many fans of the brand couldn’t agree more due to the company’s dedication to harvesting and producing.

“Intelligentsia also showcases its single-origin coffees, a collection that offers flavor gateways into specific regions like Bolivia, Burundi, and more. You can purchase both whole bean and ground varieties, and there are delicious options for espresso, instant, and decaf coffee, too,” The Spruce Eats writes.

3. Blue Bottle

Blue Bottle coffee has gained an almost a cult-like following due to its expertly roasted and crafted coffees, high quality beans, and sustainability.

“The brand has worked to shorten the supply chain, so you’re drinking straight from the (sustainable) source, which means a fresher, richer flavor,” Eat This Not That writes.

Blue Bottle is also well-reviewed for its delivery service, which allows customers to choose the type of bean assortment and how much you want in each shipment.

“It just tastes different, and by that I mean better. And their subscription program allows you to get that same taste without leaving the house,” Cosmopolitan writes.

4. Death Wish

Referred to as the “world’s strongest cup of coffee,” Death Wish coffees are a great option for those with a high caffeine tolerance looking for a balanced flavor.

“Fair warning: This dark roast is not for the faint of heart. The producer, the upstate New York-based brand Death Wish, claims that it’s the world’s strongest coffee,” Delish writes. “With a deep nutty flavor and a smooth finish, this brew doesn’t taste as harsh as one might expect from a cup of coffee with double the average amount of caffeine.”

Fans of the powerful concoction love Death Wish for its smooth and complex taste.

“Using a unique combination of beans paired with a specially designed roasting process, the makers of Death Wish Coffee have created a punchy blend that is extremely caffeinated thanks to both arabica and robusta beans sourced mainly from India and Peru,” Eat This Not That writes.

5. Equal Exchange

Some coffee companies claim to be fair-trade and environmentally friendly, but not all practice what they preach. That’s where Equal coffee really shines.

“Equal Exchange is a worker-owned coffee company with 120 worker-owners,” Leaf Score writes. “That means the company isn’t beholden to outside shareholders or founders or partners but are instead responsible to each other, which helps them maintain their ideals and receive an equal share of any profits or losses from their work.” 

Equal was founded more than 25 years ago with fairly traded coffee from Latin America, Asia, and Africa to source sustainably-grown beans.

“Not only can you feel good about buying from Equal Exchange (more on their practices and worker-owned business here), but you can also rest easy knowing you have an excellent chocolate-heavy cup of coffee with notes of cherry tobacco and smoke and a dense mouthfeel waiting for you in the A.M,” Delish writes.

Have your own suggestions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Sources

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Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About the Author

Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

The contents of this website do not constitute advice and are provided for informational purposes only. See our full disclaimer

Comments

  1. After all coffee beans are imported to US. So the best beans would be from Ethipia, Kenya, etc. This article is useless

  2. Stringbean Coffee Company’s Swiss Water Process is a medium roast coffee that doesn’t sacrifice great flavor for the decaf part. I mix in a little Ethiopian True Blue which is a delicious light roast. In my area it comes as whole beans.

    1. Yes, I agree! Been a staple in our home for A while.. Since touted by this Webb
      Site, I believe… it’s really
      The best domestic coffee!

  3. We have a roaster in Darlington County, SC who is roasting superb coffee. Drinking this for over 5 years now and going to pick up 10 pounds of freshly roasted beans today. Google CASHUA COFFEE. They ship and their prices are NOTHING like the prices on these 5 best picks. Really great coffee. Body, aroma, various hints depending on your preference in blends, truly the best coffee I personally have ever had.

  4. The best coffee is Organic from P.R. “MIS ABUELOS” !! Translation: “MY GRANDPARENTS”!! Directly to your home!! And in comparison, less priced!! ☺️

  5. Do a full Google search on lifeboost Coffee. It was founded by a United States Chiropractor and backed by manyyyyy medical professionals. It is tested for Moulds,toxins,pesticides-herbicides poisons and more. This is truly only noted company that does this daily! They do not release or allow ANY of their products to be sent anywhere until it passes all testing. They have the highest quality arabica beans over robusta beans. No other coffee bean company in the world does this. They do not use child labor,everything is fIr trade all out of one location,grown in shaded growing spot(you NEVER grow any coffee beans up high at top of mountains…read why and what it does to the coffee with what you end up drinking due to that!! Red flag. Expensive coffee shops don’t even test for things in their coffee beans prior to hrinding-srrving. We carry our own coffee beans with us going places with very small coffee grinder( antique) as wd DO NOT BUY COFFEE from anywhere we are…period!
    Make sure you use filtered water(local good co-op store or whole foods for Reverse Osmosis water. Keeps coffee cleaner and coffee is soooo smooth…no acid to worry about snd no stomach issues. Lifebooat coffee is 100% guaranteed if you want to send it back! Other companies Do Not do this…including coffee shops in malls when buying bags-containers of either beans or ground coffee. Lifeboost is listed under N.I.H. AS well as Consumer Reports and several other places with awards. This coffee is located high up in mountains of Nicaragua under shade to grow and produce really well. No other types of coffee will ever match Lifeboost coffee.
    Go to LIFEBOOST.COM
    OUR FAMILY has been buying direct from them for close to a year. Wish we knew of them sooner!
    They also are fully USDA STAMPED. Another reason to try them. No…this is not a distributorship either. You can buy single bags,pods,single cup coffee for on the go or you can subscribe to them in different means AT YOUR DISCRETION ONLY AND NOT MANDATED. Our family buys only what we like-enjoy and buy the single bags as we want them. You can choose either Grounds OR BEANS. It is explained that buying beans keeps flavor better-longer until you grind them right before making cup of coffee. Beans also keep longer(never freeze)…moisture destroys beans and coffee!!

    What you people don’t understand is all these other coffees on the market in stores DO NOT TEST FOR ALL the things that Lifeboost Coffee does. You could be drinking forms of toxins moulds and more that cannot be seen by naked eye! Same goes for when you go to a coffee shop. Think about all of this and your health people. NONE OF THESE COFFEES re fresh and clear of stuff …..period! Our family has health issues and only coffee we drink is Lifeboost. I carry it in a baggie freshly ground with a recyclable clean coffee filter…all I need to ask for if out is a coffee mug. You can get a glass container to take to store where Reverse Osmosis water is ..fill up your glass container. All you need to do is ask coffee shop,truck stop,hotel, specialty coffee shop-snack shop to warm your water and walah. So easy,clean and so healthy!!
    Due a full research on lifeboost. They outdo any coffee out there! I have given you all plenty of information to start.
    Happy surfing,coffee drinking. 🙂.

    1. LifeBoost is a scam. I’m not a fan of the companies listed about but all of them, except DeathWish will deliver you a product that is on par or better than what LifeBoost sells. They market specialty coffee as if it’s a medical marvel. The truth is commodity coffee sucks and specialty coffee doesn’t. End of story.

  6. Are you kidding me! Peet’s coffee ☕ isn’t even on the list! So much for propaganda. Peet’s is probably the best in the world, no argument from anyone locally in the bay area. Proof you can’t believe everything you read or asked to do. Damn!

    1. Peete’s, LOL, like Peets vs Dunkins and Peets wins. Stumptown seems popular among people that are just upgrading from say the best of beans you would buy from a grocery store. There are smaller operations with tighter controls of their sources and roasting process. When any of these roasters grow their output the quality seems to drop because they have to choose from a larger pool of beans. The highest quality beans arent anywhere near as plentiful as second rate, third rate, etc…

  7. All of the coffees offered to us in this article are excellent without exception. I would indulge in anyone of them—however, a few years ago a friend introduced me to a cup of coffee that was bold, drinkable and smooth. It remains to this day my go to coffee anytime day or night. The coffee: SAN FRANCISCO BAY FOG CHASER and can be purchased through Amazon. It’s a little pricey but worth it.

  8. There are also best of the brst coffee outside USA. Like the Vietnam coffee the Philippines kapeng Barako etc..

  9. I noticed that Oakland coffee was not on the list! It’s my favorite and I’m a big coffee drinker! They deserve to be placed on the list!

  10. Black Oak out of Ukiah. The best ever. New single origins every month. Fair trade. Direct sources. Beautifully definitively roasted as specified by the variety and flavor profiles of each bean.
    Dark roast should only be for expresso btw. Peets? Naah!

    1. I am still on the fence about if someone suggesting Peet’s was the best was just a joke. If not a joke, not to be like a snob, but Peet’s is the best when compared to fast food coffee like Dunkins. I also can’t help but laugh when people say things like I like Dunkins better than Starbucks becuase Starbucks coffee is too dark. Well places like Starbucks and Dunkins have different roasts. You may need to order a light roast from Petes or Starbucks. Any of course these chains, even small ones like Peet’s and Nero are serving mediocre at best. Where you will find your best coffee is a really good shop with one or just a small number of locations. A place that gets the best beans, has strict controls on methodologies, is machine calibrating and taste testing daily, will toss a “bad batch” of beans rather than serve, will seek out and test different roasters rather than lock in on any one, will check in for feedback from regulars, and of course knows how to make the damn coffee. You know a bad indy coffee shop when you walk in and see a lot of thermal coffee pumps and/or flavored coffees. For me even a just OK cup of coffee is better than none, but If I see flavored coffee on the menu I turn around and leave. My favorite coffee shops test what they have and will have various brewing methods to best match the roasts they are offering. I know some places offer drip coffee that has been sitting in pumps and that is fine to observe, even some of the best places might have one or two of those thermos style pumps for people that are OK with that. For me nothing coffee shop purchased comes out of a pump. If it is just going to be a coffee and water then it is going to be an Americano or a Pour Over. If I am at home it is a Flat White, Americano, Pour Over, or if I am really lazy or with specific beans I have a Bona Vita Drip Brewer which I know isn’t the ultra ultra but is still a very good machine that uses the Gold Standard temp range in the brewing process. I also do a French Press on rare occasion but it doesn’t sit in the press after 4 minutes unless I am super lazy. After 4 minutes in a press is one example of where I do transfer it to a thermal carafe so it doesn’t go bitter, but again, I do have my lazy days.

  11. There are but three “Super Premium Coffee’s” in the entire known Universe, to wit: Blue Fields from Jamaica, Kona from Hawaii, and Alta Grande (Vista) from Puerto Rico. There are no other coffees that can be sold using the highest classification standards in the industry but these three. All three are produced under identical growing conditions in highland tropical mountain ranges of volcanic origin on similar latitudes. While it’s true that the key to great coffee is the roasting process, it’s also true that great beans make for better coffee. Moreover, it’s also true that people living in the God Bless America Nation and their offspring are clueless as to what constitutes a truly spectacular cup of coffee.

    1. While there are plenty of crappy coffee shops in the United States,
      “Third wave” coffee shops usually have the best coffee. There is nothing complicated about how coffee is made in Italy, and any good “second wave” coffee shop should be able to produce those results. Go to any city like Boston, New York, San Fran, Providence, LA, and you can find a third wave coffee shop using well sourced beans, the best grinders and machines, with employees following best practices like weighing coffee rather than volume measuring, calibrating machines and taste testing daily.

  12. Arguing about which coffee is best is like arguing about which pizza is best. Fact of the matter is that there is no best, only what each individual likes.

    1. Kind of, but isnt a good quality pizza from a small shop where say the chef learned in Italy and is using the beat ingredients making a far superior pizza than Pizza Hut? I bet almost every last person to taste them would say yes. Same thing with coffee. There are so many factors to what makes a good coffee and a good coffee shop knows what they are doing.

    1. I find Tandem Roasters in Portland to be better than Stumptown. Some of the third wave coffee shops in New England are now using Tandem. I love their Race Point Blend. Kohi Coffee, which has locations in the Boston area and a location in Provincetown, is the first coffee shop I had Tandem Coffee at and I’ve been buying their various roasts ever since.

    1. I just read an article the other day listing the “worst coffee brands”. Death Wish coffee was on the list. Lol. So of the hundreds or maybe even thousands of brands, Death Wish is the best and the worst at the same time.

  13. My hometown roaster is among the very best in the world, OLYMPIA COFFEE ROASTERS. They do mostly single origin, and a few blends. At any time you can usually choose from among perhaps a dozen different varieties. OLYMPIA COFFEE ROASTERS is a purveyor of light roast coffee, which means less roasting time but NOT less flavor! Do not be fooled, more often than not ‘dark roast’ is the result of burned coffee beans and will not necessarily impart the subtle flavors that light roasting brings to the fore.

  14. im in NYC and always buy beans from small batch roasters around the U.S. there are so many high quality roasters here. unfortunately i would not recommend any of these large roasters on this list. this list looks like commodity coffee roasters.

  15. Van Houtte coffee is awesome. Now owned by Green Mountain, this Canadian roaster has produced a variety of excellent coffee since 1919. Ethical beans to cup.

  16. Don Pablo’s Colombian Supremo and Colombian Decaf whole bean are the best we found since our coffee shop closed. Also tbe Peets Major Dickason’s blended whole bean.

  17. Three minutes ago I just read that “Death Wish” coffee was among the 5 WORST coffees to avoid! Isn’t internet information so useful . . . These days we find what’s available at a price we can afford. Someday soon coffee will be in very short supply apparently. Oh wait, I got that bit of info from the internet . . .hmmm

  18. This article shows that Americans know ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about coffee!
    The fact that NOT ONCE is Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee(The BEST Coffee in the world!)mentioned AT ALL!
    The article needs to be titled “What 20yr old American “Baristas” THINK is good Coffee!”

  19. None of the coffees on this list are very good. I doubt the author has tasted any of them or knows what good coffee is. This is click bait. Whole foods has coffee from local roasters in your area. Try some of them or visit some local coffee shops and buy a bag of their coffee. The difference in taste is significantly better.

    1. I tried stumptown and intelligencia and maybe I bought the wrong roast but they were both too light and not good…

    2. Yeah, Stumptown seems popular among people that are just upgrading from say the best of beans you would buy from a grocery store. There are smaller operations with tighter controls of their sources and roasting process. When any of these roasters grow their output the quality seems to drop because they have to choose from a larger pool of beans. The highest quality beans arent anywhere near as plentiful as second rate, third rate, etc…

  20. Kean Coffee in Tustin operates 2 stores, owned by Martin Diedrich, proprietor of the original Diedrich Coffee. The best beans in the mother loving world. And please, sourcing coffee information from that list of non coffee sources? Ugh, you gotta step up your game miss!

  21. Roasting your own coffee from Sweet Maria’s is better than any of these, but I enjoy some beans from Bicycle Coffee (Oakland, CA) and Ghost Town (Bozeman, MT). Stumptown’s Hair Bender coffee used to be very good, but I think the quality has gone down a bit.

  22. No single origins?! I shop CoffeeAM for good single origins roasted fresh, delivered fast for consistent flavor at reasonable prices.

  23. My son’s favorite (and he is a coffee nut) is Abita long branch, dark roast, whole bean. We (his living family) have spent much time and money keeping him happily supplied.

  24. Ditto! ⭐️ Also, try Equator Coffee from San Rafael, CA. They actually make a Blend for Notorious Restaurant In Napa Valley” The French Laundry”!!!

    1. Where do you find these crazy brands. Here in Minnesota I am sure they are around, but I will not drive 15 miles for it.

    2. Death wish is not good coffee. It is made with robusta beans which are not high quality. Arabica beans are superior to robusta but lower in caddeine.

  25. Intelligentsia was IMO just awful. No matter how I tried it was like dirty water.
    If I wanted to quit drinking coffee, that’s what I would use.

    Way better for me is Peace.
    Lots of blends and single origin coffees.
    Organic offerings.
    Even coffee ‘bags’ like tea bags.
    The best so far!

    And my ex-Starbicks kid is now asking me for recommendations!

  26. You don’t mention roast dates in your article. Most of available in groceries only have the “consume by” date which is usually a year out. For serious coffee drinkers roast date determines how fresh the coffee is. Roasted beans have to be consumed within a few weeks from roasting.

    1. The author wouldn’t know about that. She just compiled information from other sources and has no knowledge of coffee. This is click bait.

    2. Yup. I bought beans for my espresso mornings and kept looking at the roasted date on the bottoms of the packages til I realized three weeks old was all they had and of course I still bought them, totally fine. I usually get those same beans at roasted two weeks prior but something about the Christmas/New Years week threw things off. Now the thought that some people pull espresso shots from stuff that went through the grocery store process is troubling. It happened to me once, roasted six months prior. Never again. Just awful. You can actually see it before you even taste it. Minimal crema in the shot. Changing brew temp, tamp, etc… not gonna fix it. Grind those beans up and use it for gardeing.

  27. I’ve tried them all. And so much more. And they all failed. Either harsh, or fruity aftertaste. I wanted to like Holler Mountain, Blue Bottle was undrinkable- Death Wish, true, even for me was too… caffeinated. My favorite coffees were not mentioned, and easily beats anything listed here: Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend and La Colombe’s Nizza, so far the best in the world as far as I know.

    1. For universally available coffee, I agree with Peet’s Major Dickason’s blend. I opt for Kicking Horse Kick Ass blend and blend it with Caribou Blend to meet the tastes in my house. For a reasonably priced artisan coffee with the finest beans search “I Have a Bean.”

    2. 5 best coffees? Are you kidding? There are so many good ones it should make your head spin. And some of what has been listed here should NOT be on anyone’s ‘best’ list.

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