When it comes to coffee, some of us aren’t picky. We just need that first cup of the morning, in whatever form it may come. But if you really want to enjoy it, many would argue that grinding your own beans is an essential first step. And if, like many Americans, you have your own espresso machine or French press, it’s a no-brainer. For the true coffee connoisseur, grinding your own beans is par for the course. It gives you fresher, fuller flavor, and you only use what you need. Waste not, want not (especially when it comes to coffee!). If you’ve never tried grinding whole coffee beans, maybe now is the time to start! We’ve compiled 14 experts’ consensus top picks of the best coffee beans on the market.
Four out of five need that boost of caffeine to get them up and at ‘em in the morning. Whether it’s the kids keeping you up, the dog, or perhaps your partner, many Americans are not getting the sleep they need. Some even start to look forward to that first hot cup of the morning … the evening before! Hey, we’re not judging. Just the smell of fresh java is enough to get our blood flowing.
Plus, that daily dose of caffeine may be beneficial to your health. You know what they say — a coffee a day keeps the doctor away. One recent study by the American Heart Association suggests that drinking three cups of coffee a day (not decaf!) reduces the risk of stroke and heart attack by one-third. And if you add a spoonful of sugar to help it go down? Scientists have found that not only are coffee-drinkers at a lower risk of death than non-coffee drinkers, but those who add sugar are up to 10 percent less likely to die than those who drink it black.
With all the benefits to energy and health, there’s a lot to love about coffee! But where do you begin in choosing the right one for you? From growing conditions and variety, to roasting style and availability, many factors contribute to that superb whole bean flavor. When you think you’ve found your perfect match, make sure it’s the real deal: Check the label and ensure it has the correct seal before buying. Enjoy that first cup of the day … and all of those to follow! Here is our list of the top five best coffee beans to add a little get-up-and-go to your morning routine.
The List: Best Coffee Beans, According To Experts
1. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain
Verywell Fit touts Stumptown’s efforts as a Certified B Corp operating at the highest standards, socially and environmentally. “Stumptown is a small, boutique coffee roaster that practices transparent, direct trade sourcing of their coffee beans. Their coffee varieties highlight the regional seasonality of coffee harvesting, yielding delicately balanced flavor profiles.”
“With beans originating in some of the best coffee regions in the world—Central America, South America, Indonesia, and South Africa—Stumptown’s Holler Mountain pulls the best flavors from each region to produce smooth, bold notes of caramel, chocolate, and fruity jam coming through on the back end. Stumptown creates consistent, high-quality beans in several roasts, and I wouldn’t have had a problem picking almost any of their offerings as the best overall coffee beans. However, with the combination of flavor notes and versatility, Holler Mountain comes out just a little ahead,” adds Active.
Delish writes, “Delish Deputy Editor Rachel Tepper Paley drinks a cup of Stumptown’s Holler Mountain every day. ‘I hate super bitter brews, but these beans make a balanced cup with notes of caramel and berries,’ she said, adding that she uses it for both French press coffee and homemade cold brew.”
2. Koa Coffee Hawaiian Kona Coffee Beans
Homegrounds claims real Kona coffee beans are worth the premium price: “To get your hands on high-quality Kona coffee, you will have to pay a premium. Not only is coffee from here limited in production and highly sought after, but it’s also grown in the United States where farmers are paid much more than the average farmer in a traditional coffee-growing country. A high-quality Kona coffee is worth the money as long as you buy the real thing. Avoid Kona blends [where] only 10% of the blend could be true Kona. Always buy Extra Fancy (the grade) as that is the highest quality.”
“It has a sweet and mellow flavor and is lower in acidity, unlike other coffee beans. In addition, the coffee beans are hand-picked when ripe and then processed. After that, the beans are roasted to produce a delicate and unique coffee that gives you a lingering aftertaste,” says BigCupOfCoffee.
The Darkest Roast says the dark roast version is low enough in caffeine to drink all day! We say that’s a win! “You want to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee after dinner, but you’re not in the mood for anything too strong. Estate Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee by Kona Coffee is perfect for enjoying at night because it’s low in caffeine. So you can drink it without worrying about being jittery or unable to sleep later on. This dark roast coffee taste is smooth and full-bodied enough. So you won’t need any sweeteners to make your cup of joe taste great!”
3. Volcanica Tanzania Peaberry
If you’ve never heard of the peaberry, you’re not alone. Brew Coffee At Home explains, “Peaberry coffee is a particularly intriguing option. A regular coffee cherry will hold two beans side by side. However, these cherries contain only one coffee bean. Peaberry beans are sourced from around 5% of the crop, so to find the elusive beans, they need to be sorted by hand, which is time-consuming and adds to the overall cost of buying them. The beans are round and denser than most, so they roast more consistently and produce more complex flavors than other beans.”
“Grown on Mt. Meru and Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania Peaberry coffee beans are a bright Arabica coffee with a medium body and delightful fruit-toned acidity. The best Tanzania coffees have a taste that is deep and rich, often revealing hints of black currant which soften to chocolate and then blend into the coffee’s lingering, sweet finish,” adds Espresso & Coffee Guide.
Coffee Affection says this one hits darker than a regular medium roast. “If you’re offended by a dark roast and turn your nose up at the thought, you may be on the fence with this one. Although it’s a medium roast, it may hit on the darker side of sensitive taste buds. If you love the occasional dark roast coffee, this pick will come at you from a mellow side without the smoky bite. However, if you’re a devoted dark roast coffee drinker, this one will be weak on your palate.”
4. Lavazza Super Crema Espresso
Did you know espresso originated in Italy? Tasting Table writes, “Starbucks may be the biggest backers of espresso in America, but never forget that the origin of this coffee making technique comes from Italy. If you ever need a reminder, pull a bag of Lavazza from your store shelves. From the first scoop of grounds to your final mug, this brand of beans will take your morning redeyes and turn them into a leisurely flight to the world’s cappuccino capital.”
“When you’ve been successful since 1895, it’s inarguable that you’re doing something right. Lavazza is that company, and Luigi Lavazza was the man who made it happen way back when. Lavazza has become a powerhouse in Italy, and the Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend is one of the many reasons why,” agrees Coffee or Bust.
The Spruce Eats writes, “Available in both whole bean and ground, this medium-dark roast is buzzing with notes of honey, almond, and dried fruit. Lavazza comes at a great price and can be found at multiple retailers. It’s smooth, it’s hot, and every cup will transport you to the piazzas, canals, and lush countryside of Italy.”
5. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee
This is one exclusive coffee. “If you’re looking for the smoothest whole bean coffee you can get your hands on, Blue Mountain Coffee From Jamaica is a winner with its well-balanced, full-body, and pleasantly sweet flavor. A relatively small amount of coffee is produced in Jamaica annually, and not all of it comes from the Blue Mountain. However, the coffee originating from this region is only cultivated at very high altitudes. What makes these medium-roast beans even more remarkable is that they are hand-picked from the mountainside. The volcanic soil, mild temperatures, and high elevation all contribute to the roughly 10-month-long harvest, substantially more prolonged than in other coffee-growing countries,” says Brewing Coffees.
Brew Coffee At Home adds, “If you don’t mind the price, Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee is well worth giving a go. Despite those claims that it is overrated, we believe the quality of the coffee is better than most others. The growing conditions are excellent, and the quality control is strictly managed.”
Men’s Gear recommends enjoying it black. “This coffee makes for a wonderful drip coffee, regardless of whether it is automatic or pour-over. If you really want to explore everything these beans have to offer, then drink it black and taste everything this famous coffee has to offer.”
With so many amazing coffees from around the world available for tasting, it’s difficult to choose just five! Have a favorite coffee you don’t see on our list? Tell us in the comments!
You might also be interested in:
- Best Espresso Machines In 2023
- Best Nespresso Machines for 2023
- Best Coffee Makers For 2023
- Best Drip Coffee Makers For 2023
- Best of the Best Coffee In 2023
- Verywell Fit
- The Darkest Roast
- Brew Coffee At Home
- Espresso & Coffee Guide
- Coffee Affection
- Tasting Table
- Coffee or Bust
- The Spruce Eats
- Brewing Coffees
- Men’s Gear
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You have left out my favorite, Costa Rican Tarrazu, grown in volcanic soils.
My dark-roasted Mexican is the tastiest, most robust, chocolate-forward smoothness you’ll find. Try yourself at sigrew dot com and use coupon code Firstorder
Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is one of my favorites. I used to bring back pounds of it from our trips to Jamaica. Lavazza is great too. I’d also suggest Ruta Maya from Mexico. I get it at Costco. Yum!
The best I’ve found?
Arabican Night from Prairie Fire, by far.
And I had a factory in Costa Rica for many years, and enjoyed many amazing Costa Rican coffees.
Guatemalan Huehuetenango. Best ever!
What about Segafredo with it’s lovely fresh roast taste?
All the above coffees are my favorites. As Kona is #1. As for Jamaican Blue Mountain I am not sure I am always getting Blue Mountain beans in the package.