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How do you like your coffee? And how do you know if it’s a cup of high-quality coffee?
Coffee beans can make or break your morning cup of coffee. The flavor and the aroma let you know you are investing in quality coffee beans.
The best coffee beans have a precise depth of color, not over roasted, because it could mean they are masking the poor quality. They should have a pleasing aroma, the right kind of acidity, and should be roasted within 90 days of the date of purchase.
Reading labels is one secret we use to find the best coffee. Labels tell you if you are buying whole or pre-ground coffee, the roast date, origin, and roaster identity. USDA organic labels give information about the conditions of how the coffee grows. But, you should also look for Fair-Trade certification.
The origin is important as it affects the flavor. You’ll want to invest in coffee that grows around the bean belt which is along the equator, between 250 North and 300 South. We are talking of about 50 countries, but the main ones include Hawaii, Brazil, Columbia, Kenya, Ethiopia, and Indonesia.
With tons of coffee bean information floating around, we took it upon ourselves to strip down the numerous choices. From signature flavors to espresso roasts and caffeinated florals, you’ll find the beans you like here.
If you are not ready to sift through our choices galore; Fresh Roasted FTO Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans are our top choice. You get a 2-pound bag of freshly roasted coffee beans that are USDA organic certified and roasted in an environment-friendly, smokeless, roaster.
For decaffeinated coffee lovers, No Fun Jo Decaf is the one for you. Roasted from 100% Arabica coffee, this brand gives you coffee with different undertones to add to your final flavor.
It is a matter of preference, but Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC knows the good stuff. Their FTO Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Fair Trade Organic Coffee is roasted per order, which makes it fresh.
You haven’t tasted unique coffee if you have not tasted Ethiopian Yirgachaffe coffee. Complete with an intense floral character, this coffee is sweet and mild. It has hints of sweet tangerine, bright citrus, and lime. The result is a flavorful cup that is not only bright but powerful. The cup finishes remarkably well with a dry, lemon tea finish.
Your coffee beans are organically grown and roasted gently in an environment-friendly, smokeless facility. They are roasted to a medium roast commonly referred to as the city roast because of their browning level. The flavor has a citrus finish with a tangerine hint.
Yirgacheffe beans are labor intensive. Their processing involves washing the papery hull away and sun drying them. This coffee contributes directly to small landholders who grow this coffee. It is 100% Arabica coffee with no artificial flavors or additives.
For most people, the worry that your coffee could have spent months in the distribution line could steer you away from online purchases. But that’s not the case with Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. As they have indicated, their coffee is roasted on a per order basis. It does not take more than a day, which means your order should arrive within the same week you order.
With every type of coffee, it is essential to store your coffee away from heat, air, moisture, and light. This includes not freezing your coffee because it is porous and it absorbs all types of flavors from the freezer.
This is a premium-quality coffee, and the brewing method will dictate the final result. You will want to grind your beans properly and brew the coffee slowly over a French press. It can also be brewed in a pour-over coffee maker without a filter to experience all the flavors of the coffee.
Communication is not the best quality of Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. We have noticed a couple of complaints related to not getting prompt responses regarding issues with orders. Though it’s not rampant, it’s something that needs to be worked on by the brand.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC aims at giving you the best quality of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee. Having fulfilled all the requirements of great coffee, you can rest assured your cup of Joe will be flavorful exhibiting intense, clean notes of bright citruses and sweet tangerine.
Jo Coffee is the name behind the fantastic No Fun Jo Decaf. The source of the coffee, the analysis, cuppings, and roasting prove that you are dealing with high-quality coffee. The brand is organic-certified. It sources its coffee from the top 2% of the best Arabica beans.
Jo Decaf is all about creating intriguing coffee. That’s why the company uses the Swiss Water Process to decaffeinate its coffee. The non-solvent method uses the caffeine-free green coffee extract to extract caffeine from the bean while leaving the flavor intact.
This coffee has different tasting notes ranging from sweet, and milk chocolate to blueberry. The coffee is Central American, making it bright and sophisticated. Their coffee comes through reputable import companies like Royal Coffee NY and Café Imports. It is Fair Trade Certified meaning they empower farmers and workers while protecting the environment.
Your No Fun Jo Decaf, though ordered on Amazon, is sourced directly from Jo Coffee. It is one of the highest rated organic coffee brands since their decaffeinated coffee does not lose its coffee flavor. Most people note that it could pass for regular coffee only that it does not have the effects of coffee.
No Fun Jo Decaf comes as ground coffee beans. It means you won’t be dealing with machine preps and timers. All you have to do is use 2tbs per six ounces of water, and you are good to go. For the best-tasting coffee, it’s important to use fresh water for boiling, then let the kettle cool for a little bit as boiling water will burn the coffee.
For those who are extremely sensitive to coffee, this brand may have a higher percentage of caffeine remaining in their ground coffee.
If you can’t find good tasting decaffeinated coffee, No Fun Jo Decaf may be the treat you need. Decaffeinated through the Swiss Water process, this product ensures it stays within the limits of decaffeinated coffee without losing the flavors.
If you like smooth and savory coffee, then you might enjoy Kicking Horse Coffee, Three Sisters. This Canadian brand gives you a blend of Indonesia, Central & South America coffee beans for great taste in a medium roast.
This medium roast coffee holds up to a high standard. It is a blend of three aromas including chocolate malt, toasted coconut, and sweet dried fruit. It is well rounded and complex, giving you excellent tasting notes of cocoa, stone fruit, and tobacco.
This coffee is 100% Arabica, organic and Fair Trade Certified. You can expect a light, medium body which is balanced with a clean mouthfeel. What’s more, this coffee has accents of lively acidity that is also the same as spicy.
Kicking Horse is keen to bring out the unique characteristics of each blend. Coffee beans go through a series of complex chemical and physical processes to transform them into a lovely roast full of flavor and aroma. From the water loss stage to when caramelization occurs, the final product is easy to love.
To get to the Three Sisters blend, Kicking Horse combines light, medium, and dark roasts for the sweet and savory taste of the final bean.
Kicking Horse is incredible because you have countless ways of drinking your coffee. This is because it can be brewed using the French press for a coarse grind, drip machine for a medium grind, pour over for a medium-fine grind, and espresso for a fine grind. Only you can limit the way you take your coffee.
This is not a cheap brand, but it sometimes suffers from inconsistency in quality. But seeing that it is a Canadian brand, chances are you may get yours from a batch that has been in the warehouse for well over three months.
Kicking Horse Three Sisters is kicking ass with this coffee. Roasted with sophistication and quality in mind, you can now enjoy a blend of the best coffees than with this coffee brand.
Café Don Pablo Signature Blend Coffee gives you perhaps the most complex blend of Brazil, Colombia, and Guatemala coffees. Each of the coffee beans is unique in body and character making it all the more sophisticated than when drinking coffee from a single origin.
Latin America coffees are known to be delicious and different from the others such that you would think they are not conceived on the same planet. This coffee is the most exquisite variety of organic coffee available. The brand has managed to develop ties with farmers in Latin America; that’s why they get award-winning beans.
The relationship between the Café Don Pablo brand and the farmers is mutually beneficial. Having been around for over two decades, they have managed to have good ties and thus the constant supply of quality coffee.
Café Don Pablo Signature Blend is one of the most flavorful and savory coffees you’ll find. It has a medium-dark roast which is balanced and sweet. It has notes of milk chocolate, ripe tomatoes, and cedar. The aroma is also balanced while the finish is cocoa-toned and smooth. You will like that it has low acidity without any accent of bitterness.
This coffee is for those who religiously drink coffee. It does not have the strong coffee kick that could get you in trouble for the extra energy, but it lets you savor every sip. Whether on a French press, the traditional drip machine, hand drip method, or using an espresso machine, it is super easy to get a quality cup.
Although Café Don Pablo claims that they will take back your order if you don’t like the taste, we have not seen it happen to those who don’t buy directly from their online store.
Café Don Pablo Signature Blend balances flavor, acidity, and body. The medium dark roast signature blend delivers distinct tasting notes. It is such a unique, hard-to-achieve blend, but the brand gives everything to deliver without compromises.
Café Don Pablo is no doubt king in the coffee world. The Subtle Earth Organic Coffee is not about complexities but being able to appreciate quality from a single origin variant.
If you are about unblended coffee, then you will like that this coffee has been acquired from only one region – Marcala in Honduras. It is still a Central American variant because it is where the brand works with farmers.
This coffee does not have any chemicals. The farmers compost the cherries and use them as fertilizer meaning no fertilizer is added.
Marcala is in the western highlands of Honduras and is known for having a variety of tastes. Farmers here are known to plant peppers to repel insects instead of using insecticides. And since it is a high-altitude region, coffee is dense with a deep flavor.
This particular coffee has a clean finish with a deep, rich, chocolatey flavor. The beans are full body, smooth milk chocolate with notes of caramel, honey, and cocoa.
This coffee goes through roasting to full caramelization of its natural sugars. The resulting coffee has an intense roast without losing its velvety character and pleasant aftertaste. The coffee is roasted in multiple, small-batch roasters. And ,using sound, sight, and smell, this coffee is never overdone.
Like its Signature Blend cousin, this coffee can be French pressed or brewed using an espresso machine, hand drip, or the traditional drip machine.
This coffee tastes great for up to a month from the time of purchase. If you are a coffee lover, you’ll notice this because the frequent opening of its storage lets in the air which degrades the quality of the flavor with time. This is not to say it is expired, but you’ll want to order the ideal amount so you won’t contend with low-quality flavor if you can’t finish yours in a month.
Café Don Pablo subtle Earth Organic Coffee is artisan roasted coffee, non-GMO, and enjoys quality supplies from the brand’s family ties with the farmers. It offers premiere coffee with natural flavor every time.
Mayorga Organics gives you a taste of Caribbean coffee without digging deep into your pocket. This coffee has a complex dark roast known as the Café Cubano Signature Roast. You can discern the quality from the rest as it is slowly roasted to draw out the sweetness of the rich coffee.
Café Cubano has a dark roast profile with a smooth, bold finish. It has hints of sweet, syrup smokiness, and vanilla. When it comes to flavor notes, Café Cubano is smooth and bold. Having been sourced straight from Cuba, it is non-GMO and organic. It is kosher certified so no worries about additives.
Most people attest to the lack of acidity in this coffee. If you deal with high stomach acid levels, this coffee will not upset your stomach.
This coffee may be reasonably priced, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t care about coffee farmers. It is fair trade, and it benefits local growers. Since most coffee from Cuba grows in the mountainous regions where the climate is favorable, it does not need chemical fertilizers. The soils are red-brown with lots of humus – another reason why fertilizer is not required.
Mayorga Organics follows through with the Cuban coffee roasting style into a dark roast that is ideal for espresso style brewing.
Quality consistency issues also plague Mayorga. The good thing is that this brand has the least inconsistencies.
Mayorga Organics Café Cubano is great-tasting with hints of syrup smokiness. It is cheaper than Koffee Kult but maintains its boldness without being bitter. For those who love Cuban espressos, this brand does it right.
Death Wish boasts being the world’s strongest coffee, and you can bet it is. For those who need to be awake around the clock, no need to go back to back on two cups, one is enough to keep you active and alert. This coffee is caffeine-cut way above the rest. It is like combining five cups of coffee into one robust cup.
This coffee is super strong. The beans are not sourced from Peru and India only. Death Wish has a tendency of sampling coffee from all over the world depending on climate changes. That’s why quality is guaranteed to be consistent.
Death Wish’s claims that the strong caffeine content has nothing to do with the roasting process. We don’t find it entirely true because the brand does not reveal their roasting process. The dark roast beans have more caffeine than regular beans by weight not by volume.
It has 59mg of caffeine per fluid ounce, which can be too much to handle for some people. It’s also important to note that it should not be taken as much as the regular cup of Joe, which usually has 12-16mg of caffeine per fluid ounce.
Once you open the bag, a rich, smoky, nutty aroma fills the room. Although it is strong, it does not have a burnt taste. It has medium to high acidity so it may not be suitable for those prone to stomach acid upsets. However, you will be getting butter, pecan, and chestnut flavor notes.
The coffee should brew at a high ratio to get the full flavor of the coffee without being overwhelmed by its acidity.
We all care about the sustainability of coffee. That’s why this brand is Free Trade certified. They honor hard-working farmers. The brand knows where their coffee is grown, the farmers who grow it, and how they are treated. They ensure their farmers get the benefits of free trade, which helps them uplift their livelihoods.
The bag does not have roast dates but expiry dates. For inferior brands, it could indicate that the bag is not fresh, which is rarely the case with Death Wish. But you can’t really be sure of the freshness when there’s no roast date.
Death Wish is not the kind you should drink all the time. It is for those with high caffeine tolerance and should be taken occasionally. It has a 200% caffeine disclaimer that should be taken seriously, lest you end up in the hospital. We are not trying to scare you, just take it for a caffeine kick and you’ll thanks us later.
Lavazza Café Espresso has a distinctive Italian espresso flavor. It is deep, rich, and smooth, even following through with an Italian aroma. Most people who like barista-quality coffee will fall in love with Lavazza Café Espresso.
This brand chooses its beans from 100% Arabica beans. They source the beans from Africa, Central, and South America, making it ideal for strong espressos. Coffee berries are picked from some of the finest coffee farms in the world to create a unique recipe of Arabica beans for the perfect blend.
Lavazza has specialists who select the beans so you can expect only the top-quality beans. It has a medium roast, and the beans are medium-build with high caffeine content. The coffee attains a unique espresso flavor, which is why most people regard it as high-end. Furthermore, the consistency in quality is another reason why people keep coming back to it.
This coffee is attributed to having a highly aromatic, rich flavor. Because of blending coffee from different regions, the flavor is distinct with a sweet finish. It enjoys the benefits of antioxidants in a rich, high-caffeine, cup.
This coffee has mild acidity, not even the most sensitive people will find it overwhelming. The natural sweetness of Arabica beans combined with the chocolatey flavor and fruity notes is what makes it ideal for espressos.
Lavazza Café Espresso can also be used with milk-based drinks and does great with the French press and drip coffee machines.
Some of the espresso coffees from this brand have the Robusta strain in them. You’ll want to check your product so that you don’t feel cheated if you only want Arabica beans.
Lavazza Café Espresso is for those who enjoy the robust flavor in their coffee. It is well worth your money seeing that it is excellent with espressos as it is with cappuccinos and lattes.
Koffee Kult is home to amazing coffee. But, the dark roast is one of the most sought after by lovers of high-quality, smooth, and bold coffee.
Beans can be roasted to perfection, but if they are stored in a warehouse, their flavor is going to be lost, no doubt. This brand strives to ensure that it roasts per demand, hence it can deliver freshly roasted beans every time. Koffee Kult follows a unique roasting profile which involves artisans who are much like those in gourmets and cafes.
Dark roast beans have a chocolate finish with a glossy, dark brown look to them. They also have an oily layer which glistens but not because of excess oil. This feature makes them ideal for those who have finicky machines that tend to get clogged because of oils found in dark roast beans.
Flavor and Cupping Notes
This brand thrives in the high caffeine content of its coffee, which makes the cup bold and flavorful. Its flavor notes include that of cocoa and cinnamon with a smooth finish. It is one of the cleanest tasting coffees especially because it maintains strong caffeine potency.
Supports Coffee Farmers
Koffee Kult is not only socially verified on Instagram, but the brand supports over 650 farmers. The brand ensures that it partakes in uplifting the livelihoods of those it gets its coffee from. Not to mention that they also help charities adding up to the sustainability of the brand.
Stuff to Consider
Koffee Kult is not cheap to come by. It is not ideal if you are on a budget since it is just as smooth as more affordable options. A good thing is that this coffee can be used with just about every coffee machine, even the cheap ones.
Koffee Kult offers a genuine, high-end coffee experience. With its wide range of viable brewing methods and its clean, smooth, finish, this coffee wins for homes and cafes the same.
Bean Box-Gourmet Coffee Sampler is the best you could give any coffee lover. You get a complete pack of four handpicked gourmet coffees fit for every coffee-lover. The coffee comes from Seattle’s small batch roasters meaning it is fresh, never burned, and artfully roasted.
If you have always yearned for freshly roasted beans, Bean Box works with 23 award-winning roasters in Seattle to deliver fresh beans. You can choose to join the subscription service which gives you access to the Bean Box Sampler option of four 1.8-ounce bags of whole bean coffee and the coffee of the month in a 12-ounce bag.
After that, you can select your roast preferences, which, in this case, are all roasts where you’ll get the light, medium, and dark roasts. They also have decaf and espresso options. The 12-ounce bag has light-dark and medium-dark roast options.
What you get is coffee from various origins, which allows you to enjoy a variety of coffees without investing loads of cash for a 2-pound bag.
If you need a gifting option, you are presented with the regular sampler and coffee of the month. You get options like Holiday Coffee Sampler, World Coffee Tour, Coffee+ Chocolate Tasting, and Top Shelf Selection.
The Bean Box Coffee Sample comes with four bags. They include Diablo Dark roast which is powerfully smooth with notes of bitter-sweet tobacco and dark chocolate. There’s the Twilight blend which has spice and dark chocolate notes in a bold flavor.
The Kenya Ichamara has a fruity, smooth taste with notes of tangy cranberries, sweet honey, and lemon. The last is the Johnson House blend, which is medium bodied. It boasts baker’s chocolate and toffee tones.
Even though it is a sampler option, you have to pay to ship the first month during the trial. Guess it is not entirely cheap, especially if you choose to go the other way.
Bean Box-Gourmet Coffee Sampler introduces you to a ton of coffee varieties and roasters. The company is all about helping you find the coffee that suits your taste. And though it can be a hit or miss, most people have found the coffee they like in the samples.
Our goal is to teach you how to choose the best coffee beans. We are going to expand your knowledge by explaining the origins of coffee, different species and flavors, types of roast, and more.
We want to show you that there is more to coffee than what we see at a first glance. By the end of this article, you will have an impressive knowledge of coffee beans.
There are many species of coffee plant in the world. But, the most famous, and the most used ones are Arabica and Robusta. We will focus on those two since they are the ones that are used in commercial coffee growing, but we will also mention a couple of other species.
Arabica grows at a high altitude, and it accounts for around 60% of the commercial coffee production in the world. Arabica is a very delicate species of coffee, but plenty of farmers don’t care about that fact. They grow it wherever they can, so the tree requires more fertilizing and spraying to survive. The problem is obvious – it is not the most environmentally sound choice.
Much of the appeal of Arabica is the aroma. The best Arabica coffee has a complex flavor and an exquisite aroma with plenty of intricate layers to be explored. Coffee connoisseurs have noticed that Arabica can have a floral and fruity aroma.
Roasting Arabica is a bit complicated due to its high acidity. This means that Arabica can easily taste sour or bitter if it is roasted too light or too dark. All in all, Arabica is an acquired taste. But, if you prefer quality over quantity, then Arabica could be what you need.
Robusta grows at an even higher altitude than Arabica, and it’s not as delicate as her famous counterpart. Since it is more resistant to pests and diseases, it doesn’t require as much fertilizing and spraying as Arabica does. This means that Arabica is a choice of environmentally-concerned folk.
The best Robusta coffee is smooth and free of bitterness. Some connoisseurs can taste gentle notes of chocolate, and they mention a heavier mouthfeel. Robusta increases the crema, which is why it can be found in many espressos.
Unfortunately, the biggest strength of Robusta is, at the same time, its weakness. Since it can survive to grow in areas not suited for growing, its quality can vary greatly.
If you are keen on enjoying a hot cup of Robusta coffee, then make sure that you are purchasing one grown in a suitable area.
While not as famous as Robusta and Arabica, Liberica and Excelsa have found their way to the cups of coffee devotees.
Liberica grows in jungles, and it is a species that is, unfortunately, dying out. The flavor is full and smokey, and the aroma is out of this world. But, it is not a coffee that everyone can enjoy. Many people complain that it doesn’t even taste like coffee. Think about trying it if you are adventurous and want to experience an otherworldly aroma.
Excelsa is mostly used as a blending coffee. It has a dark and fruity taste that makes it stand out as a unique coffee experience. It is definitely an acquired taste since it polarizes coffee enthusiasts. Plenty of people don’t enjoy the aroma, but you might find something special in it.
The first thing that you should know is that single origin coffee comes from a single farm. This makes the beans unique and distinguishable. Coffee aficionados can tell a coffee’s origin by tasting it. They can pinpoint the country of origin, and some go as far as pinpointing the farm of origin.
If you want to enjoy unique flavor experiences, then single origin coffee could be what you need. But, be wary that some tastes take time getting used to.
On the other hand, there are blends. Blends come from different farms, regions, and sometimes even in different countries. The purpose of blends is to create different flavors and to take the edge off. Blends won’t give you a distinctive flavor experience, but they are more approachable to the uninitiated. If you are not in the mood for something exotic that gives you flavor clarity, then you might find blends enjoyable.
The coffee industry has changed a lot in the last few decades. No longer are we forced to endure only one type of a roast that doesn’t even suit some species of coffee. Today, we have a few different roast levels that are still being perfected.
If you want a roast that is closest to the plant of origin, then a light roast is for you. Light roast beans taste acidic, floral, and fruity. On the other hand, light roast coffee is almost never bitter. You can recognize a light roast by the dark tan appearance. Bear in mind that this type of roast comes with a taste that many consider sour.
Medium roast beans are known for being well-rounded when it comes to taste. Many people notice tender notes of caramel and honey due to its lower acidity.
While connoisseurs can sometimes notice the origin of a bean, the taste is less rough and rich in aroma and flavor. The bitterness is minor, so it is a good choice for people who want to enjoy well-rounded coffee.
Dark roast beans lose almost all of the characteristics of their origin. The acidity is almost gone, but the rich sweetness persists. Dark roasts are known for their bitterness. But, a good dark roast doesn’t allow too much of bitterness, only enough for that special kick.
Dark roast allows the beans to release deep flavors that are similar to coffee, nuts, and spices.
Yes, the country of origin plays an essential role in the diversity of the taste in coffee. Different places in the world have divergent soil, contrasting rainfalls, varied humidity, distinct local fauna, and more.
All of the mentioned differences play a vital role in the creation of a distinct coffee taste.
Fairtrade International believes that, if the trade is transparent and organized, then the poorest coffee producers can have sustainable development. Their mission to improve economic conditions of disadvantaged producers.
Fairtrade certification doesn’t tell you that you will be getting the best beans possible. What it does tell you is that the beans have been grown in conditions that don’t stifle the workers and the environment. So, if you are environmentally conscious, then always look for a Fairtrade label on coffee.
We all know that the word organic is a buzzword meant to sell products. But, USDA Organic makes sure the growers minimize pollution, don’t disrupt the natural ecological systems, don’t use synthetic fertilizers, and more.
If you want to support the best farming practices, then look for coffee with a USDA Organic label.
There are a couple of things that, upon noticing, should raise a red flag. If you want only the best, then pay attention to what you are buying. And, if you happen to notice one or more of the following things, then avoid buying that coffee.
If you keep the things we have mentioned in your mind, then the chances of you running into low-quality coffee beans become slim to none.
Coffee is one of those controversial topics when it comes to health. Many good things can be said about coffee. It is high in antioxidants and it may reduce the risk of certain diseases. On the other hand, coffee contains caffeine that may lead to insomnia, fast heartbeat, and more.
We think that everything that we introduce to our body has some sort of a downside. What matters is that you educate yourself on what you drink and eat. Only with abundant knowledge on a topic can you weigh the pros and cons, and come to a conclusion that is fit for your life. In conclusion, Oscar Wilde put it the best: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”