No matter how you prepare it and how sophisticated your equipment is, it’s the coffee beans you use that will have the most significant effect on flavor. If you’re looking for delicious, high-quality coffee, you have to go back to the coffee beans.
And we’d advocate about buying whole beans. We’re no snobs; pre-ground coffee has its virtues, but getting whole grains will elevate your experience! In full bean form, your cup of pick-me-up retains all that freshness and excellent flavor, which is worth the little bit of extra time you’ll take to grind it yourself.
That said, to get the best cup of joe possible, grind your coffee just before you brew. The moment the hard outer shell of the bean is cracked, air rushes in, and the oxidation process begins. If you’re pre-grinding and storing for later, know that some of the freshness and flavor will be lost.
Also, think of storage! If you don’t store them properly, you’ll be wasting good coffee and sound money. So before purchasing your excellent beans, make sure to read up a little on what to do with them once you get them.
But if you’re only starting and have no idea where to begin, we’ve got a quick guide right here. We’ve scoured the world to find the best coffee beans: whether they be light, dark or medium, affordable or pricy, from famous commercial brands or family-owned businesses.
Here are our recommendations for the 15 of the best coffee beans in the world today:
1. Death Wish Coffee
These beans brew up the “The World’s Strongest Coffee,” and with roughly three to six times the amount of caffeine as a regular cup, Death Wish means business.
That’s no reason to be afraid, though, because these beans are one of the most reviewed and highly rated coffee brands, consistently making it to “Best of” lists everywhere.
And for a good reason. Expertly roasted, USDA-certified organic, Fairtrade, and kosher, Death Wish Coffee also doesn’t contain artificial ingredients or additives.
The caffeine content may be high, but the dark and rich taste keeps fans coming back for more. Surprisingly smooth, every sip features bursts of dark chocolate and cherry. It’s a bold energy boost that’s high in caffeine but low in acidity; it goes down nice and smooth and keeps you up all day and night.
It’s a bit on the expensive side, but you probably only need one cup a day. Death Wish also offers a range of options: whole bean, ground, pods, and even a coffee subscription for converts who can’t imagine starting their days without a cup of Death Wish java.
2. Kicking Horse – 12 Different Blends
Kicking Horse is a small coffee company that roasts 3,000 feet up the side of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Their 120 employees put a whole lot of love and care into creating some of the world’s best coffees that are the #1 whole-bean coffee brand in Canada.
With kick-ass design, branding, and packaging, their organic coffee beans also pack a strong punch of flavor. If you’re looking for a transition brew from your commercial coffees, the Smart Ass is a great first choice.
They’ve got 12 different blends of organic, Fairtrade, and absolutely delicious whole-beans. Light-roast lovers can check out their tropical Hola blend. Their medium roast gets you moving with notes of milk chocolate, sugar cane, and tart red currant (sounds so tasty, right?) And dark-roast junkies will love their smoky Kick-Ass blend and chocolaty Grizzly Claw.
These blends feature beans sourced from Africa, Central, and South America, roasted to perfection in Canada. The lengthy and stringent process ensures only the very best quality coffee ends up in the cup.
Check them out to find out why a majority of customers give them five stars, no matter the blend!
3. Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Gourmet Coffee
Another tremendous organic choice is Café Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth Gourmet Coffee that is certified by the CCOF.
From earth to cup, organic coffee is sourced, processed, and brewed with no artificial substances, additives, or pesticides. This is a blend for those who love their shots of morning energy clean and healthy.
All blends are made up of 100% Arabica coffee with beans sourced from the Marcala region of Honduras. The high altitude infuses the beans with a lush, deep, natural flavor that brews up a cup of low-acid, smooth coffee.
This organic line is offered in light roast, medium-dark roast, and a dark roast, so everyone is guaranteed to find a blend that fits their taste. On top of being delicious, Café Don Pablo is also the best brand for bulk buying organic coffee beans online at a reasonable price.
4. Lavazza Super Crema Espresso
A tiny demitasse cup of get-up-and-go, the espresso was invented and perfected by the Italians. And Lavazza, established in 1895, was part of the process from the start. Today, they are still creating some of the best espresso blends.
Like the Super Crema roast: a real treat, it is specially crafted to be a delicious morning wake-up call, blending to create a plush crema finish.
A super-smooth medium-dark roast blend of precisely mixed Central American, Brazilian, Indonesian, and Vietnamese coffee beans, it teems with notes of honey, dried fruits, and almond.
This delicious jolt of energy goes down smooth as velvet and comes at a wonderful price at multiple retailers. It’s the perfect way to start your day off right!
5. Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
Regarded as the gateway to great coffee, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is considered to be nearly holy among the coffee connoisseurs.
Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee is made from 100% single-origin Arabica beans from the Gedeo Zone in Ethiopia. This medium roast is sweet and mild, featuring bright citrus notes of sweet tangerine and lime with a dry, lemon tea finish.
This cooperative is also an exceptionally committed to sustainability, with Fairtrade and USDA Organic certification. The high-quality coffees they produce are in partnership with farmers in Ethiopia. The roasting techniques and equipment are environmentally friendly, whereas coffee pods are recyclable and compostable.
Try making a tasty shot of espresso with this medium roast, and it will change the way you see the world!
6. Devoción’sToro Blend
Is the French press your best friend? Then you would know that it makes little difference what type of beans you use. Whether they’re light, medium, or dark, what really boosts the richness of French press coffee is the ground. A coarse-ground of the quality, flavourful blend is your best bet to getting the best out of your press.
Devoción’s Toro Blend amps up the flavor quotient of your brew with notes of chocolate, vanilla, cherry, and almond.
The beans are sourced from farms in Cundinamarca in central Colombia, which are harvested year-round from Caturra and Tipica trees.
While the Toro blend is pricier than your standard medium roasts, you’re also getting an enchanting brew, well worth the money spent.
7. illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast, Classic Roast
illy is a coffee brand that needs no introduction; they have been producing coffee in Italy since 1933. They’ve also been honored as the World’s Most Ethical Coffee on Ethisphere’s list for seven years running, among just a handful of honorees in the beverage industry.
This Classico Medium Roast is the culmination of decades spent producing the most exquisite tasting cup of signature coffee according to the highest levels of social, economic, and environmental sustainability.
A distinctive blend composed of nine of the most excellent Arabica coffee sources in the world, it features the rich notes of caramel and chocolate and the invigorating sweetness of orange blossom and jasmine.
The beans are sealed in illy’s unique pressurized coffee packaging, which optimizes and retains the complex aromas, ensuring maximum freshness. This classic roast is fantastic for coffee lovers who love grinding their beans for a completely personalized brew.
8. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
If you love flavor-rich, dark, robust roasts, Koffee Kult may very well convince you to “Be One of Us” with their Dark Roast Gourmet Coffee Beans.
Koffee Kult is a reputable, family-owned and environmentally friendly company that works directly with farmers Columbia, Guatemala and Sumatra, regions where their beans are harvested.
Their unique blend of 100% Arabica coffee bean varieties may be potent, but it’s smooth, roasted to deliver a perfect espresso shot without any lingering bitter after taste. You can also opt to French press it. You might detect notes of cocoa and cinnamon. This excellent coffee is also low in acidity, so you’ll be hard-pressed not to indulge.
They also offer tours of their facilities to true-blue fans who want to know every single detail about how their favorite coffee ended up in their cup.
9. LifeBoost Whole Bean Coffee
Lifeboost Coffee is a company that is serious about sustainability. The coffee is fantastic, of course, but they also pay great attention to the origin of the bean, to the protection of wildlife, fair compensation for farmers, and sustainable farming methods.
These beans are certified organic, grown in virgin soil in small farms 5700 ft above sea level in Nicaragua, washed in pristine spring water, and dried in the sun. They are certified kosher, Fairtrade, shade-grown to maturity under guava trees, chemical-free, Non-GMO, naturally low in acid, and hand-picked.
Lifeboost certainly goes the extra mile to produce a pristine product – finally, their beans are third-party tested for mold or mycotoxins. This additional step puts them in the top 1% of coffee in the world!
Power through your day with a clear conscience with this smooth brew of rich chocolate, caramel goodness. No bitter aftertaste included.
10. Caribou Coffee Daybreak Light Roast
We’ve covered many medium and dark roasts, so here’s one for those who love a bright start to the day.
Caribou’s Daybreak Light Roast is bright, tangy, and full of flavor, getting you out of bed and into the best state of mind to get things done! This blend features a subtle, fruity sweetness with cherry floral overtones and a sweet caramel and nut finish.
An unpretentious coffee that is sunshine in your mouth. With a blend of beans from the Americas and East Africa, Daybreak is a 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee that is lightly roasted to a lovely chocolate brown.
This thoughtful choice is also lighter on the wallet than other brands of similar quality so you can sip responsibly, happily.
11. Koa Coffee Peaberry Medium Roast Whole Bean 100% Kona Coffee
Kona coffee is the best coffee in America, as voted by Forbes. And they don’t come cheap, especially this version which features the Peaberry, dubbed the “Champagne of Kona.”
Kona is a growing region in Hawaii. Featuring an excellent microclimate, the perfect balance of rain and sun, and fertile volcanic soil, the slopes of this island offer up the ideal conditions for growing coffee.
Koa Coffee’s Peaberry Medium Roast is the crème de la crème. Not only is it Kona, but it features only the “peaberry” beans, which occur in only 3-5% of coffee cherries. Peaberry Kona coffees are rare because it is ordained by nature. Out of every 100 bags of Kona coffee, only 3-5 bags are Peaberry.
Connoisseurs love the Peaberry for the fullness of body and smooth taste that offers just a hint of sassiness. It’s a decadent treat for true coffee lovers.
12. Volcanica Coffee Geisha Coffee Costa Rica
These are some of the unique beans in the world, and you’d be hard-pressed to find it at your corner cafe. Part of its rarity is due to the price, but it’s also challenging to find because it should only be taken black, which would be odd in cafes that mainly serve milk-based beverages.
The Geisha bean was initially discovered in Ethiopia, near the town of Geisha. Today, varieties can be found in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Costa Rica, Panama, Colombia, and Peru, but the beans enjoy a particular reputation when grown in Panama and Costa Rica. The beans are long and slender and naturally resistant to some diseases.
With 30% less caffeine than most other coffees, it brews up a light, bright coffee that is tea-like in the body.
The taste of Geisha Coffee from Costa Rica is frequently described as soft and delicate. Those who patiently pay attention may be rewarded with a bouquet of flowering grass, lavender, cocoa, hints of molasses, and pipe tobacco. The acidity is gentle, and it finishes with a silky mouthfeel and a lingering taste of cocoa.
Roasted on demand, the Geisha Coffee from Costa Rica could be the perfect gift for the coffee gourmand in your life.
13. Coffee Bean Direct Indian Monsooned Malabar Coffee Beans
A one-of-a-kind coffee, the Monsooned Malabar beans get their mellow flavor from the annual monsoon winds of India. The green coffee beans are exposed to the winds after harvest, absorbing the moisture. They then expand in size and take on a unique flavor with a rich finish.
For a fuller, more balanced flavor, the beans are slow-roasted immediately before packaging. The product is a potent brew that is intense yet smooth, low in acidity with lots of chocolate and dark cocoa tones.
The Monsooned Malabar also sports an earthy flavor with a pungent, spicy, and nearly herbal aroma. Try brewing these in a French press, Moka pot, or an espresso machine for a taste like no other.
14. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Whole Bean Coffee
Cold brew is not just for the young and hip; although it’s become quite the phenomenon in recent years, people in Japan were already brewing coffee beans in room-temperature water in the 1600s.
The Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Whole Bean Coffee is ideally suited for cold brew. Featuring 100% Arabica Single Origin Colombian Supremo beans, this brew offers up a bold coffee flavor that is less acidic than hot coffee, slightly sweet, well balanced, and very smooth.
Stone Street is a Brooklyn-based company that focuses on the high-quality, artisanal blend. They roast small batches to ensure optimum freshness and take pride in ethical sourcing with the best coffee farms and growing regions.
Their artisanal coffee may come with a more significant price tag, but you’ll be brewing coffee that will make any barista proud.
15. Java Planet Colombian Single Origin Organic Whole Beans
Java Planet’s Colombian medium-dark roast is a dream come true for those who prefer their coffees big and bold, with full-bodied flavor but mild acidity. And definitely without bitterness or a burnt taste.
These organic coffee beans were grown without pesticides or chemicals, leading to improved flavor. They are roasted in small batches to ensure optimum flavor and freshness. This organic coffee is also antioxidant-rich, which could promote metabolism performance and weight loss.
Java Planet is a family-owned operation with coffees that are 100% USDA Organic, chemical, pesticide, and GMO-free so you can enjoy your favorite drink without worrying about adverse reactions.
Now, this may be a “Best of” list, and we hope you’ve enjoyed it, but we’d like to add that it’s pretty impossible to choose the best coffee honestly. That’s because the taste is subjective, and people appreciate coffee for different reasons.
Generally, the best whole bean coffee is freshly roasted and sold from a reputable company, with sustainably sourced beans that are uniform in size and defect-free. And most importantly, remember: the best coffee is a coffee that you like!