Food & HealthKitchen

10 Best Espresso Beans in 2020 – reviews

The smell of freshly ground coffee is almost as good as the brew itself. In fact, I would go as far as saying it is an essential part of the coffee experience. If you are like me, then you can’t do anything before your morning cup of Joe, and it all starts with quality espresso beans.

The best espresso beans will be partially down to your individual taste as you know what sort of blend you enjoy. However, it has become clear to me over the years that not all espresso beans are made equal. This is why I have compiled my list of the top ten to make sure you don’t waste money on a sub-par bean. There’s nothing worse than having to wait for the bag to end before you can replace it with something better so here goes.

My Picks for The 10 Best Espresso Beans

#10 Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso


With no flavoring added, this well-balanced coffee offers good value from a variety of beans from different corners of the world including South America and India for this specific blend. It has a honey-like aroma and in the 80oz bag, you are going to get plenty enough to last a long time. The whole beans are always best because they stay fresh so you can enjoy the locked-in flavor for some time. Although the beans themselves are a little on the oily side, this Italian style espresso roast has a big bite with medium acidity.

Why I Like It: Big bag and good value
Medium acidity

#9 Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend


It isn’t always down to the hipster brands from micro-batch regions that make a satisfying espresso bean. Sometimes, you just have to admit that big brands can make high-quality coffee too. That’s exactly what Lavazza has done here and the result is our gain! The creamy roast has a milder taste that will suit a lot of people who need something a little smoother and it has a pleasant taste with notes of honey and dried fruit. When ground, use it in your espresso machine for a creamy shot in the morning.

Why I Like It: Great aroma
Medium roast with a creamy taste
Good value

#8 Larry’s Coffee Organic Fair Trade Whole Bean


This espresso bean is simply known as #17 to Larry’s Coffee and as the name says it is organic and fair trade which is always reassuring. Shade-grown it has a thickness and a robust edge about it with a creamy undertone that doesn’t disappoint. Personally, I like the warm toasted finish and the dark roast is my preferred espresso bean, I guess I just like things a bit stronger when it comes to my brew. The freshness certainly lasts a long time and in the 2.2 lb bag, you are getting good value considering the price.

Why I Like It: Organic and fair trade
Warm, toasted finish

#7 Black Rifle Coffee Company AK-47


This whole bean espresso is made from 100% arabica beans and certainly has a bit of a kick to it. Made from Columbian and Brazilian beans the aftertaste isn’t overly acidic that has a smooth finish to it, great for everyday brews and espresso machines. This dark roast is right up my street although they also make a light and a medium roast so they have you covered. You can go a step further and grab a bag of the extra dark but even I don’t get so bold. Veteran owned, they also send a portion of their profits to the vets, firefighters, law enforcement, and first responder causes.

Why I Like It: Available in different roasts
100% arabica
Veteran owned

#6 Café de Loja Specialty Coffee Beans


For an award-winning espresso bean, this certainly lives up to its reputation. You are getting a medium to full body here that is great for a variety of brewing methods including French press, espresso shot, Turkish, cold brew, and beyond. Part of what gives it a unique character is the fact that it is grown at 6233 ft above sea level. The high altitude gives it a crisp taste that is sealed in by the triple-layered aluminum packaging. Hand-picked and 100% arabica, the quality is there, as is the flavor.

Why I Like It: Lots of character in every bag
High altitude beans
Award winning roast

#5 LB Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend


Anyone who likes a chocolatey espresso hit is going to be a big fan of this coffee that is sourced from some of the world’s most reputable coffee regions such as Brazil, Columbia, and Guatemala. GMO-free and with low acidity, it has a richness that is best described as medium to full. LB Cafe Don Pablo makes this 100% arabica with roots that stretch back to 1989, they are made in regional batch facilities in the USA for added freshness which is apparent as they last a long time before spoiling.

Why I Like It: Low acidity and GMO-free
100% arabica beans
Chocolatey flavor

#4 Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans


So fresh because they do not contain oil that can spoil the quality when it is sat in a cupboard, Koffee Kult is a serious coffee lovers company. The 100% Arabica beans have been carefully selected from Colombia, Sumatra, and Guatemala. These beans have been voted the best when it comes to strong flavor but they are more complex than that. They have a smooth taste without the bitterness of other espresso beans. An alluring aroma from the moment you open the bag you’re getting a great product, enjoy the cocoa and cinnamon notes at a reasonable price here.

Why I Like It: Quality 100% arabica beans
Not bitter
Reputable brand
Stays fresh for longer

#3 JO ESPRESSO: 12 oz, Medium Dark Roast


Want your espresso beans to be organic? Fair-trade? Arabica? Well, that’s three boxes ticked from the start in this quality medium-dark roast from Jo Espresso. With no flavouring added all you are getting is the product itself, which does just fine on its own to deliver a punchy dark chocolate flavor with a pleasant finish. It is well suited to espresso machines, even if you are using the frother on the side to make a perfect cappuccino, these are the beans to make the difference. Responsibly sourced from high-quality places, Jo Espresso is making all the right noises.

Why I Like It: Organic and fair trade
Quality beans
Good value

#2 Verena Street 2 Pound Espresso Beans


For 2lb’s of sweet, complex coffee goodness, these espresso beans are among the best out there. With a rich body, they are smooth yet full and can be used for a true espresso or ground a little coarser for drip coffee. Sourced responsibly and certified rainforest alliance, Verena Street is a family-owned business in Iowa to make this aromatic espresso. They are roasted in small batches which helps to maintain high standards when it comes to quality and is certified Kosher. For a rich espresso every time, this is a great option and good value.

Why I Like It: Roasted in small batches
Rich body
Good value

#1 Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso


This espresso bean has a taste that is difficult to return from, once you’ve tried it a lot of people tend to stick with Kicking Horse. The chocolatey yet smooth flavor of this coffee is silky and goes down well, suiting all sorts of brewing methods including French press, espresso, and cold brew to name a few. Versatile and certified organic it is a great option for anyone who is a bit of a fanatic. It’s roasted in the Rocky Mountains, a medium roast, and 100% arabica, plenty to like then!

Why I Like It: Great for different brewing methods
100% arabica
Organic and responsibly sourced

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