As in past years, we selected and ranked our Top 30 coffees and espressos based on quality (represented by overall rating), value (reflected by most affordable price per pound), and consideration of other factors that include distinctiveness of style, uniqueness of origin or tree variety, certifications such as Fair Trade and organic, and general rarity.
Another really awesome thing about Equal Exchange is that it is worker owned. The company is actually recognized as a Worker-owned Co-operative. This means that there are no outside shareholders of the company. Each of the workers owns a part of the overall company. In addition, each worker is entitled to the right to vote on company policy and decisions, has the right to serve as the leader of the company (i.e. board director), the right to any and all information, and the right to speak their mind. What's more, the highest paid worker can not earn more than 4 times what the lowest paid worker is paid. This is virtually unseen in the majority of businesses in the entire world. So the fact that this company has achieved this and is thriving, is just incredible. 
This is the best Organic variety pack of K-Cups by far! I have found so many great coffees! I have yet to find a bad coffee in this assortment. Here are a few I especially like: Green Mountain Organic Sumatra ACEH Dark Roast, ,Caza Trail Sumatra Gayo Mountain Organic, Marley Coffee, 365 Organic Columbian Cup Vienna Roast, and First ColonyOrganic Espresso Roast. Perfect selection for coffee lovers. Thank you Pantry Essentials! Have reordered 3 times already!
There’s actually a precise way you should grind your coffee. It’s not about the finer the better—that’s called coffee-like powder. You don’t want your grinds to be too coarse, because you’ll sacrifice coffee flavor when you could be siphoning it from the beans. It’s a tricky bit of business, but it’s what all the major players in the retail coffee world do. They not only weight their grinds, etc., but they actually check the quality of the grind and match it with measured samples. We’re not expecting you to go crazy with your grinds and their coarseness or size, but it is something you should pay attention to once or twice per month. Only a premier coffee bean grinder can handle your excellent batch of beans. It’s all about preparing your beans from storage all the way to your cup—you need a grinder that can match your requirements.
Although this is from the same manufacturer as the product that has been mentioned above, they have slightly different flavor profiles. This blend comes with a fuller body, which makes it the perfect option for those who like their coffee strong. At first sip, you will already notice how bold the flavor is. Nonetheless, you will end up being surprised that despite this boldness, it is actually a smooth blend.
“I’ve tried many coffee products in the organic, shade-grown genre, and this is by far the smoothest, most well-balanced bean yet. The beans arrived perfectly roasted, fresh, nicely oily, with an awesome aroma. Every cup has been perfect. I love dark-roast coffee but hate over-roasted darks … I use only French press and pour-over methods, by the way. Tiny Footprint really seem to have their techniques dialed in, and I’m a fan of the environmental stewardship they stand for. I’ll be a repeat customer and highly recommend this coffee.”
Made from hearty Indonesian beans, these medium-roast coffee pods have deep and woodsy notes that are nicely balanced out by a fruity berry flavor and nice bright acidity. Reviewers describe this blend as their go-to single-serve morning roast because of its smooth, rich, "down-to-earth" flavor without any bitterness. These pods are compatible with any Keurig single-serve coffee machine. 
Evaluated as espresso. Complex, juicy, richly tart. Almond, dark chocolate, guava, tangerine zest, star jasmine in aroma and small cup. Light, very silky mouthfeel; chocolate, fruit and flowers all carry into a cleanly sweet, delicately drying finish. Flavor-saturated in three parts milk: almond, chocolate, guava, flowers all resonate in rich, custardy balance.
One of the biggest rising names in premier coffee beans, Café Don Pablo, brings us another exceptional, small batch, artisan roasted bag of coffee beans. Not only are these premier coffee beans GMO-free, but their specific blend of beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil will leave you wondering why you didn’t find Don Pablo sooner. If you’re a finnicky coffee critic, then we don’t need to preach this fact to you—you’ve been let down by far too many different blends, each claiming to be the most optimal flavor and body balance, while falling flat. Don Pablo is a premier coffee company that should always come first when you think of quality. Be sure to also check out our list of the best instant coffee for more great items like this.
A popular, professional blend combining the best of Indonesian and African Robusta and Brazilian Arabica coffees, the Lavazza is simply extraordinary by any standard. It provides an intense aroma and a rich aftertaste with unique chocolaty notes. It is an ideal ground coffee for making espresso-based beverages, yet also appropriate for people who enjoy a standard cup of coffee.
Also try As you might expect in a city that’s been at it for some time now, coffee is for everyone in Chicago, not just the cool kids. Back of the Yards Coffeehouse, for example, is a true oasis in a tough neighborhood, while down in impoverished Englewood, the non-profit Kusanya Café & Roastery has been holding down the fort since 2013. Up on the North Side, the still-scarred (but fast-gentrifying) Uptown neighborhood has Everybody's Coffee, a passion project from a group of fun-loving coffee snobs, living in a local commune. (Author disclosure: These same coffee snobs got me addicted to the stuff, back in the mid-'90's.)
According to the definition of organic farming, farming utilizes manual, mechanized, and cultural methods. Additionally, the farming methods shall neither comprise of synthetic chemical fertilizer nor the synthetic pesticides. In fact, the authority prohibits the use of GMOs or any other growth promoters/enhancers. Apart from that, the cultivators have to take care of the yield by keeping away/eliminating the soil erosion, ecological unbalance, unhealthy water irrigation, or the sewage sludge.
The professionally crafted Kauai Coffee is 100 percent Arabica Hawaiian coffee, providing you a taste of the island paradise in each cup. Select beans are expertly roasted fresh from the fields and then ground to make a mild, smooth, and aroma-rich coffee. This may be a relative newcomer in the coffee world, but the quality makes it stand out, with it being a proud USA-made product.
Café Britt produces 12-ounce bags of dark roasted coffee and sells them in 2 bag sets. The company uses 100% organic fertilizers and grows its bushes underneath native tree species, preserving the agro-ecosystem of the region. This single origin variety is preferred by chefs from around the world. Since 1991, the company has produced this rich coffee with its hint of apple aroma. It is medium dark and not acidic.
I have always purchased Equal Exchange whole bean decaffeinated coffee, but decided to try the ground Equal Exchange just to save me time in the morning grinding it and then having to clean the grinder and my husband and I are thrilled with it. It has wonderful full flavor and actually tastes better than the beans I was grinding. I definitely recommend this product.
With all of these wonderful coffee subscription services to choose from, how exactly are you supposed to pick the best one? It all comes down to your personal preferences. If, for example, you know exactly what you like, then one of the more limited services may be right for you. But if you like to experiment, you may want to choose services that send you different coffee every month or have many different roasters to choose from.
Bitterness is the result of brewing. If you extract too much out of the ground coffee, the result will be a harsh, bitter finish. This usually happens when the grind size is too fine. The particles are smaller, so the water can touch more of the coffee, and ultimately extract more of it.Bitterness in coffee is something you can avoid by brewing properly. Acidity in coffee is natural and cannot be avoided by brewing. Though, you can “cover” some of the acidity with a dark roast or simply buy beans with a lower acidity.Single Origin vs BlendsMany coffee companies will offer single origin coffees as well as blends.Single origin simply means unblended. It’s a coffee from one specific region, such as an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. A blend, therefore, means it's a few beans, blended into one packet. Duhhh.So why do some people blend beans? There's a good reason and a bad reason.Blends are designed to produce a balance in terms of flavor, body, and acidity. A roaster might blend a coffee with a full body with another coffee that has very bright tasting notes in order to get the best of both coffees in one cup.That's what happens when a roaster knows what he/she is doing. If they don't, they may blend to hide poorly roasted beans among normal beans. Stick to roasters that have a good reputation.Interested in blending the beans yourself? Learn some tips here.PRO TIP: Watch out for companies who blend to save money. E.g if they are selling an expensive bean, they will use it as a blend to make it go further.Roast dateYou know to freshly roasted beans, but how do you know how fresh it is?Top-line coffee roasters include a roast date for their coffee, which lets you know how long it's been since it was roasted. Most coffee experts agree that whole bean coffee retains its freshness between one week and one month after roasting.To make the most of the short time your coffee is at its freshest:Buy only what you know you can use in a few weeks. This comes with a bonus: you get the opportunity to try another coffee right away! Want a medium roast this week, then a light roast the week after that? How about beans from Guatemala versus Colombian beans? Buying in small amounts can help you find the perfect coffee flavor for you.Regardless of your brewing method or coffee maker, brew your coffee within 30 minutes of grinding.Keep your whole beans in a cool, dry place in a container that protects them from light, heat, air, and moisture. Enjoying your coffee within a few weeks of its roast date is crucial, but here are a few other common mistakes you can avoid with a little preparation.Fair TradeFair Trade coffee has been grown and produced to certified standards, which are then upheld across the network of producers, organizations, consumers, and companies.These standards help provide a sustainable income for the farmers and workers who grow and harvest coffee, on an individual and community level. They also reduce the negative impact on the environment where coffee is grown.Offering better trading conditions to coffee farmers, many of whom live in poor and marginalized parts of the world, helps provide better living conditions for farmers and their cities, towns, and villages.In short: This is improving the lives of the people who grow, harvest, and process the coffee beans that we treasure. You can learn more about how it works in our article on Fair Trade coffee here..USDA organicOrganic coffee means that it's grown without pesticides, right? It's a little more complicated than that. There are requirements for growing, processing, and even packaging coffee to ensure that it meets the standards implied in the organic label.And the requirements vary among countries that certify coffee (or other products as organic.The organic certification by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is representative of the kind of standards and qualifications that represent organic coffee. These include the use of natural rather than synthetic fertilizer, shade-grown coffee crops that rely on bird and animal life as natural pest control for the coffee trees, and even ensuring that coffee roasters have only been used to prepare organically grown coffee beans.Aside from the benefits of drinking organic coffee, it's better for the environment as well. Organic coffee orchards don't contribute to deforestation, meaning trees can continue to produce oxygen (which to some of us is almost as important as coffee). It also means that the habitat for animals, birds, bugs, and everything else is left much more intact.Want to know more? Read our article about the details of organic coffee here.THE BEST COFFEE BEANS OF 2019 (WHOLE BEAN COFFEE)Ok, enough with the education. You're ready for the list.Here are 10 beans that you should get on your coffee bean bucket list before you die.#1 - Kona Beans (Hawaii)Kona is the largest Hawaiian island and is the best for growing high quality coffee. The best coffee in American, in fact, voted by Forbes,With an excellent microclimate, the perfect blend of rain and sun, and fertile, volcanic soil, the slopes on the big island just happen to be perfect for growing coffee. Read more about Hawaiian coffee beans here.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, it’s 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. Never buy a blend, as only 10% of the blend will be Kona. Always buy Extra Fancy (the grade) as that is the highest quality. With a medium body, low acidity, and rich, smooth taste, this coffee will be an excellent addition to your auto drip or pour over routine. Koa Coffee is our favorite place to buy authentic, quality, coffee beans. >>> CLICK HERE for a 10% discount on Kona Coffee BeansSpecificationsBrand: Koa CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: Hawaii, USAType: Single originTasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nutsAroma: Mild, smooth with vibrant acidityRecommended brew styles: Drip and French Press#2 - Blue Mountain Coffee (Jamaica)Jamaica produces a relatively small amount of coffee each year, and not all of it comes from the Blue Mountain. But the coffee that does grow here is grown at a very high elevation.It’s extremely limited in production and about 80% of each years crop goes to Japan. Plus, these beans are extremely labor intensive to produce, needing to be handpicked from the mountain slopes. The high elevation, cool temperatures and volcanic soil helps result in a harvest that takes nearly 10 months, which is much longer than that of other coffee growing regions.The resulting cup of coffee will be well balanced with a full body, medium acidity with a mildly sweet taste. Some say blue mountain​​ coffee is the smoothest brew they've ever enjoyed.So getting these quality beans in the States will cost you a pretty penny. Is it worth it? Anyone that has tasted Blue Mountain Coffee will say: F-yes.But like Kona, Blue Mountain is one of those coffees that needs to be purchased wisely.Many brands will mislead you into buying their coffee, claiming the Jamaican Blue Mountain name. Avoid blends and any Jamaican coffee priced less than $20/lb. To call a coffee Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend, only a very small amount of the coffee actually needs to be Blue Mountain.The profile of this coffee will make for an excellent drip coffee, whether pour over or automatic. Drink it black and enjoy one of the most sought after coffees in the world.>>> Click here to see the price on REAL Blue Mountain coffee beans.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: JamaicaType: Single originTasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nutsAroma: Mild, smooth with vibrant acidityRecommended brew styles: Drip#3 - Kenyan AA Coffee BeansKenya coffee beans are among the finest in the world. The effort that farmers go through cleaning and processing these beans is unmatched.Perhaps one of the greatest contributors to the quality of Kenyan coffee is the fact that the farmers are rewarded for better coffee. The government runs an auction in which all the coffee in Kenya is sold. Higher quality coffees sell for a higher price, giving farmers an incentive to improve their crop.AA is the largest sized bean, followed by AB. In Kenya, the bigger the better. Always look for AA. These coffees are characterized by sweet fruit notes, a winey acidity and a syrupy body. Due to the processing, these coffees are among the cleanest tasting in the world.Kenyan coffee beans make for excellent drip coffee, pour over or automatic. The medium-full body and bright fruit notes are sure to leave you smiling with each cup.Want to sip on some hot, flavor bursting, luscious Kenyan AA beans? Try here.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: KenyaType: Single originTasting notes: Sweet fruit notes, a winey acidity and a syrupy bodyAroma: Fresh and floralRecommended brew styles: Drip#4 - Peaberry Beans (Tanzania)A peaberry is a single, round coffee bean inside the coffee cherry. A normal coffee cherry holds 2 beans, side by side, each with a flat side. The peaberry is alone inside the cherry and shaped differently.Because of the round shape and the fact that these beans are more dense than most coffee beans, they roast more uniformly. Only about 5% of all coffee beans are peaberry. In order to get a lot of strictly peaberry beans, rigorous hand sorting is required to separate them from their half-bean counterparts. This added labor increases cost.Peaberry coffee beans from Tanzania tend to have a brighter acidity, medium body and notes of brown sugar and subtle fruitiness.Peaberry is best suited for an automatic dripper or as a pour over. Grab a serving here.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: TanzaniaType: Single originTasting notes: A brighter acidity, medium body and notes of brown sugar and subtle fruitinessAroma: Complex and sweety floral with layered notes of citrus, pineapple or coconutRecommended brew style: Drip and Pour Over#5 - Dark Sumatra Mandheling Beans from IndonesiaThis coffee is named after the Mandailing people who once farmed the coffee in northern Sumatra.Coffees from this area tend to have lower acidity with a sweet, smooth body. The coffee can vary in taste from cocoa and tobacco to earthy and herbaceous. Many people choose to dark roast Sumatra coffees to enhance sweetness and its almost spicy flavor.Coffees from Sumatra as a whole are typically processed with a hybrid method, akin to wet-hulling. This processing method is perhaps the largest factor in the outcome of the coffee.These coffee beans are different, there’s no doubt about that. The fact is, some people swear by it and some people won’t touch it. It’s one of the great controversies in coffee.Due to its full body and low acidity this coffee does very well in a french press or pressure style brewing method.Buy your Sumatran Beans here (to ensure you get the best, fresh beans).SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: Sumatra, IndonesiaType: Single originTasting notes: lower acidity with a sweet, smooth bodyAroma: earthy, mossy, funky and mushroomyRecommended brew style: French Press and pressure brewing#6 - Sulawesi Toraja Coffee BeansSulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, is an Indonesian island to the east of Borneo. Toraja is the name of the group of people who grow and harvest the coffee here.Coffee is a family business on this island. Many families grow coffee on their property as a means of adding some income to their household, but is often not a priority. Therefore, the coffee infrastructure isn’t very strong.This may be the reason these beans aren’t very common.Coffee beans are partially processed by the family before being sold to a middleman at the local markets. These middlemen then go to the larger processing mills where the beans are completely dried and the work is finished.The best coffees from Sulawesi will be very sweet and complex, with a low acidity, full body and some earthy and herbal notes to it. This coffee will make for a great medium-dark roast, highlighting the sweetness and full body present in the coffee.Brew up a french press or pull a shot with this solid, unique coffee.Click here to try these tasty, yet rare, coffee beans.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: Sulawesi, IndonesiaType: Single originTasting notes: Very sweet and complex, with a low acidity, full body and some earthy and herbal notesAroma: Spicy, earthy, musty and woodsyRecommended brew style: French Press and Espresso#7 - Central American Geisha Coffee BeansGeisha coffee beans are among the most unique in the world.Though they can in theory grow anywhere, they have a special reputation when grown in Panama and Costa Rica. The most famous farm is Hacienda La Esmeralda.The Geisha bean was originally discovered in Ethiopia, near the town of Geisha. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that this bean varietal made it to Panama.What makes the Geisha bean unique? It has a natural tea-like body with a ton of clear, bright, sparkling flavors such as citrus, mango, peach and jasmine. You may also pick up on some bergamot or vanilla notes..This is a tough coffee to find for a few reasons. Few cafes serve it because it is an extremely expensive coffee and it is served best as a filter coffee. Cafes serve mainly milk based beverages, so it doesn’t make sense for many to serve a coffee that can only be taken black.You’ve likely never had a coffee like this before. It is truly unique. If you enjoy lighter, brighter coffees, this is one you need to try.Start enjoying some of the worlds most sought after coffee after picking up an authentic bag of beans here.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: Central AmericaType: Single originTasting notes: Natural tea-like body, sparkling flavors like citrus, mango, peach and jasmineAroma: Floral and lemony tonesRecommended brew style: Pour Over and Filter#8 - Monsooned Malabar beans from IndiaMellow flavor lies within the Monsooned Malabar beans from India given their name because of how the wind disperses them during the monsoon season.The beans expand with moisture and create a rich finish - so we recommend trying them if you live in a humid environment to get the most out of the experience.Try brewing these in a french press, moka pot, or espresso machine of any type.SpecificationsBrand: Coffee Bean DirectBeans: ArabicaOrigin: IndiaType: Single originTasting notes: Strong, intense, low acid, tons of syrupy chocolate and dark cocoa tonesAroma: Funky, pungent, mixed spices and herbalRecommended brew style: Espresso#9 - Yirgacheffe Beans from EthiopiaYirgacheffe is regarded as holy among the global coffee community.Ethiopia itself is regarded as the birthplace of coffee and beans from Yirgacheffe are it’s pride and joy. Sidama is a region in Ethiopia that contains the microregion of Yirgacheffe. Within Yirgacheffe, however, are even smaller regions: Adado, Aricha, Kochere, Konga, and more.These coffees are typically wet processed, producing a coffee that is light in body, almost tea-like, with complex fruit and floral notes. Go into any specialty coffee shop and you are likely to find coffee from this region on the shelf. It’s easy to see why these coffees are known as the gateway to great coffee.When roasted lightly, these coffees are excellent in an automatic drip or pour over. They also make for a refreshing iced coffee or cold brew. Try a medium roast or something darker for a tasty shot of espresso.Here's our favorite place to buy freshly roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe online.SpecificationsBrand: Volcanica CoffeeBeans: ArabicaOrigin: EthiopiaType: Single originTasting notes: light body, with complex fruit and floral notesAroma: earthy, with cinnamon and strawberry undertonesRecommended brew style: Drip and Pour Over#10 - Death Wish Coffee BeansA new addition to this list is death wish coffee. Simply put; these are USDA certified sustainable, organic, low acid and (very) highly caffeinated coffee beans. If you’re in need of a huge energy hit but don’t want sacrifice quality these are for you.They offer a range of options; whole bean, ground coffee, coffee pods and even a coffee subscription option (if you dare). The common theme: high quality beans with whopping 3-6x more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee.The Death Wish Coffee Company offers so much more than just strong beans. I tried these and was pleasantly surprised by the bean quality and roast profile. You can read our full review here.Buy Death Wish Coffee here.SpecificationsBrand: Death Wish CoffeeBeans: Arabica and Robusta BlendOrigin: Mixed (see store)Type: blendTasting notes: Strong and bold Aroma: strong, nuttyRecommended brew style: French press or espressoYou've Bought The Best Coffee Beans. Now What?By now, you should have your precious beans and you should be enjoying them.If you want them to stay fresh you'll need to think about how you're going to store them. Here are a few tips:Store them in a coffee canisterThe enemies of coffee are air, moisture, heat, and light. This means the best place to store your beans is in something airtight and opaque in a cool, dry place.(Those decorative glass jars may show off your silky brown coffee beans, but for storage, they're not the best. Light breaks down the compounds that give your coffee its unique aroma and flavor.) Metal or ceramic containers will keep out light. And if a container airtight, it's moisture-tight too.If you are buying the freshest whole bean coffee you can (and the roast date says so, right?), they may continue to vent a little carbon dioxide over the week or so that you store them. Some of the best coffee canisters have one-way valves that allow carbon dioxide to vent without letting air (and moisture) in. Finally, think about how much you can store in the canister. You don't need a lot of room if you only buy enough coffee beans for about a week, but if it's too small, you may have to find alternate storage if you buy a pound or so at a time.
“This is the best fair-trade medium roast I’ve found that can be ordered online. I used to live where I could go to a local importer and roaster of beans, and this product almost rivals those beans in quality. The beans come super fresh inside the package and are evenly roasted. The flavor is smooth and deep, with a nice velvety mouthfeel that is normally reserved for darker roasts. My favorite way to enjoy these are with a French press, but they are also delicious from a drip coffee maker and make great stove-top espresso in a Moka pot. When I run out of locally roasted beans I always order these to hold me over.”

Their unique business model is one of the main advantages of Equal Exchange. They are one of the most ethical and environment-friendly brands around. They source high-quality arabica beans almost exclusively from small organic farmers who practice sustainable farming methods. As for the coffee, it is a smooth blend of medium and dark roasts. The final effect is a very mellow, not too strong or harsh coffee with a rich feel.


Kenneth Davids is a coffee expert, author and co-founder of Coffee Review. He has been involved with coffee since the early 1970s and has published three books on coffee, including the influential Home Roasting: Romance and Revival, now in its second edition, and Coffee: A Guide to Buying, Brewing and Enjoying, which has sold nearly 250,000 copies over five editions. His workshops and seminars on coffee sourcing, evaluation and communication have been featured at professional coffee meetings on six continents.
Overwhelmingly, the lesser known brands ranked higher and received more detailed tasting notes. When searching the description of these brands, you will find more information on specific origin, details in roasting and care in the small batches. The attention to detail made from the farming to the roasting will set you back a few more dollars, but know that along with a more satisfying cup of coffee you are also doing your part to better the world.
K-cups are the ultimate in convenience – ideal for those who only want to brew one cup at a time, or for offices and large households where everyone wants something different or doesn’t want to assign anyone the duty of cleaning, prepping, and brewing for the masses. K-cups come in just about any kind of coffee, from dark to light roasts, organic, flavored, extremely caffeinated to decaf. You can also buy latte or cappuccino K-cups with the sweetener already mixed in. Other choices include tea, cider, and cocoa. And since they cost about 40 cents each, you can stock up on your favorites and treat yourself to something else with all the money you’d spend at a cafe for an almost identical beverage.
There is no beating around the bush with this brand. When you buy Death Wish, you know exactly what you are getting: a higher dose of caffeine than your body should need, like ever. There is a market for robust coffee out there, and these guys are there to cater to those caffeine-heads. The brand has all the right certifications, including FairTrade. And despite using robusta beans, they have managed to keep the taste at least tolerable, which is quite an achievement.
×