While there are some places you can find the best coffee, there are many places that you should definitely not buy coffee from.Where To AVOID:The Grocery store - They often sell low-quality coffee beans with a long shelf life. (The exception here is Whole Foods and other artisan stores, which carry coffee from reputable roasters.)Amazon - Again, it’s the question of freshness. It is often roasted ahead of time so it could be packaged, shipped and stocked in the warehouse. PRO TIP: Even if the Amazon listing says “Fresh Roasted,” it might be 6 months old, as that is fresh in comparison with many of the other store bought beans. Yikes!HOW to Choose The Best Coffee BeansWhat type of coffee should you choose? Sometimes coffee bags are covered in words that don’t mean anything to us.Let’s decipher some of those for you.Arabica beans vs Robusta beansArabica beans are far superior to Robusta in terms of flavor and quality. They can be grown at higher elevations, giving the beans more time to develop their favor.Robusta beans contain more caffeine than Arabica. They are also much more disease resistant and produce a higher yield. That is why farmers still like to grow robusta, even though they sell for a much lower price.Robusta is grown for companies that produce instant coffee and other lower quality, grocery store blends. You probably won’t see a roaster advertising their Robusta coffee. Stay away from it if you love great coffee.Acidity and BitternessDifferent coffees will have different amounts of acid content.Acidity is not a bad thing, as that is what gives coffee its natural flavor. Some people like more, some like less. The acidity present in coffee has more to do with taste as opposed to pH, though many claim acidity in coffee to cause digestive issues.Coffees from Africa are typically characterized by a higher acidity, with fruity or floral tasting notes.Coffees from places like Brazil or Sumatra tend to have a much lower acidity with cocoa and nutty notes.PRO TIP: A big part of it has to do with growing altitude. Coffee's grown at lower altitudes generally have lower acidity level. Read this article if you want to learn more about low acid coffee.
Compatible with all Keurig machines, the brand prides themselves on their authentically organic products. Conventional coffee free of pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides, the coffee is even grown at high altitude to increase the quality. Creating denser beans at higher altitudes, the coffee is filled with antioxidants and a rich, flavorful taste. And best of all, they have a 100 percent happiness guarantee.
You need to buy the right road that’s going to suit your palette, but that’s not going to do you any good if you can’t store them in a proper location. You need to maintain proper temperature control and oxidization. It also depends on how tightly-packaged your beans were upon arrival; sometimes, it’s not in your hands. That’s why you need to go with a supplier that you trust, someone who has your best interest at heart when it comes to maintaining integrity and flavor.
Nebraska's most impressive roaster at the moment occupies a deceptively simple (but also pleasingly modern) storefront on a block shared with a brewery, a wine bar and Omaha's most talked about ice cream shop—it's clearly a new day for the once-forlorn Blackstone District. There's a lot of this sort of positive change happening around Omaha lately, some of it down to young and talented entrepreneurs like Isaiah Sheese, who moved here to roast coffee, just a few years ago. Things appear to be working out okay—Archetype is now opening a second shop, in another up-and-coming area of town.
The Caza Trail Coffee is a perfect blend of selected coffees from Indonesia and Latin America. This coffee is USDA certified organic and Fair Trade Certified and Kosher. It’s free from chemicals and artificial additives. The coffee is bold yet smooth, fine finish that is full-bodied with moderate acidity. You will find this organic coffee great for busy mornings or when you just require an on-the-go treat.
Described by taste-testers as "nutty, earthy, smooth, and bold," these Sumatra Dark Roast pods from Starbucks are so bold in flavor that some reviewers claim they can actually be brewed twice to cut back on waste. Herbal and earthy, this single-origin coffee blend is not to be missed. These coffee pods are compatible with Keurig single-serve coffee machines.
The main benefit of organically grown coffee is that, because it is not subjected to commercial fertilizer or insecticide, its beans would be free of chemical residue. For this reason, some people claim that Organic Coffee has a fuller, richer flavor than non-organically grown coffee. Aside from the taste of the coffee, growing coffee using Organic farming methods benefits the environment and the health of the consumer and the farmer. The production of Organic Coffee uses no chemical fertilizers to feed the plants and no chemical pesticides to keep insects at bay. Pesticides and other non-organic farming chemicals accumulate in human body fat, causing damage to the nervous and reproductive systems. While Organic Coffee may cost more, most would say the benefits outweigh the added cost.
Coffee grown in the sun in fertilized fields produces more seeds (coffee beans) more quickly than coffee grown in the shade, but coffee grown in the shade produces a higher quality coffee with a better flavor. Growing coffee in the sun not only requires the use of fertilizers, but has led to wide-scale deforestation and habitat loss for wildlife species. Coffee grown in its traditional forested setting creates valuable habitat for many bird species.
Approaches ranged from commitment to organic as a core value in a business model to mere coincidence or afterthought. Furthermore, several of the top-scoring coffees came from roasters who don’t label their coffees as organic, even when these coffees are farmed organically. The reason? They don’t have USDA certification as organic roasters, making it illegal for them to do so.
With this Colombian grown organic coffee in a K-cup, this is the perfect caffeine fix that can stimulate the senses. Similar to other dark roasts, you can expect notes of dark chocolate in this coffee. The beans have been through a long roasting process, which also means that the acidity is reduced. There are also toasted notes with the aftertaste of this coffee, but you do not have to worry since it does not have a pronounced bitterness.
Are you ready to treat yourself? Buckle up and sit down for Italy’s favorite espresso-blend coffee: Lavazza. If you’re going to go with espresso-blend coffee, you need to go for the best of the best. You get a blend of Central American mild coffee beans and velvety Brazilian coffee beans, mixing precisely and perfectly to extend your early mornings in the most pleasant way possible. With a cup of Lavazza by your side, you’ll feel awake, energized, and ready to tackle anything that comes your way. Espresso-blend coffee is either an excellent hit, or a really bad miss. It’s not something that novice roasters and companies should take upon themselves. Lavazza hits it out of the park on this one.
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.
On the other hand, the appearance of certain coffees on our list also suggests the value of continuity and tradition in processing. All four Kenya coffees in the Top 30 were subject to the meticulous Kenya variant on wet-processing that has been helping produce consistently great coffees in Kenya for decades. The two Sumatra coffees owe their distinction in great part to refined application of the decades-old “wet-hulling” process still largely unique to Indonesia, particularly to Sumatra. See our 2016 report Learning from Sumatras for more on wet-hulling and sensory distinction.
Now you can have the highest quality coffee through the convenience of your singe serve brewer. OneCups mesh bottoms allow us to package the freshest product possible, just open up one of these bags and smell it for yourself! The OneCup pods are comprised of wood pulp lidding, a corn ring and mesh coffee filter. The end result? A more environmentally friendly, certified kosher, single serve coffee option with a great taste, allowing you to taste the difference, while you make a difference.
Over the course of the year, we reviewed fewer than a dozen darker roasts. Most were medium-dark at best; some barely that. The majority of darker roasts we reviewed were sent by roasters in Taiwan and most were espressos, reflecting both the time-honored espresso practice of emphasizing chocolate and sweetness through moderate dark roasting, as well as, perhaps, a preference in Taiwan for more traditional styles of espresso as opposed to the lighter-roasted, brighter style of espresso now popular with the leading edge of North American roasters.