There is a bewildering array of choice when it comes modern ground coffee blends. You can opt for a selection of different roasts, grinds, and beans sourced from all over the world. One prime concern is sustainable and ethical production and sourcing of coffee. You should try to stick with brands that have FairTrade and Rainforest Alliance or similar certification or follow explicitly sustainable practices as much as possible. Brands are coming out with more potent and more innovative blends all the time. This is a great time be alive as a coffee lover!

It is a nice smooth mild and non-acidic coffee *BUT* it does not have the distinctive taste of Ethiopian, or any African coffee I have tried. I love African coffee. In fact, the only reason I am ordering coffee is that noone brings African coffees into Hawaii :( :( For many years I had Single Origin Coffees Tanzanian Gombe Reserve - Whole Bean 10 oz on subscription, but then they raised shipping to $30 making it impractical. I first tried Coffee Bean Direct Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Whole Bean Coffee, 16-Ounce Bags (Pack of 3) which was either burned, or poor quality beans; tasted burned and left a bitter aftertaste. I had a similar experience with their Kenya reserve, and so with 10 pounds of bad coffee in my freezer tentatively tried a sampler Coffee Masters Around The World In Twelve Coffees Variety Pack, 1.5-Ounce Packets (Pack of 12) and was very impressed with the quality and roast, and so ordered several of their single origin whole bean. All of them were very nice and it has been my roaster of choice here (I have several of their ocffees on subscription) until the price hike.
Coffee can be compared to wine in terms of flavor because it is also affected by soil, altitude and the region in which it’s grown. The two types of coffee bean options are Arabica and Robusta, but what does this mean? The easiest way to categorize the two is by the altitude in which they grew. Arabica beans are grown in the mountains at an altitude above 2000 feet, while Robusta coffee is found below that, typically on flat plantations.
A cruise can be the ultimate vacation destination, especially if you are someone who has a difficult time deciding what exactly you want to do while you are vacationing. Cruises are amazing because not only are you able to see different parts of the world, you're also able to have access to a wide array of activities including shows, amazing dinners, and even possibly gambling.
The best medium roast coffee we tested was Marley Coffee, which came in third overall in our test. Marley is an organic, ethically-farmed and 100% Ethiopian blend with herbal tastes including fruity wine undertones. Our testers loved the taste and finish of this coffee and guessed it was either a light or medium blend. One tester loved the “watermelon or green tea” undertones and most mentioned the unique taste that was a welcome change in the morning. Marley Coffee ranked as the most expensive coffee we tested at $.87 per ounce. Money well spent according to our testers.
A rich and quality combination of spicy, sweet, and berry notes, the Caribou Coffee Blend is an expertly balanced product for your harmoniously relaxing and tasty cup. Caribou Coffee ensures that you get a premium-grade coffee cup, roasting just the world’s top 1% of select coffee beans in small amounts. The product is 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified and responsibly chosen for a healthier and more vibrant you.
If you are sensitive to caffeine, this does not mean that you can no longer enjoy coffee. This product is one of those that you can still drink without worries. This decaf coffee is made using beans that have been sourced from South and Central America. The location is known for producing a mellow coffee despite having been fully-roasted. This is the perfect companion for sweet treats like cakes and cookies. This coffee is made by a family company with almost four decades of experience in the business, providing an assurance of its exceptional quality.
Yoo-hoo. Our aprons vendor, @ziyada_bemore, is in town from Patna, India, and they’re popping up at the coffee bar tomorrow, Saturday, March 10, from 11a-3p. Come check out all their handmade goods, and support a great cause — cup of coffee in hand. Ziyada creates opportunity and well-paying jobs for women in the impoverished Indian state of Bihar. *** Stop by their pop-up for a belated #internationalwomensday celebration. 📷: @jrwade_photo
Alfred Peet has been shaping the craft coffee movement for decades. He’s helped transform what Americans have come to expect from their cup of coffee, as he mentored the founders of Starbucks at one time, but continually worked to seek better coffee for humanity. Created for Peet’s 50th anniversary this signature blend celebrates Mr. Peet’s legacy, obviously it has quite the name to live up to.
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.
Your favorite coffee connoisseur might have an argument for single origin vs blended origin beans, but the average coffee drinker will not taste the difference. Each origin has a unique attribute that is added to the bean, but the taste is not the main reason to look into blended or single origin. There are very few regulations that mandate disclosure of type, or percentages, of the blends in your bag of coffee. As a result some expensive blends may be a low percentage of a desirable origin and the majority could be from a less desirable origin.
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.
It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great. It has a great flavor, period! I'm a person of few words. Coffee is great.
We have a Saeco machine, my husband drinks espresso and I like regular coffee. We're used to darker roasts but this one was nice, smooth, flavorful. I thought a medium roast would be too light for an espresso, but my husband said, "this is a tasty coffee." If you eat it with fresh homemade cream scones, it'll tastes even more delicious! Someone said the oiliness of the beans interfered with the burr grinder in their machine, but my husband does regular maintenance on our Saeco and it's been functioning great for over 5 years now (previously he used Lavzza for 2-3 years, then we switched to Costco Sumatra roast coffee, which was awesome, and a few other trial brands here and there.)
If you want the extra strong caffeine effect you expect from Death Wish, but in a more flavorful package, Valhalla Java might be what you need. It still retains that overdose of caffeine the brand is famous for. But it also has a smoother mouthfeel and better flavor than their standard blends. The medium dark roast has flavors reminiscent of cocoa and nuts. As with other Death Wish products, you get ethical FairTrade certifications as well.
I was pretty disappointed in this local coffee spot, unfortunately. I walked in and the staff seemed in disarray. I waited 15 minutes for a coffee, watching other people who ordered after me get their drinks filled. They had forgotten my order as it turned out, and when I asked about it, they were not too friendly in understanding what happened. After I finally pushed about needing to go, they finally made my drink, but I only had a couple minutes to finish it. Needless to say, I wasn't happy with their service at all. And my coffee was nothing impressive. Not worth the price in my opinion.
Coffee nirvana! I bought this for my son who has trouble with very acidic coffee, and we both have been looking for an organic coffee that would really taste good and meet the low acid criteria. The first pot we brewed we brewed weak. Yet, it was surprisingly delicious. It had a mild vanilla after taste and while weak, (our fault not the coffee's), it was quite nice and palatable, both black and with added cream and sugar. The next pot was brewed by my husband who prefers his coffee so strong it doesn't just stand a spoon up, but actually might melt a stainless steel spoon. So, it was brewed VERY strong. Again, delicious! More robust flavor, of course, but did not taste at all overly strong so it suited both his taste and mine. You cannot make a bad ... full review
I discovered this coffee while on vacation; it is served at Two Cats Restaurant in Bar Harbor, Maine. I really enjoyed the flavor and smoothness of that first cup with my breakfast. The second cup seemed even more flavorful, robust without an acidic aftertaste. When I got home, I ordered some online. I have it daily now: fresh ground, hot, and black. Finally, a dark roasted coffee with a smooth flavor that satisfies. And I like the fact that it is a product that is not only organic but also gurantees the growers a fair price. Over the years I've paid quite a bit more for premium coffee beans. I consider this coffee to be moderately priced, which makes it a tremendous value.
To return to geography, 26 of the 30 coffees on the list were roasted by companies in the United States. Roasters from 12 U.S. states are represented. California roasters lead the rankings, with six representatives overall. Five coffees were roasted in Colorado, three in Taiwan.  One coffee—the Gorilla Conservation Kanyoni—was roasted by a company in Uganda.
If you want a smooth coffee with a clean taste, this is one product that you should not miss. It is made by a company that has been in the business for more than three decades, which can speak a lot about its quality. Meanwhile, with a medium roast, this is for those who want the best of both light and dark roasts. It also just ahs the right burst of acidity that won’t make your stomach upset.
This coffee was one of the best whole bean coffee's I've purchased from Amazon. I use it to supplement my normal monthly purchases of Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark, Whole Bean Coffee, 2.2-Pound Pouch and Jammin' Java Coffee Lion's Blend, Organic Gourmet Whole Bean Coffee. Medium Dark, Rich & Aromatic., 2.2-Pounds. (Yes I drink a lot of coffee in my house) I found the slight orange hints in the the roast to be very pleasant to the palette but not too overpowering in caffeine. It's very smooth and as my title suggests, no bitter aftertaste. I feel this blend is worth at least a try if you like stronger dark roasts. Tried this in a French press and a conventional machine. Makes a great cup in either.

Organic certification at the farm level is overseen by various regional agencies, but, unlike sellers of organic vegetables, who don’t need further certification to sell organic produce, coffee roasters must also be certified in order to legally sell coffee that is labeled “organic.” Roasters must supply the certifying agency (different in each state) with certification paperwork from the farm and importer, as well as undergo annual inspection to ensure that organic coffees are handled in areas separate from non-organic, in much the way Kosher food is certified. This process involves both a one-time application fee and an annual inspection fee, fees that many small-scale roasters complain they cannot afford.
“My wife and I have tried most of the higher-end, mail-order, and micro-roasters and finally found our go-to coffee. Really a great cup of coffee. We have always liked to freshly grind and brew our coffee, and prefer to use a French press. This coffee is not burned, bitter, or acidic. Not really a dark, dark roast. More of a medium-dark roast. Perfect. Has a slightly nutty, chocolaty, and full-body taste. For overall quality, I would give it four-and-a-half stars — but with this price point, quality, and [the fact that it] is organic, this coffee is a no-brainer.”
Newman’s Own is a feel-good coffee—it’s organic, all company profits go to charity, and Paul Newman’s little dad-hot cartoon face on the bag grins approvingly at your choices. Its flavor is uncomplicated, and it tastes like the last coffee of the day should taste—a 3 p.m. pick-me-up that tows you calmly to the end of the workday rather than punching you in the eye-bags like a morning coffee needs to. This is the most expensive in the bunch, at $16.46 per pound, and isn’t so far ahead of Green Mountain ($13.32/lb) that it’s worth the splurge on anything but ethical or aesthetic grounds. Moreover, it falls short of Green Mountain in thermal shift and microwaveability: flavor deteriorates in proportion with temperature, and after microwaving dries out the inside of one’s mouth—not a problem if you’re a quick drinker, but sippers beware.

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.
Get a one-pound bag of the Dark Roast blend for $14.99 (also available a 32-ounce or give-pound bag) or a 16-ounce bag the Thunder Bolt blend for $14.99+ (available ground or whole bean, and also in a 32-ounce bag). This is another brand that sometimes packages their beans with small stones, which, I must reiterate, is a really common thing that just happens during the bean collection process.

This year, for the first time, a coffee from Hawaii earned top honors, the 96-point Kona Mocca™, grown and roasted in Holualoa, Hawaii by Hula Daddy Kona Coffee. In the review published in November, it was described in part as “A marvel of a coffee, inviting and esoteric, chimerical and grounded, all at once.  Enchantingly rich, intensely floral, unique. Dried black cherry, tea rose, Cognac, chocolate fudge, gently scorched almond wood in aroma and cup.” This rare coffee with its tiny beans and striking cup is available only on the Hula Daddy website through their allocation list.
This coffee was not only organic, delicious and full bodied, it also is fairly traded. This ensures that the small growers of the coffee beans get a fair price for the coffee and are not exploited by large companies who make all of the profit. I have been a big fan of fairly traded coffee for many years now. Equal Exchange is a great product and a great concept.
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.

Randy Lint, of Big Creek Coffee Roasters in Hamilton, Montana sent us an Ethiopia Gedeb Halo Beriti (94) that is certified organic at origin, but is not labeled organic. While Lint has been a certified organic handler in the past, he has found the cumbersome process of certifying his roastery not worth the cost, though he is still committed to the associated practices. He says his local customers trust his sourcing, and his business is successful without offering the added reassurance of certification. Nevertheless, Lint acknowledges that this might change as his roastery grows.


Wrapping your head around just how many roasters are doing good work in booming Denver right now could take a while—there's Middle State, Corvus, Huckleberry, Commonwealth; Boulder's got Ozo, and Boxcar, too. Andy Sprenger's operation, however, an unlikely gem in the relatively unglamorous suburb of Lakewood, feels like the truest find, right now—Sprenger traveled the world, did time with Ceremony Coffee in Annapolis, and snagged his share of industry awards before returning home to start the business. Besides being a sought-after roaster, Sweet Bloom's café serves as a much-welcomed third place for the neighborhood.
It costs around $6.28 per pound, or 15 cents per cup, and $4.98 for 12 ounces of unground beans (if you have a coffee grinder in your possession). Their Colombian blend has been highly recommended for it’s smooth, chocolatey flavor with no bitter aftertaste, earning them a 46/55 rating on Coffee Review. They keep their customers happy with frequent coupons, which can be found on their website.
Another great thing about organic coffee is that it helps the environment. When coffee beans are grown in fields that have been chemically treated for mass production, the soil is poisoned and the local ecosystem suffers for it. Meanwhile, organic coffee doesn't damage the earth, and it's harvested in a way that emits less carbon into the air. It's often grown in the shade, too, so it encourages and utilizes tree growth. You'll battle deforestation, climate change and environmental pollution all at once!
This might seem like an elaborate set-up, but we actually came about all this after struggling for a couple of years drinking coffee and getting sick from it. I finally discovered that I am sensitive to the acids in coffee. This put me on a lot of research on coffee, the acids in it, how it is made and the best ways to grind and brew it. Both my husband and I are fairly frugal but after reading that coffee is the worst sprayed crop in the world except for Christmas trees (ever notice how Christmas tree farms have nothing but dead ground around the trees.... yeah, exactly like that!), we made the decision to do this. Also, I now can enjoy and drink coffee every morning without any abdominal pain.
A great big thank you to Taber @fancyandstaple for having us out Saturday evening! We had a wonderful time seeing and serving you all coffee. We appreciate the opportunity to have been a part of such an artistic and lively night with so many other local makers like @fortwaynerising @madanthonybrewing @bloominbrewtique @birdandcleaver @thepoemmarket @slinsenmayer and #belleandthestrange ...and now you can pick up 12oz bags of Conjure Coffee @fancyandstaple !
“Organic certification,” says Aaron Jordan of Roast House Coffee, whose Ethiopia Suke Quto scored 92, “is the bedrock of Roast House’s green coffee purchasing values. Seven years ago when the company started, we made a commitment to exclusively purchasing organically grown coffees, and one of the ways we prove that commitment is through certifications. It’s very important to the core of our business values and ethics.” So, Roast House has essentially built its business on organic certification as a fundamental value, and has drawn customers who share that priority, rather than picking and choosing coffees to market to various customer sectors. However, the Suke Quto bag doesn’t include the USDA organic seal, simply because Jordan reserves bags with the seal for his year-round offerings. (The Suke Quto is a limited reserve).
“What’s the worst thing about coffee? Bitter. Bitter is bad. Bizzy has conquered bitter with this cold-brew blend. I brew for 24 hours, in the fridge, leaving a smooth, sweet concentrate available when needed. I just pour over ice, add a splash of sweet cream, and abracadabra, magic. The blend is organic, a huge plus [with] a mix of light to dark roasts, perfectly course ground for cold brewing. I’m in love. Thank you, Bizzy!”
Our research was then directed towards the price point and determining what classifies as a “cheap” cup of coffee. If you are heading to Starbucks to grab a grande cup of regular coffee, it will put you back $2.10. McDonald’s premium roast coffee will cost $1.29. Dunkin’ Donuts medium coffee is $1.89. Frappuccinos, lattes and mochas will double your coffee cost.
My favorite coffee of the year is Kickapoo Roasters Supernova Blend. I found it and decided I need look no further for a rich, mouth-filling cup. They say it is for people who like chocolate, which many people who like coffee do, and I am decidedly less interested in beans that come from Central America-type terrains, so it probably wouldn’t align with your tastes. But it is so good.
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.
I suffer from MS, it got a lot worse this year and my doc gave me six months to get better on my own before she puts me on meds. So this coffee is a big part of my natural recovery. Along with yoga, meditation, tons of antioxidants and probiotics, I make coffee combutcha and use (I know, yuk) coffee enemas, daily. Extreme detox! This brand was recommended on some website I found, I it works amazing! I feel like a million bucks after the enemas! Watch me recover completely and start running marathons before the big pharma catches me in it's ugly claw!
Our USDA certified 100% organic, Rainforest Blend is an artful mix of coffees from Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, and Indonesia medium roasted to produce a smooth, yet full-bodied taste with lively citrus notes. Our low acid, 100% Arabica coffee beans are all choice selected, high altitude, shade grown, and handpicked, to ensure our coffee is the best tasting coffee to be found for your Keurig K-Cup style brewers and other single serve brewing systems.

Two roasting companies placed three coffees each on this year’s Top-30 list: Barrington Coffee Roasters (Massachusetts) and Dragonfly Coffee Roasters (Colorado). Bird Rock Coffee Roasters (California), JBC Coffee Roasters (Wisconsin), and PT’s Coffee Roasting (Kansas) each placed two. This concentration of coffees from certain roasters was definitely not by design. In fact, we did our best to reduce the number of coffees from any one roaster on the list—we would prefer to have more roasters appear on the list rather than fewer.
Gregg Parker is a writer and puppy enthusiast who divides his time between Los Angeles and the rest of the world. A graduate of the University of Southern California, his eclectic career has involved positions in education, health care, entertainment, nonprofit fundraising, technology, and literature. A points and miles expert, he's well-versed in all topics related to travel, including luggage and travel accessories. Other areas of expertise include pet care products, teaching resources, kitchen appliances, and anything related to coffee or barbecue.
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