Many of us agree that the rich scent of freshly brewed espresso in the morning has to be one of the nicest smells; however, the perfume is much greater when your beans are freshly ground! It is critical to use the appropriate beans and brewing process to get that ideal double shot of espresso that is fragrant, dark, and has a thick crema.
With so many blends and single origin coffees available in a variety of roasts, finding the finest espresso beans might be easier said than done. To assist you in your search, we examine some of the current bestsellers, as well as which kinds of roast produce the greatest espresso and what flavor notes are. We also provide some pointers to help you get the most out of your espresso machine.
The Lavazza Super Crema medium espresso beans (2.2 lb.) are our top choice for a full-flavored espresso that isn’t bitter.
Our budget selection for an organic, Fairtrade, and Kosher espresso blend is the Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso (2.2 lb.).
- Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Espresso Beans
- 1. Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Beans
- 2. Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso
- 3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
- 4. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend
- 5. Mayorga Café Cubano Dark Roast Whole Bean
- 6. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso
- 7. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
- 8. Blue Horse Kona Coffee Medium Roast Beans
- 9. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Whole Bean Coffee
- 10. Illy Coffee Whole Bean Arabica Ethiopia
- Things to Consider Before Buying Espresso Beans
- What is considered to be the best espresso beans?
- Who makes the best tasting espresso?
- What roast beans is best for espresso?
- What is the best flavor of espresso?
- What is the best coffee to for a shot of espresso?
- What bean does Starbucks use for espresso?
- What is the most popular espresso?
- What brand of espresso do Italians use?
- Which espresso makes the best crema?
- Are dark or light beans better for espresso?
Quick Comparison: Top 10 Best Espresso Beans
|Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Beans||A+|
|Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso||A|
|Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans||A-|
|Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend||B+|
|Mayorga Café Cubano Dark Roast Whole Bean||B+|
|Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso||A-|
|Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee||B+|
|Blue Horse Kona Coffee Medium Roast Beans||B+|
|Stumptown Coffee Roasters Whole Bean Coffee||A-|
|Illy Coffee Whole Bean Arabica Ethiopia||A-|
1. Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Beans
- 2.2 pound medium roast espresso beans mixed and roasted in Italy
- Provides a richer flavor without being bitter.
- Almond, honey, and dried fruits are among the flavors and aromas.
- 60% arabica from Brazil, Colombia, and India, and 40% robusta from Indonesia and Vietnam.
The Lavazza Super Crema medium espresso beans (2.2 lb.) are a light and creamy roast with almond, honey, and dried fruit aromas that are blended and roasted in Italy. This blend of 40% robusta from Indonesia and Vietnam and 60% arabica from Brazil, Colombia, and India produces a full-bodied espresso with no bitterness.
The beans are vacuum-packed for freshness, and the bag includes a one-way valve to maintain freshness once opened. Some purchasers may have gotten older merchandise that was not as fresh as it should have been. Some purchasers think this coffee’s medium flavor is a tad too mild for espresso.
- Medium-rare roast
- Creamy and mild
- Arabica and robusta are combined.
- For maximum freshness, vacuum pack.
- Italian blend and roast
- Some espresso aficionados may find the roast to be too mild.
- There is a chance that you may get older stock.
- A more robusta mix that may boost bitterness
2. Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso
- A smooth and nuanced medium roast with aromas of wild berries and chocolate.
- 35.2 oz 100% arabica beans from sustainable producers in Africa, Indonesia, Central and South America
- Organic, Fairtrade, and kosher certifications are available.
- Ideal for espresso machines and other types of coffee brewing
Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso (2.2 pound) is a smooth and complex mix with notes of wild fruit and chocolate. This Fairtrade, organic, and kosher coffee is roasted in the Rocky Mountains from sustainable African, Indonesian, Central, and South American arabica beans.
This may be used in a French press, drip machine, pour over, cold brew, or espresso machine. Several consumers have described the beans as dark roast, bitterly tasted, and greasy, making them challenging to utilize in super-automatic espresso machines.
- Medium-rare roast
- 100% arabica
- Flavors of berries and chocolate
- Fairtrade and organic
- Some espresso machines may find this excessively greasy.
- It might be a darker roast than desired.
- Bitterness has been reported by some drinkers.
3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
- Whole beans in a 32 oz package perfect for all varieties of coffee, including espresso
- A dark roast with aromas of chocolate and cinnamon and a smooth finish.
- Arabica beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra.
- If you are not totally happy, you are entitled to a refund.
The Koffee Kult dark roast (2 lb.) is a combination of genuine arabica beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra with balanced acidity and smooth taste. This includes cinnamon and chocolate tastes and smells, as well as a lingering aftertaste. Not everyone thought this to be as dark a roast as they would have liked.
These beans are good for all sorts of coffee brewing, including espresso, however depending on your favorite expresso flavor, you may prefer alternative types of brew. Like with any whole bean, there is a potential of debris in the bag, so always inspect before putting the beans through the grinder. This dark roast is also backed by a satisfaction guarantee.
- Roasted in the dark
- Flavors of cocoa and cinnamon
- Acidity that is in balance
- 100% arabica coffee beans
- Guarantee of satisfaction
- It may not be appropriate as an espresso brew.
- Some people believe it is not a black enough roast for espresso.
- There is a small possibility of debris, such as gravel, in the bag.
4. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee Signature Blend
- 2 pound bag of genuine arabica beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil that are GMO-free.
- Mild acidity, smoothness, and a chocolate aftertaste
- Small batch roasted signature mix of medium to dark roast
- Appropriate for all coffee brewing methods
The Don Pablo trademark blend whole bean (2 pound) is a medium to dark roast made from arabica beans from Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil. Some drinkers believe this to be a medium rather than a medium-dark roast, so if you like a deeper roast, these may not be the beans for you.
These beans are GMO-free and freshly roasted in small amounts. They have a chocolate finish, are low in acidity, and are silky smooth. While these beans are great for brewing espresso and all other varieties of coffee, a lot of consumers have observed that they produce better espresso than drip.
- Roasted medium to medium-dark
- 100% arabica
- Roasted in small batches
- It’s more of a medium roast than a medium-dark roast.
- They may not be as good for drip as they are for espresso.
5. Mayorga Café Cubano Dark Roast Whole Bean
- Small batch roasted Arabica whole bean that is organic, non-GMO, and kosher.
- 2 pound bag with a bold, smooth finish
- These beans have a smokey taste with vanilla undertones.
Mayorga Caf Cubano dark roast whole bean (2 pound) is organic, non-GMO confirmed, and kosher. This is our unique dark roast combination of 100% arabica beans with a sweet smokiness and vanilla taste. The finish is smooth and powerful. Several customers complain that the coffee does not taste as fresh as it might and that the flavor is sometimes flat.
- Roasted in small batches
- Flavors of smokiness and vanilla
- You may find the taste a tad dull.
- It is not always as fresh as it should be.
- The beans are not as darkly roasted as similar dark roasts.
6. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso
- Artisan Italian roasted combination of whole beans from South America and India, 5 pound bag
- Full-bodied with chocolate, molasses, and smoky flavors and a medium acidity
- Espresso beans that may also be used in a French press or drip coffeemaker
The Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast espresso (5 pound) is a handcrafted Italian roasted combination of South American and Indian beans. These beans have a medium acidity, are rich and full-bodied, and have tastes of chocolate, molasses, and smokiness.
Despite its name, espresso beans are usable for different coffee brewing techniques such as drip or French press. Some consumers have reported that newer batches have been softer on the taste, and they may not be as darkly roasted as you may anticipate.
- Roast beef in Italy
- Coffee beans
- full bodied
- Contains cocoa, molasses, and a smokey taste.
- Bigger 5 pound bag
- The roast may not be as black as desired.
- You may discover that the taste is not as robust as you would think.
7. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
- Full-bodied dark roast espresso beans in a 12 ounce bag with silky crema
- Mixture of Indo-Pacific and American beans with fresh aromas of hazelnut.
- Bags include roasted on and freshest by dates.
Peets Coffee Whole Bean Dark Roast Espresso Forte (12 oz) is a combination of Indo-Pacific and Americas beans with a creamy crema and lively flavors with a touch of hazelnut. Although being a dark roast, several users have observed that the taste is on the moderate side for an espresso mix. The roasting date and freshest by date are marked on these beans, however some purchasers have gotten beans that are just before or just after the freshest by date.
- Roasted in the dark
- Coffee beans
- Creamy crema
- Notes of hazelnut
- Roasting dates are included in the bag.
- It is possible that it will arrive close the freshest by date.
- Although being a dark roast, it may be too light for certain espresso aficionados.
8. Blue Horse Kona Coffee Medium Roast Beans
- 1 pound bag of medium roast Kona coffee beans from a single source
- Aromatic and mellow body with little caffeine
- These beans are chemical and herbicide free.
- After opening, the bag may be resealed.
Blue Horse Kona coffee medium roast coffee beans are 100% Kona, selected, and naturally sun dried from a single coffee farm. These beans contain no herbicides or pesticides. They are caffeine-free beans with a fragrant and mellow body and spicy aftertaste, and they come in a 1 pound Ziplock bag that you can reseal after opening.
The unusual recent buyer believes these beans were roasted darker than medium, and the heavier roasting has prevented some of the tastes associated with Kona beans from coming through.
- Medium-rare roast Kona coffee beans
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Aromatic and mellow
- Pesticide and herbicide free
- hand selected
- Ziplock bag that can be resealed
- They may be darker than a medium roast.
- Kona beans are high-quality beans.
- The tastes of the beans may not be as strong as you would anticipate.
9. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Whole Bean Coffee
- Whole bean combination of African, South American, and Indonesian beans perfect for espresso or other ways of brewing.
- This 2 pound bag of beans is balanced and sweet, with cherry undertones.
- The bags are labeled with a 90-day freshness date.
The Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender whole bean is a sweet and balanced coffee with cherry overtones that boasts a 90 day freshness on its bags, yet some customers have discovered that these beans were near to, or even beyond, its drink by freshest date when they arrived.
This is a combination of African, South American, and Indonesian beans that is excellent for espresso or other methods of brewing; but, since it is a sweeter blend, it may not be as appealing for espresso.
- whole bean blended
- Sweet and well-balanced
- Notes of cherries
- The bags have a 90-day freshness date.
- On arrival, they may have passed their freshest by date.
- Will be more expensive than similar whole beans.
- It may not be powerful enough for espresso as a sweeter mix.
10. Illy Coffee Whole Bean Arabica Ethiopia
- Arabica whole bean in an 8.8 oz resealable can
- derived from sustainably farmed beans in Ethiopia’s Yirgacheffe region
- Beans are planted in the shade and harvested by hand.
- The sun-dried beans are roasted in Italy.
- With jasmine and lemon undertones, this coffee is delicate and fragrant.
Selection Illy Arabica Ethiopia is created from beans cultivated responsibly in the Yirgacheffe region, which was one of the first known places to grow Arabica beans. These Ethiopian beans are cultivated organically in nearly inaccessible jungles and harvested by hand. In Italy, the beans are subsequently roasted.
This 8.8 oz can has a fragrant and delicate coffee with overtones of jasmine and lemon, yet some coffee aficionados believe the beans lack taste. There is also the possibility that the can may come without the outer cover, in which case you will need to transfer it into another container after removing the inner seal to preserve it fresh.
- Arabica beans from Ethiopia
- Coffee that is delicate and fragrant
- Shade and organically grown
- It is roasted in Italy.
- Can that can be resealed
- The can’s exterior cover may be missing, making it impossible to reseal after opening.
- Several drinkers have complained that these beans are bland.
Things to Consider Before Buying Espresso Beans
There is such a thing as an espresso roast; rather, particular roasts and beans produce a superior espresso. Espresso, like any other coffee, tastes better with fresher beans, but this is not necessarily as critical as it might be for filter coffees. Most espresso mixes benefit from a maximum of two months between roasting and use. Purchasing smaller batches of beans may also assist to keep them fresher, but bear in mind that a double shot of espresso requires around 100 coffee beans!
Acidity of Coffee Beans
Coffee’s acidity does not relate to its chemical pH or whether it tastes sour; rather, it pertains to how near the bean is to its green or fruit condition. The more a bean is roasted, the more it moves away from its green condition and becomes less acidic. The acidity of a lighter roast will be greater than that of a deeper roast.
Flavor notes are a method to describe coffee, and they are what are smelled or tasted after the beans are brewed according to the instructions. If you are new to espresso or whole bean in general, it is worth experimenting with various origins and roasters to determine which you like.
Espresso has a harsh taste, but it also has additional flavor characteristics like chocolate, cherries, or caramel. If an espresso is overly bitter, it is possible that it was brewed wrongly. Deeper roasts often feature tobacco or smoke flavors, and may even have coffee earthy taste, particularly if they are Indonesian beans.
Darker Roasts for Espresso
Espresso beans were originally roasted deeper (dark brown to black in color) than ordinary coffee beans, and many of us still strive for that taste and color in our espresso beans. Black beans cook roughly 100 degrees Fahrenheit hotter than light roast beans and continue to roast until the end of the second crack. Light roasts are roasted just till the first crack appears.
The deeper roast of espresso beans benefits cappuccinos and lattes by cutting through the smoothness of the milk. The most obvious sign of a dark bean is an oily covering on the outside of the bean. If the surface of the bean is slick with oil, it is normally an Italian or French style roast, while a Full City roast is dry but still dark.
Regrettably, oily dark roast coffee beans may create issues with super-automatic espresso machines and certain grinders owing to the oil residue they leave on components. This residue may accumulate over time and cause machine damage; thus, if you like an oilier dark roast, be prepared to clean your grinder on a frequent basis to reduce the chance of oil accumulation.
A medium-dark roast and a dark roast will often taste the same. Certain lighter roasts may be used for espresso since they provide a different body of flavor to the espresso; however, a lighter roast should be used with caution because the espresso will be flat and unsatisfactory if it is too light and lacking in body.
Blends for espresso may be less expensive than single origin filter coffee, but most espresso is still a mix of arabica and robusta beans. Robusta beans are often less expensive and provide a more bitter taste in espresso. Robusta beans have more caffeine than arabica beans and are often more acidic. Be aware that certain espresso bean mixes might include as much as 80% robusta, which results in a lower-cost coffee.
Grinding Beans for Espresso
A burr grinder produces a more uniform espresso grind. The grind should be fine enough to allow you to see the individual grains; it should be finer than sugar but not as fine as powdered sugar. If the espresso grind is too coarse, the taste will not emerge as the water is squeezed through. It will be over-extracted and bitter if the grinding is too fine.
The Importance of the Crema
Crema, the tawny brown froth that lies on top of the espresso, should be present when it is brewed correctly. When hot water is passed through the grounds, this is the first liquid extracted. The crema is essential because it contains aromatic oils that improve the flavor of the espresso. In general, adding up to 15% Robusta beans to a mix will result in more crema in an espresso.
Tips When Brewing Espresso
Espresso is created by passing hot water under pressure through a puck of finely ground coffee. A typical espresso machine will have at least 9 bars of pressure (around 130 p.s.i). The finer the ground, the denser the puck, requiring greater effort to drive the water through.
Unlike other forms of coffee brewing, the way espresso is produced guarantees that no smells are lost throughout the brewing process.
One shot (1.5 fl. oz.) of espresso from one tablespoon of coffee should be brewed in 25 to 30 seconds; any longer results in bitter coffee. A double shot should brew for the same period of time, but with twice the amount of coffee.
Adjust the grind or, if you have a lever espresso machine, add extra manual pressure to vary the duration that your espresso needs to brew. If the grind isn’t precise, you may adjust the time using the lever. If you do not have a lever machine, you may compensate for the worse grind by adjusting the tamping.
Before using the machine, the water should be distilled or softened since contaminants and minerals may impair the flavor of the coffee. Typically, the machine will heat the water to roughly 200F, the optimal temperature for espresso.
The portafilter, the portion of the machine that contains the grounds during brewing, must be clean, and the cup and machine must be pre-warmed before producing espresso. The cup may be warmed on the machine’s heating tray or by washing it with hot water. You may also cleanse your machine for a few seconds at this stage (if necessary) to clear away old water or coffee from the system.
Next, using the measure supplied with the machine, pour your coffee into the portafilter and tamp (compress) it with firm and uniform pressure. Properly tamped, the grounds should be compact, level, and thick enough that the water can extract the flavor as it goes through. Brush away any stray grounds before inserting the portafilter into the machine.
After the cup is in place, the pump may be activated and operated for 25 to 30 seconds, producing 3 fl. oz. of espresso. The extraction will be darker in the beginning but lighter towards the conclusion.
Even two bags of the same beans may taste different, so when you open a new bag or tin of beans, you should always be prepared to adjust your brewing process (grind of beans, how tamped down, etc.) significantly.
Ristretto, Normale and Lungo
Not all espresso shots are created equal. A ristretto is a short espresso with a 1:1 ratio of coffee grounds to water, implying that it is prepared with the amount of coffee for a double shot but the amount of water for a single shot. A normale has a coffee-to-water ratio of roughly 1:2, but a lungo (long) might have as much as four parts water to one part coffee.
The grind may be modified for these as well; for example, a ristretto demands a finer grind than a normale, which is finer than a lungo. Caffe crema is an uncommon 4 to 8 oz measure with a rougher grind.
This article has taken you on a tour of espresso beans, including their blending, taste notes, acidity, and roasting methods. We’ve also discussed the need of an uniform grind for espresso, the value of crema, and some basic recommendations to help you brew the ideal espresso.
We hope you liked this post, whether you are an espresso connoisseur eager to try a new flavor or roast, or you are new to brewing espresso. We also hope that our evaluations of various beans will aid you in your search for the finest espresso beans for your morning double shot.
What is considered to be the best espresso beans?
The Top Ten Espresso Beans
Sanani Peet’s Arabian Mocha.
Illy – The Finest Italian Espresso Coffee.
Espresso Roast by Coffee Bros.
Coffee by Kicking Horse Espresso Cliff Hanger.
Black Cat Espresso Blend by Intelligentsia.
Thunder Blast from Koffee Kult.
Espresso Coffee Bean Straight Italian Roast.
100% Kona Coffee from Koa Coffee Estate.
More to come…
•Jan 16, 2023
Who makes the best tasting espresso?
Creamiest Choice among the Top Espresso Coffee Brands. Most Fragrant Lavazza Super Crema Espresso Whole Bean Coffee. Knee Buckling Espresso from Stone Street Coffee Company… The Crowd Pleaser. Starbucks Espresso Roast Whole Bean Coffee…. Balanced Taste…. Best Low-Acidity Beans…. Cult Favorite…. Finest Smoky-Sweet Flavor.
Additional details…•December 14, 2022
What roast beans is best for espresso?
Italian baristas swear on medium or medium dark roasts for creating espresso. The skin of dark roasted beans is greasy and lustrous. They will be dark to almost black in hue. These beans are cooked to the maximum temperature, which is more than 100°F higher than light roasts.
What is the best flavor of espresso?
But most people characterize the flavor of espresso as “bitter.” Yet, this is mostly related to the espresso bean and the brewing technique. A ‘good’ shot of espresso should be well-balanced, with a chocolaty or nutty foundation and a smooth finish.
What is the best coffee to for a shot of espresso?
Any coffee can be used in an espresso machine if it is ground fine enough. Nonetheless, because of its richer taste, many people prefer dark roasted coffee. Because of its deeper roast, coffee is frequently labeled “espresso.”
What bean does Starbucks use for espresso?
It is made entirely of arabica bean and is characterized as having rich and caramelly overtones.
What is the most popular espresso?
Latte. A shot of espresso, heated milk, and a small coating of froth on top make up the traditional latte. The latte is likely the most popular and well-known espresso drink outside of Italy, where straight espresso shots and cappuccinos rule supreme.
What brand of espresso do Italians use?
Illy and Lavazza reign supreme.
There are several Italian coffee roasters, but two dominate the market. Lavazza and Illy. With over two centuries of combined expertise, any of these coffee companies is a safe pick for coffee enthusiasts looking for a true flavor of Italy.
Which espresso makes the best crema?
The darker a coffee is roasted, the less crema it produces, therefore Starbucks employs extremely dark roasted coffee in its espresso beverages. Choose a blonde espresso, which is a lighter roast, for greater crema.
Are dark or light beans better for espresso?
Pour-over coffee is frequently advised for the finest taste experience, whereas drip coffee and dark roasts are ideal for espresso beverages or drinks that include milk or cream.