The 10 Best Espresso Beans – 2020 Reviews

10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020

To battle lazy mornings and usher in cheerful afternoons, you need to savor a cup of refreshing espresso, which can only come from the best espresso beans. 

That’s because when it comes to enjoying the finest espresso, the bean is the real deal. 

Of course, the aroma, gratifying flavor, and the tingle left on your palate, are also some of the aspects that make espresso rock.

But without using the best espresso beans, you’ll end up with a weak, bland, and sour drink.

In this guide, you’ll discover the 10 best espresso beans, why you should consider them, and the tips to help you find one that suits your needs.

Let’s dive in.

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Lavazza Super Crema - 10 Best Espresso Beans 2020 Reviews

 Lavazza Super Crema
  Best Espresso Beans

80% Arabica and 20% Robusta equals 100% high quality espresso beans with a signature kick. Lavazza Super Crema is our #1 pick for the best espresso beans.

10 Best Espresso Beans



Quick Glance: Top 5 Picks for the Best Espresso Beans

1. Lavazza Super Crema

2. Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso

3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans

4. Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee

5. Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee


After careful research, here are our reviews of the ten best espresso beans:

1. Lavazza Super Crema

Lavazza Super Crema - 10 Best Espresso Beans 2020 Reviews


Luigi Lavazza founded Lavazza Super Crema in 1895 in Turin, Italy. For the past 125 years, the company has been distributing high-quality espresso beans. That alone gives this company massive street cred.

Lavazza blends 80% of Arabica beans with 20% of Robusta beans. This combination produces a flavor that gives your espresso a signature kick. 

Super Crema’s Arabica beans are sourced from Brazil, Columbia, and India. Brazilian beans are distinguished for their light aroma characterized by notes of almonds, honey, and dry fruit. 

The Robusta composition comes from Vietnam and Indonesia. While Vietnam sourced beans have a bitter flavor, they are high in caffeine and produce an excellent crema. 

Have you ever imagined enjoying your favorite cup on Italian streets in Rome? Each sip of Lavazza takes you there.

Lavazza Super Crema is medium roast, making it ideal for most drinks.

What We Like

  • Mild a creamy

  • Vacuum-packed to lock in the freshness

  • Medium roast

  • Robusta and Arabica blend

  • Italian craftsmanship

  • Magnificent aroma

What We Don’t Like

  • The Robusta content can create a bitter aftertaste

Verdict

The Lavazza Super Crema is among the most exquisite coffee blends in the market with an excellent flavor. We highly recommend it for anyone just entering the world of at home espresso. Try it today and let your taste buds be the final judge. 

2. Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso

Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso


At times, you want a cup of coffee that does more than just wake you up; you want one that’s powerful enough to trigger every neuron in your brain into action.

An espresso with hints of brown sugar, milk chocolate, and blackcurrant is irresistible, isn’t it? Kicking Horse Coffee gives you this unique taste.

100% certified, organic, Kosher, Fairtrade, and Shade Grown, Kicking Horse undergoes roasting in the Rocky Mountains from Indonesian, Africa, South, and Central American Arabica beans.

The Organic and Fairtrade certification allows you to sip your espresso, guaranteed that each cup significantly contributes to the community where it’s sourced. That leads to a perfect blend of a refreshing cup of coffee and a superb feeling. 

So, you can imagine the level of authenticity and credibility of this best espresso bean. With its combination of both sweet and somewhat bitter taste, you get an exclusive coffee flavor that kicks off your day with a smile.

What We Like

  • Smooth flavor

  • Full-bodied beans

  • Medium roast

  • Pure Arabica

What We Don’t Like

  • Can be super oily for specific espresso machines

Verdict

If you’re looking for unique coffee to give you a morning jolt of caffeine along with an arousing aroma and no bitter aftertaste, you wont be disappointed with Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso.

3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


Are you looking for the best coffee to give you vigor throughout the day? You can’t go wrong with Koffee Kult Dark Roast.

The company is located in Hollywood, Florida, and has a unique way of preparing their beans; they harvest and make the beans by hand.

The final drink has a full aroma, taste, and nutritional value.

The beans are usually sampled in Guatemala, Sumatra, and Columbia, which are all areas with a hot and humid climate. As the coffee grows in this climate, the bean absorbs all the valuable elements packed with antioxidants for your body’s needs.

The best coffee beans are 100% Arabica, which is why you won’t experience any acidity or bitterness.

The beans can generate the best espresso, but you can also use them in a pour-over coffee maker or French press.

The espresso from these beans is spicy, creamy, and a bit nutty.

What We Like

  • No bitterness

  • Compatible with different machines

  • Strong aroma

  • Full-bodied taste

What We Don’t Like

  • While it’s organically sourced, it’s not 100% organic

Verdict

If you’ve been taking light or medium roast coffee and want to jump ship to dark coffee, then Koffee Kult Dark Roast will get you started.

4. Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee

Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


These coffee beans are ideal for those of us obsessed with leaving a significant imprint on this planet. They’re not only organic but GMO-free.

The beans are 100% Arabica, which means they’re naturally sweet and add an excellent taste to your espresso. Drinking this type of espresso leaves you with no bitter aftertaste. 

During roasting, no water gets into the coffee, making this product a beast in the longevity department.

You can use any coffee maker and method to brew it.

The beans have a full and creamy body because of their medium-dark roast. The final drink is low in acidity with a rich and chocolaty flavor coupled with notes of cocoa, caramel, and honey.

What We Like

  • Non-GMO and Certified Organic

  • Brewing works with any machine or method

  • Deep and rich flavor

  • The natural flavor gives it a sweet, heavenly aftertaste

What We Don’t Like

  • Though specified as medium-dark, most users feel the beans are more inclined toward dark roast

Verdict

If you’re looking for 100% pure espresso beans that you can brew with any coffee maker or brewing method, then grab a bag of Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee, for a heavenly experience.

5. Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


If the name of this world-famous coffee scares you, that’s precisely why you need to read on.

Death Wish is called the strongest coffee in the world for a reason. This claim emanates from the fact that it’s strong coffee, thanks to its caffeine content.

Typically, the caffeine content in ordinary plain black coffees is anywhere between 100 and 200 mg per cup. But a cup of Death Wish Coffee has approximately 600 mg of caffeine.

Given the high caffeine content, it’s essential to drink coffee in moderation, especially if you consume a couple of cups per day.

According to the U.S. FDA, coffee is an effective health-booster when consumed in moderation. The agency cites drinking 400mg of caffeine a day, as an amount not generally associated with negative effects.

Thus, a cup with 8 – 12 oz of coffee content should suffice for Death Wish drinkers daily. But if you want to enjoy the coffee twice a day, then you may want to split the dose into two; the first half in the morning and the second one in the afternoon.

So, how does Death Wish Coffee taste?

Well, it has a strong taste along with rich spice and earthy flavors. You’ll also taste chocolate notes with a bit of bitterness, that’s enough for a kick in the pants.

Additionally, there’s a cherry-like sweetness in the end-flavor. 

What We Like

  • A blend of Robusta and Arabica beans

  • Lower acidity levels

  • Extra-bold taste with a slight bitterness

  • Fair Trade coffee

  • Organic coffee

What We Don’t Like

  • Mild drinkers may not enjoy the robust taste

  • A daily intake of more than 600 mg of caffeine isn’t advisable

Verdict

If you’d like an extra kick of caffeine to wake you in the morning or keep you awake for hours at night as you work on an important project, we’d like to invite you to grab a pound of this world-famous coffee. 

6. Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf, Swiss Water Process, Dark Roast

Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


Caffeine is incredible, but is it for everyone? Probably not. If you’ve got a heart condition, for instance, your doctor may have advised you to reduce your caffeine intake.

Well, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a cup of espresso, though. With espresso beans, such as Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf, you can savor your favorite coffee without worrying about the resulting heart palpitations.

The company uses Swiss Water, a reliable method, to remove caffeine from the coffee. The coffee beans are 100% organic and dark roast. The beans’ extraction is in South and Central America, but the roasting occurs in Canada.

Your palette will enjoy the nutty and chocolaty aroma and a lasting, pleasant aftertaste. 

You won’t sense any coarse texture or a bitter aftertaste associated with the decaffeination process.

What We Like

  • Decaffeination occurs through Swiss Water – a reliable decaffeination method for coffee beans

  • 100% Certified Organic

  • A healthy option for those with heart-related conditions

  • A delicious flavor with a mellow finish

What We Don’t Like

  • The dark roast gives it a very bold taste, which may taste sour or burnt to those not accustomed to the dark roast

Verdict

If you’re a caffeine lover and want to take a break from it or have a health condition that doesn’t require much caffeine, this is the right time to order Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf.

7. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


This blend originates from one of America’s most popular coffee roasters. Stumptown is famous for sourcing quality beans from the world’s best farms.

The Hair Bender Whole Bean comprises nearly everything you’d want in delicious espresso. You’ve got the African notes in addition to the Latin American and Indonesia notes.

The drink’s flavor notes are citrus and dark chocolate; everyone at home will fall in love with this sweet flavor, fast.

Stumptown says that the roast is ideal for both espresso and other brew methods. So, regardless of your brewing procedure, this best espresso bean will work like a charm. 

What We Like

  • The crema is pure bliss

  • Varying fruit notes as various temperatures

  • Blended whole bean

  • Versatile bean suitable for both coffee and espresso

  • Chocolate aftertaste

  • Sweet and well balanced

What We Don’t Like

  • As a sweeter bean, it may be a little intense for espresso

Verdict

Are you looking to introduce your taste buds to high-quality specialty coffee with a delicious flavor? You should try this Stumptown Hair Bender.

8. Lavazza Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee

Lavazza Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


If a strong coffee drink is your favorite, then it’s time to saddle up because, on the Lavazza website, this Lavazza Gran Crema scores a whopping eight on the intensity scale. 

The bean’s roast makes it perfect for espresso, which is why it was a must on our list.

When extracting a shot, you’ll quickly discover the honey aromatics. And as you savor it, the chocolate flavor will jump at you. This even-bodied shot is balanced and consistent.

This is without a doubt one of the best espresso beans, but it can also make a fantastic cold brew.

What We Like

  • Honey and chocolate notes

  • Intense drink

  • Ideal for espresso

  • Great for cold brew (added bonus!)

  • Works with most coffee machines

What We Don’t Like

  • The intense spicy drink may not be for everyone

Verdict

Whether you want something to jump-start your day or are just craving a delicious cup of espresso, you should consider brewing a cup of Lavazza Gran Crema. 

9. Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


Have you ever sipped a cup that immediately makes you think, “that’s a wonderful cup of coffee?” That’s the experience when you brew Real Good Coffee.

The company has a business history of at least 30 years, which shows they must be doing something right. 

You may want to try this product because the Real Good Coffee Company consistently reviews its methods to improve how their coffee tastes regularly. 

Whether you’re a coffee snob (we mean that in a nice way, we are too) or a newcomer to the espresso world, this coffee might become your all-time favorite. The aroma, flavor, and smoothness make this blend irresistible.

What We Like

  • The best coffee at a fair price

  • The exciting smell and smooth body

  • Zip lock bag to lock in the freshness

  • Robust and flavorful

What We Don’t Like

  • It’s not 100% organic

Verdict

If you’re looking for a smooth and great tasting coffee at a reasonable price, then order the Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee right away.

10. Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee - 10 Best Espresso Beans of 2020


Peet’s is an established coffee brand, which not only sells whole beans but also brews and sells coffee. Major Dickason’s Blend is a favorite for most customers and rightly so.

It consists of 100% Arabica beans from various regions to achieve a complex flavor that you won’t find somewhere else.

The company has collaborated with nine roasters who roast each coffee individually, by hand, in small batches. The outcome is a bold and rich roast whose flavor will impress your family and friends.

Some coffee beans don’t have a roast date, which makes it difficult to establish how fresh they are. Well, this changes when it comes to Major Dickason’s Blend, as it comes with a roast date.

Every bag has a roast date to ensure you only brew the freshest espresso. They roast their beans to order every night and ship it the day after.

What We Like

  • Sweet aroma

  • Heavenly taste

  • Freshest coffee beans out there

  • Arabica beans have antioxidants known to reduce the risk of chronic diseases

What We Don’t Like

  • The dark roast can leave a bitter taste in the mouth, especially for those not familiar with it

Verdict

If you’re used to or want to try dark roast and still enjoy the classic taste of fresh espresso, this coffee is for you.

What Are Espresso Beans?


Espresso beans are coffee beans that require more hours of roasting as compared to drip coffee. 

It is at this stage that they offer a fuller body with less acidity. Due to the long hours of roasting, they're rich in natural oils exhibited by the noticeable sheen on the beans.

What Makes a Good Espresso Bean? 


Espresso – the purest and most exquisite form of caffeine that can provide everything from a daily morning boost to a tantalizing daytime drink. 

You could also make a latte or other fancy brews taste good using good cream and milk. But with espresso, it’s nothing but pure caffeine delight. 

If you want a refreshing drink, consider the following qualities of a good espresso bean:

Fine Grind

Pressure, of approximately 9 bar, is used in brewing espresso to force water between compacted grounds. The contact time is super short, which requires beans to be of extra-fine grind size.

Brewing Temperature 

For espresso, the espresso machine heats water to between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Lower temperatures accentuate acidic flavors while higher temperatures accentuate bitter roast flavors from the best espresso beans.

Brewing Pressure

Proper espresso pressure is between 8 to 10 bars of pressure. Higher pressure in this range intensifies the flavor. Although some machines can exert as much pressure as 15 to 19 atmospheric pressure, it doesn’t guarantee the production of better-tasting coffee.

Pressure that is too high results in an extremely bitter brew. 

Espresso Beans vs. Coffee Beans: 

Is There a Difference?


Disappointment would knock if you made a black coffee order only for the barista to serve you with a shot of espresso or vice versa. The reason being, there's a difference between a cup of drip coffee and a shot of espresso. Technically, both are coffee from the same coffee beans, but what exactly is the difference?

The difference between coffee beans and espresso beans has everything to with the method of preparation. Labeling beans as 'espresso' translates to roasting coffee beans for longer hours. Below are some of the areas that make the difference between a standard coffee and espresso.

Brewing Method

Coffee beans can be any beans and roasted to any degree. An automatic drip system grinds the coffee bean to a medium coarseness. Hot water is put in the ground coffee and extracts its essence through a filter. Additionally, a percolator may also be a preference for making coffee. 

For espresso, boiling water under pressure is put through finely ground and compacted coffee for about 30 seconds. It results in a thicker than usual, full flavor brew. A foam, called crema, is formed on top of the beverage. The crema is due to the emulsification of the oils in the coffee into a colloid. 

Phew, that’s enough technical talk for us. 

The shot may be a base for other drinks such as cappuccino, latte, or macchiato. Pulling the perfect shot calls for a harmony of all variables involved. The crema can also be different colors. 

The slight differences might be as a result of the kind of roast used, time taken to make the espresso shot or your coffee grounds. Too light means you've under-extracted your espresso. Too dark, on the other hand, hints to over-extraction. 

Caffeine Content

Depending on the type of brew, a cup of coffee contains 80 - 185mg of caffeine per 8oz serving. A 2oz serving of espresso contains 60-100mg of caffeine. For one ounce, espresso contains more caffeine as compared to coffee. 

Flavor

Espresso beans typically belong to the dark roast, which gives the beans a fuller body and less acidity. You’ll still notice slight hints of the espresso beans’ flavor as well. Drip coffee, on the other hand, lacks the full range of tastes and oils present in the coffee beans as the paper filters most natural oils. 

Body

During coffee processing, ground coffee beans go through the filtering process, which removes many flavor oils hence producing a lighter body. On the contrary, during the making of espresso, the essential oils remain, as there’s no filtering involved. 

Aroma

Coffee's aroma is variable due to its overall flavor and type of bean. 

Neither the espresso nor the standard coffee should have a burnt smell as that would hint at poor preparation of the beverages. 

Espresso has an aroma that varies depending on the bean and roast as well.

Different Acidity and pH level

A beverage's acidity depends on the coffee bean used and the brewing technique. Darker roasts are less acidic in flavor and pH levels. It means that espresso is less acidic as compared to the standard coffee. 

Espresso Bean Buying Guide: 

What to Look For to Buy the Best Espresso Beans


You may refine your brewing techniques, but at the end of the day, the coffee bean you use will have the most significant impact on your flavor. You cannot expect delicious coffee if you're not using the best espresso beans possible. Below are things to consider when purchasing coffee beans. 

Check the Roasting Date

Coffee beans cannot last forever. After undergoing the roasting process, their chemistry immediately begins to change. The grain releases carbon dioxide through a process called degassing. Oxidation of all the lovely oils starts diminishing the flavor. 

Processed coffee beans typically have a shelf life of 10-14 days but, with the right packaging that can be extended to 3-4 weeks. Espresso requires a bit longer for degassing and the best taste should come in the range of 5-14 days after roasting. 

Coffee bean freshness is highly subjective. Confirm the roast dates to make sure that you use them within their prime freshness. Beans used years after roasting will not make you sick but will not make good tasting coffee either.

Single Origin vs. Blend

Single-origin means coffee beans coming exclusively from one place. It's from the same farm or city. It tends to be available at given times of the year based on the growing season of the particular geographical area.

Coffee blends, on the other hand, mean quite the opposite. They are coffee beans from multiple locations. They are roasted and mixed through a process known as coffee blending. 

Below are notable distinctions between the two types of coffee:

  • Cost and Availability

Single-origin coffee is seemingly more expensive as compared to blended coffee. It is due to its seasoned availability of the single-origin coffee as opposed to year-round production of the blended coffee.

  • The Taste

Individuals well-versed in coffee type, enjoy single-origin coffee as it delivers a specific taste. It explains why people prefer single-origin coffees black, without adding milk or sugar. 

Blended coffees, however, attract quite a lot of richness from aroma, to smoothness. Being a product of a variety of coffee types, it tends to be a more flavorful final product. It provides a more layered and diverse drinking experience. 

Freshness

Coffee is a fruit, and like any other fruit, its freshness has a significant impact on the taste. It may be impossible to visually tell the freshness of coffee, even though it’s one of the essential factors in the quality and flavor of your brew. 

To avoid the disappointment that comes with stale coffee, gauge your home usage, and ensure you only purchase an amount you need for usage within a particular time. 

Grind before brewing and grind only that which you need. Also, consider the packaging before you buy your espresso beans. Beans in airtight canisters or bags tend to be fresher than those with loose packaging. 

Wrapping Up 


The above list of the best espresso beans has something for your taste and preference. Whether you like organic, caffeinated, or decaffeinated coffee we’re confident you’ll find something that works for you. 

If you’re just starting to try espresso, sample a couple different beans until you find your favorite. The more you sip and sample, the more you’ll know what really appeals to you. 

Did we miss one? If you have a favorite that we didn’t list please let us know!