It’s a delight to have a cup of perfect coffee with your favorite texture, flavor, and richness, but choosing among tons of coffee brands and types could be challenging.
In this article, you’ll discover the top 10 coffee bean brands on the market. Each product is the best in its category. However, our top overall pick is Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass, given its rich taste, specialized growing method, and affordability.
Read on to learn more about the best coffee beans on the market.
Best Coffee Beans Review in 2021
Kicking Horse Coffee, Kick Ass, Dark Roast, Whole Bean, Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee, 2.2 Lb, 35.2 Ounce
Coffee Bros., Medium Roast — Whole Bean — 100% Arabica — 1 Bag (12oz) — Brazil & Ethiopia — Gourmet & Specialty
Seattle’s Best Coffee Portside Blend (Previously Signature Blend No. 3) Medium Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce (Pack of 1)
2LB Subtle Earth Organic Coffee – Medium-Dark Roast – Whole Bean – Organic Arabica Coffee – (2 lb) Bag
Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf, Swiss Water Process, Dark Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 Pound – Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee, 35.2 Ounce
Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass – Best Overall
Kicking Horse’s Kick Ass beans are a remarkable blend that let you kickstart your morning smoky and sweet.
Kick Ass has a rich, dark chocolate cacao nibs taste with notes of brown sugar and roasted hazelnuts with an earthy lingering finish. It also has a smoky, sweet vanilla aroma with hints of dark chocolate.
This blend is dark-roasted, giving your drink a deep, slightly bitter taste. Plus, it’s not sour or acidic, making it an excellent choice for consumers with sensitive stomachs.
You can use a French press or drip machine to brew these beans. Pour-over and cold brew are also possible.
The product is shade-grown in the farms of Indonesia and South America in an environmentally responsible way. The roasters roast these 100 percent Arabica coffee beans in the Rocky Mountains right below the towering Canadian peaks.
This dark roasted, Kosher coffee is available in whole beans with two pack sizes 2.2 lb, 10 oz and the ground coffee comes in 10-oz packages. The packages are a distinctive black shade with a green label.
Royal Kona 100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee Beans – Best Coffee in the World
Royal Kona Coffee produces premium Hawaiian coffee from award-winning 100 percent Kona coffee. The farmers grow these beans on the Mauna Loa Volcano, the experts roast them precisely, and you’ll receive them at your doorstep.
The company believes in offering the best Hawaiian coffee with pure taste, no blends, and no compromise. Their rewards prove how good they are and why we chose them as one of the best coffee beans in the world.
Kona coffee is a rare strain of Arabica, which can grow only on the two volcanoes slopes of the Hawaii Big Island.
The soil is full of minerals because of the volcanos, and it has good drainage. So, the coffee roots aren’t submerged in water. Plus, the sunny mornings create the perfect temperature for growth, while the cloudy afternoons protect the coffee beans from overexposure. Kona beans grow in an elevation that gives them a mild taste.
It’s not surprising for a coffee with this quality to be more expensive than regular brands. One reason for the high price is that picking coffee is complex, and the farmworkers in Hawaii receive more money than other places.
Stone Street Coffee Company – Best Dark Roast Coffee
Stone Street coffee offers you a dark coffee with a thick cocoa blend for chocolate lovers. You’ll get smooth, silky, and strong chocolate notes while having a rich cup of coffee.
The company roasts hand-crafted coffee beans from the best farms over the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.
As the most reliable dark-roasted coffee, Stone Street is USDA organic, Fairtrade, and Rain Forest RFA certified. The rainforest seal shows that an independent third-party has evaluated farmers to ensure the product supports three factors of sustainability: social, economic, and environmental.
Besides being the best dark-roasted coffee, some consumers complained about being over-roasted, burnt, or bitter.
The three-layer natural kraft foil keeps your coffee as fresh as possible. The one-way degassing valve doesn’t let the aroma out. And the bag is resealable, so your coffee will always be fresh.
The product is available in 1, 2, and 3lb bags, and you can get it in ground or whole bean varieties.
Coffee Bros. Medium Roast Coffee – Best Medium Roast Coffee
Making their dreams come true in 2018, the Hunnewell brothers launched their first product, introducing high-quality medium roast coffee.
They based their work on three pillars: quality, consistency, and freshness. So, although a couple of years experience might seem like a short time, their product quality speaks for itself.
This company uses the latest technology to precisely reproduce the same flavor, quality, and consistency in each batch of its products.
The beans are hand-roasted, which means you won’t feel a charred taste in your drink. What’s more, they roast it a touch lighter to highlight the coffee complex notes and make them more prominent.
Once roasting is over, they immediately pack the coffee in small packages and remove all the oxygen from the bag to lock in freshness. Packages are sent to Amazon every week to provide customers with the freshest product.
If you’re looking for the classic coffee flavor with notes of strawberry and hazelnut, give this Brazilian and Ethiopian coffee blend a try. It gives you the right amount of sweetness, nuttiness, and tanginess.
You can use a filter, cold brew, French press, pour-over, and espresso.
Like any other product, this coffee has had a few complaints, too. Some customers reported feeling a funny smell or taste while drinking it.
If you’re not satisfied with your coffee, you can call the company and talk directly to one of the founding brothers to fix the issue.
Starbucks Veranda Blend – Best Light Roast Coffee
Veranda Blend has the nuances of soft cocoa and light toast nuts with a smooth body and consistent taste. Light-roast coffee lovers will enjoy the subtle notes of toasted malt, baking chocolate, and mild spice.
Experience a mellow and flavorful drink with Blonde-roast, which is light and gentle without being overly bold.
Starbucks harvests and crafts 100 percent Arabica beans from Latin America and slow-roasts them at the right temperature to get the best aroma, acidity, and flavor. The company’s ethical sourcing positively impacts the coffee farmer community.
You can get a 20-oz bag of whole beans at a reasonable price and prepare it using various brewing methods such as drip, French press, pour-over, and Moka pot.
However, a couple of customers mention that the vacuum seal was broken open when they received their order.
Seattle’s Best Coffee Portside Blend – Best Budget
Seattle’s Best offers you the best low-budget coffee with great taste. The price might be low, but the quality indeed isn’t.
Founded in the 70s as Stewart Brothers Coffee, Seattle’s Best Coffee now has a new look but the same old taste by using premium beans and unique roasting for the best in-cup result. With a well-rounded and smooth flavor, this medium roasted Portside Blend perks up your mood for a perfect day.
Each pack of Portside Blend includes 12 oz of whole beans or ground coffee, giving you around 70 cups, depending on how strong you like your drinks.
It also comes in K-Cup pods for those who want an affordable drink fast and without a mess. You can use the pod in all Keurig K-Cup brewers.
Seattle’s Best sources 100 percent Arabica coffee beans from Latin America and then creates various blends to get the desired taste. It ensures coffee consistency by accurate quality checks during the process.
Remember, this coffee isn’t a good choice for those who are a fan of organic products.
Onyx Coffee Lab Monarch – Best for Espresso
The Monarch Espresso Blend is a sweet aromatic blend with a thick syrupy texture, an ideal choice for espresso lovers.
It blends dark chocolate, molasses, red wine, and dried berries all together as a celebration of flavors in your cup. The natural sugar in coffee gives it complex caramelized notes during the roasting process.
Onyx Coffee Lab intentionally designed Monarch with the most developed roast and a rich flavor profile that works well with milk, great news for milk-based coffee fans. So, you can enjoy drinking lattes, mochas, or cappuccinos with this coffee bean.
They collect 100 percent Ethiopian and Colombian Arabica coffee and then roast it in small batches in Arkansas. It’s amazing how fresh you receive your naturally flavored coffee within only 24 hours of roasting.
There aren’t many customer reviews on this product, but one consumer says the product is acidic. So, it might not be right for you if you have a sensitive stomach.
It comes at a reasonable price in various sizes. The small 4-oz pack is excellent for first-time customers who want to give the beans a try. It’s also a nice gift for your loved ones and works if you use coffee for baking.
The most popular size is the 10-oz pack, which gives you about a week’s supply of fresh coffee. If you have a large family or don’t want to shop for a month, the two-pound package is more economical. The five-pound bag is more suitable for restaurants, offices, and workplaces.
Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Coffee – Best Organic
If you’re careful about not putting chemicals into your body, Subtle Earth Organic Coffee may be one of your best choices. Not only do you drink pure coffee, but you also support the farmer community and help save the environment.
Cafe Don Pablo provides coffee with low acidity, a smooth taste, and a reasonable price. Their farmers grow 100 percent Arabica beans, and their roasters use a slow roasting method to capture the optimal flavor.
Besides hand-crafting coffee beans from Marcala in Honduras, there’s another secret to its great taste, and that’s freshness. Unlike many coffee producers with a fixed production schedule, Don Pablo roasts to order in small batches.
Subtle Earth has a milk chocolate flavor with notes of cocoa, honey, and caramel, all-natural with no added flavor. Its deep coffee taste and velvety texture end with a pleasantly sweet aftertaste.
You can choose your favorite roast among three variations: light, medium-dark, or dark.
Whole beans are available in two or five-pound resealable bags to maintain their freshness. The company also sells single-serve cups.
Subtle Earth is USDA certified, GMO-free. Plus, you can get your money back if you’re not satisfied.
Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee – Best Decaf
Kicking Horse has thought about decaffeinated coffee fans by producing one of the best decafs on the market. If you get heart palpitations, can’t sleep at night, or simply don’t like caffeine, you can enjoy drinking coffee and having all the benefits without unwanted effects.
They shade-grow 100 percent Arabica beans from Central and South America and then roast them in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The decaf version is similar to the other blends of Kicking Horse: deep, dark, and delicious with a mellow finish.
The coffee tastes like a chocolaty balance with notes of brown sugar, roasted hazelnuts, and a long-lasting finish.
It comes in 10-oz and 2.2-pound bags, and you can use a French press, drip machine, pour-over, espresso, or cold brew.
Kicking Horse uses the Swiss water process to extract the caffeine from its coffee, which is perfectly healthy. They use water rather than chemicals to remove caffeine from their coffee.
Java Pura – Best Flavored Coffee
If you’re an espresso fan, you’ll appreciate this full-bodied espresso blend with a heavy crema that lasts for a long time. The exceptional coffee flavor is perfect for your latte, cappuccino, or other milk-based drinks.
This slightly fruity blend is one of the best-flavored coffee beans on the market, with balanced notes of dark chocolate and slight orange/lemon citrus.
Java Pura Coffee Roasters offers a medium roast Espresso Blend from Central and South America with premium artisans.
The Espresso Blend whole beans come at a reasonable price in different package sizes: 12 oz, 1 pound, and 5-pound.
As part of its social responsibility efforts, Java Pura works with Second Servings Houston to fight hunger and reduce waste.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Beans
Some people love the deep dark taste of coffee, while others prefer a sweeter taste. It’s something entirely personal. So, no one could say which flavor is the best. But you need to know what you like.
Remember to check the coffee flavor before buying a pack. Some companies offer samples to help you find your favorite one. Some of the most popular flavors are hazelnut, vanilla, caramel, pumpkin spice, and cinnamon.
Today, many companies create natural coffee notes while roasting the beans. Some companies season their products organically by roasting coffee beans with vanilla beans or hazelnuts.
However, other companies add oils or chemicals to their coffee beans to hide the bitterness and create special flavors.
Most coffee lovers enjoy the natural flavor notes of coffee, but flavored coffee has its fans, too. These flavors are very subtle and don’t overcome the base taste of your drink.
Don Pablo offers one of the purest coffee beans right from nature without any flavor added. The sweet aftertaste is from the natural sugar inside coffee beans which release during the roasting process.
Kicking Horse offers pure dark coffee with a taste of hazelnuts without adding superficial flavor to it.
On the other hand, if you’re a fan of more flavored coffee, Onyx Coffee Lab will give you a mixture of chocolate, molasses, red wine, and dried berries in one cup. What’s more, Java Pura sells one of the best-flavored coffee beans with balanced notes of dark chocolate and a subtle orange/lemon citrus taste.
Arabica vs. Robusta Beans
When it comes to coffee beans, we mainly talk about Arabica and Robusta, so it’s a good idea to know the differences. Besides being two different species of a plant, the main difference is in the flavor and characteristics.
Arabica contains less caffeine and has a smoother, sweeter taste, with notes of chocolate and sugar, plus hints of fruits and berries. Around 75 percent of coffee production consists of Arabica beans, with Brazil being the primary producer of these oval-shaped beans.
Robusta has a more robust, harsher, more bitter taste with notes of grain or rubber. The beans have a more circular shape and are much cheaper than Arabica. Vietnam produces a large amount of Robusta beans, and only 25 percent of coffee companies use them.
Almost all coffee brands we reviewed in this article claim to use 100 percent Arabica coffee beans.
Remember that each batch of beans, whether its Arabica or Robusta, differs in taste and quality based on many factors such as the farming climate, environment, and elevation. So, you can never say all Arabica beans taste the same.
Acidity and Bitterness
Acidity is a desirable factor in coffee beans and one of the main components contributing to coffee taste. Coffee with good acidity is called bright, and one with no acidity is dull.
Different levels of acidity modify the coffee taste, but highly acidic coffee can taste undesirable. Plus, if you have a sensitive stomach, high acidity coffee can cause burning sensations.
Brazilian coffee is usually low-acid, while coffee from Central American has a lower pH and is more vibrant. It can be bold and bright or subtle and smooth.
Bitterness is a part of a good coffee, but it shouldn’t be the dominant taste. So, if it’s the only flavor you taste in your coffee, there’s a problem. The intensity of bitterness depends on the genetic type of coffee beans. But over-roasting and over-extraction can also play a significant role.
The main reason for bitterness is over-extraction, a process that brings out the coffee flavor. Many factors affect this outcome, including the brew method, grind size, water temperature, and brew time.
Roasting level is also a critical factor that affects your coffee’s bitterness. Light to medium roast coffee is less bitter than a dark roast, and if you over roast the beans, you’ll feel an unpleasant burnt taste.
Find Your Roast Type
Roasting is the process of heating green coffee beans, which turns them brown and brings out the aroma and flavor.
Most roasters pick unique names for their roasts, but it’s generally for levels of light, medium, medium-dark, and dark.
There really isn’t the best roasting level because it’s personal, but it’s essential to find your favorite roast. Stone Street will give you one of the best dark roasted coffee beans, and Coffee Bros. is well known for its medium roast coffee. Breakfast Blend by Real Good Coffee is for light-roast lovers who want to start their morning smoothly.
Here are some familiar names companies use to describe their roast:
Light roast coffee has a light brown color, and there’s no oil on the beans because the process isn’t long enough to break the surface and bring out the oils. This type of roast is suitable for mild coffee. Other popular names are Light City, Half City, or Cinnamon.
Medium roast coffee has a more robust flavor and non-oily beans. American roast is a common name because it’s popular in the United States. Companies may call it City or Breakfast roast as well.
Medium-dark roast or Full City is rich and has a dark color, slightly bittersweet aftertaste, and some oil on the surface.
Dark roast beans are black and oily with a bitter taste and less acidity. The darkness differs from slightly dark to charred. Here are some words you might see on the products: High, Continental, New Orleans, European, Espresso, Viennese, Italian, and French.
Single Origin vs. Blends
Single-origin coffee comes from only one particular country or region, so it’s pure. The aroma, flavor, and acidity are more pronounced. It’s bolder and more robust with unchanged flavors but, the consistency may vary in different seasons.
A coffee blend mixes various beans to complement each other and balance the taste. It’s more popular among coffee drinkers due to its gentle taste, consistency, and being mellow.
Royal Kona offers one of the purest single-origin Kona coffee beans available with no blends.
Roast date is an essential factor to consider when buying coffee because it shows how fresh it is. However, don’t buy batches that are less than a week old because the beans are full of CO2 and won’t give you tasty beverages.
The ideal roast date is seven days before your purchase because coffee needs time to rest, degas, and settle in before extraction.
Expert coffee roasters try to prepare their products in small batches and ship them immediately after packing, so you can receive your coffee as fresh as possible.
Coffee doesn’t have an expiry date, and it doesn’t make you sick, but as it gets older, it loses aroma, flavor, and freshness.
Fairtrade practices make sure farmers in developing countries receive fair money for their products. So, when you buy Fairtrade coffee, you’re helping farmers live a better life and improve their work quality.
The money is enough to make sure these farmers can afford their life essentials such as food, education, community improvement, and healthcare.
Plus, farmers invest about 25 percent of their money in improving productivity and quality. So, you’re helping enhance coffee production too.
USDA is short for the United States Department of Agriculture, and a product has to be at least 95 percent organic to receive the USDA organic label.
The license means the coffee farmers haven’t used prohibited substances such as synthetic pesticides, herbicides, or fertilizers. These chemicals pollute the air, land, and water. Plus, they may end up in our drinks, making us sick.
What Type of Coffee Maker Are You Using?
Whether you own a cafe or want to make coffee at home, consider your machine when buying coffee beans. That’s because each brewer needs a particular type of grind to give you the best beverage.
Besides ground beans, almost all the coffee beans in this article come in whole beans, meaning you can grind them yourself to match your coffee maker requirements.
Let’s take a look at some popular machines and the best coffee type for each method:
Drip coffee makers are among the most popular coffee-making tools, given their ease of use, fast function, and reliability. You need medium-fine grind coffee if you use a drip coffee maker.
Espresso machines have their fans because they produce excellent espressos by fine grind coffee, and some even froth the milk.
As some may call it “press pot” or “plunger pot”, the French press is straightforward to use and clean. It’s manual, and the mesh metal filter lets coarse grind coffee oil and flavor into your cup.
A cold brew coffee maker or cold water extract gives you a less acidic coffee than other devices. You can pour your cold-brewed coffee over ice or heat it like regular coffee. Like the French press, coarse grind coffee will work fine in this method.
The Moka pot is a simple substitute for an espresso machine. It produces a thick, rich, and flavorful espresso. It’s also popular among campers because it’s small and you can brew on a camping stove. Like an espresso machine, you need a fine grind for using a Moka pot.
One of the most gentle brewing methods is using a pour-over which needs a paper filter, hot water, and medium-coarse grounds. It takes a bit longer to brew but results in a rich, full-body cup of coffee.
FAQs on Best Coffee Beans
The best way to store coffee beans is to keep them in a non-transparent, air-tight container where there’s no air, light, heat, and moisture.
Keep the pack in a cool and dark place and avoid cabinets near your oven or under sunlight because they get warm.
Room temperature is fine, and there’s no need for a fridge or freezer, although some people might prefer the latter. If you do so, remember not to have anything smelly, such as garlic in the refrigerator, because your coffee will absorb the smell. Plus. remember to let the beans thaw to room before drinking.
It’s a great idea to buy coffee in sizes suitable for your use, so you wouldn’t have to keep it for a long time.
But if you usually get big patches, try to buy whole beans and grind them before brewing. The ground coffee oxidizes and loses aroma and flavor much faster.
Coffee doesn’t have a definite expiry date, so the best way is to use your senses. When coffee loses its flavor and aroma, you know that it has gone bad.
Freshly roasted beans last around three months, and fresh ground coffee for a few weeks or up to a month. That’s because ground coffee has more surface to contact with oxygen.
It also depends on how you store your coffee to stay fresh for a longer time. You can use appropriate bags such as sealed, one-way valve foil bags with pinholes. These bags let the gas out and don’t let the air in.
You can grind your coffee beans without a grinder, using other methods. Although the best way is to use a coffee grinder, you can use a blender or food processor if you don’t own one.
You can even use your hands to grind coffee beans with tools such as a rolling pin, hammer, mortar, and pestle. A hand mincer or garlic press will also do the trick.
Final Thoughts on Best Coffee Beans
Choosing the best coffee beans isn’t an easy job, especially with all the brands, types, and flavors available. But our top 10 coffee beans review helps you find your favorite one easier.
The overall winner of this comparison is Kicking Horse which presents Kick Ass with rich flavor, great texture, reasonable price, and pleasant aftertaste.
Plus, Royal Kona offers Hawaiian Kona Coffee Beans, which is the best in the world because of its special climate that creates a mild taste.
Another great choice is Subtle Earth by Don Pablo, which is natural with no flavor added, low acidity, and great taste.