If you are researching the best espresso beans to use for your daily espresso or other coffee-based drinks, you have arrived in the right place.
Here at Uganda Coffee we believe that coffee is an everyday luxury that anyone can and should enjoy, so we are here to provide you with the knowledge that will help you do just that.
If you are a card carrying coffee lover, you already know how big a difference great coffee can make to your day. After all, there is nothing quite like freshly ground beans if you want to enjoy quality coffee that lifts your mood and your energy, and it makes perfect sense that you would be on the lookout for the very best espresso beans to grind and brew, whether at home or at your office.
We all have different tastebuds, so in this article we cover a variety of different high-quality coffee beans, from low acid blends that will appeal to those with delicate stomachs to light, fruity specialty roasts that will tantalize the tastebuds of even the most refined coffee connoisseurs among us.
Without further ado, let the search for the very best espresso beans begin.
Best popular coffee beans
This first section of the article is all about popular espresso bean brands, because the best coffee beans are not always the ones that are the mosts obscure or hard to come by. The coffee beans mentioned here have all earned their reputations as favourites around the world, and all with very good reason.
Segafredo Massimo Whole Bean
Segafredo is one of the most renowned authentic Italian coffee companies in the world. If the numbers are correct, Segafredo coffee is served in well over 30,000 cafes and bars all across the globe, and for one simple reason: Segafredo coffee is simply great. Whether you kick back with a cup of Segafredo at an Italian cafe or purchase a bag of Segafredo coffee to enjoy at home, you know you’re going to get quality.
The Segafredo Massimo whole bean blend is a true crowd pleaser, with a mellow taste profile and creamy mouthfeel that will appeal to most coffee lovers.
The Segafreedo Massimo whole bean blend combines some of the best varieties of both Arabica and Robusta coffee beans, and yields a perfectly smooth and velvety soft espresso every time. The taste profile of the Segafredo Massimo whole bean blend is round and soft, and includes subtle notes of chocolate.
Segafredo Massimo whole beans are available here from 1st in Coffee.
Kimbo Extra Cream Whole Bean
Kimbo is an Italian coffee company, dedicated to spreading the Neapolitan Coffe culture around the globe through their great-tasting coffees. The Kimbo brand has over 50 years experience in the coffee industry, and when you have your first taste of Kimbo coffee, it will be no mystery to you how the brand has built its glowing reputation.
For those who like their espresso extra smooth and creamy, the Kimo Extra cream whole bean blend is a fantastic option. Here is a top-rated coffee blend with a decisive yet round flavor and velvety mouthfeel.
The Kimbo Extra Cream whole bean blend is a medium roast with a full, rich body, yet a surprisingly delicate aroma.
The Kimbo Extra Cream whole bean coffee blend can be purchased from 1st in Coffee on this link.
Lavazza Tierra Whole Bean
If you are a coffee lover, there is no way you are not already familiar with the Lavazza coffee company. Not only is the Lavazza brand of coffee being served at untold thousands of cafes and coffee shops around the world, you will also see it on supermarket shelves and even on the shelf at your local corner shop. In short, Lavazza dominates in the coffee world.
In the Lavazza Tierra whole bean blend we’ve got a coffee blend that will appeal to your sense of ethics as much as to your sense of taste. Let me explain why.
Lavazza Tierra is a sustainable development project sustained by the Lavazza coffee company where coffee beans are sourced from various small-scale coffee growers in regions such as Honduras and Columbia.
Lavazza Tierra coffee is sustainable coffee with a clear conscience, and you can be sure that all of the beans in your bag are both 100% Rainforest Alliance certified and 100% Arabica, grown at medium to higher altitudes for the best possible quality.
The flavor profile of the Lavazza Tierra whole bean blend is that of true quality Arabica beans, i.e. soft, smooth and mellow.
The Lavazza Tierra whole bean blend can be purchased here from 1st in Coffee.
Illy Ethiopia Single Origin Whole Bean Coffee
Most of you are probably familiar with the iconic Illycaffè coffee brand (Illy for short). Within the coffee world, it is just about as popular as Disney.
If you are not familiar with Illy, suffice it to say that Illy is an Italian Coffe company founded in Trieste, Italy, all the way back in 1933. While Illy is responsible for many great coffee products, the brand’s specialty is espresso.
The entire Illy range is worth raving about, but instead of mentioning all of them in this article we are going to be focusing on the Illy Ethiopia Single Origin whole bean coffee blend (The other Illy whole bean blends are also very much worth trying out too).
The Illy Ethiopia Single Origin whole bean coffee blend is a medium-bodied coffee with a gentle and entirely seductive taste, which includes tantalising notes of jasmine and citrus.
Illy Ethiopia single Origin whole bean coffee can be purchased here.
Best specialty coffee beans
Now that we have looked at some of the most popular options, it is time for us to consider some of the very best specialty coffee bean blends on the market.
Lifeboost Coffee is all about delivering the healthiest and tastiest coffee possible to coffer lover just like you – in fact, this is the entire ethos of the LifeBoost Coffee brand. Lifeboost is a relatively new coffee company, but it is already making a splash in the world of artisan coffee with its emphasis on coffee that is both tasty and healthy.
All of Lifeboost Coffee’s coffee blends are single origin and have been hand-selected and grown at high elevations to ensure the finest quality. What’s more, whenever you purchase a bag of Lifeboost coffee, you can always rest assured that not only is every roast certified organic, the beans that have gone into making it have also been tested by a third party for nasties such as heavy metals, mycotoxins and mold.
Lifeboost Coffee’s coffee blends are all stomach friendly and low acid – and the Lifeboost Espresso blend is no exception to this stringent rule. In fact, the Espresso blend is Lifeboost Coffe’s darkest blend, which makes even lower in acid than most others. As a result, the Lifeboost Espresso blend equals a bold and flavourful coffee, with hints of chocolate, caramel and surprising fruitiness, while still being round, balanced, and very low acid. What’s not to love?
The Lifeboost Espresso blend is available here, directly from Lifeboost Coffee’s own website.
Capresso Whole Bean Coffee West Coast
Capresso is a well-known artisan coffee company based in Switzerland and established in 1994 with the express purpose of introducing American coffee lovers to high-end European espresso machines. And while Capresso are best known for their fantastic coffee makers, it is their coffee beans we are going to be talking about here today.
The Capresso Whole Bean West Coast blend is a bold, flavourful, full-bodied espresso blend inspired by the US West Coast. It is striking and smoky, with flavor notes including tobacco, nuts, black berry and dark chocolate. In other words, this is an utterly seductive espresso blend.
The beans that go into each bag of Capresso Whole Bean West Coast have been grown in Columbia and have been roasted in small batches in Brooklyn in New York City.
Capresso’s Whole Bean West Coast blend can be purchased right here from 1st in Coffee.
Capresso Whole Bean Coffee East Coast
If you find yourself thinking that there cannot be a West Coast blend without there also being an East Coast blend, you are absolutely right.
The Capresso Whole Bean East Coast blend is the ideal espresso blend for drip coffee makers, as it is lightly roasted, with a flavor that is both mild and smooth. The beans that go into making the Capresso Whole Bean East Coast blend are grown in Columbia and Brazil, and consists of 100% Arabica coffee.
The flavor notes you will discover as your sip your first cup of espresso brewed on the Capresso Whole Bean East Coast blend include light citrus and honey, brown sugar and milk chocolate. If you like a light and mild coffee with a round and sweet flavor, this one is for you.
Like Capresso’s West Coast blend, the East Coast blend is also roasted in small batches in Brooklyn, NYC.
It can be purchased from 1st in Coffee, right here on this link.
Kopi Luwak Arabica Coffee
Kopi Luwak Arabica Coffee is in a league of its own. Here is a coffee that’s been hailed not only as one of the most remarkable espresso blends of all time, but also one of the most expensive and exclusive.
Kopi Luwak Arabica cofee is not like any other Arabica coffee you have ever tried before. Unlike most Arabica coffees that are produced in a relatively straight-forward way, Kopi Luwak Arabica coffee undergoes a ten-step process from bean to bag. It is little wonder why Jack Nicholson’s character in the hit movie ‘The Bucket List’ decides to include drinking a cup of Kopi Luwak coffee on his bucket list.
The primary thing that makes Kopi Luwak Arabica coffee stand out from the crowd is the fact that the Arabica beans used in the blend are partially digested coffee cherries, which are collected after they have passed through the luwak’s intestines, resulting in a rich yet delicate flavor profile.
When you take your first sip of authentic Kopi Luwak coffee, you know that you have just unlocked a brand new level of coffee enthusiasm.
100% authentic Kopi Luwak Arabica Coffee is available from 1st in Coffee.
Best decaf coffee beans
There could be any number of reasons why you might prefer your espresso decaf, and we’re not here to judge, but rather to present you with the very best options on the market. Here they are, in no particular order.
Lifeboost Coffee French Vanilla Decaf
All of Lifeboost Cofee’s coffee blends are naturally low acid, but not all of them are decaf. However, when you head on over to the Lifeboost website, you will notice that there is quite a large and varied selection of decaf coffee for those who enjoy the feel and flavor of coffee but prefer to skip the caffeine. The Lifeboost French Vanilla Decaf blend is just one of the many options.
Without exaggeration, the Lifeboost Coffee French Vanilla Decaf blend just might be the best, most delicious decaf espresso blend on the entire planet. It’s a bold claim, but hear me out.
The Lifeboost French Vanilla Decaf blend is mountain shade grown, hand picked, spring water washed and gently sun-dried to perfection. Like all of Lifeboost’s other coffee blends, the French Vanilla Decaf blend is certified organic, and has also been tested for mycotoxins, heavy metals and more by a third party. All of the beans are 100% Arabica and single origin, so the finest quality is ensured right from the start.
Unlike most vanilla flavoured coffee blends, the Lifeboost Coffee French Vanilla Decaf blend has no added sugars or chemicals, but derives all of its mind-blowing, delicate vanilla sweetness from the beans themselves as well as from the 0 calorie essential oils that have been used to treat them.
You can read much more about the Lifeboost Coffee French Vanilla Decaf blend plus purchased it directly from Lifeboost Coffee.
Caffe’ Vergnano 1882 Espresso Decaffeinato
As the name indicates, the Vergnano 1882 coffee company was founded in 1882 in Chieri, Italy. The brand has a long and proud history of providing coffee lovers all over the world with high quality coffee. Today, we’ll be looking at the Coffee’ Vergnano 1882 Espresso Decaffeinato blend – a decaf blend created especially for espresso lovers.
The Coffee’ Vergnano 1882 Espresso Decaffeinato blend has that perfectly balanced flavor, as well as a smooth and mellow aroma. The fact that it has very little caffeine makes it the perfect espresso blend for when you want to enjoy an espressos in the evening.
The Coffee’ Vergnano 1882 Espresso Decaffeinato blend is available here from 1st in Coffee.
Best low acid coffee beans
If you are looking for low acid beans to tickle your taste buds, look no further.
Low acid coffees are becoming increasingly popular, not only among those who really need to switch to low acid coffee due to acid reflux or other health concerns, but also among those who simply recognise that a low acid coffee can pack all of the same punch as a high acid coffee, while being much better for your stomach, your teeth, and your overall health.
In this section of the article, we’ll be looking at some of the finest, most delicious low acid espresso blends available on the market.
Spirit Animal IHCAFE-90 NATURAL
Spirit Animal is an innovative coffee company focusing on high-quality, low acid coffees grown at high altitudes in Honduras. All of Spirit Animal Coffee’s beans are tested for mycotoxins – and of course they’re all 100% certified organic.
When you head on over to the Spirit Animal website, you’ll be amazed at the amount of choice you get between a multitude of delicious, low acid coffees. No matter which one you pick, you can be sure that the quality is going to be top notch, while the acid content is going to be as low as possible.
The Spirit Animal IHCAFE-90 Natural blend is worth highlighting, not because it is necessarily a better option than one of the many others on offer over on the Spirit Animal website, but because it is one of Spirit Animal’s most popular.
The Spirit Animal IHCAFE-90 whole bean coffee blend (You can also get it ground, if you prefer) is distinguished by it sound and delicate body, as well as its hints of flowery sweetness. Its flavor profile includes nots of sugarcane and citrus, among others that are more floral and hard to define.
IHCAFE-90, and all of Spirit Animal Coffee’s other offerings, are available directly from Spirit Animal on this link.
Segafredo Mild Whole Bean
The Segafredo Mild whole beans blend combines Brazilian Arabica and Robusta coffee beans in a mild and mellow blend that is also wonderfully low in acid.
If you like your espresso to have a soft and velvety mouthfeel, you’re going to love Segafredo Mild whole beans. Here is a low acid whole bean coffee that is both soft and sweet, and with flavor notes ranging from fresh and fruity to sweet and round.
Segafredo Mild whole beans
Segafredo Mild whole beans are available here from 1st in Coffee.
Finding the ideal espresso blend for both your taste buds and your espresso machine
Discovering your ideal espresso beans can take a bit of trial and error until you get there.
Not only is the answer to the question of which espresso beans are the best on the market going to be highly dependent on your individual coffee preferences (Some love their espresso dark and mellow, others like it light and fruity, and still others prefer coffee with unusual taste notes, like jasmine and peach), the espresso machine you are using to brew your coffee also has a say in how your final cup of coffee turns out.
No matter which espresso beans you are using for your coffee, the extraction process matters, and the extraction process varies from espresso maker to espresso maker. The extraction process begins the second the hot water comes into contact with your espresso beans, and is essentially the process of the water extracting flavor and nutrients from the beans.
While some espresso machines allow you a great deal of control over the extraction process, others do not. For example, a pour over coffee maker gives you plenty of control, since you get to control how quickly you pour and the exact amount and temperature of the water you are using. In contrast, any espresso maker that brews coffee at the click of a button doesn’t allow you the same fine-grained control over the extraction process. In other words, the espresso machine you use can have as great an impact on your morning cup of Joe as can the beans themselves.
Best espresso beans FAQ
What is the smoothest espresso?
Of all of the espresso blends we have discussed in this article, the Kimbo Extra Cream Whole Bean Coffee blend has got to be the smoothest and creamiest of them all. The Kimbo Extra Cream Whole Bean Coffee blend is a top rated and wildly popular coffee, in no small way thanks to its rich and round flavor profile and velvety mouthfeel.
If you are looking for a soft, smooth and delicate artisan espresso blend, the Capresso Whole Bean Coffee East Coast blend is going to be your jam. Here is an espresso blend that is perfect for pour-0ver espresso style coffees, with flavor notes including light citrus, brown sugar, honey and milk chocolate.
What makes a good espresso bean?
The factors that make an espresso bean ideal is, at least to an extent, a matter of individual taste. Some might prefer a strong, decisive flavor while others like their espresso more fruity or sweet.
Having said that, as a rule of thumb, medium-to-dark coffee bean roasts tend to make for the best espressos, since darker roasts are more soluble when they come into contact with the hot water during the brewing process, which means the they extract more quickly and provide you with the most flavourful and aromatic cup of espresso.
Dark roast beans also tend to yield the most delicate crema, which is the thin layer of oily foam that naturally forms on the top of every truly great cup of espresso. What’s more, dark roast beans also tend to result in a perfectly balanced consistency, body and flavor.
With lighter roasts, you can still get a wonderful espresso, but the flavor can much more easily turn out watery or flat.
Do you need a specific bean for espresso?
No, you do not need a specific coffee bean for espresso. In fact, no matter which coffee-based drink you are brewing, you can use the same beans. There aren’t separate types of coffee beans for espresso, lattes, Americanos and other coffee-based drinks.
Having said that, some coffee beans lend themselves particularly well to brewing espresso shots. The ideal coffee beans to use for espresso are either Arabica beans or Robusta beans that have been roasted to a medium or dark roast.
Do espresso beans make a difference?
It doesn’t matter whether your whole bean or ground coffee blend explicitly states ‘espresso’ on the bag – any coffee blend can be used to make espresso.
Whenever you see a coffee bean blend marketed as an espresso blend, it simply means that it is a medium to dark roast coffee that has been developed specifically for espresso and other espresso-based coffee drinks. In truth, you can use any coffee blend you prefer to brew your espresso.
What beans does Starbucks use for espresso?
When you order an espresso at Starbucks, you can be just about certain that your barista is going to be using Starbucks’ very own Espresso Roast Whole Bean Coffee blend.
Starbucks’ own espresso blend consisting of darkly roasted, high-quality Latin American and Asian-Pacific coffee beans that have been chosen for their stout and balanced body, as much as for their sweet hints of caramel.
The Starbucks Espresso Roast is not only perfect for espressos, but also for other espresso-based drinks such as lattes and Americanos.
Can you make espresso with regular coffee beans?
Yes, you absolutely can. A whole bean or ground coffee blend does not have to explicitly state that it is an espresso blend for it to be suitable for brewing espresso.
Any coffee beans can be used for espresso, as well as for any of the other coffee drinks you might be thinking of brewing. The important thing is that the coffee beans you are using are of good quality. You can hardly go wrong with Arabica or Robusta beans, and if they’re fair trade and organic, even better.
Is espresso healthier than coffee?
Simply drinking espresso can often be healthier than drinking other coffee drinks, for the simple reason that espressos are made using only coffee beans and water.
Other coffee drinks often include many other ingredients, such as milk, flavoured syrups and sugars – ingredients that are mostly not that healthy.
Another reason why espresso might be healthier for you to drink than other coffee drinks is that espressos are short and intense – you tend to drink them quicker than you would an Americano or a latte, which means less contact between the coffee and your teeth, which is ultimately a win for your tooth enamel.
Can you use espresso beans for pour over?
Yes, you can absolutely use espressos bean blends for pour-over coffee.
Best espresso beans: Conclusion
Congratulations – you’ve made it to the end of this article, and have hopefully gathered up a lot of brand new espresso wisdom on the way.
In this article, we’ve gone over what makes a great espresso bean blend, and we’ve presented a number of fantastic options, from the most popular to the most exclusive.
In summary, any coffee bean blend you like can be used for brewing a great espresso – there is no unwritten rule, decreeing that you must use a bean blend that explicitly declares it to be an espresso blend. Any good coffee bean blend is a good blend for espresso.
Still, some coffee bean blends tend to be better suited for espresso than others. As a rule of thumb, darker roasts tend to yield the most satisfying espressos, as they tend to be sweeter and more balanced than their lighter roast counterparts.