What Are The Best Espresso Beans To Go For? Here’s The Complete Guide

by | Aug 21, 2019

Deciding what Espresso Beans to go for is no easy task. There’s no shortage of choice when buying the best coffee Espresso Beans, sourced from all four corners of the globe. In this article, we’ll look at some of the best brands of 2023 and give you our honest feedback on what we liked and disliked about each type of bean.

Let’s jump in and find out what the Best Espresso Beans of 2023 are.

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At A Glance: Our Top 5 Espresso Beans Picks Of 2023

Whatever you choose, you know buying Espresso Beans from recognized espresso brands means your coffee always tastes fresh. For those who don’t have time right now to read our complete guide, check out our top picks just below.

  • No products found. OUR TOP CHOICE
  • Death Wish Coffee 
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The Best Espresso Beans Of 2023

Our top pick for the best Espresso beans of 2023 is the Lavazza Crema bean, or Lavazza super creama if you prefer. They offer the smoothest flavor of all the different Espresso coffee beans we sampled and will appeal to the broadest amount of coffee drinkers.

Lavazza espresso beans have an exciting mix of flavors, complementing each other well, leaving you wanting another cup of espresso straight away!


Lavazza Super Crema

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The Strongest Coffee In The World – Death Wish Coffee

The makers of Death Wish Coffee pride themselves by stating it’s the ‘strongest coffee in the world.’ That should warn those particularly sensitive to caffeine; it’s essential to know how you handle caffeine before deciding to drink the strongest coffee in the world.

An average cup of Death Wish Coffee has double the amount of caffeine compared to a regular cup of coffee – bear that in mind before deciding to drink it.


Death Wish Ground Coffee

Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds - 16 Oz - Extra Kick of Caffeine - Bold & Intense Blend of Arabica & Robusta Beans - USDA Organic Ground Coffee - Dark Coffee Caffeine for Morning Boost
46,876 Reviews
Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast Grounds - 16 Oz - Extra Kick of Caffeine - Bold & Intense Blend of Arabica & Robusta Beans - USDA Organic Ground Coffee - Dark Coffee Caffeine for Morning Boost
  • DAY STARTER GROUND COFFEE: Get a pound of power & energy every morning with our dark roast coffee ground. This dark coffee is made of robust bold flavors. Wake up your senses with our dark coffee...
  • QUALITY BREW COFFEE GROUNDS DARK: Transform your basic cup into an intense & delicious coffee. One sip of this best coffee will make you say yes to more of our coffee grinds. Choose premium artisanal...
  • STRONG COFFEE GROUND: Enjoy the best ground coffee you'll ever taste! Made with premium arabica & robusta beans that are roasted to perfection. Every ground dark roast coffee is bold with notes of...
  • SMOOTH DARK GROUND COFFEE: Brew our best coffees made with a slow batch roasting process. This coffee ground bold is low in acid. It feels like a gourmet ground coffee that's fresh without bitter or...
  • TRY IT RISK-FREE: The Death Wish Promise is that our organic ground coffee comes highly rated by thousands of satisfied customers who simply can't get enough but we'll let you be the judge. If you...

Death Wish Coffee certainly packs a punch. Its lovely flavor is not overpowering. The worry with strong coffee is that it will taste bitter, but Death Wish Coffee has a strong yet smooth flavor with no lingering aftertaste. Death Wish Coffee is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade; you know they’re the highest-quality beans.

It is actually one of the best coffee brands on the market. You can purchase beans pre-ground, or as whole espresso beans, offering good choice over how you want your beans. You’ll also notice Death Wish Coffee gives off subtle hints of chocolate and cherry, enhancing the flavor.


Pros and Cons Of Death Wish Coffee

What we really like

✔ Death Wish Coffee is fair trade, meaning that the farmers and growers don’t get taken advantage of

✔ Very strong so will wake you up in the morning

✔ Smooth yet strong taste, with no lingering bitter taste

What we don't like

✗ Be careful of drinking if you are sensitive to caffeine (especially if you have heart problems)

✗ It’s not good for people to get dependent on high doses of caffeine


The Gourmet Option – Cafe Don Pablo

Cafe Don Pablo espresso whole bean coffee offers a unique blend of Colombian Supremo and Sumatra Mandheling beans. This mixture gives this espresso blend a deep, complex flavor. The Arabica beans Don Pablo use grow in nutrient-fertile volcanic soil, producing that very smooth coffee taste.

Beans are roasted to order in small regional batch facilities across the US. The sooner the beans are roasted, the sooner they can be drunk, giving Cafe Don Pablo beans a unique freshness.


Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee

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The first thing you’ll notice about Cafe Don Pablo beans is the rich smell. This certainly made the build-up to tasting the coffee all the more exciting. Although Cafe Don Pablo is a very dark coffee, it leaves no bitter taste in the mouth.

The beans come in a 2-pound bag so it should last a reasonable amount of time. When brewing coffee, these are also some of the best espresso beans for crema on top of your cup. The beans are very affordable as well, meaning high-quality coffee at a great price, especially if you research where to buy espresso beans.


Pros and Cons Of Cafe Don Pablo

What we really like

✔ Affordable coffee

✔ Non-bitter taste

✔ Good sized bag

What we don't like

✗ Beans can taste a little over-roasted

✗ Beans can feel oily


The Military Choice – Black Rifle AK-47 Espresso Coffee

Black Rifle Coffee Company is veteran-owned and operated. Coffee is sourced from a variety of farms across South America and roasted to order to ensure freshness. The AK-47 Espresso Coffee is another best espresso coffee bean choice, made from 100% Arabica Beans sourced mainly from Colombia and Brazil.

The beans are available in light, medium and dark roasts and extra dark roast. There’s a roast espresso to suit everyone.


Black Rifle AK-47 Espresso

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The beans come in black and gold packaging, printed with outlines of AK-47s. When you open the packaging, the smell of the beans in this best espresso coffee brand is strong. You get hit by a variety of scents, with hints of chocolate, even, in the aroma.

The brewed coffee has a sweet, robust flavor without tasting too bitter, yet strong enough to wake you up in the morning or give you an afternoon pick me up.

The company itself stated the AK-47 flavor is similar to Starbucks Espresso. The company also recommends brewing beans through an Espresso machine for optimum flavor. We used an Espresso machine and were satisfied with the taste.


Pros and Cons Of Black Rifle AK-47

What we really like

✔ Veteran Owned company

✔ Coffee has a sweet but strong flavor

✔ Different roasts to suit different palettes

What we don't like

✗ Some people may not like the flavor if they are not a fan of Starbucks Espresso Coffee

✗ Recommended method of brew may not suit everyone as Espresso machines can be expensive


The Perfect Espresso Beans – Lavazza Super Crema

Lavazza Super Crema is a little different to the beans we’ve written about so far; it’s also the best. It produces lighter and sweeter coffee than other darker coffees. It contains notes of honey, almonds and dried fruit, a mixture of exciting flavors. With an aroma level of 4 out of 5, there is much to enjoy with Lavazza Super Crema.


Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

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The Super Crema coffee espresso blend is a mixture of Arabica beans from Brazil, Colombia, and India, while its Robusta beans come from Indonesia and Vietnam, creating a mild, creamy medium espresso roast. Due to this mild and creamy taste, many people say this is the best tasting coffee in the world. This choice for the best espresso roast blend produces a smooth shot of Espresso with no bitter aftertaste.

It’s an 80:20 blend of arabica and robusta beans, working well if you want to enjoy an Espresso or as a base for a Cappuccino or Latte. When you brew the shot, you get a beautiful crema on top. You’re then all set to enjoy that rich, creamy taste.


Pros and Cons

What we really like

✔ Rich creamy taste

✔ Strong aroma level

✔ Fruity flavor of honey and almond

✔ Sweeter flavor than other Expresso Beans

✔ Industry-standard coffee

What we don't like

✗ Not a unique brand

✗ Could be too mild for some users


The Wildcard – Caribou Coffee

Caribou coffee beans, another contender for the best espresso beans on Amazon, come in a nice light blue package. There are three different blends to enjoy, a light breakfast blend with hints of sweet caramel and nutty finish. You can also enjoy two other flavors: Vanilla Hazelnut Dreamstate or Chocolate Wonder. Caribou also offer a decaf version, so those sensitive to caffeine can still enjoy the beverage.


Caribou Coffee Medium Roast

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Caribou Coffee beans are  Rainforest Alliance Certified, meaning beans are sourced ethically and sustainably. Caribou Coffee is relatively mild tasting, providing an excellent alternative if you’ve just drunk dark roast espresso coffee. There’s no bitterness to the flavor, and it has a full-bodied taste.

One big positive in how the beans are grown, as mentioned above, is that they are sustainably sourced. A problem with larger Coffee companies can be that beans are sourced from sustainable or ethical conditions.

It can comfort a buyer to know beans come from a sustainable background and that employees sourcing beans are treated fairly. A 20 Oz bag should last around a month; of course, this depends on how much you will be drinking.


Pros and Cons of Caribou Coffee

What we like

✔ Variety of different blends you can choose from

✔ Ethically sourced beans

Decaf versions are available

✔ Smooth mild taste

✔ No bitter aftertaste

What we don't like

✗ Flavor may be too mild for some

✗ Some users have complained the flavor can be a bit bland


The Classic Choice – Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast Beans

The Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast espresso beans come in a 12-ounce pack. These coffee beans hold an intense caramelly sweet flavor and go perfectly with steamed milk. You’re advised to use two tablespoons (10 grams) of freshly ground coffee for every 180 ml of water. It’s essential to keep these figures in mind, this will give you excellent consistency in your coffee.

Starbucks original Espresso Dark Roast dates from 1975. Beans are sourced from Latin America and the Asia Pacific region. Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast Beans stand alone due to their bold flavor and can be enjoyed with or without milk, depending on what type of beverage you’re looking to make.


Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast

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While testing out the coffee we used a French Press to brew the beans. The flavors came out really well, a strong dark roasted flavor with subtle notes of chocolate. The coffee also complements any type of chocolate snack.

The beans come as whole beans so you’ll have to grind them yourself, you determine how finely you want your espresso coffee beans ground. The Starbucks beans certainly work well if you are a fan of stronger coffee, if you prefer milder coffee you may want to consider a different option.


Pros and Cons Of Starbucks Espresso

What we really like

✔ Rich in caramel flavor

✔ Bold Taste

✔ Provides a good Espresso base for any Cappuccinos or Lattes

✔ Sweet Undertones

What we don't like

✗ Some users have noted a burnt taste to the beans

✗ If you don’t get the proportions right the coffee can be a bit weak


The Locals Choice – Verena Street Espresso

Verena Street Espresso beans offer a rich sweet and creamy taste. The beans work well for fine grind Espresso or coarse grind drip coffee. Beans are sustainably sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified farms to protect farmers, wildlife, and the environment.

The coffee is named after the quiet Iowa street where the founders of the company grew up. The coffee is roasted in small batches, meaning you’ll receive the coffee as quickly as possible after order, and you can enjoy your coffee knowing you are supporting a family-owned local company.


Verena Street Arabica

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Verena Street beans offer a robust flavor without the burnt taste that can come from some dark or French roast varieties of the best coffee beans. The beans are dark, somewhat oily and very aromatic, and the strong aroma indicates that the beans are fresh. The beans give a full-bodied taste, and the aftertaste will encourage you to brew another cup! To check for freshness look at the roasted date printed on the packet side to see when the beans were roasted, anything within 90 days of your purchase will indicate the beans are still fresh and ready to use.


Pros and Cons of Verena Street

What we really like

✔ A local company born in small town Iowa

✔ Rainforest Alliance certified

✔ Rich flavor

✔ Beans roasted in small batches

What we don't like

✗ Some reports of the description of the beans not matching the flavor

✗ Coffee can be a little weak if too much water is added


French Press Delight – Faro Roasting House

Faro beans offer a rich Italian roast flavor and an enigmatic mix of Robusta and Arabica beans from Brazil, Guatemala, and Peru. The name Faro means strength, and the beans pack a punch. There’s very low acidity, almost none, and no sourness or lingering aftertaste.


Faro Roasting House Italian Espresso Beans

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You can also order beans whole, giving you the freedom to grind the beans to your exact liking. Be sure to check the roasted date on the packet to confirm freshness. The beans give a clean, robust dark flavor. The beans come in a 2-pound bag, which will last a good length of time. We brewed the ground beans in a French press and noted the flavor was stronger than when we tried a regular coffee maker, but you may have your own preferred brewing method.


Pros and Cons Of Faro

What we really like

✔ Beans come in a generous 2-pound bag

✔ Robust Dark Flavor

✔ No bitter aftertaste

What we don't like

✗ You may not like the taste if you don’t enjoy dark flavors

✗ Some complaints of the beans being over-roasted


Horse Power In Your Coffee – Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger

Kicking Horse Coffee was created when two Canadian Entrepreneurs who had a love for coffee, started roasting coffee beans in their garage. Fast forward some 20 years, and Kicking Horse specializes in providing 100% organic and fair trade coffee, which means that the beans are sourced from ethical and sustainable sources.

The Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso coffee features bean varieties are sourced from Indonesia, Central and Southern America and Africa. Blends are available in grinds ranging from fine to coarse, so you have a good selection of grind sizes to choose from.


Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger

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When you taste the coffee, you’ll be hit with a mixture of flavors from cocoa to fruity middle tones and finished with a heavy caramel aftertaste. The caramel aftertaste means Kicking Horse coffee doesn’t have an acidic or burnt after taste. The beans are slightly oily, so it may not be for everyone.

Some users have reported you shouldn’t use this coffee bean type in Super-Automatic Espresso Machines as the coffee beans will clog the grinder. The Cliff Hanger Espresso medium roast is slightly stronger than others, which means it may still be too intense for some.


Pros and Cons of Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso

What we really like

✔ The coffee is 100% organic and fair trade

✔ Grind sizes are available from fine to coarse

✔ Nice mixture of flavors

What we don't like

✗ Beans may be too strong for some coffee drinkers

✗ Beans are slightly oily

✗ Beans are not suitable for a Super Automatic Espresso Machine


The True Cult Of Coffee – Koffee Kult Dark Roast

Koffee Kult Coffee is a family-owned and operated artisan coffee roaster, and they also offer visits to see their coffee being roasted. Their Dark Roast beans are 100% Arabica, sourced from Colombia, Guatemala and Sumatra and the beans are 100% Organic.

The taste is not too bitter and has a low acidity flavor profile. The beans also give off a slight flavor of dark chocolate when you try them. The best way to describe the flavor of the dark roast beans is that it will wake you up without overpowering you.

I know that can sound a little vague, but it’s one of the most important factors when you’re looking into good coffee. You want coffee to provide a means to a strong, rich flavor without overpowering you. The flavor of the Koffee Kult Dark Roast is robust, but the roasters have struck a delicate balance between strength and flavor.


Koffee Kult Dark Roast

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The packaging the beans come in is also quite striking. It looks like the producers really put some thought into the design and aesthetic of the packaging. This is a nice touch and gives the buyer greater confidence in the product they are buying.

Customers have also noted that the support they’ve received from the Koffee Kult customer service team has been top-notch, and this always increases the standing of a company.


Pros and Cons Of Koffee Kult Dark Roast

What we really like

✔ Beans are 100% Organic

✔ Non-acidic flavor

✔ Slight chocolate flavor to the beans

What we don't like

✗ Make sure to grind the beans finely; some users noted that the beans have clogged their machines

✗ May not be suitable if you don’t like dark roast coffee


How To Choose The Best Espresso Bean?

The best Espresso bean is a very personal choice. It depends on how you like your coffee. If you prefer a darker roast, then consider some of the darker roast options, if you prefer a milder flavor consider a light or medium roasted bean. You also want to think about how the beans taste. If the beans have a bitter or acidic aftertaste, it can mean they may be stale and are not at peak freshness.

Another important factor to consider is where the beans are sourced. Many companies now source their beans from ethical and sustainable or single origin sources. When you’re buying beans lookout for the fair trade logo or the Rainforest Alliance logo, this will indicate that the beans are sourced sustainably and the coffee farmers and growers are paid and treated fairly.

how to make espresso with french press


Where Do Your Beans Come From?

There are still some companies that don’t source their beans from fair trade sources, so it’s up to the buyer if they decide if this is important in their decision to buy certain beans. You’ll also want to look out for the roast date on the side of the packet; this will determine when the beans were roasted and how long they’ve taken to arrive at your door. You want the beans to be roasted within 90 days of you receiving them for optimum freshness.


What Are The Best Coffee Beans For Espresso?

Whatever beans you choose to go for, make sure that you will enjoy the flavor of this winner of one of the best Italian espresso beans – indeed, our overall choice for the best bean for espresso. Some coffee drinkers prefer a robust dark roast to get them going in the morning whereas others will find a smoother sweeter flavor provides the best beans for espresso.

This guide should give you a good overview of the best espresso coffee beans available on the market today. Always look out for the toasted date on the side of the packet to ensure the beans you’re using are fresh. Some beans will cost more than others, and you’ll also want to decide on your preferred method of brewing.

Our personal favorite ways of making ground espresso coffee are either using a high-quality Espresso machine or the French Press. While it is virtually impossible to choose the best coffee in the world, our clear winner is Lavazza. Now you know what beans are out there, you can sit back and enjoy your Espresso!


Lavazza Coffee Blend

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  Last update on 2023-03-30 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API.

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