Best Coffee Beans (Reviews) 2021 | A Time-proof Buying Guide to Everyone

by AllannBrosCoffee Team | Last Updated: November 19, 2020

The best coffee beans elevate your drinking experience to considerable heights. Indeed, even with a perfect brewing method and state of the art equipment that Starbucks would envy, your coffee drinking experience will still ultimately ever be as good as the beans that you use.

So, how do you get the best coffee beans? What makes a bean good, and more importantly, how can you pick the right option for you? These are the questions that we will be tackling in today’s massive guide.

Of course, determining the best coffee beans is sort of a subjective matter, but knowledge is power, and the more you know, the better positioned you will be to buy some really great beans.

So, let’s get right on to it, shall we? Read on for the best coffee bean reviews!

Best Coffee Beans To Buy (Whole Bean)

Kicking Horse — Kick Ass, Dark Roast, Whole Bean

BEST OVERALL
  • Ethically sourced fair trade coffee
  • Kosher for people with special dietary needs
  • Strong tasting delicious dark roast

Starbucks — Medium Roast, Whole Bean Coffee

BEST VALUE
  • Moderate price on a really great bag of beans
  • High-quality bag helps to ensure long term freshness
  • Medium roast taste that replicates the restaurant experience

Eight O’Clock — The Original, Whole Bean Coffee

BEST BUDGET
  • Best coffee to buy on a budget
  • Kosher certified for people with special dietary needs
  • Moderate flavor refined over many decades of roasting experience

Lavazza — Super Crema, Whole Bean Coffee Blend

BEST FOR ESPRESSO
  • The quantity of beans makes the bag affordable
  • Roast style perfect for home brewing espresso
  • True Italian roast perfect for those that appreciate authenticity

Peet’s Coffee & TEA French Roast Blend Whole Beans

BEST ORGANIC
  • Completely organic for people with health considerations
  • Hand roasted in small batches for quality control
  • Roast date printed on every bag to confirm the quality

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee

BEST LIGHT ROAST
  • Delicious light roast for people that love the mild flavor
  • Sustainably grown for those that care about the environment
  • Smooth flavor with notes of citrus

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

BEST DARK ROAST
  • Insanely strong for people that want a caffeine overload
  • Certified organic for those with special health concerns
  • Smooth flavor with notes of chocolate and cherry

Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted

BEST FOR FRENCH PRESS
  • Fairtrade coffee for people with ethical concerns
  • Packaged immediately after roasting to maximize freshness
  • Sustainably sourced to avoid damage to the environment

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve

BEST FOR COLD BREW
  • Rich Columbian bean very strong in flavor
  • 3 layer bag designed to guarantee quality
  • Small batch roaster optimized to maximize quality

2LB Don Pablo Colombian Decaf

BEST DECAF
  • Decaffeinated naturally through the Swiss water process
  • Smooth blend with traces of caramel
  • Artisanally roasted in small batches for quality control

Where Do You Buy The Best Coffee Beans?

Everyone’s experience with where to buy the best coffee beans may ultimately wind up being a little bit different. For example, some may prefer an upscale supermarket, while others could go online to choose from a more global selection.

Still, others may favor a specialty shop that features gourmet roasts from around the world, or a fair trade store that prioritizes ethics over everything else. Because the coffee drinking experience is so subjective, it’s really not possible to identify one place as being the best for getting beans. However, with the reviews below, you are sure to find lots of great products that you may be interested in trying!

TOP 10 Best Coffee Beans In The World (Whole Bean)


1. Kicking Horse Coffee, Kick Ass — Best Coffee Beans

Aroma: Sweet, smoky and audacious
Tasting profile: Rich, dark chocolate, cacao nibs, brown sugar and roasted hazelnuts.
Recommended brew styles: French press, drip machine, pour over and cold brew

  • Brand: Kicking Horse Coffee
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin: Indonesia & South America
  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Diet Type: Kosher
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated

Though the taste is subjective, we decided that the Kicking Horse Coffee was our best overall pick, both because the quality of the dark roast bean is very high, and because the company makes important ethical considerations as they make their coffee. 

Every back is organic and fair trade, and it has been certified kosher for people with special dietary needs. And, as a 35-ounce bag, you can expect it to last throughout the week, even in a house full of coffee drinkers. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Because it’s ethically sourced, this will be great for people who tend to be very mindful of their buying decisions. And of course, if you love a good dark roast, you’ll be a great candidate for this bag of beans. 

What recent consumer reports:

We also polled a few recent consumers to see what they say. The reports have been overwhelmingly positive. Buyers appreciate the fresh flavor, as well as the powerful dark roast!


2. Starbucks Breakfast Blend Coffee Beans — Best Value

Aroma:
Tasting profile: Sweet orange and Brown sugar
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Starbucks
  • Bean Type: 100% Arabica
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Diet Type:
  • Caffeine Content:

It’s not typical that Starbucks and “cheap” are mentioned in the same sentence, but here it’s true. As far as gourmet beans go, this bag is quite affordable and still packs a major punch in the department of taste and flavor. 

This medium roast is crisp and vibrant in flavor and mild enough to avoid overwhelming the senses for people who aren’t fans of the dark roast in all of its intensity. Bottom line? While they may not be the best coffee beans to buy on our list, they are well rounded and delicious, much like everything else from Starbucks.

Who should go for this coffee:

If you like Starbucks (and most people reading this probably do), this is going to be a good option for you.

What recent consumer reports:

For the most part, consumers are extremely pleased with this bag of beans. The one complaint we have heard is that some people are struggling to replicate the exact restaurant taste from their homes. Unfortunately, without all of Starbucks’ high tech machines, this is sure to continue to be the case.


3. Eight O’Clock The Original Coffee Beans — Best Budget

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Eight O’Clock Coffee
  • Bean Type: 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Latin America & East Africa
  • Roast Level: Medium Roast
  • Diet Type: Kosher
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated

Those that really want to save money on their best whole coffee beans should look to Eight O’Clock Whole Bean Coffee. This affordable bag is certified kosher and features a moderate flavor that the company has been refining over many decades of operation. 

The whole bean bag is 24 ounces, supplying you with lots of bang for your buck, and will remain fresh for a relatively long period thanks to the high-quality environment controlled bag. 

Who should go for this coffee:

If you’re on a really tight budget, but you still value good beans, this is the place to spend your money. The coffee is still very affordable, but significantly better than the bulk cans you are likely to find at the supermarket. 

What recent consumer reports:

Most consumers are fond of this coffee. While some acknowledge that it’s not as good as some of the higher-end bags they’ve had, most agree that it provides tons of value while still tasting really great. 


4. Lavazza Super Crema Coffee Beans — Best for Espresso

Aroma:
Tasting profile: Roasted hazelnut and brown sugar
Recommended brew styles: Espresso Machine

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Bean Type: 60% Arabica; 40% Robusta
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level: Medium Espresso Roast
  • Diet Type:
  • Caffeine Content:

People who love espresso will appreciate the Lavazza Super Crema—a two-pound bag of beans roasted with the express purpose of making espresso. Like most espresso beans, the flavor is dark and rich. 

Of course, you can still use this bag to make regular coffee as well, but if you prefer to strive for authenticity with a bag that does the same, you’re best off doing as the manufacturers intended, and busting out those funny little cups. 

Who should go for this coffee:

If you love espresso, this is the coffee for you. Not only has the roast been performed in a manner consistent with the espresso tradition, but it is also an Italian export, providing an added layer of authenticity.

What recent consumer reports:

Most consumers, especially those with espresso makers, are quite pleased with this purchase. They value the flavor, as well as the dedication to authenticity. 

However, some have rightly mentioned that because of the size of the bag (two pounds is fairly large for gourmet coffee), it can be hard to use it all while everything is still fresh. 


5. Peet’s Coffee & TEA French Roast Blend — Best Organic

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Peet’s Coffee
  • Bean Type: 100% Arabica
  • Origin: Guatemala and Colombia
  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Diet Type:
  • Caffeine Content:

With Peet’s, you get an affordable, organic gourmet coffee that goes to great lengths to ensure quality. All of the beans are hand-roasted in small batches to guarantee that only the best of the best wind up going out to consumers. The roast date is then stamped onto the bags before getting shipped out so that you can be completely positive the product you are buying is fresh.

This particular roast is flavorful and delicious with tastes similar to that of a dark roast that is enhanced by notes of sweet caramel.

Who should go for this coffee:

If you value quality and want and are hoping for a little bit of transparency from the manufacturer, this will be a great option for you. Peet keeps things on the front street, so you never have to do any guessing. 

What recent consumer reports:

Peet’s is broadly praised for its flavor by the majority of consumers we interacted with. While a few acknowledged that some higher-end coffees available on the market, all agree that this is a compelling option for the money.


6. Real Good Breakfast Blend Coffee Beans — Best Light Roast

Aroma:
Tasting profile: Rich undertones of Raspberry & Dark chocolate, and an exotic hint of the Mediterranean spice anise.
Brew styles: Suitable for any coffee machine including Aeropress, pour over, drip machines, moka pots, and espresso makers.

  • Brand: Real Good Coffee Company
  • Bean Type: 100% Arabica
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level: Light Roast
  • Diet Type: Kosher
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated

Real Good Coffee is a delicious light roast that has been sustainably grown to help assuage environmental concerns that often circle around coffee consumption. The smooth flavor features pleasant notes of citrus. The beans have been packaged in an airtight package that should help preserve freshness over longer periods. 

As a moderately priced two-pound bag, it will also be a good option for people with budget concerns. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Obviously, if you love a great light roast, this bag will be for you. Those with concern for the environment should also pay attention: it’s fairly rare to find mainstream manufacturers that are dedicated to sustainability. 

What recent consumer reports:

As with all of the coffee we highlight here, most consumers are very pleased with this coffee. The taste and flavor are lauded by nearly everyone we spoke with. However, some have observed that the quality begins to diminish over time because it is a large quantity. 


7. Death Wish The World’s Strongest Coffee — Best Dark Roast

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Death Wish Coffee Co.
  • Bean Type: Arabica & Robusta
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Diet Type:
  • Caffeine Content: Highly Caffeinated

Death Wish is well known both for its descriptive name and the insane levels of caffeine that it packs into every bean. Known for being the strongest coffee globally, it’s perfect for people who want to start their day off with a kick.

Yet despite being the ultimate dark roast coffee, the flavor is never bitter, featuring sweet chocolate and cherry notes that take a lot of the bite out of this intimidating blend. 

It’s also totally organic and free trade making it a good ethical option. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Death Wish may not be for everyone, but if you like coffee with a kick, this is a definite must-try. 

What recent consumer reports:

People that like Death Wish really like it. Because the flavor and intensity are so unique, it has earned scores of fans all across the planet. 

However, for some, coffee is definitely too strong. Those that favor lighter roasts usually don’t have a good time with Death Wish. 


8. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted — Best for French Press

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Koffee Kult
  • Bean Type: 100% Arabica
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Specialty: Organic
  • Caffeine Content: Caffeinated

The unique, rich flavor of Koffee Kult makes this bag a perfect option for people who favor the French press as their brewing method of choice. However, the dark yet sweet flavor will also do well to complement almost any other type of brewing method as well.

The beans are all packaged immediately after roasting and have been sourced sustainably to avoid dame to the environment. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Obviously, it’s a great choice for anyone with a French press, but the ethical sourcing also makes it a very compelling choice for anyone that tries to be conscientious in their consumer decisions. 

What recent consumer reports:

Most consumers love Koffee Kult. This roast has been particularly well received by people that favor dark roasts. While some mention a slight bitter twang that they don’ love, the majority experience this bag as being rich and flavorful. 


9. Stone Street Colombian Supremo Coffee Beans — Best for Cold Brew

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand: Stone Street
  • Bean Type:
  • Origin: Colombia
  • Roast Level: Dark Roast
  • Specialty:
  • Caffeine Content:

The Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve is a strong, flavorful bean that is particularly good in a cold roast, where intensity is highly valued. Nevertheless, the Columbian roast will still do well for any brewing method in which a rich, aromatic flavor is valued. 

The beans are all roasted in small batches to guarantee the quality, and then subsequently sealed in a three-layer bag that helps to ensure long term freshness. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Like most Columbian roasts, this bean is very rich in flavor, and therefore best suited for those that like a little bit of kick to their coffee. And, of course, if you enjoy the cold brew method of coffee consumption, this is going to be a great option for you. 

What recent consumer reports:

Consumers have responded overwhelmingly positive to the Stone Street Coffee beans. In fact, most are very pleased with the level of freshness, as well as the rich and impressive flavor. 


10. Don Pablo Colombian Coffee with Swiss Water Process — Best Decaf

Aroma:
Tasting profile:
Recommended brew styles:

  • Brand:
  • Bean Type:
  • Origin:
  • Roast Level:
  • Specialty:
  • Caffeine Content:

Our final option will be perfect for buyers that favor a good decaf coffee. The beans have been stripped of their caffeine through an entirely natural Swiss water process, and feature a very smooth flavor that benefits from traces of caramel and cocoa.

The beans have been roasted in small batches for quality control and come with a money-back guarantee for anyone not pleased with their purchase. 

Who should go for this coffee:

Anyone that needs decaf is sure to appreciate these beans. The taste is great, the price is right, and the process is pure. 

What recent consumer reports:

Most consumers love these beans. While a few have reported an odd after taste, most understand that this is likely an inextricable consequence of the decaf process. The overwhelming majority of consumers are very fond of the coffee!


Time-proof Buying Guide — Beginner to Expert

How to Choose the Best Coffee Beans

Let’s start with coffee bean types

It’s shorthand to say that there are only two coffee bean varieties — Arabica and Robusta. This is actually not explicitly true. There are many dozens of coffee varieties, but the vast majority are regionally exclusive and not typically exported.

While aficionados may want to consider trying all of the types of coffee beans out there, the process will ultimately have to become something of a hobby horse, and may even involve a little bit of travel.

For the average buyer, it is much easier to limit coffee consumption between the two main categories of beans: arabica vs. robusta.

Arabica:

The world’s most popular type of bean. Know for quality and prized for taste and flavor. Arabica tends to be known for having sweeter notes. Many arabica drinkers have described the bean as having dessert notes—for example, honey, chocolate, caramel, and sugar.

Robusta:

More affordable, but also broadly associated with lower quality coffee. Robusta is usually described as having a bitter, even burnt flavor that many find undesirable. However, there are pros associated with the bean as well.

In addition to being very economical, the plant itself is hardy enough to grow almost anywhere, and the fruit can even yield pretty good coffee if you buy the right product and brew it well.

Despite perception, there are many people who actually quite enjoy their experiences with robusta coffee.

Combination of Arabica and robusta:

A blend of both styles. Naturally, the flavor of blends will be entirely contingent on the makeup of the mix.

For example, 

If the mix is mostly arabic, it will have a larger sweet flavor. 

If it trends in the direction of robusta, it will instead feature a darker, more bitter flavor.

You can certainly find good blends but be mindful of the makeup. Reading the label in advance will help you select something that will please the palate.

Single-Origin Vs. Blends:

Single-origin beans stem from just one source, while blends may feature elements of a wide range of products. Single-origin is preferred by aficionados precisely because you know exactly what you are getting.

For example, a single-origin coffee might include the exact time and location of its roast and harvest.

Aficionados value this information because they are on a constant quest to find the freshest bean possible.

Naturally, this info is virtually impossible to assign to a blend. You don’t really know what you are getting here, and the manufacturer might not disclose simply due to the random nature of blending coffee.

Bottom line? You can get great blend coffee, but there is an element of chance involved. For people that are hoping for a sure thing, it is easiest to by single origin.

Pre-Ground Vs. Whole Bean:

Pre-ground features the beans already chopped up while whole beans are left in their post-roast state. Whole beans are broadly favored for their freshness. 

Remember that when it comes to coffee, the flavor usually starts to diminish the moment it is roasted.

You can definitely offset this effect somewhat by buying for quality and storing the beans properly, but ultimately there is no way to stop the ravages of time.

Flavor depreciates even quicker once the bean has been blended. It is for this reason that most aficionados are pretty strict about only drinking whole bean coffee.

Types of Roast

Light roast:

Light and gentle, but also surprisingly more caffeinated. Why? It turns out that caffeine actually burns off in the roasting process.

Consequently, the lighter the roast, the more potent the cup of coffee you will ultimately get. For many, this comes as a surprise, and they tend to get over-caffeinated as a result. You can, however, avoid this with a little bit of advanced knowledge.

Medium roast:

Middle of the road coffee. Not too strong, not too weak. Medium roast tends to have a very broad appeal because everything about the bean is moderate.

You don’t really run the risk of extreme caffeination, and it is also a little bit easier to notice some of the subtler flavors that are natural to the bean with this roast.

Dark roast:

Rich and flavorful, but also usually the least caffeinated option that you are likely to come across. Dark roast beans are usually quite intense when it comes to flavor. In fact, it is for this reason that espresso is almost exclusively made using dark roast beans.

You have to really be a fan of bold flavor to reach for a dark roast bean, but there are many who swear by them all the same. Just note that you might not pick up on some of the more subtle flavors present in your coffee by exploring this avenue.

Roast Date:

The date that the beans were roasted and bagged. This tells you how fresh your coffee is. Cheaper coffee does not usually feature this information on the packaging. It is only when you get to your higher-end beans that you will find this info.

In general, those who care about the roast date will want to find something as recent as possible. You can further enhance the freshness of your coffee by purchasing small quantities frequently (rather than bulk buys).

Decaffeinated or caffeinated:

Decaf has undergone a water filtration process to eliminate caffeine, while ordinary coffee has not. Decaf is good for health purposes (especially at the doctor’s recommendation) but is often associated with diminished flavor and sometimes an unpleasant after taste.

You can certainly offset this by purchasing high-quality coffee. Nevertheless, you should approach decaf with the expectation that it will differ somewhat from what you are used to.

Acidity and Bitterness:

The more acidity a bean features, the more bitter it tends to be. Kona coffee features the lowest levels of acidity.

Fair Trade:

Fairtrade coffee has been ethically sourced by workers who are getting paid a livable wage. From an ethical standpoint, it is great because it avoids many of the inhumane conditions that are often associated with the coffee industry.

However, fair-trade beans are also often substantially more expensive than the alternative. If you can buy these beans, it’s a great thing to do, but do be aware of the increased cost.

USDA Organic:

Organic coffee has been grown and harvested without the use of pesticides or preservatives. It’s great from both a health and an environmental standpoint (as pesticides and other chemicals used to treat food products are often associated with pollution).

However, you should note that organic beans are usually more expensive for the fact that less of the crop makes it to harvest.

Kosher:

Those with special dietary requirements will also want to be sure that the coffee they are drinking is certified kosher.

Fortunately, most naturally roasted coffees will fall into this category. However, decaf typically does not.

Fortunately, the information is almost always available on the label, so be sure to look carefully!

Container/Packaging Standard:

The container makes all the difference in how fresh your beans will be when they get to you. Ideally, you want beans in a bag that has been well sealed against moisture infiltration, as well as exposure to light and air that can decrease the overall freshness of the beans.

You can further enhance the freshness of your coffee by storing it in a cool place that has no exposure to sunlight.

Few More Deep Considerations to Choose Right Coffee Beans:

What type of coffee maker or brewer are you intend to use?

While it is true that beans will ultimately make or break the drinking experience, it is also accurate to say that they get a big assist from your coffee brewing method. While a decent coffee maker can’t turn budget beans into a gourmet treasure, it can elevate any drinking experience and bring a higher-end option to unique heights. 

There are several different options to consider, which we will break down briefly below. 

Drip Coffee Maker

The drip coffee maker is what the majority of Americans have in their homes. You can get them at pretty much any store, and they will range radically in price, from $10 for a very simple, small option, to several hundred for something that includes all the bells and whistles.

Ultimately, all drip makers do pretty much the same thing, so there is no real need to go crazy, but all the same, the best drip coffee is only possible when you get something that is at least dependable.

French Press

The French Press is a little bit more complicated and labor-intensive but is well known for its very strong brews. This method involves heating the water yourself (usually on the stove, but the microwave is also fine) and then literally pressing it into the coffee grounds in a small glass pitcher.

The best coffee beans for the French press may vary. For example, some may wish to further accentuate the strength of the brew by going with a dark roast, while others will favor lighter beans to counteract the intensity. Ultimately, there is no going wrong. If you like coffee, it means you are doing something right.

Cold Brew

Cold brew coffee is a little more uncommon but still good for people who favor an icier beverage in the morning. It’s steeped in ice water overnight, which naturally means that it takes the longest to make.

However, it is also well worth the effort, especially if you are trying to avoid hot drinks during the warmer months of the year.

The best coffee for cold brew can pretty much be anything you want it to be! Cold-brew is also great for mixing in sweet creams to make a coffee house like a concoction from the comfort of your own home, so feel free to get creative.

Espresso Machine

You may not have an espresso machine for the simple fact that it’s not as common a brewing method in the US as it is in Europe. However, those that have one know that it is a unique, potent way to make delicious coffee.

Using steam, pressure, and heat, espresso machines make incredibly strong coffee that has to be consumed in small, one ounce at a time quantities.

The best espresso beans tend to be very dark, as that’s kind of the flavor people are looking for when they think espresso. However, as with anything else coffee-related, it is a subjective matter, and you can absolutely feel free to use your favorite beans on any espresso machine that you are lucky enough to come across.

The more interesting news? Pretty much every delicious coffee drink you can think of at your local café is probably using an abundance of espresso. We are talking macchiatos, cappuccinos, and literally dozens of other gourmet concoctions that you will be able to make at home with the help of an espresso machine (and occasionally one or two other pieces of hardware).

If you are hoping to enter into the realm of gourmet coffee consumption at the home level, acquiring an espresso machine is definitely going to be a critical first step.

Pour Over

Pour-over coffee is more a method than it is an actual device. For example, the French press sort of uses the pour-over method, as does many cold brew systems. What we mean here is any coffee that slowly seeps into a container after the water has been poured over it.

It’s definitely a slower way to make coffee but has its rewards in terms of rich flavors and exciting tastes. Pour-over coffee tends to be very strong simply because of the brewing method, which again means that dark roast may be preferred by some, while a lighter roast will be the go-to of others.

As always, you decide what kind of coffee you prefer, and there is really no going wrong.

Aeropress

The Aeropress is a newer method of brewing coffee, which, unlike the others that we have highlighted to this point, is a product of the twenty-first century. The device, made in 2005, works by seeping coffee for just ten seconds before it is forced through the filter using a highly pressurized pushing device.

It’s great for people on the go. As always, those that want to best coffee for Aeropress will simply need to reach for their favorite back of beans.

K-Cup Coffee Makers

We all know the k-cup coffee maker. It’s quickly become a fixture of dorms and office spaces all around the world. The k-cup is most prized for its speed and efficiency. Those that want a personal-sized cup of coffee in under a minute are sure to find much to appreciate from this product.

While there have been some environmental concerns noted about the device (most notably all of the plastic trash that it produces), it is still an accessible way of enjoying great coffee very quickly.

The best part? There are literally hundreds of different options to choose from. The best-tasting k cup flavors are as subjective as anything else in the world of coffee, but those with an adventurous streak are sure to appreciate the fact that you can pretty much get coffee from anywhere, including major franchises that you love.

Without a doubt, this is probably one of the quickest and most convenient ways of brewing coffee. However, people that take an obsessive nature towards their craft are likely to forgo this brewing method for something a little bit more hands-on.

What flavors are you desiring?

The good news for coffee lovers that like to really explore with their flavors is that there is a pretty much unlimited variety of different options to try. Ok, not unlimited, but the chances of you trying all of them are pretty much slim to none (especially because some are regionally exclusive and rarely, if ever exported).

If you type “how many types of coffee are there” into Google, you’re likely to find a wide range of different answers. One article may say thirty, another forty, and so on. The truth isn’t quite so simple; there are two different main types of beans (more on that later), which then offshoot into thousands of different subspecies, each with their unique flavor profile.

You will never try all of those thousands of different subspecies. However, you can treat your pallet to a wide range of different flavors that are presently available.

Below, we will highlight just a few of the many options. However, understand that if there is something you can think of that is not mentioned on this list, it is only because listing all of the possibilities would be next to impossible.

Caramel

Caramel is popular for the fact that…well. It’s caramel. Who doesn’t like sugar that has been melted over butter and sweet cream, right? Though caramel-flavored beans don’t actually contain any caramel in them, they tend to be a rewarding way to enjoy coffee that provides the sensation of splurging on a sweet without any of the guilt.

Pumpkin Spice

Pumpkin spice anything becomes outrageously popular starting in September and usually lasting until at least Thanksgiving. Why not get into the Autumn spirit by treating yourself to some pumpkin spice flavored coffee beans?

It’s a great way to indulge without going for any of the sweeter, richer drinks that are common this type of year. For example, if you typically like to opt for a pumpkin spiced latte, you may consider these beans to be a lighter alternative.

Sumatra

Almost syrupy in flavor, Sumatra flavored beans are a global favorite that you are likely to find available in most coffee shops. Though this roast tends to be a little lighter in nature, there is something in its unique flavor profile for everyone, so be sure to give it a try.

Highlander Grog

Highlander Grog is similar to Sumatra in that it typically tastes quite sweet, and even buttery-like pancakes. It’s an uncommonly tasty way to indulge without indulging, so be sure to give it a try the next time you come across it.

Cocoa

Chocolate is such a common flavor element in coffee beans that it would almost be a disservice to point to one type of cocoa-flavored beans snd say “try that one.” Indeed, most manufacturers are sure to have one, or maybe even several different types of chocolate-flavored coffees available to select from on their menu, so be sure to look around and see what sounds good.

And of course, there is no harm at all in trying a few different flavors if you can’t quite make up your mind!

What situation are you in now?

Try not to scream as I say this again for the millionth time: every element of the coffee drinking is subjective. The situation that you are currently in may completely impact or change what you look for in a coffee bean. Below we examine several variables that can completely shape your experience.

No Coffee Grinder?

This is a big variable in that it kind of eliminates the possibility of what coffee lovers value the most: absolute freshness. The moment coffee beans are ground, they begin to grow a little stale. It’s not necessarily that they will become ruined, but it is true that there is a discernable difference between freshly ground beans and their older alternatives.

If you don’t have a grinder, the world of freshly ground beans is more or less off limits to you. The best solution to this problem would be to buy a grinder—typically, they aren’t terribly expensive, and they do make a significant difference. 

However, if this is not an option for you, there are other ways to get around the problem of grinder less coffee brewing. One way is to buy beans that were ground immediately before your acquisition of them.

Many gourmet shops are more than happy to do this for you, and when you buy small enough quantities that you intend to make right away, it is pretty much the same thing as grinding it yourself. 

Conversely, you may be able to take whole beans to these stores every once and a while to have them grind them for you there. Of course, if you show up to your favorite coffee shop every morning with a small bag of beans to be ground, someone is probably going to get a little bit irritated eventually. 

The easier alternative is to look into manufacturers that grind their beans immediately before packaging. Of course, you still have to deal with all of the time that said beans spent in transit or even sitting on the shelf at the store, but they are at least likely to be a little fresher than the alternative. 

Again though, you are definitely best off just buying a grinder yourself whenever possible.

Acidity Problem?

Coffee is very acidic and not always accessible to people with digestive problems. One way to get around this is to drink your coffee with a lot of milk. However, even then, you may be suffering more acid exposure than is wise for your circumstances. 

Of course, if acid is a really significant problem for you, you should probably discuss the matter with your doctor before doing anything else. However, assuming she gives you the go-ahead, there are certain low acidity coffees that you can try. 

Of them, Kona coffee is the very best. Made exclusively in Hawaii, these beans are known for their extremely low level of acidity. Unfortunately, Kona tends to be very pricey, but for those in need of special accommodations, it is well worth the cost. 

Need Extra Caffeine?

Some coffees (like Death Wish) are known for jacking their caffeine levels through the stratosphere. This will be a good option for people that would like to get wired for the entire day off just one cup of coffee. 

However, there are definitely health considerations to keep in mind, as well. Overloading yourself on caffeine is never a great idea, so clear it with your doctor first, or be sure to drink overpowered coffee only in moderation. 

Need Less Caffeine?

 Most of us probably fall into this category. Because caffeine can be bad for you when it is over ingested, the occasional cup of decaf won’t do anyone any harm. Fortunately, decaffeinated coffee is just as good as the alternative, and it may even be a little bit healthier, so keep your eyes peeled for the occasional bag of decaffeinated beans. 

Something Fast?

Instant coffee isn’t known for being the best, but if circumstance mandates it, you can at least be sure to treat yourself to a dependable brand. 

Best Coffee Beans Advanced Precautions

There are a few red flags to look out for in the world of coffee: things that suggest the bag you have your hands on in the store may not actually be right for you after all. In this section, we look at a few things that may serve to make certain bags of beans…problematic.

Of course, none of these factors are necessarily deal-breakers, but they may be something that gets you thinking twice.

100% Pure Coffee

100% pure coffee is an…odd thing to mention. Most of the time, we pretty much assume that coffee is 100% coffee. When the manufacturer feels the need to mention this, it may mean that they are hiding something.

More probably, though, it just means that they have very little to brag about with the beans you are considering. Basically, what they are telling you is “the best thing about this coffee is that…. it’s coffee.” Not a great sales pitch.

Use By Date

The use-by date is a real misnomer. It tells you when the beans will go bad, and that’s fine, but it leaves out all of the most important information. What you really want is to know when the beans were roasted. That will tell you everything you need to know about how fresh they are and whether or not they are worthy of your time.

The Dreaded Can

Cans of beans are fine for the bulk buyer, but for the rest of us, they suffer some built-in problems. For one thing, they are generally poorly insulated. For another, they tend to suggest that you’re buying an inferior product.

Best case scenario, you will instead be able to go for some temperature-controlled, tightly sealed bags that completely keep out light, moisture, and heat. Some bags are even specially engineered with the exclusive purpose of keeping coffee fresh, so bear that in mind.

Scoop or Self-Serve Coffee Beans

Have you seen the self serve coffee beans in stores? There is an element of fun to this process, to be sure. It always smells great, to say the very least, and it gives you the chance to really interact with eh beans you are buying, creating a “hand-selected feel” that can be somewhat enjoyable. 

 Unfortunately, though, there is a built-in problem. To maximize freshness, coffee beans should be stored in a temperature-controlled environment with minimal exposure to sunlight.

Any situation in which this isn’t the case compromises the overall consumption experience. You don’t want that. The self serve beans may be fine for the layperson, but those of us looking for gourmet beans should probably avoid it. 

Huge Bulk Quantities

There are lots of reasons to buy in bulk. If you are on a tight budget or you just have lots of coffee drinkers in the house, this is probably the route you will go, and that makes sense. 

However, if you really want to maximize the taste of your coffee, you are probably going to want to opt for buying very small quantities of whole beans. 

Why? Like cars, beans depreciate in value the moment you take them home. Consequently, it is always best to get no more than 1-2 days worth of beans. 

GO DEEPER – Become Topic Scholarly

Country of Origin

Origin does have a big impact on the quality of the bean because coffee is extremely subject to soil and weather conditions. For example, Hawaii is known for producing low acidity coffee, while Columbia tends to make nice moderate roasts.

Kenya coffee tends to taste sweeter, while Indonesian coffee may include one of your favorite flavors (like Sumatra). Researching the country of origin before you select a bean can go a long way towards ensuring that you get something you really like.

Is a coffee bean a nut or a bean?

Ha! We tricked you. Coffee is made from neither beans nor nuts. In fact, what we call the coffee bean is actually the seed of the coffee plant. But would a rose by any other name smell less sweet?

How Much Coffee a Single Coffee Bean Makes?

The average cup of coffee requires at least seventy beans. So that means that one bean accounts for 1/70th of your average cup of coffee. Not very much, in other words.

How Long Do Coffee Beans Last?

This is kind of hard to answer because it depends on what you mean. Technically, coffee can last for up to twenty years if you store it the right way. However, the gourmets of the world are not likely to be thrilled with this answer. 

If you are trying to enjoy coffee at the peak of its taste and flavor, you’ll probably want to consume it within several days of the time that it was roasted.

Tips & Tricks

Now you know pretty much everything having to do with coffee, but there are still a few little hacks that can make your coffee drinking experience a little bit better. Read on!

How Much Coffee Should You Buy?

It depends on how much you drink! Boy, that’s an annoyingly snarky answer, isn’t it? But it’s also the truth. Every day you own a bag of beans, it deteriorates in quality, so the conventional wisdom is to never keep beans for more than a week if your objective is to maximize the taste. 

Should you freeze coffee beans?

No. No, you should not. This is a common misconception that comes from a mostly good place. The truth of the matter is that coffee beans do best in dry, cool but not too cool conditions. The very best place to store coffee is actually probably a cabinet. This is especially true of people who keep their beans in an airtight container.

With this combination of tactics, your beans will be about as fresh as you can hope or expect to make them.

What’s the Best Way to Store Coffee Beans (SV: 1200)

Wrap Up

So there you have it! Not only have you seen some of the best beans on the market, but you’ve also learned a shocking amount of information about what exactly makes them so special. As you can see, buying and using the right coffee beans takes more time and attention than many people understand.

And while this level of effort may not be right for everyone, it does pay off significantly for those of us who value freshness and flavor above all else. 

FAQs

How many coffee beans in a pound?

There are roughly 4000 beans in a pound of coffee. So, a lot. Ultimately, there is no compelling reason to count them. You can dose your coffee effectively enough using your standard measuring cup.

How many coffee beans do you need to make one cup of coffee?

This will, of course, depend on the strength of the cup of coffee. However, on average, you can expect to need about 70 beans per cup.

What is the best whole bean coffee?

This is ultimately a very subjective question. Take a peek at our list and decide for yourself!

What are the best coffee beans in the world?

Again, a very subjective question. All nine of the products featured on our list today are going to be the best whole bean coffee in the world for someone. It is only through trial and error that you will be able to determine what the best coffee in the world is for you!

What is the most expensive coffee in the world?

Coupe Luac may be the most expensive coffee in the world for the time being. However, this may change regularly.