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The 10 Best Coffee Beans In the World (whole bean coffee)

There are thousands of choices when it comes to choosing good coffee beans. But if you make the wrong choice your coffee is doomed and your money wasted!

In this guide I’ll show you the 3 simple questions that you should ask yourself when choosing coffee beans. It will make choosing the perfect coffee beans easy, and your coffee will taste so much better. I’ll also reveal the common ‘choosing beans’ mistake that most coffee lovers make when ordering online. I made this mistake for years.

Finally, I’ve put together a list of some of best coffee beans as rated by coffee experts and connoisseurs. Read on with us as we travel the globe and answer the question: what are the best coffee beans for you?

At A Glance:

  1. Best ‘World Coffee Tour’ Atlas Coffee ‘World Coffee Tour’ [$10 OFF]
  2. Best Organic Beans: Lifeboost Coffee Organic Beans [50% OFF]
  3. Best For French Press: Kona Private Reserve

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Where Do You Buy The Best Coffee Beans?

The best coffee comes from people who care about coffee. And stop for a moment and ask yourself: who cares about coffee MORE than you do?

The FIRST answer is local roasters. When you buy coffee directly from a (good) local roaster; you’re buying a high-quality, fresh roasted product from someone who cares. Your first step in buying great coffee is to start exploring any roasters nearby and trying their coffee.

Using a ‘coffee of the month’ club is a great way to sample some of the nations best local roasters, without having to do hours of research. These are our favorite coffee subscriptions right now, but if you’re wanting to sample some of the best North American Roasters (without leaving your kitchen) we’d recommend checking out Bean Box.

Don’t have access to a great local roaster? Or can’t be bothered spending a weekend finding one? The next best thing is ordering from an online roaster. What’s important is that you choose a company who clearly says that they only roast coffee AFTER it’s ordered. You don’t want them roasting coffee months in advance of shipping it. This is why we love Volcanica coffee:

[We are] committed to the highest quality and we fresh roast and ship the next business day after you place your order

And here comes the biggest mistake when choosing coffee online. There are a few places that you should definitely not buy coffee from. Avoid the temptation to buy from:

  • The Grocery store (often sell low-quality beans with a long shelf life…the exception here is Whole Foods and other artisan stores)
  • Amazon – Yes, thats right. It’s a question of freshness. It is often roasted ahead of time so it could be packaged, shipped and stocked in the warehouse. Just do your research.

Even if the Amazon listing says “Fresh Roasted,” it might be 6 months old, as that is fresh in comparison with many of the other store-bought beans. Yikes!

TLDR: Avoid coffee beans from most grocery stores, and in most cases, avoid buying beans from large mass Ecommerce stores (like Amazon)

Ok, now that we the “do not buy” list out of the way, lets jump into a few simple questions you can ask yourself to make choosing easier.

How to Choose Good Whole Bean Coffee (a fool proof method)

the best coffee beans being held in the palm of my hand
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Can you tell the quality of these beans simply by eyeballing them?

Ok so you know where to buy great coffee; now its time to learn how to choose between the options. Earlier, I mentioned that there were thousand of options online when trying to choose the best coffee beans.

By asking yourself one of these three simple questions (and answering them), it will become obvious as to which beans you should choose, and your decision will be much easier.

What type of coffee maker/brewer are you using?

This is a simple, yet overlooked fact about choosing coffee beans. Which coffee brewing method are you going to use? This will greatly influence which beans you can choose.

You should get familiar with your coffee brewing style of choice, and learn which beans are the best match. Here are some places to start:

  • Brewing with a french press? Look for something medium to dark roast for a full bodied brew. We have a list of the best coffee beans for french press here.
  • Whipping up some cold brew coffee? light roasted, higher-acidity beans single origin beans are gold class here. Here’s a great article about the best coffee for cold brew.
  • If you’re brewing with an espresso machine, you need to be extra careful in the beans you choose. Some, like Italian coffee, will taste great, others will taste terrible! Here are the best espresso beans.
  • Pour over coffee lover? Since you won’t be adding milk, look for a nice, exotic single origin bean with flavor notes that excite you. This list of the best pour over coffee beans is a great place to start.
  • Are you an Aeropress fan? Here’s our list of the best coffee for Aeropress.
  • Love the convenience of K-cup coffee makers? Here’s where we listed the best tasting K cup flavors.

What flavors are you seeking?

The second question you should ask is an obvious one: what do you want? Some coffee lovers seek wine-like floral-y filter coffee flavor profiles, while others want a full-bodied, earthy and strong ‘coffee that tastes like coffee’ with which they can add milk to.

Certain flavor preferences call for certain types of coffee beans. Here are some pointers to get you started:

  • If you crave the ‘wine like’, fruity, floral-y exotic flavors typically associated with pour over coffee, light roast single origin coffee beans are great choices (and don’t add milk!)
  • If you want something full-bodied that taste very ‘coffee like’ go for a dark roast coffee. Here’s a list of the best dark roast coffee beans (adding milk is fine)
  • Craving some crazy flavor? If you’re the type to drink coffee from Starbucks, you’ll probably enjoyed some of these flavored coffee options.

If you wanna know why does coffee taste sour, watch our fun video:

Your unique circumstance may affect your choice

The 3rd and final question is for you if you certain coffee drinking habits or desires. You probably already know exactly what you want, but here are a few links to help prompt some ideas:

  • No coffee grinder? No worries. Most roasters will actually grind for you, so go back and choose based on one of the above questions. If you’re really impatient however, we researched and put together a list of the best ground coffee brands. But we’d strongly recommend getting a grinder and buying whole bean coffee.
  • Sensitive to caffeine? We put together a list of the best decaf coffee here (low on caffeine yet high on flavor)
  • Need extra caffeine? There are a super high caffeinated coffee beans worth considering, but tread with caution. Here are the worlds strongest coffee brands.
  • Looking for coffee that is easy on your stomach?, we’d recommend checking out this guide: the best low acid coffee brands.
  • Looking for something fast? If you’re always on the move, and just need a quick coffee, you’ve probably turned to instant coffee. While we don’t recommend it, there are a few brands we are keeping our eyes on. Here’s the best instant coffee to consider.
  • Interest in biohacking? here’s a list of interesting Nootropic coffee’s (smart coffee) that we’re keeping a close eye on.
  • Do you want that caffeine-fix but want also want to relax? Here’s some CBD coffees that work.

the Best Coffee Beans in the World

Enough with the education. You’re ready for the list. Here are 10 beans that you should get on your coffee bean bucket list before you die (whole bean coffee)

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
kona coffee bag
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Hawaiian Kona
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Hawaii, USA
  • Tasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nuts
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Medium roast coffee bag lifeboost brand
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LifeBoost Coffee Medium Roast [Organic]
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Tasting notes: Rich, full bodied, earthy
CLICK FOR 50% OFF
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Blue Mountain Coffee
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Jamaica
  • Tasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nuts
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Kenya AA coffee bean label
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Kenyan AA Coffee Beans
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Kenya
  • Tasting notes: Sweet fruit notes, a wine-y acidity, and a syrupy body
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Volcanica coffee bag
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Tanzanian Peaberry
  • Beans: Arabica Peaberry
  • Origin: Tanzania
  • Tasting notes: A brighter acidity, medium body and notes of brown sugar and subtle fruitiness
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White Mansion poster of sumatra coffee
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Sumatra Mandheling Beans
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Tasting notes: lower acidity with a sweet, smooth body
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Toraja Sulawesi coffee poster
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Indonesian Sulawesi Toraja Coffee Beans
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Tasting notes: Very sweet and complex, with a low acidity, full body, and some earthy and herbal notes
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Geisha coffee beans from costa rica
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Central American Geisha Coffee Beans
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Costa Rica
  • Tasting notes: Natural tea-like body, sparkling flavors like citrus, mango, peach, and jasmine
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ethiopian coffee in the mountains
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Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Beans
  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Tasting notes: light body, with complex fruit and floral notes
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1. Koa Coffee – Hawaiian Kona Coffee Beans (Hawaii)

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Kona Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Hawaii, USA
  • Type: Single origin, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nuts
  • Aroma: Mild, smooth with vibrant acidity
  • Recommended brew styles: Drip and French Press

Kona is the largest Hawaiian island and is the best for growing high-quality coffee. The best coffee in America in fact, voted by Forbes (4). With an excellent micro-climate, the perfect blend of rain and sun, and fertile, volcanic soil, the slopes on the big island just happen to be perfect for growing coffee.

Kona Coffee Beans From Hawaii
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Kona is just a growing region in Hawaii; there are other beans available from the Hawaiian chain of island. Here is a detailed overview of Hawaiian coffee, but if you’d like to try some Kona here are the best Kona Coffee Brands.

To get your hands on high-quality Kona coffee, you will have to pay a premium. Not only is coffee from here limited in production and highly sought after, but it’s also grown in the United States where farmers are paid much more than the average farmer in a traditional coffee-growing country.

A high-quality Kona coffee is worth the money as long as you buy the real thing. Avoid Kona blends only 10% of the blend could be true Kona. Always buy Extra Fancy (the grade) as that is the highest quality. With a medium body, low acidity, and rich, smooth taste, this coffee will be an excellent addition to your auto-drip or pour over routine. Koa coffee offers medium roast or dark roast depending on how you’re brewing.

2. Organic Medium Roast Coffee by LifeBoost Coffee

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Lifeboost Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Nicaragua
  • Type: Single origin, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: Rich, full bodied, earthy.
  • Aroma: hints of caramel and woody notes.
  • Recommended brew styles: French press, pour over, espresso.

If you’re looking for a great all-round tasting coffee but are concerned with some of the health implications associated with Coffee, Lifeboost coffee is a brand worth considering.

The mission and vision behind the company revolves around providing healthy, organic coffee that benefits the farmers, the drinkers and the environment. and it tastes great too! We recently reviewed a few bags ourselves:

They offer a whole range of coffees, but this organic medium roast is where you should stard. It has an impressive number of certifications claims (USDA certified organic, mountain shade grown, spring water washed and 3rd party tested for Mycotoxins) and taste great when brewed with most brew styles.

3. Blue Mountain Coffee from Jamaica

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Jamaica
  • Type: Single origin, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: Sweet herbs and floral, with overtones of nuts
  • Aroma: Mild, smooth with vibrant acidity
  • Recommended brew styles: Drip, French Press (black)

Jamaica produces a relatively small amount of coffee each year, and not all of it comes from the Blue Mountain. But the coffee that does grow here is grown at a very high elevation.

It’s extremely limited in production and about 80% of each year’s crop goes to Japan. Plus, these beans are extremely labor-intensive to produce, needing to be handpicked from the mountain slopes. The high elevation, cool temperatures, and volcanic soil helps result in a harvest that takes nearly 10 months, which is much longer than that of other coffee growing regions.

The resulting cup of coffee will be well balanced with a full-body, medium acidity with a mildly sweet taste. Some say blue mountain coffee is the smoothest brew they’ve ever enjoyed.

Blue Mountain Coffee Beans From Jamaica
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So getting these quality beans in the States will cost you a pretty penny. Is it worth it? Anyone that has tasted Blue Mountain Coffee will say: F-yes. But like Kona, Blue Mountain is one of those coffees that needs to be purchased wisely. We put together a guide on choosing blue mountain coffee here.

Many brands will mislead you into buying their coffee, claiming the Jamaican Blue Mountain name. Avoid blends and any Jamaican coffee priced less than $20/lb. To call a coffee Jamaican Blue Mountain Blend, only a very small amount of the coffee actually needs to be Blue Mountain.

The profile of this coffee will make for an excellent drip coffee, whether pour-over or automatic. Drink it black and enjoy one of the most sought after coffees in the world.

4. Volcanica Coffee Kenyan AA Coffee Beans

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Kenya
  • Type: Single origin, light roast
  • Tasting notes: Sweet fruit notes, a wine-y acidity, and a syrupy body
  • Aroma: Fresh and floral
  • Recommended brew styles: Pour over, drip machine

Kenya coffee beans are among the finest in the world. The effort that farmers go through cleaning and processing these beans is unmatched.

Perhaps one of the greatest contributors to the quality of Kenyan coffee is the fact that the farmers are rewarded for better coffee. The government runs an auction in which all the coffee in Kenya is sold. Higher quality coffees sell for a higher price, giving farmers an incentive to improve their crop (5).

‘AA’ is the largest-sized bean, followed by ‘AB’. In Kenya, the bigger the better. Always look for ‘AA’. These coffees are characterized by sweet fruit notes, a winey acidity, and a syrupy body. Due to the processing, these coffees are among the cleanest-tasting in the world.

Kenyan AA Coffee Beans on a map
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As you’ll see in our guide to Kenyan coffee, they make for excellent drip coffee, pour-over or automatic. The medium-full body and bright fruit notes are sure to leave you smiling with each cup.

5. Peaberry Beans From Tanzania

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica Peaberry
  • Origin: Tanzania
  • Type: Single origin, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: A brighter acidity, medium body and notes of brown sugar and subtle fruitiness
  • Aroma: Complex and sweety floral with layered notes of citrus, pineapple or coconut
  • Recommended brew style: Drip and Pour Over

A Peaberry coffee is a single, round coffee bean inside the coffee cherry. A normal coffee cherry holds 2 beans, side by side, each with a flat side. The peaberry is alone inside the cherry and shaped differently.

Because of the round shape and the fact that these beans are denser than most coffee beans, they roast more uniformly (6). Only about 5% of all best coffee beans in a given crop are considered peaberry. In order to get a lot of strictly peaberry beans, rigorous hand sorting is required to separate them from their half-bean counterparts. This added labor increases cost.

Tanzanian Coffee Beans
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Peaberry is available from many regions but Peaberry beans from Tanzania are popular as they tend to have a brighter acidity, medium body, and notes of brown sugar and subtle fruitiness. Delicious coffee for a manual pour over or an automatic dripper.

6. Sumatra Mandheling Beans from Indonesia

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Sumatra, Indonesia
  • Type: Single origin, dark roast
  • Tasting notes: lower acidity with a sweet, smooth body
  • Aroma: earthy, mossy, funky
  • Recommended brew style: Manual brew styles (eg moka pot) and espresso brewing

This coffee is named after the Mandheling people who once farmed the coffee in northern Sumatra. Coffees from this area tend to have lower acidity with a sweet, smooth body. The coffee can vary in taste from cocoa and tobacco to earthy and herbaceous. Many people choose to dark roast Sumatra coffees to enhance sweetness and its almost spicy flavor. If you like these flavors, visit our guide to dark roast coffee beans here.

Dark Roast Sumatra Mandheling Beans From Indonesia
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Coffees from Sumatra as a whole are typically processed with a hybrid method, akin to wet-hulling. This processing method is perhaps the largest factor in the outcome of the coffee. These beans are great for your Moka pot.

Sumatra Mandheling beans are one of the great controversies in coffee. Coffee drinkers tend to love it or hate it. What about you?

Due to its full body and low acidity this coffee does very well in a french press or pressure style brewing method.

7. Indonesian Sulawesi Toraja Coffee Beans

What To Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Sulawesi, Indonesia
  • Type: Single origin, miedum roast
  • Tasting notes: Very sweet and complex, with a low acidity, full body, and some earthy and herbal notes
  • Aroma: Spicy, earthy, musty timber-like
  • Recommended brew style: French Press and Espresso

Sulawesi, formerly known as Celebes, is an Indonesian island to the east of Borneo. “Toraja” is the name of the group of people who grow and harvest the coffee in the northern highlands of the island.

Coffee is a family business on this island. Families grow coffee on their property as a means of adding some income to their household but is often not a priority. Therefore, the coffee infrastructure isn’t very strong. This may be the reason these beans aren’t very common.

Coffee beans are partially processed by the family before being sold to a middleman at the local markets. These middlemen then go to the larger processing mills where the beans are completely dried and the work is finished.

Sulawesi Toraja Coffee Beans From Indonesia on a map
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The best coffees from Sulawesi will be very sweet and complex, with low acidity, full-body, and some earthy and herbal notes to it. This coffee will make for a great medium-dark roast, highlighting the sweetness and full body present in the coffee (7).

Perfect for those who hate the bitterness…because the bitter aftertaste of coffee seems to magically disappear after the first sip, leaving a pleasant sensation on your tongue

Brew up a french press or pull a shot with this solid, unique coffee.

8. Central American Geisha Coffee Beans

What to Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Costa Rica
  • Type: Single origin, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: Natural tea-like body, sparkling flavors like citrus, mango, peach, and jasmine
  • Aroma: Floral and lemony tones
  • Recommended brew style: Pour Over and Filter

Geisha coffee beans are among the most unique in the world.

Though they can, in theory, grow anywhere, they have a special reputation when grown in Panama and Costa Rica. The most famous farm is Hacienda La Esmeralda. The Geisha bean was originally discovered in Ethiopia, near the town of Geisha. It wasn’t until the 1960’s that this bean varietal made it to Panama.

What makes the Geisha bean unique? It has a natural tea-like body with a ton of clear, bright, sparkling flavors such as citrus, mango, peach, and jasmine. You may also pick up on some bergamot or vanilla notes.

Central American Geisha Coffee Beans
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This is a tough coffee to find for a few reasons. Few cafes serve it because it is an extremely expensive coffee and it is served best as a filter coffee. Cafes serve mainly milk-based beverages, so it doesn’t make sense for many to serve a coffee that can only be taken black. You’ve likely never had a coffee like this before. It is truly unique. If you enjoy lighter, brighter coffees, this is one you need to try.

Mellow flavor lies within the Monsooned Malabar beans from India given their name because of how the wind disperses them during the monsoon season. The beans expand with moisture and create a rich finish – so we recommend trying them if you live in a humid environment to get the most out of the experience.

Try brewing these in a french press, Moka pot, or espresso machine of any type.

9. Yirgacheffe Beans from Ethiopia

What to Expect:

  • Brand: Volcanica Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica
  • Origin: Ethiopia
  • Type: Single origin, light roast
  • Tasting notes: light body, with complex fruit and floral notes
  • Aroma: earthy, with cinnamon and strawberry undertones
  • Recommended brew style: Drip and Pour Over

Yirgacheffe is regarded as holy among the global coffee community.

Ethiopia itself is regarded as the birthplace of coffee and beans from Yirgacheffe are it’s pride and joy. Sidama is a region in Ethiopia that contains the microregion of Yirgacheffe. Within Yirgacheffe, however, are even smaller regions: Adado, Aricha, Kochere, Konga, and more.

Ethiopian coffee is typically wet-processed, producing a coffee that is light in body, almost tea-like, with complex fruit and floral notes. Go into any specialty coffee shop and you are likely to find coffee from this region on the shelf. It’s easy to see why these coffees are known as the gateway to great coffee.

Yirgacheffe Beans From Ethiopia
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When roasted lightly, these coffees are excellent in an automatic drip or pour-over. They also make for a refreshing iced coffee or cold brew. Try a medium roast or something darker for a tasty shot of espresso.

10. Death Wish Coffee Beans

What to Expect:

  • Brand: Death Wish Coffee

  • Beans: Arabica and Robusta Blend
  • Origin: Mixed
  • Type: blend, medium roast
  • Tasting notes: Strong and bold
  • Aroma: strong, nutty
  • Recommended brew style: French press or espresso

Death wish coffee is one of the world’s strongest coffee’s that you’ve probably heard of due to great marketing. Simply put; these are USDA certified sustainable, organic, low acid, and (very) highly caffeinated coffee beans. If you’re in need of a huge energy hit but don’t want sacrifice quality these are for you. Here’s a full list of the world’s strongest coffee. These might not necessarily be the best coffee beans, but they are unique in their own way.

They offer a range of options; whole bean, pods, and ground. You can also sign up for the coffee subscription if you dare.

The common theme among Death Wish products: high-quality beans with a whopping 3-6 x more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee. The Death Wish Coffee Company offers so much more than just strong beans. I tried these and was pleasantly surprised by the bean quality and roast profile. Read our full review of Death Wish Coffee.

A Crash Course In Coffee Bean Terminology

Here is a 2-minute crash course in coffee bean terminology to help you choose confidently.

Sometimes coffee bags are covered in words that don’t mean anything to us. Let’s decipher some of those for you.

Arabica vs Robusta

Coffee Arabica beans v Robusta beans
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Let’s spend a few seconds talking about types of coffee beans so that you know where to start. Arabica beans are far superior to Robusta in terms of flavor, and quality (1). Often grown at higher elevations; giving the beans more time to develop their favor. Robusta beans contain more caffeine than Arabica. They are also much more disease resistant and produce a higher yield. That is why farmers still like to grow Robusta, even though they sell for a much lower price.

Robusta is grown for companies that produce instant coffee and other lower quality, grocery store blends. You probably won’t see a roaster advertising their Robusta coffee, so stay away from it if you love great coffee.

Acidity vs Bitterness

Acidity And Bitterness
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Coffee is naturally acidic but this is not a bad thing. Acidity is good because It gives coffee its natural flavor. But different beans have different levels of acidity and some people are sensitive to these acids. The acidity present in coffee has more to do with taste as opposed to pH (2), though many claim acidity in coffee can cause digestive issues.

  • Coffees from Africa are typically characterized by a higher acidity, with fruity or floral tasting notes.
  • Coffees from places like Brazil or Sumatra tend to have a much lower acidity with cocoa and nutty notes.

Acidity is greatly influenced by growing altitude. Coffee’s grown at lower altitudes generally have lower acidity levels.

Bitterness is the result of brewing. Overly bitter coffee IS bad. If you extract too much out of the ground coffee, the result will be a harsh, bitter finish. This usually happens when your grind size is too fine, or if you over-brew your grounds. The particles are smaller, so the water can touch more of the coffee, and ultimately extract more of it.

So in summary: Bitterness in coffee is something you can avoid by brewing properly. Acidity in coffee is natural and cannot be avoided. But you can “cover” some of the acidity with a dark roast, or by choosing low-acid beans.

single origin vs blends?

Single origin v Blend
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Many coffee companies offer single-origin coffees as well as blends.

Single-origin simply means un-blended. It’s a coffee from one specific region, such as an Ethiopia Yirgacheffe. A blend, therefore, means is different beans, blended into one packet. Duhhh. When should you use a blend vis a single origin? Well, as one expert coffee roaster says:

Blends for milk, Single origins for black

And we agree. You’d never want to ruin a beautiful single origin filter coffee from Ethiopia by adding milk to it. Don’t do it!

Blends are designed to produce a balance in terms of flavor, body, and acidity. A roaster might blend a coffee with a full body with another coffee that has very bright tasting notes in order to get the best of both coffees in one cup.

This is what happens when a roaster knows what he/she is doing.

BUT If the roaster is inexperienced, they may blend to hide poorly roasted beans among normal beans. TLDR = Stick to roasters that have a good reputation. Beware of companies that blend for the wrong reasons. As Sweet Marias suggests (3), this might be common to stretch profits:

One reason coffees are blended in the commercial world might be the use of lower-quality coffee in the blend

This practice is common in industry that sell expensive coffee beans. The more expensive the bean, the bigger the desire to stretch the profits. Sigh.

In summary – single origins are a great choice when you plan to drink your coffee black – the most common ‘case for’ being for pour over brewing. Blends are best for espresso brewing.

Related:

How much does the Roast date matter?

When after roasting should you drink your coffee
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You know that freshly roasted coffee is better. But do you know the ideal number of days to consume after your beans have been roasted? There’s a lot of debate over this topic, but a safe range is anything between 8-20 days since roasted is best.

The best roasters include a roast date for their coffee, which lets you know how long it’s been since it was roasted.

Most coffee experts agree that whole bean coffee retains its freshness between one week and one month after roasting..

To make the most of the short time your coffee is at its freshest:

  • Buy only what you know you can use in a few weeks
  • ​Brew within 30 minutes of grinding.
  • Keep your whole beans in a cool, dry place (a good storage container)

And yes – your coffee may actually be too fresh. You should allow at least 4 days after roasting because a buildup of C02 (Carbon Dioxide) can negatively affect brewing.

Fair Trade Coffee

Fair Trade Coffee
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Fair Trade coffee has been grown and produced to certified standards, which are then upheld across the network of producers, organizations, consumers, and companies. These standards help provide a sustainable income for the farmers and workers who grow and harvest coffee, on an individual and community level. They also reduce the negative impact on the environment where coffee is grown.

Offering better trading conditions to coffee farmers, many of whom live in poor and marginalized parts of the world, helps provide better living conditions for farmers and their cities, towns, and villages.

In short: This is improving the lives of the people who grow, harvest, and process the coffee beans that we treasure. You can learn more about how it works in our article on Fair Trade coffee here.

USDA organic

Organic coffee means that it’s grown without pesticides, right? It’s a little more complicated than that. There are requirements for growing, processing, and even packaging coffee to ensure that it meets the standards implied in the organic label. And the requirements vary among countries that certify coffee (or other products as organic).

The organic certification by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is representative of the kind of standards and qualifications that represent organic coffee. These include the use of natural rather than synthetic fertilizer, shade-grown coffee crops that rely on bird and animal life as natural pest control for the coffee trees, and even ensuring that coffee roasters have only been used to prepare organically grown coffee beans.

Other Good Coffee Regions You Should Explore

We’ve covered some of the major coffee-producing nations in the above list of recommended beans. But sometimes it’s easier, and more fun, to choose via location alone.  Here is a list of coffee growing regions throughout the world, and a guide to buying and brewing from each.

Coffee from Asia and Oceania:

Coffee from the African Region:

Coffee from the Americas:

FINAL THOUGHTS

And that’s it for this list. There is no verdict because the ‘best beans’ is a totally subjective matter! By now you should have some beautiful arabica coffee. It’s time to brew it, and don’t forget to store it properly – use a storage canister and keep it out of direct light.

FAQ’s

The best beans for espresso are medium to dark roast coffee beans. This is because the lower brewing temperature of espresso extraction tends to lead to sour coffee. Darker roasts help combat this.

The best bean for a french press are any medium or dark roast beans, ground at a coarse setting. Since the french press filter tends to allow oils from the bean to remain in your cup, choosing the right bean is critical to enjoy a nice french press coffee.

The best beans for cold brew tend to be coffee grown at high altitudes. Since the process of cold brew eliminates much of the acidity found in coffee, beans grown at high altitudes (which are naturally acidic) make great cold brews.

The best decaf coffee beans are Arabica beans that have been decaffeinated via the ‘Swiss water’ process, meaning they have bot been soaked or washed with chemicals present in regular decaffeination methods. Here’s a list of decaf options.

The best coffee beans in the world are ‘considered’ to be Kopi Luwak beans, which is coffee passed through the digestion of the Indonesia Civet Cat. It’s also known as ‘poop coffee’ and it’s an extremely controversial industry. The question surrounding the best beans in the world, however, is debatable since the best coffee is purely subjective. The best coffee in the world is organic, sustainably sourced beans that taste good to you.

The best whole bean coffee is anything that is fresh roasted, sold from a reputable company, uniform in size, and free of defects (e.g. discolouration, chips, cracks, and coffee rust). Any of the beans considered on this list could be considered great whole bean coffee as they are grown in regions around the world noted for harvesting quality coffee. Each type of coffee variety produces good beans; it’s more about the farm and processing.


  1. Baldwin, J. (2009, June 26). Arabica vs. Robusta: No Contest. Retrieved from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2009/06/arabica-vs-robusta-no-contest/19780/
  2. Borack, J. (2016, February 25). Coffee Acidity: Flavor, pH, Acid Reflux, and Low-acid Coffee. Retrieved from https://angelscup.com/blog/taste/coffee-acidity-flavor-ph-acid-reflux-and-low-acid-coffee/
  3. Blending Basics. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://legacy.sweetmarias.com/library/blending/
  4. 50 of America’s Best. (2001, April 30). Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/forbes-life-magazine/2001/0430/058.html
  5. Kenya. (n.d.). Retrieved From https://legacy.sweetmarias.com/library/kenya
  6. Davids, K. (2017, October 25). Tasting Report: Tanzania Peaberry Reviews – October 2003. Retrieved From https://www.coffeereview.com/the-tanzanian-peaberry-mystery/
  7. Indonesia’s Bountiful Invigorating Coffee. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.indonesia.travel/au/en/trip-ideas/indonesia-s-bountiful-invigorating-coffee

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Alex is an Editor of Home Grounds, who considers himself as a traveling coffee fanatic. He is passionate about brewing amazing coffee while in obscure locations, and teaching others to do the same.

Comments

  1. LOL we have the same tastes. I started roasting my own beans 15 years ago after I went to Sulawesi, Kalimantan and Borneo for work. Where I found what coffee is actually supposed to taste like (as in, not burned). So my top Indonesians are also Mandelhing, Toraja, and Sulawesi Kalossi. You need to try Papua New Guinea peaberry, very similar flavor profile. Strangely I intensely dislike Bali Blue Moon. Tanzania peaberry, Kenya (I need to try some AA, have only had a wonderful peaberry), Yirgacheffe (be careful some are garbage beans), anything India monsooned, and that’s about it. I get my Kona in Kona, and Jamaica Blue Mountain is ridiculously priced for what it is, glad you left it off. There were some wonderful beans coming out of Kauai but they disappeared. We visited the plantation and they wouldn’t sell any green beans 🙁

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