You will be able to get yourself familiarized with role of beans in brewing a delicious espresso shot. We have added a detailed buyer’s guide including all key information along with most common question regarding beans. Questions includes what espresso beans are best for you keeping origin and region in perspective? What roast style is best for brewing espresso? Go through the article and pick best beans to enjoy one fine cup of espresso.
Starting a dull and boring day with a perfect shot of espresso must be a dream of many coffee lovers. You can’t rely on or expect a delicious espresso cup from low-quality beans. The coffee beans when brewed for espresso, give a maximum of around 12% coffee in a single cup when compared to that of a coffee cup with only 2% of dissolved coffee. By this, it is quite clear that the espresso cup is highly saturated with coffee but only the best espresso beans can let you enjoy the aroma of the drink. So now, you are well aware of the role that plays a quality bean in brewing espresso.
OUR TOP PICKS
Kicking Horse Beans
Koffee Kult Dark
Smooth and 100% Arabica
How to Pick the Best Espresso Beans
The general rules of buying beans for espresso are as follows. When you are in the market, just keep them in mind and you will get the right product.
Go for Quality Beans Only
The first and most important rule is to buy only quality beans. Average or poor quality beans don’t have a satisfactory taste. Plus, quality coffee is picked when it is fully ripened and then store manually to get rid of bad beans.
Look for Fresh Beans
Only buy such beans which are freshly roasted, especially when buying from a small roaster. On the other hand, when buying from a large roaster, you should know how they package the beans. In addition, look for the expiration date, even if the beans were vacuum-packed you should not buy them if they are on the shelf for a longer time.
Buy in Small Quantities
Make a habit that you always buy beans in small quantities because if you buy too much it will be in your store for longer and thus will lose the natural taste. In addition, always buy whole beans but before that, you should have some expertise in grinding to get the perfect grind for espresso. However, if you can’t grind beans by yourself then go for pre-ground.
Know About the Roaster
There is nothing wrong with experimentation and you can always try a new roaster. However, keep in mind that you should know enough about the roaster and you have some references from the coffee lovers around you. In the case of local roasters, look at the way they store roasted beans. It is necessary because if the beans are freshly roasted but are not stored properly, the taste may disappoint you.
Know the Origin of the Beans
The last thing that you should keep in mind is to know where the coffee comes from because if you don’t know the origin it may be of poor quality. In simple words, Arabica is one of the best espresso coffee, and espresso made from it is pleasurable. Plus, 5 to 15 percent of Robusta beans in a blend will give more crema to your espresso shot.
What is Best Espresso Coffee?
First and foremost, classic espresso uses dark roast beans for the perfect taste, if not then at least medium dark roast beans. You might ask why specifically to go for dark or medium-dark roast beans, there is a huge story behind this. Espresso with a lower extraction temperature tends to make coffee slightly sourer, in order to deal with this, dark roast beans are preferred. Most of the time – roasters to cut down the overall cost – uses inexpensive beans, you need to be very careful if want espresso to taste better.
Tips to Get the Best Out of Espresso Beans
Apart from having a quality espresso machine, below are some of the key tips mentioned in order to get most of the beans.
Use a Fine Grind
In order to get a tasty espresso shot, make sure that you use a fine grind and that is what the espresso machines require. Using a fine grind leads to reimbursement for low brewing temperature, balancing the taste with fast extraction.
Clue for a Fine Grind
Things aren’t this straight and simple, some geeks might get confused about how well-grounded beans are important for admirable espresso. Also, there isn’t any rocket science included in this, all you need to do is to keep an eye on crema, which you can witness on the top of your espresso cup. If the crema is thin or comprises huge bubbles, means that the beans are not finely grounded. You can get pre-ground coffee from anywhere but isn’t an optimal way to go with it, but yes of course still better than too coarse grind. For manual and super automatic espresso machine, Lavazza offers the finest quality pre-ground coffee beans. Geeks with not much grinding expertise can go for those pre-grounded coffee beans.
Tamping basket plays a vital role and contributes a lot to the final espresso shot you get. Once you get a fine grind make sure that you are adequately tamping the basket to run water efficiently from the puck during pulling a shot. In order to make sure that the grinds are enough closely packed and will properly be extracted, at least 30 pounds of pressure will be required.
The pre-infusion feature depends on the espresso machine type, that whether it’s super automatic or manual. You can’t expect a manual espresso machine to offer you a pre-infusion feature. Actually, pre-infusion wets the ground coffee in order to pull out CO2 stored in them before the brewing cycle gets started. The Pre-infusion helps grinds to swell and makes extraction efficient.
Best Espresso Beans 2022
1. Kicking Horse Coffee Bean
Sweet-scented, Great Flavor, Certified Organic
Beans Seem to be too Dry
The first thing that would catch your attention about Kicking Horse Coffee Bean is its pure black color packaging. The origin of kicking horse is Africa central & south America and in Indonesia. The coffee beans are legitimate and reliable, all the origin places are evidence of these two things. Moreover, the dark, deep, and tasty roast coffee is carried out below the huge Canadian rocky mountains. The kicking horse coffee beans will give you endless cocoa and fruit taste. These beans are so ideal because of the mixture of brown sugar, black currant flavor, and milk chocolate. Such a combination brings a complete coffee flavor with a little bit of bitter and sweet taste.
2. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
Best Dark Roast
Low Acid Levels, No Bitterness, Smooth and 100% Arabica
A Bit Expensive
Koffee Kult is one of the most well-renowned coffee enthusiasts providing other coffee lovers with quality Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans. To get your day started with immense power and energy, all you have to do is to mix beans with hot water or milk and enjoy the aroma. Most of the time, it is observed that beans with oil aren’t so good for health. The Koffee Kult dark roast beans are oil-free with no health risk. These best coffee beans for espresso makers are originally found in Sumatra, Colombia, and Guatemala. Koffee Kult Dark roast beans provide smooth and tasty coffee with no bitter taste. If you want anything in your life that minimizes laziness, don’t look further, Koffee Kult Coffee beans are perfect to go with.
3. Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean
Best Medium Roast
High-quality Italian Beans , Mild and Smooth Fruity Taste, Airtight and Premium Package
Be Careful if You are Sensitive to Caffeine
Are you sorting out things for the best Lavazza espresso beans? you are at the right place, super crema whole beans will give the perfect espresso shot that you will definitely feel obsessed with. These beans are originally formed in India, Brazil, Indonesia, Colombia, and blended and roasted in Italy. Italy being so famous for espresso and thus so correctly called Italy’s pride. These beans are medium roast with a creamy notation of almond and modest dried fruit along with honey. The Lavazza super crema whole beans are made with 20 percent of Robusta beans and 80 percent of Arabica. Although the Robusta beans slightly increase acidity but also gives more crema to the brew.
4. Verena Street Espresso Beans
Rainforest Alliance Certification, Very Rich Flavor, Roasted in Small Batches
Coffee Becomes Weak if too much Water Added
Verena Street Espresso Beans are known as one of the best coffee beans for espresso, and so well praised by coffee enthusiasts all over the globe. Love towards Verena Street beans is because of their taste and combination of unique flavors. The first sip will let you witness one of the finest coffee experiences ever. Despite being much roasted, the beans also give a smooth taste. These beans are roasted and packed by an independent family (Iowa) in Dubuque. The best coffee beans for espresso comes from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms which are well recognized in this field around the globe. The reliability and authenticity are further acknowledged by Kosher certification.
5. Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast
Best from Starbukcs
Caramel Notes, Best Standards
There’s no companion of Starbucks when it comes to taste and overall coffee experience. Starbucks and Coffee are two parallel things strongly coupled together. Starbucks espresso dark roast beans are grown sustainably, perhaps with more originality regarding taste, than other brands on the list. The beans here are darkly roasted, the beans here are further mixed with caramelized sugar and molasses to bring a richer taste with a caramel touch. You need to be careful while roasting the beans with keeping flavor, aroma, and acidity in perspective. Starbuck’s beans are perfect to go with if you need beans to give you a tasty espresso shot.
6. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte
Best for bold taste
Smooth Crema, Hazelnut Notes, Bag Comes with Roasting Dates
May be Mild for Some Espresso Lovers
Alfred Peet came with his own roast coffee beans in 1966. This revolution in the coffee ecosystem was brought firstly in Berkeley and then in California. The topmost priority of Peet’s beans was to bring freshness to espresso, which was missing in many other cases. These Best coffee for espresso brought a new definition to the method of preparation. The Peet’s beans put a bold taste into espresso with a strong overall shape. The taste is further boosted by crema which makes it more ideal for espresso. Peet’s beans here are intended for the espresso shots, but can also work for the French press.
7. Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee
100% Arabica Beans, Fresh and Roasted in Small Batches, Low Acidity
Not as Strong as other Espresso Beans
Cafe Don Pablo beans are owned by a family company with bringing new definitions to preparing a recipe for the best espresso coffee beans. Cafe Don Pablo beans take slightly more time than others on the list, but that is because of the caramelization of sugar to make the taste more bold and intensive. With rich shade, the said beans are formed at high altitudes and on volcanic soil. This product is more special because of the tone that is obtained because of volcanic land. The bean’s taste and shape quite a lot resembles dark chocolate with a mildly earthy tone. The beans are perfect for French press as well apart from the ideal espresso shot.
8. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Whole Bean
Blended Whole Beans, Balanced and Sweet Taste, Cherry Notes
Costly Compare to other Whole Beans
Stumptown coffee roaster whole beans are best for espresso just because of the unique proportional composition of ingredients. You will get addicted to coffee after a single sip of these top-rated beans, a balanced bold and delicious final espresso shot will leave you shocked. These light roast caramel taste beans can be stored for longer terms, without worrying about its flavor changing. The bean’s HQ (Headquarters) is in Portland and they are known for years for serving quality coffee. Apart from espresso, the Stumptown coffee roaster whole beans are ideal for all brewing methods.
9. Intelligentsia Black Cat Analog Espresso
Best for Syrupy taste
Delivers Excellent Espresso, Acceptable Sweetness
Intelligentsia Black Cat Analog Espresso beans are more than just delicious, these high-intensity beans will leave a strong and bold flavor anytime you take a sip. These beans are meant to change people’s perspective regarding espresso with its unique overall taste with a sweater and syrupy touch. As it is a blend, so it’s quite obvious that the flavor profile changes to some degree from season to season. Intelligentsia Black Cat Analog Espresso won’t let you down with its catchy taste, you surely will love taking espresso shots each time.
10. JO Espresso
Best Pure beans
USDA Certified, Clean Food Certification, Fair Trade Product Certification
Roasting Date is not Mentioned on the Bag
These days, people are more attracted to organic foods. Why not have a coffee with some organic food touch. Jo Espresso beans being 100% Arabica-class dark roasted, are the best espresso beans to bring a superlative coffee experience. The coffee is made more pleasurable with a touch of dark chocolate and the aroma of crema. These beans are 100% pure and all-natural with no preservatives added. Jo Espresso beans are more unique because of their taste perfection and evenness. If you are tight on budget and still want to have beans that bring real chocolate feelings, Jo Espresso beans are perfect to go with.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions that might help you clear different ambiguities regarding beans.
Which Coffee Beans are best for Espresso? By Origin? By region?
There are two perspectives to this question, first is that what regions are famous for quality espresso beans? Second, why are single-origin beans more preferred than blends? Speaking about the first, African coffee beans are well famous for their unique fruity flavors and energetic acidity. African origins like Kenyan and Ethiopian coffees because of their citrus and natural flavors are considered as one of the best beans for espresso.
Next, Indonesian coffee beans are specifically ideal for those who love bold and earthy flavors. From light to dark roast, South American beans are made for espresso lovers with a need to have more smooth and nutty flavor in their espresso shots. Last but not the least, Central American beans like Costa Rica Coffee, EI Salvador, etc. are also greatly praised around the globe for their acidic and bright tastes.
Speaking about the second part, Single-origin refers to unblended beans, which means all the beans directly come from a single region. Blends refer to a mixture of beans from different regions. Single-origin beans are preferred by dedicated coffee drinkers to gain full access to natural notes and pure taste with no additional preservatives. Blended beans are prepared by roaster keeping different acidity levels and flavors in perspective. They are more ideal for making milk-based drinks like cappuccinos etc.
Can I use regular coffee beans for espresso?
Obviously yes, a tasty Espresso shot can be prepared by using any type of coffee beans, may it be Sumatra, Kenya AA, Kona, or a blend such a My Espresso. The above coffee bean on the list can be roasted to any degree for different espresso tastes.
Which Roast style is best for Espresso?
Beans roast style greatly effects the final taste of your espresso. Roast style is categorized into three different categories, each stated below with key points.
Light roast coffee beans for espresso are fresh & light bodied with vibrant aromas, and brings most unique flavors.
- Acidity level: High
- Body: Light
- Flavor: Diverse, fruity and floral
- Aroma: Vibrant, Diverse
Medium roast beans are slightly different from light roast when it comes to flavor and taste. These beans are still diverse with flavor but smooth because of caramelized sugar inside the beans, that gives a final taste similar to honey and caramel.
- Acidity level: Medium
- Body: Medium
- Flavor: Rich & Diverse
- Aroma: Smoother & Sweeter
Dark roast coffee beans falls slightly short when it comes to different unique flavors, but provides enough richness and purity. These beans shares deep dark chocolate, woodiness, and spicy flavors.
- Acidity level: Low
- Body: Heavy
- Flavor: Earthy, Deep & rich, chocolate, woodiness
- Aroma: Soothing & Dark