Best Espresso Beans | A Definitive Guide For Beginners

best espresso beans

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If you want to purchase the best espresso beans, this complete guide will show you just what to find.

In this guide, you will find the best manner of evaluating the espresso beans to ensure you have chosen them from a list.

You will learn just how to brew the best cup of espresso from your favored origin, whether it is a blend or a single bean.

Once you have done this, you will understand how to select the best coffee beans for your own personal brewing manner and also likely have more enjoyable coffee quality!

Without wasting time, let’s continue reading the rest of this write-up about the best espresso beans.

The History of Espresso

Luigi Bezzera, an Italian young entrepreneur, invented the first espresso machine in 1884.

Soon, coffee houses began popping up all across Italy to cater to the growing need for this delicious drink.

However, there were several problems with this machine.

The coffee beans would often explode out of the water when it heated them up, which was dangerous for the barista and everybody else at the café.

They also had varying opinions on how many coffee beans should be ground at once – some said 4 teaspoons while others said something like 1/8th of a teaspoon!

You might be thinking that these were problems that could be solved by tinkering around with their design or by replacing their components.

But to the contrary, they decided to replace each component in their coffee maker with a new design.

They came up with a new machine that used an internal thermostat that did not allow any water or coffee to enter into the machine until the internal temperature reached brewing temperature.

This new design continued to be improved upon for decades until finally, in 1932, it was officially patented under the name “Moka Express” by Luigi Bezzera.

Since then, espresso machines have come a long way.

The Various Kinds of Espresso Beans

There are lots of various kinds of coffee beans and if you want to purchase the best espresso beans, you must know exactly what they are.

The variety will determine whether your coffee will be sour or flavorful. Each origin has its very own benefits and also could affect the taste that goes into it.

You can use decaffeinated beans too, yet read the label to find out that it is made from high-quality decaffeinated beans.

Today, coffee plants are rated by the color of their skin.

Coffee plants with a rich, brownish-black color are called Robusta and also have a higher quantity of caffeine compared to the others. Generally, robusta has a taste that is earthy and rough which can make blends more powerful.

Those that have been grown in hotter climates with excessive sunlight are referred to as Arabica coffee plants. They have a fragrance with sweet floral notes.

If you want to buy the best espresso beans, you must go for these as they will certainly taste better!

They come from an area that is typically referred to as Indonesia or Africa, where there is good weather condition that keeps the fruit at its peak of aroma.

There are also some beans that are known as Gran Robusta. These combine both robusta and Arabica for a different taste.

Espresso blends can offer you a lot of choices when it comes to the intensity of taste, the sweetness levels and the level of caffeine in it. Just pick one that is best for you!

What to Look for When Buying Espresso Beans

Have you ever wondered how to choose quality coffee beans?

Take note that there are 6 primary aspects that you must take into consideration when purchasing coffee beans.

The 6 aspects are actually the main issues that decide whether or not your beans will be of excellent quality or not.

The 6 Points to Consider When Buying Espresso Beans:

  1. Origin
  2. Roast Date or Roast Level
  3. Certifications or Awards Won
  4. Flavor Profile or Description
  5. Proper Storage Procedure for Your Coffee Beans is Important, Too!
  6. A Few Words about Grinding Your Coffee Beans​

1. Origin

The very first thing to look for when purchasing espresso beans is the area of origin (i.e., the country where it was grown).

It will play an important part in determining the taste of your coffee, particularly if you want to brew it at home using your preferred machine and method of extraction (drip or espresso).

Arabica is the type of bean used for espresso blends.

It’s usually grown in South America, Central America, Honduras, Brazil and Columbia. Robusta is the opposite of Arabica bean.

It is found in East Africa, South East Asia and parts of southern India.

2. Roast Date or Roast Level

The second thing to look for when purchasing espresso beans is the roast date or roast level.

The roast date refers to how far they have been roasted already.

If you are looking for a stronger coffee flavor, make sure that you are buying beans that are already roasted or brewed to perfection through a single process without breaking them down into two different qualities of coffee beans after roasting.

3. Certifications or Awards Won

If you want to buy the best espresso beans, then it is vital that these beans are certified by the National Coffee Association (NCA).

It will ensure that the coffee beans are made from well-managed and also high-quality coffee beans.

The NCA is recognized as among the most reliable organizations to deal with all things coffee and it has actually dedicated its very own processing standard to identify and identify quality coffee beans.

4. Flavor Profile or Description

The flavor profile or description of a particular type of bean can influence how bitter and strong its flavor would be. If you like a milder taste, make sure to purchase barista-quality coffee.

5. Proper Storage Procedure for Your Coffee Beans is Important, Too!

The third thing to look for when purchasing coffee beans is the proper storage procedure.

Do not buy coffee beans that were picked before they are fully ripe.

t may cause them to lose their flavor and become bitter once you brew them.

A Few Words about Grinding Your Coffee Beans

Just like other foods, grinding your coffee beans is an important step in the preparation process.

A good grinder will make sure that all of the necessary coffee grounds are completely pulverized so that they can be evenly distributed throughout your chosen brewing method (for example, espresso).

What Are the Ingredients for Making a Good Espresso Blend?

To create a quality espresso blend, it is important that you understand what goes into a good blend. For a superior coffee experience, make sure to take note of these top 8 things.

  1. Right Coffee Beans

It is necessary to make sure that your coffee beans are of high quality.

You can even ask your barista which type of bean to use. He or she will most likely be willing to help answer your questions!

2. Good Espresso Machine

Whether it is a commercial or a domestic espresso machine, make sure that it is in excellent working condition and that the equipment works well.

3. Properly Ground Coffee Beans

You can use a machine to grind your coffee beans or you can opt to do it by hand.

If you choose the latter, just make sure that you are doing it right to help prevent getting unevenly ground coffee beans.

Remember that this could greatly affect the taste of your espresso!

4. Clean Coffee Grinder

A clean grinder will also preserve the right kind of flavor for your coffee blend, so always keep it clean by regularly wiping out the inside with a cloth or hand towel.

5. Water Temperature

Heat is necessary for coffee to be brewed, so make sure that you are using water of the right temperature for your espresso blend.

It should be between 195 and 205 degrees Fahrenheit so as to not scorch your beans.

6. Proper Espresso Machine Temperature

The temperature of the water used in your espresso machine will also determine how well it works as an espresso maker as well as how good the taste will be once it is brewed.

Make sure that the water is at a temperature where it can produce a rich and full-bodied flavor without scorching beans or leaving any sediments on top of your cup!

7. Right Pressure

The espresso should also be produced with the right amount of pressure. If there is too little pressure, your espresso will taste weak.

If there is too much pressure, the espresso will taste bitter and burnt!

8. Right Tools

For an excellent cup of coffee, it is also necessary to use the right tools to help you achieve your desired results.

Use high-quality equipment for any kind of coffee that you are planning to brew!

What Are The Best Espresso Beans? Top 5 Picks

1. Lifeboost Coffee

If you want something that is certain to provide you with an exceptional cup of coffee each and every time that you use it, then Lifeboost Coffee is one of your best choices.

The beans are completely organic, fair traded and shade-grown.

It’s also one of the most caffeinated coffee brands on the market today. Grown at High Altitude in the Mountains of Nicaragua, these beans provide a rich and full-bodied flavor without any bitter notes.

What I Love About Lifeboost Coffee :

  • Non-GMO Whole Bean Dark Roast Coffee Beans
    If you prefer the strong, rich taste of a dark roast coffee like me, grab this bag and enjoy your cup of joe. Striking for a richer, not more mellow sensation, its flavor profile is more robust than that of our Medium and Light Roast coffee.
  • Low Acid Dark Roast Coffee Beans
    For those of you with stomach problems, there is a solution. Using a lower acidity is the perfect way to curb the bitter aftertaste that you experience with dark roasts. Being lower in acid also gives it more smoothness and less bitter if you have a sour stomach, thus avoiding any adverse effects to your gut.
  • No Chemicals Added – You won’t find any emulsifiers, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners in this product. When you add water and stir (or stir it up) it won’t scald your tongue like most “light” brands. It doesn’t make you feel like you’re drinking chemicals and it tastes great.

2. Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee

Some people might want to go with something that is a bit more caffeinated than Lifeboost Coffee.

Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee is a great choice. It is available in four different strengths so that you can choose the one that best fits your preferences. Sourced from Colombia and Brazil, it’s hard to go wrong with this brand.

What I Love About Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee :

  • No need to add anything to this coffee – it’s a full-bodied flavor by itself!
  • A strong taste with a nutty aroma and no bitterness altough it’s pretty strong in caffeine
  • It’s 100% Arabica coffee beans (meaning you get better quality beans for this price)
  • It’s organic! Koffee Kult is never EVER heated above 120 degrees to keep all those healthy antioxidants vital.

3. Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso

If you’re more of a traditionalist, then this coffee will be right up your alley. It offers the rich taste of traditional espresso with a lighter roast.

If you’re not sure about having an espresso, then look no further! It is smooth and has a rich flavor that fills your senses completely.

This bag of beans offers a syrupy, heavy-bodied dark roast for all of you, espresso lovers.

Its flavor starts with delicate fruity notes and sweetness, unique to Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso.

What I Love About Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso:

  • An unmistakable aroma which awakens your senses
  • Rich, black, velvety, slightly sweet taste with a slight bitter aftertaste
  • Delicious alone or used in hot beverages like lattes, coffee milk or black americano
  • Fairly low acidity for those who don’t like their coffee to have a strong reddish tint.
  • The dark chocolate flavor is simply out of this world
  • Intelligentsia beans are roasted at low temperatures to preserve the natural oils for a more flavorful taste, and the end result is an espresso that’s smooth and rich tasting.

4. Peet’s Coffee, Espresso Forte

Thin is in stark contrast to full, yet Coffees for Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte is an interesting alternative – great tasting coffee, low acidity, low caffeine.

If you’re looking for an espresso blend that tastes great but doesn’t give you the jitters, this is the one for you.

What I Love About Peet’s Coffee, Espresso Forte:

  • It’s never bitter or overly acidic
  • It has an abundance of rich flavor
  • It’s incredibly smooth with a velvety texture that perfectly complements your morning coffee or any other beverage.
  • The aroma is slightly sweet but not cloying
  • Fairly high caffeine content, yet it won’t make you jittery if you’re sensitive to caffeine.
  • Made from Arabica beans, for a rich taste and lovely aroma. This brand holds the highest integrity inconsistency, warranty, and quality control. The coffees are slow-roasted for quality flavor extraction. It’s never bitter, harsh or overly acidic.
  • Light and full-bodied tasting at the same time (in my opinion) which makes it great for more of a traditional espresso with a rich taste you can’t find with most “light” brands.
  • Smooth and mellow when made with espresso, rich when made as an Americano or black coffee.

5. Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee

Do you like a mild, creamy roast coffee?

If so, Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee is what you want.

This Italian company has been around since the early 1800’s. It has an intense aroma, containing notes of hazelnut and brown sugar.

It’s sweet without being bitter, and it has a medium-to-low acidity.

What I Love About Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee:

  • Intense but not overpowering flavor – lightly roasted to retain the original coffee tones.
  • Moderate acidity with a mild, almost buttery flavor that’s not overly strong or bitter. It’s perfect for espresso or cappuccino. No need to add any oil or creamer to this blend! (and no stomach ache afterward.
  • The crema is very evident, creamy and dense. It melts in your mouth and leaves a sweet, nutty aftertaste. It’s a true cream coffee without being too heavy or luscious.
  • It’s smooth and rich tasting, despite having a lighter roast. The subtle sweetness makes it the perfect coffee for those who don’t prefer darker roasts or those that simply want a lighter taste to their cup of joe.

How to Make the Perfect Cup of Espresso

There are five steps to making espresso properly:

  • Grind the coffee beans into small, fine particles.
  • Use 8 grams of coffee for one 6-ounce cup of espresso (a double shot). For each additional 6 ounces, add an additional 2 grams of coffee. (For example, 14 ounces = 10 grams of ground coffee.)
  • Place the ground coffee in a portafilter and tamp it down with a tamper until it’s firm, but not tight. Use only enough pressure to fully press all the grounds into the bottom of the basket. The tamper should leave an indentation on top of the portafilter.
  • Immerse the portafilter basket in your cup of water. If you don’t, the coffee will over-extract, which will yield bitter tasting coffee.
  • Place the portafilter on top of the coffee grounds and slowly, but firmly press it down to release pressure. Make sure all the water is drained before putting your cup back onto your stove top for serving.

1. Use Freshly Roasted Coffee Beans

If you don’t have a grinder, buy whole beans. If your coffee is already ground, it will have lost its freshness two weeks after being roasted.

For the freshest taste, buy only what you need for 1-2 weeks (you can freeze what you don’t use to extend its shelf life).

2. Use Good Water

Hard water tastes better than soft water when making espresso – use filtered water or spring water if your tap water has an undesirable taste or odor.

The minerals in hard water improve the flavor of your coffee. But if your kettle isn’t clean, you’ll end up with a bitter brew!

3. Use a Good Grinder

Start with a good grinder – a burr grinder not a blade grinder. It will help you achieve the perfect grind, which is essential for pulling an excellent shot of espresso.

4. Use the Correct Grind

For an espresso, you want your coffee grounds to be as fine as possible.

For an Americano or black coffee, you want longer, lighter grounds.


When grinding your beans, the closer they are to powder, the better for an espresso.

Genuine espresso grinders have a conical shape that helps ensure uniformity and uniform size.

The finer the grind, the more intense your flavor will be as well as a better-tasting cup of coffee. To achieve a finer grind, you can use a burr grinder.

5. Use Fresh Water

Each time you brew, use freshly boiled water – not tap water or mineral water!

Also, avoid using filtered or distilled water since it can introduce unwanted flavors into your cup of Joe. The minerals found in hard water help improve the flavor of your coffee.

You can clean your espresso machine with vinegar, which is better for your machine than using toxic chemicals.

6. Use the Right Amount of Coffee

For 1-2 cups of espresso, use 1 tablespoon of coffee per 6 ounces of water.

For 3-4 cups, use 2 tablespoons per 6 ounces of water. Never fill your coffee pot more than half full with water – you’ll end up with watered-down espresso!

Remember that an average shot of espresso is 1 ounce (30ml), which means that each double shot should only take 2 cups rather than 4 cups to make one standard cup of coffee.

7. Don’t Over-Stir

When you’re using a commercial machine, the water is already heated by the machine.

When you’re preparing your espresso at home, you have to heat it yourself so be extra careful not to over-stir as this will destroy the grounds and lead to a bitter brew.

8. Avoid Using a Metal Portafilter

A metal portafilter is the only real way to pull a consistent espresso from your machine. It keeps the temperature more constant and helps prevent overflow from happening.

If you don’t have one, use a plastic portafilter at least once a month to help yourself get used to its behavior.

9. Choose Your Favorite Beans

Don’t just try one brand – try different ones! Experimenting with different coffee beans is one of the best ways to improve your espresso brewing skills.

And it’s also a great way to discover new favorite flavors! No matter how much you know about a variety of espresso blends, you’ll never be bored as long as you keep trying new beans.

Final Thoughts On The Best Espresso Beans

The best espresso beans are the ones that have been made from the finest beans. With that being said, you want to consider where they’re sourced from.

In addition, you should consider their roast level. If you’re serious about getting the best of the best, then I highly recommend going with Peet’s Coffee or Intelligentsia Espresso Blend.

They have the most intense and full-bodied flavors with a smooth texture.

If you don’t want your coffee to taste like chemicals, then drink Lifeboost Coffee or Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee.

These are both organic coffees that have been roasted at low temperatures to preserve its natural oils, resulting in a richer tasting cup of joe. They are also much less bitter than regular coffee beans.

Finally, if you’re looking for something that tastes great but doesn’t give you the jitters then I recommend Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte.

It has an intense aroma but is smooth and mellow when made an espresso, without being too overpowering. It’s also very sweet without being overly strong or bitter.

In conclusion, I hope you found this information helpful. If you have any recommendations, please leave a comment below and let me know about them.

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