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Best Coffee Beans in 2022: Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and Comparisons

While it’s true that you can make coffee with virtually any roast, you don’t want to settle for mediocre java. Using the best coffee beans will get you started on the right foot with brewing delicious coffee. Hence, rather than blindly picking a coffee that may disappoint, learn what goes into selecting the beans most suited for you. There’s a surprising amount of information that goes into determining coffee bean selection. Brew method, organic or not, and personal flavor preferences — it’s no wonder that it may seem overwhelming! Whether you’re practically a barista yourself or merely trying to figure out which coffee to try next, our list of favorite beans will point you in the right direction.
Death Wish Coffee Beans - The World's Strongest Coffee
Death Wish Coffee isn’t your typical java. This brand describes its product as the strongest in the world — with twice the quantity of caffeine in a regular cup of joe. Not only will it give you a needed boost each morning, but it’s also organic and Fair Trade certified. This coffee has a flavor profile that includes dark chocolate along with cherry, and its dark roast is exactly what you didn’t even realize was missing in your life.
  • Arabica and Robusta bean blend — provides a caffeine jolt
  • Small batch roasting ensures quality
  • Coffee beans are sourced mostly from India and Peru

Our Top Picks

  • Bean Type: Electric Burr Arabica and Robusta
  • Origin of Beans: Mostly India and Peru
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Roast: Dark Roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, cold brew, pour-over


  • Blends Arabica and Robusta beans for twice the caffeine of other brands
  • Low-acid, gentler on digestive systems
  • Bold chocolate and cherry flavor tones

Product Rating: 4.9/5

Check Price At Amazon Death Wish Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central and South America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over, espresso


  • Coffee beans are organic and Fair Trade certified
  • Uses the Swiss water process to decaffeinate beans
  • Strong, rich flavor hints of chocolate and hazelnut

Product Rating: 4.8/5

Check Price At Amazon Kicking Horse Decaf Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Americas and Indo-Pacific regions
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: Espresso, French press, pour-over


  • Hand roasted to order. When you buy espresso beans, same-day shipping
  • Signature blend, created just for espresso
  • Flavor includes earthiness and spice

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon Espresso Forte Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Americas and East Africa
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Roast: Light Roast
  • Best for Brewing: All forms of brewing


  • Coffee beans are sustainably sourced and specialty grade
  • Light sweet and floral flavors
  • Affordable coffee bean prices but still environmentally conscious

Product Rating: 4.8/5

Check Price At Amazon Caribou Daybreak Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Roast: Medium Roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over, moka


  • Uses only Arabica coffee beans
  • Smooth and rich flavors are well-balanced
  • Ethically sourced

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Starbucks Medium Roast Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Honduras
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over, cold brew, espresso


  • Intense chocolate flavor with honey and caramel notes
  • Low acidity, with a pleasant aftertaste
  • Certified organic and non-GMO

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon Subtle Earth Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Nicaragua
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Roast: Medium roast
  • Best for Brewing: French press, pour-over, drip, espresso


  • Coffee beans are washed and dried with natural methods
  • Has a pH value of six or higher
  • Brand employs third-party testing for toxins

Product Rating: 4.8/5

Check Price At Amazon Lifeboost Low Acid Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Colombia
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Roast: Dark roast
  • Best for Brewing: Cold brew, French press


  • Best rated coffee beans — Supremo is crafted for cold brewing
  • Multi-layer bag to preserve freshness
  • Slightly sweet, with nutty and chocolate flavors

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon Stone Street Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Papua New Guinea
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Roast: Medium-light roast
  • Best for Brewing: n/a


  • Beans grown in the volcanic soil of Papua New Guinea
  • First instant coffee certified both organic and Fair Trade
  • Uses the freeze-dried production method

Product Rating: 4.7/5

Check Price At Amazon Mount Hagen Review

Best Coffee Beans in 2022: A Buying Guide

Making java at home is a practical way to cut back on your coffee shop expenses or test your barista skills. However, it comes with its own set of challenges — namely, what kind of coffee should you use? How do you determine what are the best coffee beans?

Deciding on the best coffee beans to use can be tricky. It’s not nearly as hard if you know what you already like, but there’s a lot of information to sort through if you’re a newbie. How good coffee tastes is obviously a major factor, but there are other elements that matter, too.

What’s more, good coffee doesn’t have to break the bank — there are some tasty best value coffee beans out there. However, when you’re deciding on a coffee, keep in mind certain points. Some of these aspects you should consider when looking for those perfect coffee beans include:


Brewing method

Type of coffee bean

Organic or not

Single-origin or blend

Where the beans are sourced

Coffee Beans Comparison

Organic Coffee Beans

Organic coffee is grown largely without the use of synthetic chemicals — where the farmers rely on natural means to fertilize, grow, and process coffee. Strict guidelines and regulations must be followed for a farm to be certified organic. These coffee beans are often considered superior to conventional coffee beans.

Certification process is long and expensive.

Organic coffee is grown without the many chemicals used on conventional coffee plants.

Organic farming is better for the environment.

Decaf Coffee Beans

Decaffeinated coffee beans have had at least 97 percent of the caffeine removed before roasting. The most common methods used are the Swiss water process, solvent-based processing, and carbon dioxide processing. Decaf coffee retains most of the nutrients and antioxidants found in coffee, although the taste may be slightly affected.

Decaffeination occurs after the coffee is picked and processed, but before the beans are roasted.

Swiss water process is the preferred method for decaffeination, but it’s time-consuming.

Decaf coffee may still contain small amounts of caffeine.

Espresso Coffee Beans

Although some coffee beans are labeled as espresso beans, the reality is that they aren’t any different from others. Some roasters have created specific roasts for espresso, and that’s often where the connection comes from. These beans are often dark roasted and create a brew that’s rich, dark, and potent.

Espresso coffee beans get their name because of the method of brewing, not the beans themselves.

Dark and medium-dark roasted beans are best suited for espresso.

Oily beans are best for espresso —  oil is required for crema to form on top.

Light Roast Coffee Beans

Light roasted coffee beans are roasted for a shorter amount of time and at a lower temperature than darker roasts. These beans brew coffee that has a crisp and bright flavor, often tasting of fruit or flowers. And, because the beans haven’t been roasted for long, they retain some of their origin flavors.

Beans are light brown, with a matte surface.

This roast has the least bitterness.

Can be somewhat more difficult to brew properly.

Medium Roast Coffee Beans

Roast for longer than light roast, but shorter than dark and you end up with a medium roast coffee. They’re usually medium brown in color, and the bean surface isn’t shiny, as the oils are contained within. Medium roast coffee is one of the most popular roasts in the US, as it works well with almost any brewing method.

Richer in taste than light roast, but still may have traces of the origin flavors.

Medium roast coffee is slightly sweeter than light roast.

The aroma is pleasant, but not overwhelming.

Dark Roast Coffee Beans

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted the longest, to the point of almost being charred in some cases. These beans are often associated with espresso, and they have rich, robust flavors and aromas. The beans are oily, shiny, and very dark brown to black.

Flavors of dark roast coffee are smoky and strong.

Origin flavors are mostly roasted out, leaving only the smoky flavors of the beans themselves.

Dark roast coffee is sweet and often bitter.

Low Acid Coffee Beans

Low acid coffee beans brew java with less acidity than regular coffee. It’s better tolerated by people who have digestive or stomach issues. It also has a higher pH level that’s closer to neutral than most regular coffees. Cold brew is often less acidic than other forms of brewing.

Kinder on those with sensitive stomachs.

Lower acidity levels influence how the coffee tastes.

Light coffee roasts tend to be more acidic than dark roasts.

Cold Brew Coffee Beans

These beans are particularly well-suited for cold brew, which is made by steeping coarsely ground coffee in water for many hours. This coaxes more flavor out, while minimizing the acidic factor. Much like with espresso beans, roasters have created coffees solely for cold brew, using the attributes that complement each other best.

Cold brew needs coarsely ground coffee, water, and time. No special coffee makers or tricks.

Some coffees are created specifically for cold brewing.

This type of coffee is concentrated and should typically be diluted with milk or water.

Instant Coffee

Low acid coffee beans brew java with less acidity than regular coffee. It’s better tolerated by people who have digestive or stomach issues. It also has a higher pH level that’s closer to neutral than most regular coffees. Cold brew is often less acidic than other forms of brewing.

Because of the processing, instant coffee often has less caffeine than regular coffee.

Some drinkers have concerns about the chemicals used in making instant java.

Regardless of the criticism — instant coffee is real coffee.


What exactly is a coffee roast, and why does it matter?

You might not recognize coffee before it’s roasted. The beans are green, hard, and crunchy. Roasting is the process of heating green coffee to high temperatures, which transforms it into the brown beans that smell so fantastic.

During the roasting process, heat encourages fats, sugars, and starches to come out of the beans. These form the aromas and flavors you’ll smell and taste when the beverage is brewed. If the beans are lightly roasted, you’ll notice some flavors that were absorbed from the growing environment. However, as the roasting time increases, those origin flavors roast out and fade.

There are four principal roast levels to choose from. Whether you buy coffee beans online or in a store, you’ll know the lingo.


Light Roast

Light roasted coffee reaches an internal temperature of 356°F-401°F or 180°C–205°C. These coffee beans are roasted until the first crack — when the coffee bean literally cracks — and then removed from heat.

With a dull finish, light roasted beans don’t bear oil on their surface. Sometimes known as half city roast, light city roast, or cinnamon roast, light roast coffee has a milder taste but more acidity than others. And, as the beans aren’t roasted for very long, you can still taste flavors from the beans’ origin, such as fruit.

Medium Roast

Roasted until just before the second crack and enduring an internal temperature of 410°F-428°F or 210°C-220°C. Medium roast beans are medium brown in color, but still with no oil on the beans’ surface. You may also hear them referred to as American roast or just regular roast.

This coffee has a somewhat stronger flavor than lighter roasts, but these flavors are balanced. Nutty and chocolate tastes are common, and you can use virtually any brewing method.

Medium-Dark Roast

Medium-dark roasted coffee has been roasted to at least the second crack or slightly beyond. These beans hit an internal temperature of 437°F-446°F or 225°C-230°C. With a dark and rich brown color, some oil is present on the surface of medium-dark coffee beans.

Also going by the name of full city roast, Viennese roast, or continental roast, medium-dark roasted coffee has a more full-bodied and richer flavor than medium roasted coffee. Dark chocolate is a prevalent flavor, and this coffee has less acidity than lighter roasts. It also bears an aftertaste that can be slightly bittersweet.

Dark Roast

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted the longest, typically to the end of the second crack, but before the third. These beans reach an internal temperature of 464°F-482°F or 240°C-250°C and are the darkest, even coming close to being charred. You’ll notice their shiny and oily texture and appearance.

You may hear dark roasted coffee also referred to in espresso beans reviews as espresso, French, or Italian roast. These beans have been roasted so long that you typically can’t detect any flavors from their growing environment. Dark roast coffee is often bitter but possesses the least acidity of any roast. With a heavy body and mouthfeel, it does carry a sweeter flavor thanks to the sugars having more time to caramelize.

Brewing Method

There are so, so many ways of brewing coffee, and there’s no right or wrong way to do it. To prove it to you, here’s a quick summary of the most popular java brewing methods:

  • Espresso — uses pressure to force water through coffee grounds to brew concentrated, rich coffee.
  • French press — grounds are immersed in water and then pressed to extract the flavor.
  • AeroPress — water is forced through ground coffee by slowly pressing the grounds.
  • Pour-over — water is manually poured over ground coffee to brew coffee.
  • Cold brew — coffee grounds are steeped in cold or room temperature water for 12-24 hours.
  • Drip coffee — the most common method of brewing, hot water is dripped over ground coffee in a filter.
  • Moka pot — hot water creates steam, which is forced through coffee grounds to brew coffee.
Coffee Grinder Prices

However, certain brewing methods have better results with certain kinds of coffee roasts. Thus, if you love a particular roast with great coffee bean ratings, then there are undoubtedly some brew methods to try out first.


  • Light roast. A popular choice for cold brew coffee. Light roasts can take longer to extract the full flavor, compared to other roasts. Hence, the extended extraction time required for cold brew works well here.
  • Medium roast. Anything goes with this roast. It’s suited to almost every brew method, particularly drip coffee. This is why most pre-ground coffee for drip coffee makers is of medium roast.
  • Medium-dark roast. French press, espresso, and AeroPress are where this roast shines. Their short extraction times pair well with the coffee’s richness.
  • Dark roast. When you think of the best beans for espresso, you likely imagine dark, rich coffee. However, dark roast coffee can turn bitter quickly if it’s over-extracted, so the rapid extraction time of espresso brewing is perfect for it.

Type of Coffee Bean

Coffee beans are not all created equal. They have different properties and flavors that affect how their brewed coffee tastes. There are actually four types of coffee beans — Arabica, Excelsa, Liberica, and Robusta. If you’re interested in the specifics, you can check out this guide. However, since Robusta and Arabica are predominantly used in coffee, we’ll stick with those right now.


The most popular beans used throughout the world, Arabica are perceived to be of higher quality. The coffee plants flourish at higher elevations, but they can be more susceptible to weather and insects. This difficulty in growing means they typically cost more to produce.

Despite the expense, java brewed from Arabica beans tastes smoother and has more complex flavors. Arabica possesses less caffeine but higher acidity than most other coffee beans. However, their sugar content is greater, which leads to a sweeter taste. You’ll also often find floral or berry tasting notes in a beverage brewed from these beans.


Robusta beans aren’t as expensive as Arabica, largely because they’re easier to grow. These coffee plants can be planted at lower elevations and are more resistant to weather and pests. They also produce fruit (coffee cherries) sooner than Arabica coffee plants.

Robusta beans contain more caffeine and provide better results when used as part of a blend, rather than on their own. Coffee brewed from Robusta beans typically has a harsher, more bitter flavor. However, that flavor is appreciated in espresso and even instant coffee. Combined with the extra caffeine boost, Robusta coffee beans can brew espresso with a punch! If you’re going to buy espresso beans online, look for what kind of beans are used.

Organic or Not

There’s an organic option for most food and drink now, so it’s no surprise coffee has followed suit. Organic coffee, along with most organic products, is considered to be healthier than conventional java.

Organic products typically haven’t been exposed to chemicals or man-made fertilizers, pesticides, or herbicides. It’s grown in a traditional, natural way — higher elevations, shade, and natural processing. In contrast, conventional coffee plants grow in full sunlight and often must be treated with chemicals to produce a good harvest. The way conventional coffee is grown can often damage the environment.

Some people are convinced that organic coffee tastes better, but taste is very subjective. It’s thought that organic coffee may absorb more flavors from its surrounding environment, without the masking of chemicals. 

What’s more, organic certification is a costly process, so some farms may meet the standards, but haven’t been certified as such.

Single Origin or Blend

While it’s not important to some java drinkers, many people do prefer single-origin coffee over blended coffee or vice versa with top rated coffee beans. Yet, what’s the difference and why should you care?

Single Origin

Single-origin means all the coffee is sourced from a single location, gathered at the same time. It may be from the same farm or even the same crop. It’s considered to be the most authentic version, since it includes origin flavors from its surrounding environment.

The beans often have a brighter flavor than blends, and fruity or floral notes are common. However, the same aspects that make single-origin coffee attractive also mean that it can’t be precisely replicated over and over. The reason being, because growing conditions and the environment change over time. Hence, the coffee will be slightly different with each harvest.


Blended coffee can be replicated time and time again. Some blends use coffee beans from a single region, while others are from different countries. Roasters experiment with different combinations to develop the best flavors.

The final blend is an original combination of flavors, body, and acidity. Blends also tend to have more chocolate or nutty flavors. Some java aficionados may imply blends are inferior to single-origin, but ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Drink what you enjoy!

Where the Beans Are Sourced

Where to get coffee beans from is another decision to make. Much like blends and single-origin coffees, it matters to some java lovers. Some people simply like knowing where their coffee comes from, while others may enjoy the flavor profiles associated with particular regions or countries. 

  • Africa — coffee is sweet, with fruity or floral tones. High acidity level.
  • Asia — bold, earthy, and smoky coffee. It has a rich body but can be super bitter at times.
  • South America — balanced flavors with tasting notes of chocolate, nuts, and caramel. Acidity is light to medium.
  • Central America — coffee is smooth and balanced. Flavors include milk chocolate, light fruit, or brown sugar. Acidity varies.



You can indeed brew java with virtually any kind of roasted coffee beans. However, there’s a big difference between coffee that’s decent and coffee that’s amazing. And, to brew the latter, you must start with amazing coffee beans. Use your grinder to transform those beans into the best ground coffee.

As we’ve discovered, there are many points to consider when looking for the best coffee beans, online or in-store. Where the beans originate, what type you prefer, and roast level all come into play when picking a coffee you’ll love. Plus, they’re better suited for certain brewing methods too. 

What are the best coffee beans to buy? You definitely won’t go wrong with any of these best coffee beans on our list.

Best Coffee Beans FAQs

Where Are the Best Whole Bean Coffees From?

According to the National Coffee Association, it’s Colombia, with some of the best coffee beans in the world grown there. Excellent coffee beans also come from the Americas, Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and Asia.

Where Can I Buy Coffee Beans?

Deciding where to buy coffee beans can feel like a minefield. To help you, why not check out our coffee bean comparison section. From there, you can navigate to our coffee bean reviews and narrow down your selection.

Which Coffee Bean Is Better, Arabica or Robusta?

Arabica beans are generally preferred over Robusta. Arabica creates flavors that are smooth and complex, compared to the more bitter taste of Robusta coffee. However, Robusta contains more caffeine and are often the best espresso beans.

Are Organic Coffee Beans Better?

In general, organic coffee beans can be considered healthier than conventional coffee beans. Organic coffee isn’t exposed to a large number of chemicals like conventional coffee plants. Some coffee lovers believe that organic also tastes better.

What Roast of Coffee Is Least Bitter?

Light roasted coffee. The longer coffee beans roast, the more bitterness can develop. Bitterness is more common with dark roast coffee, although medium and medium-dark roasts can also carry some bitter notes.

How Do I Choose the Right Coffee Beans?

Choosing the right coffee beans can be complicated. Look for quality coffee beans that have a solid reputation. Most importantly, the right coffee beans are those you enjoy drinking.

Can You Mix Robusta and Arabica Beans?

Yes, Robusta and Arabica coffee can be mixed into blends and often are! When blended, Arabica beans provide smoothness to the flavor, while Robusta beans add extra caffeine.

What Is the Most Popular Coffee Bean?

Arabica coffee beans are the most popular beans. These account for almost 60 percent of coffee bean production throughout the world.

Take a look at our in-depth information on each type of coffee bean:

Organic Coffee Beans
Decaf Coffee Beans
Espresso Beans
Light Roast Coffee Beans
Medium Roast Coffee Beans
Dark Roast Coffee Beans
Low Acid Coffee Beans
Cold Brew Coffee Beans
Instant Coffee