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Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans in 2022 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and Comparisons

Medium roast coffee beans offer the best from both worlds of light and dark roast coffee. They’re slightly sweet and sometimes fruity like light roasts, but java brewed from these beans has a richer, full-body flavor associated with dark roasts. There’s really no limit when brewing the best medium roast coffee beans.
Starbucks Medium Roast Ground Coffee
Starbucks Medium Roast Coffee is a variety pack. It includes Starbucks House Blend Medium Roast, Starbucks Pike Place Roast, and Starbucks Breakfast Blend. The brand uses ethical sourcing for its coffee beans, and these coffees are balanced, with smooth, rich flavors.
Features
  • Uses only Arabica coffee beans
  • Suitable for French press, moka pot, drip, or pour-over coffee
  • The popular House Blend was the first blend created by Starbucks

Product Comparison Table

IMAGE PRODUCT DETAILS
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over, moka

Features

  • Blend of Latin American Arabica beans
  • Hints of sweetness
  • Balanced flavors — smooth and rich

Product Rating: 4.6/5

Check Price At Amazon Starbucks Medium Roast Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica and Robusta
  • Origin of Beans: South America and Asia
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: Espresso

Features

  • Blended and roasted in Italy
  • Lavazza Super Crema whole bean coffee blend uses 60/40% Arabica/Robusta beans
  • Produces a velvety crema

Product Rating: 4.5/5

Check Price At Amazon Super Crema Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: Drip

Features

  • Available in ground or K-cups
  • Mild and smooth taste
  • Lower price point than many medium roast brands

Product Rating: 4.5/5

Check Price At Amazon Seattle's Best Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America to East Africa
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: Drip, pour-over, French press

Features

  • Rich aroma
  • Sweet, fruity flavors
  • No bitter aftertaste

Product Rating: 4.4/5

Check Price At Amazon Eight O'Clock Coffee Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Indonesia, Central America, South America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over

Features

  • Organic and Fair Trade certified
  • Blend of light, medium, and dark roast beans
  • Available in whole bean or ground

Product Rating: 4.0/5

Check Price At Amazon Three Sisters Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Africa, Arabia, the Americas
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, cold brew, pour-over

Features

  • Peet’s medium roast features Ethiopian Super Natural coffee beans
  • Hand roasted to order
  • Washed and natural processing

Product Rating: 4.0/5

Check Price At Amazon Big Bang Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Hawaii
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, cold brew, pour-over

Features

  • Available in ground or whole bean
  • Uses sustainable methods of growing and sourcing beans
  • Light floral tasting notes

Product Rating: 4.1/5

Check Price At Amazon Kauai Coffee Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central and South America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over

Features

  • Tasting notes of hazelnut and brown sugar
  • Available in whole bean or K-cups
  • Sweet and smooth flavor

Product Rating: 4.0/5

Check Price At Amazon Real Good Coffee Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Central and South America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over

Features

  • Available only in ground coffee
  • Rainforest Alliance certified
  • Rich, syrupy body with sweet and spicy notes

Product Rating: 4.4/5

Check Price At Amazon Caribou Blend Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Indonesia
  • Organic / Not Organic: Not organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over

Features

  • Tasting notes of lemongrass and toffee
  • Available in whole beans or multiple grind levels
  • Washed processing, dried in sunlight

Product Rating: 4.0/5

Check Price At Amazon Sumatra Mendheling Review
  • Bean Type: Arabica
  • Origin of Beans: Latin America
  • Organic / Not Organic: Organic
  • Best for Brewing: French press, drip, pour-over

Features

  • Previously partnered with Whole Foods
  • Bird-friendly
  • Tasting notes of cocoa and roasted nuts

Product Rating: 4.4/5

Check Price At Amazon Early Bird Blend Review

Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans Buying Guide


If you go by statistics, medium roast is the most popular choice for java lovers in the United States. Yet, there’s surprisingly little information available about medium roast coffee, its characteristics, and why people love it so much.

The best medium roast coffee has a delicious aroma, tastes great, and has a full, rich body, without being as aggressive as dark roast coffee sometimes can be. This roast will still carry some fruity and sweet flavors found in light roasts, but those flavors will take a backseat to more natural flavors of the coffee bean itself.

However, some medium roast coffee beans will be better than others, so you should know how to distinguish great coffees from the not-so-great. Consider these points when you’re making your selection of medium roast coffee:

Which brewing method you’ll be using

Blend or single-origin beans

Type of coffee beans

Organic or not

Roast date

What Is Medium Roast Coffee?


Most people can easily rattle off characteristics of light or dark roast coffee, but they sometimes have trouble explaining medium roast. According to the National Coffee Association, medium roast coffee beans are usually medium brown in color. 

Their flavor is stronger than light roast beans, but not so much as darker roasts. The surface of the beans isn’t oily, either. Medium roast is also known as American, City, or Breakfast roast.

Medium beans are roasted beyond what’s known as the first crack, but not quite to the second. Roasting temperatures can reach up to about 430 degrees Fahrenheit.

Characteristics of Medium Roast

Medium roast coffee offers some of the best parts of both light and dark roast coffee beans. You’ll find some tasting notes that are common with light roast coffee. However, by roasting beans longer, you’ll find richer, natural flavors that come from the beans themselves.

Much like with light roast coffee, hints of fruit, nuts, and sweetness are common, but those flavors aren’t as pronounced. Medium roast coffee has a more balanced body, without being too bold.

You can use just about any brewing method with these coffee beans, from drip java to espresso. Despite claims to the contrary, medium roast coffee has about the same amount of caffeine as light or dark roast.

How to Choose the Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans


Medium roast coffee can get lost in the shuffle between light roasts and dark, and there’s not quite as much information out there. But whether you’re already a follower or you want to try something new, these are some points to consider when making your selection.

Your Brewing Method

Truthfully, medium roast coffee lends itself to just about every brewing method known to man — or woman. That’s right, you can make espresso with medium roast beans, you can use a moka pot, or you can use an ordinary drip coffee machine.

However, if there’s one type of brewing that medium roast is best suited for, it’s cold brew. This will brew best when its flavors are extracted slowly, so all the good stuff is captured in the beverage. Since cold brew requires hours of steeping, it’s a perfect match for medium roast beans.

That said, take note when you’re making your selection — some coffee beans are better suited to certain methods of brewing. For example, the Lavazza medium roast coffee, that we’ll cover shortly, is roasted specifically for espresso.

Blends or Single Origin

Some java lovers enjoy blends of coffee. However, others prefer their coffee to originate from one location. There’s no right or wrong answer.

As the name suggests, single-origin coffee beans are grown in the same region, often even on the same farm. Every single bean in a package.

However, with blends, coffee from one area may be combined with coffees from other locations. For example, a brand may use beans from Nicaragua and Ethiopia blended together. The intention is to capture the best features of coffee grown in each region.

Type of Bean

There are two most common types of coffee beans — Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica are considered the premium beans, with a wide variety of flavors, smooth taste, and less bitterness. They’re also more difficult to grow, which is one reason they’re typically more expensive than Robusta. Arabica beans can be used by themselves or blended with Robusta beans.

Robusta beans are easier to grow, less expensive, and more bitter than Arabica coffee beans. They’re often blended with Arabica beans to achieve certain flavor profiles and are commonly found in espresso.

Most people have definite preferences for one over the other, if only because the two types of coffee are so different. If you’d like to learn more about Arabica and Robusta beans, read this article on how coffee is made.

Organic or Non

Organic food and drinks have risen to a whole new level over the past few years, and java is no exception. Buying organic coffee matters to some people, while it may not be a big deal to others.

Organic coffee goes through a certification process to verify that it is indeed organic. This typically involves very strict conditions for the soil and what, if any, pesticides or man-made chemicals can be used. In addition, farms must be inspected regularly. The organic certification label is displayed on the packaging.

On the other hand, just because coffee beans don’t carry an organic label, that doesn’t mean they’re of lesser quality. It’s entirely possible coffee beans could be grown in organic-like conditions, but don’t carry the certification.

Roast Date

When you’re choosing your coffee, check that the packaging indicates the date the coffee beans were roasted. Once roasted, the flavors and aroma of beans start to diminish almost immediately. To ensure the freshest possible coffee, it’s best to use whole beans within two weeks of their roast date.

Ground coffee will start going stale even more quickly than whole beans. This is why we always suggest grinding coffee beans right before brewing. You’ll enjoy a better cup of java.

Top 11 Medium Roast Coffee Beans


While you could spend a lot of time going down the rabbit hole looking for the best medium roast coffee beans — you undoubtedly have better uses for that time — like drinking coffee!

Fortunately, we’ve done the legwork for you. After sorting through information, customer feedback, popularity, and personal knowledge, we’ve compiled a list of what we feel are the best medium roast coffee beans.

Our Rating: 4.6/5

FEATURES:

  • Blend of Latin American Arabica beans
  • Hints of sweetness
  • Balanced flavors — smooth and rich

While many people associate Starbucks with ordering their morning libation, the coffeehouse chain has a solid reputation for quality beans and ground coffee that you can brew at home. The Starbucks Medium Roast coffee beans are what should be expected from quality medium roast coffees — smooth java, a little bolder than light roast, but not as overwhelming as some dark roasts can be.

This Starbucks Medium Roast variety pack includes three different coffees. It arrives with a bag of Starbucks House Blend, Breakfast Blend, and Pike Place Roast. Each comprises 100% Arabica beans sourced from Latin America. 

The Starbucks Breakfast Blend Medium Roast has hints of citrus and brown sugar, with a slightly lighter taste than other medium roast coffees. With House Blend, you’ll taste toffee and cocoa, with a little sweetness. Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast has flavors of toasted nuts and chocolate but has a darker feel than the other coffees.

Pros

  • Smooth, balanced flavors
  • Uses only Arabica beans
  • Beans are ethically sourced

    Cons

    • Flavors may not be strong enough to satisfy some people
    • Bag doesn’t reseal well, and coffee could go stale quickly
    • Flavor
    • Freshness
    • Price

    Lavazza Super Crema

    ~ Best for Espresso


    Our Rating: 4.5/5

    FEATURES:

    • Blended and roasted in Italy
    • Lavazza Super Crema whole bean coffee blend uses 60/40% Arabica/Robusta beans
    • Produces a velvety crema

    Lavazza Super Crema whole bean coffee is intended for espresso, and the coffee beans are roasted and blended in Italy. However, this whole bean blend sources coffee beans from India, Brazil, Vietnam, Colombia, and Indonesia.

    Using a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans, this Italian espresso is full-bodied, with a nice crema. Honey is the predominant scent in its aroma, plus it also has floral and fruity notes. Lavazza medium roast espresso is described as having medium-light intensity, with a nice balance. You’ll find hints of hazelnut and brown sugar within its flavor.

    Lavazza Super Crema coffee beans are produced within a nut-free facility, so there are no worries about allergens. However, this isn’t organic, and there have been some comments from consumers about rocks in the coffee beans damaging their grinders.

    Pros

    • Good balance of sweet and bitter
    • Lavazza coffee medium roast is created for espresso
    • Full body with a smooth flavor

      Cons

      • Not organic
      • A few consumers have reported rocks or stones in the beans
      • Flavor
      • Freshness
      • Price

      Our Rating: 4.5/5

      FEATURES:

      • Available in ground or K-cups.
      • Mild and smooth taste.
      • Lower price point than many medium roast brands.

      Seattle’s Best Coffee Medium Roast House Blend is incredibly popular. It’s available as ground coffee or in K-cups, but there is no option for buying whole beans to grind yourself.

      Using a blend of Arabica coffee beans from Latin America, this coffee is less acidic and less bitter than others. The brand describes Seattle’s Best medium roast as rich and savory. And, most consumers agree that it has a smooth, mild taste. However, it may be too bland for some people, as it’s definitely among the milder medium roast coffees.

      While this coffee has a lower price point than many other medium roast brands, it isn’t organic, which may have something to do with it. Best suited for drip coffee, this house blend offers you the caffeine you need, but without being too overpowering.

      Pros

      • Made with 100% Arabica beans
      • Taste is smooth and mild
      • Less expensive than many other brands

        Cons

        • Lacks availability in whole bean
        • Not organic
        • Flavor
        • Freshness
        • Price

        Eight O’Clock Coffee Medium Roast

        ~ Best Budget-Friendly


        Our Rating: 4.4/5

        FEATURES:

        • Rich aroma
        • Sweet, fruity flavors
        • No bitter aftertaste

        Eight O’Clock Whole Bean Coffee is by far the least expensive product on this list. However, in this case, budget coffee doesn’t translate to bad-tasting coffee.

        It’s available in whole beans or ground, and the brand only uses Arabica beans. These coffee beans aren’t organic, but they are sourced from many farms from Latin America to eastern Africa. 

        Eight O’Clock coffee doesn’t work well for espresso, but other forms of brewing java will give you a pretty tasty beverage. It has a balanced flavor, with fruity and sweet notes. More specifically, there are faint hints of cherry and raspberry that give it a pleasant taste.

        Pros

        • Rich aroma
        • Sweet, fruity flavors
        • Available in whole beans or ground

          Cons

          • Not suitable for espresso
          • Some consumers just don’t like the flavor
          • Flavor
          • Freshness
          • Price

          Our Rating: 4.0/5

          FEATURES:

          • Organic and Fair Trade certified
          • Blend of light, medium, and dark roast beans
          • Available in whole bean or ground

          Kicking Horse Medium Roast Three Sisters coffee is named after three mountains in the Rockies. It’s both organic and Fair Trade certified, while the company describes its product as savory, seductive, and smooth.

          Only organic Arabica coffee beans are used for Three Sisters coffee, and this medium bean blend is sourced from Central America, South America, and Indonesia. It has a well-rounded taste, with hints of fruit, tobacco, and cocoa. Aroma notes include sweet fruit, chocolate malt, and toasted coconut.

          Available as both whole beans and ground coffee, yet the flavor may be a touch too bold for some people. The company uses large-batch roasting, which may explain the comments that its quality lacks consistency between batches.

          Pros

          • Organic and Fair Trade certified
          • Complex, full-body taste
          • Uses only Arabica beans

            Cons

            • Flavor may be too overpowering for some people
            • Large-batch roasting — quality isn’t as consistent
            • Flavor
            • Freshness
            • Price

            Our Rating: 4.0/5

            FEATURES:

            • Peet’s medium roast features Ethiopian Super Natural coffee beans.
            • Hand roasted to order.
            • Washed and natural processing

            Peet’s Coffee Big Bang Medium Roast ground coffee has a higher price point than many other medium roasts. It’s available as whole beans, or you can obtain it in different grind levels. This coffee is what the company refers to as a world blend, with coffee beans from Africa, Arabia, and the Americas.

            The brand uses both washed and natural processing. Plus, each order is hand-roasted and shipped on the same day to preserve the coffee’s freshness. This beverage has a smooth, balanced taste, with flavors of fruit and milk chocolate. If you’re a lover of cold brew, Big Bang is perfectly suited to it.

            Although Peet’s Big Bang ground coffee has a deep, rich taste, it may not be strong enough for some people who prefer darker roasts. And, in Peet’s Big Bang reviews, there have been some complaints from consumers receiving stale coffee.

            Pros

            • Peet’s Coffee Big Bang is roasted to order and ships the same day
            • Available in whole bean, multiple grind levels, or K-cups
            • Rich aroma and flavors

              Cons

              • The flavor of Peet’s Big Bang may not be strong enough for some people
              • Stale coffee complaints from some consumers
              • Flavor
              • Freshness
              • Price

              Our Rating: 4.1/5

              FEATURES:

              • Available in ground or whole bean
              • Uses sustainable methods of growing and sourcing beans
              • Light floral tasting notes

              Kauai Coffee Medium Roast is available in ground or whole bean, and the company states that it uses eco-friendly, sustainable methods to grow and roast coffee beans. Only Arabica beans are used for this coffee.

              Coffee grown in Hawaii is done so at lower altitudes than some other countries, which gives it a milder taste. Kauai Coffee has a bright aroma, which has hints of floral tones. However, due to the lower growing elevation, its flavor won’t be as strong as some other medium roast coffees.

              Additionally, there seems to be slight confusion over how much of this coffee is sourced from Hawaii. In some instances, the packaging displays 100% Hawaiian coffee, while other packages mention 10%.

              Pros

              • Eco-friendly growing methods
              • Uses only Arabica coffee beans
              • Light floral tasting notes

                Cons

                • Confusion over whether Kauai Coffee Company uses 100% Hawaiian coffee
                • Flavor may not be strong enough for some
                • Flavor
                • Freshness
                • Price

                Our Rating: 4.0/5

                FEATURES:

                • Tasting notes of hazelnut and brown sugar
                • Available in whole bean or K-cups
                • Sweet and smooth flavor

                The Real Good Coffee Co Medium Roast Donut Shop is a blend of Arabica beans from South and Central America. This coffee can be purchased as whole beans or in K-cups, and it’s most suitable for French press, pour-over, or drip coffee.

                Although this coffee isn’t organic, the company relies on responsible sourcing for coffee beans. The packaging is also 100% recyclable. Real Good Coffee Co Donut Shop brews a beverage that’s smooth and sweet. You’ll taste hints of hazelnut and brown sugar, with faint fruit notes for some sweetness.

                Like most coffees on this list, this is a blend, rather than single-origin coffee beans. Hence, some java drinkers have experienced inconsistencies between flavors from one bag to the next.

                Pros

                • Responsibly sourced coffee beans
                • Sweet, smooth flavor with hints of brown sugar and hazelnuts
                • Arabica beans — sourced from Central and South America

                  Cons

                  • A blend, not single-origin beans
                  • Inconsistent flavors
                  • Flavor
                  • Freshness
                  • Price

                  Caribou Coffee Medium Roast Caribou Blend

                  ~ Best Small-Batch Roasted


                  Our Rating: 4.4/5

                  FEATURES:

                  • Available only in ground coffee
                  • Rainforest Alliance certified
                  • Rich, syrupy body with sweet and spicy notes

                  Caribou Blend Coffee Medium Roast isn’t organic, but it is Rainforest Alliance certified. It’s also only available as pre-ground coffee, with no option for whole beans. That said, it can be purchased in different grind levels.

                  The Caribou blend uses only Arabica beans sourced from Central and South America, and it shows in its taste. A little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, with some tasting notes of fruit from those regions. The coffee also has bright acidity that will grab your attention.

                  This brand uses small-batch roasting to ensure consistently high quality. And, while this coffee can be used with almost any brewing method, it really shines with drip coffee.

                  Pros

                  • Rainforest Alliance certified
                  • Flavor notes of berry, with sweetness and spice
                  • Adopts small-batch roasting methods

                    Cons

                    • Available only in ground, not offered as whole beans
                    • Non-organic
                    • Flavor
                    • Freshness
                    • Price

                    Our Rating: 4.0/5

                    FEATURES:

                    • Tasting notes of lemongrass and toffee
                    • Available in whole beans or multiple grind levels
                    • Washed processing, dried in sunlight

                    Volcanica Sumatra Mandheling coffee is more expensive than most medium roast brands. It’s not organic, but it is Fair Trade certified. The company employs washed processing to prepare coffee beans for roasting, and then they dry in natural sunlight.

                    It uses Indonesian Arabica beans, which are more rare than beans from other regions of the world. When brewed, the beverage offers a rich, heavy body with a syrupy aftertaste. You’ll catch hints of toffee combined with chocolate in its flavors, while the aroma will remind you of brown spice and cocoa. Its overall taste is earthy and spicy.

                    While many people love this coffee, others simply don’t find its flavor bold enough. Also, some consumers feel it’s pricey for the quality of coffee you receive.

                    Pros

                    • Adopts washed processing and sun drying method
                    • Fair Trade certified
                    • Flavors of toffee, dried fruit, and chocolate

                      Cons

                      • Higher price point than most medium roasts
                      • Some people struggle with the flavor
                      • Flavor
                      • Freshness
                      • Price

                      Our Rating: 4.4/5

                      FEATURES:

                      • Previously partnered with Whole Foods
                      • Bird-friendly
                      • Tasting notes of cocoa and roasted nuts

                      Allegro Coffee medium roast uses organic coffee beans, sourced from Latin America. This specialty coffee was originally partnered with the organic grocery store Whole Foods.

                      The company uses only ethically sourced beans, plus this product is also backed by the Smithsonian institution for the brand’s bird-friendly practices.

                      Aroma-wise, it’s a mellow java, with tasting notes of cocoa and roasted nuts. Allegro Early Bird Blend is moderately priced, putting it somewhere in the middle of all medium roast coffee options.

                      Although it’s one of the best Allegro coffees, this coffee is a blend, rather than single-origin. Its taste may also be a little too low-key for some palates, especially those used to drinking dark roast coffee. However, it’s available in whole beans and ground coffee.

                      Pros

                      • Organic coffee beans from Latin America
                      • Tasting notes of cocoa and roasted nuts
                      • Specialty-grade coffee

                        Cons

                        • Not single-origin beans
                        • Could be too mellow for some java lovers
                        • Flavor
                        • Freshness
                        • Price

                        Conclusion


                         

                        While medium roast may be one of the most popular choices in the United States, even devotees are sometimes hard-pressed to describe it. Combining playfulness associated with light roasts and richness found in dark roasts, this combination appeals to many.

                        While it’s commonly a blend of beans from multiple regions, this can create flavor profiles that are really unlike any other kind of coffee. You can also brew this roast using almost any method, from drip to espresso.

                        Whether you prefer organic or beans originating from a particular region, the best medium roast coffee beans are out there for you. Don’t wait any longer to experience this java.

                        Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans FAQs


                        Is Medium Roast Coffee the Strongest Coffee?

                        Medium roast is not the most intense coffee, whether in taste or caffeine content. However, it does have a stronger natural flavor of the coffee bean itself, when compared to light roast coffee. On the other hand, its flavors are not as bold as dark roast coffee.

                        Is Dark or Medium Roast Coffee Healthier?

                        Both dark and medium roast coffee offer many health benefits. However, research has shown that lighter roasts contain more antioxidants than darker roasts. Following this pattern, it’s likely that medium roast java has more antioxidants than a dark roast.

                        What Does Medium Roast Coffee Taste Like?

                        Medium roast beans are roasted long enough so that the coffee beans reveal more of their natural flavors. While you may still taste floral and fruity flavors — that are prevalent in light roast coffee — these won’t be as prominent. You’ll notice that medium roast coffee also has a richer body.

                        What’s the Difference Between Medium Roast and Dark Roast?

                        The difference between medium and dark roast is the roasting duration and temperature. Medium roast coffee is roasted until just before what’s known as ‘the second crack,’ — the point when beans literally crack down the center. Dark roast coffee is roasted beyond that.

                        Is Medium Roast Good for Espresso?

                        Yes. While espresso is often associated with dark roast beans, using a medium roast will create a lighter flavor that’s not as forward and bold.

                        Does Medium Roast Coffee Have More Caffeine?

                        No. It doesn’t matter whether coffee beans are light roast, medium, or dark — the caffeine content isn’t dramatically different. However, caffeine does begin to break down the longer that beans are roasted.

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