Best Organic Coffee Beans in 2023 — Buyer’s Guide, Reviews, and ComparisonsOrganic may be a buzzword, but the best organic coffee beans live up to their reputations. Growing coffee in shaded areas without chemicals results in a safer environment for workers and coffee beans that have a very different — some would say better — taste than conventional beans.
- Uses a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans
- Both Fair Trade and USDA Organic certified
- Death Wish coffee’s caffeine content is double the amount of caffeine in other brands
Organic Coffee Beans Comparison Table
|Check Price At Amazon Death Wish Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Grizzly Claw Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Organic French Roast Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Subtle Earth Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Four Sigmatic Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Real Good Coffee Review|
|Check Price At Amazon NO FUN JO Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Allegro Coffee Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Tiny Footprint Review|
|Check Price At Amazon Java Planet Review|
In a hurry? Skip to our reviews of our top picks:
- Death Wish Ground Coffee
- Kicking Horse Coffee: Grizzly Claw
- Peet's Coffee Organic French Roast
- Subtle Earth Organic Coffee
- Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee Lion's Mane
- Real Good Coffee Co Organic
- NO FUN JO DECAF Organic Coffee
- Allegro Coffee Organic French Roast
- Tiny Footprint Coffee Cold Pressed Elixir
- Java Planet Organic Coffee Colombian
Organic Coffee Beans Buying Guide
With such dramatic growth in the organic foods market, it’s no surprise that certified organic coffee beans have jumped into the fray. Organic beans offer some definite advantages over conventional coffee beans such as less exposure to synthetic chemicals and different flavors because of different growing methods.
However, not all organic beans are created equal. To be considered truly organic, beans must be both grown and roasted organically. Some of the best organic coffee brands even go a step further, ensuring their beans help rainforests and to ensure fair wages for workers. Other certifications include Bird Friendly and Rainforest Alliance.
Some considerations that you should keep in mind when selecting organic beans:
Ground or whole Beans
Source of coffee beans
Preference of roast
What is Organic?
So what exactly does it mean if coffee beans are organic? There’s actually a very long list of criteria that must be met before something can be classified as organic. And monetary fees, of course, because organic farmers must pay for that label.
A short explanation is that earning an organic certification requires farmers to avoid growing methods that involve man-made chemicals, such as pesticides. Not just for the current growing season, either. According to the USDA, organic food must not have had exposure to disallowed substances in the soil for three years before the harvest.
Organic coffee is typically grown in higher altitudes than conventional coffee, and on smaller farms. Many organic farmers use older, traditional methods to grow coffee, such as growing it in shaded areas and using compost as fertilizer.
Why Buy Organic Coffee Beans?
There are many valid reasons to choose organic beans, both on an individual level and as part of the bigger ethical and environmental picture. Organic coffee farming is quite different from conventional farming; conventional coffee farming can disrupt and damage the surrounding environment. Plus, workers’ exposure to toxins is a real concern.
Certified organic coffee beans may offer greater health benefits than conventional beans as there are more antioxidants and beans have less exposure to chemicals. Many people believe that organic java just tastes better, so for them, that’s reason enough for choosing organic beans. More information on differences between organic and conventional coffee can be found here.
How to Choose the Best Organic Coffee Beans
The sheer number of organic coffee bean brands on the market can make choosing just one hard, especially if you’ve never purchased organic beans before. To get you started, these are some of the points you should think about before you make your selection.
Labeling is important with organic coffee beans, and they can be a little confusing if you don’t know what you’re looking for. In the United States, any certified organic product will carry a label that says USDA Organic. If you don’t see that label, the product isn’t certified as organic.
However, labels don’t always stop there. There are certifications that go even further, which may be in conjunction with an organic certification, or they may be separate. For example, the Fair Trade Certification is commonly seen on many organic products. This certification process tries to ensure environmentally safe practices, fairly paid jobs for locals, and safe working conditions.
Other, less common labels you might see on organic coffee beans include Rainforest Alliance and Bird Friendly.
Ground or Whole Beans
Many people appreciate the convenience of organic ground coffee, but for others the best coffee always comes from whole beans. Those in the latter group will grind their beans at home for the freshest flavor and most robust flavor profile.
Don’t worry, you still get a great cup of joe if you choose pre-ground coffee. However, some organic brands don’t even offer a ground version — it’s whole beans or nothing.
Pre-ground is good if you’re making drip coffee, but if you’re making espresso or French press coffee, for example, you’ll get the best results by grinding your own beans or looking for coffee specifically marketed as organic espresso beans. Some brands sell organic coffee bean pre-ground to specified levels for particular brewing methods.
Source of Coffee Beans
You may not care where your java comes from, which is perfectly fine. Some people do, and they often prefer coffee beans that are grown in particular parts of the world.
Coffee can be grown worldwide, but the largest producers of it are in South America, Central America, Indonesia, and the Ethiopian region of Africa. Brazil is by far the largest producer of coffee beans. Many coffee brands list the country or region where the beans were grown on their packaging.
Acidity refers to the pH scale, which determines how acidic or basic any liquid is. Coffee is relatively acidic, a brewed beverage has a pH of around 5. However, coffee’s acidity can be affected by the grind level, your method of brewing, along with the temperature and duration at which coffee beans were roasted.
Some organic coffee beans are marketed as low-acid; if you find some coffees too rough on your stomach, try a low-acid bean brand. Enthusiasts say the coffee is a little smoother and less bitter.
Coffee beans must be roasted before being packaged for sale, and there are multiple roast levels. Light, medium, medium dark, and dark roasts all have different attributes and flavors. Medium roast is the most popular in the US.
- Light roast — Mild taste, light brown color
- Medium roast — Stronger flavor, not oily
- Medium dark roast — Dark color, rich taste
- Dark roast — Oily surface, black color
The Top Ten Best Organic Coffee Beans
With so many different origin countries, roasts, flavors, and grinds, it may seem rather difficult to pick out the perfect organic beans. That’s where I come in. I’ve researched the best organic coffee beans based on popularity, reviews, and customer feedback.
~ Strongest Organic Coffee
Our Rating: 4.9/5
- Lower acidity than many other brands
- Contains approximately twice the caffeine of other coffee brands
- Flavors of cherry and chocolate
Death Wish Coffee says its brews have more caffeine than any other brand. An eight-ounce cup of this java contains 472 mg of caffeine, more than twice what’s found in most coffees.
This is a top-rated product on Amazon, Death Wish coffee reviews number more than 35,000. It has earned both USDA organic and Fair Trade certifications, and sources Arabica and Robusta beans from Peru and India.
The dark roast is available in both pre-ground and whole beans, plus this company promises to refund your purchase cost if you’re not totally satisfied with the coffee.
Death Wish organic coffee is roasted slowly in small batches, with a maximum of 65 pounds of beans roasted at once. These beans result in a low-acid beverage with cherry and chocolate flavors that complement the dark roast.
- Fair Trade certified
- More caffeine than other coffee beans
- Available in both whole beans and ground versions
- Guaranteed satisfaction, or your money back
- May have too much caffeine for some people
- No light roast option
~ Best Dark Roast
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Dark chocolate and hazelnut flavors
- Aroma of sugar cane and cocoa powder
- Fair trade certified
Kicking Horse Coffee comes in both whole beans and pre-ground options, plus its reputation is almost as good as the previous product. This coffee is suitable for drip coffee, French press coffee, or pour-over.
Grizzly Claw is also certified as both USDA organic and Fair Trade, and its beans originate from South and Central America. It uses only Arabica beans, and has a lush flavor profile.
When you drink a beverage brewed with Kicking Horse coffee beans, you’ll discover notes of dark chocolate, hazelnut, and brown sugar. These are flavors that occur naturally with the coffee beans and pair well with its dark roast.
- Whole beans or pre-ground options
- Not too pricey
- Rich flavors
- Kicking Horse whole bean coffee is packed in smaller amounts than other brands
- Some users complain of a bitter aftertaste
~ Best for French Press
Our Rating: 4.7/5
- Hand-roasted to order
- Roasts and ships the same day for freshness
- Flavors of dark chocolate, burnt sugar, and smoke
Peet’s Coffee French Roast is the company’s signature blend and features only Arabica beans sourced from Central America. It’s best suited to French press coffee or pour-over brewing.
These dark French roast beans are roasted to order when an order is placed. They are sealed immediately after roasting and shipped to customers the very same day.
Peet’s coffee French roast beans are hand roasted. In terms of flavors, expect dark chocolate, a little caramel, smoke, and burnt sugar. Peet’s French Roast is available in whole beans or pre-ground.
- Inexpensive organic coffee
- Available in pre-ground for specific brewing methods
- Roasts and ships the same day
- Complaints of coffee beans going stale quickly
- Flavors may be too intense for those new to dark roast
~ Best Choice for Low Acid Coffee
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Subtle Earth Coffee uses only natural, traditional growing methods
- Chocolate, honey, and caramel flavors
- Grown at high altitudes
Subtle Earth’s Organic Coffee is made with beans from the Marcala region of Honduras. These beans are grown with traditional methods only, such as compost fertilizer and high-altitude farming. No chemicals are used in the growing process.
Only 100% Arabica beans are used, and the coffee is best suited to traditional drip coffee, French press, and espresso. The medium dark roast of these beans goes well with their deep chocolate flavor. As you drink this coffee, you’ll also notice hints of milk chocolate, caramel, and honey.
These beans are roasted in small batches, and this coffee has less acidity than other brands, so even people who have difficulty tolerating java will be able to enjoy it, according to Subtle Earth Organic Coffee reviews.
- Comes in a resealable bag
- Uses no chemicals, only natural growing methods
- Complaints of inconsistent flavors from one bag to another.
- Weaker flavors than other coffees.
~ Best Non-Traditional Organic Coffee
Our Rating: 4.6/5
- Uses mushroom powder for immune system support
- Dark, nutty flavors
- Does not have the crash from caffeine that other brands have
Four Sigmatic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Coffee is not your traditional java as it includes Lion’s Mane and Chaga mushroom powder. Despite the mushroom powder, you won’t taste mushrooms in your beverage.
It uses single-origin Arabica beans sourced from Honduras, and is suitable for French press, pour-over, or drip coffee. These beans produce a smooth, nutty flavor, and it reportedly mixes well with non-dairy milks or even coconut oil.
The caffeine content in Four Sigmatic coffee is comparable to other brands, but you won’t crash after that caffeine wears off like you do with some other types of java. These coffee beans are both USDA organic and Fair Trade certified.
- Prevents a crash when the caffeine wears off
- Mushroom powder reportedly boosts the immune system
- Single-origin coffee beans
- More expensive than other organic beans
- Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee reviewers show some concerns about the safety of mushroom powder
~ Best Value Organic Coffee Beans
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Available in whole beans, K-cups, and Nespresso pods
- Packaging can be recycled
- Bell pepper, cedar, and citrus flavors
Real Good Coffee Company’s Whole Bean Coffee is a dark roast made only from Arabica beans sourced from South and Central America. Unlike some coffees that are only available in whole beans, this brand is available in K-cups and Nespresso pods too, so you can use your single-brew coffee maker.
These Real Good coffee beans are ideal for almost any brewing method, including espresso, drip coffee, or pour-over. When drinking this coffee, you’ll notice flavors like bell peppers and cedar, with hints of spices from South Asia.
The beans are roasted in Seattle, one of the top US cities for java, plus this company has been in business for more than 30 years. Its packaging can also be recycled, which seems appropriate with an organic product.
- Less expensive than some other organic brands
- Packaging can be recycled
- Available in K-cups
- Real Good Coffee Co reviews note that it can be too acidic
~ Best Decaffeinated Coffee
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Decaffeinated with Swiss water process
- Blueberry and milk chocolate flavors
- Classified as specialty grade coffee
No Fun Jo Decaf is one of the most popular decaffeinated coffees on the market with online reviews numbering in the thousands. A medium dark roast, these Jo coffee beans are decaffeinated using the Swiss water process, which uses only water rather than synthetic chemicals.
Made from 100% Arabica beans, this coffee is USDA organic and Fair Trade certified. A specialty grade coffee, it’s considered part of the top 2% of raw organic Arabica coffee. The beans are hand-roasted inside what’s known as a micro-roastery.
Blueberry and milk chocolate are natural flavors present in this coffee. Using the ground version is recommended if you’re brewing drip coffee, but whole beans do best for all other brewing methods.
- Top-rated decaf coffee
- Jo organic coffee uses Swiss water process for decaffeination
- Specialty grade coffee
- Inconsistent grind sizes
- Static builds up in the hopper and grounds bin
~ Best Organic Fair Trade Coffee Beans
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Smokey and slightly sweet flavors
- Grown at high altitudes
- Beans sourced from small-lot cooperatives
Allegro Organic Coffee French Roast is made with 100% Arabic beans grown in high elevations. Rather than sourcing from one single location, Allegro relies on Fair Trade certified, small-lot cooperatives.
This dark French roast has a naturally slightly smoky and sweet flavor. These flavors come from where coffee was grown and the roasting process, flavors are never intentionally added to coffee beans.
The company uses a one-way valve that allows carbon dioxide to be released from the bag after it’s sealed so oxygen can’t enter that bag. Your beans are guaranteed to be fresh, according to Allegro Coffee’s Amazon page.
- Both USDA organic and Fair Trade certified
- Sources beans from small cooperatives
- Rich flavor
- Expires too quickly, according to some Allegro coffee reviews
~ Best for Cold Brew
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Carbon negative coffee
- Cocoa taste, with fruit and floral notes
- Designed specifically for cold brewing
Tiny Footprint Coffee’s Cold Press Elixir is one of the few products designed exclusively for cold brewing. These carbon-negative coffee beans are sure to put a smile on the faces of environmentalists. Plus, Tiny Footprint has partnered with a reforestation foundation and each purchase helps fund tree planting projects in Ecuador. Those trees remove more carbon from our atmosphere than what went into producing the coffee.
Arabica beans grown in the shade give the coffee a flavor reminiscent of cocoa, with some floral and fruity notes. A combination of light with dark roasts gives this brew its unconventional flavor.
Every batch is craft-roasted for the best flavors, and its packaging is compostable. Just toss that bag into your compost pile when you finish enjoying your java.
- Designed solely for cold brew
- Carbon-negative, as trees are planted for each pound produced
- Craft roasted in small batches
- May be too weak for some bean lovers
~ Best Organic Whole Bean Coffee
Our Rating: 4.5/5
- Only available in whole beans
- Low acid coffee
- Gourmet specialty coffee
A medium dark roast, this Java Planet coffee uses only Columbian Arabica beans. Certified USDA organic, Colombian Fair Trade, and Rainforest Alliance, these beans are a true gourmet specialty coffee experience.
Java Planet Colombia organic coffee is only available in whole beans, but can be ground for use with virtually any brewing method. The company uses Java Planet organic coffee roasters for craft roasting and promises that its beans will never make your beverage taste burnt or bitter.
These beans were grown at high elevations with traditional farming methods. They have a lower acidity, so everyone can enjoy the coffee from these beans, even those who don’t tolerate java well.
- Rainforest Alliance Certified
- Java Planet low-acid coffee may be gentler on your digestive system
- Also available already ground
- Some complain that the coffee is not very flavorful
If you have a deep love of java, then you already understand that grinding your own coffee beans is the way for the best, freshest flavor. Buying organic coffee beans is just taking that one step farther.
There are many reasons to choose organic: it’s kinder to our environment and safer for workers who handle the plants and beans. Many people also believe that organic coffee beans taste better and boast more natural flavors than conventional java.
The world of organic beans is expanding rapidly and there’s now a wide variety to choose from. When you go for the top organic coffee bean brands above, you’ll know you’re getting a quality product.
Best Organic Coffee Beans FAQs
Are Organic Coffee Beans Better?
Many people believe that organic beans create better-tasting coffee, plus they’re produced without synthetic chemicals. This makes for a better product for consumers and a safer one for workers who handle the beans.
What Is Certified Organic Coffee?
Coffee beans must meet a long list of criteria to be certified organic by the USDA in the United States. This includes not using synthetic chemicals on plants or soil for at least three consecutive years.
Can a Product Be Labeled Organic Without Being Certified?
While some companies may suggest that their products are organic, they should not be labeled as such unless they are certified. It’s possible that some coffee beans may be organic, but if they haven’t gone through the certification process, there’s no guarantee.
Does Organic Coffee Taste Different?
Some coffee lovers do believe that organic versions taste better than conventional java. Organic coffee beans have natural flavors that result from the environment in which they are grown, rather than any artificial or added flavoring.
Is Organic Coffee Better for Your Stomach?
It can be. Some organic coffees are naturally lower in acid, which is gentler for people who may be sensitive to the acids in coffee.
Does Organic Mean Fair Trade?
No, Fair Trade is a different certification from organic. Organic refers to the growing conditions of coffee beans. Fair Trade certification indicates sustainable growing practices, safer conditions, better pay for workers, and a transparent supply chain.