6 Best Espresso Coffee Beans – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Simon Calvin
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This year my plan is to really enjoy an espresso coffee with a warm slice of sour cherry pie from the time I wake in the morning!

Coffee for me (pre-keto diet) was a bitter black drink. However, I have now discovered that coffee can taste wonderful and be an enjoyable experience.

I know you’re thinking, “This guy’s lost the plot. Coffee isn’t supposed to taste good!” But it can and it does. But before I get into how to make coffee both taste and smell fantastic, there are a few important considerations you ought to know about first.

Espresso beans must be of the highest quality possible. Why? You will get what you pay for in the coffee world.

If you want smooth great tasting espresso, you will need to get the best quality beans from a reputable supplier. Unfortunately, not everyone that says they sell the best beans does.

To be honest with you, if you haven’t had freshly ground coffee recently you may not be able to tell the difference between good and bad beans.

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean CoffeeBest OverallDeath Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee BlendBudget PickLavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend
Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast EspressoUpgrade PickCoffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso

1. Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

Our rating: 9 / 10

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

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  • Whole bean organic
  • Smooth taste
  • High in caffeine
  • USDA certified 100% organic
  • Non GMO
  • Kosher certified
  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Gourmet flavor
  • Perfect for office use or home use
  • Gives you a full body coffee taste


  • It contains 5mg of caffeine per every fluid ounce.

The makers of Death Wish Coffee claim that the extra caffeine in their formula keeps you awake, and provides you with more energy. Their coffee products also come with a hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. Their coffee is made from artisan Arabica coffee beans grown in countries such as Columbia, Peru, Guatemala, and Sumatra.

The company has made a name for itself in the specialty coffee niche, and was started by Mike Brown who is a former health-care CEO with a background in the military and software development. Mike is a believer in the healing properties of coffee first discovered by the alchemists centuries ago.

2. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted

Our rating: 9 / 10

Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted

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  • High quality for a very low price
  • All natural
  • Fair Trade

This is a single origin coffee that is made with 100% Arabica Coffee Beans. It was grown at a high altitude mountain which is an excellent climate for coffee growing. These beans are delicious, rich, and flavorful. They make for a great tasting espresso.

These beans are grown in India. India's isolation has led to the cultivation of highly unique coffee beans and high quality arabica coffee. Handpicked and fresh after harvest this coffee is fresh roasted to perfection.

The coffee is processed within hours after being handpicked. There is no artificial anything. The beans are then sealed and shipped directly to you.

3. Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Our rating: 8 / 10

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

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  • It’s one of the most popular brands
  • The taste is smooth and flavorful
  • The price is reasonable
  • The beans are medium roasted and well grounded
  • Produces a good amount of crema


  • It may be a little bitter for some people
  • It may have a hint of aftertaste

Lavazza brand ground coffee is a fine choice for your coffee maker. This brand is well regarded in Europe and is frequently available at the supermarkets there. Lavazza offers a wide range of ground coffees, including espresso and decaffeinated varieties.

This particular coffee is made from a blend of 100% Arabica ground beans, with a medium roasted Espresso Roast. It is one of the favorites among many coffee lovers, and is a regular on the supermarket shelves in many countries. The packaging is aluminum foil-lined and resealable.

4. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso

Our rating: 8 / 10

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso

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  • Roasted to perfection
  • Large brand name company
  • Organic, fair trade
  • Medium-dark
  • Quick delivery

This product is a medium-dark, all natural and organic roasted coffee made up of 100% Arabica beans.

It has a medium to dark body with a full rich flavor that is rivaled only by the strongest blends. It has a classic richness and a lovely smooth finish.

It has only a smooth cup with a nice richness when brewed into espresso.

5. Kicking Horse Coffee

Our rating: 8 / 10

Kicking Horse Coffee

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  • Great value for money
  • Tastes great
  • Signature Kicking Horse flavor
  • Easily ground in a grinder
  • Neutral tasting
  • Complex
  • Crema, but not too much
  • Smooth
  • Top notch quality


  • Very wet grounds
  • Best coffee grinder makes the difference
  • Better sitting on the shelf than in the cupboard
  • Doesn’t pack long-term

At Kicking Horse, they love coffee and it’s quite obvious. Their coffee tastes great, has a unique character and an interesting texture. The medium roast flavor highlights the distinct aroma and flavor of these beans.

The taste is well-balanced, complex, and a little nutty, and the crema is well-proportioned. The flavor is quite neutral and very pleasant. There’s quite some spice in it and in this case, the higher the roasting, the better it tastes.

The texture is excellent with a somewhat dry flavor. There are no pretentious notes of cherry, caramel or chocolate, but it is complex with notes of nuts, spice, and cocoa.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which coffee beans are best for espresso?

Unfortunately, very few coffee beans are suitable for making espresso. The consensus in the coffee community is that espresso beans must be extremely dense and have a thick outer shell. This is why Starbucks, for example, doesn't use their normal coffee beans to make espresso. Instead, they use a separate, darker roasted bean that is specially developed for use in espresso machines.

Good coffees for making espresso are darker roasted coffee beans that have a thick outer layer. Each bean should be dense enough to create crema when ground properly. Espresso has a thick, creamy texture that is made up of tiny bubbles of air and a natural oil called crema. This natural oil is what gives an espresso its unique, rich flavor. Espresso is a much denser beverage than regular coffee.

What is the best coffee beans for automatic espresso makers?

It really comes down to personal preference and the kind of automatic machine you own. What I like in a coffee bean is bitterness. I have a scientific reason which I explain below. I like a darker roast for my espresso. If a roast is too light (light amber), then it’s much harder to get the right flavor. However, I don’t prefer really dark roasts such as the French or Italian roasts. The longer a coffee is roasted, the darker it gets … and the stronger a coffee often tastes …, but the more burnt coffee tastes.

How many coffee beans make an espresso?

Four grams of espresso coffee beans will make a single espresso shot. What we want to emphasize in particular is that the coffee beans are ground exceptionally coarsely. The grind of coffee should be very fine, and yet there should be tiny particles that are not pulverized.

The American market commonly uses a double basket machine, which uses only 8 grams of finely ground coffee beans. This is why an Italian espresso has much more flavor. The trademark of Italian Espresso’s is that what we call crema is very thick and quite dark.

What is the highest quality coffee bean?

There is no such thing as the “Highest Quality Coffee Bean.” What makes a bean high-quality is subjective and there is no industry standard. There are many factors to consider when determining which coffee bean is highest quality for you.

After processing, the number of cups per pound vary depending on the type of bean. Roasted Arabica beans will create about 11-14 cups; whereas, roasted Robusta beans will make only about 5-9 cups per pound of beans.

Then, there’s the matter of harvesting. Coffee beans will begin to lose their flavor around the 21-day mark. So, the time frame from harvest to roasting is incredibly important.


We have to admit, there’s nothing like the smell of Italian espresso brewing as the sun comes up. Is there anything more delicious than a well pulled espresso shot? Not that we’ve tried (yet). But we digress – this article is about what beans you should be buying. Not about why you should be drinking espresso. Just trust us, it’s awesome.

Our Recommendation

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean CoffeeBest OverallDeath Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee BlendBudget PickLavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend
Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast EspressoUpgrade PickCoffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso