There is no generic answer to which are the best coffee beans. A coffee bean will be better or worse depending on the extraction method, the flavour you are looking for and other factors such as brewing time. Ultimately, each user has to find their own “best coffee beans”.
In this guide, we will help you find your ideal coffee beans based on your personal preferences and circumstances. It isn’t easy to find the best coffee beans on the first try, so you will probably have to test with various types and brands until you find the best one for your tastes.
- 1 Best coffee beans according to the type of extraction and roast
- 2 Best coffee beans by coffee flavour
- 3 Best coffee beans according to your habits and preferences
- 4 Which type of coffee bean is better, Robusta or Arabica?
- 5 Which coffee beans are more acidic?
- 6 Single-origin or blend coffee?
- 7 Look for a fresh roast coffee
- 8 Our choice of the best coffee beans
Best coffee beans according to the type of extraction and roast
The most important factor in choosing a coffee bean over another will depend on the extraction type of your coffee machine. We will always recommend the best coffee beans to drink without milk, although if you add milk, the quality of the bean will still be noticeable.
- If your coffee machine is a classic espresso machine, you will want to buy coffee beans with dark roasts, earthy flavours and nutty notes. Try these coffee beans from AROMISTICO (Intense Bold Dark Roast).
- Using a French press, you’ll need a medium roast bean type with fruity flavours and floral notes. Here’s this coffee bean from Coffee Masters (Signature Blend)
- If you have a classic drip coffee maker, whether an automatic or a drip cone, I recommend light roasts and beans with more exotic and striking flavours. We think you’ll like this coffee bean from Union (Balcones Coffee Beans).
Best coffee beans by coffee flavour
After the type of extraction, the taste is the second most important factor in deciding which bean coffee is best for you. In many cases, taste and extraction type are strongly related.
We will have to decide whether we are looking for lighter flavour profiles with floral and nutty notes or full-bodied flavours with earthy flavours. While the former goes very well with French press and drip coffee machines, the more intense flavours are ideal for espresso machines.
You should opt for lightly roasted single-origin coffees for delicate flavours, where milk should not be used to appreciate all the notes. On the other hand, if you want earthy and strong flavours, opt for darker roasts, with which you can add milk.
When we prepare coffee with an espresso machine, we make drinks like ristrettos or espressos, but not lungos, which would be appropriate for a French press or drip coffee machine.
Best coffee beans according to your habits and preferences
Now that we have talked about the means of preparing coffee and your tastes, you need to consider your habits and preferences when choosing the best coffee beans.
- If, for example, you do not want a coffee with a high caffeine content, you should opt for Arabica beans, which have half the caffeine content of Robusta beans.
- On the other hand, if you find it difficult to digest, you will need a coffee bean with low acidity.
We’ll talk about caffeine and acidity in more depth below:
Which type of coffee bean is better, Robusta or Arabica?
The two main types of coffee beans are Robusta and Arabica, and if we had to decide which is better, it is Arabica. The superior quality of the Arabica bean is because it has much more flavour and less caffeine, while Robusta is just the opposite.
So why is Robusta coffee grown?
The Robusta coffee bean is more resistant to disease and climatic changes than Arabica. It also has a higher yield, so farmers prefer to grow this variety, even with a lower selling price.
Which coffee beans are more acidic?
Acidity is a characteristic of coffee, although this type of acidity is more related to flavour than to PH and is closely linked to the origin of the bean’s cultivation. In any case, this acidity can be accentuated or diminished depending on the cultivation and roasting.
- Coffees from Africa have more acidity, and as we said that acidity is closely linked to flavour, there are also more floral and fruity notes in these beans.
- Another factor that influences whether coffee is more or less acidic is the height of the crop: the higher the altitude, the higher the acidity of the bean.
- A darker roast of the bean can significantly reduce the acidity of the bean, regardless of its origin.
NOTE: A distinction must be made between acidity and bitterness. Bitterness results from the preparation, so over-extracted coffee, too fine a grind or too high a water temperature can add bitterness to our beverage. But this is independent of the coffee bean.
Single-origin or blend coffee?
If you intend to drink your coffee on its own, without mixing it with milk, opt for a single-origin coffee. Whereas, if you enjoy cappuccinos and lattes, the bean you need is a blend.
This is because blended coffees use different origins to balance the resulting drink, making them ideal for espresso machines or milky drinks. But if you use a Chemex coffee maker, for example, never use a blended coffee.
Look for a fresh roast coffee
Although it may seem obvious, the more recently roasted a coffee bean is, the more flavour and aroma you will get from it. It would help if you never got coffees that are more than a month old or less than four days old.
You should forget about buying coffee in physical supermarkets, as the packets of coffee you will find there could have been roasted even years ago. Ideally, you should buy beans that indicate the roasting date on their packaging. You should then store it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place.
Our choice of the best coffee beans
This table summarises the general characteristics of the best coffee beans according to the extraction method you use:
|Extraction method||Espresso||French Press||Drip / Drip cone|
|Blend||Blend||Single Origin / Blend||Single Origin|
|No altitude |
Latin America / Asia
|No altitude |
Latin America / Asia
|Our Choice||AROMISTICO – Intense Bold Dark Roast||Coffee Masters – Signature Blend||Union – Balcones Coffee Beans|