Best Espresso Beans
"The quintessential expression of coffee is espresso", says Ernesto Illy, owner of the world-famous Illycaffé. Illy is a well-known businessman and a food chemist.
I have to be honest. With the myriads of coffee varieties, I often disregard selecting espresso whenever I take a visit to a nearby coffee shop. It's just that a serving of this coffee with its extra powerful, solid, and aromatic taste, is not my thing --except that it was before.
Read our Best Espresso Beans Review to find out.
Our Best Espresso Beans for 2021
- Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee, 5 Pound Bag - (Editors choice - High Quality)
- Verena Street 2 Pound Espresso Beans, Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean - (Runner Up)
- Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso - 12oz - Medium Roast, Direct Trade, Whole Bean Coffee - (Amazing product)
- Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2 Pound (Pack of 1) - (Great Product)
- Wink Coffee Super Crema Espresso - 100% Arabica Whole Bean Coffee - Large 2.2 Pound Bag - (Affordable Product)
Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee, 5 Pound Bag
- The product is made from a mixture of beans grown in South America, Central America, Africa, & India that were slow slow-roasted perfection.
- These espresso beans formulate the signature artisan Italian drink which features a strong, rich, dark roast, toasty, and honeyed aroma flavor.
- CBD Italian Roast Espresso Beans are known as the poor man's blend. The product assures that at a reasonable price, they can still produce a drink of good quality.
- The beans were able to capture the perfect Italian roast flavor.
- It has a low acid content despite being dark roasted.
- The product is one five-pound bag of Italian Roast Espresso Ground Coffee. This product is an excellent choice for regular coffee drinkers.
- Great for coffee drip makers, pour-over, French press, percolator, and reusable K-cups.
- The oiliness of the beans can change the taste of the coffee.
- This product is ideal for regular coffee drinkers.
Verena Street 2 Pound Espresso Beans, Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean
- Verena Street Shot Tower Espresso is a Kosher certified product. This quality seal is an assurance that this is a safe drink for everyone.
- It is made from 100% Arabica beans roasted and packed from their state-of-the-art facility in Dubuque Iowa.
A serving is a combination of smooth, full dark roast, velvety, and rich espresso.
- The product is a mixture of beans from different origins and roast levels to create the blend with a unique flavor that is not available in any product manufactured from an individual coffee bean origin.
- Using a small batch processing technique, each pack guarantees quality.
- Made from a Rainforest Alliance certified farm that aims to provide sustainable agriculture. This certifies that coffee beans were produced while considering the welfare of agriculturists and the environment.
- This certification can assure you that the coffee you are drinking is supporting an independent and family-owned roastery.
- The blend is a little bit pricey.
- The bitter and strong taste might not be for everyone.
Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso - 12oz - Medium Roast, Direct Trade, Whole Bean Coffee
- This product is made from the Arabica beans of Brazil and Columbia.
- A shot features espresso roasted beans with the zest of dark chocolate, caramel, brown sugar, and red fruit flavor.
- This coffee is a perfect match for a scone or a nice glazed donut.
- When you hit the right pressure, the beans may produce a quality of sweetness.
- Black Cat Espresso is best served as a hot brew.
- A serving of BCE is much better with milk.
- The company guarantees to provide the best beans through direct trade which cuts out unnecessary importers and exporters. This process enables them to truly connect with their growers to produce the best quality beans.
- Many consumers were complaining about Intelligensia BCE beans being too old in terms of appearance and taste.
- These are not the ideal espresso beans for cold brew.
- Based on some reviewers, Intelligensia BCE is a very pricey blend.
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast, 2.2 Pound (Pack of 1)
- Lavazza Super Crema provides a serving of rich crema and an aromatic taste. Super Crema blend has strong notes of hazelnut and brown sugar coffee flavor with a mild chocolate aftertaste.
- LSC is an assortment of 60% Arabica; 40% Robusta medium-light roasted beans incorporated to produce a wonderful blend of flavors.
- In total, a bag of LSC can produce 125 cups of coffee.
- Aside from home coffee makers, many restaurants and coffee shops prefer using LSC because of its authentic taste.
- Like Verena, this might not be the coffee for everyone. This is because LSC is a combination of both arabica and Robusta beans which makes the product to have this strong, dark roasted taste. Perhaps, the taste might be too strong and produce a bitter flavor.
- Product reviewers gave a commentary about some items containing stones inside that may turn out to be problematic to your machine if left unnoticed.
Wink Coffee Super Crema Espresso - 100% Arabica Whole Bean Coffee - Large 2.2 Pound Bag
- Wink Super Crema Espresso beans were made from whole and 100% Arabica beans from the highlands of Columbia Andes.
- The product is a pack of medium roasted beans known for its rich, smooth, and dark chocolate taste.
WSCE beans were processed in small batches to maximize their quality in terms of freshness from packaging to the cup.
- Strong morning coffee espresso.
- The brand claims that it does not contain any additives and the end drink gives off a natural taste.
- A serving is a mug of traditional Italian espresso without the bitter flavor.
- It is ideally used for drip coffee, espresso makers, oppress, French press, Moka pot, and pour-over coffee
- WSC comes in a resealable bag for worry-free storage.
- Value-wise, it is affordable.
- The product may be too oily that it may gunk up your grinder if you are using a super-automatic espresso machine
- Although the product comes along with a resealable bag, the opening might be too small to stay open due to the rigidity of the zip lock. Some consumers were complaining about this part of the packaging.
- In terms of flavor, some say that there is a problem if you're looking for actual espresso taste. Product reviewers were marking this product as having bland and boring beans.
What is Espresso?
In 1884, Angelo Moriondo discovered espresso as a coffee brewing method. Finely-ground coffee beans are brewed in nearly boiling water while forced under 9 -10 degrees of atmospheric pressure. This process produces a shot of pungent, full-bodied, but with a slight hint of bean flavor drink.
Aside from its flavor and lower acid content, espresso is particularly known for that crema on top that's made out of carbon dioxide microbubbles. You can achieve this crema simply by choosing the right kind of beans.
What is Unique About Espresso Coffee Beans?
Distinctively, espresso beans are beans that have been roasted more, with finer grind particles, and of course, made with an espresso machine.
Espresso versus Traditional Coffee
In making traditional coffee, hot water drips down slowly in course ground coffee. Take note that a cup from this process has a higher amount of caffeine content. This type of preparation has been the predominantly used method in America during the early 1950’s.
On the other hand, Italians popularized espresso as a brewing method. A portion of very hot or steaming water passes through fine ground coffee under eight times atmospheric pressure. The unique appearance of crema is the result of the emulsification of coffee bean oils reacting to high atmospheric pressure as water passes through, thus creating the microbubbles from Co2.
Espresso with Milk
Oftentimes, to level up the espresso experience, 6 to 8 ounces of steamed milk may be added to balance out the strong and earthy taste of this blend - if this is, of course, requested by the client. This is called a cappuccino. Also, it may be topped with cinnamon or cocoa powder for an extra treat.
Price of Espresso Beans
Espresso beans, like any other product, has an increase or decrease in price depending on the following: global supply, global demand, coffee varietal, coffee reviews, and local production. For a better experience on your next purchase, continue to read on to know what are the other key points to keep in mind when it comes to your next coffee bean hunt.
What is the Difference Between Coffee and Espresso Beans?
Beans Are Roasted Longer
Espresso beans are coffee beans that are roasted for a longer amount of time, and darker than the beans used for drip coffee. Usually, roasting time for espresso beans passes the second crack to remove the acidity, and to release more oil.
Light, medium, and medium-dark coffee beans are used for the drip coffee that is commonly known as “American coffee”.
When it comes to the refinery, espresso beans are finer compared to coffee beans. It needs to be a fine grind, like sand’s texture, because the water that will pass through it will only get through for a short period.
The Brewing Process
In terms of regular coffee, a French press, drip, percolator, and other methods are applicable to produce this drink. On the other hand, an Aeropress machine is the equipment needed to produce espresso. Using this machine, you can produce about a shot or (1 – 2 oz.) of a concentrated espresso.
Unique Flavor and Stronger Taste
A properly pulled attempt to make an espresso should taste sweet, strong, and smooth on the tongue - without a sour, bitter, and ashy aftertaste. However, in terms of the right espresso taste, it all goes through perspective and preference. This may differ from person to person since taste is pretty much subjective.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Beans
In terms of perfection, the best coffee can only come from the best sources. However, with the many brands on the market to choose from, what is the true core to consider? Here are the top factors to watch out for in your next coffee hunt:
Place of Origin
Indeed, not all products are created equal. The root cause of the difference may depend on the source. Think of it this way. When selecting the meat to prepare for your next Thanksgiving dinner, you are aware that not all types of meat will produce the same flavor and taste you prefer. The same principle is also applicable to your coffee.
The chemical composition of the soil and the altitude can create a huge effect on the final coffee product. A high land altitude contributes to the slower ripening process of the beans, which in turn produces a sweeter and better level of acid content in the coffee. Altitude also works with the sun exposure of the beans. A place with a higher altitude means fewer chances of direct sun exposure.
Also, origin marks the product's "terroir". What does it mean? I know a lot of people who can't eat or drink a specific type of food if it did not come from a brand known and familiar to their palate. I would often hear this: "I will not drink or eat this if it did not come from this" kind-of-attitude. In all, terroir simply means the combination of soil, sunlight, and altitude that will give the beans their distinct qualities.
If you love African coffee, you are surely fond of its fruity and acidic quality. On the other hand, coffee from Kenya will give you this sweet, grape-tomato taste.
Freshness of Beans
Products of the best quality are distinguished by their freshness. When you head on to your next coffee shop stop, ask the good barista, and he will tell you that the best coffee comes from coffee beans between 7 to 21 days after it's been roasted.
Remember that crema earlier? This period is so crucial to espresso for that CO2 microbubbles. Anything roasted under this time frame will not produce that zing and floating crema on top because the beans are still fresh and in the process of producing gases.
Whole Beans vs. Ground Beans
Since we are talking about freshness and not convenience, many coffee enthusiasts will give you the advice to buy whole beans instead of ground beans. The difference between the two has been debated for ages due to many reasons. With whole beans, some people say that their coffee tasted fuller and richer than coffee coming from ground beans. In terms of storage, whole beans have a longer shelf life in comparison to ground coffee beans.
Type of Roasting
We have four: the light, medium, medium-dark, and dark types of roasted beans. Lighter bean is more acidic and caffeinated in comparison to the three others. This is because a shorter roasting process also means shorter pulling time of caffeine and acidic properties of the beans. On the other hand, many Italian baristas insist on using the medium to medium-dark roasted beans to produce the best-selling espresso available in town.
So, which among the five espresso brands is the best?
After deliberate thinking, the crown for the best espresso coffee bean is hereby awarded to: Lavazza Super Crema!
Here's why: This espresso bean brand has been in the market for over a century. Perhaps, it
wouldn't be in the industry if it is not an amazing product. The combination of flavors from 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta beans gave this product its signature smooth velvety flavor known in every corner of Italy.
As a coffee aficionado, I can truly attest that there is no bad day that a good cup of coffee can't turn around. Perhaps, I and many coffee lovers go through life through coffee.
For the longest time, espresso drinkers thought that the drink was meant to be bitter. Yet, through advanced coffee technology, products like Lavazza Super Crema proves that a shot of espresso doesn't have to be bitter at all.
In all, the experience of an espresso shot can be filled with either smooth, fruity, chocolate-y, caramel, and strong flavors.
Long gone are the extra bitter days of our beloved espresso.