5 Best Espresso Beans of 2020: The Lowdown

Nothing is better than having freshly brewed espresso in the morning, but it is a sophisticated drink, and the coffee beans you use significantly affects its taste. But not to worry as the best espresso beans can help you create the perfect classic espresso shots or trendy espresso-based drinks like the cafe latte, macchiato, cappuccino, mocha, and Americano in the comfort of your home.

However, hunting for the best coffee beans can be easier said than done, though, with the many types of blends and coffee available in an array of roast profiles, you may get easily overwhelmed. To make things easier for you, we have listed some of the top espresso beans in the market, helping you find the perfect match for your espresso machine and make the best cup of espresso at home.

Best Espresso Beans Products:

The top five best espresso beans are a specialty niche of coffee beans from trusted and leading names in the industry, offering barista-quality espresso at home. These are their unique offerings for 2020 and are full of features perfect for all espresso fanatics.

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FRC Italian dark roast coffee is an excellent espresso blend that you can turn into a refreshing iced coffee for the summer months or a classic drip-brew to energize your mornings. The flavor of this Italian roast espresso is robust with subtle flavor notes of bittersweet and dense red fruits. These citrus undertones perfectly balance the blend, making it the perfect morning elixir for avid coffee lovers that love a more potent brew.

  • Features

Top Quality Brews

Each bean is chosen and established with great care and consideration for origin, flavor profile, and overall quality. When you use these espresso beans, you can expect consistent and exceptional coffee every time.

Advanced Roasting Technology

FRC roasts only the freshest coffee beans in the world and uses the latest roasting technology to produce the best roasts for all kinds of preferences. With their unique Loring Smart Roaster, they eliminate their carbon emissions by up to 80 percent in a smokeless roasting environment.

Fair Trade Certified and More

The company dedicates itself with producing the highest possible quality coffee to its consumers, having numerous certifications from renowned organizations like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), and Direct Trade.

  • Highlights

  • FRC beans are all 100% Arabica. 
  • It contains no additives, preservatives, and artificial flavors. 
  • This product is an FRC exclusive blend of their most popular single-origin coffees.
  • This dark roast is best for espresso, iced coffee, or a classic drip-brew.
  • The product is Kosher certified.
  • The espresso beans are roasted in an environmentally friendly Loring roaster, reducing their carbon footprint up to 80 percent. 
  • The product comes as 2 lbs or 5 lbs bags. 
  • It features cupping notes of bittersweet and dense red fruits.
  • The product is available as whole bean or pre-ground coffee.

Olde Brooklyn roasts their espresso beans in small batches in New York City, ensuring that every pack they produce captures the freshness and unique aromas of each espresso blend. All blends contain handpicked beans to create the perfect espresso varieties for an entirely distinctive style profile. These blends come from the best coffee-growing regions in the world, Central and South America, featuring espresso coffee blends from Colombia, Brazil, and Guatemala.

  • Features

Freshly Roasted Espresso Coffee Beans Every Week

All whole-bean coffee roasts from Olde Brooklyn are made in small batches for better quality control, ensuring all packages are 100% fresh for all consumers. The beans are also roasted every week to let customers enjoy their espresso coffee like the way you’re supposed to, fresh and delicious.

A Variety of Flavors

Olde Brooklyn offers new roast varieties with rich taste, tantalizing aroma, and distinctive flavors that make each cup unique. You can also find the best roast for your daily caffeine fix, espresso, or even cold brews, from a light roast, medium roast to dark roasts, they offer every flavor for all kinds of coffee drinkers. 

Cost-Effective

Olde Brooklyn aims to provide consumers with top-quality blends at affordable prices while maintaining the highest quality. That’s why the company roasts their blends weekly to ensure you only get the freshest espresso coffee experience with each cup.

  • Highlights

  • Olde Brooklyn coffee beans are roasted in small batches to ensure consumers only get the best and freshest brews. 
  • The company packs all products in air-tight and sealed bags with a valve to maintain the blends’ freshness and aroma. 
  • Olde Brooklyn handpicks each espresso bean to make the perfect coffee varieties for a unique taste profile.
  • All types of roasts are available, including the classic Italian dark roast, Brazillian Santos, the breakfast blend, and Olde Brooklyn’s iconic house blend. 
  • All products from Olde Brooklyn are roasted weekly for the freshest experience with each brew. 
  • All blends come from the top coffee-growing regions globally, including Colombia, Brazil, and Guatemala. 
  • All products from Olde Brooklyn are compatible with most automatic espresso machines.

If you are a fan of chocolate and caffeine, Kicking Horse Coffee’s cliffhanger espresso is the best choice with its unique chocolatey flavor and smooth blend. The beans emit subtle cocoa tones, giving you some of the best cups during busy mornings. Indulge in its unique mesmerizing aroma resembling milk chocolate, brown sugar, and blackcurrant, livening up each brew. All beans from Kicking Horse are Fair Trade and Kosher certified, only offering the best quality beans for all types of preferences.

  • Features

Responsibly Grown

Each coffee bean is handpicked by local farmers from countries including Indonesia, Africa, Central, and South America in a socially and environmentally responsible way, supporting local businesses in the areas and providing consumers with top-quality beans.

100% Certified

All espresso coffee beans from Kicking Horse are Organic, Fair Trade, and Kosher Certified. Also, all blends they offer only contain 100% Arabica beans, ensuring you only get the highest quality beans for gourmet coffee at home.

Freshness and Delicious Flavor Guaranteed

The cliffhanger espresso ensures freshness and flavor with each cup. It will supply consumers with a rich crema, the right balance of sweetness and bitterness, finishing it off with its low acidity, making it the perfect espresso blend for casual and avid coffee drinkers.

  • Highlights

  • It uses a unique Pentax technology that perfectly balances the cliffhanger espresso’s flavors, giving you a cup of bliss each morning. 
  • The beans were grown in a socially and environmentally responsible method by local farmers with sustainable businesses in Africa, Indonesia, South, and Central America. 
  • This medium roast boasts unique flavor notes of wild berry syrup and smooth cocoa.
  • Create your favorite drinks with this espresso blend with any brewing method, from the French press, the classic drip machine, pour-over, espresso machines, and cold brew.
  • The product is made from 100% Arabica beans, providing consumers with only the best quality beans.
  • The product is Kosher, and Fair Trade certified.

Lavazza has been creating some of the world’s best beans, pioneering the concept of coffee blending or combining different beans from varying regions worldwide. The Caffe espresso is the ideal blend for dark roast loving coffee drinkers everywhere. Even if it is a medium roast, it is one of Lavazza’s darkest roasts, producing a rich body tantalizing aroma. It only consists of 100% Arabica beans Central and South America, making it ideal for any espresso machine.

  • Features

Gourmet Coffee at Home

Lavazza’s Caffe Espresso is an espresso blend that boasts an intense flavor and velvety smoothness, making it a part of the best traditions of conventional Italian espresso. Each coffee bean is carefully selected to form this smooth and premium medium roast blend of 100% Arabica beans, exhibiting rich flavor and enticing aroma.

Versatile 

Lavazza’s Caffe Espresso beans are suitable for all types of coffee equipment, including your standard or super-automatic espresso machine. It allows you to make espresso at home with ease. 

Made in Italy

The whole coffee beans are all roasted and blended in Italy, giving you the authentic Italian espresso experience in one package. Add the Italian delight to your everyday cup of espresso with Lavazza’s Caffe Espresso.

  • Highlights

  • This 100% Arabica blend features delicious flavor notes and highly aromatic notes, finishing off with a robust body. 
  • The product has an intensity of 5 out of 10, giving it a deep flavor with a smooth consistency, making it the perfect drink for the casual and hardcore coffee drinker. 
  • Each bag contains a generous amount of 2.2 pounds of Italian whole coffee beans. 
  • Lavazza’s Caffe Espresso is an Arabica blend made with different exotic beans from Africa, South and Central America. 
  • It is compatible with all coffee equipment, feel free to prepare it on a classic espresso machine or an old-school Moka pot.

Koffee Kult is a renowned name in the industry known to produce some of the highest quality coffee beans globally, practicing quality and detail roasting to make some of the best blends known to man. If you are looking for intense, bold flavors of top-quality gourmet specialty coffee beans, the Koffee Kult dark roast is the best choice. Get the best blends at home with Koffee Kult’s artisan and locally roasted beans.

  • Features

Exotic Blends

Koffee Kult only uses organic, smooth, and full-bodied exotic whole coffee beans from some of the best coffee-growing regions globally, including Colombia, Indonesia, and Guatemala. Koffee Kult roasts these exotic raw beans to perfection at their in-house gourmet roasting facilities.

Perfectly Balanced

Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast exhibits robust and bold coffee while maintaining smoothness and providing some of the cleanest-tasting coffee.

Optimal Freshness 

Koffee Kult Dark Roast is a local artisan roasted coffee that follows the intricate roasting process to provide a fuller and more flavorful taste in each cup. The company packages these beans in resealable coffee bags to ensure optimal freshness and flavor for all consumers.

  • Highlights

  • Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast roast espresso beans perfectly, featuring no oil smooth flavor, and balanced acidity. 
  • The product boasts a unique flavor and aroma that contains subtle flavor notes of cocoa and cinnamon.
  • Made with 100% Arabica coffee bean varieties from Colombia, Indonesia, and Brazil. 
  • It is locally roasted at Koffee Kult’s headquarters in Hollywood, Florida. 
  • This blend has a strong flavor and full body but also makes some of the smoothest coffee ever. 
  • Koffee Kult only roasts the top 2 percent specialty coffees of the biggest organic farms in the globe. 
  • The company practices small-batch roasting to ensure the best quality in each package, giving consumers a gourmet coffee experience at home.

What are the characteristics of the best espresso coffee beans

If you want to find the best coffee beans for the ultimate espresso experience at home, you need to know the different characteristics of the best beans.

To help you out, we have listed the various characteristics of the best beans in the market:

  • Crema – Having the perfect amount of crema in your espresso drink is a sign of high-quality beans that are perfectly roasted. However, be aware that if your crema has large bubbles, the coffee is too coarse, so grind it more finely to get the best out of your beans. 
  • Origin – The ideal coffee beans come from the best coffee-growing regions in the world. These include Indonesia, Brazil, Guatemala, Colombia, and Ethiopia. 
  • Date – The peak flavor for the best beans is between seven and fourteen days, so make sure to see or ask how recently did the company roast their beans. 
  • Taste – The best beans typically exhibit balanced flavors of bitterness and sweetness, giving you a gourmet coffee experience.
  • Arabica – The best blends typically only contain Arabica beans because they produce richer-tasting brews. 
  • Aroma – The best coffee beans can emit an overpowering, evocative smell that significantly enhances all drinks.
  • Acidity – The best beans should produce a well-balanced acidity, such as the ones from Lavazza and Koffee Kult.

What is an espresso bean?

Espresso beans are a variation of a typical coffee bean that undergoes a longing roasting process; that is why it typically belongs to the dark roast category. These offer low acidity and a fuller body, providing more robust brews, making it the perfect beans for those who love more potent coffee drinks. These beans are also brewed in a traditional espresso machine, making that perfect shot of espresso or espresso-based drinks, including cappuccinos and cafe lattes.

Are espresso beans and coffee beans the same?

Yes, most coffee beans are either Arabica or Robusta beans, acting as the base for most of your favorite coffee drinks, including espresso. The difference of the espresso bean from the regular coffee bean is that it undergoes roasting longer, producing darker roasts that deliver more robust brews. It is also typically grounded finer and brewed in an espresso machine or Aeropress.

To give you a better understanding of espresso vs. coffee, we have provided you the differences between the two.

Creation

Espresso is typically a shot of concentrated regular coffee made by forcing scorching water at high pressure to go through finely-grounded beans. While you can make the regular version of the caffeinated drink by pouring hot water over regular grounds.

Roast Profile of Beans

Espresso beans undergo the roasting process longer, usually past the second crack, resulting in darker roast profiles mostly used for drip coffee. Because of the longer roasting, the beans exhibit lower acidity and release more oil, creating a more substantial, fuller feeling in the mouth. While the regular coffee beans undergo light to medium roasting, creating a milder flavor for casual drinkers.

Grind

Espresso is more finely ground than other kinds of coffee grinds because brewing the drink needs scorching water to pass through tightly packed grounds, resulting in a more potent beverage. While the regular versions can either contain medium or coarse grinds.

Brewing

For regular coffee, you can use drip percolators, a French press, a basic brewer, or even boil it in a pot. However, for espresso, it requires a specific type of brewing method. It requires you to use an espresso machine or an Aeropress, giving you concentrated shots of the drink.

Taste

Because the espresso’s beans undergo longer roasting and are grounded finely, they are typically bolder, less acidic, and have a full-bodied finish than a regular coffee. It tastes “stronger,” meaning it has a richer coffee flavor.

Do you need special beans for espresso?

A common misconception about this famous coffee drink is that it needs a particular type of bean to make; however, you can use virtually any kind of coffee bean to make a good espresso. Explore the different coffee beans in the market, such as the ones included in our list above, and make your favorite espresso drink at home.

What beans does Starbucks use for espresso?

Starbucks uses its unique version of Arabica beans to create their famous brews, ensuring only the highest quality of beverages. However, they use different roasts of the coffee beans for their vast menu. For instance, when creating espresso, they use special espresso roast, which consists of a medium to a dark espresso blend.

How to make the best coffee beans for espresso

Using the best beans when making espresso ensures better mornings, here are the different ways to make espresso:

Espresso Machine

The most preferred method of creating espresso is using espresso machines. Follow the steps below to create the perfect cup. 

  1. Preheat the machine 15 to 30 minutes before using it.
  2. Fill the machine’s water reservoir with water.
  3. Grind the beans.
  4. Place the grounded beans inside the portafilter. 
  5. Insert the portafilter inside the brewer’s head.
  6. Start extracting the espresso shot. 
  7. Serve immediately.

Aeropress

Aside from using a handy espresso machine, the next best method to make the best espresso is through an Aeropress. Below are the steps to create espresso at home using an Aeropress.

  1. Heat one cup of water till it reaches 205 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Grind your espresso beans into a fine consistency until you accumulate two tablespoons. 
  3. Put a filter inside the Aeropress’s drain cap and pour hot water through the filter.
  4. Place the drain cap on the equipment and place it directly onto your cup.
  5. Transfer your fresh grounds to the Aeropress. 
  6. Tamp down the coffee grounds until you deem necessary. 
  7. Measure half a cup of hot water and pour it into the Aeropress. 
  8. Stir its content and wait up to 30 seconds before plunging the Aeropress with the weight of your hand. 
  9. Place your brewed espresso into a cup.

French Press 

Although using this technique is harder, it can still make you some of the best espressos at home. The following are the different steps in creating the best cup using a French Press.

  1. Grind your espresso beans until it resembles fine sand.
  2. Fill your pot with water, bring it a boil, and then set it aside for at least 30 seconds before brewing.
  3. Add the freshly grounded coffee to the French Press. You will need to use double the amount of coffee you would typically use for French press coffee, giving your brew a more robust flavor, typical in espressos. 
  4. Use the hot kettle and add a few splashes of water to the French Press. Let it rest for several seconds and allow the brew to release its aroma and oils. 
  5. Add the remaining water inside the French Press.
  6. Close the lid and allow it to steep for 4 minutes. 
  7. Press down the plunger slowly while using even pressure. 
  8. Plunge halfway and raise it at the top before plunging to the bottom to finish the press.
  9. Pour the espresso into a serving vessel. 
  10. Serve immediately.

Get Italy into your home (and your espresso machine)! With this fresh roasted beans, you will smell and taste a beautiful brew.

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Conclusion: which coffee beans are best for espresso

Choosing the best espresso beans will depend on your specific tastes and preferences. However, from the review above, we highly recommend Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC, Italian Roast. It is 100% Arabica single origin beans, and this shows in the quality of the espresso produced.

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