Updated: July 27, 2021 by Owen Richardson
It’s not very difficult to develop a taste for good coffee, because when coffee is good, it’s really good. You’ve upped your game since the early days of instant coffee when you were just a kid and didn’t know any better, and are now looking for the best coffee beans for the perfect brew in the morning. That amazing cup of coffee that’ll have you smiling and full of energy, ready to tackle the day. However, there are thousands of options on the market, and buying the wrong coffee beans will not deliver that promised perfect cup of coffee.
That’s why we stepped in and made a list of the absolute best coffee beans you can find. We selected the top coffee beans with smooth, floral tastes, alongside dark-roasted, highly-caffeinated blends – to make sure that there’s something here for every taste.
Don’t miss out on our essential buying advice at the end of the article, where we go over the main factors you should consider when choosing the perfect coffee beans for your favorite cup of joe!
Picture Product Roast Ethics Price Rwanda Hingakawa Women's Co-op Arabica Coffee Beans raw un-roasted Organic, Rain Forest Alliance (RFA), Natural, and Smithsonian Bird Friendly (SMBC) $ Jamaica Blue Mountain, From Clifton Mount Estate Peaberry roasted Organic $$$$ Death Wish Coffee Beans dark roast Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic and Kosher $$
The Best Coffee Beans Reviews
1. Rwanda Hingakawa Women’s Co-op Arabica Coffee Beans: Overall Best
“They offer excellent value for your money, as you won’t get this level of delicious quality for the price anywhere else.”
The Rwanda Hingakawa Women’s Co-op Arabica coffee beans made it to the top of our list for several reasons. They offer excellent value for your money, as you won’t get this level of delicious quality for the price anywhere else. Plus, you can choose from various types of roast depending on your taste preference. Lastly, the background of this coffee bean is a true inspiration – the women’s co-op in Rwanda has served, in a way, as a healing stepping stone that includes both Tutsi and Hutu women fighting poverty and the bloodstained mark left by decades of ethnic conflict, together.
First things first: this 100% Arabica coffee bean delivers exceptional flavour. It boasts a delicious wine-like acidity, accentuated by sweet citrusy overtones with a hint of vanilla. Overall, this coffee bean is the base for a very well-balanced cup of coffee. You can choose from light, medium or dark roast depending on your taste. Plus, if you like to do the roasting yourself, you can purchase green beans, instead!
“ It boasts a delicious wine-like acidity, accentuated by sweet citrusy overtones with a hint of vanilla.”
We love that the Hingakawa Women’s Co-op coffee is Fairtrade certified. This means that the coffee was purchased at a price above the minimum necessary for the economic sustainability of the farmers. In other words, the women involved in the process of creating your fresh cup of coffee have been duly compensated for their labor.
In fact, you’ll be happy knowing that the money you spend on this coffee will go to an amazing cause. The co-op, which was formed in 2004, is the first Women’s Farmer Association in Rwanda, and is completely run by women.
As we mentioned, the co-op includes both Tutsi and Hutu women who witnessed the tragic civil war in Rwanda. This co-op is their grain of hope, where they have united against poverty and ethnic division. A part of the proceeds from this coffee bean go towards building community centers, purchasing shared farmland, and similar agricultural endeavors.
Actually, we haven’t come across any cons worth mentioning!
2. Jamaica Blue Mountain, From Clifton Mount Estate Peaberry: Best Elite Coffee Bean
“This rare, exceptionally delicious coffee bean is perfectly balanced, and praised over the globe for its indisputable quality.”
If you’re confused about what it means for a coffee bean to be “elite,” the Jamaica Blue Mountain review will clear that up for you. This rare, exceptionally delicious coffee bean is perfectly balanced, and praised over the globe for its indisputable quality. However, this is by far the priciest of our recommendations, and isn’t affordable for many coffee lovers.
Jamaica Blue Mountain is pricey because it’s exceptional – it’s only grown in one region of the whole world. It’s grown on Clifton Mount, Jamaica, on high elevation, in cool temperatures, and on volcanic soil – factors that contribute to the unique taste of the coffee bean. In fact, the harvest for this bean is quite laborsome, as it needs to be handpicked from the mountain. Plus, the harvest takes about 10 months, significantly longer than the harvest on other coffee plantations. That’s why the production of the bean is quite limited, and about 80% of the yield is purchased by Japan each year.
Onto the coffee itself – this is by far the best-tasting Arabica coffee you’ll come across. The bean is smooth, with mild acidity – a beautiful choice if you prefer softer coffee flavors. It has a sweet, creamy aftertaste, and the volcanic soil produces unmistakable hints of chocolate with floral overtones. The Jamaica Blue Mountain will never fail to produce a perfectly balanced cup of coffee.
“It has a sweet, creamy aftertaste, and the volcanic soil produces unmistakable hints of chocolate with floral overtones.”
In terms of roast, this option is quite versatile. You get to choose the roast when you order the coffee! Plus, the Peaberry beans are rounder than flat berries, so they roast more evenly, delivering a uniform taste.
Lastly, with the Clifton Mount Estate Peaberry you’re sure to be getting 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans. We mention this because some brands sell products marked as “Jamaica Blue Mountain,” while in fact, they are a blend that only includes a small percentage of the coffee bean. So if you come across a Jamaica Blue Mountain seller that seems suspiciously cheap, steer clear – it’s not the real deal.
The Jamaica Blue Mountain is really quite expensive.
3. Death Wish Coffee Beans: Best Strong Coffee
“This blend of Arabica and Robusta beans has a naturally enhanced caffeine concentration: it has about 200% more caffeine than the average cup of coffee.”
“Strong coffee” may be an understatement when talking about the Death Wish coffee bean – this is the second strongest coffee you can find on the market. In fact, this blend of Arabica and Robusta beans has a naturally enhanced caffeine concentration: it has about 200% more caffeine than the average cup of coffee. If you like a bold taste and a serious caffeine kick, you should definitely try this coffee!
We picked the Death Wish as our favorite strong coffee bean even though it’s not the strongest (it’s second to the Black Insomnia) because it offers the best flavor in its category. The dark roast beans provide a taste that is bold yet quite smooth, and carry deliciously subtle notes of chocolate and cherry. The Death Wish coffee bean isn’t bitter at all, so you won’t have to worry about heartburn from the strong caffeine content. This coffee bean is a blend of Arabica and Robusta.
The high caffeine content of the Death Wish makes it an ideal choice for people that are really lacking in energy in the mornings, or are working on projects (final exams, anyone?) that require more wakefulness than usual. In fact, users report superpowers after consuming Death Wish (seriously, read the reviews for a good laugh).
“The dark roast beans provide a taste that is bold yet quite smooth, and carry deliciously subtle notes of chocolate and cherry.”
In terms of ethics, this coffee bean is Fairtrade-certified for sustainable working conditions. We also loved that it’s USDA Certified Organic, so you’ll always be confident about what’s in your cup.
Last but not least, whenever you order these coffee beans, they’ll be fresh! The Death Wish company roasts the beans in small batches, so that you’ll never get stuck with stale leftovers.
If you’re prone to heart palpitations or anxiety attacks, this coffee bean may be a bit too much for you.
Another thing to be mindful of is not drinking too much of the Death Wish. You may end up building up a high caffeine tolerance that will limit your enjoyment of coffee.
How to Choose the Best Coffee Beans for You
Now that you know which are the best coffee beans on the market, it’s time to decide which are the best coffee beans for you. Here are some factors to consider when choosing:
How You Brewin’?
Depending on how you brew your coffee — using a drip coffee maker, French press, Moka pot, or espresso machine — your choice of coffee bean will change, too, as well as the optimal grind size, so level up your grinding knowledge and learn how to properly grind coffee, with or without a grinder.
“For a drip coffee maker, you can go for a light to medium roast.”
For espresso, you should opt for medium to dark roasted beans. Dark roasts prevent the lower brewing temperature of espresso makers to result in bitter-tasting coffee. We also recommend dark roasts for Moka pots.
If using a French press, we again recommend medium or dark roasts. For a drip coffee maker, you can go for a light to medium roast.
In today’s consumerist world, a lot of the products we end up purchasing have been made using cheap labor and bad working conditions. Checking that the coffee beans you choose are ethically and sustainably grown and harvested can really make a difference.
“In today’s consumerist world, a lot of the products we end up purchasing have been made using cheap labor and bad working conditions.”
Fairtrade-certified brands mean that the workers have been duly compensated and work in economically sustainable conditions. Rainforest Alliance-certified products mean that the coffee bean production complies with certain standards concerning wildlife and ecosystem protection, as well as decent monetary compensation and working conditions for the laborers.
Q: Which country has the best coffee beans?
A: There are several countries that have the best coffee beans, depending on your taste. To begin with, Columbia produces high-quality Arabica, comprising about 15% of the world’s coffee. Guatemala produces rich, intense coffee in mountainous areas. Thanks to volcanic soils, Costa Rica has smooth, rich coffee beans. Ethiopia produces the best spicy or fruity coffee beans. The Arabian Peninsula – and especially Yemen – is where it all began, and the Arabian Mocha has a beautiful chocolatey flavor. Lastly, Jamaica – home of the Jamaica Blue Mountain bean – is the crème de la crème of coffee beans, boasting a rum-like, smooth aroma.
Q: Are Arabica beans the best?
A: Arabica beans are the best, yes. They have a sweeter and smoother taste than Robusta coffee beans, which have a harsher, peanutty aftertaste, and grainy overtones. Arabica beans can have delicious overtones of fruit, walnuts, berries, and chocolate (1). Basically, Robusta beans have more caffeine, but Arabica taste much better!
Q: What’s the strongest coffee?
A: The strongest coffee on the market currently is Black Insomnia. It has the highest concentration of caffeine, 1105 milligrams per 12 oz cup of coffee (2). This coffee, however, should be consumed with care, as it can cause heart palpitations in individuals with heart problems or anxiety disorders.
The overall best coffee beans are the Rwanda Hingakawa Women’s Co-op Arabica coffee beans for their flavor, quality, and price. Not to mention that the inspirational background of this co-op will leave you knowing you gave money to a good cause!
The best elite coffee beans you can buy are the Jamaica Blue Mountain Arabica. These coffee beans produce a perfectly balanced cup, with irreplaceable hints of chocolate with floral overtones. However, it’s going to cost you an arm and a leg.
The best strong coffee beans are the Death Wish. These coffee beans aren’t just strong, they’re flavorful, too! If you’re looking for a serious caffeine boost, make sure to try these!
Hopefully, our reviews and buying guide have been useful in finding the best coffee beans for your perfect brew. For more information about each product, just follow their title links!