The 10 Best Espresso Beans That Are Coffee Snob Approved

1
Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso Medium Roast Coffee Beans

Wild Berry and Cocoa
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Who says chocolate for breakfast is a bad thing? The Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger coffee beans are perfect for a “silky and complex” espresso shot with a hint of wild berry and “smooth cocoa finish.” As for the aroma, a shot of the medium roast, 100% Arabica beans will remind you of “black currant, milk chocolate, and brown sugar.” Besides pulling espresso shots, the coffee beans are also great for French press, drip machine, pour-over, and cold brew.

The Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger coffee beans have origins in Africa, Indonesia, and Central and South America. According to the company, they’re grown sustainably and are certified organic, shade-grown, Kosher, and fairtrade.

2
Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso Medium Dark Roast Coffee Beans

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The Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso is a medium, dark roast that makes a tasty espresso shot perfect for lattes and cappuccinos. The 100% Arabica coffee beans—which were seasonally selected from South and Central America—have a sweet taste with notes of cocoa and caramelized sugar with a “very nice crema,” according to multiple reviews.

The Ethical Bean is another sustainable coffee pick, with multiple certifications for its eco-friendly initiatives. It’s certified organic, fairtrade, and Kosher. With an almost five-star rating, one reviewer claimed the Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso is “hands down the best beans for espresso.”

3
Illy Classico Espresso Ground Medium Roast Coffee

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Cut back on your morning espresso prep-time with a fine, pre-ground coffee like the Illy Classico Espresso. It’s a medium roast, 100% Arabica coffee with notes of caramel, orange blossom, and jasmine. It’s a mild and balanced singular and signature blend that makes a sweet espresso drink to kick start your day.

The Illy Classico Espresso is also packaged in a pressurized can that “enhances and seals in the precious aromas and oils,” according to the company.

4
Eight O'Clock Dark Italian Espresso Coffee Beans

Chocolate and Caramel
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The Eight O'Clock Dark Italian Espresso is made from 100% Arabica beans with a bold, chocolate, and caramel taste. The coffee beans are certified Kosher and create a full-bodied espresso shot that dark roast coffee lovers can enjoy daily. Eight O'Clock has been in the coffee business for over 150 years, creating controlled batches in its facility in Maryland.

5
Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso Coffee Beans

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The Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast is a medium-dark roast perfect for your espresso. It makes a delicious, full-bodied coffee with a honeyed aroma and rich, smoky cocoa and molasses flavor. Coffee Bean Direct’s Italian Roast is made with 100% Arabica beans sourced from all over the world, including South America, Central America, Africa, and India.

The coffee beans come packaged in a foil-lined bag to keep them fresh longer. In addition to making a tasty espresso shot, the Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast is also great for drip, French press, pour-over, and AeroPress coffee.

6
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans

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Koffee Kult’s dark roast is a gourmet blend made from 100% Arabica coffee bean sourced from Colombia, Guatemala, Brazil, and Sumatra. Whether you pull an espresso shot or make a pot of drip coffee, you’ll be drawn to the bold and smooth flavor with hints of cinnamon.

Koffee Kult is a family-owned and operated business that roasts all of its organic coffee beans in Florida. Each batch is packed upon roasting with resealable packaging for long-lasting freshness.

7
Lavazza Super Crema Medium Roast Espresso Coffee Beans

Brown Sugar and Hazelnut
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With over 15,000 reviews and an almost five-star rating, the Lavazza Super Crema Medium Roast Espresso coffee beans are a must-have for at-home espresso makers. Made from a blend of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta beans roasted in Italy, it produces strong espresso with a hint of brown sugar and hazelnut along with “flowery and fruity notes.”

8
Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast Coffee Beans

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If you’re a fan of Starbucks and want to try your hand at making cafe-worthy drinks at home, try the Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee beans. The dark roast makes a delicious cup of sweet coffee with notes of molasses and caramelized sugar. According to Starbucks, this blend pairs perfectly with steamed milk and can be used with not only espresso machines, but also with a drip coffee maker, French press, pour-over, or Moka pot.

The Starbucks Espresso Roast is made from 100% Arabica beans from the Asia-Pacific and Latin America that are sustainably sourced.

9
Coffee Bros Espresso Roast Coffee Beans

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The Coffee Bros Espresso Roast is a sweet medium roast coffee with a vibrant flavor that tastes like strawberry, sugar cane, and vanilla. It’s a delicious blend of sweet and fruity made from 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia and Ethiopia.

The Coffee Bros—founded by brothers Nick and Dan Hunnewell in 2019—makes its coffee in small batches, ensuring more quality control over the coffee beans. According to one reviewer who tested dozens of coffee brands, they claimed the Coffee Bros Espresso Roast was “pure liquid gold” with a “balanced with a slight fruit undertone.”

10
Verena Street Shot Tower Espresso Coffee Beans

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The Verena Street Shot Tower coffee beans are great for espresso with their rich, sweet, and creamy flavor. The dark roast is made from Arabica beans that can be used not only for espresso but drip coffee, too. The Verena Street Shot Tower coffee beans are roasted and packed in an independent, family-owned facility in Iowa. Verena Street’s coffee beans are also sustainably sourced, Rainforest Alliance, and Kosher certified.

Related Reading:

  1. 6 Espresso Grinders for At-Home Baristas
  2. The 6 Best Ways to Make Coffee
  3. Best Cold Brew Coffee Makers