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Best Whole Bean Coffee

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Products Updated January 24, 2023
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Nothing beats freshly brewed coffee in the morning, especially when you’ve found the best whole bean coffee that meets your taste and caffeine needs. A nice cup of coffee can set the mood for your entire day. So you can start your mornings in the most pleasant way possible, you’ll need nothing but the best whole bean coffee. After 48 hours of searching, tasting, and testing, we were able to find seven exceptional choices.

Out of the 25 options we tested, Death Wish’s dark-roasted coffee beans had everything we were looking for in the best whole bean coffee —fresh and smooth with bold flavors. It contains 200% more caffeine than the average cup of coffee, with zero additives, giving you a strong caffeine kick to fuel your entire day. Best of all, it’s organic, Kosher, and Fairtrade-certified. Read on to discover six other exceptional coffee blends on the market today.

Top 7 Best Whole Bean Coffee Compared

 #1  Death Wish Organic USDA-Certified Whole Bean Coffee

Award: Top Pick

WHY WE LIKE IT: The Death Wish Coffee Company roasts smooth, bold flavored coffee beans in small batches to guarantee quality and consistency, giving you a fresh cup of coffee for your mornings. Death Wish coffee is perfect for avid coffee drinkers seeking intense flavors and that high caffeine kick without the bitter aftertaste.

  • Small batches ensure smooth, bold flavors
  • Organic, USDA-certified
  • Fairtrade coffee beans
  • 200% more caffeine
  • Some consumers reported lack of roast date
  • Some consumers reported inconsistency in strength

Using a manual brewing tool for the Death Wish coffee will bring out its fresh and bold flavors. Made with a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans, it’s smooth and sweet enough to drink without any sugar. It gives you a nice rich aroma and intense flavors with subtle hints of chocolate and cherry without the usual bitter or acidic aftertaste.

Death Wish’s coffee is fair trade certified, and often called the world’s strongest coffee. Being fair trade and USDA certified organic, you can be proud to support the brand behind these dark roast coffee beans any day. And although they are dark roast coffee beans, they have higher caffeine levels than most light roasts. It has 200% more caffeine than the average cup—hence the name. Simply put, it’s not for everyone. Avid coffee drinkers, on the other hand, who enjoy that extra caffeine kick may enjoy this. Less adventurous drinkers will want the best decaf coffee. You can also cold brew the Death Wish coffee beans and drink it with milk or water. If you are still on the hunt for a coffee maker, check out our review of the best single serve coffee maker.

 #2  Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Award: Honorable Mention

WHY WE LIKE IT: Dubbed as Italy’s favorite coffee, the Lavazza coffee Super Crema is a sweet fruity and nutty aromatic blend with sharp flavors, minus the bitter aftertaste. It’s ideal for coffee lovers who prefer the full, rich taste of traditional espressos.

  • Rich, velvety crema
  • A nutty and fruity aromatic blend
  • Might be too light for espresso lovers
  • Some consumers have received older stock
  • Some customers have reported seeing rocks in their bag

Lavazza has more than 120 years of Italian craftsmanship under its belt. As you can expect from such an institution, they’ve perfected every phase of their production process to give you a fresh and unique blend of high-quality coffee.

Super Crema consists of 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta coffee beans, which are blended and roasted in Italy. It’s a mild yet creamy medium espresso roast. It gives you a full-bodied taste and a velvety foam head, also known as the crema. With each sip of this medium espresso, you get notes of brown sugar and hazelnuts. The same goes for its aroma. Brewing a cup of Super Crema will fill your home with honey, almond, and fruity scents. Arguably much better than the best coffee pods. The Super Crema also ranks #2 in Ground Coffee on Amazon Best Sellers.

Related: Also check out our guide to the best 4 cup coffee maker.

 #3  Kicking Horse Kick Ass Coffee

Award: Best Organic Fairtrade

WHY WE LIKE IT: Kicking Horse’s Kick Ass Coffee is a rich, smooth, and aromatic blend of Arabic bean varieties, which makes for a pleasant way to start your mornings. The coffee beans are sourced from environmentally and socially responsible farmers, making it an excellent choice for eco-conscious coffee enthusiasts.

  • Certified organic
  • Fairtrade and kosher-certified
  • A sweet and smoky blend
  • A little oily
  • Some consumers have received older stock
  • Some have reported burnt beans

The Kicking Horse Kick Ass coffee beans are not single origin. Single origin coffee are selected from only one region and processed using one brewing method, whereas Kicking Horse coffee is sourced from Indonesia to South America. They are 100% organic and Fairtrade certified, making their practice fair for coffee drinkers, farmers, and the environment.

They use whole beans, and a cup of Kicking Horse coffee will fill your home with smoky, sweet aromatic flavors, with hints of vanilla bean and dark chocolate. Its flavor is also on the sweet side, which makes it perfect for milk-based brews such as lattes and flat whites. Each sip of this dark roasted coffee should give you notes of molasses, chocolate malt, licorice, and other earthy tones. It’s not surprising that it ranks #4 in Ground Coffee on Amazon Best Sellers. It is best brewed using a French press, pour over, cold brew, or drip machine. For decaf lovers, there’s the Kicking Horse – Best Decaf Coffee Beans. Check out the best coffee maker for more options.

 #4  Koffee Kult

Award: Best Balanced Acidity Roasted

WHY WE LIKE IT: Koffee Kult’s artisanal dark roast coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans of different varieties, giving it balanced acidity, strong aromatics, and decadent flavors. This gourmet coffee is meant for enthusiasts in pursuit of quality, artisan coffee.

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Locally roasted
  • Best artisan roasted coffee
  • Not 100% organic
  • Some customers have reported seeing rocks in their bag
  • Online orders might arrive older than it should be

Koffee Kult offers a powerful yet well-balanced dark coffee roasted to bring out all the flavors that are inherent to the beans’ origins. They use a blend of 100% Arabica bean varieties, sourced from Brazil and Colombia to Sumatra. In terms of flavor, this dark roasted coffee gives off notes of cocoa and cinnamon. It produces a great aroma while ground, while whole, and while brewing.

The Koffee Kult dark roast has strong flavors and a smooth finish. It’s excellent for brewing a shot of espresso, which should give you a powerful adrenaline boost. This artisanal coffee also works well with milk-based drinks such as a macchiato, cappuccino, and latte. It even works with the best pour over coffee maker.

 #5  Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Gourmet Coffee

Award: Best Value

WHY WE LIKE IT: Made with 100% Arabica coffee beans from the Marcala region of Honduras, Subtle Earth Organic brings out the natural flavor notes that Honduran coffee is known for. If you’re looking for organic coffee that will give you the best bang for your buck, this is an option worth considering.

  • 100% Organic + GMO-free
  • 100% Arabica coffee beans
  • Natural flavors, velvety body, and low acidity
  • Not Fairtrade certified
  • Some customers have reported burnt beans
  • Some customers have reported seeing rocks in their bag

Café Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth Organic coffee is made with 100% pure Arabica beans sourced from Honduras, which give it a rich chocolaty flavor with hints of caramel and honey. The caramelization of natural sugars gives the coffee its sweet natural flavor and pleasant aftertaste. If you’re looking for a medium-dark roast coffee that’s certified organic and GMO-free, this is worth every dollar. Take note that this organic blend isn’t Fairtrade-certified.

Grown in high altitudes without chemical inputs, Subtle Earth Organic coffee has a profound depth of flavors. It’s roasted in small batches to ensure optimum flavor. It can be brewed using the traditional drip, as well as the hand drip method, French press, and cold brew. Just make sure not to add boiling water when French press brewing these coffee beans.

 #6  Verena Street Julien’s Breakfast Blend Coffee

Award: Best Eco Friendly

WHY WE LIKE IT: Verena Street uses a variety of beans of different origins and roast levels to create their signature coffee blend, a unique balance of flavors and aromas. Julien’s Breakfast Blend makes an exceptional choice for coffee lovers looking for premium beans and a well-rounded flavor.

  • Sustainably sourced beans
  • Locally roasted in Iowa
  • Kosher coffee, Orthodox Union-certified
  • A little oily
  • Some customers have reported burnt beans

Julien’s Breakfast Blend has a rich, savory flavor while smooth in texture and low on acidity. The unique blend of beans creates unparalleled taste and aroma, one you will never experience from any single-origin coffee. It’s a medium roast with rich flavors and a pleasing aftertaste. Verena Street roasts coffee in small batches to give you fresh, quality coffee. The beans may be a little oily, but they don’t have the bitter aftertaste that many French roast varieties offer.

The signature blend is Kosher, certified by the Orthodox Union, a highly recognized and trusted kosher certification. It’s sustainable as well. Sourced from the Rainforest Alliance-certified farms, Julien’s Breakfast Blend is good for farmers, wildlife, and the environment.

 #7  New England Coffee Donut Shop Blend

Award: Best Budget

WHY WE LIKE IT: This New England Coffee has a smooth, mellow taste with high caffeine levels, which you can count on for a great-tasting brew every single morning. If you’re looking for an inexpensive coffee blend that tastes good, the Donut Shop Blend should make a delightful part of your mornings.

  • Gluten-free & Kosher-certified
  • 100% Arabica coffee
  • Decent coffee buzz
  • Flavor might be too light for some
  • Some reported chemical smell
  • Some consumers have received older stock

New England Coffee has mastered the art of coffee roasting in its 100 years of service. Although so much has changed over the years, their commitment to quality remains the same. The Donut Shop blend, in particular, is a light roast version of their breakfast blend. Thus, it offers an excellent caffeine buzz.

Made with 100% Arabica Coffee, the New England Donut Shop Blend offers smooth and mellow flavors in every cup. You can also cold brew this blend of coffee beans, and you’ll notice that you get subtle notes of blueberry. It’s highly aromatic; however, its subtle flavors might be too light for avid coffee drinkers. Nevertheless, if you want quality coffee without the hefty price tag, this blend should suit your taste buds and fulfill your caffeine needs. This light roasted coffee is gluten-free and kosher-certified.

Before you head to the grocery store for the best beans, you at least need a good coffee machine. Follow us for the Best Coffee Maker With Grinder 2020.

How We Decided

In 24 hours, we scoured the web looking for reputable companies – independent and well-established brands – selling fresh roasted high-quality beans. All of the options that made it to our list are exceptional choices for whole bean coffee, sourced from some of the oldest coffee-growing regions in the world.

Following a rigorous search, we spent an entire day tasting and reviewing 25 options. We narrowed down our list by selecting options that offered strong aromatics, exceptional flavors, and a much-needed caffeine kick, perfect for mornings. Bonus points were also given to Kosher-certified, Fairtrade-certified, and sustainably sourced whole bean coffee products.

Whole Bean Coffee Buying Guide

The Most Important Factors to Consider

While your own personal taste does matter significantly when you’re choosing the right whole bean coffee, there are other factors that you may want to consider. For instance, you’ll want to have the right Cuisinart coffee maker, as well as the right espresso machine for the best coffee. However, if you’re into cold coffee, then get a Nitro cold brew coffee maker. Having the right machine is just as crucial as having the right beans.

  1. Roast date: Coffee beans will gradually lose their flavor after being roasted. Thus, if you want nothing but the best cup of coffee for your mornings, you should get freshly-roasted high-quality beans.
  2. Caffeine levels: Determine how much caffeine you need in your cup of coffee. Dark roasted coffee beans may give you bold flavors, but they have lower caffeine levels compared to light roasted beans. If you like that strong caffeine kick, you should go for light to medium roasted beans.
  3. Acidity: The acidity levels of coffee pertain to how close the beans are to their fruit or green state. The more the beans are roasted, the less acidic the coffee. Thus, go for a darker roast if you don’t enjoy that acid aftertaste.
  4. Flavor: Coffee beans come with a wide range of flavors. Some have notes of nuts and fruits, while others are chocolaty in flavor. At the end of the day, it all comes down to the flavors that you enjoy the most.
  5. Fair trade: Fair trade gives stability to farmers by offering a fair trade minimum price that protects against sudden price drops, and a fair trade premium that acts as a bonus paid on top of the farmers selling price, and part of this goes to improving coffee quality and production. Fair trade also promotes the ethical treatment of coffee laborers around the world and protects them against exploitation.

Whole Bean Coffee FAQs

Arabica vs. Robusta: What’s the Difference?

Two of the most widely produced types of coffee beans are Arabica and Robusta. Grown in higher altitudes, Arabica offers a more delicate cup with less caffeine. It is smooth and soft in taste with fruity overtones. Robusta, on the other hand, is grown in low altitudes. It has a stronger and bolder flavor profile, often with grain-like overtones.

Single-Origin or Blended Coffee: Which One Is Better?

As the label suggests, single-origin coffee beans come from a single geographical region. Meanwhile, blended coffee has a variety of beans from different regions. The former tends to have a distinctive taste, while the latter delivers more complex flavors. If you enjoy a more balanced cup of coffee, without milk or sugar, single-origin coffee is ideal. However, blended varieties work best for lattes and cappuccinos.

What Are the Best Coffee Beans for Espressos?

You can use any variety of coffee beans for brewing espressos; however, medium roasted coffee beans are more ideal for this. Aside from offering strong flavors and adequate caffeine levels, medium roasted coffee beans give espressos their distinctive bitter flavor.
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