Our Picks for the Best Espresso Coffee Beans of 2024

Best Espresso Beans for 2024

Espresso is a strong coffee that started in Italy. It's made by pushing hot water through very finely ground coffee beans to get a rich, intense shot of flavor. Picking the right beans is super important for making good espresso.

When choosing espresso beans, there are a few things to consider. One biggie is how dark the beans are roasted. Espresso beans usually get roasted darker than regular coffee beans to make them taste bold and strong. But getting the roast level just right is key for finding the perfect balance between bitter and sweet flavors.

Another thing to think about is where the beans come from. Different places grow coffee beans that have different flavors. Like, beans from Ethiopia have a fruity, flowery taste, while ones from Brazil taste nutty and chocolaty. So, it's important to pick beans that match what you like.

After trying out various “Espresso Beans” brands, our top pick for most people is Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean.

When choosing the best espresso beans, there are a few key factors to consider.

Firstly, you'll want to look for beans specifically labeled as suitable for espresso. These beans are typically roasted for that concentrated, rich flavor espresso lovers crave.

Secondly, consider the roast level that suits your taste preferences. To bring out those bold flavors, espresso beans are often roasted darker than regular coffee beans, but finding the right balance between bitterness and sweetness is essential.

In this article, I'll share our top recommendations for espresso beans based on extensive testing. I've tried and evaluated various options to help you find the perfect beans for your espresso needs.

Best Espresso Beans

We understand that finding the best espresso beans can feel overwhelming. That's why we've researched and listed the top options for you. Whether you're new to espresso or a seasoned drinker, we've got you covered. Our list offers a variety of beans to please any espresso lover. So, relax and let us help you find your perfect cup.

Best Overall – Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean
Runner Up Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean
Dark Roast Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Bean
Ethically Sourced – Danesi Caffe Italian Coffee Beans
Most Unique Flavor – Illy Whole Bean Coffee
Best Value Cafe La Llave Whole Bean Espresso Coffee 

Best Overall Pick

Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean 

Best Espresso Beans - Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean 

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If you're looking for a mild and creamy espresso blend, Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend is definitely worth considering.

Pros

  • Well-balanced mix of Arabica and Robusta beans.
  • Creates a satisfying crema with a pleasant hazelnut and brown sugar scent.
  • Versatile for use in different espresso machines.

Cons

  • Beans may be oily, potentially causing clogs in some machines.
  • Flavor might not be robust enough for those craving a stronger coffee taste.
  • Slightly pricier compared to alternative espresso blends.

Imagine enjoying a cup of Lavazza Super Crema whole beans. Open up a bag of these beans, and you'll find 1.1 pounds of goodness waiting for you.

When you grind these beans and brew your espresso, you'll be treated to a rich, creamy taste. 

What makes this coffee special is its amazing smell. These beans are thawed naturally and roasted just right in Italy.

For the best taste, use them with an Espresso machine.

Runner Up

Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean

Best Espresso Beans - Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean

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If you want great espresso, try Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean.

Pros

  • 100% Arabica beans provide a rich, full-bodied flavor ideal for espresso.
  • Medium roast level ensures a balanced taste without excessive bitterness or acidity.
  • Comes in a 2.2-pound bag, offering great value for money.

Cons

  • Some users may find the blend too mild for their preference.
  • Beans might not be as fresh as other brands.
  • Not suitable for those who prefer a darker roast.

Picture yourself enjoying Lavazza's Caffe Espresso whole bean coffee blend. This blend mixes Arabica beans from Central and South America to create a delicious espresso with a rich flavor and amazing smell.

You can make it with an espresso machine, moka pot, drip coffee maker, or French press. 

With Honey Notes

Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Bean 

Best Espresso Beans - Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Bean

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If you want a strong, flavorful medium espresso roast, Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend is perfect for you.

Pros

  • Full-bodied blend with a rich flavor profile, featuring notes of dark chocolate and spices.
  • Versatile, suitable for use with various brewing methods including espresso machines, moka pots, drip coffee makers, and French presses.
  • Beans are slow-roasted, resulting in a velvety smooth texture in every cup.

Cons

  • Higher price point compared to some other coffee blends.
  • Beans may not be as fresh as those from a local roaster.
  • Not ideal for those who prefer a lighter roast.

Lavazza coffee has something for everyone, no matter how you like your coffee. For over 125 years, the Lavazza family has been finding the best coffee beans from around the world. Their Gran Crema whole bean blend is a perfect example. It's made by mixing Arabica beans from Brazil and Honduras with Robusta beans from Africa.

The beans are roasted slowly to create a rich, intense medium espresso flavor. You'll taste hints of dark chocolate and spices in every smooth sip. You can use this blend with an espresso machine, moka pot, drip coffee maker, or French press. 

Ethically Sourced

Danesi Caffe Italian Coffee Beans

Best Espresso Beans - Danesi Caffe Italian Coffee Beans

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For a smooth and well-balanced coffee, consider Danesi Caffe Italian Coffee Beans.

Pros

  • Made with 100% premium Arabica coffee beans for quality.
  • Medium roast offers a balanced flavor.
  • Danesi Caffe has a rich Italian coffee tradition.

Cons

  • Some find the taste bland and lacking complexity.
  • Availability may be limited in certain areas.
  • Price is higher compared to other brands.

Danesi Caffe's ‘Classic' whole bean coffee offers a delightful taste experience. Made from premium Arabica beans, it boasts a well-balanced flavor profile. The medium roast delivers a smooth and intricate taste, accentuated by subtle notes of nuts and malt.

One thing sets Danesi Caffe apart is their commitment to sustainability and ethical practices. They source their beans from small farms and prioritize eco-friendly farming methods, such as replanting to maintain soil health. Additionally, they support farmers by assisting them in growing mushrooms from coffee bean waste.

Their dedication to fair wages and support for women-run farms worldwide is commendable. With a rich history dating back to 1905, Danesi Caffe continues to uphold Italian coffee traditions under the guidance of three sisters. They're not just a coffee company; they're stewards of tradition and sustainability.

Most Unique Flavor

Illy Whole Bean Coffee

Illy Whole Bean Coffee

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If you want a coffee with a rich taste and special smell, you should check out Illy Whole Bean Coffee.

Pros

  • Delicate jasmine notes create a unique flavor.
  • Enjoy freshly prepared coffee for a premium home experience.
  • Expert roasting process ensures rich aroma and balanced flavor.

Cons

  • Higher price compared to other brands.
  • Taste may not suit everyone's preference.
  • Pressurized can may not be eco-friendly.

Experience the full-flavored delight of Illy Whole Bean Coffee, where delicate jasmine notes dance on your palate. Prepare your coffee effortlessly and savor the authentic Italian experience right at home.

Illy's perfected roasting process ensures each cup boasts a rich aroma and balanced flavor profile. With over eight decades of dedication, Illy brings the taste of Italy to your doorstep. Moreover, sustainability is at the heart of our vision, as we strive for a better world for all.

Best Value

Cafe La Llave Whole Bean Espresso Coffee

Cafe La Llave Whole Bean Espresso Coffee

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If you're in search of a strong and flavorful Latin-style espresso, Cafe La Llave Whole Bean Espresso Coffee is an excellent choice to explore.

Pros

  • Intensely aromatic and full-bodied, perfect for espresso enthusiasts craving a bold and balanced flavor.
  • Features a one-way valve in the whole bean coffee bag, ensuring long-lasting freshness for your enjoyment.
  • Produced at a zero-waste-to-landfill facility in Los Angeles, making it an eco-conscious choice.

Cons

  • May be too strong for individuals preferring a milder taste.
  • Improper brewing can result in bitterness, according to some users.
  • Not ideal for those sensitive to caffeine.

Indulge in the intense aroma and robust flavor of Cafe La Llave Whole Bean Espresso Coffee. Each sip envelops your senses with a rich, full-bodied essence that speaks of Latin tradition and passion.

The beans, carefully blended and roasted to perfection, offer a delightful balance of strength and smoothness. As you grind the beans, the air fills with the tantalizing fragrance, promising a coffee experience like no other.

With every sip, you're transported to the rolling hills of Trinidad, Cuba, where coffee has been a way of life for generations. And knowing that each bean is roasted at our zero-waste facility in Los Angeles is a nice plus.

Espresso Beans Buying Guide

When selecting the perfect espresso beans, it's essential to consider a few important factors. Here's what you should think about:

Roast Level

The roast level of espresso beans greatly influences their flavor. Lighter roasts offer a bright, acidic taste, while darker roasts provide a fuller, stronger, and slightly bitter flavor. Choose the roast level that aligns with your taste preferences.

Origin

The origin of espresso beans impacts their flavor. Beans from South America often have a nutty, chocolatey taste, while those from Africa are fruity and floral. Consider the origin to match your flavor preferences.

Quality

Quality is crucial when choosing espresso beans. opt for freshly roasted beans stored correctly. Stale beans lose flavor, so check the roasting date and storage conditions to ensure freshness.

Price

Consider your budget when selecting espresso beans. While quality often correlates with price, there are affordable options that still offer great flavor. Balancing quality and cost ensures you get the best value for your money.

Brand Reputation

When choosing espresso beans, consider the brand's reputation in the coffee industry. Trusted brands often prioritize quality and consistency, ensuring a satisfying coffee experience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which roast level is ideal for a rich and flavorful espresso?

Medium to dark roast is recommended for espresso beans as it brings out a rich and bold flavor that pairs well with the intensity of espresso shots. Keep in mind that each bean variety may respond differently to roasting, so it's essential to experiment to find the perfect roast for your taste preferences.

What are the top-rated espresso bean brands preferred by coffee aficionados?

Some of the top-rated espresso bean brands include Lavazza, Illy, and Intelligentsia. Renowned for their exceptional quality and consistency, these brands are favored by both coffee experts and enthusiasts for their rich flavors and reliable performance.

How do specific beans influence the crema quality in an espresso shot?

The crema on an espresso shot is that creamy layer you see on top of the coffee. It's like the cherry on top, but for coffee! The type of beans used can affect how thick and tasty the crema is. Beans with more oils and fats tend to give you that rich, velvety crema, while beans with fewer oils and fats might give you a thinner layer.

Are there particular espresso beans that pair well with milk-based drinks like lattes?

Absolutely! Some espresso beans are specifically chosen for their ability to pair well with milk. They usually have a smoother, less acidic taste that blends beautifully with the creamy sweetness of milk. Beans from Brazil and Colombia are often top picks for milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos.

What characteristics should one look for when selecting beans for an espresso machine at home?

When picking beans for your home espresso machine, focus on freshness, quality, and your taste preferences. Also, think about the roast level, origin, and how the beans were processed.

Can you recommend espresso beans that are highly regarded in Italian coffee culture?

Among the top picks in Italian coffee culture are Lavazza Super Crema, Illy Espresso, and Segafredo Zanetti Espresso beans. Renowned for their premium quality, they're favored in classic Italian espresso beverages.

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