Like any type of food, you need good ingredients to make a good meal and you need good espresso coffee beans to make good espresso. Even if you have the very best espresso machine on the market, if you have a low-quality bean, you will get a low-quality espresso. Two things you need to consider when buying espresso coffee beans is the roast and whether you want whole-bean or ground. Another item you may want to consider in espresso coffee beans is the country that the beans come from.
Around the world, people use a variety of roasts ranging from medium to dark roast coffee beans. But, dark or espresso roasts tend to be better to produce the strong style of coffee that espresso is known for. You should not hesitate to experiment with a medium roast espresso coffee beans if you are interested in reducing the bitterness of the darker roasts.
Whole Bean or Ground
In general, the less amount of time between grinding the espresso coffee beans and the time of brewing, the higher the quality coffee you will have. Therefore, grinding coffee beans just prior to brewing will give you the best quality espresso. Coffee grinders are not expensive so we highly recommend buying whole bean. If you don’t like having a grinder on your countertop, you can also grind it at the store. Lastly, you can buy the coffee pre-ground but it won’t be the same.
When you select and are trying different espresso coffee beans, the manufacturer will tend to list where the beans come from. Since many brands are a blend of different beans, I don’t put too much attention to it. But, if you are interested, here are some notes on the different countries that the beans come from:
- Ethiopian Coffee – produces a nice crema on top and a strong bite.
- Indonesian Coffee – Sumatra is excellent for espresso with low acidity, low in bitterness, and intense flavor.
- Columbian Coffee – This is light, sweet, and less bitter then a dark roast with a little bit of crema.
- Blends – There are a variety of blends available or you can also make your own. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different roasts and types of espresso coffee beans.
Some of my Favorite Espresso Coffee Beans
There are numerous espresso coffee beans available both local and national brands and I highly recommend trying different kinds and finding what meets your tastes. Below, I have listed some of my favorites and I highly recommend you giving them a try.
If you are looking to create a good Italian style espresso with a thick crema and full body, Lavazza Super Crema is an excellent choice. Lavazza has around for over a century and has some of the best espresso coffee beans on the market. This is a blend of arabicas and robustas coffee beans the produces a coffe that is full of flavor with a thick crema. It will remind you of an Italian Café. Especially since it is used at many cafes.
This is a medium roast organic coffee that gives you a full bodied espresso with low acidity and a chocolate and nutty finish. The coffee also has no bitterness.
From Canada, Kicking Horse coffee is an organic fair trade coffee with richness and flavor. The Kicking Horse Cliffhanger espresso beans makes an excellent espresso.
This is an organic and free trade certified coffee that is rich and well-balanced. Has a wonderful aroma along with no after taste or bitterness. Overall, an excellent high-quality coffee.