How to Pick the Best Coffee Beans for Espresso

How to Pick the Best Coffee Beans for Espresso

Espresso is one of the most popular and beloved drinks in the world. And to fully enjoy this delicious drink, we need to find only the best coffee beans for espresso. So let’s learn how to do it!

If there’s one thing that all coffee lovers agree on is that good coffee beans are essential for great java. Or more specifically, espresso, since this is the most popular and beloved drink of so many people, thanks to its rich and very potent texture.

And selecting the best beans for espresso is a rather challenging task, especially for coffee-lovers. After all, different espresso beans have different tastes that some people might not like. So how to choose not only the best coffee beans for espresso but those that you’ll fully enjoy? To answer that, we had to do some research and learn how to choose the best raw materials for espresso. And now, we wish to share that knowledge with fellow espresso enthusiasts!

Top 7 Best Coffee Beans for Espresso: Comparison Chart

Brand Roast Single Origin/Blend Organic Certified Caffeine Content Volume
Starbucks Dark Blend n/a Caffeinated 1.25 lb
Kicking Horse Medium Blend Yes Caffeinated 2.2 lb
Coffee Bean Direct Dark Blend n/a Caffeinated 5 lb
Café de Loja Medium-dark Single origin Yes Caffeinated 2 lb
Verena Street Dark Blend Yes Caffeinated 5 lb
Blackwelder Coffee Medium Blend n/a Caffeinated 2 lb
Nicoletti Coffee Light Blend n/a Caffeinated 2.2 lb

What is Espresso? 

Fun fact: espresso is not so much a drink, but the coffee-making process. In it, the hot water passes under pressure through the finely grounded coffee beans. As a result, we get concentrated shots of pure, black coffee. And to get the most delicious and authentic coffee, it’s not enough to just use any types of coffee beans, you need only specific, best coffee beans for espresso.

Reasons to Use Espresso Beans

There are many reasons why most cafes choose to use espresso beans instead of regular filter type:

  • Tradition: Espresso is part of the culture of many cultures, especially in Southern Europe. And any Italian, Spanish, or Portugal coffee shop will always use coffee beans for espresso since they give coffee the most delicious and authentic taste and smell. Moreover, compared to the regular filter product, the best espresso coffee has a better taste and flavor.
  • Tastes better with milk: Espresso beans can easily cut through the creamy flavor of milk. Therefore they are not just the best product for espresso but also lattes and cappuccinos.
  • Cost-effective: Single-origin coffee beans are more expensive than those for espresso. So instead of using single-origin coffee as a base, you can use cheaper coffee blends imported from Brazil or Indonesia. This will give you string flavors at a lesser cost.
  • Good for health: Coffee made with the best beans for espresso has the potential to decrease the production of enzymes responsible for liver inflammation and damage. It can also slow down the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. Moreover, according to most beans for espresso reviews, coffee contains plenty of nutrients, which is another plus.

Espresso Beans Vs Regular Coffee Beans

Espresso coffee beans are usually roasted for a longer duration and at a higher temperature. Thus, they can be used with several other brewing methods. Regular blends usually contain single-origin ingredients, while espresso blends contain different origins and roast at different temperatures.

What Affects the Taste Profile of Espresso?

Different factors affect the taste profile of espresso. Some of the common ones are:

Country of Origin

The taste of it mainly depends upon the country of origin. It also speaks a lot about the quality of these beans. So here are some of the biggest coffee exporters in the world, that usually have the best coffee:

Country Export Volume (measured in 1,000 60kg sacks)
Brazil 3222
Vietnam 2300
Colombia 1065
Indonesia 512
Ethiopia 240
Mexico 225

South America

  • Most Brazilian coffee brands have a nutty, almost spicy taste to them. 
  • Colombian beans are more balanced in taste- the rich caramel flavor is canceled out by occasional nuttiness.


  • Indonesian beans are available in specific varieties. Some of these beans have aged bodies and deep textures on them.
  • Hawaiian beans have a rich aroma and a slightly sweet taste.


  • The Ethiopian raw material ranges from floral brews to heady wine-like palates. 
  • Kenyan coffee beans get plenty of sunlight and have a savory taste with a bit of sweetness.


A perfect cup doesn’t always need similarly roasted beans for espresso. You can use original blends or combine dark, medium, or lightly roasted products to get your desired flavor.


Espresso is usually made using a good quality Arabica. The blend must be full-bodies- neither too sweet nor too bitter.

Roast Date

After roasting the beans, it’s better to use them within two weeks, for better taste. If you want to experience a distinctive flavor and unforgettable aroma, then you must use freshly grounded products for an espresso machine.

Choosing the Best Beans for Espresso

There are several details that you must remember while choosing the best beans for espresso 2023:

Whole vs Pre-ground

Freshly ground beans have a much better taste. It gives you a rich flavor and maximum aroma. Oxidation in pre-ground beans makes them lose much of their flavor.

Roast Type

Roasting determines the flavor. Before buying a new roast type, go through the raw material for espresso reviews to understand the difference in their qualities. The four main roast types are:

Light roast

  • It goes well with milk.
  • The roasted beans are usually light brown. 
  • It has a delicate aroma and multifaceted taste.
  • Example: New England Coffee Beans.

Medium roast

  • It has a sweet and sour taste.
  • They have a dark, shiny-looking surface.
  • It is mainly used in espresso machines. 
  • Example: Viennese Coffee Beans.

Dark roast

  • It has a dark brown color and slight oiliness. 
  • They are less sour than others. 
  • Perfect for making black coffee.
  • Example: French Coffee Beans.

Highest roast

  • These are the top-rated espresso beans. 
  • It is almost black, and they are slightly roasted or bitter to taste.
  • Example: Spanish Coffee Beans.

Other Considerations

  • Packaging: The various packaging options available in pillow bags, quad seal bags, flat-bottomed bags, BIB, or doy-packs. Go through the various coffee for espresso reviews before buying a product.
  • Type of drink you prefer: Your choice of the product will also depend upon the type of drink that you like. So whether you like Americano, Black Coffee, Cappuccino, or Flavoured Coffee – you can choose your coffee raw accordingly.

Espresso Brewing Tips

There are certain brewing tips that you must keep in mind while using the best raw for espresso:

  • Grind size: Grinding the coffee finely enough gives you a better flavor. If the crema has too many air bubbles, then you need to grind more finely. Another useful thing to do is to go through the raw reviews before you start using them.
  • Tamping: Tamping allows the water to flow through the nozzle whenever you make an espresso shot. If the pressure is too low, then the water will flow out too quickly, and you will not get a good extraction.
  • Pre-infusion: Pre-infusion is necessary for moistening the coffee beans before they are ground. This process also releases the carbon dioxide stored in them and ensures complete extraction.


Hopefully, our little guide helped you learn how to choose the best beans for espresso 2023! As you can see, it’s not that difficult, and the most important thing that you need to keep an eye on is the country of origin and the type of roasting, all according to your preference. So if you’re more into a strong and rich taste, then choose the highest roast beans, or if you like some spicy notes in your java – then opt for espresso coffee beans from South America. So choose whichever type works the best for you and enjoy some delicious cup of java!

Perhaps you also have some recommendations regarding what are the best coffee beans for espresso? Then feel free to share your ideas with us in the comments!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *