Best Espresso Coffee Beans - 2018 Reviews and Top Picks

Are you a diehard coffee lover that thinks the best espresso coffee beans are necessary to make a great cup of this stout coffee? Then you would be 100% correct.

The secret to any coffee lies in the beans but even more so with espresso. Everything about the brewing process with espresso is much more delicate than with regular coffee. That includes the temperature of the water forced through the ground coffee beans to the coffee bean grind itself. When it all comes together and is done right you will experience an amazing cup of espresso.

Why do people like espresso so much? That is because espresso will give you much more of a jolt than regular coffee. Espresso tends to be a bolder (not bitter) and a more robust type of brew that will kick-start your day and keep you going throughout the morning. That is why it is such a popular type of coffee for many.

Read on and see our reviews of the most popular choices of espresso beans.

The Top Coffee Bean products Used to Make Espresso


Coffee Beans


Key Attributes




Peet's Coffee Whole Coffee Bean, Espresso Forte, Dark Roast

12 oz

– Blended by skilled Baristas
– Stout body with rich bold flavor
– Americas and Indo-Pacific bean blend
– Thick and creamy consistency


Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee - Classic Italian Espresso - Dark Roast

2 lbs

– Dark Roast Arabica Coffee
– Generous sized 2 pound bag
– Colombian and Sumatran bean blend
– Deep color and complex flavor


Lavazza Super Crema Espresso - Whole Bean Coffee

2.2 lbs

– Velvety Crème
– Big 2.2 pound bag
– Honey and almond aroma
– Long lasting flavor


Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso, Medium Roast, Whole Bean

2.2 lbs

– 100% organic product
– Large 2.2 pound bag
– Fruity and chocolaty aroma
– Worldwide bean selection


Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee

5 lbs

– Huge 5 pound bag
– Dark coffee with rich flavor
– Slow roasted in small batches
– 100% Italian coffee bean selection

Reviews of the 5 Best Espresso Coffee Beans

Espresso coffee blending is truly an art and has to be done just so in order to make a great cup of it. Here are 5 companies that we think get it right.

#1 Peet's Whole Coffee Bean, Espresso Forte, Dark Roast

Peet’s is a specialty coffee shop that started in the San Francisco Bay area way back in 1966. They are so good at what they do they now have stores from coast to coast. They are a company that only employs the most experienced barista’s and the robust flavor of this coffee blend really backs that up.

The baristas at Peet’s know how hard it is to get espresso coffee blending just right. They used time tested methods of blending that make their espresso taste consistent from package to package. This package contains the whole beans so you have to grind it yourself so you get the best flavor possible from the espresso you make with it.

Many people have a hard time choosing which coffee blends they like best. The more earthy coffee that is found in Indo-Pacific beans or the slightly spicy taste than is found I the beans in the Americas.  Well with tis espresso blend you don’t have to choose because you get both.

When you look at this coffee once it’s brewed the first thing you will notice is how dark and frothy it is. That is the sure sign of a good espresso that is properly blended. This coffee has a very stout body about it to say the least.

Those who have tried this coffee rave about its flavor too. The carefully crafted bean blend gives this masterfully created coffee blend a rich core of flavor that will give you a nice little kick when you consume it.


  • Blended by skilled Baristas
  • Stout body with rich bold flavor
  • American and Indo-Pacific bean blend
  • Thick and creamy consistency
  • Tangy core of flavor
  • Whole bean product


  • Best used within 90 days from manufacturing date
  • Needs to be ground

#2 Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee - Classic Italian Espresso - Dark Roast

Don Pablo coffee was born in South Florida in 1989. Since then its popularity has grown substantially and it’s now sold in stores everywhere. Despite their growth, the owners stuck to their promise of only making their coffees in small batch roasting facilities. That would explain why he flavor that you get with this espresso is very rich, robust and unique.

People often describe the flavor of this bean blend as having a hint of chocolate in it along with some other subtle and earthly flavors. Many of those who have tried it claim to now be diehard repeat customers. That is a strong tribute to any type product.

The appeal of this coffee starts when you first look at in in the cup. It has deep dark look to it with just the right amount of frothiness on top. It is extremely full bodied to say the least. This espresso certainly passes the eye test with flying colors.

This can be used in a French Press coffee maker but you have to get the temp just right (185 degrees approx.) or you won’t get the full flavor experience. This espresso blend comes in a generous size 2 pound bag.


  • Dark Roast Arabica Coffee
  • Generous sized 2 pound bag
  • Colombian and Sumatran bean blend
  • Deep color and complex flavor
  • Grown only in high nutrient volcanic soil
  • Whole bean product
  • Hint of dark chocolate and earthy flavors
  • Small batch roasting facilities


  • Not certified organic
  • Needs to be ground before using
  • Have to use precise temp when using a French press

#3 Lavazza Super Crema Espresso - Whole Bean Coffee

What better brand of espresso to buy than one that is highly popular in the land where espresso coffee was first brewed. That’s right; this is one of the preferred brands in Italy. Italians are known for their love of this style coffee.

Lavazza has been a well-known name in coffee for a while now and this is one of their best selling products. It is made from 100% top shelf Brazilian coffee beans. That soil there is rich in organics and produces some of the most robust flavored coffees you will find.

This espresso blend has a little bit of a unique flavor style. Those who have tried it said they can detect a little bit of almond and honey in the aroma. It’s a very dark espresso coffee too and that can be attributed to the richness of the beans it’s made with.

The best part of this espresso blend may be the crème it creates on top of the cup. It look very rich and velvety which is a good way to tell a quality cup of espresso.

One of the things many users like about this coffee blend is that the beans in it do not look oily when the package is first opened. That means the beans were not over roasted. This espresso package has a nice 2.2 pound portion and the package contains only whole coffee beans.


  • Velvety Crème
  • Big 2.2 pound bag
  • Honey and almond aroma
  • Long lasting flavor
  • Brazilian coffee blend
  • Whole bean productLow oil


  • Too much air in the packaging
  • Has to be used when fresh (3 months no longer)
  • Need to grind before using

#4 Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso, Medium Roast, Whole Bean

You do not see many medium roast espresso blends that have as rich a flavor as this one. You might say it’s as unique as the products name. Don’t let the unusual name fool you though. All Kicking Horses coffees are very popular and sell well.

Why do so many consumers become repeat buyers of this brand espresso? It has everything to do with its great proprietary blend of coffee beans. There is a real worldly flavor to this espresso due to the fact its beans come from such varied places as Africa, Indonesia, Central America and South America too.

It has a surprisingly rich flavor given the fact it is a lighter roast espresso. Its aroma is slightly to the fruity and chocolate side. Many users find it hard to describe the taste but it is always associated with such words rich, bold and divine. All of those words tend to describe an espresso that is way above average in taste.

The brighter crème on top adds a nice appealing touch to this blend of espresso too. It’s a very frothy blend to say the least. Each sip truly has a kick to it like the name says.

One of the best things about this fine coffee product is that it is certified organic coffee. You are not only getting pure coffee without additives but that in turn gives you a much purer taste too.

It is packed in a good size 2.2 pound container so you can enjoy many cups of it before you will have to worry about purchasing another bag. The product inside consist of only whole beans.


  • 100% organic product
  • Large 2.2 pound bag
  • Fruity and chocolaty aroma
  • Worldwide bean selection
  • Whole Arabica bean ingredients
  • Brighter Crème


  • Bag it comes in could reseal better
  • Quantity is too much for casual espresso drinkers

#5 Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso, Whole Bean Coffee

Here is a company that likes to bring you espresso and other coffee blends at reduced prices thanks to economies of scale. That is not to say this is not a very good coffee blend. Coffee Bean Direct is known for putting together coffee blends that are original and flavorful. This is a very good quality espresso blend.

This is a very dark coffee once it’s brewed and has a very rich flavor to it. Many people like it better in iced coffee as opposed to drinking it straight. It has a nice darker toned crème on top after brewing also. Some drinkers rightfully compare it to a French roast coffee.

This is the biggest size espresso product on our list. That is great if you are a very avid espresso drinker but not so good if you just like to drink espresso casually. There is the potential for some waste because Espresso beans should be used within 3 months of the date of packaging.

The package contents only include non-ground whole coffee beans. That is the best way to capture their true flavor. Coffee bean direct also believe in packaging their coffee blends almost immediately after they are brewed.


  • Huge 5 pound bag
  • Dark coffee with rich flavor
  • Slow roasted in small batches
  • 100% Italian coffee bean selection
  • Only whole beans in package
  • Thick frothy crème


  • Beans are a little too oily
  • Quantity is too large for some users
  • Some users only like this blend in ice coffee
  • Regular customers note some inconsistencies among batches

Best Espresso Coffee Beans Buying Guide

First of all it is important to remind you of something. That is to keep in mind that some of how you choose your espresso blend is always based on personal preference. Of course we cannot begin to guide you on that. That is like telling someone what kind of music they like.

There is however a few parameters that you can use to get you looking in the right place for an espresso coffee blend that is sure to satisfy you. Think of these as a pathway that keeps you going in the right direction but ultimately you will have to choose which way you go when you get to the fork in that path.

It will especially help you if you are a newbie to espresso drinking. If you make the right espresso blend selection you will be in for an incredible coffee drinking experience.

Here are some things to consider when buying an espresso blend of coffee to drink:

Package size

We have mentioned in a few of the reviews that espresso coffee blends are best used up within three months of the packaging date. That makes size very relevant to your espresso purchase.

If you are a passionate espresso drinker you will have no problems using up a 5 pound bag of the product in a couple months. More casual espresso drinkers would end up throwing a large amount of this coffee blend out. So base the size of the package you will purchase on your espresso drinking habits.

Roasting type

You will only find espresso beans that roast in two different ways. That is dark roast blends and medium roast blends. Dark roast blends tend to be stout and have more kick. That is the reason they are the beans used most often to make espresso. Medium roast beans have more of a variety of flavor and that flavor is usually more subtle than that of dark roast beans.

Bean selection

Where the beans come from that your espresso blend is made from is important to the taste they produce. Certain areas of the world are known to produce more robust coffee flavors than others. Beans that come from the arid and mountainous regions of South America are an example of great coffee bean growing areas.

You also have the Sumatra region of Indonesia and certain areas of Africa that are renowned for the flavor of their coffee beans too. So look to see where the beans come from for any espresso blend you are thinking about purchasing.


Most people greatly discount looks when it comes to espresso but that is not wise. In general the best and liveliest espressos have a bold and stout dark look to them. As you try different blends of espresso coffee pay attention to the looks and shade of it to get an idea of what level of darkness in the espresso appeals to you the most.

Flavor/Company reputation

Above all else it will be the flavor of a blend of espresso that makes you a repeat buyer. With that being said at some point you will have to make a first time purchase. That means there will be a lot of unknowns on your part.

That is what makes reviews of the top blends of espresso like ours so important. It helps you get information that is relevant to your purchasing decision from those that have experienced a particular blend of espresso. It is the best way to select a product to purchase if you can’t sample it directly.


This one could probably just as easily have been put under looks too. That foam with a creamy consistency that you observe on the top of your newly brewed cup of espresso is called the crème.

The crème that is present on the top of a fresh brewed cup of espresso does three things. It alerts you to the fact that you have a good blend of beans that brews up well and it adds to the visual appeal of your coffee. It also is the way that the appealing aromatics that espresso has are released.

Package life

When shopping for any coffee it is important to check the date of packaging. Most espresso blends will not be as fresh and tasty after being on the shelves for 2 or 3 months. Three months is a great place to draw the line on an espresso coffee purchase to be sure unless you will use it up right away.

Many people have found it very convenient to order their espresso online too. It’s a good way to shop because you can usually save some money and the mail is normally fast and reliable. When you purchase online you do not have the advantage of seeing the manufacturing date on the espresso blend. If it arrives within a few weeks of expiration then send it back for an exchange right away.

Return Policy

Try to purchase an espresso product that has a somewhat liberal return policy too. This is especially true if you are purchasing your espresso bean blend online line. You never know what happens in transport and if the packaging always remains airtight. You want to be able to return espresso beans that look overly oily or extremely dry when you open the package.

The top espresso craft coffee products can be expensive so you certainly don’t want to throw your money away along with the bad package of espresso beans.

Our Final Thoughts on Which Espresso Blend Is Best

If you are an espresso fan then most likely you would like any of the blends on our review list of the top espresso blends. There was one that is generally preferred over the others. That is the Peet's Whole Coffee Bean, Espresso Forte, Dark Roast blend. There were several things that stuck out about this very nice coffee blend.

One thing to note is that it comes in the smallest sized package of any espresso blends on our list so you are assured to get fresh and flavorful beans every time. It’s also one of the stronger and darker espresso blends on our list too. It is robust, rich and leaves a very velvety and aromatic crème on top after brewing too.

We think the fact that it combines beans from the flavor rich growing lands in the Americas and Indo-Pacific regions ensures a quality blend in each bag. The super experienced baristas that Peet’s employs also contribute to the consistent quality of this product.

It is packaged in affordable 12 ounce bags so we highly recommend every espresso lover purchase one and give it a try. It definitely uses some of the best espresso coffee beans you will ever sample.

Jill Scott

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