Last Updated :

Best Whole Bean Coffee Reviews

Best Organic
Mayorga Organics Café Cubano Roast

Best Low Acidity
Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast

Best Flavored
Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender

Written by Sofia Moore
Last Updated
Spread the love

Nothing beats a good cup of coffee any time of the day. Applying different techniques could help in making the right taste and even the right amount of caffeine for you each day. However, no matter what device or brewing method you do, getting good coffee starts with high-quality coffee beans. Imagine, when you choose the best quality beans that suit your taste buds, you may never have to spend another dollar on expensive coffee shops. Maybe it’s time to learn and discover the different coffee beans that you could choose from – light roast, medium roast, dark roast, and many more- and that you can make endless coffee products like cold brew and espresso, and even french press it to make good coffee even at the comfort of your own home.

Picking the right coffee beans will be the start of your journey in making that caffeine fix you’re always used to buying. If you still can’t decide and you’re not really sure what kind of beans to purchase, we have compiled some of the best whole bean coffee for you to choose from. Choose one from our list or get them all and see what you like best!

  • 1

    Mayorga Organics Café Cubano Roast

Some may find it hard to believe, but anything organic is better tasting than scientifically-grown produces. Cafe Cubana Roast is Mayorga’s signature blend and is grown, harvested, and roasted organically with the help of farmers in Latin America. The organic coffee beans used the signature Latin style which is the slow-roasting process that provides a distinctly bold cup with a sweet flavor and smooth finish. Mayorga has perfected the Cuban-style dark roast profile with hints of vanilla and sweet, syrupy smokiness with low acidity.

Mayorga’s organic coffee beans were slow-roasted in small batches which gave the Cafe Cubano Roast a distinct flavor that’s high-quality, specialty grade, and 100% Arabica. With every cup of coffee made from Mayorga’s organics farmer direct specialty coffee, it helps the producers to be more engaged in delivering quality and consistent products.

PROS

Organically-produced without any harmful chemical

Farmer direct specialty coffee

Engages farmers in growing and producing coffee beans

Has low acidity

CONS

Could be quite bold and dark for other's preference

Tends to be oily

  • 2

    Don Pablo Signature Blend - Medium-Dark Roast

Made from medium-dark roast whole Arabica beans, Don Pablo’s Signature Blend boasts of its low acidity property making it more enjoyable by a lot of coffee lovers without the guilt. This 2lb bag of whole coffee beans is blended for taste with Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil that have distinct body characters making each cup of coffee or any specialty coffee more complex in just a cup. It also has a sweet and well-integrated taste with a body that’s medium to full. The finish is cocoa-toned that’s very smooth and with low acidity.

This signature blend from Don Pablo has a touch of roastiness to the medium-dark coffee that has a slight caramelization of the natural sugars in the beans while still retaining the natural flavor giving it a sweet, pleasant aftertaste. The Don Pablo signature blend is 100% Arabica whole coffee bean and is 100% GMO-free. Upon purchase, the beans will be noticeably glossy due to the natural oil that assures freshness and is not drying out. This product from Arabica beans is not bitter compared to other coffee beans. Every customer is also guaranteed freshness because the beans come in a handy resealable bag.

These coffee beans could be used to make your favorite cup of coffee; you can roast coffee using a traditional drip machine, through the hand drip method, french press, or even cold brew.

PROS

Coffee beans come in a resealable bag

Does not have an unpleasant aftertaste

Could be used to make specialty coffees

Rich, smooth, and very flavorful

CONS

Due to the natural oils, grounds tend to stick in the grinder

Has a slightly bitter after taste

  • 3

    Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender

The Hair Bender blend is Stumptown’s most popular blend that has clarity and complexity and comes from major growing regions like Central and South America, East Africa, and Indonesia. This whole bean coffee blend has a complexity that allows for a harmonious flavor profile with tasting notes of sweet citrus, and milk chocolate with caramel notes. Stumptown Hair Bender has its coffee beans roasted for every taste – from light roast to dark roast, as well as single origin coffees to bold blends that surely bring out the full potential of every coffee bean.

The whole bean coffee is always freshly roasted, and the bags keep the coffee fresh for 90 days if left unopened. It is also convenient as most bags show when the coffee beans were roasted and when it would expire. Just make sure to enjoy your coffee within two weeks of opening. But we’re sure a coffee this good won’t last that long. For $32.50 per 12 ounces pack, you will get a smooth, rich, and delicious flavored brew that does not have a bitter aftertaste.

PROS

Provides enough caffeine for that first cup of coffee

"Manufacture" and "best before" dates are indicated on each bag

Has multiple flavor notes

Manufacturing of whole bean coffees has been focused on sustainability

CONS

A bit pricey

Tends to get sour overtime

  • 4

    Lavazza Super Crema

Lavazza’s Super Crema offers a full-body blend with a rich crema and aromatic taste profile that has notes of roasted hazelnut and brown sugar, and all the harmony of Italian espresso. It has tasting notes that are flowery and fruity with a soft texture and a compact crema. This flavor profile from Lavazza is composed highly (60%) of Arabica coffee beans, 40% Robusta, and integrated balanced roasting to provide a rich aromatic intensity.

This whole bean coffee is smoother and more mellow which is perfect if you like drinking your espresso straight without any milk or if you like your coffee on the stronger side. It is considered a superior flavor that suits coffee lovers with a taste for darker and more roasted coffee. Despite these characteristics, Super Crema is not bitter or acrid making it a decent coffee overall.

The Lavazza strong dark roast coffee has good and high-quality Robusta beans that are used in traditional Italian espresso roast at 10-15% which provides a taste that’s full-body and better foam head which is known as crema.

PROS

Has well-rounded tasting notes

Smooth and mellow despite its dark and strong taste

The crema holds very well

CONS

Suitable for an espresso machine only

  • 5

    Eight O'Clock Whole Bean Coffee

This Dark Italian Espresso from Eight O’Clock has a strong aroma and subtle flavors of chocolate and caramel in a bold and full-body finish. Made from 100% Arabica coffee beans, this blend is smooth and has no bitterness, and has a very bright flavor that’s not burnt that it is so refreshing! Eight O’Clock has one of the cheapest whole bean coffees in the market today, but the taste and aroma are never compromised. The coffee beans also grind well in any grinder, so no need to buy anything expensive.

The Eight O’Clock dark roast coffee is perfect for an espresso brewer and traditional drip coffee maker and is good for making a classic cup of rich deeply flavored quality coffee, espresso and cappuccino with a stronger taste; a dark roast that’s surely going to wake you up in the morning. It is also considered as one of the most consistent coffee products, as coffee lovers like the fact that they don’t feel like they’ve been smoking after having a cup.

PROS

Does not have a burnt aftertaste

Excellent on any espresso machine

Excellent coffee at a reasonable price

CONS

Beans are not glossy

  • 6

    Starbucks French Roast Coffee Beans

This French Roast Coffee is considered one of the best from Starbucks; it has consistent dark and greasy coffee beans that are a great deal when buying fresh whole beans. It has a very dark roast character when it comes to aroma and has roundly charred cedar and anise flavor notes with a hint of citrus. This French roast is composed of 100% Arabica beans that’s perfect if you like an intense, strong coffee flavor. What’s also perfect is having a Starbucks store in almost every corner so access to this whole bean coffee anytime is easier and possible.

If you find that each cup of Starbucks coffee costs you a lot, it is recommended to just buy a bag or two of French roast whole coffee beans so that you can yield more coffee at home using your own coffee maker and enjoy it minus the crowd. If you enjoy making cold brew, this is one of the best coffee beans to use.

PROS

Best coffee beans for those who love strong and intense coffee flavor

Available in any Starbucks branch

100% Arabica

CONS

Could be a bit pricey

  • 7

    Volcanic Peru Whole Bean Coffee

This Peru coffee from Volcanic is an organic coffee known as Tres Cumbres that is grown in the Chanchamayo region at the highest ranges of the South American Andes and the Amazon River basin. It has a complex, full-body with cup notes of floral, smoky overtones with a bright aromatic finish that has a gentle acidity. Its flavor notes are lemongrass, plum, and light nougat making it refreshing with gentle creaminess.

The coffee that Volcanic Peru produces is great to be consumed black or with milk. It has a slightly smoky and chocolate taste with the right amount of acidity with medium intensity. The medium roast coffee allows the true flavor characteristic to come through or a remarkable taste.

PROS

Has a gentle acidity

Fresh medium roast immediately packed and sealed to preserve the remarkable taste

Organically grown

Bright aromatic finish

CONS

A bit difficult to find the right amount to use

A bit pricey

  • 8

    Jose's Whole Bean Coffee Vanilla Nut

Jose’s Whole Bean Coffee Vanilla Nut is a medium roast bean with a sweet and intense aroma and tastes sweet and nutty. It has a well-balanced body and a flavorful creamy finish that is also less oily with hints that real vanilla was really used and not artificial ones. This whole bean coffee is guaranteed to be enjoyed by novices or coffee experts because the vanilla is tasty and refreshing so you can drink it all morning.

The whole beans grind well using any grinder without any static buildup, less mess, smells great, and never bitter-tasting. The oils in the beans are just moderate and work well for cold brew or iced coffees and could be added with milk or cream. Considered one of the best coffee beans with vanilla nut flavor, it could also be used in a French press or grind into a K-cup when you’re on the go.

PROS

Could be used in a variety of coffee products

Vanilla nut flavor used is authentic

Medium roast coffee

Grinds well

Less oily

CONS

The bag is not vacuum sealed

A bit pricey

  • 9

    Café Don Pablo Subtle Earth Organic Whole Bean Coffee

Cafe Don Pablo’s Subtle Earth Organic Whole Bean Coffee is a medium-dark roast that’s full-bodied with a deep, rich, chocolate flavor. It has a clean finish and is low in acid with a profound depth of flavor and velvety body. This organic coffee is made of 100% Arabica beans and is non-GMO and certified by CCOF. It has tasting notes of honey, caramel, and cocoa, and the slight caramelization of the natural sugars in the coffee beans give this medium-dark coffee a touch of roastiness while the natural flavor character still remains, giving it a sweet and pleasant aftertaste.

Subtle Earth is the best organic roast beans to make coffee using different methods; you can put it in a traditional drip machine to make a cup every morning, using a french press, an espresso machine but make sure you get the right amount of grind to ensure maximum crema, and through hand drip method – just add 8-10 grams of medium-fine ground coffee per cup and slowly add 190-195 degrees of hot water in a clockwise motion.

PROS

Organically-grown and non-GMO

100% Arabica beans

Could be used with different machines and methods

Mild flavor

Coffee is not bitter and does not cause stomach acid

CONS

A lot needs to be ground if you need a stronger coffee

The bag is not vacuum sealed

  • 10

    Hawaiian Gold Kona Medium Roast

The Hawaiian Gold Gourmet Blend is a very smooth and rich coffee made of medium roast Hawaiian Gold Kona whole bean coffee that is hand-selected to ensure high-quality in every batch. Its mixture produces a vibrant taste with a striking exotic character that enhances its flavors. This coffee has a blend of Hawaiian fancy Kona coffee beans and other Arabica coffees grown in high mountains. If you’re looking for Kona but find it expensive, this gourmet blend is the best coffee substitute for you at a relatively low price.

The Hawaiian Gold Kona is the best coffee for those looking for something that is not bitter and acidic or low acid. The coffee beans are also suitable in any kind of grinder and French press and could be used to make cold brew. The finely-ground coffees could be used with a drip brew and the little coarser ones could be extracted using a Keurig coffee maker.

The Hawaiian Gold coffee beans are deeply rich, and the indulgently smooth flavors are fused with a radiant sparkle to create a pleasant aftertaste. Definitely, the best Kona medium roast coffee beans to start your day!

PROS

The best substitute for expensive Kona coffees

Could be used with different machines and methods

No unpleasant aftertaste

Even-flavored medium roast with a nice nutty body

CONS

Only has 10% Kona blend

How to Choose the Best Coffee Beans

A novice may not notice the difference, but a coffee lover and those who take their coffees seriously could actually tell what they’re getting into by just the smell and the sight of a coffee bean. The products mentioned above would seem pretty similar to casual drinkers and would think that any coffee tastes the same, but it is still important to know that every coffee has differences in its own special ways and that it affects how you enjoy your cup of coffee each morning.

The best coffee beans do not exist unless you know the different coffee categories and the methods or ways to prepare them. To help you a bit more about how to choose the best coffee beans, here are some more tips and factors to consider.

Coffee Bean Categories

Though there are over a hundred coffee species, there are two main ones that stand out: Robust and Arabica.

Robusta

Robusta beans are grown in lower altitude areas and have a strong taste. The beans have 2.7% caffeine content which means coffees made out of these beans carry a bitter taste. If you’re more of an instant coffee drinker, it is best to know that Robusta beans are used to make your instant drink in the morning. Because of its bitter taste, it is widely used as part of an espresso blend, specifically Italian style to help improve the Crema of the coffee. In terms of look, a Robusta bean is much more circular.

 

Arabica

Arabica beans are considered the best coffee beans because of their higher-grade which largely depends on the growing process and the treatment they receive towards the coffee roaster. It has a slightly sweet flavor with hints of caramel, chocolate, caramel, and nuts and has hints of fruits and berries. Arabica also has a slight and pleasant acidity and a little bitterness. The best brewing method for these beans is through a cold brew that helps bring out the sweet flavors.

Roast Options

If you’re serious about getting into coffee and you’re willing to take the time to make your own at home, you must consider not only the beans but also the way to roast them. If you prefer a strong coffee taste, you must roast your beans for a long period of time. Pre-ground coffee beans that have undergone a longer roasting process have a shiny, dark appearance. In terms of taste, they’re bold and bitter. If you want a coffee that has a smoother taste with different acidity levels, roast beans for a shorter period of time; it will also give you a less bitter-tasting coffee. Beans roasted this way are dry and are light-colored.

Preferred Caffeine Level

A lot of people have associated dark roast with high caffeine content, but the truth is dark roast beans contain lower levels of caffeine while light roast beans have higher caffeine content. If you’re looking to make espresso, pick the medium roasted beans. If you want to overload on caffeine, it’s best to pick light roast or medium roasted coffee beans.

Preferred Coffee Roast

Roasting coffee beans will bring out the flavors, and roasting them on different levels and amounts of time will deliver kinds of tastes according to your liking. So it’s better to know your options, especially if you want to roast on your own.

Light Roast

Light-roasted beans are exposed to heat for a shorter period of time and will have a light brown color. Light roasting beans will retain their regional characteristics and has a smooth, bright, and not bitter profile. Coffee beans that are light-roasted have the highest acidity but not sour. It should be noted that coffee should not taste sour at all; if it does, something went wrong in the production process.

Medium Roast

Medium-roasted beans are achieved by removing the beans from the heat just before the second crack. Unlike the light-roasted beans, medium roasts lose a bit of their acidity giving them a roast-like flavor. It has a little less caffeine compared to the light ones.

Dark Roast

Dark roast beans are cooked longer making them lose a huge amount of caffeine. The beans are subjected to a high temperature which extracts a lot of natural oils giving them a shiny and dark brown character. Although dark roast has less amount of caffeine, the coffee can taste bitter due to the roasted flavors.

The Freshness of Whole Bean Coffee

If you don’t have the luxury of buying your roaster and beans to roast, your best option is buying a bag or two of whole bean coffee. It is important that you buy fresh beans, so be sure to check the label for the roast date to get an idea of how many days have passed since they were roasted. It usually says to enjoy and consume the pre-ground beans two weeks to a month from the roast date. As much as possible, avoid buying packed ground coffee as you’re not sure of its treatment process. If you don’t have a grinder at home, have the store or cafe grind the beans. It is best to store extra, unused ground coffee in a tightly-sealed jar to retain flavor and freshness.

Frequently Asked Questions


What is the best whole bean coffee?

This always comes down to your preferred coffee taste and how you intend to use them. If you intend to make espresso, go for the whole bean that is medium-roasted; if you want your coffee that is loaded with caffeine, pick whole beans that are light-roasted.

What is the highest quality coffee?

Although coffees coming from Arabica beans are considered to have a higher grade, it is not to say that coffees from Robusta are not good for consumption. If you want a coffee that’s more bitter and loaded with caffeine, and if you’re more of an instant coffee drinker, beans and coffees coming from Robusta is the best pick for you. If you want your coffee to have a slightly sweet flavor with hints of caramel, nuts, and chocolate with little bitterness, pick beans and a coffee product that’s 100% Arabic.

Is it better to buy whole bean coffee?

It is better to buy whole bean coffee if you are sure that you are going to consume it by the “best before” date. If you’re a heavy coffee drinker and you have a grinder at home, whole bean coffee is your best bet. If you don’t have a grinder at home, it is best to have your beans ground at the market and it in a tightly-sealed jar at home for you to enjoy it longer.

What is the smoothest coffee bean?

Dry and light-colored coffee beans are the smoothest. Pick a brand or bag of beans that have been light-roasted.

Do darker beans have more caffeine?

No. The longer you roast your beans, the darker it gets while burning off more caffeine. But this does not mean that the finished product won’t come out delicious or it is more delicious from other roasts; it all comes down to your preference.

Can I use milk in my single origin coffee?

Absolutely! While a single origin coffee allows drinkers to enjoy a specific nuance that a growing region provides and is best enjoyed black, it still works well with milk. It always depends on your preference. Coffees don’t discriminate.

Can I roast my own coffee beans at home?

Yes, you can! There are electric and manual coffee roasters available in the market today. A lot of people find roasting beans enjoyable and practical. Also, this way, you are in control of what coffee roast you like and you can also do your own experiment until you get the blend that best suits you.

Final Thoughts

Finding the right coffee and beans is a trial and error, especially when you're still starting out with exploring your taste for caffeine. It might get frustrating at first if you're failing at getting the right blend, or could be overwhelming with too much information you're getting like the right amount of beans to use to get the right amount of bitterness or to not get any bitterness at all. It could also be discouraging if you're not tasting the sweetness or nuttiness that most coffee lovers do. Getting the right brands or roasts needs a lot of practice and patience. It could also be a bit expensive, but hey, if you have the means, why not? It's also fun to discover the different tasting notes that you have not tasted before. Read up, watch videos of experts, make notes, and do not be afraid to make mistakes; it's part of the journey. After all, discovering the perfect beans and coffee taste that suits you best is a journey worth taking.