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Your local coffee shop isn’t the only place you can find quality espresso. In fact, you can make your own brew right at home as long as you have a bag of the best espresso beans and an espresso maker, like an automated espresso machine or a stovetop Moka pot.
What’s the Difference Between Coffee Beans and Espresso Beans?
However, if you’re a true coffee connoisseur, you’ll want to take care of that last part at home. Once a coffee bean is ground, it will lose its oils, and therefore its flavor, quickly. That’s why freshly ground coffee usually produces a more flavorful brew. For that reason, we recommend that you buy whole bean espresso to get the most out of your beans.
If you’re ready to brew your own espresso at home, grab one of these bags of espresso beans. We’ve reviewed the best options available for online orders below.
1. Eight O’Clock Whole Bean Coffee
Thanks to an exceptional price-to-quality ratio, Eight O’Clock Coffee offers some of the nation’s best-selling beans. The Dark Italian Espresso blend is one of the brand’s most popular, especially among espresso drinkers. These 100% Arabica coffee beans are boldly roasted to provide for chocolate and caramel flavors with a full-bodied finish. Plus, when home ground, these beans are not too oily to use in an automated espresso machine, so you can brew them in whatever way is most convenient to you.
2. Kicking Horse Coffee
FAIR TRADE CERTIFIED
Kicking Horse is a Canadian coffee company with a sense of humor; their top blends include “Kick Ass” and “Smart Ass.” This is their Cliff Hanger espresso blend. We won’t leave you on a cliffhanger, though. This is a solid espresso blend that’s USDA-certified organic and Fairtrade certified. It comes in in a 2.2-pound bag.
3. Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso
LATIN AMERICAN BLEND
Chicago-based Intelligentsia has become one of the top roasters of the third wave coffee movement, and the brand makes some of the best coffee that you can find at many grocery stores. Black Cat is their signature espresso blend, and it’s made from coffees sourced from Brazil and Colombia. This coffee comes in a 12 oz bag.
4. Cafe La Llave Espresso Dark Roast Coffee
BEST GROUND COFFEE
While whole bean coffee will always be fresher, ground coffee is undoubtedly more convenient, so we wanted to pick out one ground espresso option to buy. If you’re looking for a cheap but tasty coffee for a Moka pot or espresso machine, you could do a lot worse than Cafe La Llave. Cafe La Llave is brewed with espresso in mind, and it’s got a great flavor for a low price. Cafe La Llave has its roots in Cuba, and they say that their coffee is “Latin flavor perfected by Latin coffee drinkers, for Latin coffee drinkers.” What that translates to is an espresso brew that’s bold and smooth.
5. Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Hair Bender
Hair Bender is Stumptown’s signature roast, and it can be enjoyed using a variety of brewing methods. If you’ve had an espresso at one of Stumptown’s cafes, Hair Bender is the blend that they use. The unique blend has citrus and dark chocolate notes, and the Arabica blend is made from coffees from Africa, Indonesia and Latin America.
6. Shopindulgelititz Red Rose Espresso
Although you might not think of it, Etsy provides access to small-scale roasters across the country. The minds behind the shop called “Shopindulgelititz” offer up Red Rose Espresso, which creates a sweet and smooth brew with a medium body. That means these beans are a great option for making specialty drinks, like lattes, cappuccinos or macchiatos, at home.
7. EADACoffee Swisswater Decaf Espresso Bean Coffee
If you enjoy the taste of espresso but don’t want the jittery side effects of consuming a highly caffeinated drink, it’s time to try decaf espresso beans. The EADACoffee Swisswater Decaf Espresso Bean Coffee has been designed by a micro-roaster in Vancouver, Canada to provide a drink full of dark chocolate and nut flavors but without caffeine. These beans come directly from South America and are hand-selected by the Canadian roasters to create the smoothest espresso blend possible.
8. Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte
Peet’s Coffee is one of the original names in the craft coffee movement, and many of its coffees make excellent brews. However, the Espresso Forte has been specially blended to hold up to the demanding methods of espresso preparation. The blend is made up of bright and lively Indo-Pacific beans and spicy coffee beans from the Americas. Together, they create an espresso with hints of hazelnut and super smooth cream.
9. Don Pablo Classic Italian Espresso Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
BEST DARK ROAST
Sometimes espresso can be overly acidic which causes bitterness in the brew. Don Pablo has ensured this isn’t an issue with their espresso dark roast with their special roasting technique. This technique creates a bean with a deep yet smooth flavor full of dark chocolate and mild earthy tones. These beans are 100% Arabica, GMO-free and sourced from Colombia and Sumatra.
10. Lavazza L’Espresso Gran Crema Coffee Blend
BEST MEDIUM ROAST
Lavazza calls itself “Italy’s favorite coffee.” The company has been blending espresso beans in Italy for over 120 years. This blend of Arabica beans draws on that experience to create a brew with hints of dark chocolate and spices. L’Espresso Gran Crema isn’t as strong as some other espresso blends thanks to its medium roast and the fact that it mixes Brazilian and Honduran Arabica varieties with African Robusta beans.
11. Stache Coffee Company STACHEspresso
BEST FOR GIFTING
STACHEspresso by the Stache Coffee Company has a lot going for it. The company itself is veteran-owned and operated in Oceanside, California. In addition, all their beans are bought through direct trade with individual farms and co-ops and are sustainably and organically grown. This particular espresso blend combines coffee beans from Central and South America, Nepal and Africa. The result is a smooth and balanced brew. Plus, the Stache Coffee Company STACHEspresso bags can be personalized, making these espresso beans ideal for gifting.
12. Danesi Caffe Gold Espresso Beans
For an authentic Italian espresso that you’ll come back to again and again, look no further than the Danesi Caffe Gold Espresso Beans. These beans boast a sweet honey and caramel flavor thanks to the slow roasting method used by Danesi. Plus, the balanced acidity and rich texture add to the delightful drinking experience. The beans themselves come from Latin America, Africa and Indonesia, and they can be used in a variety of espresso makers as they are dry and not oily.
13. Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso
BEST BULK BUY
Sometimes you need enough espresso to feed a crowd. If that’s the case for you, the Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso should be a consideration. This five-pound bag contains beans from South America, Central America, Africa and India which create a full-bodied brew with a toasted honey aroma. This dark roast is ideal for espresso but can also be used in drip coffee makers, French presses or reusable K-cup filters.