10 Best Coffee Beans For Espresso – Light, Dark, Medium Roast, Etc.

Last Updated on: 23rd August 2023, 01:09 pm

Looking for the perfect beans to fuel your espresso cravings? Look no further! In this article, we’ve handpicked the top 10 coffee beans that will take your espresso game to new heights.

Whether you prefer a light, dark, or medium roast, we’ve got something for everyone. Get ready to indulge in rich flavors and enticing aromas that awaken your senses with every sip.

So grab your cup and get ready to discover the best coffee beans for your morning espresso fix!

What Kind of Coffee Beans Are Best For Espresso

If you want to make the perfect espresso, it’s best to use dark-roast coffee beans. Dark roast beans are specifically crafted for espresso brewing, as they bring out the rich flavors and intense aromas that define a great cup of espresso.

Espresso blends often consist of dark roasted beans, carefully selected from different origins to create a well-balanced flavor profile. These blends combine the unique characteristics of various single-origin beans to achieve a harmonious taste that is both bold and smooth.

The dark roast brings out the coffee’s natural sweetness and caramel notes while reducing acidity. Specialty coffee shops typically use an espresso roast when preparing their signature drinks because it consistently delivers a full-bodied and flavorful espresso experience.

Our Top 10 Espresso Bean Picks

If you’re looking for the ultimate espresso experience, our top 10 espresso bean picks have you covered.

Our all-time favorite is the DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Espresso Roast, known for its bold and intense flavor profile.

Try the illy Arabica Selections Ethiopia Whole Bean Coffee with its delicate notes and smooth finish for a lighter option.

The Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend offers a rich and balanced taste if you prefer a medium roast.

Dark roast lovers will be satisfied with the Starbucks Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee’s deep and robust flavor.

And for those who want to enjoy their espresso without the caffeine kick, the San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee Decaf is a perfect choice.

Our All Time Favorite – DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Espresso Roast

The Death Wish Coffee Whole Bean Espresso Roast (available here) is our all-time favorite for its bold flavor and invigorating aroma. Made from the highest quality beans sourced from India, Peru, and Sumatra, this dark roast blend offers an espresso-like texture and depth to satisfy even the most discerning coffee connoisseur.

The powerful flavor profile of Death Wish Coffee includes notes of caramelized sugar, cocoa, and cherries, with hints of dark chocolate and a bitter finish. Its double caffeine content makes it the perfect choice for those needing an extra kick to start their day.


  • Bold flavor and invigorating aroma
  • High-quality sourced beans
  • Double caffeine content


  • Potency may be overwhelming for those who prefer milder brews
  • Slightly higher price point compared to regular coffee

Light Roast – illy Arabica Selections Ethiopia Whole Bean Coffee

Illy Arabica Selections Ethiopia Whole Bean Coffee (available here) offers a sweet and delicate flavor with fruity notes of citrus and jasmine, making it a popular choice among coffee enthusiasts. Sourced from the legendary Yirgacheffe territory, one of Arabica’s earliest known origins, this coffee is made in Italy to ensure the highest quality. The beans are carefully selected and roasted to perfection, producing a smooth and balanced cup of joe.

The freshness and packaging of Illy Arabica Selections Ethiopia Whole Bean Coffee are highly praised by customers. The beans are delivered within 10 days of being manufactured, ensuring maximum freshness. The amazing aroma fills the air when the seal is broken, creating an irresistible temptation to brew a cup immediately. The sturdy cans can also be reused for storage or other purposes.

While some customers have complained about dented cans due to Amazon’s packaging methods, overall feedback on this product has been positive. It is worth noting that some users initially experienced bitterness in their coffee but found that adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio improved the taste significantly.


  • Smooth and balanced flavor
  • Freshness guaranteed with quick delivery
  • Sturdy reusable cans


  • Potential for dented cans during shipping

Medium Roast – Lavazza Espresso Barista Gran Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Lavazza’s Espresso Barista Gran Crema (available here) is popular among coffee enthusiasts for its smooth and full-bodied flavor. This medium roast blend combines the best of both worlds with a rich taste that isn’t overpowering. The Gran Crema is perfect for those who want a well-balanced cup of espresso without sacrificing flavor.

In this blend, the Arabica and Robusta beans combine to create a velvety crema and an intense aroma. The honey and roasted coffee notes add depth to each sip, making it an enjoyable experience from start to finish. This blend delivers consistently excellent results, whether you’re making cappuccinos or lattes.


  • Smooth and full-bodied flavor
  • Versatile for different coffee preparations
  • Velvety crema


  • Not suitable for those who prefer lighter roasts
  • It may be too strong for those who prefer milder flavors.
  • Requires an espresso machine for optimal results

Dark Roast – Starbucks Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Starbucks’ Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee (available here) offers a bold and rich flavor profile that coffee enthusiasts appreciate. This premium whole-bean coffee is a French Roast with dark caramel and sweet smoke notes, providing a robust taste experience. Made with 100% arabica coffee beans, it always delivers a fresh and high-quality brew. This versatile coffee can accommodate your preferences, whether you prefer an espresso machine or another brewing method.

Additionally, Starbucks sources its beans ethically in partnership with Conservation International, ensuring sustainability throughout its supply chain.


  • Bold and rich flavor profile appreciated by coffee enthusiasts
  • Versatile for different brewing methods, including espresso machines
  • Ethically sourced beans ensure sustainability


  • Some customers prefer the taste of Starbucks’ French Roast sold in stores over this dark roast version
  • Packaged in a green bag instead of the traditional brown bag

Decaf – San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee

The decaf option from San Francisco Bay Coffee (available here) is popular among customers who enjoy a bold and robust flavor without caffeine. Sourced from Central and South American arabica beans, this dark roast offers a full-bodied taste with a smoky finish. The coffee undergoes the Swiss Water Process for decaffeination, ensuring no chemicals are used.

San Francisco Bay Coffee prides itself on using only 100% arabica coffee and certified Kosher beans, which are hand-picked and grown in high altitudes. With their commitment to sustainability and excellent customer service, it’s no wonder customers appreciate this decaf option’s quality and taste.


  • Bold and robust flavor without the caffeine
  • Sustainably sourced coffee
  • Excellent customer service


  • Some may find it less amazing than other brands like Starbucks French Roast.

For Blonde – Starbucks Blonde Espresso Light Roast

A coffee grinder is highly recommended for breaking down the beans of Starbucks Blonde Espresso Light Roast (available here). This light roast espresso perfectly balances flavor and aroma, making it an excellent choice for lattes. The beans are carefully selected and roasted to deliver a smooth and delightful taste that will satisfy your coffee cravings.

The Starbucks Blonde Espresso Light Roast is designed for use in espresso machines, ensuring consistent shots with acceptable crema. It has a decent flavor profile that appeals to casual coffee drinkers and connoisseurs alike. The price may be slightly higher than buying from a Starbucks store, but the convenience of having it delivered right to your doorstep cannot be beaten.


  • Smooth and delightful taste
  • Consistent shots with acceptable crema
  • Convenient home delivery


  • Higher price compared to buying from Starbucks store
  • Freshness may not be as good as beans with roasted-on date
  • Other options available with a better price-to-freshness ratio

For Beginners – Amazon Fresh Bold Crema Espresso

To achieve the best results with Amazon Fresh Bold Crema Espresso (available here), store the coffee beans properly in an airtight container away from direct sunlight. This medium roast whole bean coffee offers a delightful combination of rich notes of chocolate, a nutty aroma, hints of caramel and spice, and a long-lasting crema. Roasted and packaged in Canada, this coffee is Rainforest Alliance Certified, ensuring sustainability for both farmers and companies.

Regarding brewing methods, Amazon Fresh Bold Crema Espresso works well with pour-over style or espresso machines. Its flavor profile is surprisingly tasty, even for those who prefer dark roasts. And with its great price for two pounds of coffee, it offers good value.


  • Good flavor for pour-over style or espresso machines
  • Surprisingly tasty for dark roast drinkers
  • Great value for two pounds of coffee


  • It may cause clogging and gumming up of the grinder in espresso machines.

For Automatic Espresso Machines – Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso

For automatic espresso machines, you can’t go wrong with Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso (available here). This medium roast whole bean blend is a favorite among coffee enthusiasts for its smooth taste and exceptional quality. The beans are certified organic, Fairtrade, and Kosher, ensuring that you’re getting a product that meets high sustainability and ethical sourcing standards.

With this coffee, you can expect a rich and balanced flavor profile, perfect for brewing delicious espresso shots.


  • Smooth taste
  • High-quality beans
  • Suitable for automatic espresso machines


  • No specific directions are mentioned in the given content.

For Jura – La Colombe Nizza Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee

La Colombe Nizza (available here) is a medium roast whole bean coffee compatible with Jura machines. It is a delicious option for those seeking a balanced and flavorful espresso experience. The Nizza blend from La Colombe has been carefully crafted to provide a honey-sweet, roasted nuttiness that will delight your taste buds. With dominant flavors of creamy milk chocolate and toasted hazelnut, this coffee offers a smooth and satisfying cup every time.

When brewing the La Colombe Nizza, it is recommended to use a 1g dose to 2g shot ratio, with a brew head temperature of 200F. The extraction should take around 32-36 seconds with preinfusion. This brewing method ensures you can achieve reasonable crema without needing robusta in the blend.


  • Delicious flavor profile with notes of milk chocolate and nuts
  • Works well with steamed milk for cappuccinos or macchiatos
  • Achieves reasonable crema without robusta in the blend


  • Some may find it not worth the higher price compared to cheaper brands
  • It may require experimentation for the French press brewing method
  • It doesn’t have a strong coffee smell, but the taste is smooth and good

For Stovetop / Moka Pot – Lavazza Gran Riserva Whole Bean Coffee Blend

The Lavazza Gran Riserva Whole Bean Coffee Blend (available here) is a well-rounded option for brewing with a stovetop or Moka pot. This Italian blend boasts a dark espresso roast with a rich aroma, velvety crema, and delightful maple syrup and walnut notes. The beans are carefully blended and roasted in Italy, ensuring an authentic taste experience. The best results can be achieved using an espresso machine to brew this coffee.

It’s worth noting that the production takes place in a nut-free facility, making it suitable for those with allergies. With only coffee as its ingredient, you can enjoy a pure and satisfying cup every time.


  • Well-rounded flavor profile
  • Authentic Italian blend
  • Suitable for stovetop or Moka pot brewing


  • It may not be suitable for those who prefer lighter roasts


So there you have it, the 10 best coffee beans for espresso. We’ve got you covered whether you prefer a light, dark, or medium roast.

From the rich and bold flavors of Colombian Supremo to the smooth and velvety taste of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, these beans will satisfy your caffeine cravings.

But don’t just take our word for it. Why not try them out for yourself? Discover the perfect blend that will elevate your espresso experience to new heights.

So what are you waiting for? Start brewing and indulge in the ultimate coffee pleasure today!

Mike Shaw

Mike is a fervent aficionado of all things coffee. His journey has taken him from the verdant coffee farms of South America to the vibrant coffeehouses of Europe and many places in between. Over the years, he's delved deep into the intricate tapestry of coffee, savoring, brewing, and analyzing myriad varieties. For Mike, coffee transcends its role as a morning energizer; it's a world waiting to be explored and cherished.

 mike@kitchenhousecoffee.com  https://kitchenhousecoffee.com