7 Of The Best Espresso Coffee Brands Of 2018: What You Need To Know
There’s nothing like a perfect serving of espresso, and to get that perfection, you need to source the best espresso coffee beans that you can. It’s not as simple as picking up the cheapest bag of beans. While it’s great to find affordable options, espresso requires careful bean selection, and I’m here to help with that.
I’ll admit it: I’m a bit of a coffee snob. I don’t care what other people drink, but when I make an espresso, I want it to taste like a little sip of heaven. And these brands make sure I can do that!
I worked as a barista during college, and I can tell you that the beans that you use to pull your espresso are very important. So do your research, and make a cup of coffee that you will love.
#1 Lavazza Is Top For A Reason
You might wonder why you’ve heard the name Lavazza in coffee so often, and that would be because this brand has been around since 1895 when it was founded in Italy. The history that Lavazza has with coffee beans, and in particular espresso beans, is long and solid, so you can trust that the beans you get will be amazing.
In particular, I’ve found that I love Lavazza Super Crema Espresso Whole Bean Coffee. This blend is sourced from Brazil, and I’m completely addicted to it. I’ve always liked Lavazza blends, but this one stands out for its full, likeable flavor. These beans are so rich in flavor that one sip will transport you to the streets of Italy.
This is also a great bean that creates thick, velvety crema. This can be great to drink alone, but it also will work very well for creating cappuccinos or lattes if that is your style of drink. The beans themselves have a medium or dark brown shade.
#2 Brooklyn Roasting Company
The next brand I think is worth mentioning is Brooklyn Roasting Company. This company focuses on auction-lot coffees and fair trade coffees, and they always make sure to roast beans locally. There is a lot of variety to be had at Brooklyn Roasting Company, especially if you like brewing coffee as well as espresso coffee.
Their espresso option, IRIS espresso, is a very unique flavor that will intrigue your senses. This blend could be described as sweet and spicy. The blend itself is actually a mix of three different beans:
- Peru High Grown Andes
- Sumatra Aceh
- Ethiopian Natural
Blending these three unique beans together, Brooklyn Roasting Company manages to create a soft and creamy espresso that you (and your barista) are sure to love.
IRIS is a great option when making desserts, and is also good for those coffee lovers that would love to use one bean for espresso, pourover, and percolator. This bean’s flavor stands up well to many different brewing methods.
#3 Illy Espresso Is Known Around The World
World-renowned brand Illy is another choice that you should definitely consider tasting in your quest to find your perfect espresso coffee.While this brand is known as an Italian brand, the beans are actually all sourced from Brazil. Their espresso blend is typically an 100% Arabica bean blend, which for many, is a sign of its high-quality.
I really appreciate that among major coffee producers, Illy is one of the only brands that sustainably sources their beans. Other brands are starting to follow in their footsteps, but it’s good to see a huge brand understand the importance of ethical coffee sourcing.
The most basic, popular item from Illy that I think you should start out with would be the Medium Roast, Fine Grind espresso from Illy. This is a great flavor that will start you on the path of discovering what Illy has to offer. Spoiler alert: All good things!
#4 Uniquely Named: Kicking Horse Coffee
Kicking Horse Coffee gives you the punch that you need in your cup of coffee every morning. Not only do they have a unique company name, but their coffee blends also have unique names that will make you chuckle while brewing your espresso.
This brand is also an organic, fair trade coffee, which is important for the long term sustainability of the coffee industry, and a feature worth noting.
In terms of their espresso-worthy beans, I have to say that I love their espresso bean “Cliffhanger” is a fantastic option. This bean produces an espresso that has a lot of subtleties that will intrigue you and make you want to pull another shot.
If you want to try out their other blends, the Kick Ass Dark and Three Sister’s Medium blends are both great for brewing up a regular cup of coffee when you’re not feeling up for an espresso.
#5 Intelligentsia Is A Smart Choice
This brand has been riding the tides of popularity in recent years, but don’t let that make you discount it as a trend that will pass. I truly believe that Intelligentsia is a coffee brand that is here to stay!
Intelligentsia was first known as a brand that put direct trade and ethical sourcing of coffee beans at the forefront of their goals, but more and more they are also being known for the incredible flavors that they are creating. I love both aspects of the brand. They’re ethical, smart, and they sell fantastic beans.
I also love that this brand makes many different information guides and videos that help coffee lovers like us learn how to prepare the best cup of coffee at home. What more could we ask for?
Here are some of my favorite options of espresso beans that Intelligentsia offers. Warning: You WILL want to try them all!
#6 Ritual Coffee Espresso Collection
Ritual Coffee is a great coffee brand that is based in San Francisco, and it has quickly become known as one of the most definitive coffee companies in the area. After all, San Francisco is flourishing with great coffee brands.
Their espresso beans are slightly darker than many of the brands I’ve found, and I can really appreciate this when I’m looking for an espresso that can stand alone during my morning ritual. It’s also a great coffee to use when making coffee based drinks or desserts because the flavor will stand out, giving the coffee taste that you’re looking for.
A seasonal blend of theirs, Acid Test, is currently trending for its citrus-forward taste that brings people back to the mid-1960s. The blend features a combination of:
- 40% Hacienda Carmona, Guatemala
- 20% Hunapu, Guatemala
- 20% Los Gigantes, Colombia
- 20% Gachatha AB, Kenya
The goal of the Acid Test is to bring forward the joy of acidity in coffee, but if that is not your style of espresso, you can try the Los Gigantes or Sweet Tooth single origin blends instead.
#7 Death Wish Coffee: A Choice For The Bold
This brand got its name exactly as you suspect. They started making coffee that was meant to be the strongest in the world, meant only for those with a Death Wish! Their coffee blends are some of the strongest around, and if you like a bold flavor, you’ll love them.
While most brands blend both Arabica and Robusta beans to make their espresso blends, the espresso coffee from Death Wish only uses Robusta beans. Since these beans are naturally higher in caffeine, Death Wish espresso has up to two times as much caffeine as other espresso bean brands. That’s certainly a way to wake up!
Some people think that a coffee made entirely of Robusta beans could not possibly taste good. Trust me, that is not the case. While it is true that this type of blend from Death Wish tastes different from any other espresso you’ve had, it is a delicious taste that you will never forget.
Get The Best Espresso Coffee Beans!
There you have it! Those are seven of the best espresso coffee beans and their brands. Reliable coffee is getting easier and easier to find, and investing in any beans on this list is a good choice because they are just so tasty.
If none of these coffees stand out to you or you are still unsure, head to your local coffee shop. Ask them if they have any locally roasted beans or if they can recommend a great espresso bean. They might even have some tips for you on how to brew it! A great source of information is always your local barista. As a former barista, I can guarantee that’s true!
What’s your favorite type of espresso coffee or beans? Let me know in the comments! I’m always ready to try more beans. Then, share with other coffee fanatics!