There are no two people with the same coffee preference, just as there are different choices when it comes to good coffee beans. We like to think that coffee beans have personalities as the person brewing them.
Which are the best coffee beans? When do you choose?
We first have to understand the basics of whole bean coffee before choosing. These characteristics point you to the quality of the roasted product available.
There are many types of coffee beans in the world but, Arabica and Robusta are the primaries. What’s the difference between them? Let’s decode them.
They are the favorite type of coffee beans. Often grown at high altitudes are thus sweeter and better in quality. Their growth areas give them better flavor than their counterparts. They also have higher acidity which infused produce a rich and expensive product.
They are bitter and more caffeinated than Arabica. They are usually blended to produce a more tolerable experience. They fetch much lower prices but are still preferred for their yield and agility. They produce quickly and yield many crops per tree.
Single-origin versus blends
One or the other is the ultimate question. Personal taste varies from one region to the other.
Single-origin means that type of coffee comes from a specific region, and Undergo a single processing method. Blends, therefore, are just different beans combined. Together they produce the desired taste or boost one another.
The roast date
It’s no secret that freshly roasted coffee is the best. Coffee beans age quickly after their contact with air. It takes less than twenty days for freshly roasted coffee to lose taste. After this period, it becomes bitter and unpleasant.
Fair Trade Coffee
Coffee is termed to be fair trade having being produced to certain fair-trade standards during planting, buying, processing, and consuming. These partnerships ensure fairness, transparency, and sustainable development to coffee farmers’ across the world.
This practice in turn helps improve the livelihoods of farmers across villages and towns. Thus consumers can choose even how to buy products.
The best coffee beans in the world
1. Kenya AA coffee beans
Kenyan Arabica coffee is among the best in the world. Grown at high altitudes and rich volcanic soils, it is said to be acidic. It offers an array of aromatic and acidic coffees. The taste profile is fruity and winey. They are known for their juiciness and crispiness brought about by their growth areas.
Production is mainly by small scale farmers but the emphasis is put around quality. A reward for quality coffee is put in place by the government as an incentive.
Kenya has a grading system that ensures the labeling of coffee beans is systematic from the largest to the smallest. Type ‘AA’ is the largest. Thus, make no mistake when sourcing for Kenyan coffee beans.
2. Yirgacheffe beans from Ethiopia
Yirgacheffe is legendary. It is legendary since the first Arabica coffee plant was discovered there. Wild coffee trees are widely the main source of coffee. This makes Ethiopia a leading producer of coffee.
This coffee is wet-processed. They come from a complex mix of regions- Harrar, Sidamo, Kaffa- and species. Ethiopian coffee is not very acidic, giving it a mild, fruity, and pleasant taste. Generally, Ethiopian coffees are best as pour-over or drip as they are floral and tea-like.
3. Jamaican blue mountain coffee beans
Jamaican beans are an intimate affair. Grown at over 5500 ft just below the Blue Mountains, production of coffee in Jamaica is relatively contained in a small section.
Blue mountain coffee rich history goes way back to late 1800. The real heroes are the farmers around that region. The coffee here is carefully planted and natured. Devotion to the harvesting ensures that only the best get past to the market as the farmers themselves handpick each bean.
No matter how small the yield is, each local farmer is included in the value chain. The small yield per year makes it the most sought after coffee bean in the world. Almost all of the produce goes to Japan.
Volcanic soils result in a sweet-tasting and medium acidic cup of coffee. The quality of these coffee beans will set you back a penny. Being rare also means they are expensive. There will be brands that will carry the blue mountain coffee name, be careful when purchasing them. Are they worth the talk? They ask. The real question is: Aren’t they?
4. Hawaii Kona coffee beans
It’s premium or gourmet coffee: The best that is grown in America. Kona is a district in Hawaii that has the perfect climate mix and soils for growing high-quality coffee.
Why are Kona beans expensive? The support system that drives production ensures that farmers are highly compensated to produce high-quality Kona coffee.
Kona coffee is sun-dried and custom roasted to produce top grades (in descending order) that include Extra Fancy, Fancy, No.1, and Prime.
Do not be duped into buying blends. The real deal is expensive but worth your while. Blends contain 10% or less Kona beans or mixed with lower grades from elsewhere. The beans are medium body, smooth taste, and low acidity.
5. Pea berry beans from Tanzania
Although Peaberry coffee beans are grown around the world, Tanzania and Peaberry beans are inevitably linked. This is because of their fruitiness, acidity, and medium body, thus their popularity.
What is Peaberry? It is a coffee cherry made up of one seed fertilized resulting in a single round seed. Usually, coffee cherries contain two seeds.
Peaberry is considered to be premium. The single bean contains better flavor and the round shape ensures a more even roast.
6. Life boost beans
Life boost beans are like no other beans in the world. Nutrition expert Dr. Charles Livingston goes above and beyond to source and process beans that are low in toxins. They boast of beans that are free of modern growing contamination like pesticides.
Life boost beans, are they worth their name? They come from a single origin (Nicaragua- slopes of Mt. Kilambe). They are certified organic meaning that no pesticide, non-organic fertilizers, or agrochemicals have been used to farm coffee.
Beans are handpicked. This is a method where beans are carefully processed precisely without the use of machines. Lifeboost beans are full-bodied, fruity flavored, and an inviting rich aroma.
They assure cash refunds if the coffee is not worth the hype. For coffee lovers, you will love Lifeboost light, medium, dark or decaffeinated varieties.
7. Dark roast Sumatra Mandheling from Indonesia
Sumatra is an island in Indonesia with the perfect climate for Arabica coffee beans. Indonesia is the third-largest producer of coffee. Coffee from this area is low acidity, full body with an earthy flavor. Coffee can vary in taste as there are three main varieties from Sumatra namely; Lintong, Gayo, and Mandheling.
Mandheling is considered to be the best coffee in Sumatra. The processing method is what gives these beans their flavor. This processing method is called wet hulling.
8. Eight o’clock
This is an American company with a rich history and tradition of brewing high-quality coffee. Eight o’clock the original comes as a medium roast but with roasting done after an order to retain the freshness for longer.
Eight o’clock has a blend of earthy and fruity with a bright pleasing sourness. It also comes at an unbeatable cost per lb, making it one very preferred coffee bean.
Eight o’clock is best used for pour-over brewing
9. Papua New Guinea Peaberry beans
Papua New Guinea is an island in the pacific north of Australia. It has rich volcanic soils, thus coffee thrives on the fertile soils.
Coffee found in Papua New Guinea is Arabica, Pea berry. Pea berry coffee often tastes better because they are roasted evenly and are often hand-sorted making the quality of beans better.
It is a bright coffee with floral notes and sweetness. It ends with a slight cocoa note. They are wonderful for French press
10. Rwandan coffee beans
Named the land of a thousand hills, Rwanda is dotted with small coffee farms at high altitude and tropical climate, and volcanic soils best for growing quality coffee.
Coffee is handpicked and sun-dried to 11% moisture content. Rwandan coffee is labor-intensive to ensure that only the best is sorted. Drip is the best brewing method to get the best taste and aromas.
The best coffee is simply a combination of good beans and mastered process of brewing. We have included in the list above the best you can buy and also the best roast methods, and the best roast machine suitable for the type of beans. By now you have made up your mind on which should be your best coffee beans. Order them and savor in the fresh aroma. You will not regret any of the above beans.
- National Coffee Association USA. Retrieved 2020-06-10
- “Fairtrade International (FLO): Fairtrade International”. www.fairtrade.net. Retrieved 2020-04-17.