Following the brewing of Espresso Beans, a cup of espresso can contain up to 12% dissolved coffee solids from the grounds. It’s no surprise that there’s such a significant gap in strength compared to the mere 2% of standard coffee.
Since so much of the essence of the coffee grounds make it into the final brew, the beans you use must be compatible with the brewing process. When it comes to espresso coffee, not all beans give equal flavor.
This is why, depending on your preferences, we’ll point out some of the best espresso beans to use. Keep on reading to learn everything there is to know about espresso and the beans used to make it.
What is an Espresso Bean?
The beans do not distinguish between espresso and coffee, but the process by which those beans are processed. It has little to do with the source or the notes. But what about the scale of the grind, the friction, and the temp? They’re to blame for everything.
To make a decent shot of espresso, the beans must be finely ground so that they can withstand the high pressure and hot water while brewing. These grounds are first tamped into a puck, and then the water is heated to about 200 degrees Fahrenheit. With at least 9 bars of pressure (sometimes with 15 bars), the steam is forced through the grounds by an espresso machine.
It should take about 25 and 30 seconds to complete this extraction procedure. Espresso is a highly concentrated coffee concentrate obtained by high pressure, increased surface area, and high heat.
Coffee brewing methods such as a French press or drip machine, on the other hand, do not have nearly the pressure or strength of an espresso machine, so the typical cup of Joe can be made with more roughly ground beans.
Espresso beans are roasted longer and to a darker color than standard coffee beans, resulting in more robust flavors and more noticeable natural oils, and a fuller-tasting brew.
So, what’s the difference between espresso and coffee beans, you might wonder?– nothing at all. All the beans are identical, and the only difference is in the method of preparation. So, if you want to do something different with your regular cup of java, you can utilize coffee beans for espresso as long as they’re finely ground and a bit coarser so that your espresso beans could turn into a decent cup of coffee.
Best High-Intensity Beans
Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt
Some people have the odd issue of wanting a more subtle coffee flavor but still getting a lot of caffeine. If that’s what you wish to, Koffee Kult’s Thunder Bolt may be just what you’re looking for.
The beans are imported from Columbia and Brazil, and despite the lack of official documentation on their packaging, Koffee Kult’s product details sustainability.
Since it’s a French roast, the resulting brew isn’t much potent, but it is one of the most caffeinated blends.
Kicking Horse 454
Kicking Horse’s 454 beans is an excellent tasting option if you want an ideal caffeinated beverage but don’t need full-blast strength. Additionally, they are less expensive.
The beans from Kicking Horse are organic and Kosher. The brew you get from the beans is sure to impress with an earthy flavor profile that includes notes of nutmeg and chocolate and is sourced from South America, Central America, and Indonesia.
Besides, for a dark roast, 454 is well-balanced, with a velvety mouthfeel and low acidity. It’s not quite as potent as Death Wish, but it’ll make you bright-eyed and bushy-tailed by the time you’ve finished your cup.
We suggest Kicking Horse’s (Kick-Ass Dark) blend if you want a strong dark roast with a different flavor profile. It has a sweeter flavor with a smokiness to it.
Death Wish Coffee
First and foremost, if you want a serious kick, these are the beans for you. This dark roast can offer you the lift you need for tough mornings and all-nighters alike since it contains twice as much caffeine as any other beans.
Since Death Wish Coffee is an organic and reasonable deal, it appears in a couple of our bean rankings. The taste, on the other hand, is an essential factor in its popularity.
Given its intensity, the subsequent brew has a surprising lack of bitterness. The cherry and chocolate notes from its Peruvian origins are still there.
On the other hand, this brew may be too powerful for casual drinkers, and those unfamiliar with dark roasts may view it as burnt. These beans are also one of the most expensive on the list.
Best Espresso Beans: In-Between Beans
Stumptown Hair Bender
Stumptown’s Hair Bender beans are a unique choice. They’re almost everyone’s favorite and have one of the most complex flavor profiles on the list.
This sweet, well-balanced blend comes from Africa, Latin America, and Indonesia. Cherry flecks balance out the dominant toffee and fudge flavors.
It fits well as a morning pick-me-up and an evening dessert due to its unique profile. It’s also not too sticky (which is unusual for a dark roast), making it a decent option for espresso machines with built-in grinders.
Intelligentsia Black Cat Analog Espresso
Intelligentsia’s Black Cat Analog beans may be for you if you get bored quickly but don’t want to get heartburn from drinking one of the high-intensity beans.
With a quest to change people’s perceptions of espresso, this blend delivers with its distinct brightness. Furthermore, since it is a mixture, the flavor profile varies slightly from season to season.
It has a sweeter flavor and a syrupy mouthfeel than other espresso blends. There are some chocolate notes as well, which give the beans a homey, classic feel.
CoffeeBean Direct Italian Roast Espresso
This Italian Roast Espresso gives a rich, intense brew that stands out with good quality at a reasonable price.
Sourced from South America and India, these whole beans are sold in 5-pound sacks. The company takes pride in its one-of-a-kind roasting method.
Just before the packaging, the beans are slow-roasted, preserving their freshness and flavor. Notes of cocoa powder and smoky molasses are present in this full-bodied brew.
While these beans’ flavor profile and strength aren’t as distinct and spectacular as some of our higher-end contenders, they’re a good value for the money.
Best Espresso Beans: Medium Roast Beans
Klatch Coffee World’s Best Espresso
This blend will undoubtedly please your taste buds, having won the impressive WBE title at the 2007 World Barista Championships.
Ethiopian Natural, Sumatra Lake Tawar, and Brazil Yellow Bourbon are among the three beans in the blend. This potent blend produces a vibrant mix of orange and chocolate notes. When you drink, the flavor grows, filling you with a syrupy sweet taste tinged with spice and berry.
Klatch also offers the Belle Espresso, which has a flavor profile that includes caramel, chocolate, and brandy.
Blue Horse 100% Kona Coffee
This Kona coffee is worth trying for those willing to spend a little extra money on an exceptional espresso experience.
These single-origin, hand-picked Kona beans come straight from Hawaii Kona’s family farm. They are cultivated without using herbicides or pesticides (however, they are not certified organic).
Although these beans are pricey, they are less so than other Kona choices, costing up to $90 per pound. You’ll still get the sweetness, with hints of vanilla and almond, as well as some spicy aftertastes, that Kona coffee is known for.
The medium roast preserves the flavors of the beans, but it’s also available in a Dark Roast. The medium roast will produce a less bold and caffeine-rich brew, which may appeal to some but irritate others. So, before you invest, think about your personal preferences.
Pick the Best Espresso Beans
So now, you should be able to find the perfect bean that fits your tastes, whether you prefer rich, caffeine-packed brews or lighter, or something in between.
And to get the best flavor from the beans into the espresso cup, don’t forget to buy whole beans and grind them yourself. To ensure that you find the best bean for you, consider your machine, the roast, and the origin of the product.