If you truly are a real coffee enthusiast, surely you have enjoyed a shot of well-made espresso with lace-like crema and pure jolts of caffeine. Many believe making espresso is just the same as making regular brewed coffee, but coffee and expresso have many differences. To make the best espresso on your block, make sure to get the freshest beans available. Know a bit more about this delicious complimentary coffee ingredient and the beans that make them in this handy guide.
- How is espresso produced?
Answer: Espresso is made by means of coffee-brewing that undergoes high-pressure, rapid processes. The portafilter is filled with firmly-packed finely ground coffee which is then put into the espresso machine. The machine is soon tamped into the portafilter using 30-40 pounds of pressure. Hot water is driven throughout the machine at high pressure in a span of 25-30 seconds. The output is the espresso shot; a base that fares well with lattes and cappuccinos due to its thick consistency and full-bodied flavors.
- Which is better, pre-ground or whole?
Answer: This will be based on your preference. If you don’t mind grinding the beans yourself, whole ones can work for you. You can also choose to buy coffee beans at a market in your place and have the people in the shop ground it themselves according to your specifications. You will be assured that the beans are fresh as well. Pre-ground ones are more convenient if you don’t have the time to perform the whole nine yards. The pre-packaged pods are made for espresso makers but you do have to guarantee that it will fit your espresso machine.
- What factors do I need to consider when choosing espresso beans?
Answer: Consider whether you prefer dark roasts or light roasted beans. Dark roasted ones are interesting flavor-wise since the processing of such beans lead to a medley of tastes from hints of chocolate, bitter tones and caramel layers. Lighter ones feature flavor traits like citrus, a nearly floral-like tang and undertones of pectin. Another aspect to consider is the delivery; you need to make sure that your beans will be handed to you in great condition. Also, do not forget to consider the roasting profile of the beans.
Our Top Picks
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend (Medium Espresso Roast)
- 2.2 lbs. bag
- Has brown sugar and hazelnut notes
- Perfect for espresso machines
- Made and roasted in Italy
The Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend in Medium Espresso Roast features an espresso shot that is very creamy and mild with distinct notes of brown sugar and hazelnuts. Its aroma is delicious to take in as well—you can detect notes of dried fruit, honey and almonds in the mix. The beans are an excellent blend of Arabica variants from Brazil, India and Colombia plus Robustas from Vietnam and Indonesia. Best made using espresso machines.
Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso (Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean)
- 0.75 lbs. bag
- Fair trade certification
- Medium roast with refined acidity
The Ethical Bean Coffee Sweet Espresso in Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean is loyal to its Italian roots but was given a modern touch by its West Coast production. The mix puts an emphasis on toffee and chocolate undertones. The product is crafted in small batches for supreme quality and has undergone tests to verify that it is completely free from pesticides and chemicals. This is a Fair Trade product that your taste buds must try out.
Verena Street 2 Pound Espresso Beans
- 2 lbs, bag
- For grind drip coffee and fine-grind espresso
- Kosher product
- Full roast with smooth taste
These Verena Street Espresso Beans are made in the U.S.A, freshly roasted in Iowa’s Dubuque area. It churns out espresso shots that are full-bodied with buttery-soft crema and a sweetness that suits the espresso well. Whether you are into grind-drip coffee or fine-grind espresso, you will appreciate that this Verena product did well in both aspects. Kosher-certified product granted by the Orthodox Union.
Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso
- Made with Pentax Technology
- Organic Fair Trade Arabica coffee
- Creates smooth blend with chocolate notes
- Great for French Press and drip machine
The Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso is a product made by a company who keeps up with Fair Trade practices, sustainability and organic coffee bean production methods. The flavor is intense and & fascinating—you can detect hints of chocolate and berries while its aroma is reminiscent of brown sugar, blackcurrant and milky, creamy chocolate notes. Ideal for drip machines and French press or you can just pour it on your cold brew.
SF Bay Coffee Pete’s Espresso Blend Whole Bean Dark Roast
The SF Bay Coffee Pete’s Espresso Blend Whole Bean Dark Roast is an exciting mix of 100 percent Arabica beans from South and Central America. This is a blend made by the company’s CEO, Peter Rogers. Silky, chocolatey with yummy notes of orange and vanilla, this multidimensional medium-roasted espresso bean is something to be savored. Recommended for making espresso shots or for an extra-strong cup of joe.
Allegro Coffee Organic Espresso Sierra Whole Bean Coffee
- Whole bean coffee
- Medium dark roast
- Caramel and dark chocolate notes
- From Whole Foods
The Allegro Coffee Organic Espresso Sierra Whole Bean Coffee has a full consistency but it goes down very well. Smooth, without the bitterness of some dark roast espresso beans. The beans are roasted in Whole Foods, with flavor traits that recall dark chocolate and caramel. Serve this one with a creamer for richer flavor. Its medium dark roast makes for an excellent base for lattes and cappuccinos.
If you’ve never tried expresso before, make sure to test out these espresso beans. Enjoy your espresso using only freshly-ground beans. If you’re in the market for an expresso machine, we’ve recently put together a buyer’s guide on the best expresso machines as well. Whether you choose dark roasts, medium dark ones or light roasted espresso beans, you have to guarantee its quality first and its freshness. Get a handful of these beans and enjoy them as robust espresso shots or as a part of your cappuccino or latte.