What are the best espresso beans? 10 Tips to Choose the Best Espresso!

By | January 10, 2020

Choosing the best espresso beans for your morning jolt, as PurelyCoffeeBeans knows, is a matter of personal taste and of knowledge.

Types of Coffee Beans Darkly Roasted

Espresso Roast Photograph by PurelyCoffeeBeans.com

There really isn't anything especially magical about espresso coffee beans, but when you are drinking your morning espresso, you will notice the difference because of the blending and roasting which differs from other types of coffee beans.

What will I learn about making espresso?

  • What are the best coffee beans for making espresso?
  • How do I tell good espresso beans? 5 Tips!
  • Where can I buy the best espresso beans?
  • What do typical espresso-based drinks look like?
  • Why should I always buy fresh espresso coffee beans?
  • How do I roast your own espresso coffee?
  • How do I store espresso coffee & beans?
  • How do I make the best espresso coffee?

What are the best coffee beans for making espresso?

Espresso beans are coffee beans that have been dark roasted and designated to make that type of espresso drink.

Espresso Photography Shots

While light roasts aren't suitable for espresso, or most medium roasts for that matter, dark roasted coffee beans are quite suitable for making espresso coffee. You can read more about coffee roasts. You can also learn about how to roast coffee.

Which are the best coffee beans for espresso?

The best espresso beans are dark roasted because darker beans offer more sweet notes.  The minute amounts of sugar inside the beans caramelize, making the espresso slightly sweeter and avoiding a bitter aftertaste.

5 tips to buy the best espresso beans!

You won't really be able to know exactly which are the espresso coffee beans until you try them. But there are some basic clues that can help:

1. Where you buy them: Avoid buying espresso beans from places where stock turnover is low, or where storage isn't the best. If you do find espresso coffee beans in your local store be careful that they are not old.

Some beans are sold from bins and it's essential that they be freshly roasted; air is one of the coffee beans' worst enemies, robbing them of all the special properties that make espresso so tasty and satisfying.

2. Check the facts on the pack: If you buy espresso beans in a bag be sure to check the roasting date so that you don't get beans that are old enough to have lost their flavor; also, what hints about the contents do the roasters provide - single estate, multi-regional, traditional blend?

3. Watch the price: Typically, when you buy coffee beans you'll notice that some blends are roasted dark for a reason - the coffee beans aren't the best quality, so over-roasting masks the poorer flavor. These coffee beans will typically be cheaper than you'd otherwise pay. So don't be too cheap if you are looking for the best espresso beans!

4. Look, smell, and taste: Buying good coffee beans should also be a sensory experience:

  • i. When you look, what do you see? The different colors and depths of colors can stimulate or depress appetite?
  • ii. What about the smell or lack of smell? Can you detect an aroma that pleases you or turns you off completely?
  • iii. What about the taste? Try a coffee bean in your mouth. They are edible, and eating one may help you to determine whether it's the best espresso beans.

5. Try before you buy: Would that you could... In some stores, you do have the opportunity to try different types of coffee before you buy them home. While commercial coffee brands are pre-packed to certain standards, so you'll already know what to expect, trying varietals or single-estate coffee beans may help you discover better quality coffees!

What do typical espresso-based drinks look like?

Where can I buy the best espresso beans?

Finding the best espresso can be difficult if you don't have a local shop that roasts their own beans.  You will rarely find beans of the quality you need for good espresso in your local grocery store.

Those beans are commercially produced and bagged, sometimes reaching the store weeks after they are packaged.  In fact, by the time they are loaded for shipment they've already lost most of the qualities that would make a good cup of espresso.

I'll be including a list of the best espresso bean stores online and offline that I find, in the meantime, why not share which stores you like or don't like!

Online Sales: Prompt and Freshly Roasted

Thanks to the internet, you also have access to roasted beans from all over the world.  If you order on a Saturday you will more than likely receive your beans in the following few days at the latest.

Most roasters use ground shipment; few of them offer faster delivery by air.  If they are packed properly, however, they will arrive in good condition with all the freshness you want for a good cup of espresso.

Why should you always buy fresh espresso coffee beans?

Thanks to the internet, you also have access to some of the best espresso beans roasted all over the world.  If you order on a Saturday you will more than likely receive your beans on the following Friday at the latest.

Most roasters use ground shipment; very few of them offer faster delivery by air.  If they are packed properly, however, they will arrive in good condition with all the freshness you want for a good cup of espresso.

How do you roast your own espresso coffee?

You do have the option of roasting your own beans, which isn't that difficult once you learn the process and perfect your timing and skill.  Roasting machines are fairly inexpensive and if you don't have access to a nearby shop that roasts their own beans you'll want to consider this option.

Of course, you'll find that you will be looking for quality green beans that you can use. Be careful to roast only enough beans to last for a few days to a week; freshly roasted beans will retain the quality needed for espresso for only a short time.

How do you store espresso coffee & beans?

Be sure to store both your unroasted and roasted beans in airtight containers in a cool, dry place—not the refrigerator or the freezer where condensation can ruin the beans.  It is also best to grind only as much as you need for the day, although some people prefer having a few days' coffee ready for the espresso machine.

 

I find that even leaving the coffee beans in a sealed bag tends to let the flavor slowly diminish over the days that I don't store the coffee beans well. This is more so, if you are storing coffee that is already ground. For more storage tips, check this article.

 

How do you make the best espresso coffee?

Depending on the grind of the coffee beans, you may find that you have a number of choices for your espresso coffee about how you prepare the final cup. The most obvious way, of course, is using a proper espresso machine.


It tends to result in a much better extraction for the espresso, with a fuller flavor, a delightful crema, and a satisfied coffee drinker! Whether you roast your own beans, buy them locally or order from a roaster's internet site, nothing beats freshly roasted beans when it comes to a good cup of espresso, made with the best coffee beans for espresso.

For a little Sunday morning reading over your coffee, Food Republic's George Embiricos takes a few minutes to show, describe and link to the definition of Espresso.

What Exactly Is Espresso?

 

 

How do I tell the best espresso beans?

You won't really be able to know exactly how good a batch of espresso coffee beans are until you try them. But there are some basic clues that can help:

1. Where you buy them: Avoid buying espresso beans from places where stock turnover is low, or where storage isn't the best. If you do find espresso coffee beans in your local store be careful that they are not old. Some beans are sold from bins and it's essential that they be freshly roasted; air is one of the coffee beans' worst enemies, robbing them of all the special properties that make espresso so tasty and satisfying.

2. Check the facts on the pack: If you buy espresso beans in a bag be sure to check the roasting date so that you don't get beans that are old enough to have lost their flavor; also, what hints about the contents do the roasters provide - single estate, multi-regional, traditional blend?

3. Watch the price: Typically, when you buy coffee beans you'll notice that some blends are roasted dark for a reason - the coffee beans aren't the best quality, so over-roasting masks the poorer flavor. These coffee beans will typically be cheaper than you'd otherwise pay. So don't be too cheap!

4. Look, smell, and taste: Buying good coffee beans should also be a sensory experience:
i. When you look, what do you see? The different colors and depths of colors can stimulate or depress appetite?
ii. What about the smell or lack of smell? Can you detect an aroma that pleases you or turns you off completely?
iii. What about the taste? Try a coffee bean in your mouth. They are edible, and eating one may help you to determine whether it's good quality espresso beans.

5. Try before you buy: Would that you could... In some stores, you do have the opportunity to try different types of coffee before you buy them home. While commercial coffee brands are pre-packed to certain standards, so you'll already know what to expect, trying varietals or single-estate coffee beans may help you discover the best quality coffees, like Coffee Review recommends!

Graphic: How to Make the Perfect Espresso Shot!

Graphic: How to Make the Perfect Espresso Shot! Source: PartSelect.com


What are the different types of coffee beans, find out here!

Signature of PurelyCoffeeBeans in calligraphic brush style

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