As a dedicated real coffee drinker and aspiring home barista, you’ll probably buy your coffee from your local grocery store or coffee shop. But did you know that Amazon is rapidly becoming the go-to retailer for specialty roasts?
At A Glance: Our Top 6 Picks for Coffee on Amazon
Buying your coffee from Amazon has several advantages including a massive variety, exclusive specialty coffees, plenty of fair and direct trade options, and fast shipping. You’ll never run out of different, fresh coffees to try if you spend a while browsing Amazon’s selection.
Sounds great, right? We’ve gone ahead and saved you valuable coffee brewing (and drinking) time by sifting through Amazon’s extensive range of coffee offerings to bring you the definitive guide to their best-selling ground and bean coffee.
Our Top 5 Whole Coffee Bean Brands on Amazon
|Coffee Bros. Light Roast Gourmet Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Java Planet Colombian USDA Organic Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast||Check on Amazon →|
|Kicking Horse Coffee, Kick-Ass, Dark Roast, Whole Bean||Check on Amazon →|
|San Francisco Bay Coffee, Hazelnut Crème – Whole Bean||Check on Amazon →|
Now, for those of you who prefer to grind your beans yourself, here are some products that you really must try.
Coffee Bros. Light Roast Coffee
The “Coffee Bros” have names, and they are Nick and Dan Hunnewell from New York. They are on a mission to send out ethically sourced, freshly roasted coffee (roasted when you order) and shipping it to your doorstep.
I was fortunate enough to connect with Dan to get free samples of Coffee Bros. Espresso roast, Medium and Light roasts. Here are a few photos of the (rather fantastic) unboxing experience and packaging.
Though all 3 were good coffees, I particularly enjoyed the light/bright aspects of their light roast coffee. It had a bit of fruitiness to it, which I really enjoyed.
Besides the 3 I tried, they’ve got several others you can check out on Amazon.
Java Planet Colombian USDA Organic Coffee
Java Planet’s medium-dark roast Columbian coffee is an excellent choice if you enjoy a low-acid coffee that’s fresh and full of body.
These gourmet beans tick plenty of boxes for discerning coffee drinkers; they’re grade-A quality, Fairtrade, organic, and shade-grown. The resulting taste is clean and full of flavor, and you can be confident that you’re not drinking pesticides or any other unpleasantries.
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend, Medium Espresso Roast
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend is one of Amazon’s best sellers.
Blended and roasted in Italy, these beans are not genetically modified and are organically grown too. The flavor you can expect is reminiscent of dried fruit, almonds, and honey, making it a perfect brew to enjoy over breakfast or with biscotti on the side. The characteristically creamy finish to the mouth of the brew is what makes the brand so popular.
These beans are ideal for fine grinding for drip coffee or espresso.
Kicking Horse Coffee, Kick-Ass, Dark Roast, Whole Bean
Although Kicking Horse offers a wide range of coffee products that you can buy through Amazon, their Kick Ass Dark Roast is the most popular.
As the more perceptive among you may have gleaned from the name of this coffee, the brew it delivers packs a punch that’s guaranteed to get you up and going.
The blend of beans originates from South America and Indonesia, and the brew it delivers is ideal for coffee drinkers who enjoy a strong-flavored brew with smoky, sweet overtones to offset the bitterness.
All Kicking Horse coffee products are sourced from Fairtrade plantations; they’re organic, and kosher too. The beans are roasted in the Canadian Rocky Mountain town of Kicking Horse.
San Francisco Bay Coffee, Hazelnut Crème – Whole Bean
We finish our review section with something a little bit off-the-wall. Flavored coffees have established themselves as a popular niche product, although it’s fair to say that coffee drinkers either love them or hate them.
San Francisco Bay make a few flavored coffees, but this is their most popular. The beans are 100% Arabica and are drawn from single Fairtrade estates where organic cultivation is used.
These beans make a creamy, slightly nutty-flavored brew that’s ideal for a breakfast drink or to make a hazelnut latte, without the need to add flavored coffee syrup, unless you like your beverage very sweet.
Our Top 5 Ground Coffee Brands on Amazon
|Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
|Eight O’clock Ground Coffee, The Original, 24 Ounce||Check on Amazon →|
|Koffee Kult Medium Roast Ground Coffee 32oz||Check on Amazon →|
|Sant’ Eustachio Ground Coffee in Can, Moka, 8.8 Ounce||Check on Amazon →|
|Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Coffee||Check on Amazon →|
We’ll start with five of the most interesting and flavorsome ground coffees that are available on Amazon. If you fancy giving any of these bad boys a whirl, click the handy product link to check out other buyers’ reviews and to see the full low-down on the coffee.
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Coffee
Right at the top of the tree and purportedly the strongest coffee in the world is Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Coffee.
The coffee has a strong, ready-to-go flavor and is packed with caffeine (double that of other coffees), making it the first choice of coffee drinkers who need a hefty kick to get their day started.
Death Wish is sourced from only Fairtrade plantations and is USDA approved. It’s also organic, helping to keep the dark roast, deep flavor that characterizes a successful bean.
Eight O’clock Ground Coffee, The Original, 24 Ounce
We’re staying in the best-selling territory for our next offering, Eight O’clock Coffee’s original ground.
The sweet and fruity notes of this brew combined with drier notes of the Columbian Arabica bean used makes it one the most popular ground coffee products in the US. The well-balanced combination and mild mouth give the coffee a very broad appeal.
Koffee Kult Medium Roast Ground Coffee 32oz
South Florida-based Koffee Kult sells a few different coffees on Amazon, including whole beans. This medium roast ground coffee is a really popular choice that consistently does well on Amazon and suits a range of different brewing methods.
This coffee is low on acidity and big on body. The ground is made from a blend of specialty-grade Brazilian and Columbian Arabica beans, giving a smooth mouthfeel but bold flavor. You can enjoy this gourmet coffee via your drip coffee maker, espresso machine, or French press.
Sant’ Eustachio Ground Coffee in Can, Moka, 8.8 Ounce
Our next choice is a genuine, authentic Italian coffee experience, coming to you directly from Rome. This superior-quality ground coffee offers something a little different from the usual run-of-the-mill roasts and is absolutely worth a try.
To keep the coffee fresh for longer, it comes in a vacuum-sealed tin. The coffee is fine-ground, wood-roasted Arabica and is specially prepared for brewing in a Moka pot. (For more Moka Pot coffees, check out this article.)
Dedicated self-grinders will be pleased to know that Sant’ Eustachio also sells their coffee in bean form, which is also available through Amazon.
Mark Ferrari Specialty Coffees 100% Pure Kona Coffee
Although this coffee is more expensive than other brands due to the low yield, this easy-drinking coffee is perfect for a refreshing cup of Joe any time of the day or evening. This unique, domestically produced coffee gives a very distinct flavor with notes of nuts and chocolate. Delicious.
So, now that you know what’s out there, how do you pick your ideal roast?
So many roasts, so little time …
Experienced home baristas and longstanding coffee fans will already be familiar with the kind of roast they prefer. However, those of you who are still catching up may find it tricky to decide what roast to go for. That can make it doubly difficult to narrow down the wide choice of coffee available on Amazon.
Not to worry, we have your back. Here’s a quick overview of what to expect from each type of roast.
Light roast is designed to draw out the flavor of the coffee, not the taste of the roasting process. For this reason, light roasts are best enjoyed black. Typical flavor notes in a good light roast can include floral, earth, citrus, and moss.
If you like a very robust brew, are a dedicated espresso fan, or you like your coffee with lots of enhancements/pollutants such as crème, milk, sugar, or syrup, you’ll probably find that these additions will overwhelm the flavor of a light roast.
Medium roasts are the most popular choice for everyday brewing. The roasting process ends before the coffee becomes too burnt or bitter. Flavors retain the best of the beans while adding a layer of aroma and roasting flavor.
Tasting notes can range from floral and citrus through to nuts and chocolate, depending on the length of the roasting process.
Dark roast coffees mean dark flavors, which can be too bitter and burnt-tasting for some palates. These are perfect if you like your coffee robust and kicking.
Good-quality dark roasts have flavor notes of caramel and chocolate, depending on the skill of the person doing the roasting. Dark roasts are the favorite for espresso, but they can also happily tolerate the addition of cream, milk, and sugar.
Okay, so now you have a clue as to what roast to choose. But should you go for ready-ground coffee or whole beans?
Ground coffee versus whole beans
Coffee connoisseurs have long debated whether ground coffee or whole beans are best. There are pros and cons to using both.
The advantages and disadvantages of using ready ground coffee are:
- It’s convenient and easy to use. Ground coffee is ready to brew and doesn’t need any special skill or expensive extra equipment.
- As soon as the beans have been roasted and ground, the coffee quickly becomes stale. Consequently, unless you use a lot of ground coffee, it does tend to lose its freshness rapidly once you’ve opened the bag.
- All the coffee flavor is trapped inside the beans in the oil they contain. As soon as the beans are ground, some of the flavorsome oils evaporate, although vacuum-sealed coffees tend to stay fresher than packaged products.
- When you buy ground coffee, you’ll need to choose the right coarseness of grind for the kind of coffee you want to brew. Not all brands allow you this luxury; you get what you’re given.
The advantages and disadvantages of using whole bean coffee are:
- If you buy whole beans, and then grind them right before you make your brew, the flavor you’ll get is much stronger and truer, retaining the subtle notes of your specific bean type.
- DIY grinding means that you will need to purchase a coffee grinder. A decent quality grinder is essential if you’re to achieve good results, and this can be a pricey purchase.
- If you grind your coffee beans yourself, you’ll be able to control the coarseness of the final grind. You can also vary the fineness of the grind, depending on the brew you’re making, meaning that you won’t be stuck with a whole bag of coarse grind when you need a fine one.
- Grinding your beans yourself is more time-consuming than buying ready ground coffee.
- Cleaning out the grinder can be a pain, adding to the time you’ll spend preparing your brew.
The bottom line
When it comes to light, medium, or dark roast, that’s a matter of personal taste and depends on what kind of brews you enjoy making. Sometimes, trial and error is the way to go here.
On the other hand, the primary considerations when deciding whether to buy ground coffee or whole beans are convenience, freshness, and control.
Here at Roasty, we prefer whole beans. You get a fresher brew that’s packed with flavor and you can choose on how coarse or fine you want the ground to be. That said, if you don’t always have the time to grind your own, ready-ground coffee is a handy alternative.
Also, you do have the option to grind a little in advance, and the grounds would still be fresher than if you purchased pre-ground beans.
Now, armed with all the information in this guide, get to it and check out the coffees we’ve found on Amazon. Brewing times a-wastin’!