You’re walking down the aisle at your favorite grocery store, and our beloved coffee is everywhere. There are dozens of options — K-cups, pre-ground, whole bean, dark roast, medium roast, and the list goes on. Being surrounded by dozens of varieties of caffeinated beverages might sound like a dream for some coffee lovers, but it may be intimidating for others; with so many options, how do you know what’s good and what’s not?
Unfortunately, we can’t tell you what’s great everywhere. But we can tell you what we love at Whole Foods Market! If your town doesn’t have one of these retailers, chances are you won’t have to look very far before you find one, as there are over 500 of these markets across the United States.
Whole Foods, founded in 1980 in Austin, Texas, is known for its natural, organic inventory and commitment to maintaining quality standards in the grocery industry. With values like these, it’s no wonder the company also boasts an impressive coffee selection! Here are a few of our favorite Whole Foods buys.
What to Buy at Whole Foods
Verve Coffee Roasters Ethiopia Yukro Blend
Verve means “the spirit and enthusiasm surrounding the creation of art,” and if there’s anything that can be said of us here at Roasty, it’s that we’re enthusiastic about making good coffee and brewing quality Joe is truly an art. Maybe that’s why we were drawn to Verve Coffee’s Ethiopia Yukro blend.
This single-origin coffee is a vibrant little blend with hints of raspberry and lemon zest and a bit of a floral flavor. It’s light, bright, and delicious.
Allegro Organic Continental Blend
Some of the best beans at Whole Foods come from Allegro Coffee Company. Founded in 1977 and based in Colorado, Allegro is the retailer’s house brand and one of the first certified organic roasters in America.
If your morning isn’t complete without a powerful cup of Joe, take a chance on Allegro’s Organic Continental blend. It’s a medium roast coffee that combines sweet Latin American chocolate, fruity Ethiopian flavors, and Sumatran earthiness to create a complex and satisfying coffee experience.
Sightglass Coffee Blueboon Blend
Sibling-owned Sightglass Coffee takes pride in telling customers exactly where and how their coffee made its way from plant to cup, which is why there are no secrets when it comes to knowing what’s what with the brand’s Blueboon Blend.
This blend of Central American and East African beans makes a well-balanced cup with notes of milk chocolate, mandarin, and honeysuckle in every sip. This coffee’s just right for any occasion, from kicking off a busy morning to rounding out a lazy Saturday afternoon.
Peet’s Organic French Roast
With over 200 varieties available and a presence on store shelves across America (including Whole Foods), Peet’s has become a beloved name among coffee enthusiasts.
If you’re a fan of dark and smoky coffees, you may already be familiar with Peet’s Organic French roast. But if not, let us introduce you to this bittersweet blend. This coffee is sourced from Latin American beans hailing from the high altitudes of Guatemala and Colombia. One sip of this complex brew is all it takes to taste hints of caramel you’ll soon grow to love.
Allegro Kenyan Grand Cru
Single-origin coffees hailing from Kenya are known to have some of the most in-demand flavor profiles in the world, and that’s probably why we were so drawn to Allegro’s Kenya Grand Cru roast.
This deep and complex light roast, grown in half-acre farms in the area between Mt. Kenya and the Aberdare Mountain Range, has bold flavors of red wine, blackberry, and currant you’ll definitely appreciate until the last drop.
Allegro Organic Mexico La Corona de Chiapas
And while we’re on the topic of Allegro’s single-origin beans, check out the Organic Mexico La Corona de Chiapas roast from Whole Foods’s house brand.
These 100 percent Arabica beans hail from multiple fair-trade cooperatives in the high altitudes of Southern Mexico’s Chiapas region, and the light roasting process highlights its notes of cocoa, lemon, and almond. This roast is perfect for those who love a rich, flavorful cup of drip or a nice, refreshing glass of cold brew.
Coffee Manufactory Latin Coffee
Latin American coffee is known for being strong and sweet, and Coffee Manufactory’s Latin Coffee roast is exactly that.
This single-origin coffee hails from Peru and is marked with hints of plum, blackberry, clove, and dark chocolate. This full-bodied brew is a reflection of Coffee Manufactory’s commitment to making better coffee. Balanced. Clean. Delicious.
Groundwork Nicaragua PROCOCER Roast
Get your morning caffeine fix with Groundwork’s Nicaragua PROCOCER roast coffee. This blend is a Whole Foods exclusive, complete with notes of orange, cherry blossom, and almond with a delicious finish.
This light roast is part of Groundwork Coffee’s soil regeneration project in Nueva Segovia, Nicaragua. The PROCOCER cooperative has worked to increase the yield and quality of coffee produced while preserving the natural beauty of the area. Groundwork’s investment in PROCOCER is not only an investment in the co-op but also in you and your daily cup.
Equator Coffees Equator Blend
Kick back and kick your feet up with a cup of Equator Coffee’s Equator Blend on your next lazy Sunday morning. This coffee is both complex and mellow with flavors of cedar, apricot, marzipan, milk chocolate, and nutmeg.
This medium-dark roast highlights beans from some of the world’s best coffee-growing regions: Sumatra, Kenya, and Colombia. This combination of wet-hulled, washed beans perfectly weave together to create a smooth blend strong enough to stand on its own or work well with your favorite milk or creamer.
Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso
For a wonderfully classic espresso experience, give Intelligentsia’s Black Cat blend a try. This tasty, sweet blend of Brazilian and Costa Rican has been a staple in Intelligentsia’s inventory since the beginning, and its notes of dark chocolate, cherry, and brown sugar will surely make it a staple in your coffee collection, too.
To pull a perfect shot of espresso, make sure you grind these beans to a super fine size, and if you plan to brew these beans as regular coffee, we recommend using a coffee maker like a pour-over or French press to fully experience all of Black Cat’s flavors.
Quills Coffee Inkwell Blend
If you’re anything like us, you believe good coffee is key to the community. And luckily for us, Quills Coffee thinks the same way. Get a group of your favorite people together and share a pot of Quills Coffee’s Inkwell blend; the conversation — and the coffee — will be flowing all day long.
Quills Coffee’s signature blend has been a crowd-pleaser since its introduction. With tastes of cane sugar, cherry, and vanilla, this combination of Colombian, Guatemalan, and Peruvian truly has something for everyone.
Helpful Hints for Buying the Best Brew
Buy Fresh Beans
Just as you’d check the expiration date on a carton of milk, you must check the expiration date on your pre-ground beans or coffee pods. As much as we wish it did, coffee doesn’t last forever, so it’s important to pay attention to the date on the package to make sure you can drink it all before it becomes stale.
If you strictly a fan of buying whole beans, then you’re in luck: this coffee is likely to maintain its flavor longer than a pre-ground or pod selection. Just be sure you check the roast date to know exactly when your beans were roasted, and try to use your beans within a few weeks of opening the bag.
Consider the Origin
When it comes to flavors, notes, and even roast levels of coffee, origin, or where the beans come from, plays a massive role. Different origins are known for different flavors. For example, Ethiopian blends are typically known for being somewhat fruity and floral, while Brazilian coffee’s claim to fame is its deep, nutty, and chocolatey taste.
No two origins produce identical beans, so before you settle on a new bag of coffee, do a bit of research on origins and their flavor profiles to ensure you find a drink you’ll like.
What’s one way to guarantee you’ve purchased the freshest beans? Shop local! It’s always a wise choice to choose coffee from a local roaster when possible. This way, you know your coffee hasn’t been sitting in a bag, slowly losing its flavor and fullness, as it waits to be delivered to your door or grocer. Plus, you get to support a business in your community, so it’s a win all around.
Keep An Open Mind
It’s important, especially when buying from a retailer you’re relatively unfamiliar with, to be willing to experiment. Step out of your coffee comfort zone, and challenge yourself to try a new roast, a new blend, or a new brand; you never know what good you might stumble upon.