- James Hyslop
- Last updated on January 2, 2023
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There's no shortage of startling stats about Amazon. I like how well they ship1.6 million products per day, or how they stock over 12 million different products, or how they were as of 2018fifth largest grocer(!) in the United States. So it's not surprising that they're also quickly becoming a go-to place for a wide variety of coffee beans.
However, buying whole bean coffee on Amazon can be far from easy. What Kind of Coffee Beans Should You Buy? Whole or pre-ground beans? Light or dark roast? What is the best coffee in the Amazon? What are terrible signs? And the biggest question of all: should you even buy Amazon coffee beans? In this article, we aim to help you navigate the world of Amazon coffee and recommend what we think is one of the best coffees on this gargantuan platform.
Should You Buy Amazon Coffee Beans?
Basically, our opinion on this question is theBuying coffee beans from Amazon is far from ideal, but sometimes it can be a necessary and appropriate option. The biggest problem with buying your coffee from Amazon is that there's a very good chance the beans will have gone from fresh to stale on the way. As many of you already know, coffee beans taste best in the first two weeks after roasting and remain aromatic for about a month after roasting. While still drinkable afterward, it loses much of its rich, complex flavor and the flavor profile begins its descent.
While Amazon is very efficient at shipping goods, this requires multiple handling of the goods. This means your coffee beans could be close, if not closer, to the 30 day mark between sitting in warehouses and travel time before you even get them! While this doesn't happen every time, it happens enough to be a serious problem.
Our advice to the dedicated coffee lover is that the best place to get your beans is at a local specialty coffee roaster. This will ensure maximum freshness, support the local industry and, almost without a doubt, deliver a better mass production bean than any other. Our other favorite option when a local roaster isn't an option isSubscription coffeethat can bring some of America's finest specialty coffee to your doorstep.
While we don't like this option, we think buying coffee beans from Amazon can be a lifesaver for some and a really great option. For example, unless you're a coffee shop hipster with a tattoo of a moka pot on your bicep and typically only buy your beans at your local grocery store, shopping on Amazon can be a significant step up. If you live in a remote location, Amazon tends to be very reliable when it comes to shipping and has a surprisingly large selection of decent beans.
- Large selection of coffee beans
- reliable shipping
- very pleasant
- some good brands
- Beans often old and less tasty
- Lots of not so good brands
Whole beans vs. pre-ground coffee
The next big decision is whole beans vs.ground coffee. In many ways, our answer is similar to the section above; Whole coffee beans are undoubtedly the best option, but sometimes pre-ground coffee is a necessary evil. And again, the biggest factor is taste. Once coffee beans are ground, they begin to lose their aroma and flavor. Because of this, your favorite coffee shop will have a large dirty grinder next to your espresso machine and grind as needed. Because as soon as coffee beans are ground, they begin to decompose and lose the fullness of their specific flavor profile. So is it better to buy whole grain and grind it yourself? Yes, without a doubt!
However, the downside and biggest downside to whole beans is that if you don't already have a quality coffee grinder, you'll need to buy one. Besides, this really has to be onegrinding wheel Instead of a knife sharpener, getting a decent one can get expensive. So the benefit of pre-ground grist is that it doesn't need a grinder and you don't have to fiddle with the grinder to find itgrinding size.Just buy the coffee from Amazon and it will be ready to go straight to this one.Aeropresseor portafiltro.
Here's a nice video about some of the situations where pre-ground coffee is actually a better option.
In this review we will check the whole beans but also the link to the pre-ground version where available.
The best coffee in the Amazon 2023
Recommending coffee beans can be a dangerous pursuit for the simple reason that it ultimately comes down to personal preference. While some brands are undoubtedly better and more reputable than others, what matters most is what you like and which beans do you enjoy the most? For this reason, rather than recommending a variety, we will describe what we believe to be the best coffee on Amazon, which other customers have also raved about.
AA coffee beans from Kenya
Kenya's AA beans are some of the highest quality specialty beans on offer. Grown and harvested at over 2,000 feet above sea level, these beans are the highest quality Kenyan coffees. The beans are 100% Arabica (= very good!) and go through a careful process to preserve maximum flavor before being roasted in Georgia. In terms of flavor, they are medium roasted, so they retain much of the bean's flavor profile and are often described as having berry and citrus undertones. It's a very flavorful coffee, with more complexity and less strength than some of the darker roast beans like Death Wish. To be perfectly honest, I was pretty surprised that Amazon even got these beans.
It's also worth noting that these beans are eligible for Prime shipping and the Volcanica company seems to be very reliable when it comes to getting their fresh roasted beans to Amazon as quickly as possible, which is great.
Café Stumptown Hairbender
For those unfamiliar with this brand, Stumptown is a large and fast growing premium coffee roaster known for the highest quality. Representing Stumptown's most well-known espresso blend, the Hairbender is truly his signature. This is also a high-quality coffee specialty that has already been used by a large number of independent coffee shops. In terms of beans, they're a blend of Indonesian and Latin American coffee beans, yielding a rich, flavorful blend with some fruity overtones. It's also a medium roast with a strong flavor that, like Kenya's AA, is known for many subtle, delicious flavors.
It's worth noting again that the Hairbender was designed primarily as an espresso blend, so should be a real contender if that's your primary brewing method. Many coffee connoisseurs who have already had experience with the Hairbender complained about the lack of freshness of the beans in the Amazon. However, that's just the reward for buying beans on Amazon.
- Roast Profile: Medium roast
- Pre-ground beans: Not available
Light Roast Gourmet Coffee Sampler Bean Box
This box is a real treat for anyone interested in specialty beans and wanting to try light roast beans! It's a pack of four separate lightly roasted coffees, handpicked by coffee experts from local Seattle roasters. This cute pack is all about specialty, artisan roasting, and even includes brewing tips and tasting notes from coffee experts. Flavor-wise, it depends on which coffees the Bean Box chooses, but they're more of a hybrid of origin and blend, and the light roast makes them taste very different than what most people are used to. This is a great choice for anyone wanting to try something different, or as an epic gift for a coffee lover.
- Roast Profile: Light roast
- Pre-ground beans: Not available
This medium roast blend is incredibly popular on Amazon and often enjoyed as a great coffee. Super Crema is blended and roasted in Italy (which is almost always a good sign in the coffee world!), from where it's shipped to Amazon and then to your door! This blend has a medium roast and is ideal for finer grinds like espresso. And that's exactly what this coffee is all about, a great-tasting coffee that's particularly good for dairy-based drinks like lattes or cappuccinos, and gives a great crema when poured correctly (hence the name!).
Compositionally, it is a blend of Robusta (40%) and Arabica (60%) and has a very good track record for those who like its taste! In many ways, Super Crema is a very safe option that most users really enjoy and have a classic coffee taste (which is by no means a bad thing)! However, we do not particularly recommend this blend for manual preparation methods such as pour-over, which attempts to bring out the specific flavor nuances of different beans.
- Roast Profile: Medium roast
- Pre-ground beans: Not available
death wish coffee
As the name suggests, it's certainly not a coffee blend for the faint of heart! Death Wish Coffee reportedly has at least twice as muchCaffeinethan regular coffee, and it's an incredibly strong shot of coffee that bears similarities to a slap in the face. These beans are dark roasted and oily, resulting in a very strong, almost burnt, chocolatey flavor that many customers love. And like Lavazza, Death Wish has a strong track record of customer satisfaction. Another great thing about this cafe is that it is completely fair trade, organic and even kosher.
When it comes to fermentation methods, these beans shine particularly well with drip machines and the French press, but can also be used for other styles. Being dark roasted it's really for those who like a very strong coffee and love that morning punch. It's also worth noting that because the beans are dark roasted and oily, they can be more difficult and messy to grind than lighter roasted beans. This is a great option for coffee addicts.
Kicking horse coffee
These dark roasted beans share many of the characteristics of Death Wish and often receive the accolade for "sweet, smoky and powerful". Native to South America and Indonesia, these beans are roasted in the Canadian town of Kicking Horse (what a town name!). Like the Death Wish, it's all about a powerful, delicious dark coffee hit that tries to retain all the good aspects of a dark roast without crossing the threshold into a burnt, gray taste. Fair trade, organic and kosher, they are also a very popular bean in the Amazon with a large following of coffee lovers. These beans are particularly suitable for the Drip Machine, Pour Machine and French Press. A great choice for strong, dark coffee lovers who are unsure about making their way to Death Wish.
Café Irmãos Café
Coffee Bros is a new and upcoming coffee roaster founded in 2019 by brothers Nick and Dan Hunnewell. Its goal is to produce high quality, ethically sourced roasted coffee. While they come in a variety of different coffee blends and roast levels, we recommend the light roast, which tastes sweet with honey, citrus, and floral notes. These beans are particularly good for espresso or brewed coffee. This is a great option if you're looking for a light coffee blend for breakfast.
The Coffee Bros has also partnered with One Tree Planted to plant a tree for every 5 bags of coffee sold! If you're looking for a roaster that cares about coffee and the environment, look no further.
- Roast Profile: Light roast
- Pre-ground beans: Not available
Understanding coffee beans: Get technical information
types of roasts
As the reviews above make clear, every coffee bean falls somewhere on the spectrum, from light roast to dark roast. And where a bean falls on that spectrum will have a big impact on how it tastes, feels, and overall mood. It's important to note that most beans can be divided into light, medium, or dark roasts as a spectrum.
With light roast beans, the primary concern is to retain as much of the bean's original flavor profile as possible. They are removed from the roaster shortly after the beans first break open, so the roasting process has minimal impact on the flavor of the beans. For this reason, light roasts go particularly well with single-variety beans and have bean-specific nuances. Lightly roasted coffee beans are often drunk black, as additives like sugar or milk tend to overpower the nuanced flavors that this roast is all about. Flavor-wise, it depends on the origin of the beans, but light roast beans tend to have a light, fruity flavor with little of the bitterness that characterizes darker roasts.
Medium roast is the most popular bean choice for most people. The beans remain in the roaster for a while after the first crack to allow them to develop a darker color and an extra layer of flavor. At this point, the beans retain much of their original flavor as well as the added flavor and depth of flavor that comes from the roasting process. At this point, the beans may start to have a slight oil sheen, depending on how long they've been in the roaster. In terms of taste, the spectrum can range from medium roasting, from floral notes to nutty and chocolatey aromas. It's also worth noting that medium roast beans are generally more forgiving than light roast ones, yet they can still work very well with additives like milk or sugar.
Dark roasted beans stay in the roaster longer, developing the darker color and an oily coating on the outside of the beans. At this point, the bean's original flavor profile is muted but still recognizable. Dark roasts tend to have very strong flavors, often with burnt or bitter notes complemented by a surprising caramelized or chocolatey sweetness. The flavor is far less acidic and tends to be more general than lighter roasts. Dark roasts are often used for espresso, as well as methods such asthe whole plateorfrench press. Dark roasts are often a good choice for those who like strong coffee, although surprisingly, lighter roasts contain more caffeine than darker roasts.
types of beans
There are two main types of coffee plants commonly used for brewing; Arabica and Robusta. Arabica stands for the special coffee, with superior quality and a longer harvesting process. Arabica tends to be grown at higher elevations and has a richer and more complex flavor than Robusta. That's why it's more expensive, and the more Arabica in the coffee blend, the better.
Robusta is a larger coffee plant that can be grown at lower altitudes and is much easier to mass produce. It has a significantly higher caffeine content than Arabica and is generally considered to be inferior (although there have been efforts to use it for premium coffee) and is therefore regularly used for instant and non-specialty coffee. Robusta is cheaper to buy than Arabica and in general the less Robusta the better.
Organic vs. non-organic
Another important category that you often find in coffee is organic and non-organic coffee beans. An organic bean means it has been grown naturally without the aid of chemical fertilizers or pesticides. Organic beans are usually grown in the shade, which means the plants grow under the canopy of the trees, which is better for the workers and the coffee trees. As such, organic beans tend to be of better quality and stronger in flavor. Basically, organic is best, but just because a bean isn't organic doesn't necessarily mean it's loaded with chemicals, or even comes from a particularly non-organic environment. It just depends on the cultivation philosophy of a particular coffee farm and whether they choose to go officially organic. Check out our article for a guide to the best organic coffee beansHere.
Blend vs Single Origin
Another term you will hear a lot in the coffee world is single origin. This refers to coffee beans that come from a single origin (obviously!), like a specific coffee farm or even a specific area of a specific coffee farm. The idea behind it is to make clear the specific flavor profile of a bean with all its strengths and weaknesses. In this way, the brewer can experience the special features of different coffee-growing regions. Appreciated especially by coffee purists, Single Origin is best enjoyed in the black version as the additives dull the distinctive flavor profile.
Blended coffees, on the other hand, are a mixture or "blend" of different beans that complement each other. The benefit of this is that blends tend to be more complete than single origins and are much more accessible to the general coffee lover. Additionally, the blending process can silence the weak points of certain grains and add a level of flavor and complexity to the final product. Blended beans are the most common option and are easiest to use for espresso and other milk-based beverages.
Our tips for buying the best coffee on Amazon
As mentioned above, buying coffee beans from Amazon can be a risky endeavor with the very real risk of the beans arriving at your doorstep. With that in mind, here are four rules for buying beans online:
- buy whole beans– This immediately ensures they retain more of their original aroma and flavor than pre-ground.
- Buy beans that list a roast date– As beans, as an agricultural product, quickly lose their freshness, it is important to know when they were roasted. A classic sign of bad coffee is that instead of a roast date, it simply gives you an expiration date (think supermarket coffee beans).
- Only buy as much as you will use in 2-4 weeks– Because beans lose some of their flavor over time, it’s better to order small batches of beans on a regular basis than to order large batches occasionally. The downside, of course, is that this tends to be more expensive and results in paying for shipping multiple times.
- Store your beans carefully– Beans often come in packages with a one-way valve to help escape CO2 when the beans degas. These are good for storing beans, but it's better to move the beans to a specific place.airtight container. It's also best to store your beans in a cool and dark place (but not in the fridge!)
The best coffee in the Amazon?
We hope this article has been helpful in highlighting some of the best coffees on Amazon and helping you navigate the sometimes confusing world of coffee beans. We believe that any of the above coffee beans can be a good choice for your coffee journey.
If you have any questions or comments, we'd love to hear them below! What do you think is the best coffee in the Amazon? What are your favorite coffee brands? How do you like your roasted coffee beans?
Have fun shopping!
I'm a coffee enthusiast, brewer and writer for The Coffee Folk. My favorite brewing methods are Aeropress and espresso. I love learning, reading, making coffee and exploring nature.