Top 10 Best Coffee Beans Every Coffee Lover Should Know: From Ethiopian Yirgacheffe to Costa Rican Tarrazu (2024)

I remember the first time I brewed a cup of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe using a pour-over method.

The aroma alone was intoxicating. But after the first sip, I was  immediately struck by the layers of flavor — each one better than the last.

It was an unforgettable experience that strengthened my appreciation for this exceptional bean. And ever since then, I’m looking for the best coffee beans, and constantly evaluate them.

James Hoffmann explains how you can buy your ideal, best coffee beans in a local or in an online store:

If you’re looking to explore the world of the best coffee beans, there’s more to it than this video, and Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is just one that I liked really much.

Let’s enjoy the top 10 best coffee beans together, because I think every coffee lover should know about these!

The best coffee beans on Amazon: light roast, medium roast, dark roast fort the best whole bean coffee

Okay, I know, I understand: you’re worried about picking the best coffee beans of Amazon. But you really shouldn’t be!

Just think about all the flavors you like and how all these different roasts taste. That’s it. Amazon is a huge market, and if you pick the right coffee beans, there’s no reason to be afraid. An Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is the same in your local coffee shop and on Amazon, too.

Light roast coffee has fruity or floral flavors, and it’s bright and acidic. The good thing about light roast coffee beans is that it keeps the original taste of the coffee beans. If you like a cup of delicate coffee with a bit higher acidity, go for this one.

Medium roast coffee is more balanced: a mix of acidity and bold flavors. It usually tastes like caramel, chocolate, and nuts. If you want a coffee that’s not too acidic or too bitter, medium roast is a good choice. It works well with many brewing methods. When searching for it, look for flavor notes like “caramel,” “chocolate,” or “nutty.”

A Package Of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Is One Of The Best Coffee Beans, Displayed In A Wide Aspect Ratio. The Package Features Rich Earthy Colors And Traditional Ethiopian Patterns. The Label Prominently Displays The Name 'Ethiopian Yirgacheffe' With An Illustration Of Coffee Beans And The Ethiopian Landscape. The Background Includes Subtle Hints Of Coffee Plants And Beans, Enhancing The Overall Coffee Theme

Dark roast coffee, on the other hand is rich and bold, with low acidity. The flavor is smoky and bittersweet, with some notes of chocolate and toasted nuts. If you like strong, intense coffee, dark roast is for you. It’s great for anyone who loves robust flavor.

To find the best whole bean coffee on Amazon, follow the regular rules that you’d follow anytime you’re buying something online: read customer reviews to see what others think. Check the place where the beans come from, and use your knowledge of coffee.

One essential thing to look out for is the roast date to make sure that the coffee beans are fresh. And don’t forget about your favorite brewing method, because some beans work better and taste better with given methods.

Dark roasts are perfect for espresso, light roasts are great for pour-over.

Should you buy your own best coffee beans?

But first, here’s an interesting question that I ran into recently: one of my friends was astounded by the fact that I spend so much time on choosing the best coffee beans for myself. He just goes into a store or a supermarket, looks at them, and buys the one that he likes the most or the one that is the cheapest at any given moment.

The truth is, having the opportunity to buy your own coffee beans gives you an enormous advantage over people who just buy whatever they think about.

When you purchase whole coffee beans, you have control over the freshness of your coffee. (Freshly ground beans make a huge difference in flavor and aroma.) If you buy whole beans and grind them just before brewing, your coffee will be more flavorful and aromatic than anything else.

Let’s imagine you start the same journey as I did: after some time, the ability to choose specific beans, blends, and roasts will give you the chance to match your personal coffee preference.

Plus, let’s say you’re sourcing your own beans. This means that you can support local roasters or specialty coffee shops (and who wouldn’t want that?!).

Many of these local shops focus on ethical practices, so you’re doing good to the environment, too. Now it’s time to explore my top 10 – I recommend you give them a try!

1. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: floral and citrus notes

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is one of the most celebrated and sought-after coffee beans in the world.

Ethiopian Coffee, Yirgacheffe Region, Usda Organic, Whole Bean, Kosher, Fresh Roasted, 16-Ounce
  • 100% Pure Ethiopian Coffee Beans 
  • USDA Organic, Medium/Light Roast whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
  • Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.

Originating from the Yirgacheffe region in southern Ethiopia, this coffee is known for its unique and complex flavor profile. The beans are typically grown at high altitudes ranging from 1,700 to 2,200 meters.. Yirgacheffe coffee is processed using the wet or washed method: it’s bright and clean after the washing.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is famous for its floral and citrus notes. Sometimes, it can even taste like a bit of jasmine, lemon, and bergamot. If it’s a good Yirgacheffe, it has a light to medium body with a bit of acidity.

2. Panama Geisha: coffee tastes like tropical fruits

Panama Geisha, also known as Geisha, is regarded as the pinnacle of specialty coffee.

It was first discovered in Ethiopia and later became part of the coffee culture in Panama. This bean has won coffee competitions and auctions, winning with the highest prices in the coffee industry.

Grown at elevations above 1,400 meters in the Boquete region, Panama Geisha beans thrive in the unique microclimate of these highlands.

Panama Geisha has bright acidity, floral notes, and tropical fruits, jasmine and berries. The body is usually light to medium, and it has a longer than usual aftertaste that is delightful.

I had the privilege of tasting Panama Geisha at a specialty coffee event when I was in Mexico, and it was simply transcendent. The moment the hot water hit the grounds, the air was filled with a strong and exceptionally charming aroma. It was unlike anything I’d ever experienced before.

3. Jamaican Blue Mountain: a brew with nutty flavors

Jamaican Blue Mountain is another legendary coffee. It’s known for the exceptional balance and smooth flavor it has.

Plantation Blue 100% Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Medium Roast 8Oz Whole Bean And 8Oz Ground Bundle
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It’s grown in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica at elevations between 910 to 1,700 meters. These beans benefit from fertile volcanic soil and cool, misty conditions. And this is what makes them so special!

Jamaican Blue Mountain is cherished for its mild, well-balanced profile with subtle acidity, smooth body, and sweet, nutty flavors.

There are notes of chocolate and floral undertones. It’s an excellent choice for anyone who appreciate a refined and elegant cup without overpowering flavors.

4. Hawaiian Kona: coffee with ideal climate conditions

Hawaiian Kona coffee comes from the slopes of Mauna Loa in the Kona district of Hawaii’s Big Island.

100% Hawaiian Kona Coffee, Extra Fancy - Whole Bean - 1Lb.
  • TASTE: Enjoy the smooth and rich flavor of Hawaiian Kona Coffee, known for its unique and complex taste profile.
  • QUALITY: 100% pure, extra fancy Arabica beans, whole bean, medium roast and not a blend to ensure the highest quality of coffee.
  • ORIGIN: Sourced directly from the Kona region in Hawaii, grown in rich volcanic soil for a unique flavor experience.

Grown at elevations between 600 and 1,200 meters, these beans are also familiar with the rich volcanic soil and ideal climate conditions, including sunny mornings, cloud-covered afternoons, and frequent rainfall.

Kona coffee is known for its rich flavor with a medium body and bright acidity. The taste profile has notes of caramel, nuts, and a hint of fruitiness.

5. Colombian Supremo: a medium roast coffee with caramel & chocolate

Colombian Supremo beans are some of the most well-known and widely enjoyed coffees in the world.

Colombian Supremo Coffee, Whole Bean, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-Ounce
  • Loved by people all over the world, Colombian Supreme Coffee beans have the perfect balance of sweetness, acidity and a heady nutty aroma. It has all the characteristics of your favorite cup of gourmet coffee but at the same time, it is not overpowering. This Colombian Supremo Estate Coffee is shade grown
  • Flavor Notes: Bittersweet, Chocolate, Caramel, and Hints of Orange

Grown in Colombia’s high-altitude regions, particularly in the departments of Antioquia, Huila, and Nariño, these beans have some great soil conditions of the Andean mountains.

Colombian Supremo is famous for its bright acidity and medium body.

The Colombian Supremo taste has caramel, chocolate, and fruit – it’s a coffee bean I would advise to coffee beginners.

I have fond memories of enjoying Colombian Supremo while traveling through South America. The coffee was consistently excellent. It’s a coffee that you can rely on for a great cup every time, and of course, the ritual that was connected to it was a completely different story.

6. Sumatra Mandheling: a bold coffee from Indonesia

Sumatra Mandheling is a bold coffee hailing from the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

Coffee Fool'S Sumatra Mandheling (Whole Bean)
  • Roasted lighter to bring out the natural flavors of the bean
  • 100 Percent Pure High Grade Arabica Beans
  • No preservatives, sugar, dairy, gluten, or fat

It’s grown between 1,000 and 1,500 meters, this coffee is processed using the traditional wet-hulling method: the “Giling Basah”.

Sumatra Mandheling is famous for its full body, low acidity, and earthy, complex flavor profile.

The taste often has  notes of dark chocolate, spice, and cedar, with a rich, syrupy mouthfeel. It’s a coffee that stands out for its intensity.

7. Guatemalan Antigua: grown in rich volcanic soils

Guatemalan Antigua coffee comes from the well-known Antigua region in Guatemala. The coffee beans grow in rich volcanic soil at heights of 1,500 to 1,700 meters.

Guatemalan Coffee, Antigua, Ground, Medium Roast, Usda Organic, Fresh Roasted, 16-Ounce
  • Guatemalan whole coffee beans from Antigua, Guatemala that provide a rich, full bodied taste with a smooth, sophisticated flavor and an intense aroma. Medium Roast.
  • Flavor Notes: Floral, Raisin, and Pleasant Acidity.
  • This single origin, whole bean brew is from the Santa Barbara Estate in Antigua, Guatemala, comfortably located between two Caribbean volcanoes in the high altitudes in which coffee thrives.

This area is perfect for coffee because of its high elevation and mild climate.

People love Antigua coffee for its rich body, lively acidity, and complex taste. The flavors hint some chocolate, spice, and flowers, with a great aroma.

8. Kenyan AA: from Mt. Kenya

Kenyan AA coffee is well-loved for its bright, bold flavors and top-notch quality.

Kenya Aa Coffee, 100% Pure, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-Ounce
  • 100% Pure Kenya AA Coffee: With a rich body, pleasant vibrant acidity, fragrant aroma and flavor notes of raspberry, cranberry, fresh-cut redwood, alyssum-like flowers in aroma and cup.
  • Flavor Notes: Raspberry, Cranberry, Fresh-cut Redwood, and Alyssum-like Flowers
  • Roast Profile: Medium/Light roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
  • Highest Grade: The "AA" grade marks out the very largest beans that naturally contain the largest amount of aromatic oils that are so integral to the coffee-drinking experience
  • Freshly Roasted: We fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.
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It’s grown in the high-altitude regions of Kenya, around Mt. Kenya, where the volcanic soil and great climate provide perfect growing conditions.

This coffee has vibrant acidity, full body, and complex taste.

You can taste notes of blackcurrant, citrus, and wine, with a rich, juicy texture. It stands out for its intense flavors.

9. Brazilian Santos: chocolate, nuts & a hint of spice

Brazilian Santos coffee is one of the most well-known and popular coffees from Brazil, the biggest coffee producer in the world.

Brooklyn Coffee Whole Bean, Brazilian Santos Medium Roast (5Lb) American, Breakfast, Classic - Fresh Bulk Coffee Beans Roasted Weekly In Nyc
  • Brazilian Santos Whole Bean Coffee — An adventure of flavor that embodies Brazil's vibrant spirit and rich coffee culture. Mild and light, with subtle sweetness for a smooth yet robust taste.
  • Roasted To Perfection — Attention to detail is paramount for us, with coffee beans roasted for the perfect balance of intensity and smoothness, captivating coffee enthusiasts who crave a perfect brew.
  • Crafted for Coffee Lovers — Our superior whole bean coffee gives a rich aroma, packed with flavor. Grinding the coffee yourself gives you full control of the grounds, for a brew that is truly yours.

It’s grown in the São Paulo state, especially in the Santos region, on the rolling hills and mild climate.

Santos coffee is famous for its smooth, balanced flavor with a medium body and low acidity.

The taste is something like chocolate, nuts, and a hint of spice, and all of their combinations.

It’s a good choice for anyone who likes a well-rounded and comforting cup.

10. Costa Rican Tarrazu

Costa Rican Tarrazu coffee comes from the well-known Tarrazu region, a top coffee-growing area in Costa Rica. These beans are grown at elevations of 1,200 to 1,900 meters, thriving in the region’s volcanic soil and perfect climate.

Costa Rica Coffee, Tarrazu Original, Whole Bean, Medium Roast, Fair Trade, Fresh Roasted, 16-Ounce
  • 100% Pure Costa Rica Tarrazu Coffee Beans for a smooth, bright cup, well balanced flavor with a subtle chocolate flavor.
  • Grown at high altitudes on volcanic soil, where the cherries ripen more slowly which give it a rich and hearty flavor. Fair Trade Certified, Rain Forest Alliance Certified and Shade Grown to care for the workers and the earth.
  • Medium roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.

Tarrazu coffee is prized for its bright acidity, medium body, and clean, balanced flavor.

It has notes of citrus, honey, and chocolate, with a refreshing finish. This coffee works well with different brewing methods, you can basically combine it with everything else.