Best Coffee Beans of 2018? Complete Reviews With Comparisons

Best Coffee Beans of 2018 Complete Reviews With Comparisons
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From the anticipation, sparked by the wonderful aroma, to the delicious taste, your enjoyment of drinking coffee is influenced mainly by the coffee beans which were used to make it.

Given the huge variety on offer, choosing the best coffee beans is not always an easy task. 

So, to help you, our best coffee beans reviews will show you what to look for, what to avoid, highlight the good and pinpoint the bad.

You might say, it is the perfect brew of information on how to choose the best coffee beans.

Comparison Chart

Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee
Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee
Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee
Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee
$15.99
from $8.95
from $37.98
$19.95
$18.99
Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag
Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag
$15.99
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag
from $8.95
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag
from $37.98
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee
$19.95
Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee
Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee
$18.99

Best Coffee Bean Reviews

1. Death Wish Coffee Company Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee

Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag

It's not often you get to drink a coffee which was specially brewed for a rock star, but you do with Valhalla Java. Its flavor was specifically created for rock guitarist Zakk Wylde best known for being part of Ozzy Osbourne's band. Let's see if it hits the right notes.

Product Highlights

This is a coffee bean which has an ultra-hard flavor, so it is not for the weak hearted who like tame coffee. This has an amazing aroma which perks you up before you've even had a chance to taste it. Once you do, you will realize that this is not an ordinary coffee bean. This is a potent brew that is going to satisfy those who love their coffee strong, but smooth.

When drinking inferior coffees, many drinkers notice an unwanted bitter taste, but with Valhalla Java, there is none of that here, and for those that like to add a little cream or milk to their coffee, you can do, and it still retains its kick.

The beans themselves are whole which means they will be especially fresh, and ready to be ground. The fact that they are Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic gives you the reassurance that they will have been grown using the very best of standards. The re-sealable bag, will keep the beans fresh from cup one to the last one.

Apart from the strong aroma and taste getting you going, the high caffeine content means the boost in energy and alertness this coffee can give you is palpable. It ticks all the boxes in what you should be looking for in a coffee bean, and for that reason, these are our best-rated coffee beans.

Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee by Death Wish Coffee Company, Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic - 12 Ounce Bag
  • Harness the power of Odin with this masterful artisan roast
  • Our coffee beans are specifically selected and expertly roasted to provide an ultra-strong coffee that is bold and smooth
  • Drink your coffee with pride knowing that our beans are Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic
  • Brew a pot at work or at home and taste the difference. You will never want "store-bought" coffee again
  • TRY IT RISK-FREE: Click the "Add to Cart" button now and be the judge. If you don't love our coffee, we'll refund your order, no questions asked

What's to like about the Death Wish Coffee Company Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee

Death Wish provides you with the chance to get fantastic power by taking this excellent artisan roast. The coffee beans are carefully selected to ensure you get the best roast. The result is you enjoy bold and excellent coffee, which means you get the best value for your money.

What's not to like about the Death Wish Coffee Company Valhalla Java Whole Bean Coffee

For those who don’t drink black coffee, this brand may not be the best option for you. Overall, the Valhalla Java coffee should be one brand you should consider purchasing if you're looking for potent coffee.

PROS

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    Strong aroma
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    Bold but smooth taste
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    High caffeine for a boost
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    Fair Trade produce
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    USDA certified organic

CONS

  • Higher price than others
  • Beans are rather dry

2. Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag

With this being a Starbucks product, expectations were high that it was going to be every bit as enjoyable a coffee as you would find in one of their outlets... and so it proved but at a fraction of the cost! You even get Starbucks rewards stars for purchasing it.

Product Highlights

If you are a coffee drinker who prefers coffee which is a bit milder, then you should love this. It has a distinct flavor alright, but it is not strong enough to distract you, as some ultra-strong coffees do. This 'blond' roast is Starbuck's lightest roasted coffee bean and its mellow taste is perfect for a smooth, delicious cup of coffee when you are relaxing, or for offering to friends or family when they visit you.

The Veranda blend comes from family-run coffee farms in Latin America, which is where some of the world's finest coffee beans are produced. Whether it is for their coffee shops, or their home brew coffee, Starbucks follow a stringent process of selection and then roasting to get the flavor just right.

Each bag of Starbucks Veranda Blonde Roast Coffee contains 12 ounces of coffee beans which should be sufficient to make over 60 standard cups of brewed coffee. After grinding your beans, 2 tablespoons worth per cup of coffee should suffice.

This ratio of coffee required per cup, plus the low purchase price makes Starbucks Veranda Blond Roast Coffee our best inexpensive coffee beans.

Sale
Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 12-Ounce Bag
  • A lighter, gentler take on the Starbucks roast, Veranda Blend is flavorful without being overly bold
  • Blonde is our lightest roast with more mellow and approachable flavors
  • Enjoy the Starbucks coffee you love without leaving the house
  • For finest taste, always use clean, filtered water; clean your machine before using; and grind beans just before brewing
  • Each pack includes a 12-ounce bag of whole-bean Starbucks coffee

What's to like about the Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee

This coffee is a little bit less intense in taste than the original blend. It tends to be a bit gentler on the belly than its darker counterpart.

This is a great choice not only for the morning but for an after-dinner coffee as well. The beans come whole and vacuum sealed in a foil bag. The packaging keeps the beans fresh so when it comes time to grind you can expect the freshest coffee possible.

What's not to like about the Starbucks Veranda Blend Light Blonde Roast Whole Bean Coffee

The whole bean aspect is nice in an "old times" kind of way, but nowadays not many people grind their own beans.

So, if you choose this coffee it will not only be more expensive, it will also take longer to make and requires additional equipment.

PROS

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    Light and mellow taste
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    Earn Starbucks rewards stars
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    Beans carefully selected for flavor
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    Ideal for simple home-brewed coffee
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    Excellent value for money

CONS

  • Bag seal not great
  • Not organically grown

3. Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag

Anything which is called 'Death Wish' suggests that it is not some run-of-the-mill product. When that product is coffee, you hope that means the aroma, taste or both are going to be a cut above the others, and we are pleased to say that 'Death Wish' certainly was.

Product Highlights

The irony of the producers of this roasted coffee bean deciding to call it 'Death Wish' was not lost on us when we started to consider the high caffeine content they have. They have twice the level of caffeine that your average coffee beans have, therefore making you feel like death isn't one of their features. In fact, quite the opposite! This coffee gives you a kick that will let you know you are very much alive and alert.

The strong boost is matched by the equally strong aroma and taste of these coffee beans. If you like weak or mellow coffee, then you might want to pass on this one. However, if you like full flavored coffee that literally hits you between the eyes, and hits your taste buds simultaneously, then you'll love this.

Death Wish coffee beans are produced on farms which are Fair Trade certified, plus they are also USDA certified as being organic. They are roasted using Loring roasters which are some of the best in the industry and used by many of the top coffee bean producers.

People drink coffee for all sorts of reasons but for most coffee drinkers, the taste and 'kick' are two of the main ones. As Death Wish coffee beans provide both in abundance, we believe they are the best roasted coffee beans.

Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee, 16 Ounce Bag
  • Stay awake with The World's Strongest Coffee. Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee has double the caffeine of your average coffee
  • Our premium beans are carefully selected and expertly roasted to ensure a bold, smooth brew that you will love
  • Take pride knowing that your coffee is Fair Trade, USDA Certified Organic and Kosher
  • This perfect dark roast will make you the hero of the house or office
  • If you are not completely satisfied, we'll refund your order. No questions asked

What's to like about the Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

The DEATH WISH (organic coffee) comes with double the amount of caffeine found in the average coffee brands. It means you get the best value for your money in addition to making sure you stay awake. The coffee beans are well selected and then roasted to perfection.

What's not to like about the Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee

This organic coffee may not provide you with instant energy when you compare it with other brands. However, for users who prefer coffee which offer a gradual increase in energy levels, this is among the best options.

PROS

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    Produced on Fair Trade farms
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    Extra strong flavor
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    Twice the average caffeine level
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    Certified organic
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    Roasted on Loring roasters

CONS

  • Bag seal is poor
  • At upper end of price range for size

4. Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee

Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee

If you like knowing that what you eat or drink has been grown with zero or minimum amounts of pesticides and other chemicals, then you are going to love this ground coffee. It is certified as organic and is produced on Fair Trade farms so you can be sure it’s as pure as can be.

Product Highlights

Coffee is not the first thing that springs to mind when the thinking about healthy foods, and although it may not have the same importance as vitamins and minerals, for example, it can still play its part. Peak performance coffee beans are grown in such a way that the impact on your health from drinking this coffee it is as positive as can be.

Being organically grown is the obvious starting point, which reassures us that harmful, hormone-disrupting chemicals such as 'xenoestrogens' are not present, but there is more to it than that. The coffee beans are grown at high altitude which enables them to contain more antioxidants which protect the body from harmful molecules.

Peak Performance is also a single-source coffee bean, which means its grounds are not a blended coffee. Blended coffees can sometimes be contaminated by a bad batch used in the mix, which can lead to poor tasting and often unhealthy coffee. So, this coffee can do your health good, and you'll be pleased to know, that it also tastes good too. It can be blended to suit your own preferences and can be drunk black or with cream.

With the healthy qualities of this coffee being a major part of its appeal, we are happy to declare Peak Performance as our choice for best organic coffee beans.

Sale
Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee. No Pesticides, Fair Trade, GMO Free, And Beans Full Of Antioxidants! USDA Certified Organic Ground Coffee
  • FAIR TRADE - USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC - SINGLE ORIGIN - HIGH ALTITUDE. IF WE COULD MAKE THIS COFFEE ANY HEALTHIER WE WOULD! MEDIUM ROAST. ALSO COMES WITH FREE SPECIAL REPORT CALLED "HOW TO MAKE THE HEALTHIEST CUP OF COFFEE"
  • Healthy Coffee Rule #1) Always Go Organic. Why? Because conventional coffee is one of the most heavily treated crops with pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides. One of the many health risks with these chemicals is that they can act as "xenoestrogens" in your body disrupting hormone balance for both men and women.
  • Healthy Coffee Rule #2) Coffee Grown At High Altitude Is Better. Why? Because the higher the altitude the coffee is grown at, the denser the bean. You may have heard the term "Strictly Hard Bean" (SHB) which denotes an especially dense, high-altitude coffee. This Peak Performance Organic Coffee grown in the Guatemalan Highlands is a perfect example of this. This higher elevation bean is more dense and thus of a higher quality grade. High Altitude Coffee also tends to have more antioxidants!
  • Healthy Coffee Rule #3) Single Origin Coffee Is Better. Why? Because while "Blended" Coffee like a "Breakfast Blend" might sound cool... there's a much higher likelihood that at least one of the bean varieties that went into that blend was contaminated (coffee has been commonly known to be contaminated with energy robbing mold), meaning the entire batch is now contaminated.
  • 100% HAPPINESS GUARANTEE - TRY PEAK PERFORMANCE ORGANIC COFFEE COMPLETELY RISK FREE. We are so confident that you will feel the difference and LOVE Peak Performance Coffee, so if you aren't COMPLETELY satisfied for any reason you are completely covered with a 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE! Simply click the add to cart button at the top of this page to try yours now completely RISK FREE!

What's to like about the Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee

It satisfies all the health requirements and has a dense bean with a high antioxidant volume due to the high-altitude growing conditions; hence a higher quality grade.

The entirely organic nature is another positive. As opposed to other coffee brands, this particular kind is purely natural, and thus free from xenoestrogens which can cause hormone imbalance.

What's not to like about the Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee

Due to its outstanding quality, it is believed to be more expensive than other coffee brands. It is also more expensive because growing the Peak Performance coffee bean is limited to high altitude areas; thus only those in the high altitude regions can plant this coffee type.

PROS

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    Single source beans to avoid contamination
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    Organically farmed
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    Grown at high altitude to increase antioxidants
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    Ground for convenience
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    Smooth taste

CONS

  • Coffee grounds are very coarse
  • Higher price brand

5. Verena Street Flavored Whole Bean Coffee

Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee

There are lots of coffee drinkers who love trying out specialist and flavored coffees, and if you are one of them, then stay tuned. Verena Street-flavored coffee is made with a blend of flavors, that are as delicious as they are unique.

Product Highlights

Verena Street coffee is a relatively new, family-owned enterprise which operates out of Dubuque, Iowa. The name 'Verena Street' carries some nostalgia for its owners as it is the name of a street they played on when they were children. All of this might not mean anything to you in terms of drinking coffee, but smaller enterprises like these tend to place a higher emphasis on quality and a good customer experience.

That is evident from the process which these coffee beans go through, all the way from where they are grown, to the roasting. The beans are grown using sustainable sourcing methods on farms which are Rainforest Alliance Certified. This ensures farmers, local wildlife, soil, and waterways are protected.

To ensure the coffee beans are as fresh as they possibly can be, they are roasted in small batches. This minimizes the time the coffee beans spend in warehousing, which is where their freshness is often lost.

Made from the finest Arabica beans this coffee is one which will give your taste buds a treat and a half. It is a rich and creamy coffee which has a blend of flavors which include caramel, vanilla, and coffee liqueur.

The smell alone will have you salivating, and when you taste it, you will understand why we are choosing these as our best flavored coffee beans.

Sale
Verena Street 2 Pound Flavored Whole Bean Coffee, Cow Tipper, Medium Roast, Rainforest Alliance Certified Arabica Coffee
  • 2lb. medium roast flavored whole bean (32oz.); so flavorful you won’t need to use flavored creamers
  • Arabica coffee with a rich and creamy blend of vanilla, caramel, and coffee liqueur flavoring
  • Sustainably sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms to protect farmers, wildlife and environment
  • Freshly roasted and packaged in Dubuque, Iowa at an independent, family owned coffee company
  • Kosher certified by the Orthodox Union, the world’s most trusted and recognized kosher certification

What's to like about the Verena Street Flavored Whole Bean Coffee

Verena Street Flavored Whole Bean Coffee has a lot going for it. It has such a potent Highlander Grogg flavor that no creamers are needed. Also, it is sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms, which means the locals get more money back and the natural habitat in the area is preserved.

What's not to like about the Verena Street Flavored Whole Bean Coffee

There may however be a few drawbacks to Verena Street Flavored Whole Bean Coffee. For example, the beans are flavored. Not everyone likes the taste of flavored coffee. Also, to get the flavor, people sometimes have to add sugar.

PROS

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    Beans are grown on sustainable farms
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    Roasted in small batches to retain freshness
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    Unique blend of flavors
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    Rich and creamy texture
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    Wonderful aroma

CONS

  • Some drinkers might find it acidic
  • An acquired taste which not all will like

BUYER'S GUIDE

Everyone has different tastes, whether that be in what clothes they like, what food they enjoy, or what drinks they love most. This applies equally so to people's taste in coffee, and therefore when choosing what coffee beans to buy, one's taste must be considered.

However, there are several factors which influence how any one type of coffee bean will taste. These include where the coffee bean was farmed, the type of coffee bean, how it was roasted, and even when it was roasted. Let's look at these in more detail.

Type of Coffee Bean

There are generally considered to be 4 main types of coffee bean available. These are Arabica, Robusta, Excelsa, and Liberica. The two which are most widely used are Arabica and Robusta. Each has its own special characteristics which discuss below.

Arabica

Arabica coffee beans are the most popular and account for 60% of the world's coffee production. They tend to be grown at high altitudes and prefer to be in the shade rather than in lots sunshine. Arabic trees tend to be small and rarely grow above 6 feet tall. This obviously makes it much easier for coffee farmers to harvest them,

Coffee made from Arabica beans have several aromas and flavors, which is why they appeal to lots of people. Their acidity is low, and they have a full-bodied flavor.

Robusta

This is the world's second most produced type of coffee bean. It is known to be very robust in terms of resisting plant diseases, and given that it is often grown in harsh climates and high altitudes, it is further proof of how hardy a coffee bean this is. The ideal conditions for this bean to thrive are those where it is hot, and where rainfall is limited.

One the main reasons Robusta coffee beans are so popular is their very high caffeine content which is twice that of most others. Robusta coffee beans have a flavor with hints of chocolate, and it is also a coffee where adding milk or cream does not diminish its flavor.

Excelsa

Excelsa are almond shaped coffee beans and less known and less widespread in the coffee world. It is often used to add flavor to coffee blends. It is said to have a fruity flavor and is similar in many ways to lighter roasts.

Liberica

These coffee beans have had quite an eventful history and have even been part of an international trade dispute between the USA and the Philippines. They were virtually wiped out due to disease and have become more difficult to come by in recent years. They have a distinct aroma, which is often described as fruity or flowery, although their taste is somewhat smoky.

Place of Origin

Coffee beans are grown from one side of the world to the other, but countries, where coffee production is highest, tend to be in the southern hemisphere, although not all.

The #1 producer is Brazil, where coffee production is extremely important to its economy. Brazilian coffee beans are processed using the dry process which means they are unwashed. They account for most of the world's Arabica coffee beans

Next on the list is Vietnam where both coffee and rice are major exports. If you are looking for Robusta coffee beans look for the place of origin as being Vietnam. Third is Columbia where poor climatic conditions have seen them drop from second place. Like Brazil, Columbia produces mainly Arabica coffee beans.

Type of Roast

The type of roast is one of the major factors in the type and taste of the coffee you drink. There are four main types which we look at briefly below.

Light Roast

Light brown in color, these tend to retain more of the original flavor than other roasts, and more of the caffeine too. They are roasted until the bean first cracks and no longer.

Medium Roast

Roasted at a slightly higher temperature than light roasts, medium roasts also have slightly less caffeine. They retain much of their flavor, which is more balanced, less acidic, and carries with it more aroma.

Medium Dark Roast

These have a darker color and show some of the bean's oil on the surface. The roasting process becomes more noticeable in the flavors and aroma, and their taste can seem spicy.

Dark Roast

The beans are dark brown, and in many cases, look almost black. A cup of coffee made from dark roast can often have what looks like a film of oil on the surface. The original flavors are taken over by the roasting with a smoky taste that borders on burnt.

Roast Date and Use-by Date

The use-by date is quite simply the date by which you should use your coffee beans for best flavor, although there is no reason why you cannot use them beyond that date for at least a few months.

Obviously the closer to the date of roasting you buy your coffee beans, the fresher they are going to be. Always look on the packaging or check if the roasting date is highlighted somewhere on the sales page if buying online. Expert opinion differs, but the ideal time is generally regarded to be between 7 days and 21 days.

F.A.Q.

How do I roast coffee beans at home?

It can be done in three ways. the first is by laying them out on a baking tray, in a heated oven (450° F / 230° C) for 15-20 minutes. Second, you could use a popcorn popper on your stove top, and the third way is to use a hot air roaster.

How do I store coffee beans and keep them fresh?

If the bag they came in is sealable. this should suffice otherwise an airtight container will do the job. Always keep them at room temperature, and in a dark location away from bright light.

Do coffee beans go bad?

Most coffee beans will have a use-by date on the packaging, but this is advisory only. Many coffee beans can be used up to 9 months after this date if they have been correctly stored.

Does dark roast coffee have more caffeine?

Individual dark roast coffee beans tend to have less caffeine than light roast beans as they have less density. However, as dark roast beans are smaller, a weighed scoop of dark roast will have more volume and thus more caffeine than the same weight of light roast beans.

How are coffee beans decaffeinated?

There are several methods which can be used. With chemical extraction, beans can be steamed and then rinsed with a solvent which removes the caffeine. This is repeated several times. An organic method is to use a special extract called Green Coffee Extract which works in conjunction with a water filtration process. A third, but very expensive method is to use carbon dioxide and apply it to the coffee beans at high pressure.

Which is best: Coffee beans or grounds?

Coffee beans are fresher, have stronger flavors and aromas, but they do require extra effort such as having to use a grinder. Grounds are easier to use but can lack the distinctive fresh flavors that coffee beans give you.

FINAL VERDICT

We have looked at a range of coffee beans, and each has its own selling point. If you looking to go organic, then the Peak Performance coffee bean is your best choice especially with its healthy levels of antioxidants

If you love experimenting with new flavors you should try out Verena Street's rich and creamy blend of vanilla and caramel coffee beans or try Death Wish if you want a coffee with a full roasted flavor.

Where you might have a limited budget, are looking for a bargain, or just do not want to spend too much on coffee, then Starbuck's Veranda Blend is great value for your money.

Ultimately, we must choose an overall winner and our choice for our best rated coffee beans is Valhalla Java from the Death Wish Coffee Company. It has strong rich flavors and aromas as well as a caffeine kick that beats most.

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