10 Best Whole Bean Coffee 2020 [Arabica and Robusta]
The biggest enemy of coffee remains air. Air will turn a good coffee rancid and bitter. Especially if the coffee is pre-grind as it has a larger surface area that gets oxidized.
For this reason, we always recommend coffee lovers to choose whole bean coffee as the hard-outer shell of the coffee bean keeps air away.
Therefore, if you want the flavor of your coffee to taste like a true and traditional cup of coffee, you need to buy whole bean coffee only.
Below, we have hand-picked a selection of some of the best whole bean coffee on the market. Let’s see which one you should buy and what to avoid!
10 Best Whole Bean Coffee Brands – Reviews
1. Death Wish Coffee Co, Dark Roast (One of The World’s Strongest Coffee)
2. Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth, Medium-Dark Roast (A Smooth and Highly Affordable Organic Coffee)
3. Cafe Don Pablo Signature Blend, Medium-Dark Roast (A 5 Lbs Pack for Heavy Coffee Drinkers)
4. Java Planet Colombia Organic, Medium-Dark Roast, Arabica (Modest Price but Excellent Overall Quality)
5. Kicking Horse 454 Horse Power, Dark Roast (Ultra-smooth and Highly Aromatic)
6. Koffee Kult, Dark Roast (Safe to Drink Multiple Cups at Once)
7. Peet's Coffee Big Bang, Medium Roast, Ethiopian (Highly Caffeinated and Yet No Bitterness)
8. Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo, Medium-Dark Roast (3 lbs of Tasty Colombian Coffee)
9. CoffeeBean Direct Indian Monsooned Malabar, Medium Roast (Tasty and Very Fresh)
10. AmazonFresh Direct Trade, Light Roast, Arabica (Strong Caffeine Kick With A Smooth Taste)
1. Death Wish Coffee Co, Dark Roast
(One of The World’s Strongest Coffee)
2. Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth, Medium-Dark Roast
(A Smooth and Highly Affordable Organic Coffee)
3. Cafe Don Pablo Signature Blend, Medium-Dark Roast
(A 5 Lbs Pack for Heavy Coffee Drinkers)
4. Java Planet Colombia Organic, Medium-Dark Roast, Arabica
(Modest Price but Excellent Overall Quality)
5. Kicking Horse 454 Horse Power, Dark Roast
(Ultra-smooth and Highly Aromatic)
6. Koffee Kult, Dark Roast
(Safe to Drink Multiple Cups at Once)
7. Peet's Coffee Big Bang, Medium Roast, Ethiopian
(Highly Caffeinated and Yet No Bitterness)
8. Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo, Medium-Dark Roast
(3 lbs of Tasty Colombian Coffee)
9. CoffeeBean Direct Indian Monsooned Malabar, Medium Roast
(Tasty and Very Fresh)
10. AmazonFresh Direct Trade, Light Roast, Arabica
(Strong Caffeine Kick With A Smooth Taste)
1. Death Wish Coffee Co, Dark Roast, Organic Whole Bean Coffee – One of The World’s Strongest Coffee
- Origin: USA
- Roast: Dark
Death Wish is a USDA organic whole bean coffee that is grown and freshly roasted here in the USA. It uses a mix of both Arabic and Robusta beans that give it a distinct taste.
Indeed, the taste of Death Wish is strong and provides a strong kick. In fact, the roaster of this coffee claims that it is one of the strongest coffee in the world.
If you are the type of person who needs the freshest and strongest coffee in the morning in order to wake up, then Death Wish is the best fresh roasted whole coffee bean for the money.
Not only does this whole bean coffee has a cool name but is also fairly affordable considering that you are getting no less than 453.6 grams of whole bean coffee with this purchase.
The Robusta and Arabica mix in this coffee makes it taste a little “rubbery.” It definitely lacks the smoothness you expect from a pure Arabica brew.
2. Cafe Don Pablo Subtle Earth, Medium-Dark Roast, Organic Whole Bean Coffee – A Smooth and Highly Affordable Organic Coffee
- Origin: Honduras
- Roast: Medium Dark
The Cafe Don Pablo is a popular whole bean coffee that is used by many people. One of the biggest selling points of this smooth coffee is its relatively low price which makes it value for money.
Additionally, you get quite a lot of whole bean coffee with this purchase as the packet contains no less than 2 lbs of medium-dark roast whole beans.
Therefore, if you are a serious coffee drinker who drinks multiple cups per day, then this product is the best cheap whole bean coffee for your need.
Also, what makes this whole bean coffee unique is its very smooth taste. That’s because it uses 100% Arabica coffee that has a very low acidity level. Indeed, Don Pablo is a coffee that anyone of any age can drink.
This coffee tastes best when it is French Pressed or any other way that limits access of the whole beans to air during brewing
3. Cafe Don Pablo Signature Blend, Medium-Dark Roast, Whole Bean Coffee – A 5 Lbs Pack for Heavy Coffee Drinkers
- Origin: Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil
- Roast: Medium Dark
The Signature by Don Pablo is one of the most savory and flavored coffee in the world. This is a coffee blend with a mix of coffee beans that come from different places in the world like Colombia, Guatemala, and Brazil.
In fact, it is the origin of those whole coffee beans that make the Signature unique in its taste. Also, you get no less than 5 lbs of whole bean coffee with this purchase which makes it value for money.
Since this is a 100% Arabica coffee, its taste is smooth and provides a slight caffeine kick. What makes this coffee different from others is that the manufacturer, Don Pablo roasts this coffee in small batches so as to preserve its flavor.
All in all, if you are a serious coffee drinker and need a lot of coffee beans, then the Signature by Don Pablo is one of the best whole bean coffee brands for the money.
There are instructions on the packaging on how to brew a perfect cup of coffee using this product
4. Java Planet Colombia Organic, Medium-Dark Roast, Arabica Whole Bean Coffee – Modest Price but Excellent Overall Quality
- Origin: Colombia
- Roast: Medium Dark
The Java Planet is a popular and highly affordable organic whole bean coffee that comes from Colombia. What we like about this affordable coffee is that it comes with multiple certifications that ensure that you are getting a high-quality coffee despite its low price.
Moreover, this coffee has a smooth taste because it is lower in acidity. The medium dark roast will give this coffee a lot of flavors which is very close to an original and traditional coffee flavor.
Since this is a Grade A whole bean coffee, you can expect it to have few imperfect beans inside. It is also grown using methods that promote biodiversity as well as pesticide-free.
When it comes to the packaging, it is fully airtight so as to preserve the flavor of this whole bean coffee. For your money, you get an airtight bag that contains 1 lb of pure Arabica coffee.
This coffee comes with many certifications like a fair trade, bird-friendly, USDA organic, amongst others. So, you can be certain that you are buying a high-quality coffee with a strong reputation.
5. Kicking Horse 454 Horse Power, Dark Roast, Coffee Whole Bean Coffee – Ultra-smooth and Highly Aromatic
- Origin: Indonesia, Central, and South America
- Roast: Dark
The Kicking Horse is a dark roasted whole bean coffee that comes from multiple origins like Indonesia, Central America, and South America. Since it is dark roasted, you can expect that this whole bean coffee has a low caffeine level that will not produce any bitterness in your coffee.
If you like your coffee ultra-smooth, then this product by Kicking Horse is a top-rated whole coffee bean for your need. Also, you get a 2.2 lbs pack with this purchase that makes it value for money, even if the price is a little bit higher when compared to other products in this review.
When it comes to the packaging, it is simply one of the best we have seen. The pack is perfectly airtight and very easy to open or close with its a twist-lock mechanism at the top of the pack.
Furthermore, there are various aromas like nutmeg, peat, and cacao nibs mixed with this whole bean coffee. This gives it a very distinct and unique taste that you will not find elsewhere.
6. Koffee Kult, Dark Roast, Whole Bean Coffee – Safe to Drink Multiple Cups at Once
- Origin: USA
- Roast: Dark
The Koffee Kult is whole bean coffee that has a smooth taste with no bitterness. But what makes this coffee unique is that it is a family owned business here in the USA and they hand-pick only the highest quality whole beans.
Also, they roast the beans in small batches so as to help preserve its taste. Unlike bigger companies that use commercial methods to roast whole beans in bulk. Bottom line, you are left with a higher quality bean.
If you like your coffee to have a fruity taste, then the Koffee Kult is a superior product in this whole bean coffee review. It has a slight taste of cocoa and cinnamon that makes the taste more pleasant.
Moreover, the dark roast means that the beans of this whole bean coffee have a low caffeine level so you can safely drink multiple cups without risk.
Tiny rocks may be present in the bag that can damage a blender. Those rocks probably come from the roasting process.
7. Peet's Coffee Big Bang, Medium Roast, Ethiopian Whole Bean Coffee – Highly Caffeinated and Yet No Bitterness
- Origin: Ethiopia
- Roast: Medium
Peet's is known for its high-quality whole coffee beans. The Big Bang is an Ethiopian whole bean coffee that contains only 100% Arabica coffee. Therefore, it has a very smooth taste while still providing a strong caffeine kick because of its medium roast that preserves the caffeine.
When it comes to the packaging, it is fully airtight, opaque, and made from a material that will protect the flavor of the bean for an extended period of time.
But what makes this whole bean coffee unique is the addition of small citrus notes that give it both a smooth and fruity taste without bitterness. This is quite rare for a medium roast as caffeine normally makes coffee bitter.
You need to pay close attention to the “Best Buy Date” of this coffee as many of its online customers have been getting a stale coffee
8. Kirkland Signature Colombian Supremo, Medium-Dark Roast, Whole Bean Coffee – 3 lbs of Tasty Colombian Coffee
- Origin: Colombia
- Roast: Medium Dark
The Kirkland Signature is a tasty Colombian coffee that is made from high-quality medium-dark roasted whole bean coffee. What we like about this top-rated whole bean coffee is its rich set of flavors that make it unique in taste.
It is also roasted and packed by a small family business so you’ll be supporting a local business with this purchase.
Also, since this is a medium-dark roast, it has a fairly high level of caffeine so it will make an excellent morning coffee because of the strong caffeine kick.
Best, you get no less than 3 lbs of whole bean coffee with this purchase, so you definitely get a lot of value for your money here. If you have never tried a Colombian coffee before, the chances are that the strong flavors in the Kirkland Signature will appeal to you.
This coffee is sensitive to the preparation and can taste bitter if exposed to air for an extended period of time.
9. CoffeeBean Direct Indian Monsooned Malabar, Medium Roast, Whole Bean Coffee – Tasty and Very Fresh
- Origin: India
- Roast: Dark
Most experts regard this product by Coffee Bean Direct as the best fresh roasted whole coffee beans on the market. The reason is simple. This company will roast and pack the beans only after you make the purchase.
This ensures that you always get the freshest whole coffee beans that money can buy. Additionally, they pack it tightly in an airtight pack so as to fully preserve the flavor of the beans.
But what is even more interesting is that you get no less than 5 lbs of whole bean coffee with this purchase. However, it comes at a price because this coffee is also the most expensive you will find in this review.
Since this coffee is dark roasted, it has a relatively lower caffeine level
10. AmazonFresh Direct Trade, Light Roast, Arabica Whole Bean Coffee – Strong Caffeine Kick With A Smooth Taste
- Origin: Rwanda
- Roast: Light
Coffee from Rwanda is not promoted enough, but this country definitely produces some of the best whole bean coffee in the world. Note that this AmazonFresh coffee is roasted and packed in the USA but the beans themselves are cultivated in Rwanda.
A major aspect that distinguishes this coffee from the rest of the competition is that it is light roasted. This means that it contains the maximum level of caffeine than an Arabica coffee can have, which is around 1.5%.
Since this is a 100% Arabica coffee, its taste is smooth as well. It does not taste bitter despite being light roasted.
If you need a strong coffee that delivers a powerful caffeine kick without the common bitter taste of a Robusta, then we recommend you consider the AmazonFresh coffee as your next coffee.
The manufacturer gives you the best serving suggestion of this coffee on the side of the packaging.
How to Buy the Best Whole Bean Coffee
1. Arabica or Robusta
Two of the most common types of whole bean coffee that you will encounter online are Arabica and Robusta.
Arabica has 1.5% of caffeine which gives it a smooth and mild taste with a low kick. It constituted around 59% of the worlds coffee production and was originally cultivated in Ethiopia.
On the other hand, Robusta has 2.7% caffeine which makes it more bitter than Arabica. Many of its drinkers say that Robusta has a “rubbery” taste but has a much stronger caffeine kick.
If you need something to wake you up in the morning, Robusta is definitely the type of coffee you want to choose.
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The origin of the whole bean coffee is almost what defines it and gives it its reputation.
Even if more than 50 countries make coffee, here are some of the most common places on Earth that make quality whole bean coffee:
Hawaii: Hawaii is reputed for its Kona coffee plantation where it is grown on the slopes of its many volcanoes.
Kona coffee has a rich flavor with a smooth taste. Kona coffee enjoys a lot of sunlight and comes in different labels, from Extra Fancy to a Blend.
Colombia: Coffee that comes from Colombia are guaranteed to be high-quality as most of the time the coffee beans are handpicked to ensure quality.
Moreover, Colombia is reputed for having many small farmers that grow coffee rather than big corporations which further ensure better quality.
Brazil: Brazil has a lot of land for the cultivation of coffee.
Brazilian coffee has a wide range of taste and mostly made for mass production to supply demand in the whole world. The quality of Brazilian coffee, however, is not as good as other countries.
Ethiopia: Ethiopia is the birthplace of Arabica and makes some of the best whole bean coffee in the world.
This country grows hundreds of different types of coffee breeds so as to suit anyone’s coffee need. Whether you need an ultra-smooth or very strong coffee, you will find it in an Ethiopian coffee.
Kenya: Coffee in Kenya is processed using a fermentation soak. This gives the coffee a strong and savory taste.
They also made a wide range of coffee, ranging from the whole bean to pre-grind.
Indonesia: Indonesia is becoming a big player in coffee production. They make almost any type of coffee available on the market.
One of the best things about Indonesian coffee is that they have a longer shelf life due to a lower acidity level. Especially when it comes to their whole bean coffee.
3. Organic or Non-Organic
You will also find the that the whole bean coffee comes with the certification of being either USDA organic or non-organic. What organic whole bean coffee means is that it respects the following:
- Grown in a location that supports local biodiversity
- Minimum pollution to the environment
- Conventional pesticides are not used
- Natural ways to manage weeds and pests are used
In short, if you care about local farmers, the ecology, and biodiversity then go with an organic whole bean coffee.
The freshness of the whole bean coffee will dictate how good it tastes.
In most cases, it is advised to buy a fresh whole bean coffee that is roasted immediately after you have ordered it.
This will ensure that you get the freshest whole bean coffee with all its taste, aroma and coloration preserved.
Your whole bean coffee goes through several certifications so as to make sure you get the highest quality bean possible. Here are a few common certifications that you will encounter.
Fair Trade: The fair-trade certification means that your whole bean coffee has been grown by various producers, rich or poor, big or small.
In short, this certification promotes a fair business amongst various parties and does not necessarily speak about the quality of the coffee.
Rainforest Alliance: The Rainforest Alliance is an NGO that ensures that biodiversity is observed during the cultivation of your whole bean coffee. This is a worldwide certification regardless of where your coffee is grown.
Bird Friendly: The Bird Friendly certification was created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC).
This certification shows you that your coffee has been grown in an area that has a minimum of 40% shade coverage provided by trees.
It also dictates the size of the trees and ensures that birds are not harmed and have a living space despite the plantation of coffee plants.
Direct Trade: A Direct Trade certification shows that the roaster buys directly from the grower and totally skips the middleman.
The main advantage of the certification is that the whole bean coffee is fresher during roasting because there is no storage done by a middleman.
6. Brew Method
One of the biggest advantages of the whole bean coffee is its flexibility during the brewing process.
7. Your Taste
Some coffee manufacturers will indicator you a taste that their coffee will have.
For example, if you like espresso or black coffee, then it is normally preferred to go with a milder and smoother tasting coffee like Arabica.
On the other hand, if you like your coffee to be strong and have a caffeine kick, then a Robusta is better.
8. Roast Type
Image source: yourbestdigs.com
A roast, send different types like light, medium, and dark. What that coloration tells you is how long the whole bean coffee has been roasted. The longer it is left to roast than the darker it will become.
A dark roast whole bean coffee is generally more aromatic and has the least amount of caffeine than a light or medium whole bean coffee.
Therefore, if you like a strong Caffeine kick then go with a light or medium whole bean coffee.
When it comes to taste alone, choose a dark roast coffee because they have less caffeine that is usually responsible for bitterness in coffee.
How to Store Whole Bean Coffee
As you probably know, air is coffee’s greatest enemy. Therefore, you need to store your whole bean coffee in a way that helps preserve the aroma and taste.
1. Buy the Right Amount
Always by the right amount of whole bean coffee for your consumption only.
This is because coffee cannot be stored for an extended period of time. At the most, you can expect to store coffee at around 1 to 3 months before its taste changes, regardless of storage conditions.
2. Keep it Airtight and Cool
There are several cheap airtight canisters made from glass that can be used to store your whole bean coffee. Those airtight canisters will prevent air from entering and ruining your coffee’s taste.
You can also use sealer bags to store. Although, they are not as effective as airtight glass canisters.
Additionally, never store your whole bean coffee in direct sunlight as this will increase its temperature and affect its taste. Store it in a cool and dry area.
3. Avoid the Refrigerator
Lastly, many people will advise you to use a refrigerator to store your whole bean coffee. You should never do that!
Your whole bean coffee will absorb moisture when refrigerated which will then affect its taste.
If you want to preserve the taste and aroma of your coffee, whether you prefer an Arabica or a Robusta coffee, then choosing whole beans is the only way to go.
Best, there are fewer manufacturing processes with the whole bean coffee, so the savings get passed on to you. If you are a daily and a serious coffee drinker, then those savings can quickly add up!
Finally, our whole bean coffee review above contains some high-quality brands that you probably have not heard about before. If you are still not sure which whole bean coffee to go with, then we recommend you read the review again.