14 Best Espresso Coffee: Full-Flavored & Complex Medium/Dark Roasts

Coffee has managed to become more than just a delicious beverage in your life. I know it has in mine for sure. The thing about coffee is that it works like an excellent mental and physical booster. And espresso coffee gets you charged up in an even more intensified manner. Plus, espresso is outright delicious!

Coffee increases strength, rejuvenates the body, and redefines your current state of mind. But, unfortunately, not all brands are here to deliver such benefits. So you might as well just stay away from them, right?

If you wish to do that, then here are the best espresso coffee reviews you’d want to read.

Top 14 Best Espresso Coffee Brands​

Café Don Pablo Classic Italian Espresso Whole Bean Coffee

Cafe Don Pablo Gourmet Coffee


The first on the list ranks as one of the best espresso coffee beans. This Classic Italian Espresso Coffee is a special combination of Sumatra Mandheling and Colombian Supremo. The smooth blend is abundantly complex and rich in terms of flavor. So I wouldn’t shy away from using the words “extremely smooth”, “pleasantly complex”, and “incredibly rich.”

Don Pablo uses only genuine and the largest Arabica coffee beans. These beans are cultivated in lush mountainous volcanic soil packed with nutrients.

The brand has a special technique for roasting. One that creates the complex, deep flavor. Minus the bitterness! Speaking of which, you’ll appreciate the subtle hints of rich, dark chocolate. Even the earthy tones taste pleasantly mild. And to top it off, the acid profile of this espresso coffee is very low. So no upset tummy either.

The dark coffee is full of natural sugar caramelization. Its intense roasty-character does nothing but compliment the full-bodied, smooth, and pleasant aftertaste.

Lastly, bonus points for the use of Arabica beans. And for the coffee to be GMO-free.


  • The Italian roast is very smooth, dark, and complex.​
  • The beans are full of flavor with no bitterness.​
  • Low acidity, thus easy on the stomach.​


  • No fresh-roasted, rich coffee aroma.​

Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso Whole Bean

Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso Whole Bean


Whole bean, medium roast; you’re now reading about the Cliff Hanger Espresso by Kicking Horse Coffee. Let me first and foremost tell you that the coffee is certified-organic, Kosher-certified, and Fair Trade-certified. Plus, it’s shade-grown and only 100% Arabica beans are used.

Now let’s talk about the flavor, body, and taste. These espresso whole beans produce coffee that’s bright and fruity. The smooth, chocolatey blend is full of cocoa tones along with a happy, bold ending.

The aroma is reminiscent of milk chocolate, brown sugar, and blackcurrant. The cupping notes include complex and silky with wild berry syrup and a smooth cocoa aftertaste. All this sounds quite heavenly considering you don’t have to leave your house to savor this kind of delicious espresso coffee.

By the way, the recommended brewing methods for this medium roast include cold brew, French press, pour-over, drip machine, and espresso of course. So you can prepare your caffeine-infused beverage however you like.


  • The espresso blend is smooth and chocolatey.​
  • It’s non-acidic, non-bitter coffee.​
  • Whole beans are fresh and oily with an appetizing aroma.​


  • The medium roast might be slightly over-roasted.​

Jo Coffee Espresso Medium Dark Roast Whole Bean

The Jo Espresso Whole Bean Organic Arabica Espresso Coffee Review


Here at Koobies, the team of coffee experts is always wondering what is the best espresso coffee bean? I mean there are just so many best espresso beans reviews. So how to decide which ones are superior? It’s simple. You put the beans to the test. And that’s exactly what’s happened here.

In that case, the Jo Coffee Espresso Medium Dark Roast is an option you might not want to dismiss. The delicious flavors of this whole bean coffee are all-natural. Meaning no artificial flavors are used. On top of that, the coffee is USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified.

An elegant finish is something that only the best espresso beans in the world can deliver. Along with that, you get rich crema and heavy, rich dark chocolate. And like I already told you, these flavors are natural and not artificial.

So you have every reason to want to indulge as long as you’re choosing Jo Coffee.


  • The beans produce rich, consistent crema.​
  • Smooth and strong dark chocolate finish.​
  • Organic coffee with no added flavors.​


  • The bitter aftertaste is to be expected.​

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee

Stumptown Coffee Roasters


This is not like the best supermarket espresso coffee. Stumptown Coffee Roasters produces only exemplary coffee focused on delivering a unique taste as well as environmental sustainability. So let’s talk about the Hair Bender Whole Bean Coffee.

This blend offers the most appealing complexity and clarity. After all, rich-textured Indonesian coffee beans are balanced with the classic flavors of African and Latin American beans. So the cupping notes include dark chocolate and citrus.

The brand creates all three types of roasts. That is light, medium, and dark. Along with bold blends as well as single origins. And the roasting process they employ brings out the complete potential of each and every coffee bean.

The batch you receive is freshly roasted, no doubt. But, to be honest, it’s the quality roasting technique of Stumptown Coffee Roasters that speaks volumes. They know very well how to strike the perfect balance between sweetness and acidity. And that matters when you’re drinking espresso.


  • Rich, smooth espresso with no bitterness or acidity.​
  • Dark chocolate and citrusy flavor notes.​
  • You can use it for other brewing methods too.​


  • It loses freshness quickly once the bag is opened.​

Lavazza Super Crema Medium Espresso Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Lavazza Super Crema


Is this Medium Espresso Roast the best espresso beans for crema? Well, that’s exactly why the product title has the words “Super Crema” in it. The Whole Bean Coffee by Lavazza here is packed with subtle hints of dried fruit, almonds, and honey. And just so you know, all the blending and roasting is done in Italy.

The espresso coffee is blended with consistently rich, velvety crema. Even the persistent aroma is something you’re very likely to fall in love with. A combination of Indian, Colombian, and Brazilian Arabica coffee beans and Vietnamese and Indonesian Robusta coffee beans is used. This special, diverse blend is what creates creamy espresso coffee.

In my opinion, Lavazza Super Crema is just like traditional espresso. But with a richer, fuller taste and no bitterness. The natural sweetness packed in here is more than enough for you to skip the sugar. So you have all you need right at home!


  • Not too acidic, slightly sweet, and full-bodied.​
  • Notes of almonds, dried fruit, and honey included.​
  • Perfect for thick, consistent crema.​


  • A blend of Arabica and Robusta means more caffeine.​

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso Whole Bean Coffee

Coffee Bean Direct Italian Roast Espresso


Your expensive coffeemaker deserves artisan, café-quality coffee. If you agree, then how about I introduce you to an option like that. It’s the Italian Roast Espresso Whole Bean Coffee by Coffee Bean Direct. This artisan coffee is rich and full-bodied with a honeyed, toasty aroma.

The beans are cultivated in the popular coffee growing regions of Central America, South America, Africa, and India. As for the cupping notes, they’re full of molasses, cocoa, and smoky tones. No artificial flavorings are added just so you know.

It’s a dark roast that offers a big yet pleasant bite. Isn’t that the whole point of drinking espresso in the first place!

The coffee beans fall in the category of “gourmet” and they’re perfect for other brewing methods too. Such as French press, pour-over, and percolator. In fact, you can even include reusable K-cups. So no limitations on how to prepare this delicious dark roast espresso coffee at home.


  • Good strength and complex-flavored yet very smooth.​
  • The caffeine boost is the best.​
  • It’s low-acidity espresso coffee.​


  • Beans are very oily.​

Bali’s Best Espresso Candy

Bali’s Best Espresso Candy


Now here’s the first of its kind and the last on the list. This espresso coffee comes in the form of delicious candy. Each bag is full of 42 foil-wrapped individual pieces. And these pieces of espresso candy are made of 100% natural Sumatran coffee. The center part is filled with your favorite rich espresso.

So why should you consider buying Bali’s Best Espresso Candy? It’s because of your busy, on-the-go lifestyle This way you can carry your espresso kick wherever you go.

The candy is wrapped very carefully to preserve all the delicious taste and aroma. Much like any other premium coffee! So all you have to do is add it to boiling-hot water and then simply devour the smooth, creamy, and rich taste. No matter where you are!


  • Espresso candy, thus convenient to prepare.​
  • It offers a creamy, rich coffee taste.​
  • Perfect for travel and outdoors.​


  • The espresso center-fillings are not consistent.​

Starbucks Espresso Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


Why can’t Starbucks be the best espresso coffee for home? I mean you don’t always have to leave your house to be able to savor a delicious cup of Starbucks coffee. So here’s the Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee that the coffee giant has to offer.

The espresso roast, undoubtedly, is intense. It’s also caramelly sweet, which bodes well when you use steamed milk. The thing about the dark roasts by Starbucks is that they are fuller-bodied with a bold, robust taste.

The roasting process involves coaxing the coffee beans. The heat here does an excellent job of taking the beans into dark and deep territory. The caramelly sweetness, at this point, is so right that it doesn’t get altered.

You can achieve the freshest flavor and perfect grind if you grind these whole beans right before brewing. It’s the best for strong caffeine lovers!


  • Strong and delicious but never bitter.​
  • Super-fresh with an amazing aroma.​


  • Coffee beans are a bit oily.​
  • Slightly acidic.​

Illy Intenso Ground Dark Roast Espresso Coffee

illy Intenso Ground Espresso Coffee


Now here are the best espresso coffee grounds. This Intenso Dark Roast Espresso Coffee by Illy is full-flavored, robust, and intense. I have, so far, only reviewed whole bean coffee. So this is the first ground version of espresso. The first, and the best for sure!

The subtle notes of deep, rich cocoa feel so heavenly you have no idea. After all, genuine Arabica coffee beans are used. The coffee is finely ground for providing optimal extraction when you use your espresso machine.

Even the packaging is carefully done. Each batch is contained in a pressurized, air-free can that seals in all the delicious, rich, healthy coffee oils and aromas.

And if you’re an environment-friendly consumer, then you’ll definitely end up choosing Illy. Because the brand practices sustainable quality standards. In short, they make sure everything from growing to roasting, grinding, and packaging is performed in an economically, socially, and environmentally friendly manner.


  • Espresso coffee is finely ground.​
  • Deep, full-bodied dark roast with hints of cocoa and caramel.​
  • Packed in pressurized, air-free cans.​


  • Too strong for weak-hearted coffee drinkers.​

Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


To be honest, every coffee review article is incomplete without Peet’s Coffee. Be it espresso dark roast whole bean, espresso dark roast ground coffee, or even dark roast K-cups! As for Peet’s Coffee Espresso Forte Dark Roast Whole Bean, it prepares excellent espresso.

The flavor notes include hazelnut nuance, smooth crema, and bright tang. No doubt, this is high-quality coffee grown keeping in mind the welfare of the farming community and environment.

Let me tell you that Peet’s coffee offers all three types of roasts along with coffee blends and single origins. The light roasts have a smooth and mild character. The medium roasts are deliciously aromatic and smooth. And as for the dark roasts, much like this one, they’re unapologetically smoky and full-bodied.

The blend here consists of lively, bright spiciness of Central and Latin American coffee. It unleashes a flavor that’s so strong, full-bodied, and well-balanced that you’re bound to enjoy every sip you take.

On top of that, there’s luscious crema always surrounded by a pleasant tangy core. So this is the ultimate solution to the perfect espresso coffee at home.


  • The flavor is smooth, rich, and velvety.​
  • You get delicious crema with the espresso.​
  • It’s a simple and plain dark roast.​


  • Slightly bitter.​

Verena Street Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean Coffee

Verena Street Shot Tower Espresso Whole Bean Coffee


What about this Shot Tower Espresso makes it worth your money and attention? For one thing, the whole bean coffee has the richest body with a creamy and sweet complexity. You get an awful lot of crema too, which is obviously a very good thing.

The full roast is plenty smooth. Smooth enough for fine grind and coarse grind. Fine results are perfect for espresso while coarser grounds are ideal for drip coffee.

The brand employs sourcing methods that are sustainable. Meaning they support the well-being of agriculture and farmers responsible for providing the world with delicious coffee. Even the roasting process is carried out thoughtfully. Small batches are roasted to ensure maximum coffee freshness.

Moreover, Verena Street blends coffee beans from different origins and of different roast levels. So your taste buds can devour the unique flavor that no other coffee brand has the ability to compete against.

Now let me conclude by giving you an idea about the taste and character of this espresso roast. It’s smooth, sharp, sweet and full-bodied with a deliciously creamy complexity. The smooth, velvety crema provides the richest aftertaste. Kind of leaving your taste buds and caffeine cravings wanting just a little bit more!


  • Dark, oily, and very aromatic beans.​
  • Robust-flavored with a burnt taste but no bitterness.​
  • This is a high-quality coffee.​


  • Not dark enough.​

Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso Whole Bean Coffee

Intelligentsia Black Cat Classic Espresso Whole Bean Coffee


First and foremost, the brand’s Black Cat Project delivers only the greatest espresso coffees in the world. Intelligentsia is committed to providing the most appetizing flavor and aroma as well as the aftertaste. The proof of which comes in the form of this Classic Espresso Whole Bean Coffee.

The flavor is complex and distinctive, no doubt. It’s the perfect simple pleasure both you and I crave for in the morning and during the day. What this medium roast coffee has to offer is ripe cherry, dark chocolate, and brown sugar. To be honest, every sip tastes like the most delicious glazed donut you’ve ever had.

Furthermore, the aroma is just pure joy. You can prepare this espresso with a little bit of almond milk for the heavenliest caffeine-infused beverage of your life.


  • The flavor is distinctive, mild, and smooth.​
  • Super-strong espresso.​
  • It creates thick crema.​


  • You don’t get the beans freshly roasted.​

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


Welcome to the world of Koffee Kult. This brand is much-loved by many dark-roast coffee lovers. And that’s because their Whole Bean Coffee is the freshest of the lot. The coffee beans have no oil on them. But that doesn’t mean they’re stale. No oil implies a longer shelf life.

Arabica coffee beans are used. Therefore, expect the flavor to be bold and strong. The specialty Arabica comes from Sumatra, Guatemala, and Colombia. There’s no acidity or bitterness to deal with here. So you can drink how many ever espresso cups you like without worrying about the coffee ruining your digestive comfort.

The balanced acidity and smooth flavor pair up well with hints of cinnamon and cocoa. Every sip tastes bright combined with a long, unforgettable finish.


  • Espresso coffee tastes like dark chocolate.​
  • Perfect for multiple brewing methods.​
  • The resealable bag liner is thick enough to preserve freshness.​


  • Slightly weak in terms of the roast.​

Blue Horse Kona Coffee Medium Roast Whole Beans

Blue Horse Kona Coffee


The one thing Koobies coffee loves about this espresso coffee is the mellow and aromatic body. The spicy afternotes are also quite enticing if you ask me.

But let me tell you why so many coffee lovers actually buy this medium roast. It’s because the coffee offers a low, thus healthy caffeine content. And also because of the presence of Kona coffee beans. These are pesticide-free and herbicide-free.

Every batch you receive comes to you freshly-roasted. So you don’t have to worry about things like the expiration date and all. These whole beans prepare the most delicious black coffee with the most sophisticated, traditional palate and aroma. Something that you’d expect from craft beer or fine wine.


  • Freshly-roasted pure Kona beans are used.​
  • Easy on the stomach.​
  • Caffeine levels are low, thus healthy.​


  • Don’t expect a heavy espresso boost.​

What Makes the Coffee Beans “Espresso”?

Best Espresso Coffee Brands

Now let me tell you that there’s no such thing as espresso coffee beans. There are coffee beans that are processed to provide the “espresso” characteristics. The special brewing process the beans undergo is what determines this. It includes taking into account the size of the grind, temperature, and pressure during the brewing action.

For espresso coffee, what works best is an extremely fine coffee grind. The grounds are tamped into the puck. Then the water heats to around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Espresso machines then employ about 9 bars of pressure for pushing steam through those grounds. Some models are equipped with pressure as high as 15 bars.

The extraction process takes not more than 25-30 seconds. The larger surface area, high pressure, and high heat make way for an incredibly intense concentrate of coffee popularly called “espresso.”

Good espresso coffee beans are almost always Arabica beans. They’re very flavorful. And they come in both medium roast and dark roast.

How to Choose the Best Espresso-Specific Coffee

If you want to know the most useful tips for buying espresso coffee beans, that means you genuinely care about the flavor and taste of your caffeine boost. And speaking of flavor, for a subtle character, lighter roasts are the most delectable. But if you enjoy a lot more bitterness, then you should go for darker roasts.

Whatever the case, here’s what you ought to keep in mind when choosing coffee for espresso.

  • Make sure the coffee beans offer depth in terms of color. Too dark doesn’t necessarily mean more depth. Sometimes coffee brands over-roast the coffee beans for masking their inferior quality.
  • Then the aroma is supposed to be pleasing, not acrid. If possible, taste a coffee bean. This way you’ll have an idea about what the flavor of the coffee is like once brewed.
  • Never neglect to look at the date of roasting on the packaging. Anything over 90 days from the roasting date, and you should get a fresher batch.
  • You might think it’s a great idea buying coffee beans from an open bin. But let me bring to your attention that air has the ability to degrade food quality. And this applies to coffee beans as well.
  • One very important thing to take into consideration is the price. Do you heavily dilute your espresso with milk or cream? If yes, then you don’t have to purchase expensive espresso coffee. As for those that drink it straight, nothing other than the most expensive beans are good enough for satisfying your espresso cravings.

Espresso Blend or Single-Origin?

Espresso Blend vs Single Origin

The thing about espresso blends is that they give coffee roasters the wonderful opportunity for balancing the strong flavors of espresso. Bitter, acid, fruity, and earthy are the flavors I’m talking about here. And these pair up well with the perfect low temperature and short brewing time of an espresso machine.

As for single-origins, the coffee allows you to enjoy your specifically favorite flavors. In that case, blends certainly do have the upper hand.

Single-origin coffee is made of Arabica beans. They’re of the highest quality, no doubt. So their flavor profile is more complex than Robusta coffee beans. Needless to say, Arabica beans from different parts of the world don’t taste the same. There are slight variations in terms of characteristics.

As for Robusta coffee beans, these are packed with more bitterness and caffeine. This means perfect for espresso, doesn’t it? No wonder espresso blends contain both Arabica and Robusta beans. More often than not, the percentage of the latter is 20 to 25.

But there’s no denying that if you want a higher caffeine jolt, then you should go for Robusta coffee beans.

Can Espresso Blends Prepare Regular Coffee?

YES, they can. But you should know that espresso blends are specifically created for true espresso lovers! Espresso drinkers love to heavily distill the coffee roasts to the strongest form and most powerful blends.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best of both worlds. The first world is a delicious, caffeine-packed double espresso shot. And the other involves adding a few espresso grounds in your French press or drip machine just to spice up your coffee a little. If you’re an ardent espresso lover, then you’ll definitely enjoy the first world more.

Tips for Preparing the Most Delicious Espresso Coffee of Your Life

Obviously, the task is no rocket science. But if your morning espresso coffee matters more than anything else, then you might want to get the basics right.

Just keep in mind that 25-30 seconds should be the standard extraction time. You can always tweak this depending on your personal preferences. Likewise, even dosing is flexible. But the rule of thumb is not more than 8 grams to 10 grams of espresso coffee. This applies to just one shot.

Also, it’s necessary to grind your coffee beans right before the brewing process for the most delicious cup of espresso. Regular shots of espresso are between 25 and 35 milliliters.

Now that the basics are in order, let’s make that perfect espresso coffee right at home!

Warm your coffee cup

Make it a habit to rinse your coffee cup using warm water. The practice keeps the hot espresso from cooling down immediately once it comes in contact with the glass or porcelain.

Don’t start by putting the wrong foot forward.

Check the portafilter and basket of your espresso machine

The portafilter should be thoroughly dry and clean. And the basket is supposed to be free of moisture. Because what moisture does is have a negative impact on the extraction of coffee.

Pay attention to the grind size

I don’t need to tell you anymore that espresso coffee demands a very fine grind size. So after you pop your favorite coffee into the machine’s portafilter, keep a check on the grind size.

If you under-extract, the results are unpleasantly sour. And if your over-extract, expect a lot of unwanted bitterness.

Needless to say, trial and error is a part of the process here. So don’t fret to experiment. Once you get your hands on the perfect dosage and extraction time, stick to that.

Grounds distribution check

When the coffee is evenly distributed, you don’t have to worry about air pockets ruining the beverage. When that happens, water travels through your coffee unevenly and spoils the extraction.

Don’t forget tamping

When you tamp down the grinds, what you’re actually doing is reducing the chances of the formation of air pockets. Tamping ensures proper leveling of coffee, so water can travel through evenly. Just make sure you’re using enough pressure for properly compressing the coffee.

Another thing you should not neglect is using the tamper for polishing the freshly ground coffee finish. Neatly even out the coffee ridges with the help of the tamper.

Clean up and rinse

After it’s all done, eliminate surplus coffee present inside the portafilter. Then take the group head and rinse it thoroughly for removing lingering coffee particles from its showerhead.

Pull the shot and serve

Now is the time to pop that handle into the rinsed group head and begin pouring your espresso shot. You have to start the brewing process immediately if you wish to prevent the coffee from burning because of the heat.

The brewing doesn’t take more than 25-30 seconds. Following which you get to remove the espresso shot from your machine.

Wrapping It Up!

There are so many flavors, brands, and blends of espresso, right? And every individual product offers a unique taste. So how do you, as an espresso addict, pick the most delicious and even the highest quality espresso coffee? The answer is simple. You go through the 14 reviews I’ve discussed and select any one coffee that suits your personal tastes and preferences the most.

I have shortlisted dark and bitter along with medium and mellow espresso coffee. So there’s something for everyone here. I’ve also mentioned a few espresso whole beans that deliver consistently thick and delicious crema. Every option ensures you begin or complement your day with loads of energy and happiness.

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