When you sit down to your morning cup of java, do you ever give much thought to where it came from? If you answered no, you’re not alone. Now that you’re asking the question, it’s only right that we give you some background. Coffee is typically sourced in warm climates and at varying altitudes. The location of the coffee bean has a direct impact on how it tastes. The farmers who collect the beans from the coffee plant work long hours and are often underpaid. Some of these coffee beans will be collected using chemical processes and harmful shortcuts. However, it’s becoming more common for coffee manufacturers to produce organic coffee. This means that the farming process is completely natural. There will be no man-made pesticides or chemicals used.
When beans are farmed organically, the process is healthier for the environment and the farmers are usually paid more. With that in mind, we discuss the making of the espresso bean as well as the best organic coffee beans.
What Makes an Espresso Bean?
Before we jump into our coffee bean review, let’s discuss what makes an espresso bean. Surprisingly, there is no difference between a coffee bean and an espresso coffee bean. The difference comes from the method of grinding and brewing. This means that you can take any organic coffee bean and make a decent espresso with it.
To make a worthy shot of espresso, your chosen organic beans need to be finely ground and compacted. By doing this, the coffee will survive the high pressure caused by water being pushed through. Once the coffee has been ground, baristas will put it into a puck and tamp it. Then, with water at around 200°F, an espresso machine will use 130 psi to push the steam through the grounds. Once the steam starts to pass through the grounds, it should be over in around 25 seconds. The resulting beverage is a deliciously strong coffee with a smooth crema on top.
If you’re after a regular cup of coffee, you can use more coarse grounds because other brewing methods don’t use anywhere near as much pressure as the espresso. When it comes to the strength of the coffee, you should opt for a dark roast for an espresso because the beans are naturally stronger.
Now that you know coffee labeled “organic espresso bean” is essentially the same as one labeled “organic coffee bean”, it’s time to jump into our overview of the top organic manufacturers.
It feels only fair to start the list with Lifeboost Organic coffee. After all, if you look at any other organic coffee reviews out there, you will find this manufacturer on their list. Now, let’s find out why Lifeboost brings the best organic coffee.
These organic premium dark coffee beans are grown in the mountainous regions of Nicaragua. Then, they are hand-picked by locals supported by the fair-trade movement. When these beans have been delicately handpicked, they are sent to be tested for over 400 toxins including metals, pesticides, and mycotoxins.
When it comes to the taste of these delicious organic coffee beans, you can expect a rich, caramel, and chocolatey espresso… What a great way to get your day off to a flying start! As well as being completely fair trade, organic, and tested, these beans are 100% certified by the USDA.
If you want an espresso that doesn’t have quite the same kick to it, you will be well-suited to Allegro Organic Coffee because it’s a medium-dark roast. As for the flavors, if you love hints of caramel and dark chocolate, get your mug ready.
Sourced primarily from Indonesia and Latin America, these organic beans are 100% USDA approved and are perfect for all types of coffee brewing including the French press. When tried alongside the other organic beans in this list, our favorite part was that the taste wasn’t overpowering. If you enjoy milk-based coffee drinks, this versatile bean makes a mean cup.
If you’re from a household of avid coffee drinkers, the Allegro Coffee will be perfect. However, if you come from a small household, you may be disappointed by the short shelf life. You only get 3 weeks to grind all of the beans and consume them. After that, you will start to notice significant signs of flavor degradation.
Volcanica Mexican Reserve
These coffee beans are dark roasted and brew a smooth coffee with undertones of hazelnut and earthy flavors. The bean is sourced from the Chiapas region of Mexico, with the farmers being compensated for their work. Despite being single-origin, fair trade, and organic, these beans are not USDA approved. This means that they haven’t been through the same rigorous testing as the Lifeboost coffee above. However, they still make our top pick for organic coffee beans.
These organic beans are perfect for a morning cup of java. All you need to do is try it for yourself. The only gripe we had with this was the lack of USDA approval. If this is important to you, you may want to move on.
Sightglass Organic Crown Point
Sightglass Organic Crown Point coffee is perfect for the sweet-toothed out there. It’s full-bodied and pairs extremely well with milk. The flavor hits every note, with tones of butterscotch, chocolate, and raspberry. The reason we’ve included this coffee in our best organic coffee bean mix is that the blend is made from three different coffees. In the mix, you will find beans from Ethiopia, South, and Central America. Depending on the seasons, you will find the mix alters slightly. This means that the bag is always at its best.
Kicking Horse Cliff-Hanger Espresso
For those of you looking for a medium/fruity espresso, you’ve come to the right place. These organic espresso beans create a silky drink with a tasty chocolate finish. You can brew these beans for French press and cold brew, but you will find they are best suited for espresso.
These beans come from the mountains of Canada and are 100% organically certified. These passionate coffee manufacturers used to operate from a small garage, but now have their dedicated coffee shop in Canada. If you want to have a cup of coffee firsthand, you should have a Google search and pop it on your next trip itinerary.
This coffee bean is one of our favorites thanks to its great taste and company background. However, it’s slightly let down by the fact it comes from multiple regions. When we talk about premium organic coffee, their beans originate from the same place. That way, you can guarantee that every bag will hold the same quality.
Death Wish Coffee
If you want an organic bean that packs a punch, then this is the best tasting organic coffee for you. Their branding boasts that it’s the strongest coffee in the world, and it’s USDA-approved as well. Given the strong coffee claim, this whole organic bean is dark roasted. Your taste buds are in for a treat here, with a sublime, smoky, and chocolatey coffee coming from these beans.
Despite the great flavor and the awesome packaging, the only issue was that their “strongest coffee in the world” claim seems to be slightly exaggerated. If you look at the other best organic coffee at whole foods, you will find that the amount of caffeine per bean is pretty much the same.
We’ve spoken a lot about origin here and haven’t told you why it’s so important. If you didn’t know already, the origin of a coffee bean has an enormous impact on what it tastes like. Everything from the shade, rainfall, and soil quality can impact the taste of a bean. Typically, beans are made along a belt of regions that sit along the equator. In total, 50 countries grow and manufacture coffee. However, some will be more important than others - below are the most popular regions:
- Coffee beans from Brazil vary in flavor because of shifts in altitude. However, as a general rule, beans from this region are spiced or nutty.
- Columbian coffee beans hold a caramel flavor with a dash of nuttiness thrown in from time to time.
- Indonesian espresso beans are renowned for their named beans - Sumatran and Java beans
- Kenyan coffee beans are exposed to more sunlight than the majority of other regions. Therefore, the flavors tend to be sweeter - perfect for those with a sweet tooth.
- Hawaiian coffee beans have a specialist flavor caused by high levels of sun and heavy rainfall. If you try beans from Hawaii, you will find floral tones and sweet flavors.
When you’re trying to brew the perfect espresso, you will find that the majority of them come from the Indonesian, Columbian, and Brazilian regions.
Coffee is loved all around the world, but the process of getting from plant to mug is long. Coffee beans come from regions close to the equator and are farmed by local farmers. Manufacturers who create organic coffee often guarantee USDA approval and fair trade support for farmers.