best coffee beans: brewed cup off coffee with world latte art
Country Guides,  Types of Coffee

The Best Coffee Beans on the Planet

best coffee beans: brewed cup off coffee with world latte art

Finding good coffee can be hard — especially if you’re new to coffee or have found yourself in a rut drinking the same old single origin every morning. That’s why we created this list of the best coffee beans. Here, you’ll find delicious coffees from around the globe from Kenya AA beans to Guatemalan Antigua coffee and so much more in between. Whether you enjoy the strongest coffee flavors available or prefer nuanced, light profiles, you’re sure to find something you’ll be dying to try.

The 10 Best Coffee Beans To Discover Across the World

man harvesting coffee from the plant

Here, we’ve rounded up the best coffee beans on the planet. Once you find a variety you love, turn to your favorite coffee brands and coffee roasters like Intelligentsia, Stumptown, Kicking Horse Coffee, Volcanica, Lavazza, and more for your next bag of whole coffee beans. Plus, you’ll find a large range of different types of coffee options including light roast coffee, medium roast coffee, dark roast coffee, and espresso beans. Read on to discover the best coffee beans money can buy.

1. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

This type of coffee bean is grown at high elevations in Ethiopia — typically 5,500 to 7,500 feet above sea level. The result is a coffee marked by spicy and fragrant tasting notes. Roasters use arabica beans and wet-process them, developing complex fruity, floral, and citrus tasting notes. High-quality coffee varieties may also have nutty and chocolate notes. Opt for a medium roast that best displays the flavor profile and acidity or choose a medium-dark roast coffee if you prefer heavier and sweeter hints.

2. Costa Rica Tarrazu Beans

Costa Rica Tarrazu beans have a heavy body and complex aromas that are sure to capture your senses from the first sniff and sip. They are grown in the center of the country at high altitudes using caturra or catuai arabica coffee beans. The beans are washed and drum-dried, which creates a bright acidity with citrus and tropical fruit flavors. Brew it as a drip coffee, pour-over coffee, or espresso to get the most out of this tasting profile.

3. Kenyan AA Coffee

AA is the highest grade of Kenya coffee and is among the best coffee beans in the world. These beans are grown higher than 6,00 feet above sea level. The beans grow slower so they are packed with more nutrients and develop deeper flavors. The beans are washed and then sun-dried on raised beds. They boast bergamot, berry, and lemongrass tasting notes along with a fresh and floral aroma. With each sip, you’ll savor a lively acidity and rich body followed up by a wine-like aftertaste.

4. Sumatra Mandheling Beans

While Bali coffee gets a lot of glory, the Indonesian island of Sumatra also delivers one of our favorite coffee beans on the planet. Most producers use arabica beans of the catimor or typica variety. The beans go through a milling process known as Giling Basah, where the beans are wet-hulled and then dried in the sun. This coffee offers earthy and herbal notes with hints of chocolate, woody, and spicy flavors. It has a full body and low acidity, making it distinct from many African and Latin American coffees. These are among the best dark roast coffee beans around so skip the light roast when trying out this bean.

5. Guatemala Antigua Coffee

Coffee drinkers will love this single-origin coffee that has become a mainstay at coffee shops around the country — from Starbucks to local boutique shops. This whole-bean coffee is grown in one of the most beautiful places in the world. Located at 5,000 feet above sea level, Antigua is surrounded by three volcanoes. The historic town is popular among tourists and the rich, volcanic soil is among the best for producing coffee. 

To make Guatemalan coffee, caturra and bourbon arabica beans are washed and sun-dried to elicit a bright, lemony acidity and tasting profile marked by hints of dark chocolate, caramel, and orange. It has a fuller body compared to other Central American options and has a spicy and velvety flavor.

6. Tanzania Peaberry

On Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Meru, coffee growers cultivate Tanzania peaberry coffee. Peaberry coffee is a type of coffee made from coffee beans that have one whole bean, rather than two halves. These offer better flavor and are considered premium coffee. Tanzania peaberry has a medium body, bright acidity, and hints of chocolate and black currant. Brew it using a French press or espresso coffee maker for the best flavor profile.

7. Hawaiian Kona Coffee

No list of the best coffee beans is complete without mentioning Kona coffee from Hawaii. These coffees are grown at high altitudes on the slopes of volcanoes — Muana Loa and Hualalai to be specific. This big island coffee has a buttery body with hints of brown sugar, milk chocolate, hazelnut, and berry. Look for Fair Trade and organic coffee options like those from the Koa Coffee Company and select fancy or extra fancy grades for the highest-quality flavor. Be sure to avoid Kona coffee blends and stick with a single origin for the best cup of coffee.

8. Brazil Bourbon Santos Coffee

Bourbon Santos coffee is grown in the Sao Paulo region using the bourbon strain of arabica beans. It’s smooth and mellow, making it a good choice for beginner coffee drinkers. It boasts hints of nut, caramel, and malt — with darker roasts offering chocolate flavors as well. It has a low acidic undertone and mild body, making it good for blends as well as a single-origin brew. Brew it with an espresso machine to create a crema that adds creamy deliciousness to the nutty tasting profile.

9. Colombian Supremo Coffee

Colombia is one of the leading coffee producers in the world. Renowned for smooth flavors, it’s a staple bean for baristas and home brewers alike. Almost all of the coffee grown in Colombia is arabica coffee, though there are small batches of robusta beans as well. Colombian supremo beans are the largest beans in the country — with a screen size measuring 17 or 18. Each region offers different flavors, but these coffees tend to offer fruity, citrusy, and juicy tasting notes.

10. Mocha Java

Mocha Java is arguably the best blend on Earth. This coffee is a mix of coffee beans from Yemen and Indonesia. Due to political conflict and sanctions in Yemen, this coffee is harder and harder to come by. If you can get your hands on some, you’ll enjoy a coffee that’s perfectly balanced with fruity and earthy notes. It’s ideal for brewing as espresso and decaf coffee varieties offer complex, nuanced flavors you can’t find in most other decaffeinated blends.

Indulge Yourself With a Tasty Cup of Java

best coffee beans brewed in a mug with nature in the background

Whether you’re looking for a delicious espresso roast or a medium roast, there’s an option for you on this list of the best coffee beans. From African coffee known for its bright and citrusy notes to Central American options with earthy tones, there’s a flavor for all taste buds. Check out our guide to brewing methods to find the right way to brew the best coffee beans to elicit the best flavors of each variety.

When you’re looking for the best cup of joe, turn to Cup & Bean for all your informational needs. On our blog, you’ll find everything from breakdowns of different types of specialty coffee to guides on flavored coffee and brewing methods. From making pre-ground coffee taste better to tips for making cold brew coffee like a pro, there’s something for everyone here.