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When you start grinding your own coffee beans at home, you quickly realize two things: how much you’ve been missing drinking pre-ground coffee, and how hard it can be to find whole coffee beans locally. Never fear. We can help. Here’s a list of our top ten whole been coffee choices. All of our choices are available online and a few are available on your supermarket shelves. Generally, you’ll get the freshest, best whole bean coffee when you buy from a local roaster, but failing that, these are nationally available whole bean coffees that you can rely on to deliver an awesome cup of coffee every time.
Back in the day, your grandmother probably bought whole bean Eight O’Clock coffee at the local A&P market. They were the first post-war coffee company to sell whole bean coffee to the general public, and their marketing explained exactly why that was important: great flavor. Today, they’re still one of the few national supermarket brands that sell whole bean coffee in the supermarkets, and they still deliver great quality coffee. They even beat “gourmet” brands like Starbucks in Consumer Reports blind taste testing to capture the best flavor rating a few years back. The Colombian is smooth, balanced and relatively light. If you like something bolder, try Eight O’Clock French Roast.
San Francisco Bay Coffee is roasted and sold by Rogers Family Coffee, a long-time player in American coffee markets. There’s lots of reasons to love San Francisco Bay Coffee, including great flavor and superb variety. The Rogers Family grows a lot of their own coffee on farms they own in Central and South America, using organic and Fair Trade practices. The French Roast coffee is a treat for anyone who loves full, rich, dark coffee. It’s a blend of several different coffees roasted to a deep finish that wakes your tastebuds up.
Lavazza is one of Italy’s most popular coffees, and if anyone knows good coffee, it’s the Italians. Lavazza Super Crema is a blend of Brazilian, Central American and Indonesian coffee varieties that are specially crafted to produce a rich, flavorful espresso shot topped with velvety crema. It’s the ideal mix of sweet Arabica beans and just enough robusta to give your espresso the bite you love.
We love coffee companies that do good things, and we like them even better when one of the good things they do is roast superb coffee. Equal Exchange Coffee is a worker-owned company with a commitment to Fair Trade. Since 1986, EE has been selling sustainably grown gourmet coffee. Equal Exchange Organic Mind Body Soul whole bean coffee is an incredible blend of medium and dark roasted beans from Latin America that offers a smooth, flavorful coffee with the right balance of body and flavor.
Kicking Horse Coffee is Canada’s #1 certified organic coffee roaster, a badge the company wears with pride. They grew from humble beginnings in a garage in British Columbia to help lead the way in Canadian Fair Trade. They’re certified Fair Trade and Organic. Kicking Horse Three Sisters Medium blend combines Indonesian, South and Central American coffees in medium and dark roasts to create a smooth, rich blend with hints of spice and chocolate that’s completely irresistible.
Want to drink coffee with a great pedigree and celebrity profile? Weaver’s Coffee is your cup of java. John Weaver, founder of Weaver’s Coffee, learned how to roast from Alfred Peet of Peet’s Coffee and Sal Bonavita, Peet’s successor. Weaver’s crafts the Sweet Caramel Finish with the finest coffees from around the world roasted to multiple levels. The result is a smooth, bright coffee with natural chocolate and caramel notes that The Today Show named the best organic blend in America. You know you need to try this one.
Coffee Bean Direct offers many varieties of whole bean coffee, ground coffee and green unroasted coffee beans. Their selection includes signature blends and delicious single origin coffees. With dozens of different coffee choices to pick from, how do you decide which ones to order for yourself? A sampler pack, of course! The Coffee Bean Direct Assorted Whole Bean Coffee Sampler includes a pound each of Colombian Supremo, Italian Roast Espresso, French Roast, Costa Rican Tarrazu, Sumatra Mandheling, Decaf Colombian, Breakfast Blend, Dark House Blend, Hazelnut, French Vanilla, so you get a nice variety of blends, single origins and flavored coffees — there’s even a decaf selection. All coffee is roasted fresh just before they pack it up and send it out to you.
Hawaiian Kona rightly has a reputation for excellence, but that reputation has been tarnished somewhat by companies that mix Kona in with lesser-quality beans and sell their coffee as a Kona blend. Blue Horse is a farm-direct coffee — sold by the farmer who grows it directly to you. It’s a single-estate coffee, with all the beans in the bag grown on the family farm with no herbicides and no pesticides. The medium roast is perfect for bringing out the unique flavor notes that make Kona such a prized coffee. Each sip is infused with hints of almost and vanilla, with a lingering chocolaty finish. Blue Horse also offers a dark roast Kona, and is willing to grind your whole bean coffee at no extra charge.
We mentioned Coffee Bean Direct as an excellent coffee bean sampler pack above, but we had to call out Ethiopian Yirgacheffe separately. Yirgacheffe grows in a small region of Ethiopia, and is known as one the world’s best coffees. The flavor is deep, fruity and complex with a lingering mocha finish. Coffee Bean Direct roasts them medium to bring out the flavorful citrus and floral notes and packages the coffee beans immediately to ensure freshness. If you’re an Ethiopian Yirgacheffe lover and know how to repackage it at home to keep it fresh, the 5-pound bag is a bargain.