Best Espresso Coffee Brands

Table of Contents

Top Espresso Coffee Brands

When you shop for espresso beans, what’s most important to you?

Flavor? Price? Or is it knowing it came from a brand you can trust? 

Likely enough — it’s all three!

For many of us, where our beans came from and how they were farmed holds a lot of weight when it comes to compiling the weekly shopping list. But the brand that wins our loyalty also needs to have a fair price and excellent taste.

Enjoy these detailed reviews on the best espresso brands for your home coffee adventures. We’ll spotlight sixteen name brands and why they rock. Then stick around to check out the buying guide and FAQs to learn how to pull the perfect shot.

Product Ranking

The taste of Italy lives in these beans. Because that’s where they are both blended and roasted! Lavazza Super Crema has authentic Italian flavor, that’s why it’s our best choice for espresso brands.

The aroma and flavor contain hints of nuttiness, but don’t worry! This coffee comes from a nut-free facility, so those of us with food sensitivities can safely enjoy a cup.

Key Features:

  • Allergy-friendly
  • Mild and creamy
  • Medium roast
  • Hazelnut and brown sugar flavor notes

Specifications:

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Weight: 2.2 lbs
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Honey, almonds, dried fruit
Product Ranking

For our premium pick, Gevalia takes the cake. The coffee cake, of course! 

This rich espresso roast is crafted in the Swedish tradition. It’s dark without being bitter. And it even works well in your automatic coffee maker. 

Flavor meets convenience in this espresso bean blend. Slice up some cake and pour yourself a fresh cuppa — you deserve it.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Caramel undertones
  • Full-bodied
  • Resealable bag

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gevalia
  • Weight: 12 oz
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Complex, dark chocolate with caramel
Product Ranking

The key to a good morning?

A steaming hot cup of quality coffee. With a name that translates to “the key,” you can’t go wrong with Cafe La Llave espresso. 

This 100% pure coffee, blended and roasted in the USA will help you unlock a better day. And at an affordable price to boot, that’s why it’s our best value pick.

Key Features:

  • Dark roast
  • Sustainably sourced
  • Sweet and balanced
  • Vacuum-sealed pack

Specifications:

  • Brand: Cafe La Llave
  • Weight: 2.5 lbs
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Chocolaty

Keep reading for more awesome daily cuppa options!

Product Ranking

This finely-ground dark espresso blend comes in a convenient can. Just pop the lid and scoop. Preferable for those of us who don’t wish to grind our own beans or need to be quiet in the mornings.

Our favorite quality of Gaviña is, by far, their use of a zero-waste to landfill facility in Los Angeles. When you drink this coffee, you can rest assured that it was sustainably sourced and environmentally friendly.

Key Features:

  • Dark roast
  • Packed at a zero-waste-to-landfill facility
  • Direct impact initiative
  • Extra fine grind

Specifications:

  • Brand: Gavina
  • Weight: 10 ounces
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Rich & Chocolaty
Product Ranking

Lavazza earns yet another spot on our list. This time for their vacuum-packed opaque canister of Caffe Espresso.

Indulge your senses with this medium roast made from 100% Arabica beans. The intense flavor will have you ready to tackle your entire to-do list — yesterday.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica
  • Medium roast
  • Intense flavor
  • Vacuum-packed

Specifications:

  • Brand: Lavazza
  • Weight: 1.52 lbs
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Rich & Caramelly
Product Ranking

The beans for Kicking Horse coffee grow in Indonesia and South America, before coming to roast in the Rocky Mountains of Canada. 

Kicking Horse describes their espresso blend as a bold invitation to wake up and kick ass. And get a load of these tasting notes — chocolate malt, molasses, and licorice. All with a lingering earthy finish.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica
  • Organic
  • Fairtrade
  • Sustainable
  • Kosher

Specifications:

  • Brand: Kicking Horse
  • Weight: 10.1 ounces
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Sweet & Smoky
Product Ranking

Exclusively from America’s veterans, AK-47 isn’t messing around. This espresso by Black Rifle coffee is a full-bodied medium roast and it’s here to shake things up. 

From the first sip of complex citrus and dark chocolate to the last, you’ll be in a caffeinated state of pure bliss.

Key Features:

  • Veteran-owned
  • Medium roast
  • Roasted in the USA
  • Full-bodied & complex

Specifications:

  • Brand: Black Rifle Coffee
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Rich & Nutty

But wait, there’s more!

Product Ranking

This smooth blend of Colombian Supremo and Sumatra Mandheling works wonderfully in most traditional brewing methods — espresso machines included!

Grind these freshly-roasted whole beans for a dark chocolate espresso rich in crema. The low acidity makes it perfect for sipping on any time of day.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica
  • Low acidity
  • Non-GMO
  • Resealable bag

Specifications:

  • Brand: Cafe Don Pablo
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Deep & complex
Product Ranking

You don’t have to be an early riser to truly appreciate this alarmingly delicious espresso. This dark roast will pop open even the sleepiest of eyes.

Whatever time you brew up a cup of this special blend, it will feel like a reward. Which sounds to us an awful lot like self-care!

Key Features:

  • Made in the USA
  • Dark roast
  • Rich & Smooth
  • Pre-ground

Specifications:

  • Brand: Early Riser (Eight O’Clock Coffee Company)
  • Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Rich, dark chocolate
Product Ranking

“The world’s strongest coffee.” At least, that’s what the label says! 

Why not try it and find out for yourself? 

This blend of Arabica and Robusta beans is a smooth dark roast with subtle flavors of cherry and chocolate.

Key Features:

  • USDA certified organic
  • Fairtrade
  • Affordable
  • Try it risk-free

Specifications:

  • Brand: Death Wish
  • Weight: 16 ounces
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Dark fruit
Product Ranking

When is the last time your knees buckled?

Maybe take your first fragrant sip of this espresso while sitting down — just in case! 

This espresso is a medium-dark roast, full-bodied, and delightfully strong. It’s finely ground and will pull excellent crema when used in your home espresso machine.

Key Features:

  • 5-bean espresso blend
  • Thick, velvety crema
  • Artisan roast
  • 100% Arabica beans

Specifications:

  • Brand: Stone Street Coffee
  • Weight: 1 pound
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Rich and dark
Product Ranking

West End Coffee Roasters uses only top-grade Arabica beans for their signature espresso blend. Grind these whole beans up fresh for your morning cup and taste the quality.

The flavor notes are of rich milk chocolate and sweet citrus. 

Sourced ethically and sustainably makes them an especially appealing choice!

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Artisan roasted in Canada
  • Medium roast
  • Delicate, clean finish

Specifications:

  • Brand: West End Coffee Roasters
  • Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: chocolate and citrus
Product Ranking

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian coffee experience, illy is a lovely route to take to get there. When the aroma hits your nose it will instantly transport you to an outdoor cafe.

Take your senses out for a decadent dessert with flavor notes of deep cocoa. 

More than just exquisite taste illy is committed to providing the most ethical coffee possible. They lead with integrity and at a reasonable price point, too.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Packed in an air-free pressurized can
  • One of the world’s most ethical companies
  • Sustainably sourced

Specifications:

  • Brand: illy
  • Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Intense & robust
Product Ranking

Whether you take it straight up or in a latte, this dark roast, finely ground espresso is good to the last drop. Bold flavor without the bitterness.

This brand is popular for use in making Cuban style coffee if you’re interested in checking that out. Otherwise, pull a shot and get to caffeinating in your usual style!

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Vacuum packed
  • Sold in 4-pack
  • Bold but not bitter

Specifications:

  • Brand: Pilon
  • Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Ground: Yes
  • Aroma: Very dark
Product Ranking

This medium-dark roast from Allegro makes an undoubtedly delightful shot of espresso. But, it’s also fantastic as regular brewed coffee!

The flavor notes are of layered dark chocolate and sweet caramel. Treat yourself with these organic, ethical coffee beans. Sold in whole bean form, so every brew is that much fresher

Key Features:

  • Organic
  • Rainforest alliance certified
  • Non-GMO
  • 100% Arabica beans

Specifications:

  • Brand: Allegro
  • Weight: 12 ounces
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Dark chocolate
Product Ranking

Dark roast fans, rejoice! A budget-friendly dark Italian espresso is here. Eight O’Clock Coffee should really be Any O’Clock Coffee, it’s that tasty.

These beans are full-bodied and bold as the day is long. Grind them for an aromatic coffee break at any time of the day.

The flavor notes are two espresso faves — chocolate and caramel.

Key Features:

  • 100% Arabica beans
  • Sealed for freshness
  • Kosher
  • Dark roast

Specifications:

  • Brand: Eight O’Clock Coffee Company
  • Weight: 2 pounds
  • Ground: No
  • Aroma: Bold chocolate

Buying Guide & FAQ

Now we’ll tackle some nitty-gritty questions you may still be wondering about.

What is Espresso?

Espresso refers to a brewing process. The one used by espresso machines specifically. While other brewing methods can be used to mimic the intensity (Moka pot or Aeropress for example), they are not espresso.

Are you surprised? 

If so, you’re not alone. Often, people think espresso is about the beans or their roast. And while there are superior beans and roasts to use for espresso — you can use any!

If you’re interested in knowing more about how espresso is brewed, read How Espresso Machines Work.

Barista Tips for Better Espresso

Every barista is passionate about the art of pulling the perfect shot. 

Here are a few top tips straight from the coffee experts themselves:

  1. Use fresh, clean water. Preferably filtered to remove any odors. 
  2. Choose the freshest beans available. Don’t buy in bulk, just buy enough for one to two weeks and grind it right before brewing!
  3. Store your coffee in an airtight container that won’t let in light. Do not store in your fridge or freezer.
  4. Finally, for the ultimate indulgent espresso experience — warm your mug beforehand. Trust us, it makes a difference. 

Enjoy!

Espresso vs. Drip Coffee Explained

Unlike regular drip coffee that uses more water and a slow filtering process, pulling espresso is short and sweet. The espresso machine forces super hot water through your tightly-packed porta-filter. 

So, what effect do these brewing processes have on your favorite caffeine bean? Espresso has a greater percentage of caffeine, but only by volume. Meaning if you drink one 2-ounce shot of espresso, you’ll have consumed the equivalent of one 8-ounce cup of drip coffee.

Espresso by the ounce: 40 milligrams. 80 milligrams for a double shot. 

Drip coffee by the ounce: 10 milligrams. 120 milligrams for a 12-ounce cup.

How to Make the Perfect Espresso

Keeping those barista tips in mind, start with clean, cold water.

Use a burr grinder to grind freshly-roasted whole espresso beans into a consistently fine powder. A burr grinder offers much better consistency than a blade coffee grinder.

Next, fill your portafilter with the fresh grounds. Making sure to tamp it carefully. Push firmly until the coffee seems almost to push back.

If your espresso machine allows you to control temperatures, keep it between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. If not, move along to the next step.

You’ll need to play around with your machine to find your perfect extraction time but aim for 25-35 seconds. Anything above or below risks under-to-over extractions. 

Wondering what to do with all your leftover coffee grounds? Check out these 16 Creative Ways to Use Old Coffee Grounds.

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Sources

How To Make Cuban Coffee
https://www.wikihow.com/Make-Cuban-Coffee

Why You Shouldn’t Store Your Daily Coffee In The Freezer
https://www.huffpost.com/entry/store-coffee-freezer_n_6923568

How Espresso Machines Work
https://home.howstuffworks.com/espresso-machine4.htm

16 Creative Ways to Use Old Coffee Grounds
https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/uses-for-coffee-grounds