Have you ever been caught in a pinch with no coffee beans?
That leads to spending over the odds on store-bought coffee (expensive!) or getting on with your morning without a cup of joe (unthinkable!)
It pays to be well-stocked.
While Amazon is not and never has been the best place to buy consumables, there’s a few solid options when it comes to coffee beans.
And because it’s Amazon, it’s super easy to order.
I’ve chosen a mix of coffee from independent startup coffee roasters, ultra-famous and ultra-popular European brands, and commercial coffee shops.
The quality of all of these is way higher than the trash they sell at the grocery store.
It’s commercially produced, able to be delivered in a day or two from Amazon and it’s great coffee.
Let’s dive in.
1. Lavazza Qualita Oro
Lavazza is a huge name that came from humble beginnings in Torino, Italy in 1895. The company that bills itself as ‘Italy’s favorite coffee’ now turns over more than $2 billion a year in revenue from its coffee beans and associated merchandise.
The Lavazza Qualita Oro is their signature coffee, a medium roast 100% Arabica blend that they claim is an intense, aromatic blend that contains the pleasant floral hint which is typical of Central American coffee.
The Qualita Oro is a personal favorite among the larger coffee beans producers. A smooth tasting blend with a balanced flavor profile that is likely to appeal to all coffee drinkers.
Not the most adventurous taste, but if you’re looking for high-quality coffee that’s low in bitterness and acidity then you’ve found the one.
The Lavazza Oro is suitable for espresso-style or brewed coffee and would be my number 1 choice if you’re using it with a French Press which will bring out the richer qualities.
2. Death Wish Coffee
Death Wish coffee was the brainchild of a coffee shop owner in Saratoga, NY who saw his customers needed something far stronger than what he could serve.
Only in existence since 2012, the Death Wish coffee’s main feature is its highly caffeinated content. It has been formulated to contain twice as much caffeine as regular coffee!
Death Wish uses a blend of beans from Central America, South America, and India. You’re getting a rich and full-bodied coffee with notes of ‘cherry and chocolate’.
Its signature strength and higher caffeine content comes from a high percentage of Robusta coffee beans. This imparts a darker, smokier taste and more bitter compounds into the blend as well as the extra caffeine.
(Link here if you’d like to learn more about Robusta and Arabica.)
The Death Wish is not the smoothest coffee you’ll taste. And if you’re sensitive to caffeine or dislike the bitterness in coffee then this is one to avoid. But if you like your coffee bold, strong and roasted dark as night then you’re onto a winner.
Lastly, the beans they use are Fair Trade, organic and the blend is roasted in the US – so you’re getting top marks for ethics.
3. Illy Medium Roast
Illy is another big name who have their origins in Italy many years ago. This Medium Roast is their most popular blend which Illy claims has the ‘quintessential balance of strength and smoothness, with distinct aromas of chocolate, toast, caramel and light flowers.’
This, like the Lavazza, is a widely produced and sold coffee. You’re as likely to find it in the grocery stores of urban California as in a backwater town in Paraguay.
The coffee tastes very rich to me. It won’t wow you with its flavor but it’s a lovely coffee beans to make smooth and creamy tasting coffees from.
Illy sells it ‘for any preparation’ so you can use it to make espresso or brewed coffee or whatever the heck you like.
4. Starbucks Veranda Blend
A company that needs no introduction, for better or worse. I’m no great fan of the coffee served at Starbucks, but some of the beans they sell are more than drinkable.
I included this for two reasons. Firstly, most people live near a Starbucks. So popping along to pick up the Veranda Blend or another of their coffee beans is a convenient option.
Secondly, I wanted at least one option of a widely available light roast. Sad to say, coffee beans that are dark roasted seem to be ‘in’ these days.
The light (or blonde, in Starbucks sales speak) roast has a much shorter roasting time than either a medium or dark roast. This keeps in more of the natural flavor and taste of the coffee bean which roasting destroys – making for a brighter coffee that tends to highlight fruitier notes.
If I do have to pick up some beans from a Starbuck’s – which is, admittedly, rare these days – I’ll tend to go for this one. They sell a few other decent options from Starbucks, the French Roast and Verona Roast are two more that I can vouch for.
Actually, if I have to get a coffee from the Bux, I’ll go with their brewed coffee where they use the beans they sell. Not the espresso they make which is just roasted to ashes these days.
5. Koffee Kult Dark Roast
Another new startup selling a ‘kickass’ dark roast? When it comes to coffee beans, that seems to be what’s in right now.
You can find hundreds of startup roasters riding the coat-tails of the successful Death Wish coffee.
This coffee is made by the dubiously alliterative Koffee Kult. Where the Death Wish sells itself on high caffeine, the Koffee Kult sells itself on bold flavors.
A smooth and heavy dark roast laced with notes of cinnamon, this makes for a delicious coffee.
In my opinion, this is a nicer coffee than the Death Wish. It still retains the richness and full body of a dark roast but has a smoother palate and is much more accessible to those who aren’t looking to blow their heads off with caffeine.
Koffee Kult makes a number of other roasts that are well regarded. Their Colombian Huila is a very good coffee (picture on the right) and more suitable for those looking for a softer, smoother taste.
How Did I Choose These Coffee Beans?
There were three considerations I had in mind when choosing coffee that you can order from Amazon.
Convenience. The beans in this list are all available to buy on Amazon and are all available to be delivered in a day or two. The idea of making this list is to give all types of coffee drinker a quick reference to coffee beans that are available with a few touches of the keyboard.
If taste is your priority then you should look into ordering from independent roasters of coffee shops that will sell you freshly roasted coffee beans. More info in the next section.
Widely available In addition to being convenient, I wanted to choose coffee that is likely to be sold in coffee shops and grocery stores.
In a way, it’s kind of the list I wish I had known about many years ago. If I knew that certain bags were always a solid bet I could’ve saved myself some dubious purchases.
Personally, I know when I’m out and about that a Lavazza sign means good coffee. This is even more useful to know when you’re abroad and the coffee quality can be up and down.
Taste. I have only recommended quality coffee beans. You will have heard of some of these brands as they are popular or are used by coffee shops.
In particular, the red Lavazza logo or the blue Illy logo is commonplace in city streets. Although these coffees are not freshly roasted, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that coffee beans roasted on a large scale cannot be good. They are but in a kinda different way.
One final note, I’ve selected 2.2lb / 1kg bags where available. I find this the most practical size when ordering online.
Should I Buy Whole Bean Coffee Or Preground?
The links I have posted are for whole bean coffee but you can buy most of these preground too. For espresso or drip, usually.
Preground is not ideal. Buying preground over the internet means it was ground weeks or even months ago. The beans are vacuum packed but you’re still losing freshness.
The coffee will have the same general taste but will lack a punch that you get from freshly grinding your coffee. People who aren’t fussy may be perfectly content with preground, I’d just like to point out you are losing something with it.
You’re also limited to your grind size when you buy online- usually only espresso or a generic ‘brewed coffee’ is available. When you buy in person you can tell them what grind you need for what coffee maker.
If you really want to make the best coffee possible then you need to invest in a grinder. That’s a whole other topic though…
Should I Buy Coffee Beans From Amazon?
The issue with buying coffee beans from Amazon is they are mass-produced. This doesn’t mean the coffee is bad but it does mean they are not fresh. You can learn more by reading my article on how long coffee lasts. In short, peak flavor is gone by the 30-day mark.
This article is focused on convenience. A couple of clicks and you’ve got some nice coffee on your doorstep in a day or two courtesy of Mr Bezos.
If taste trumps everything for you, look at finding a good local roaster who can help you or take a look at some of the Third Wave online roasters. This is where you’ll find freshly roasted coffee.
Get all that?
If you’re still stuck on what coffee beans to order, then my vote goes overwhelmingly to the Lavazza Oro coffee. It’s a safe and solid choice, I can’t imagine anyone not liking it.
Enjoy the article? Absolutely hate it? Please comment and/or share. I’d love to hear from you.
helpful article as usual. I particularly enjoyed and agreed on your rationale for sticking with Whole Beans if buying form somewhere like Amazon
Do you roast your own coffee?