The Best Coffee Beans to Buy, According to Experts

The right coffee bean can make all the difference.

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June 10, 2022

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Photo by: Mint Images/Getty

Mint Images/Getty

There’s nothing wrong with a quick fix when it comes to coffee. But sometimes, instant mixes and single-serve designer pods just won’t do the trick when you’re craving high-quality beans, rich, subtle flavors and a true gourmet experience. From the bright florals and citrus of Ethiopian coffee to the vanilla sweetness of a Colombian classic, each cup promises a wakeup call for mind and mouth. Here, we asked experts to share their favorite coffee beans available today.


“Normally I buy African coffees because they tend to be more floral and light. A true light roast doesn’t spend that most time in the roaster at all, which lets the coffee cherry speak for itself and show its own characteristics. Some of my favorites are from Sey, a brand based in East Williamsburg. They light roast most of their coffees. Sey buys really ethically, too — they purchase a bunch of microlots, so it’s rare you’ll get the same thing twice.”
-Adam Keita, co-founder of Daughter, a community-drive coffee shop and wine bar in Brooklyn, New York

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“Medium roast coffee is usually what people want when they think of a typical cup of coffee. For that, I recommend Partners. At Daughter, we use it to make drip coffee.”

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“Another great brand for light roast coffee that showcases different producers is La Cabra. They’re from Copenhagen, and are actually considered one of the pioneers of light roast coffee.”

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“As somebody who drinks coffee a lot, I like to have at least one decaf on hand. I trust what Jen Apodaca is doing over at Mother Tongue Roasters in Oakland, and really like this decaf from Peru.”
-Adam JacksonBey, Executive Director of Go Fund Bean, a nonprofit that supports, uplifts and protects the hourly coffee professional

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“I’m just a really big fan of Burundian coffees. They tend to have a floral profile. This one also tastes like cranberry and lemon jelly, though I tend to get a little more lemonade out of it.”

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“La Papaya is one of the best coffees out there. A lot of people use it, and Onyx is one of the best roasters, in my opinion. They offer a couple varieties, washed and anaerobic. I’m pretty sure Onyx Coffee was used to win the Barista Championship for the last couple years.”

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“My favorite coffee of the moment is the Koji Supernatural from Phoenix Coffee Roasters [a limited release]. They use Koji mold on coffee cherry to unlock access to sugars not normally developed in the fermentation process, resulting in a more complex coffee than without the mold. The resulting coffee is sweet but complex, while remaining in balance. Truly a cool new innovation in coffee!”
-Erika Vonie, independent consultant, Q Arabica Grader, and 2017 NYC Coffee Master

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