Best Espresso Coffee Reviews 2018: Top 5+ Recommended

I am a night owl trapped inside the life of an early bird.

Getting up early in the morning is something I do almost every day, including the weekends. 

There is always something to do for me – whether it is preparing my sons for school or throwing a dinner party for my neighbors.

All of that wouldn’t even be possible for me to do without my morning energy boost – a cup of coffee, but not just any coffee; it has to be a good one (Also check out my best one cup coffee maker here).

I think I’ve been drinking coffee for more than thirty years now, so I have learned that not every coffee tastes and smells the same.

However, searching for the best espresso coffee was quite a challenge for me, and after some time I’ve narrowed it down to five products I’ll later describe.

Before we move on to that, you should know the criteria I used to choose my winner.

Also, I’ll try to give you some useful advice about choosing the espresso coffee.

Quality of the beans

A high-quality espresso machine is a great thing to have, and I believe that mine comes pretty close to perfection. However, no kind of flashy unit can compensate for the bad taste of low-quality beans.

Read More: Best 4-Cup Coffee Makers On The Market

Cheap beans are just not something you want to try when you are craving for something refreshing and energizing.

When choosing which espresso beans to buy, the thing you should pay the most attention to is the color of the beans. You can find dark, light or in-between beans.

The color depends on how long they have been roasted; if beans have been roasted for a quite long time, keep in mind that the espresso is going to be pretty strong, but not acidic because caffeine is burned off.

Darker beans are usually more oily than lighter ones. Lightly roasted beans are sweeter.

Let professionals grind coffee for you

Most of the beans sold in bags in supermarkets, are roasted and already ground.

Unless you are a coffee geek and don't want to spend time and money grinding beans on your own at home, I recommend taking already blended one.

Grind size is usually indicated right on the bag, and it represents an area available for the extraction. The finer the grind, the more caffeine, and flavor will be extracted.

Be aware of mixed ground espresso coffees. Some manufacturers put flavors in low-quality coffee to hide its bad quality, so try to buy flavored coffee only from the well-known brands.

Some people like to do it all by themselves, including roasting, so if you are one of them, then you can always buy raw beans and prepare them as you wish.

I have done that a couple of times because I wanted to impress one of my coffee-geek friends.

The biggest nuisance for me was that after roasting, the coffee beans shouldn't be ground for about 24h, to make sure that it won't affect the grinding process. It can be a long time.

Choosing perfect origin

How many times have you found yourself standing in front of the shelf in your nearby store and struggling which coffee to choose? 

So many names, types, and flavors. Been there, done that.

As with any other product, you have to choose between a plentitude of different brands, and usually, it is impossible to know where to start.

I decided to solve that dilemma once and for all, by learning about the origin of the beans.

You see, different origin countries provide with different taste. South and Central America, Africa and Asia, they all give two basic types of coffee: Arabica and Robusta.

If you prefer lighter color, good aroma with a lot of crema on the top of your espresso, then you should try Arabica. However, be aware that this type provides fewer flavors than Robusta.

Personally, I don't like it when coffee doesn't have a strong taste, so I choose Robusta, the one with the stronger aroma. Also, if you are a caffeine addict, you should look for espresso that is made from Robusta, because Arabica doesn't have plenty of it.

See Also: Best French Press Coffee Makers - Barbara's Reviews

Best way to keep your coffee fresh

One more decisive factor determining the quality of coffee beans is aroma.

If your espresso doesn't taste well and it has no aroma, that is the first indicator that the beans could be over-roasted and the oils are lost.        

Storage is one of the parameters that can affect your perfect shot.

Even though most of the coffee is packed in paper bags, which are not very convenient for keeping it fresh, some of them have special layers inside the bag, which prevent coffee from drying. This is only temporary protection, while the coffee is in the supermarket.

See Also: Best Airtight Containers - Barbara's Reviews

I suggest putting the coffee in a safer place, but also looking at the date of production when buying some, just to make sure that it hasn't been on the shelf for too long.

You should also avoid keeping your coffee in the refrigerator as it affects the flavor.

Most Recommended espresso coffees - Barbara's Reviews 2018

All the information above can be helpful, but now we need to dig a little deeper.

Now is the time to see how five top rated espresso coffees on the market meet the demands we set above:

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The origin of this espresso is actually mixed. Its taste comes from fields in Indonesia, Brasil, and Central America and it represents the combination of 80% washed and unwashed Arabica and 20% washed Robusta coffee beans.

What makes Lavazza Super Crema so special is the added hazelnut aroma which takes it to a whole new level when it comes to pleasure. This sweetish aroma combined with its intensive smell makes a great choice for strong coffee lovers.

In case you are not keen on strong coffees, do not worry, generous amounts of thick crema will give you the chance to taste the richest flavor. If you don't like its rich taste, you should try to mix it with a little bit of warm milk.

See Also: Best Milk Frother

The beans are evenly roasted and dark brown which gives them the strength I mentioned. Due to beans not being oily, it is quite easy to blend them. The amount of two pounds is enough to make about 130 cups cup of coffee. I would prefer that the taste is somewhat more complex, though.

THINGS I LIKED

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    No bitter aftertaste
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    Lots of crema giving a long-lasting taste
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    Beans are not oily, so they won't damage your machine
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    Suitable for espresso and drip coffee

THINGS I DID NOT LIKE

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    Too strong
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    The taste is not very sophisticated and it lacks in complexity

Image Credit: Amazon.com

If you find it hard to get out of the bed in the morning, Ground Espresso's smell surely won't let you give up in front of the temptation. The dark color of the coffee beans is the first sign that the coffee has extraordinary strength.

Ground Espresso is suitable for people who love robust morning coffees, which makes it a perfect choice for me. It is packed in a big tin can, so the freshness is preserved for weeks. The tin can also have an easy twist on/off lid, so you don't have to bother finding another box for your coffee unless you have your favorite one.

Be careful when choosing your Ground Espresso because it comes in two types.

The tin can with silver lid means that the beans are pre-ground and the red lid means ground beans. Even though the Ground Espresso is as acidic as Lavazza, I found it easier to drink.

It is important to mention that despite the strong and rough taste I didn't need sugar at all. Don't be confused with the title: "Medium Roast", because as far as I am concerned this coffee is much more roasted than medium. 

Still, I found that the beans were ground too finely, so I had some problems with sputtering. Considering its price, I was expecting much more from this product.

THINGS I LIKED

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    Lasting freshness
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    It tastes great
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    It’s not bitter

THINGS I DID NOT LIKE

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    Not for those who don’t enjoy the strong smell
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    Title "Medium Roast" doesn’t fit
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    Ground too much
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    Too pricey

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This whole bean coffee comes from the fields in India and America and represents the mixture of Arabica and Robusta beans. If you look at the bag, you won't see that pointed out, which makes it a little harder for you to decide. As I already mentioned, the first thing you have to pay attention to is the origin.

Dark roasted beans provide with rich and full taste with moderate acidity. Although it is not packed in tin cans, don't let paper bag confuse you. With the bag foil inside and beans being roasted right before packing, keeping the coffee fresh is guaranteed.

The procedure of making these beans is slowly roasting them, making sure that the full flavor and aroma stay present. This one may also be a good choice for those who love the taste of cocoa powder, which enriches the texture and gives the coffee a milder taste.

If someone from your family likes "longer" coffees, Direct Italian Espresso can also be used for drip coffee makers, pour over, French press or percolator. You can use it for ice-coffee too.

The biggest problem with this product is that the beans are very oily, which can require some extra work like cleaning your grinder more often or unfortunately clogging up your coffee machine.

THINGS I LIKED

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    Foil that keeps freshness
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    Suitable for "longer" coffees
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    Slowly-roasted beans ensure fuller and more even taste
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    Right amount of caffeine

THINGS I DID NOT LIKE

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    Oily beans affect quality
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    Clogging the espresso machine
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    The taste can be too bold for some people

Image Credit: Amazon.com

This espresso coffee is slightly different as it is made of 100% Arabica coffee. So if you do prefer the strong taste, this could be the right choice for you. Its medium roasted beans give the complex flavor and incredibly smooth taste.

The best thing about this product is the price. If you like high-quality Italian coffee, this would be a good, yet cheap replacement. It has been suggested not to keep your coffee in the refrigerator because the cold makes it dry.

I guess this one is resistant. I accidentally left it in the refrigerator for two weeks while I was on a vacation and nothing happened, it was still fresh.

Unlike the mentioned Lavazza Super Crema Espresso, this one has less crema on the top, which makes the espresso look like it doesn't have density.

THINGS I LIKED

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    Cheaper than other Italian coffees
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    Complex flavor
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    Great price

THINGS I DID NOT LIKE

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    Too strong
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    Little crema
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    Unsatisfactory density

Image Credit: Amazon.com

When I first saw it, the thing that attracted my attention is the exterior of the bag. I knew I was dealing with the "real one".

Though it is quite strong, neither I nor my friends experienced a bitter or burnt aftertaste, although this one is considered to be darker than others. A mixture of the bright American flavor and earthy depth from Indonesia, combined with Robusta beans gives the perfect results.

If you are looking for really nice espresso, be prepared to grind it a little bit longer to get a better taste. Beans are just a little too large for any espresso maker, so you will have to make some extra effort with preparing this one.

Lovers of the strong and full flavor will enjoy Peets Forte, but if you prefer the addition of any other flavor – do not have high hopes! This one is not for those who love mild coffee. When you pour it in the cup, the color is so intensively black that reminds me of soil, which I liked.

Some people will find the noticeable acidity after the first few sips troublesome. As for me, I find the quick loss of freshness to be its biggest issue.

THINGS I LIKED

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    Mixture of tastes
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    Dark beans
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    Strong and full flavor

THINGS I DID NOT LIKE

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    Too strong for some
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    Not ground enough
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    It loses freshness quickly

The Espresso Coffee I am always looking forward to drinking

Comparing all these types of espresso gave me a hard time.

So many brands, flavors and combinations and each product has its own unique taste.

Still, as someone who is addicted to espresso and coffee, after all, I must say that I have only one winner.

Lavazza Super Crema Espresso is my choice because of its taste, which is strong enough to wake me up, but on the other hand, it doesn't leave me with a bitter aftertaste in my mouth, like some others.

As I don't like coffees that resemble teas, this Lavazza’s product gives me the perfect density with its crema on the top. The satisfying quality of the beans indicates that I don't have to grind them before preparing or clean the machine that often.

If you decide for this espresso coffee, its smell will make sure you never fail to start your day with a smile. 😉

Barbara Whitney
 

For the last 20 years, I’ve been cooking, preparing, researching, and gathering recipes, tools, and knowledge about food and the way we prepare it. Raising two lively boys and spoiling one great husband later, it’s safe to say that I’ve optimized my kitchen to deliver the best possible meal, no matter the occasion.

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