Here at Budget Barista, we go through a lot of coffee. While we love to support our local roasters, sometimes we just can’t manage to get there to pick up a fresh bag. That’s where Amazon comes in. We surfed around and hand-picked a selection of the best coffee on Amazon from the thousands of offerings.
It astounded us that there are a surprisingly large number of artisan roasters that sell on Amazon. Now, coffee can be a very personal thing. Everyone has a different palate and likes different things in a coffee. And each coffee has different flavors based on origin, roast and brewing method.
If having coffee delivered to your door sounds appealing, you’re in luck. Here you’ll find recommendations for the best coffee on Amazon. We’ve even included some tips on tasting notes for each coffee as well as brewing recommendations to help you make an informed decision.
The best coffee on Amazon
There are literally thousands of coffees on Amazon. We’ve spent a ton of time buying, brewing and rating a boatload of different coffees. Some were great, some weren’t so great. All of them were purchases and none were given to us for review, so you’ll get our unbiased opinion. From the marvelous to the mundane, these are our top coffee picks on Amazon.
Illy has been supplying coffee for nearly 70 years. It’s often referred to as the “signature” of fine restaurants everywhere. It’s a 100% Arabica bean blend imported from Italian roasters. But the price point squarely puts this coffee in the “premium” bracket. Does it deserve that label?
Absolutely. It’s a medium roast blend, meaning it’s suitable for multiple applications. Pulled from an espresso machine, you’ll end up with a lighter bodied shot with citrus aromas and a dry, light mouthfeel. Those light citrus notes, reminiscent of orange, give way to a dry graininess and a finish not unlike baker’s chocolate and molasses.
Running it through a pour over produces a completely different coffee. The orange is enhanced by an apple or pear like sweetness and the body intensifies a bit. You’ll discover roasted nuts and cocoa underpinning the whole cup.
Overall, the flavors are fairly muted, but very well balanced. It certainly does deserve the “premium” label.
Great for: Espresso or pour over, depending on the kind of coffee you’re in the mood for.
Not so great for: Brewing pot after pot for friends and family: this stuff can get expensive. Grab some Super Crema for that.
If you love a shot of espresso, especially one with a thick and rich crema, this Lavazza fits the bill. What you get from this Italian company is a medium roast bean at a very reasonable price. It’s not a super high end, artisan roasted coffee. It’s not a super low-end robusta coffee roasted to death. What it is is a high quality 80/20 Arabica/Robusta blend that does everything right and nothing wrong.
Beans are generally very fresh and quite tasty. The flavor of the Super Crema is good, but not great. It shines when packed into an espresso machine and pulled for 25 seconds. You’ll find the Super Crema has a very earthy finish and a heavy mouthfeel. Faint notes of chocolate and caramel can be found, along with a mild crispness that begs for milk.
As the name implies, when pulled properly it produces a hefty crema that stands up to milk very well. If you want something to pour latte art with, you’ve found the bean. If you’re a cortado aficionado, this will be your Valhalla. It’s probably the best value for espresso on Amazon right now.
Honestly, it puts Starbucks to shame, for around half the price (1Kg for about $25.) And everyone associates Starbucks with espresso, right?
Great for: Espresso and espresso based drinks like cortados.
Not so great for: Pour over or french press because it’s just not a super interesting coffee.
Death Wish coffee is purportedly for those that have, well, a death wish. It’s reportedly 200 times stronger than regular coffee. That means it’s perfectly designed for caffeine addicts who need their morning jolt. The real question is: how does it taste?
Death Wish coffee is sourced from 100% Arabica, meaning it has a bit more depth of flavor than a primarily robusta coffee. It’s also fair trade and ethically sourced if that’s your thing. Roast level is dark. This coffee is nearly black and is very oily. It’s roasted to a Viennese level, or maybe beyond.
Putting it through a burr grinder set for espresso was a challenge, to say the least. The oily beans were so heavily static charged that the grounds sprayed everywhere. The grinder also had a bit of a tough time chewing through a batch of these (and I was using a Baratza Vario, which is no slouch in the grinding department.) When I pulled it as an espresso, it came up with a thin crema and a thick body. Chocolate and a light ash were the common flavors. It got a little better as an americano, but it seemed flat as an espresso.
Brewing this coffee through a drip machine was a treat. Flavors like dried fruit, bittersweet cocoa and toasted nuts underpin a heavy body and a dry finish. This is definitely one of those coffees that SHOULD be brewed in a drip machine. The perceived caffeine content seemed higher when brewed in the drip machine, too. It also shone brightly in a french press, making a nice, rich, caffeine-laden pot.
If you’re a true caffeine junkie, this one is for you. Add to the fact that it’s a very drinkable coffee for the depth of the roast and it makes the list.
Great for: The drip machine or the french press.
Not so great for: People who are caffeine sensitive or espresso aficionados.
Read our in-depth Death Wish Coffee review here.
Kick Ass is one of the flagship offerings from Kicking Horse, a popular Canadian brand. They tout Kicking Horse as “sweet, smoky and audacious.” The “smoky” description was almost enough to dissuade me from trying this blend. However, after a number of positive comments about it, I had to give it a shake.
This coffee truly does live up to the “extra bold” label slapped on it. It’s roasted VERY dark. Dark to the point that Starbucks would wonder what kind of charcoal they were putting in a bag. Strangely enough, this coffee didn’t have any of the burned taste I’ve come to expect from dark roasted blends. It found a home as a drip coffee and an occasional espresso bean.
It pulled with a thin-ish crema, but had a very pleasant smoky vanilla aroma. Thick mouthfeel gave way to some notes of molasses with a bit of smoke and ash. Remember, I don’t really like burned coffees, but this one was better than most. I’m not sure how they did it, but they took the best thing about a dark roast and hid the worst things about a dark roast. Still, it was a little off my radar.
As a drip coffee or a pour over, I found it to be much less ashen. Almost not even existent. Aroma was still quite strong, but the decrease in soluble extract (most drip or pour over has far less soluble extracts in the cup) meant that I was longing for a little more body. In this form, Kick Ass produced a very drinkable, all day kind of coffee. That’s a pretty “kick ass” place to position yourself if you ask me.
Great for: Drip machine, pour over or french press.
Kicking Horse is also one of our top picks for the best grocery store coffee.
Intelligentsia hails from Illinois, and this midwestern roaster has a wide variety of coffees in their portfolio. A good introduction to their line is their House Blend. Made from a blend of Latin American coffees, they maintain a Fair Trade certification. That means their farmers get a decent living wage for their work and ensures a quality product. It rings up at around $30 per pound, which is very reasonable for a coffee of this caliber.
Since it’s a blend, it should shine as a drip coffee, and it does. It’s a medium roast blend which ground into a nice, uniform medium grind. Brewing produced the usual coffee aromas which created anticipation of that first sip. It didn’t disappoint. Subtle milk chocolate with a medium body is the name of the game here. It’s one of those coffees that is very easy to drink from the first cup to the last. Brewing it as pour over, with some additional water temperature control, brought out some of the true flavors of those Latin American beans. There were hints of citrus fruit over top of that milk chocolate.
It fared pretty well as an espresso as well. The chocolate undertones were amplified in a very smooth shot. It made a nice, smooth americano as well. The biggest criticism is the lack of an enduring crema on the shot, so it’s not going to be terrific for milk-based espresso drinks.
If you’re searching for a higher quality daily brew, this one should fit the bill.
Great for: Drip, pour over and (to some extent) espresso.
Not so great for: Milk based espresso drinks: the crema just doesn’t persist.
Stumptown is a nickname for the city of Portland, Oregon. It’s also the name of a very prominent, premium coffee roaster. One of their most popular offerings, their Hair Bender, has been a favorite of baristas everywhere for years. As so many flagship coffees are, this one is a blend of different beans. It’s a Latin American/Indonesian hybrid blend, which means you should get a little bit of the bright fruitiness of the equatorial Americas and the rich flavor textures of Indonesian beans.
Starting out on the Hario V60, I brewed it up as a pour over to really pick through the flavor profile. It had a deep earthy aroma, with nothing truly jumping out in the nose. The initial mouthfeel is smooth and full, with notes of dark cherries and something I could only describe as “woody” or “herby”. It finishes fairly dry and crisp with light tones of toffee.
Since Stumptown prefers this coffee as espresso, it seemed like a reasonable thing to try. Pulling it around 25 seconds resulted in a nicely balanced shot with sufficient crema and a nice, deep, earthy aroma. The dark cherry flavors found in the pour over were heavily emphasized in the espresso pull. Toffee and chocolate dominated the finish, complementing the full body and mild acidity. Stumptown doesn’t lie. This coffee was almost meant for the espresso machine. It held up well as an americano, not losing any of its complexity when diluted with water.
If americanos and espresso shots are your bread and butter, stuff a bag of this in your cupboard. It’ll be your go-to when you want a quality shot for years to come.
Great for: Espresso and Americano
Not so great for: Drip machines. This deserves to be pulled in an espresso machine.
Blue Bottle is one of the preeminent coffee roasters in the US right now. Their Three Africas blend is an amalgamation of a Ugandan and two Ethiopian varieties of coffee. These coffees are organic and ethically sourced, making them one of the more socially conscious roasters out there. It’s also one of the more expensive coffees around, earning the “premium” label with a price of around upwords of $35 for a 12 oz bag. Is it worth laying down $3 per ounce for this coffee?
I’ll say this up front: this coffee shines in a pour over. The beans are right around a city roast level with the occasional speck of oil on them. Brewing them up and inhaling the first wisp of steam revealed fruity notes like banana and blueberry. The first sip was a treat. An acidic bite, a nice smooth body, and light citrus and chocolate. During the whole cup, each and every sip uncovered another layer of flavors. There were moments where I tasted banana, pineapple, and lemon. I feel like as the cup cooled, the flavor of raisins made its presence known.
As an espresso, some of the nuances were lost. There was a moderate crema on top of the shot with more cocoa aroma to go with the berry flavors. The depth of flavor in the actual coffee was about the same, but still not as good as a pour over.
If you’re looking for a super premium pour over coffee to truly enjoy on a Saturday morning, this is absolutely your blend.
Great for: Pour over. Unconditionally.
Not so great for: Brewing a pot in a drip machine to chug down for a caffeine rush.
Counter Culture coffee is a company that’s making a big push in the craft coffee market. With their own brewing education programs, their coffee is popping up in cafes all over the country. Not surprisingly, you can take their coffee home with you. Given the right brewing method, these coffees can be some of the most satisfying you’ll drink.
On tap from Counter Culture is their offering from Paupa New Guinea: Tairora. It’s a city roast coffee from a collective of small coffee farms. Chosen to offer the best coffee cherries possible, it is carefully processed resulting in a premium coffee with a large range of depth.
I pulled it via my Gaggia Classic and it offered up a really nice, floral crema. The first sip uncovered slight acidity and fruit notes. Getting deeper into the coffee revealed a full body and ginger and brown sugar tastes. Using it as the basis of a pour over brought out the fruit aromatics a little more. As the cup cooled, ginger, maple and a faint hint of overripe pear dominated. It finishes clean and crisp with no lingering on the tongue.
It actually did fairly well in a drip machine. The steeping process in the automatic dripper preserved the pear flavors and created a coffee that was moderate in body and low acidity. It’s actually very drinkable in this format.
Overall, this is a great offering from Counter Culture.
Great for: Pour over and automatic dripper.
Not so great for: Nothing, really. It does well enough in pretty much any application.
Koffee Kult is a Florida based small batch roaster. They offer a variety of different coffees all roasted in small, 60kg batches. The small batch roasting ensures freshness and high quality when you open the bag.
One of the Kult’s best sellers is their medium roast Ethiopian Harrar. Sourced single origin from Ethiopia, this bean makes one of the most subtly sweet coffees out there. Koffee Kult takes these beans and roasted them just shy of full city to bring out the fruit flavors and create a rich body.
First, try it as an espresso. It pulls with crema on the lighter side. On the palate, you’ll find subtle fruit on the front end with an underlying sweetness reminiscent of dark chocolate. It finishes syrupy in taste and mouth feel and stays well rounded throughout. As a pour over, the fruit brightens significantly and the syrupy chocolate diminishes.
In an automatic drip machine, much of the flavor seemed lost. It was somewhat nondescript, full bodied and round, but without any really interesting points. It’s really nice and drinkable, but nothing overly special.
Great for: Espresso, americano and pour over, depending on your tastes.
Not so great for: The automatic dripper. Don’t waste this great coffee in your auto dripper (unless it’s a Mocca Master.)
Need go decaf? Here are our top decaf coffee picks.