If you haven’t already, it’s time to start taking coffee seriously. Third-wave coffee roasters make it possible to have top-quality coffee at home, so why settle for less? Instant coffee is weak and sludgy, and the pre-ground grocery store stuff drinks more like a tap on the shoulder than a kick in the pants. Make the transition to ethically sourced, freshly roasted, smaller batch beans for a stronger, more flavorful cup in the a.m.

  • Single Origin or Blend: If you’re a black-coffee drinker, single origin beans are best. These coffee beans come from one location, so drinking it without milk allows you to taste the subtle and unique notes more easily. For those who prefer a splash of milk or creamer in their coffee, a blend from multiple locations often offers a more complex and balanced taste.
  • Origin Choices: The climate where coffee is grown impacts its flavor—so take a peek at the package before you decide what your preference is. In general, Central and South American beans taste clean and sweet, African beans taste more complex and fruity, while Asian varieties are more earthy. If you like a variety of flavor, you can choose a blend that pulls from multiple regions for a complex taste.
  • Roast Profile: Your coffee is made to perform well with certain brewing equipment, so you’ll get a better cup of joe if you keep that in mind before buying. An espresso roast is, you guessed it, best brewed with an espresso machine, while filter roasts are great for manual brewing. For those with an immersion brewer or pour over, opt for a filter roast to achieve bright acidity in your brew.

Our Picks for the Best Coffee Beans on Amazon

Top Pick Overall: Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend

Roasted in Italy

This Italian whole-bean medium espresso roast has hints of hazelnut and brown sugar. Perfect for an at-home espresso or latte. Lavazza

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Runner Up: Starbucks Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee — Breakfast Blend

Starbucks Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee — Breakfast Blend

Rather than running out to the nearest Starbucks, you can brew up a cup of their signature medium roast from home. This vibrant blend is both tangy and crisp, great for any morning cup. Starbucks

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Sustainable Pick: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Blend Whole Bean Coffee, Bag

Direct Trade Blend

This medium roast blend has notes of milk chocolate, cherry, and orange for a subtly sweet flavor. Retains freshness for 90 days in an unopened bag. Stumptown Coffee Roasters

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Premium Pick: illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast

Arabica Blend

Pressurized packaging keeps this sweet medium roast Arabica blend fresh, so you can enjoy all the notes of caramel, orange blossom, and jasmine that has been carefully selected for this brew. Illy

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Popular Science is here to help you choose among the most popular products on Amazon, and hidden gems our experts think are worth checking out.