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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

Lavazza

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

Starbucks

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

Stumptown Coffee Roasters

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Premium Pick: illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee, Medium Roast

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.