Roasty Ranked: The Best Coffees for Black Coffee Lovers
For black coffee lovers, the search for the perfect cup of joe can be a lifelong journey. Whether you're a seasoned aficionado or just starting to explore the world of black coffee, finding the right beans and brewing method is key to achieving that smooth, bold flavor you crave. In this article, we'll dive into everything you need to know about black coffee, from the benefits of drinking it black to the best coffee brands and brewing techniques for achieving the perfect cup. So grab your favorite mug and get ready to discover the best coffees for black coffee lovers.
Benefits of Drinking Black Coffee
Drinking black coffee not only has a great taste but also offers various health benefits when compared to coffee with syrups and toppings. Black coffee is incredibly low in calories and provides numerous advantages for your overall well-being.
The list of health benefits associated with black coffee is extensive. It can aid in weight loss, improve your mood, boost your energy levels, and even offer protection against conditions such as Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s, and chronic liver disease.
Additionally, drinking black coffee can help you save money. By eliminating the extra cost of toppings and syrups, you can enjoy your coffee in its purest form without increasing its price significantly.
Choosing black coffee allows you to appreciate the natural flavors of the coffee itself. Every origin and roast profile has its own distinct flavor profile and mouthfeel, which can be fully experienced when drinking black coffee without the interference of artificial flavors.
Best Black Coffee: Chosen by Bean Ground
For those ready to embrace the dark side or for avid black coffee drinkers, I have selected some of the best-tasting black coffees available. These coffee brands offer a range of different roast profiles, but I have chosen a specific roast profile from each that truly shines when enjoyed black.
Volcanica – Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee
Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is an ideal choice for beginners and one of my personal favorites. Yirgacheffe is a renowned coffee region in southern Ethiopia known for its bright, floral, and fruity beans, and Volcanica’s Yirgacheffe lives up to that reputation.
What sets Volcanica apart from their competitors is their fast roasting and shipping process. They are known for promptly delivering their orders. This particular Ethiopian coffee bean is sourced from the wild and harvested from indigenous Ethiopian coffee trees, ensuring its authenticity.
When you choose Volcanica’s Yirgacheffe in a medium roast, you can expect enjoyable hints of pineapple, strawberry, guava, and dark chocolate alongside the fruity and floral notes characteristic of Yirgacheffe coffee.
PT’s Coffee – Flatlander Signature Blend
PT’s Coffee is known for its great-tasting blends, and their Flatlander Signature Blend is no exception. The name pays tribute to the sweeping Great Plains surrounding their home city of Topeka, Kansas.
With its sweet and smooth flavor profile, this blend offers a balanced combination of caramel and a slight tangerine bitterness. Even as a beginner drinking black coffee, you'll find it easy to distinguish these flavors. It works well as an all-day coffee option with its medium roast.
Fun Trivia: PT’s Coffee’s co-founder played a significant role in creating the United States Barista Competition in 1999.
Lifeboost – Medium Roast Coffee
Lifeboost Coffee’s medium roast is a fantastic all-rounder coffee that smells and tastes fantastic. The brand carefully grows the coffee beans on a small scale in the shaded mountains of Nicaragua, without the use of pesticides or chemicals.
After harvesting, the beans are sun-dried and washed with pure spring water, enhancing their sweet and fruity flavors. Lifeboost Coffee places a strong emphasis on providing the cleanest coffee possible, ensuring each batch is tested to remove mycotoxins, heavy metals, unwanted chemicals, and other toxins.
With Lifeboost Coffee's medium roast, you can savor a smooth and delicious cup of black coffee that highlights the natural flavors of the beans.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters – Holler Mountain Blend
Stumptown Coffee Roasters offers a brilliant black coffee option with their Holler Mountain Blend. This medium-roasted, unique blend has been a part of their roasting lineup since the inception of the company.
The Holler Mountain Blend combines coffee beans from Central and South America, East Africa, and Indonesia, resulting in a well-rounded mix. Its creamy smoothness makes it an excellent choice for black coffee drinkers.
In addition to the smoothness, you'll notice bursts of citrus and sweet berry notes with subtle hints of chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel. This full-bodied blend works well with various brewing methods, but I particularly recommend a medium grind in a Kalita Wave for optimal results.
Highwire Coffee Roasters – Palestina, Colombia
Highwire Coffee Roasters presents an exceptional black coffee option with their Palestina, Colombia offering. This single-origin coffee takes its name from the small community where it is grown and meticulously roasted to perfection.
The harvesting and processing of this coffee are time-intensive. It involves de-pulping the coffee and allowing it to ferment for up to 24 hours. After fermentation, the seeds are rinsed to remove any residual mucilage and then carefully dried on raised beds under a protective cover.
Highwire Coffee Roasters expertly roasts the beans in small batches to bring out their natural sweetness and highlight their slightly tart acidity. As you savor this black coffee, you'll easily identify a sugar cane sweetness with hints of pear. It offers a clean finish and a deep, resounding body.
Intelligentsia Coffee – Black Cat Espresso
Intelligentsia Coffee's Black Cat Espresso is a multi-region coffee and their flagship espresso blend. The Black Cat Project, constantly evolving to provide the best coffee experience, includes washed and naturally processed coffees.
With this specially selected coffee, you'll enjoy a clean cup with a sweet and complex profile featuring notes of caramel and citrus. When used in an espresso machine, each pull will yield a syrupy sweet espresso.
Methodical – Late Night
Methodical Roasters' Late Night blend is an excellent choice for black coffee lovers. The blend comprises equal parts Costa Rica's La Pastora and Brazil's Dulce Signature, resulting in a rich, bold, and creamy cup of coffee.
This coffee offers a rich and smooth flavor profile without the bitterness often associated with dark roasted coffee. As you drink it black, you'll experience notes of smoky roasted walnuts, hints of clove, and dark chocolate.
Olde Brooklyn Coffee – Classic Black Coffee
Olde Brooklyn Coffee's classic dark roast is my final recommendation for black coffee enthusiasts. This New York-based roaster stands out for roasting small batches weekly, ensuring the utmost quality control and the freshest coffee reaching your cup.
Their signature coffee bean blends feature premium-sourced beans from Columbia, Brazil, and Guatemala. The classic black coffee blend delivers a smooth flavor with a slight smokiness, devoid of any bitterness or acidity. It is an excellent choice for enjoying black and creates delicious cold brew or iced coffee.
Top 10 Best Coffee to Drink Black for Beginners
For those new to black coffee or looking for exceptional options, here is a list of the top 10 best coffee choices to enjoy black:
- 1. Alma Coffee Enchanted Blend
- 2. Lifeboost Dark Roast
- 3. Caffe Vita Bistro Blend
- 4. Huckleberry Roasters Bom Senso Blend
- 5. Volcanica Kenya AA
- 6. Koffee Kult Colombia Huila
- 7. Coffee Bean Direct Nicaraguan
- 8. Pilon Gourmet Coffee
- 9. Orens Daily Roast
- 10. Death Wish Valhalla Java
Alma Coffee's Enchanted Blend offers a sweet, chocolaty flavor profile that makes it a fantastic choice.
Lifeboost Coffee's Dark Roast, renowned for its health-promoting qualities, delivers a rich and full-bodied experience with low acidity—perfect for black coffee enthusiasts.
Caffe Vita's Bistro Blend is a well-balanced coffee with caramel, almond, and chocolate notes—a treat for black coffee drinkers.
Huckleberry Roasters' Bom Senso Blend features Latin American coffee with a rich flavor profile that defies expectations— ideal for those seeking a unique and delicious black coffee experience.
Volcanica's Kenya AA is a medium roast coffee with fruity and citrus notes that subtly shine through, offering a crisp and sweet flavor profile.
Koffee Kult's Colombia Huila is a smooth and lightly acidic coffee with a chocolaty flavor profile that captivates your taste buds, making it an excellent choice for black coffee enthusiasts.
Coffee Bean Direct's Nicaraguan coffee is certified organic and offers great aroma with a light to mild body—perfect for enjoying black.
Pilon Gourmet Coffee, in a dark roast blend, features Cuban-style roasting and offers a rich and flavorful coffee experience popular among coffee lovers, especially in Florida.
Orens Daily Roast ensures a smooth flavor profile with a slight smokiness—a great option for black coffee drinkers looking for a quality dark roast.
Death Wish Valhalla Java completes the list with its dark roast, delivering a strong, yet smooth coffee experience that stands out—perfect for those seeking a bold black coffee.
Top 10 Best Instant Black Coffee
While instant coffee may not always receive the same respect as other coffee types, there are instances where it can be a convenient and enjoyable option. Here are the top 10 best instant black coffees:
- 1. VIA Instant Coffee, Italian Roast by Starbucks
- 2. Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee, Ultra Fine Micro Ground
- 3. Mount Hagen Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee
- 4. Douwe Egberts Pure Gold
- 5. Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals
- 6. Ily Instant Coffee
- 7. Nescafe Tasters Choice French Roast
- 8. Lavazza Prontissimo Instant Coffee
- 9. La Republica Organic Instant Mushroom Coffee
- 10. Trader Joe's 100% Colombian Instant Coffee
These instant coffees deliver excellent taste when prepared simply with hot water.
Starbucks' VIA Instant Coffee, Italian Roast provides a convenient option for enjoying a rich and bold coffee experience.
Anthony's Organic Instant Coffee offers an ultra fine micro ground coffee that retains the quality and flavor of freshly ground beans.
Mount Hagen's Organic Freeze Dried Instant Coffee provides a quality organic coffee option in a convenient instant format.
Douwe Egberts Pure Gold is a popular choice, known for its smooth and well-balanced flavor profile.
Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee Crystals offer a classic taste that is convenient and easy to prepare.
Ily Instant Coffee offers a high-quality instant coffee with a smooth and rich flavor.
Nescafe Tasters Choice French Roast delivers a French roast coffee experience in a convenient instant format.
Lavazza Prontissimo Instant Coffee provides a premium Italian coffee taste in an instant form.
La Republica Organic Instant Mushroom Coffee offers a unique twist with the addition of mushroom extracts, resulting in a rich and earthy flavor.
Trader Joe's 100% Colombian Instant Coffee rounds off the list with its smooth and enjoyable flavor—perfect for those seeking a straightforward instant black coffee option.
Top 10 Best Black Coffee Brands for Weight Loss
I'm sure you have come across various brands of slimming coffee and coffee marketed for weight loss. However, it is important to note that coffee alone will not lead to weight loss, but it can certainly aid you in achieving your overall weight loss goals.
Here are my top 10 recommendations for the best black coffee brands that can help with weight loss:
- 1. Slimming K Coffee by Madam Kilay
- 2. It Works Skinny Brew
- 3. CAcafe Weight Loss Coffee with Mushrooms
- 4. Rapid Fire Ketogenic Coffee
- 5. Burn Control Coffee - Premium Coffee
- 6. Nuvia Trim - Gourmet Coffee
- 7. Super Coffee - Keto Protein Coffee
- 8. Coffee 21 Thai Slimming Coffee
- 9. Vitacup Genius Organic Coffee - Keto Coffee
- 10. Fat Fuel Instant Keto Coffee
The quality of these coffees is exceptional and comparable to any regular coffee. There is no discernible difference in taste compared to traditional coffee.
Slimming K Coffee
Top 10 Best K-Cup Coffees for Black Coffee Lovers
For those who own a Keurig K-Cup, there is an abundance of options available when it comes to black coffee.
Here are my top 10 picks for the best K-Cup coffees to enjoy black:
- 1. Sumatran Reserve - Extra Bold by Green Mountain
- 2. Caribou Daybreak - Morning Blend
- 3. The Original Donut Shop Regular Coffee - Medium Roast
- 4. Barista Prima - Coffeehouse Blend. Medium Dark Roast
- 5. Barrie House - House Blend Extra Bold
- 6. Cinnamon Bun - Classic Cinnamon Roll
- 7. Tully's French Roast - Extra Bold
- 8. Gloria Jean's Butter Toffee
- 9. Newman's Own Organics Special Blend - Extra Bold
- 10. Starbucks Sumatra Coffee
While I personally may not be a fan of capsule coffee, I can acknowledge that these options do yield a satisfying cup of coffee. My preference is not rooted in coffee snobbery; rather, I find that using a home espresso machine allows for a superior coffee experience. However, if the convenience of K-Cups is your priority, these selections will not disappoint.
Roasty Ranked: The Best Coffees to Savor Without Milk or Sugar
Now, let's delve into some of the top-notch black coffee brands that offer a delightful experience for those embarking on a journey into the world of black coffee. Take a look at our choices for the finest coffee beans to relish in their purest form.
Lifeboost Embolden Dark Roast Coffee
Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee
Indulge in the healthiest dark roast coffee available. This rich and full-bodied coffee offers a smooth texture with delightfully lingering aftertastes that are simply irresistible. It is renowned for its low acidity, often referred to as the French and Italian roast.
Let Lifeboost dark roast coffee beans be your trusted companion as you venture into the realm of black coffee. This brand consistently amazes us with its savory and robust flavors in every roast. Moreover, Lifeboost beans offer remarkable health benefits.
Every bean sold by Lifeboost is cultivated by small-scale coffee farmers in the shaded mountainsides of Nicaragua. These beans are sun-dried and washed with pure spring water to accentuate their sweet and fruity flavors, resulting in an unparalleled cup of coffee.
Ritual Los Crestones
Ritual Los Crestones
Treat yourself to the delightful combination of caramel apple sweetness and a hint of juicy lime acidity with Ritual's Los Crestones medium roast. Not everyone desires intensely sweet or nutty flavors in their black coffee. This coffee appeals to those who prefer a crisp and tangy profile.
The beans for Los Crestones are harvested and roasted in small batches, delivering notes of lime, caramel, and sugarcane for a touch of sweetness. Ritual partners with the Los Crestones Micromill in Costa Rica, where families have been selling their beans to Ritual for over a decade. This collaboration results in a clean and delicious coffee that requires no sugar or cream.
Common Voice Canopy Blend
Common Voice Canopy Blend
Experience the gentle sweetness of black cherries intertwined with dark chocolate and cinnamon notes in Common Voice Coffee Co.'s Canopy blend.
Common Voice Coffee Co. not only produces delicious and well-roasted coffee beans, but also operates with a five-percent giveback policy. By paying an additional five percent above the cost of green coffee beans, Common Voice supports the land and the farmers who tend to it.
Some of the green coffee beans used in the Canopy blend are sourced from Latin America. This medium roast offers a smoky and smooth flavor profile with traces of caramel, dark chocolate, and a touch of spicy-sweet cinnamon.
Madcap Coffee Finca de Dios Blend
Madcap Coffee Finca de Dios Blend
Indulge in Madcap Coffee's partnership with the Prentice family and their farm, Finca de Dios, which has lasted over a decade. This long-standing collaboration speaks to the exceptional quality of Madcap's Finca de Dios beans.
These Guatemalan beans are a treat for those with a sweet tooth, offering a rich and fudgy body with flavors reminiscent of toasted nuts and hints of lemon. Whether you enjoy it hot or cold, this single origin coffee promises a delightful experience.
Greater Goods Coffee Co. Kickstart
Greater Goods Coffee Co. Kickstart
Enjoy the captivating combination of dark chocolate and brown sugar sweetness that is further enhanced by a delightful note of rose in Greater Goods Coffee Co.'s Kickstart blend. This coffee is easy to drink and offers a surprising and delightful twist.
Greater Goods Coffee Co. is committed to making flavorful bean blends that leave a lasting impression. Kickstart is a full-bodied coffee that satisfies both new and seasoned black coffee drinkers. Each purchase supports a local nonprofit, ensuring that your cup of coffee does good in the world.
Good Citizen Coffee Co. Buckle Down Blend
Good Citizen Coffee Co. Buckle Down Blend
Start your day with the delightful chocolaty sweetness, subtle cherry hints, and pleasant notes of cedar found in Good Citizen Coffee Co.'s Buckle Down Blend. This blend is perfect for those looking for a comforting and balanced cup.
Each sip offers a harmonious balance of flavors, with the smooth sweetness of milk chocolate and caramel supporting a pleasant cashew-nuttiness. Let the flavors of this coffee invigorate your senses and inspire you to tackle your day head-on.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain Blend
Stumptown Coffee Roasters is renowned for its versatile Holler Mountain blend, making it an essential addition to this black coffee buying guide. Whether you prefer an espresso shot or a regular drip coffee, these beans deserve a spot on your coffee bar. Just make sure you have a burr grinder nearby to achieve the perfect grind size for your brewing method.
The beans used in this full-bodied brew come from East Africa, Central America, and South America. Each cup offers delightful notes of citrus, caramel, berry jam, and a creaminess that will leave you wanting more.
Alma Coffee Enchanted Blend
Alma Coffee Enchanted Blend
Experience the magic of Alma Coffee's Enchanted blend, which combines a rich, chocolaty sweetness with a touch of roast for an enchantingly cozy cup of coffee. This brew is perfect for those who cherish the moments spent savoring a darker roast in the morning.
Alma Coffee's Enchanted blend offers a truly delightful experience without leaving a bitter aftertaste. The flavors of sweet molasses, toasted pecans, and dark chocolate come together to create an exceptional cup of coffee. Enjoy it black for the ultimate experience, as this coffee needs no additional milk, sugar, or creamer.
Caffe Vita Bistro Blend
Caffe Vita Bistro Blend
Embark on a journey through South America, Indonesia, and East Africa with Caffe Vita's Bistro blend. This medium roast transports you to the origins of these exquisite beans and offers a balanced and approachable flavor profile.
Whether you're a native New Yorker or not, Caffe Vita's City Blend is designed to be enjoyed anywhere. Delight in the bright fusion of citrus, green apple, and honey that kicks off your day on a refreshing note.
Volcanica Coffee Kenya AA
For a vibrant and flavorful cup of coffee, Volcanica Coffee's Kenya AA is a must-try. Known for its exceptional quality, Kenyan coffee is widely embraced by black coffee enthusiasts. This particular blend stands out as one of the best coffee options for enjoying in its purest form.
Volcanica Coffee's Kenya AA boasts a medium roast with a crisp, sweet flavor profile highlighted by berry and citrus overtones. Its savory, winy aftertaste adds an extra layer of enjoyment to your coffee experience. With its light and smooth mouthfeel, this coffee requires no additional milk to deliver a delightful sip.
Huckleberry Roasters Bom Senso Blend
Huckleberry Roasters Bom Senso Blend
When you need an extra boost to power through your day, reach for Huckleberry Roasters' Bom Senso blend. This Trade-exclusive coffee offers a big, chocolaty body with roasted almond nuttiness and a perfectly balanced caramel sweetness.
Allow a few scoops of Huckleberry Roasters' Bom Senso blend to awaken your senses and invigorate your taste buds. The combination of sweet chocolate, almonds, and caramel creates a rich and full-bodied flavor that appeals to both seasoned and new black coffee drinkers.
Atomic Coffee Roasters Space Cadet Blend
Atomic Coffee Roasters Space Cadet Blend
Enjoy the out-of-this-world smoothness and chocolaty-sweet goodness of Atomic Coffee Roasters' Space Cadet blend. This captivating combination is further accentuated by a splash of ripe cherry juiciness, making it a crowd-pleasing cup of coffee that is equally delicious hot or cold.
Whether you prefer your coffee on the rocks or steaming hot, the full-bodied and complex blend of clementine, nougat, and burnt sugar flavors offered by Atomic Coffee Roasters will surely tantalize your taste buds. Don't be surprised if you find yourself longing for another cup before you finish the first.
Oren's City Blend
Oren's City Blend
Indulge in the sweet balance of soft citrus acidity and toffee sweetness found in Oren's City Blend. This coffee offers a smooth and poetic experience that inspired us to write a haiku.
Allow Oren's City Blend to enrich your mornings with its bright blend of citrus, green apple, and honey flavors. Whether you're a resident of New York City or simply appreciate exceptional coffee, this light roast will surely awaken your senses and elevate your coffee ritual.
Koffee Kult Colombian Huila
Next on the list is Koffee Kult's specialty-grade Colombian Huila coffee. This medium roast delights with a chocolatey flavor profile that is perfect for starting your day with a rich and full-flavored cup of black coffee, free from bitter undertones.
A Brief Look at Our Top Choices (Updated for 2023)
Best Overall: Lifeboost Dark Roast
When it comes to choosing the best black coffee, Lifeboost's Dark Roast stands out for numerous reasons. The most compelling one is its incredibly delightful taste and aroma.
Lifeboost cultivates their beans in the lush mountains of Nicaragua, completely free from any pesticides or harmful chemicals. Through a meticulous and time-consuming harvesting and processing method, they produce beautifully roasted coffee beans with a remarkably low acidity level that is gentle on the stomach.
In a nutshell, Lifeboost Dark Roast is exceptionally smooth and doesn't require any cream or sugar. However, it is priced slightly higher than other options. If budget is a concern, continue reading for more alternatives. Ultimately, we firmly believe that Lifeboost Dark Roast offers the finest black coffee money can buy!
Volcanica Kenya AA
Volcanica Kenya AA Whole Bean Coffee is grown in the volcanic soil of East Africa and roasted in Atlanta. The "AA" designation refers to the larger-than-average size of the coffee beans. This excellent choice boasts a delightful floral aroma and crisp flavor profile that is free from any bitterness. It also comes with a money-back guarantee for additional peace of mind.
Koffee Kult Dark Roast
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans combine a blend of Arabica beans from Brazil, Colombia, and Sumatra. This family-owned business locally roasts their beans in Hollywood, Florida. Customers rave about their exceptional customer service and the added bonus of a money-back guarantee with every purchase.
Our runner-up choice delivers a distinctive flavor with low acidity and subtle hints of sweet chocolate. It provides a well-balanced taste that won't overwhelm your palate, and many Koffee Kult enthusiasts appreciate the excellent crema it creates. However, if you are a fan of bold and robust flavors, this option may lean towards the lighter and sweeter side, ultimately falling short of claiming the top position.
Best Decaf: Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast
Decaffeinated coffee often receives a bad reputation, but Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast is here to change that perception. This bold blend is made from beans grown in Central and South America and roasted at a high altitude in the Rocky Mountains. Kicking Horse is committed to sustainable and environmentally conscious practices, utilizing the Swiss Water Process for decaffeination, which preserves the flavor while eliminating caffeine. Additionally, it is certified organic, fair trade, and kosher.
This dark roast offers subtle hints of hazelnut and chocolate, providing a mellow profile that defies the notion that decaf lacks flavor. Customers have even noted that these beans are perfect for use in super-automatic espresso machines. The only drawback is that it is the most expensive option on our list of black coffees.
Best Ground: Valhalla Java
Valhalla Java Ground Coffee is the go-to choice for those who appreciate a bold and robust flavor similar to heavy-metal music. Created by Death Wish Coffee as a tribute to influential guitar player Zakk Wylde, this blend combines Arabica and Robusta beans from Indonesia, Central, and South America. It offers a medium roast that imparts a smooth and powerful taste, complemented by notes of chocolate and a nutty aroma. It is important to note that this ground coffee is not ideal for espresso machines as it has a medium grind. Furthermore, if you are sensitive to caffeine or dislike the taste of Robusta beans, this blend may not be suitable. However, if you're seeking an invigorating start to your day, Valhalla Java is the most radical choice for you.
The Finest Black Coffee Brands
1. Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee – Best Overall
When searching for the top black coffee brand, it is nearly impossible to surpass the incredible taste and aroma of Lifeboost's Dark Roast. These exceptional coffee beans are cultivated in the captivating mountains of Nicaragua, free from any harmful pesticides or chemicals. Employing a specialized and time-intensive harvesting and processing method results in a perfectly roasted coffee variety with a strikingly low acidity level, ensuring a pleasurable experience for your stomach. In short, Lifeboost Dark Roast is exceptionally smooth and doesn't require any additives. However, it does have a higher price point compared to other options. If you are on a tighter budget, continue reading for more alternatives. Ultimately, we firmly believe that Lifeboost Dark Roast offers the finest black coffee money can buy!
2. Volcanica Kenya Black Coffee
Volcanica Kenya AA Whole Bean Coffee is grown in the volcanic soil of East Africa and roasted in Atlanta. The "AA" designation refers to the coffee beans' above-average size. This exceptional choice boasts a delightful floral aroma and a crisp flavor profile without any hint of bitterness. Additionally, it is backed by a money-back guarantee for added peace of mind.
3. Koffee Kult Black Coffee Beans
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans are a meticulously crafted blend of Arabica beans from Brazil, Colombia, and Sumatra. This family-owned business roasts their beans locally in Hollywood, Florida. Many coffee enthusiasts commend their exceptional customer service, and each purchase is backed by a money-back guarantee.
Our runner-up choice delivers a unique flavor profile with low acidity and delicate notes of sweet chocolate. It provides a balanced taste that won't overwhelm your palate, and Koffee Kult fans rave about the excellent crema it produces. However, if you are a fan of bold and robust flavors, this option may lean towards the lighter and sweeter side, falling slightly short of claiming the top position.
4. Kicking Horse Black Coffee – Finest Decaf
Decaffeinated coffee often carries a negative reputation. However, Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast aims to change that perception. This robust blend is created from beans grown in Central and South America and roasted at a high altitude in the Rocky Mountains. Kicking Horse is dedicated to sustainable and environmentally conscious practices, opting for the Swiss Water Process to decaffeinate their coffee, which preserves its flavor. Furthermore, it is certified organic, fair trade, and kosher.
This dark roast blend features hints of hazelnut and chocolate, offering a mellow profile that defies the notion that decaf lacks flavor. Decaf coffee lovers note that these beans are perfect for use in super-automatic espresso machines. The only drawback is that it is the most expensive black coffee choice on our list.
5. Valhalla Java – Best Ground Coffee Pick
If you have an affinity for coffee as strong as heavy-metal music, Valhalla Java Ground Coffee delivers a mighty punch when you need it. Created by Death Wish Coffee as a tribute to renowned guitar player Zakk Wylde, this blend includes a combination of Arabica and Robusta beans from Indonesia, Central, and South America. With a medium roast, it offers a smooth and powerful flavor, enriched by notes of chocolate and a nutty aroma. Fans indicate that this ground pick is not suitable for espresso machines due to its medium grind. Additionally, if you are sensitive to caffeine or dislike the flavor of Robusta beans, this blend may not be for you. However, if you aspire to start your day like Zakk Wylde, this could be the most radical choice for you.
What Is Considered Black Coffee?
While the definition may seem obvious to some, there is still some confusion surrounding what truly constitutes a black coffee experience.
Many, including myself, define black coffee as a beverage made using any coffee maker, such as a French press, espresso machine, or AeroPress, and served without the addition of milk, creamer, sugar, or any other extras.
However, some still consider coffee black even when adding ingredients that do not change the drink's color, such as sugar, cocoa powder, or syrups. The debate continues, but in my opinion, black coffee should have no additional ingredients.
Most people who enjoy drinking their coffee pure do so because it allows them to fully appreciate the coffee's characteristics. Adding sugar or cream significantly alters the flavor profile, much like pouring ketchup on a premium steak masks the steak's true taste.
What Coffee Beans Make the Best Black Coffee?
Most high-quality whole bean coffees can be enjoyed black, as long as they have been freshly roasted (ideally within a month) and ground just before brewing. The freshness and grinding process significantly impact the overall taste of your black coffee.
Avoid using preground coffee or instant coffee, as their flavor profiles might not meet your expectations. It is best to stay away from instant coffee, which tends to have a subpar taste when consumed black.
Personal preference plays a significant role in choosing the best coffee beans for black coffee. If you prefer a fruity flavor profile, try sourcing natural processed coffee from Ethiopia. On the other hand, if you prefer low acidity, look for washed processed coffee from Colombia.
The beauty of the coffee world lies in its vast variation. Some individuals enjoy the bitterness of earthy black coffee, while others prefer a milder, fruitier brew. Ultimately, it is a matter of personal taste. I encourage you to experiment and explore different blends and single-origin coffees from specialty coffee roasters until you find one that suits your preferences.
How to Brew the Smoothest Black Coffee?
When it comes to brewing black coffee, there is no definitive right or wrong method. It all comes down to personal taste. However, focusing on a few key factors can contribute to a smoother black coffee experience.
Rather than fixating on the coffee maker itself, pay attention to the coffee grind, water quality, and brewing ratios. These elements have a more significant impact on the smoothness of your black coffee.
That being said, certain coffee makers offer more control over the brewing process. If you want complete control over your coffee, consider avoiding regular auto-drip coffee makers, as they offer minimal control over brewing variables.
Manual pour-over coffee brewers like the Hario V60 or Kalita Wave provide complete control and allow you to fine-tune the brewing variables for a smooth black coffee. Even an AeroPress can be a great option, offering versatility and precision.
While a French press can make a good-tasting black coffee, the final brew sometimes has a gritty texture and heavy mouthfeel. It may not be the best method for truly enjoying black coffee.
Investing in a good espresso machine can provide the best black coffee experience, allowing you to produce incredibly flavorful espresso shots that can be enjoyed on their own or used as a base for various coffee drinks.
What Is the Best Coffee Drink to Enjoy Black?
Choosing which coffee drink to enjoy black is a personal decision. As I mentioned before, I am not a frequent black coffee drinker myself.
In my experience, the best black coffee drink is a simple drip coffee made with a metal filter or a pour-over using a metal filter. These methods offer a clean and unadulterated black coffee experience.
Personally, I drink my coffee black to fully appreciate the flavors of the coffee beans I am trying. When using a paper or cloth filter, the flavor profile may be compromised as some of the coffee oils are filtered out. It's like pouring ketchup on a premium steak, where the steak flavor is still present but not fully experienced.
Other notable black coffee options include siphon coffee, Chemex, cold brew, espresso, and Caffe Americano. Each of these drinks offers a unique black coffee experience worth exploring.
Can Black Coffee Be Consumed on an Empty Stomach?
While I am not a medical professional and do not offer medical advice, based on my personal experience, black coffee, like any type of coffee, is generally fine to consume on an empty stomach.
Coffee does increase the production of stomach acid but typically does not cause digestive issues.
If you have specific concerns or health conditions, consulting with a healthcare professional is always recommended.
The Influence of Brewing Method on Flavor
The method you use to brew your coffee can have a significant impact on its taste. Here are some popular brewing methods and how they affect the flavor of your morning cup of joe.
The french press brewing method involves immersing coarsely ground coffee in hot water for four minutes before using a plunger to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid. The plunger is equipped with a mesh filter that removes the grounds while allowing oils and micro sediment to remain, resulting in a thick texture and a bold, rich, and dark taste. This method is ideal for medium to dark roast coffee and is recommended for those who prefer a strong cup of coffee.
Pour Over/Drip Coffee
Pour-over coffee makers work similarly to drip coffee machines, which are essentially automated versions. Water trickles over coffee grounds in a funnel with a paper filter, allowing the grounds to expand and release a full range of flavors. The paper filter removes sediment and some coffee oils, resulting in a smooth-textured cup of coffee bursting with flavor. You can use any type of coffee with a pour-over setup, but it particularly enhances the delicate fruity and floral flavors, making it an excellent choice for first-time coffee drinkers.
If you're struggling to find the perfect-tasting coffee for your preferences, consider cold brew. This method involves steeping coarsely ground coffee in cold water for 12 hours or more before removing the grounds. The result is a full-bodied, sweet cup of coffee with extremely low acidity. Cold brew is ideal for those who enjoy a sweeter flavor profile or have a sensitive stomach.
Espresso machines utilize high pressure to extract a rich and full flavor from coffee. The resulting concentrated shot of coffee has a thick consistency, similar to melted honey, with an intense and lingering taste. A quality espresso includes a thick layer of crema, formed by natural fats found in the coffee beans. Espresso is a favorite among coffee connoisseurs, and it serves as the base for drinks like Americanos and lattes. However, it's important to note that espresso is a strong and bold option that may not be suitable for those who prefer milder flavors.
Whole Bean Coffee vs Ground Coffee
To achieve the most flavorful cup of coffee, it's best to purchase whole coffee beans from local roasters and grind them at home. Like many other food items, coffee beans are at their peak freshness around 1-2 weeks after being roasted. Using a burr grinder ensures an even grind for your chosen brewing method. It's important to only grind the amount of coffee you need for each batch, as coffee loses flavor as soon as it's ground.
Different Roast Levels
Lighter roasts are removed from the roaster early in the process, retaining more moisture. They have a light brown color, large and rounded shape, and a dry texture. Light roasts have higher caffeine and acidity levels compared to dark roasts, offering more complex flavor notes such as delicate fruit and floral tones.
Medium roast coffee beans are left in the roaster slightly longer than light roast beans, resulting in the breakdown of acids and the development of nutty flavors. Medium roast beans are often known for their chocolatey flavor notes and smooth, easy-to-drink profile. They are suitable for most brewing methods.
Dark roast beans are roasted past the "second crack" phase, causing the beans to release oils and develop cracks on their surface. The shiny appearance is due to the oils, and the sugars in the beans caramelize, creating rich flavors of dark chocolate, wood, and burnt caramel. Dark roasts offer intense, single-note flavors and are recommended for brewing methods like French press, cold brew, and espresso.
In conclusion, for all the black coffee enthusiasts out there, finding the perfect cup of bold and rich flavor doesn't have to be a daunting task. With this comprehensive guide, you now have a list of the top black coffee brands to explore as well as insights into the various factors that can influence its taste. Whether you prefer the convenience of instant coffee or the depth of flavor from whole bean options, there is a black coffee that is sure to satisfy your palate. So grab your favorite brewing method and embark on a journey to discover the smoothest, most flavorful black coffee for your enjoyment. Cheers to indulging in the simple pleasure of a cup of black coffee that truly hits the spot!
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