The Ultimate Guide to the Best Coffees for Home Roasting

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Are you a coffee lover who wants to take your passion to the next level? If so, then home roasting might be just the thing for you. With a wide variety of roast types and coffee brands to choose from, the options can be overwhelming. That's why we've compiled a list of the best coffees for home roasting, ranging from light to dark roasts and everything in between. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned home coffee roaster, we've got you covered with tips, recommendations, and insights into the coffee roasting process. So, grab your favorite mug and get ready to embark on a flavorful journey right in the comfort of your own home.


Light Roast


Light roast coffee is characterized by its pale brown color and absence of surface oil on the beans. This type of roast is known for preserving the natural flavors of the coffee and accentuating its acidity, smooth body, and vibrant floral or fruity notes. Light roast allows the unique characteristics, quality, and origin of the coffee beans to shine through. It encompasses a range of roasts, including those known as Cinnamon, New England, or Half-City, which offer a diverse array of aromas, flavors, and aftertastes.

Light roast coffees typically exhibit fruity and floral flavor notes more prominently than other roast styles. This roast style prioritizes the coffee's origin, highlighting its unique qualities more than any other roast.

If you want to fully experience the complexity of the coffee bean itself, light roast is recommended. Its lighter body and nuanced tasting notes create an elegant and sophisticated cup of coffee that allows you to savor all the nuances of the coffee.

Some of our favorite light roast coffees include FRC Light Roast Blend, Brazil Fazenda Santa Luzia, and Organic Ethiopian Sidamo.


Medium Roast


Medium roast, also known as High, American, or City Roasts, displays a brown color with varying degrees of surface oil, depending on the specific roast and bean. This roast strikes a balance between preserving the coffee's natural flavors and developing flavors through the roasting process. It offers a well-rounded and balanced cup of coffee. While some of the brighter and more acidic notes may be toned down in medium roast, it incorporates toasty and caramelized flavors from the roasting process, resulting in a harmonious cup of coffee.

Medium roast coffees are characterized by flavors of spices, nuts, and chocolate. They typically offer the smoothest and most traditional taste experience.

Medium roast is the preferred choice for many coffee enthusiasts in America, as it combines aspects of both light and dark roast profiles in a single cup. It captures elements from both the roasting process and the inherent qualities of the beans.

Some of our best medium roast coffees include Drago Espresso Roast and Organic Guatemalan Huehuetenango.


Dark Roast


Dark roast, also known as Full City, French Roast, or Italian Roast, is characterized by its very dark brown to black color and oily surface on the beans. This roast level diminishes the coffee's original characteristics, with the flavor profile dominated by the intensity of the roast. Dark roast is known for its bold body and absence of acidity.

Common flavor notes found in dark roast coffee include bittersweet chocolate and brown sugar. These flavors provide a robust and intense taste experience. Dark roasts pair well with dairy or non-dairy additions as the strong body cuts through these flavors while still maintaining the classic coffee taste. This roast is recommended for those seeking a strong and full-bodied coffee, as well as those who enjoy making coffee-based drinks.

Favorites in the dark roast category include Black Knight artisan blend and Organic Dark Mexican.


Coffee Roasting Process


Let's begin by understanding the coffee roasting process and its impact on the coffee bean. Coffee cherries are produced by a tropical shrub. Inside these cherries, you'll find green coffee beans, which are the seeds of the Coffea shrub.

Green coffee beans look vastly different from the beans we typically see in a coffee bag. They have a slight grassy smell, a pale sage color, and are unsuitable for brewing a flavorful cup of coffee. This is where the roasting process comes in.

During roasting, coffee beans are subjected to temperatures of up to 482°F. At 401°F, the beans undergo their "first crack," which signifies the beginning of expansion and moisture release. This stage imparts a deeper flavor, color, and aroma to the beans.

When the beans reach 437°F, they experience a second crack. Beyond this point, dark roast territory is reached. However, if the beans are heated beyond 482°F, they will burn. Roasting coffee beans is a delicate process that requires precise timing as seconds can make a significant difference in the final outcome.

Each roasted bean possesses distinct characteristics influenced by the duration and temperature of the roasting process. The higher the internal temperature during roasting, the darker the resulting roast.

Mastering the art of roasting takes years of experience. Knowing how to decipher the roast level of a bean is a skill possessed by seasoned roasters. Now, let's explore how each roast compares in terms of flavor profile, acidity, aroma, and overall characteristics.


5 Types of Coffee Roast [Plus, Which One Is Best]


While coffee roasters continually experiment with different blends, flavors, and beans, the five roast styles serve as a reliable categorization. Recently, lighter varieties such as gold roast have gained popularity due to their higher caffeine content and lighter taste.

What sets coffee roasts apart? The difference lies in the levels of oil, caffeine, and acidity. Lighter roasts have less oil, higher caffeine content, and more pronounced acidity. Darker roasts, on the other hand, are oilier with reduced acidity and lower caffeine levels.

The five types of coffee roasts, listed from lightest to darkest after green coffee beans, are:

  • Gold
  • Blonde
  • Light
  • Medium
  • Dark

Here is a handy coffee roast chart that provides a visual representation of the different roast types:


Green Coffee Beans


Green coffee beans are unroasted and inedible. However, it is worth noting that all coffee beans begin at this stage. Some enthusiasts purchase green coffee beans to roast them at home using specialized equipment.

While most coffee comes from Arabica beans, the lesser-known Robusta bean is gaining recognition in its own right. Both varieties originate from green coffee beans and undergo the roasting process to highlight their distinct qualities.

Let's explore the different coffee styles once the roasting process begins:


1. Gold


Gold roast coffee undergoes a very light roasting, falling between light roast and white coffee in terms of intensity. This roast is achieved by roasting the beans at a lower temperature than darker roasts, allowing it to offer several benefits:

  • Well-balanced flavor without bitterness
  • Reduced acidity, making it gentle on the stomach
  • Less staining of teeth compared to darker roasts
  • 5 times the caffeine content of other roasts, without the jitters

Gold roast coffee appeals to various groups of people. It serves as a gentle introduction for those new to coffee, and it is also popular among wellness-conscious individuals due to its health benefits and lower sugar content.

Which roast is considered the best for coffee? Gold roast is regarded as the best due to its high caffeine content, smooth flavor, and antioxidant levels. If you seek healthier ways to enjoy coffee, gold roast might be the perfect choice for you.

While gold roast can sometimes be challenging to find as it is relatively new, you can explore various flavors by trying this variety pack.


2. Blonde


Blonde roast is another type of light roast known for its high acidity and "bright" flavors. This roast style involves stopping the roasting process shortly after the first crack, resulting in a shorter exposure to heat compared to other roasts.


3. Light


Many coffee enthusiasts prefer light roast coffee for its relatively mild flavor and higher caffeine content. While light roasts are roasted slightly longer than blonde beans, they retain much of their acidity and possess minimal oiliness.

Common light roast types include New England, Half-City, and Cinnamon roast blends. You'll often find specialty coffee shops offering light roast options, while chain coffee shops tend to lean toward darker roasts.

What does light roast mean? Light roast refers to coffee that has been roasted less than medium or dark coffees. Light roasts are characterized by their light brown color, bittersweet flavor, and low oiliness.


4. Medium


Medium roast marks the beginning of the development of oil on the coffee beans' surface. As with other roast styles, the name of the roast refers to its medium brown color.

Medium roast coffee is highly popular and commonly enjoyed at home. It showcases caramelized flavors due to increased exposure to heat.

Typical medium roast blends include City roast, American roast, and Breakfast blends. Some companies classify a separate medium-dark roast, with Full City roast being a popular example. However, we believe creating a separate category for medium-dark roast is unnecessary.


5. Dark


Dark roast coffee undergoes an extended and intense roasting process. This results in dark brown beans with a bold and rich flavor profile, accompanied by surface oil that gives the beans a glossy appearance.

Dark roast coffee is particularly favored in Europe for its intense flavor and reduced caffeine content. Popular dark roast options include Continental Roast, Espresso Roast, Italian Roast, French Roast, New Orleans Roast, and Vienna Roast. Dark roasts can range from moderately dark to nearly charred. Due to the intensity of the roasting process, most of the beans' original characteristics are diminished.

Which coffee roast is the darkest? Dark roast coffee is, unsurprisingly, the darkest roast available. French roast coffee is often considered one of the most intense among the various dark roasts.

What is the best coffee roast for French press? Most coffee professionals recommend using a medium to dark roast coffee for a French press to extract the maximum flavor from the beans.


Water Avenue Coffee



Best Overall


Located in Portland, Oregon, Water Avenue Coffee is renowned as a model roaster in this coffee-centric city. The company excels in every aspect, from its flavors and variety to its presentation and packaging. Water Avenue's expert roasting ensures that you can easily recreate the authentic coffee shop experience at home.

A bag of Stone Street coffee beans. Amazon


Stone Street Coffee Company



Best Dark Roast


Based in New York, Stone Street is known for its exceptional dark roast coffee. The company offers a range of options on the darker end of the roast spectrum, each equally delicious and sourced from various regions worldwide. Unlike many dark roast coffees, Stone Street's offerings remain enjoyable even without the need for excessive milk.

A label for Cognoscenti Coffee.


Cognoscenti Coffee



Best Light Roast


Cognoscenti, located in Los Angeles, specializes in light roast coffee, suited to the city's warm climate. The roaster successfully presents lighter roasts without compromising on flavor profiles. If you enjoy fruit and citrus-driven coffee, Cognoscenti is sure to captivate your taste buds.

A bag of Peet's Coffee beans.


Peet's Coffee



Best Budget


Peet's Coffee has consistently delivered quality beans at an affordable price. Alongside remarkable options like Major Dickason's Blend, Peet's has also engaged in innovative collaborations, such as the creation of a coffee-infused IPA with a brewery. This roaster has something for everyone, impressing coffee lovers without breaking the bank.

The Onyx Coffee lab pack. Amazon


Onyx Coffee Lab



Best for Espresso


Onyx Coffee Lab, an award-winning specialty coffee roaster based in Arkansas, constantly pushes the envelope with its creative offerings. While the company boasts an impressive selection of coffee beans, it truly shines in the realm of espresso. If you're looking to elevate your single shot or Americano, Onyx Coffee Lab is worth exploring.

A bag of Java Pura espresso beans.


Java Pura



Best Flavored Coffee


Java Pura, hailing from Houston, Texas, is making significant contributions to the coffee scene in the Lone Star State. The roaster boasts excellent cold brew, surprisingly good decaffeinated options, and even a barrel-aged series of coffee beans. Expect big, memorable flavors from Java Pura, including a delightful espresso blend.

A bag of Intelligentsia Coffee beans.





Best Variety


Intelligentsia Coffee has grown tremendously over the years but remains committed to producing exceptional coffee. Established in 1995, the Chicago-based roaster has established relationships with coffee growers from around the world, enabling them to create an impressive portfolio of coffees. If you seek diversity in origin and flavor, Intelligentsia is your go-to coffee destination.

bag from Stumptown Coffee Roasters.


Stumptown Coffee



Best Whole Bean


Stumptown Coffee has made a significant impact in the coffee industry, and for good reason. This Pacific Northwest operation sources exceptional beans and delivers them freshly roasted, granting you the pleasure of grinding your own beans at home. Stumptown's whole bean lineup is noteworthy, with aromas that match their outstanding flavors.

A bag of Peace Coffee beans.


Peace Coffee



Most Sustainable


Hailing from Minneapolis, Peace Coffee has established itself as a pioneer in fair trade practices and sustainable farming. With each sip of their coffee, you'll not only enjoy exceptional flavor but also support a worthy cause. Peace Coffee was founded by the Institute for Agriculture & Trade Policy, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting equity in farming and fair agricultural practices.

A bag of Coava Coffee beans.


Coava Coffee



Best Single Origin


A visit to Coava's flagship coffee shop is a delightful experience that engages all your senses. Fortunately, you can replicate this experience at home by exploring the diverse and exceptional single-origin offerings from this roaster. Not only will you enjoy a fantastic cup of joe, but you will also discover new and captivating coffee regions that may become your new favorites.

Coffee beans from Brooklyn Roasting Company.


Brooklyn Roasting Company



Best Ground


Brooklyn Roasting Company stands out among East Coast roasters for its outstanding quality. What sets them apart is their dedication to grinding their coffee to perfection, offering a variety of coarseness options tailored to your preferred brewing method. Supporting this company means supporting their socially conscious practices while enjoying their exceptional coffee beans.

A can of Cafe du Monde Chicory coffee.


Cafe du Monde



Best Canned Coffee


Chicory coffee, a beloved beverage in New Orleans, is both delicious and enjoyable to drink. Cafe du Monde, with its iconic can adorned with a charming bayou-style insignia, reigns as the most renowned brand in the market. The taste of this coffee will transport you straight to the lively mornings on Bourbon Street, and once you've finished, you can repurpose and use the cool can to store your coffee tools.

A bag of Kona Gold coffee beans. Amazon


Dunkin' Original Blend Medium Roast


Dunkin' Original Blend Medium RoastBest Budget


Starbucks Breakfast Blend


Starbucks Breakfast BlendBest Budget Runner-Up


Mayorga Organics Coffee Cafe Cubano


Mayorga Organics Coffee Cafe CubanoBest for Cold Brew


Starbucks Espresso Roast


Starbucks Espresso RoastBest For Espresso


Intelligentsia Black Cat Espresso


Intelligentsia Black Cat EspressoBest For Espresso Runner-Up


La Colombe Nizza Medium Roast


La Colombe Nizza Medium RoastBest Medium Roast (Sweet)


Tandem Coffee Roasters Stoker


Tandem Coffee Roasters StokerBest Medium Roast (Smooth)


Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend


Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's BlendBest Dark Roast


Death Wish Coffee Co. Dark Roast


Death Wish Coffee Co. Dark RoastBest Dark Roast Runner-Up


Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf Dark Roast


Decaf Dark RoastBest Decaf


Lavazza Dek Whole Bean Coffee Blend


Lavazza Dek Whole Bean Coffee BlendBest Decaf For Espresso


Best Whole Bean Coffee - Kicking Horse Coffee, Kick Ass Dark Roast


Kicking Horse Coffee Company’s Kick Ass dark roastBest Coffee on Amazon- Kick Ass Whole Bean is my top recommendation for the best coffee beans available on Amazon. This dark roast whole coffee bean produces a smooth-tasting cup of coffee that is sure to satisfy any coffee enthusiast.

This roast has become my go-to choice for an everyday brew at home. It is perfect for brewing with a French press or a drip coffee maker. The coffee beans consistently deliver freshness and a well-rounded flavor profile. Since it comes in whole bean form, you can grind it to your desired consistency, ensuring a satisfying brew every time.

Kick Ass is both organic and fair trade certified, making it not only a great choice for a tasty cup of coffee, but also a responsible choice that supports coffee farmers. This blend, crafted from Indonesian and South American beans, offers a well-balanced and smoky-sweet flavor profile that is sure to please.

While this is a dark roast coffee, it is not overly bold or overpowering. It offers a caffeine content of 120 mg per 6 oz cup, providing enough energy to kickstart your mornings.

You can easily purchase a 1-pound bag of Kick Ass whole beans on Amazon for under $20.00, with the added benefit of free shipping for Prime members.


Best Ground Coffee - Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Holler Mountain Medium Roast


Best Ground Coffee on Amazon- Stumptown Holler MountainHoller Mountain, one of Stumptown's signature blends, has contributed to the brand's well-deserved reputation. This medium roast ground coffee offers a full-bodied flavor profile that I personally enjoy brewing with a pour-over device or an Aeropress.

I appreciate that this blend is organic and suitable for use in various drip coffee applications, eliminating any concerns about preground coffee going stale. With its delightful taste, I often find myself finishing a bag within a week.

Despite being a gourmet coffee brand, Holler Mountain remains affordable. A bag of ground coffee beans can be purchased for under $15.00. Additionally, it is widely available to coffee enthusiasts through Amazon.

Although Holler Mountain is not a flavored coffee, you can detect notes of creamy caramel and rich undertones in each sip. Personally, I enjoy this coffee as a refreshing Japanese iced coffee during hot summer days. It perfectly fulfills my desire for a lighter roast coffee during that season.

If you'd like to experience the exceptional taste of Stumptown's Holler Mountain, you can easily find it available for purchase on Amazon.


Discover the Finest Organic Dark Roast Coffee for French Press - Really Good Coffee Co.


Explore the Best Coffee Beans on Amazon - Really Good Coffee Co Organic Dark RoastHave you ever come across Really Good Coffee Co? If not, let me introduce you to this remarkable brand that I discovered through a friend. After incessantly raving about the exceptional French press coffee at her house, she graciously gifted me a bag of the Good Coffee Company’s organic dark roast. This bold and aromatic coffee, with its hints of floral citrus, is specifically crafted for the exquisite experience of French press brewing.

The rich flavors of cedar, red bell pepper, and lemon harmonize perfectly with the French press brewing method. This artisanal coffee blend is an organic, single-origin masterpiece that delivers exceptional taste.

Hailing from Seattle, the Good Coffee Company is known for its commitment to producing gourmet, high-quality coffee beans using a simple and pure approach. Their dedication to freshness is evident in every sip, and the best part is, it's incredibly affordable.

Indulge in the Really Good Coffee Company’s organic dark roast whole bean coffee, available on Amazon in a generous 2-pound bag, priced under $30.00 and eligible for free shipping for Prime members.


Experience the Perfect Coffee for Moka Pot Brewing - Illy, Moka Ground, Classica Roast


Discover the Best Coffee Beans on Amazon - Illy Moka Pot Ground Classica RoastMoka pots, the iconic Italian-style percolator coffee makers, produce rich and velvety espresso-like coffee. To achieve an exceptional cup of Moka pot coffee, one must start with the perfect coffee ground, and that's where Illy’s Moka ground, classica roast coffee shines. This is undoubtedly the finest choice for Moka pot brewing.

Illy's Moka ground coffee is renowned for its silky smoothness and richness, effortlessly creating the creamy espresso-style coffee that coffee lovers crave. With over 80 years of experience in the coffee industry, this Italian coffee roaster has perfected the art of delivering exquisite flavors.

Indulge in the sweet and delightful notes of caramel present in the Moka ground coffee, perfectly complementing the desired faux crema that makes Moka pot coffee irresistible. This medium roast coffee blend is expertly crafted to create a splendid brewing experience when prepared using a Moka pot.

The coffee grounds are conveniently packaged in the iconic silver tin, ensuring freshness and preserving the full flavors. As a testament to my unwavering love for this coffee, I have it conveniently delivered to my doorstep alongside other coffee essentials.

If you wish to savor the delightful Illy Moka ground classica roast, look no further than Amazon, where you can enjoy free shipping for Prime members.


Discover the Best Affordable Coffee - Community Coffee, New Orleans Blend


Explore the Finest Coffee Beans on Amazon - Community Coffee New Orleans BlendI come from a Southern family with deep roots in Louisiana, and Community Coffee has been a cherished part of my upbringing. Every kitchen, from my grandparents to my parents, proudly housed a canister of this coffee. For us, if it wasn't Community Coffee, it simply wasn't coffee. And let's not even get started on iced tea brands!

Having grown up with this brand as the epitome of coffee, I assumed it was universally known. However, upon moving to Colorado after college, I realized it was almost impossible to find. Fortunately, my parents would send me care packages that included our beloved Community Coffee, satisfying my homesick cravings.

My personal choice for the best budget coffee on Amazon is the Community Coffee New Orleans Blend. This dark roast evokes memories of cozy mornings in my grandmother's kitchen, enveloped in the delectable aroma of warm coffee during holiday visits.

What sets Community Coffee apart is not only its rich flavor profile, but also its status as a family-owned business for over four generations. They prioritize building relationships with their suppliers and giving back to their community, upholding their values with pride.

The New Orleans Blend offers exceptional value for your money. A 12 oz bag typically costs around .00, providing unmatched depth of flavor compared to other budget-friendly options.

To experience the remarkable taste of Community Coffee's affordable New Orleans Blend, simply visit Amazon and enjoy free shipping for Prime members.


Embark on a Flavorsome Journey with the Best Everyday Coffee - Stumptown, Hair Bender Dark Roast


Discover the Finest Coffee Beans on Amazon - Stumptown Hair BenderAllow me to introduce you to my go-to coffee for everyday brewing—the extraordinary Stumptown Hair Bender. While I have praised this coffee in previous posts, I wanted to share with you the absolute best everyday coffee available on Amazon. Hair Bender, a signature roast from the renowned Stumptown lineup, is a versatile blend that perfectly complements various brewing methods. Whether it's drip, pour-over, Aeropress, French press, or even Moka pot brewing, this coffee does not disappoint.

Unlike most dark roasts, Hair Bender offers a non-oily texture while still delivering a robust flavor that rivals even espresso beans. For those who own automatic espresso machines, this roast will revolutionize your coffee experience by minimizing oil build-up commonly associated with other dark roasts.

Stumptown specifically chose Hair Bender as their espresso of choice in their own coffee shops. However, its compatibility with other brewing methods is truly exceptional. When prepared using the pour-over method, this coffee's delightful citrus and deep chocolate notes come to life, enhancing your coffee-drinking pleasure.

I highly recommend purchasing Hair Bender in whole bean form to enjoy the full versatility of this roast. Grinding the beans to suit your brewing needs allows you to unlock its true potential and understand why it is my top pick for Amazon's best everyday coffee beans. You can easily purchase a bag of Stumptown’s Hair Bender dark roast on Amazon and delight in free shipping for Prime members.


Indulge in the Finest Coffee for Cold Brew - Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee, Strong & Smooth Blend


Explore the Best Coffee Beans on Amazon - Stone Street Cold BrewCold brew coffee holds a special place in my heart, especially living in North Texas where the scorching heat often warrants a refreshing cup of cold brew. In my pursuit of the perfect coffee for cold brewing, I discovered the astonishing Stone Street cold brew roasts. This exceptional line of whole bean coffees allows me to grind the beans fresh, ensuring a strong yet smooth flavor profile.

The key to a remarkable cold brew is selecting a roast that excels in the cold brewing process while retaining its delightful flavors without the influence of heat. Stone Street's wide range of cold brew coffee beans on Amazon guarantees an unparalleled cold brewing experience. For those who prefer pre-ground beans, they offer their cold brew blends, including flavored coffees, in a coarse grind. This specific grind is crucial for achieving the golden ratio of cold brew coffee.

With more than 10 flavors and blends in their cold brew line, Stone Street offers an impressive selection. They even provide pre-measured brewing sachets of their cold brew blends for added convenience. While I have tried most of their offerings, I find myself continuously returning to their original cold brew blend.

This remarkable roast boasts harmonious chocolate and nutty notes, as well as a bold and smooth flavor with a lower acidic finish. For under $16.00, you can purchase a pound of Stone Street cold brew blend on Amazon and embark on a delightful cold brew journey.


Seattle's Best


Seattle's Best is a renowned coffee brand that was acquired by Starbucks in 2003 to connect with working-class coffee enthusiasts who found Starbucks too trendy (via Business Insider). While it is marketed as a more accessible option, Seattle's Best falls short in terms of taste. Regardless of the diverse range of light to dark roast options, each bag leaves a bitter aftertaste that lingers in every sip. It seems that the subpar flavor of Seattle's Best is a deliberate strategy to redirect customers to Starbucks. To truly experience the city's finest coffee, opt for Starbucks Pike Place blend.


Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value


True to its name, Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value brand is a reliable choice for your daily coffee fix. With a variety of roasts spanning the entire range of coffee preferences, this brand offers quality coffee at a reasonable price. Starting at just $10.99 for a 24-ounce package, it is one of the most affordable specialty coffees available. If you prefer a lighter roast, the Hometown blend is a safe bet. It is less oily and has comforting chocolatey notes. The Viennese coffee strikes a balance between the dryness of the Hometown blend and the oiliness of the Night Owl, a dark Spanish roast. Whether you consider yourself a coffee snob or not, 365 Everyday Value satisfies the search for a crafty roast with nuanced flavors.


Eight O'Clock Coffee


While Eight O'Clock Coffee has gained popularity among modern coffee drinkers, it has been in the coffee business since 1859. One of its main attractions is its affordable price, but the flavors are also decent. Specialty flavors like Mint Chocolate, French Vanilla, and Hazelnut provide a unique taste, although the flavors tend to fade quickly. For a more consistent flavor experience, stick to reliable roasts like Original or Donut Shop. These coffees offer a well-balanced taste throughout every sip. In the realm of coffee, Eight O'Clock may not be the absolute best, but it certainly isn't the worst.


Wide Awake Coffee Co.


Wide Awake Coffee Co., known for its big-eyed owl mascot, offers a mild-tasting cup of coffee that is easy to enjoy on a daily basis. Whether you prefer single-serve pods, cold brews, or bagged beans, this brand has a coffee option for you. What sets Wide Awake apart is its attentiveness to detail in the creation of its products. For example, certain styles of their individual K-cup pods are compostable, providing an eco-friendly alternative. However, the flavor itself does not leave a lasting impression. While it isn't terrible, it also isn't exceptionally unique. Wide Awake Coffee Co. is a reliable choice, but it may not leave you jumping for joy.


Tim Hortons


In Canada, where a strong cup of coffee is highly valued, Tim Hortons has long been a staple. However, in recent years, the quality of their coffee has declined, leaving many disappointed (per The Guardian). Although it is not a terrible choice if it is your only option, if you have other coffee choices available, it may be worth exploring alternatives. Tim Hortons' coffee used to be great, but now it is just average. Changes in popular flavors and negative press have impacted the brand's reputation. If you're seeking a reliable and satisfying coffee experience, consider other options.




Folgers' famous jingle about being the best part of waking up may have been a slight exaggeration, but in today's uncertain times, a dependable cup of coffee is a comforting presence. That's where Folgers comes in. It may not be the top coffee on the market, but its mild flavor is well-suited for drip machines and satisfies the majority of American coffee drinkers. It may not thrill gourmet coffee enthusiasts, but it also won't disappoint them. While it may not excel in manual brewing methods like French Press or Mokka Pot, Folgers remains a reliable choice for those who prefer a classic cup of coffee.


Green Mountain Coffee Roaster


Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a frustrating choice for coffee enthusiasts as its most common form of consumption is through K-Cups. Once known for its dedication to eco-friendly practices, the brand's association with single-serve coffee has tarnished its environmental reputation (via The New York Times). Despite offering a range of different roast intensities, the flavor of Green Mountain coffee remains balanced but unremarkable. While it may provide a peaceful and relaxing experience without caffeine jitters or bitter flavors, the company's use of plastic in its single-serve cups is concerning for both consumers and the environment.


Community Coffee


Community Coffee, starting as a family-owned roaster in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has grown into a nationwide brand with beans sourced from around the world. This diverse selection includes single-serve pods, whole beans, and pre-ground blends to suit various brewing methods. While their dark roasted Signature Blend stays true to its original formula from 1919, Community Coffee now offers a range of options. Single-origin roasts from Guatemala and Mexico feature bright, fruit-forward flavors that develop with each sip. With imaginative flavors like Mardi Gras King Cake, Community Coffee offers something for everyone. Even their more traditional blends provide a strong taste without being overly harsh. Overall, Community Coffee is a reliable option with a rich heritage.


Allegro Coffee


Allegro Coffee, popular for being the in-house cafe and roaster of Whole Foods, operates out of a large facility in Denver with additional micro-roasters across the country. Although some of the micro-roasters have been converted into grocery delivery prep rooms, Allegro continues to deliver fresh blends to Whole Foods nationwide with the help of Amazon's logistics infrastructure. This brand offers fair-trade certified beans, and its organic line of coffees features vibrant flavors sourced from different regions of the world. The Mexican Chiapas roast, in particular, offers a rich and creamy flavor with crisp undertones and a hint of nuttiness. Allegro Coffee not only ensures a flavorful experience but also supports farmers through fair and lucrative relationships.




From its humble beginnings as a donut shop in 1950, Dunkin' has expanded to become an international coffee behemoth. Though known for its sugary, limited-time novelty beverages, Dunkin' has remained true to its roots of delivering quality coffee. When it comes to drip coffee, their at-home offerings closely resemble the taste of their in-store drinks. While they offer fun pastry-style varieties, their basic roasts provide the best taste and quality. Dunkin' strikes a balance between familiarity and flavor, offering satisfying options without being overwhelming. For those seeking a reliable and flavorful cup of coffee, Dunkin' is the right choice.


Café Bustelo


Café Bustelo draws its inspiration from the rich coffee traditions of Latin America. Its bold flavors represent the important role Latin American nations play in providing raw coffee beans to the world. This brand offers a range of dark roasts, and while they may be stronger in flavor, they are a delight to savor. The aroma that fills the air when brewing Café Bustelo is full and aromatic, setting high expectations that are met perfectly with the first sip. The beans are fresh and the coffee has an authentic roasted taste. Café Bustelo is a brand that can be trusted to deliver excellence in each cup.


La Colombe


La Colombe has experienced a surge in popularity recently, with its bags of fresh grinds, whole beans, and single-serve cans of cold brew gaining prominence. From quality coffee to trendy canned beverages, La Colombe offers a wide range of options. As oat milk gains popularity as a coffee creamer, La Colombe has capitalized on this trend by offering oat milk lattes in addition to their other draft latte flavors. The cold brews are silky smooth and provide a moment of inner peace with every sip. Beyond the chilled drinks, La Colombe offers ready-to-brew coffees inspired by international flavors. Whether you're seeking a dark roast with red wine and spice notes or a light roast with hints of cherry soda, La Colombe has something to satisfy every palate.


Equal Exchange


Equal Exchange is renowned not only for its high-quality and affordable coffee but also for its commitment to fair, alternative trade practices. The brand uplifts marginalized groups in the coffee industry, ensuring that each bag of beans supports justice and economic empowerment. Besides being ethically sourced, Equal Exchange coffee tastes amazing. The flavor is smooth and palatable, making it a pleasure to drink from the first sip to the last. The Women in Coffee series, which focuses on female-led coffee operations within Equal Exchange's supply chain, offers a revelation of slightly sweet beans with brown sugar notes. Equal Exchange is a brand that shines in its ethical practices while delivering a top-notch coffee experience.


Kahawa 1893


Kahawa 1893, a premium African coffee brand, stands out among the reliable and exclusive products found at Trader Joe's. Sourced directly from farmers on the African continent, Kahawa 1893 offers a taste of authentic African coffee traditions. The brand's name means coffee in Swahili, and founder Margaret Nyamumbo's return to her family's coffee business is reflected in every sip. Beans sourced from women farmers in Kenya and Rwanda are nurtured with love and care, resulting in a delicious cup of coffee. Beyond great flavor, purchasing Kahawa 1893 supports a good cause, making each bag of beans even more satisfying. With a wide range of options, including the Roaster's Choice blend, it's hard to go wrong with Kahawa 1893.




Starbucks has solidified its position in the coffee industry through decades of expansion and innovation. While it is often associated with flashy and trendy beverages, Starbucks continues to focus on the foundation of great coffee. Research suggests that most coffee drinkers prefer a standard cup of coffee, and Starbucks delivers with their Pike Place roast. This signature blend strikes a perfect balance with its potent flavor and toasted nut accents. It is a coffee that satisfies caffeine enthusiasts while remaining approachable. A bag of Starbucks beans offers a reliable and enjoyable coffee experience, making it a go-to choice for many coffee lovers.


illy Coffee


When you think of high-quality espresso, it's hard not to imagine yourself in an idyllic Italian setting. Your kitchen may not resemble a glamorous Sicilian villa or a bustling café in Rome, but illy Coffee can transport you there with its amazing aroma. While the city of Turin is often recognized for giving birth to the internationally renowned Lavazza brand, there is another city in the northeast of Italy that has played a critical role in the country's coffee history: Trieste. And the reigning king of the coffee capital of Trieste? illycaffè.

Admittedly, illy Coffee may be pricier compared to grocery store options, but the superior flavor more than justifies the cost. The 8.8-ounce tins are packed with some of the finest coffee roasts Italy has to offer. Whether you use it for espresso or brew it in a French press or regular coffee maker, illy Coffee delivers a smooth and balanced taste that is free from any burnt or sour notes. Don't believe it? There's even a Ground Drip Classico option available for those who want to dip their toes into the world of Italian coffee traditions.


Caribou Coffee


Caribou Coffee started as a small roastery and shop in the distant land of Minnesota, but today, their cafes and bagged beans can be found all across the United States. While Caribou Coffee may not focus on sustainability like Equal Exchange or have a deep dedication to their process like Peet's, they have managed to create an exceptional cup of coffee that speaks for itself.

Caribou's motto, "Life is Short. Stay Awake For It," perfectly embodies their product offerings. Their coffee is strong and flavorful, capable of energizing even the sleepiest of souls. Whether you opt for their dark roasts, like the Mahogany Blend with its rich earthy flavors, or their lighter selections with their vibrant tangy notes, Caribou Coffee guarantees a taste sensation that will make your taste buds soar.




While Starbucks may be the leading proponent of espresso in America, it's important to remember that the origins of this beloved coffee-making technique lie in Italy. And if you ever need a reminder of the Italian roots, just reach for a bag of Lavazza coffee at your local store. From the moment you scoop those grounds to the final sip from your mug, Lavazza's beans will transport you on a leisurely flight to the cappuccino capital of the world.

Lavazza coffees are known for their intensity, and each roast is clearly labeled with where it falls on the intensity scale. While the Classico roast is highly sought after, it is the Gran Selezione that claims the crown. With its pronounced chocolate notes, it's a morning cup worth savoring. Even the blends with lower intensities still pack a flavor punch comparable to a true espresso. And here's a fun fact: Contrary to popular belief, a daily espresso actually contains less caffeine and lower acidity than a daily coffee.


How to Start Roasting Coffee at Home


Embarking on the journey of roasting coffee at home may seem daunting, but it's certainly worth it. Take a deep breath and remember that it's not about achieving perfection. It's about relishing the process, expanding your knowledge about coffee, and roasting your own fresh and flavorful beans that you adore.

Now, let's get started!

First, you'll need to choose a method for roasting. The top four methods include stovetop, oven, popcorn machine, or a dedicated home coffee roaster. We'll delve into each method in more detail shortly.

Next, set up a designated roasting space. It's important to have proper ventilation as roasting can produce smoke. An area with an extractor fan, an open window, or an open garage is ideal.

Finally, decide which beans you want to roast and determine the desired level of roast. Once you have all these details in order, you're ready to begin your roasting adventure!


Basic Tips for Home Roasting


Now that you've chosen your preferred roasting method, let's explore some essential tips to help you on your roasting journey!


Choosing the Right Green Coffee Beans


Firstly, it's important to know that unroasted coffee beans can be stored for up to a year (in proper storage containers) without losing their freshness. Green coffee beans are quite different from their roasted counterparts, so you can't grind or brew them directly. Attempting to do so will result in an unpleasant experience.

Remember, achieving the perfect roast takes practice. Embrace the process of experimentation and discover the diverse flavor profiles that different beans have to offer. Before committing to a single coffee variety, consider trying one of our sample packs to explore the wide range of coffees available worldwide. Our knowledgeable staff is always ready to assist you with any questions you may have about coffee beans, sample packs, roasters, and more.

Once you're all set, set the temperature, fill your roaster with beans, and ensure you have a way to dispose of the chaff (the skin that separates from the beans during roasting). Now, get ready to roast!


Stages of Roasting


The initial stage of roasting is known as yellowing or the drying stage. During this stage, the moisture within the beans begins to evaporate. Depending on your chosen roasting method, maintain a roaster temperature of 350-500 degrees Fahrenheit (175-260 degrees Celsius). Stir the beans regularly to prevent burning.

The second stage is referred to as the browning stage and is the most crucial phase where chemical reactions take place. The Maillard reaction, caramelization, and Strecker degradation combine to create the delightful and aromatic flavor profiles that you love.

Within the first 3-5 minutes of roasting, you will hear an audible crack, indicating that your coffee beans have reached a light roast.

The second crack occurs when all the water has evaporated from the beans, and there is an excess of CO2 that the beans can no longer handle. At this point, sugars are breaking down, resulting in a more bitter and less acidic coffee. The point at which the second crack occurs signifies a medium roast. If you continue roasting beyond this point, you will achieve a dark roast.

For a more in-depth understanding of each roast type, refer to our light roast guide, medium roast guide, and dark roast guide to elevate your roasting skills!

Once your beans have finished roasting, quickly cool them down using a metal colander, sieve, or a suitable surface. You can remove any remaining chaff by pouring the beans into a sieve and blowing cold air onto them, stirring them to separate the beans from the chaff.

Before indulging in your freshly roasted coffee, allow it to de-gas for at least 12 hours (but up to 3 days). Failure to de-gas the beans prior to storage can cause pressure to build up in the container due to the CO2 released by the beans, leading to a compromised flavor and an unfortunate waste of your efforts.

If you're a coffee lover and want to experience the best flavors right in the comfort of your own home, then home roasting is the way to go. With a wide range of options to choose from, including light, medium, and dark roasts, there's a coffee perfect for every taste bud. From Water Avenue Coffee to Java Pura, the possibilities are endless. And don't worry if you're new to the roasting game, because we've got you covered with some basic tips to get started. So why settle for mediocre store-bought coffee when you can indulge in the rich aromas and flavors of freshly roasted beans? It's time to awaken your senses and embark on a home roasting journey like no other. Start today, and you'll never go back to ordinary coffee again.

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