Starting the morning with a great cup of coffee can change how you feel. Not only does coffee give us that extra jolt when feeling low, but our coffee addiction is one of the guilty pleasures that not many will complain to you about.
If you’re on the hunt for a new blend, there are thousands of brands to choose from. So give us a shot and use our ratings and coffee reviews to help you find the best coffee for your morning brew.
Best Coffee Beans
Koa Coffee Estate Kona Beans
Kona coffee is a specific type of bean, only grown on Hawaii. Koa Coffee started out as a small backyard operation in 1997 and has nearly doubled in size most years since then.
The brand rose to prominence in the early 2000’s, winning critical acclaim with its 100% hand-picked Kona beans and heritage blends. Koa roasts in Honolulu and ships its products around the world.
Koa Coffee is sold in a variety of grades. We think that the Estate blends offer the best value because you get beans from the top 3 grades in the bag. This means you get the best taste, but don’t pay as much as if you bought only Extra Fancy beans.
Related | Our favorite Kona Beans
Green Mountain Dark Roast K-Cup Pods
Founded in Waitsfield, Vermont in 1981, Green Mountain started out life as a local store for coffee enthusiasts. It grew and expanded its business nationally.
Meanwhile, Green Mountain nurtured a group of entrepreneurs from Massachusetts who were interested in creating a new kind of single cup coffee brewer, the Keurig.
Green Mountain continued to invest in the Keurig operation and produced companion products: single serve coffee cups, K-Cups, designed to be used by this new kind of coffee maker.
In 1998, Green Mountain closed its retail stores to focus on providing its coffee to a growing list of corporate and private mail-order clients. While it began working with Keurig in 1993, Green Mountain Coffee finally acquired the manufacturer in 2006.
Green Mountain’s history as a specialty coffee dealer is still apparent in their products. Their fair trade coffee pods cover a variety of origins and roast styles — and they taste quite good.
Related | Our Favorite K-cup Coffee
Peet’s Coffee Ground Dark Roast
Hailing from Berkeley, California, Peet’s Coffee is credited with introducing dark roasts and espressos to the California market. Peets and Starbucks have a complex, intertwined history.
Peet’s was the business model for the Starbucks chain, and all of the founders of Starbucks were good friends with Alfred Peet. They even bought their coffee from him for the first year of their operation.
Peet’s operates a couple hundred retail locations today. Its stores are primarily located in California, with many on or near college campuses.
Peet’s beans and K-Cups are available for sale at a number of retailers. Generally, their blends tend to be a bit better than their single origin offerings.
Organo Gold Cafe Latte
Founded in 2008 in British Columbia, Organo Gold offers both instant coffee and brewing cups through its multi-level marketing platform.
Its coffee is infused with Ganoderma, a mushroom used in some traditional Asian medicine. Ganoderma is purported to have a number of beneficial health effects, but there is no modern scientific evidence proving this.
Organo does not sell beans.
If you’re interested in trying out Ganoderma and seeing how it affects you, give Organo Gold a shot. If you’re just looking for instant coffee, however, we’d suggest another brand (like Medaglia d’Oro) or buying a Keurig model.
LavAzza Super Crema
Founded in Turin in 1895, Lavazza is an Italian company that imports coffee from all over the world. It’s the seventh largest coffee roaster in the world, with a market share of nearly 50% in Italy.
Lavazza claims it introduced the concept of blending, or combining beans of different specific origins to create a product with a distinctive taste.
Lavazza maintains a network of research and training institutions that help to keep it at the forefront of the coffee world.
While some of Lavazza’s blends are on the mediocre side, their espresso blends remain unique and excellent. They beans as well as pods and capsules for a variety of specialty coffee machines.
Kicking Horse Whole Bean
Founded in 1996 in British Columbia, Kicking Horse offers fair trade, organic coffee. They’ve been operating cafes since 2008 and they’re consistently a top seller in Canada.
Their above board approach doesn’t just stop at fair trade. They were rated among the top 15 workplaces in Canada in 2015.
Kicking Horse offers a number of high-quality blends, but their Three Sisters blend might be a good place to start to avoid going too far outside of your normal preference.
Coffee Masters Flavored Jamaican Me Crazy
A wholesale distributor of coffee beans, Coffee Masters prides itself on quality. Coffee Masters sources its coffee from the top 3% of Arabica beans. Since 1985, it’s delivered beans, syrups and flavored coffees to the US market.
While Coffee Masters blends compete with some of the finest specialty distributors, its flavored roasts are exceptional.
Check out their Caramel Kiss infused blend or, if you’d prefer your coffee straight, their Jamaican Me Crazy brew.
Timothy’s World Coffee Mocha Java
Timothy’s World Coffee was a project started by Timothy Snelgrove while he attended business school in Ontario, Canada.
Initially a purveyor of premium roasted coffee beans, Timothy’s has since expanded its retail operation to include brewed coffee.
Timothy’s roasts its coffee in Toronto. Its bean selling business has been acquired by Green Mountain Coffee, while the retail stores are owned separately.
Their beans have fallen off a cliff recently. Some of their most popular products have been discontinued, but their blends still compete with other top premium distributors.
Death Wish Whole Bean Coffee
Created in the mid 2000’s as Saratoga Coffee Drinkers, Death Wish changed its name in 2012 as its business model shifted.
The founder, Mike Brown, found himself inundated with customers asking for his “strongest cup of coffee,” and began to experiment with his own blends and brews to try to meet this need.
His current formula is a blend of both Arabica and Robusta beans, setting it apart from the competition (which primarily deals in pure Arabica).
Death Wish won a small business contest and earned itself a free ad during the 2016 Super Bowl. Since then, it’s more than doubled in size and has begun to offer its beans for sale through various retailers nationwide.
Death Wish’s coffee isn’t as good black as a premium, 100% Arabica blend, but it’s still quite tasty. It has three times the caffeine per cup of a regular brew.
In other words, one cup of Death Wish will give you the same amount of jitters and energy as three cups of normal coffee.
Related | Death Wish Coffee Review
Cafe Don Pablo Certified Organic Coffee
Certified organic coffee is grown using 100 percent organic fertilizer, and only farms where the soil has remained pesticide-and-chemical-fertilizer free for three whole years are certified as organic.
There are several benefits to drinking organic coffee. Not only is it better for health, but it’s also better for the environment.
Organic coffee beans look the same as regular ones, but the difference is inside.
The special care that must be taken in growing coffee organically raises expenses for farmers and costs to consumers, but many coffee farmers who’ve tried going organic ended up reverting to their conventional ways due to lack of economic benefit. Sales of organic coffee comprise only about 3 percent of the overall coffee market.
Ultimately, most coffee drinkers judge coffee by taste, and most organic coffee doesn’t taste much different from its conventional counterpart. The fact is that the best organic coffee isn’t just that which is grown according to organic standards, but that for which extra care and attention is also given during its roasting and brewing processes.