Best Coffee Beans For Your Morning Cup

We’ve chosen our top picks in the UK.

Coffee Beans

by Piper Huxley |
Updated on

Rich in flavour and ever so versatile, the best coffee beans are often the antidote to those morning blues. In its purest form, coffee is a bean, which is then ground down into what some of us pop into our coffee machines. It’s no secret that freshly ground beans give coffee its best flavour and aroma. Evidently, there is plenty of coffee to choose from. We’ve popped together the best coffee beans in the UK.

This marvellous bitter-tasting drink starts life hanging onto a plant in a country on ‘the bean belt’ – where things such as climate, soil and altitude can affect the flavour of the beans. Much like wine, there are so many different types and blends of coffee to try.

So, once you've decided on which coffee machine is best for you, whether that is a bean-to-cup machine or a filter coffee machine, the next step is finding your favourite coffee beans.

Best coffee beans at a glance:

• Best Coffee Bean Blend for Wellness: BALANCE coffee Stability Blend - Buy now on BALANCE
Best Light Blend Coffee Beans: Grind, Light Blend - Buy now on GRIND
Best budget coffee beans: by Amazon House Blend Coffee Beans - Buy now on Amazon UK
Best Recommended Coffee Beans: Fireheart Coffee KERINCI - Buy now on Fireheart Coffee
Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans: Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast - 200 g - Buy now on Currys

Close up of hand cupping coffee beans

What to consider when choosing coffee beans

Single origin - or blend? Firstly, there is single-origin coffee. This variety uses beans from one location. Renowned for its higher quality, single origin comes with its own, unique flavour and subtleties. For example, we’ve included Pact Coffee’s Fruit and Nut Espresso – which has notes of chocolate and dried fruit.

Typically, a blend consists of two or more types of coffee. They’re grouped together for their complementary or contrasting flavours. As it’s easier to keep the flavour of blends consistent, they are often used in supermarket coffees.

Light, medium or dark roast? Coffee beans are roasted. During this process, they turn from green into their familiar brown colour, as the sugars inside the bean get caramelised. Much like popcorn, coffee beans crack when exposed to heat. This is because their moisture evaporates, causing the beans to expand.

How long they’re roasted for – and how much they crack – determines if the beans fall under light, medium or dark roasts. The roasting profile impacts the overall taste of the coffee.

Light – After the first crack, the coffee beans lose their dry outer covering.

Medium – In between the first and second crack, a bean is classified as medium. Here, coffee develops its origin flavours. Single blend coffees are generally medium roasts as it brings out the flavour and preserves it.

Dark – After the second crack, coffee beans start to get dark and oily. Here, the roast character comes through as darker, burnt and intense. However, dark-roasted coffee is not stronger – nor does it contain more coffee than light or medium coffees. Dark is more intense and is, generally, cheaper to buy and will work with your budget coffee machine.

Best coffee beans

Best Coffee Bean Blend for Wellness

Firstly, we've chosen this Stability Blend from Balance Coffee. Coming with great reviews, this small business has a wide range of coffees of all blends and varieties. The Stability Blend is one of the brand's best-selling healthy coffees. Sip delicious notes of milk chocolate, hazelnut and fig while boosting your well-being.

Customer Review: "I am a ‘newbie’ to this! It’s the best thing ever – My own personal coffee shop! I purchased this starter kit and enjoyed all of them. Will definitely be ordering again."


  • Boost productivity
  • Disease fighting antioxidants
  • Improves memory and cognitive function


  • Have to order online

Best Light Blend Coffee Beans

The Grind Coffee light blend is designed to be fruity and balanced. Grown in Colombia and Rwanda, it's perfect for making an espresso or long black with real depth and complexity. Grind Coffee comes in a delightful tin, which you can refill with your favourite ethically sourced coffee over and over again. You can also subscribe and save money.

Customer Review: "Fantastic company with the most fantastic beans we've ever tasted… and we've sampled a lot! Great customer service too, thank you!"


  • Fruity
  • Balanced
  • Refills available


  • Best for an Espresso or Long Black

Best Budget Coffee Beans

Suitable for all preparations, this coffee is 100 per cent Arabica and Rainforest-Alliance certified. With every purchase, you're helping hundreds of farmers and their families across the world. Though this 1kg bag of coffee seems not to be the highest quality, it's a good option if you're on a budget and love a milky coffee.

Customer Review: "I love coffee, and this seemed a good deal, so I wasn't expecting much from it. However, it's a really good coffee. Nutty and chocolatey, and a creamy tasting blend. I would recommend this to any coffee lover."


  • Budget-Friendly
  • Rainforest Alliance Approved


  • Not high-quality
  • Unsure when they're roasted

Best Recommended Coffee Beans

Originating in Indonesia, this Kerinci has a unique profile that we had to include. Firehearts' catalogue of coffee is diverse and interesting. This Keinci blend has notes of lemon sherbet, green apple and elderflower. Such an eclectic mix of flavours the flavour profile is like a bag of sweets. Fireheart recommends the Kerinci for a summer cold brew, it shows just how delicious coffees from Southeast Asia can be.

Customer Review: "Fireheart coffee is next-level coffee."


  • Sweet
  • Unique flavour profile


  • Made with honey - not suitable for vegans

Best Medium Roast Coffee Beans

Enjoy coffee-shop quality coffee at home with the Starbucks Pike Place Roast Coffee Beans as our medium roast top pick. They're medium roasted for a smooth mouthfeel, with chocolate notes and a hint of toasted nuts. Plus, they're not a bad price, either.

Customer Review: "This coffee is very good quality and has a nice premium taste. Easy to use, it makes thick luxurious coffee with a balanced blend. Plus, it's a good price."


  • Budget-friendly
  • Ethically-sourced


  • Packaging varies

Best Premium Brazilian Coffee Beans

This Brazilian Blend has garnered plenty of great reviews. Grown in Brazil's temperate climate, these Rainforest-Alliance-certified beans are packed with bittersweet, dark chocolate and caramel flavours. Plus, the company is B-Corp certified - which is very impressive. This medium coffee is award-winning and a shining example of fine Brazilian coffee.

Customer Review: "I recently purchased 1kg of Presto Italian coffee beans from Amazon. The beans arrived in a couple of days. I must say, I am totally impressed by the packaging, it’s very slick and 100 per cent recyclable which is a plus. As a coffee lover, I enjoy trying different roasters. I can say Presto are very passionate about coffee as I am.

They have made enjoying coffee so much easier for everyone with their letterbox-friendly packages and the option to have next-day delivery. The particular blend I have purchased has beautiful notes of dark chocolate and fresh almonds. I have a coffee machine with a built-in grinder and I found the beans ground well and pulled through the coffee machine beautifully producing a strong rich and silky flavour."


  • Next-Day Delivery with Prime
  • Rich Flavour
  • Recyclable Packaging


  • Comes in a 1kg bag only - best for a household of coffee drinkers

Best Premium Decaf Coffee Beans

Made from Brazilian Arabica decaffeinated beans, Presto's silky smooth blend boasts honeyed peanut and floral flavours with a crisp, elegant finish. It's simply perfect for those low-caffeine drinkers looking for a great-tasting brew. You don't have to miss out on premium coffee.

Customer Review: "Delicious coffee. Probably the best I have tested on Amazon. Arrived very fresh. Beautiful aroma. Deep, complex flavour. Perfectly roasted, and seemed a touch lighter than other medium roasts. Great both with the Aeropress and with a pour-over. It’s holding up really well even 3 weeks after I received the beans. I’m getting consistently excellent results every morning."


  • Silky Smooth
  • Nutty and Floral
  • Recyclable Packaging


  • Comes in a 1kg bag only - best for a household of coffee drinkers

Best Dark Blend Coffee Beans

If you're looking for a decent coffee with a dark roasting profile, try this blend from Volcano Coffee Works. This blend comes from Brazil, Ethiopia and Costa Rica - boasting rich and sweet flavours. The taste has been linked to chocolate orange, complemented by cinnamon spice and fruity berries. Volcano Works Coffee says it's "perfectly well balanced when drunk black and really comes to life when you add milk". Subscribe to save 10 per cent.

Customer Review: "Beautiful, high-quality coffee delivered quickly. Happy with the price considering they pay their suppliers above fair trade rates. Would recommend based on my experience."


  • Ethically-sourced coffee
  • Fruity notes


  • Has a very strong flavour

Editor’s Pick

Pact's Fruit and Nut Espresso blend is a "modern twist" on the traditional Italian espresso blend. Featuring fantastic coffee from Brazil and Rwanda, this coffee has notes of milk chocolate, dried fruit and almonds. Pact has given so much information about this coffee - from mouthfeel (creamy) to the altitude it was grown at (1200-1700m). We're impressed with Pact's dedication to bringing coffee to the UK ethically and responsibly.

Customer Review: "Received my first subscription order. It tastes delicious would definitely recommend it. Great communication, first-class post and a fair price. I’ll happily stay subscribed for a long time."


  • Ethically Sourced
  • Creamy


  • None

Best Money-Saving Coffee Bean Bundle

illy, Whole Bean Coffee Bundle
Price: £35 (was £39)

Discover illy's authentic aroma and blend with this new whole-bean coffee bundle. It includes two of illy's unique Intenso, as well as two pots of their Classico and Decaf roast coffees. This bundle set would make a great gift, too.


  • Great value
  • Good range


  • Make sure to store correctly for coffee to last

Best House Blend

Grown in Mexico, this Organic House Roast from Exhale has tasting notes of caramel, hazelnut and apricot - which sounds absolutely delicious. As a single-origin coffee, its flavour is intense - but not too overpowering. Exhale makes coffee roasted to support your health and performance. One cup of this coffee is equal to 55 oranges in antioxidants. Plus, they haven't added anything to this coffee. In fact, their unique process locks in more of coffee's natural flavour.

Customer Review: "Wonderful, smooth cup of real coffee, and with the additional health benefits, it’s a no-brainer! I’m a total convert."


  • Packed with anti-oxidants
  • Organic


  • None

Best Coffee Beans for Latte

We're impressed with Taylors of Harrogate’s medium roast, made with lattes in mind. This blend is rich and silky smooth, made up of a unique blend from Latin America and India. Expertly roasted Arabica beans bring out the flavours of both chocolate and caramel. It's the perfect companion for dairy and non-dairy milk alike. Plus, this sensational coffee is Rainforest Alliance and Carbon-Neutral certified, protecting not only the environment but coffee-growing communities, too. It does come in a pack of six, though.

Customer Review: "After much searching for some beans for my new bean-to-cup machine. These ones came out on top with a good flavour that is nice and strong. One pack fills the hopper. I am finding a pack lasts about a week (either I drink too much coffee or not enough). It’s great they arrive in a retail pack, so storage is no issue. Loving the smell of coffee in the morning - would certainly recommend."


  • Rainforest Alliance
  • Carbon-Neutral
  • Caramel Notes


  • Medium - may not be to taste
  • Pack of 6

Best Coffee Beans for an Espresso

Lastly, this is Union's most popular espresso coffee bean, bold with hints of chocolate and treacle. Not only is this coffee speciality grade and always 100 per cent Arabica, but it would make the ideal gift for coffee lovers. As Union is a B-Corp company, its coffee is ethically sourced directly from smallholder farmers. As well as that, they pay a fair, sustainable price.

Customer Review: "I am a self-confessed coffee addict and take my coffee purchases very seriously. This coffee is of really good quality, am using it in my new Jura A1 coffee machine and it tastes heavenly. What I really like: This coffee tastes rich, but with no specific aftertaste, so perfect for oat milk latte, espresso, large coffee with sugar - any option! I bought a large bag to make it more cost-effective and even though I’ve had it for a while, the coffee still tastes really fresh (which isn’t always the case after you open a bag of coffee)."


  • Good Value
  • Speciality Grade
  • Ethically Sourced


  • 500g bag - make sure to store this correctly for longevity

OUR VERDICT: Which is the best coffee bean?

Choosing the right coffee bean is down to personal preference but our top pick is Pact Coffee.

Not only is the coffee extraordinarily tasty, but the brand is also dedicated to sourcing coffee to the UK ethically and responsibly. A winner in our books.

Coffee beans sorted, but what about the milk? We've picked some of the best milk frothers for you to check out.


What types of coffee beans are there?

Arguably the most popular and well-known type of coffee bean, Arabica is of high quality. Growing at higher altitudes with steady rainfall and plenty of shade, Arabica plants are easier to care for. However, they can be easily affected by changes in the environment – impacting flavour and aroma.

Coming in second is the Robusta bean. Robusta is hardy, immune to a variety of diseases and can thrive in a hot climate with irregular rainfall. Plus, this variation is far more flexible with altitudes. Interestingly, Robusta has a higher amount of caffeine, a harsher flavour and a smoother texture. Some people can even taste hints of cocoa in Robusta. Why not make an iced coffee with this one?

There are Liberica and Excelsa beans – but they’re less common.

How do I store my coffee beans?

Store coffee beans well, otherwise they deteriorate a week from the roast date. However, when stored well, coffee beans can last around a month. To achieve this, you need to choose a cool, dark dry place like a cupboard or pantry. If you avoid warmth, moisture and light – you should be fine. Ideally, your beans should be in an opaque, airtight container. Do not store in the fridge, either – as this can affect the flavours and potency.

Piper Huxley is a Homes, Gardens and Wellness Product Writer for A Modern Kitchen, specialising in cookware. When she’s not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, Piper is re-watching a TV show or listening to a podcast.

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