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To an ignorant eye, a subtle difference between varieties of coffee beans available on the market may not be that obvious. Choosing good coffee beans is about flavor, but it is likewise important for the machine’s proper operation. There are two types of beans to avoid; those with added flavorings and dark roasted beans with an oily surface. Coffee made from such beans can clog the ground chute between an espresso machine’s grinder and brew section.
That said, choosing the best beans for a super-automatic espresso machine may be confusing, though you can easily avoid the guesswork by sticking to a medium roast. In this post, we compare 10 coffee products which we believe are the best to consider and will have amazing taste. The Cafe Don Pablo Signature Blend, which is our editor’s choice, is highly recommended since it is a delicious blend with distinct body characteristics that make it more complex and offer a sweet taste. Our selection process involved inspecting basic features such as a coffee roast (medium to dark), a composition and taste, value and a price balance.
After 72 hours of research and many cups of coffee, we present our findings in a form of a table (check below) with ratings and nominations for selected products, followed by in-depth reviews of each product and a buying guide. You will learn about different types of coffee beans, things to consider before buying them and few tips and tricks to help you choose the best ones for super-automatic espresso machine.
Tasting notes: roastiness with cocoa-toned finish and low acidity
Our top pick Don Pablo Signature Blend Coffee is a medium-dark roast that consists of coffee beans from Brazil, Colombia, and Guatemala. It is available in a 2 lbs bag, and once you open it, you can smell fresh and robust aroma of this coffee.
These beans come from three countries and are blended into a phenomenal taste. Each coffee has different body characteristics and acidity levels, and together they make a drink more complex in the cup than their varietals. Beans are slow-roasted in small batches for optimum flavor and freshness.
The taste is sweet and properly integrated while the body is medium to full. Natural sugars from beans themselves give this blend a taste of roastiness, while still retaining its natural flavor with sweet and pleasant aftertaste. The 100% Arabica Coffee beans are cocoa-toned with a smooth finish and they are GMO-free. Overall, this is a product with an amazing taste you will love for sure.
Why did it make our list?
Beans are roasted in small batches, which makes it a high-quality product
Origin: Brazil, India, Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam
Pack size: 2.2 lbs, 4.4 lbs
Tasting notes: hazelnut, brown sugar, honey, dried fruit
The Lavazza Super Crema Whole Cream Coffee Blend is medium roasted coffee which makes it perfect for Espresso. This coffee brand comes from Italy, but consumers from all over the globe know and love this blend. It consists of both Arabica and Robusta, as well as beans from Brazil, Colombia, India, Indonesia, and Vietnam.
Because of the mix of different origins, the Lavazza Blend has a superbly smooth taste that stays on your taste buds for a long time.
The packaging of this product has intuitive and air-tight design.
As you may know, Robusta beans are bitter, while Arabica beans provide almost fruity acidity. The combination of these two types of beans give the Lavazza Super Crema Whole Cream coffee blend a medium and dark roast taste. The color of the coffee beans is a bit lighter than, for example, Starbucks Espresso beans, but this product has really nice aroma and crema.
Tasting notes: dark chocolate flavor and notes of smooth milk chocolate, sweet honey, caramel, and cocoa
The Subtle Earth Organic Coffee is a fantastic product for people who want to leave a good imprint on the Earth. The product has USDA Organic tag and is Certified by CCOF, meaning it is an environmentally friendly choice. On top of that, this coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans harvested from farms in the Marcala region in Honduras.
This high-altitude coffee is incredibly dense and that’s why it has a deep flavor. It was made just right to bring out its natural flavor characteristics and magnificent sweetness. With this blend you can choose any brewing method you like.
These beans are medium dark roast, which means this coffee is rich and full bodied. The acidity levels in this product are very low and it boasts rich and chocolaty flavors. It is a good value for its price, considering that it comes in no less than 2 lbs. The coffee beans are also available in light, medium-dark and dark roasts, as well as in 5-pound bags.
What do we love it for?
Deep and rich flavor
High-quality coffee beans
Can be brewed with any coffee method or machine
100% Organic and GMO-free
What were we disappointed with?
Though branded as medium-dark, most connoisseurs feel it is closer to a dark roast
If you love good coffee, then you’ll definitely want to try Eight O’clock The Original Whole Bean Coffee. This coffee is made from distinct and selected premium beans which are carefully roasted in curated batches and packaged accurately to sustain its original flavor. This coffee brand was launched about a century and a half ago and for over 150 years it has produced nothing but top-quality coffee that is loved worldwide.
When it comes to taste and aroma, the brand surely knows how to make their customers smile all the way. This whole bean ground coffee provides a timeless American taste homebrewed to perfection. One special feature that will make you love it, is that it has been thoughtfully crafted and has a rich satisfying flavor which is bound to spice up your day. Eight O’clock is also perfectly portioned to provide you with a lot of energy and excitement from its excellent taste.
Tasting notes: subtle citrus aroma and hints of cocoa and brown sugar
The Amazon Fresh Colombia Whole Bean is available in 3 packs of ground coffee with a total of 340 grams. It is a decent package for any casual coffee drinker who drinks up to 2 cups of coffee per day. Since it is an Amazon product, the beans are roasted on-demand as soon as you order. Therefore, Amazon ensures that you get the highest quality coffee beans. This also means you get fresh beans and the result will be the most satisfying cup of coffee.
These coffee beans are medium roasted, which means that you are getting a lot of natural flavors and unique aroma. This product is marketed as perfect for those who prefer medium acidity and a fuller body, and we also think is a good choice for anyone who enjoys coffee on the go.
It’s no surprise that Lavazza is Italy’s favorite coffee. The Lavazza family has dedicated many years to find the best blends of coffee beans from all over the world to provide you with an authentic Italian experience. The Lavazza Caffe Espresso Whole Bean Coffee Blend is no different. It is available in one pack, which weighs a total of 2.2 lbs. The Blend is a mix of South American and Central Arabica varieties, which creates a delicious espresso roast with highly aromatic notes you can taste in every rich-bodied sip. This blend is best made using an espresso machine or drip coffee maker, but also suitable for moka pot and french press. This coffee scores 5 out of 10 on the intensity scale, meaning it is smooth and deeply flavored. With this product, you get to enjoy the authentic taste of Italy that is Lavazza.
Tasting notes: brown sugar and hazelnut, with a hint of plum
The Real Good Coffee Whole Bean Coffee has a classic sweet taste and a smooth flavor, perfect in your morning cup while also being good for drinking during a day. This blend is made with premium quality Arabica beans from Central and South America. The beans are grown, sourced, roasted fresh and packaged responsibly.
When it comes to tasting notes, these feature the flavors of hazelnut and brown sugar, with a bit of plum for some sweetness. This blend works well with all coffee brewing methods, but it is better for automatic or manual espresso maker, drip machine, French press, aeropress, moka pot and pour over.
The company has over 30 years of experience in coffee sourcing and craft roasting in Seattle, and they claim they make coffee adding nothing else. We believe them since their beans make an inviting, tasty cup of morning coffee.
Why did it make our list?
Brown sugar and hazelnut tones with a hint of plum
Origin: Africa, Indonesia, Central, and South America
Pack size: 10 oz., 35.2 oz.
Tasting notes: wildberry syrup with a smooth cocoa finish, with blackcurrant, milk chocolate and brown sugar aroma
When you get your hands on this chocolaty smooth blend Cliff Hanger Espresso, you are definitely going to love it. This product from Kick Horse Coffee has cocoa tones and a bold delicious aftertaste. It has an aroma of blackcurrant, milk chocolate and brown sugar. When it comes to taste, you can expect silky and complex wild berry syrup notes and a smooth cocoa finish which makes the experience out of this world. If you are a fan of different brewing methods, then we highly recommend using a drip machine, French press, cold brew, espresso or even a pour over.
The fact that this coffee is organic makes it even better. Why? Mainly because organic products usually are sustainable and healthy. This coffee is USDA Organic certified and is ideal for both coffee drinkers and farmers who produce it. The product has its origins in Africa, Indonesia, South and Central America, where it is grown responsibly by farmers who depend on the coffee business.
Tasting notes: fruity flavors, baked goods and honey notes
Another product from the Lavazza company that is set to entice your coffee experience is the Lavazza L’Espresso Gran Crema Roasted Coffee Beans. It comes packed in 2.2 pounds bag. This product is a rich bodied medium-roast coffee with a spicy and chocolaty aroma. On top of that, it has a long-lasting lingering crema and round flavor.
The product is a Non-GMO offer, which is blended and roasted in Italy.
You can use these beans to make espresso, but they are also suitable for any coffee maker. We also love the fact that this fantastic product is very affordable.
The manufacturer recommends using these beans for espresso but it is still good to go with other coffee makers such as a moka pot. On the intensity scale, this one has a rating of 8 out of 10, hence its high aroma with a fruity flavor. You will struggle to get anything better with the price of this blend.
Tasting notes: chocolate, caramel, orange blossom and jasmine
If you are a huge coffee aficionado who enjoys grinding beans to get your preferred taste, then illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee is a good option to consider. What we love about this coffee is that it has a classic roast and mild balanced taste with caramel notes. illy has a distinct fine Arabica coffee blend that provides a smooth, full-bodied taste. It is a result of blending only grown Arabica beans, which are specifically selected in various regions globally.
This blend is what Italian coffee brands usually choose to offer for a smooth, well-balanced and sweet taste of a perfect cup of coffee. The packaging of illy is also one to be admired. Coffee comes packed in a pressurized, air-free way which can help to seal and enhance oils and aromas so customers could enjoy fresh taste every time. Overall, another great budget-friendly product.
What makes it special?
Suitable for those who love to grind their own coffee
Unique blend that provides mild and balanced taste
Carefully selected and blended
Has a sensational aroma
What cons did we find?
Some buyers mentioned that the can came with a defective lid
Things to Consider
Brewing a perfect cup of coffee is an art itself. As you invest your time and money, all the right criteria must be met in order to ensure that you are getting high quality blend that suits your tastes and preferences. Among important features to consider are roast, origin, blend, and tasting notes of the coffee, to name a few. But there’s still more to learn.
Why is it important to get the best beans for a super-automatic espresso machine?
If you love your espresso and super-automatic espresso machine that makes it for you, then you really need to make sure you use the best beans to avoid issues. Before you even begin to use your super-automatic espresso machine, we highly recommend you to check which kind of beans you have on hands. Flavored beans and oily beans should be avoided at all costs because they can compromise a taste of a drink normally produced by your machine.
Oily beans come with few disadvantages:
They will not flow into a grinder smoothly
They may create a clay pit in the grinder by causing coffee grounds to stick to each other
They may clog the screen on the brew unit, therefore making the machine unable to produce coffee
Why get whole beans?
Among the most important things to consider while brewing an amazing cup of coffee is freshness of coffee you use. If beans are already ground and ready-to-use, it will greatly dampen the taste, flavor and aroma of the blend. Whole beans are always a better choice so that you can grind them right before putting them into your espresso machine. Richness of flavor and aroma can be enhanced greatly and you will get the freshest cup of delicious coffee every single time.
Things to consider before buying coffee beans
If you are already someone who has a lot of thought about your coffee before making a purchase, then you’re definitely doing the right thing. Here are few things to consider before buying coffee beans.
Arabica or Robusta?
Most people find it difficult to differentiate between Arabica and Robusta. And we totally understand why this may be hard because all coffee beans look the same once they are roasted. These two types of coffee are the most common ones and it is crucial for you to know the difference and then decide which one seems ideal for you.
These types of coffee tend to differ in taste. Arabica has a sweet and soft taste with a lot of fruity, berry and sugar undertones. Robusta, on the other hand, is strong and a bit harsh with a nutty aftertaste.
Robusta beans are considered to be inferior to Arabica and they are also easy to grow.
We recommend you buying recently-roasted coffee beans. Consider beans that were roasted within a month or a week. It normally takes two or three days for coffee to settle after roasting. What you need to avoid is drinking coffee that is too close to the roast date because you might end up with uneven extraction.
Therefore, we strongly recommend waiting for a few weeks for the coffee beans to release carbon dioxide which will set them at the peak of freshness.
Also, consider checking the roast level when selecting coffee beans, mainly because during the roasting process, properties can be removed or enhanced.
Check the source, similarly to buying a bottle of wine. It is best if you have an idea of the kind of tasting notes that you prefer. It can be fruity, sweet coffee or the one with a bit of acid to it.
Blends of coffee are very common nowadays. They are normally comprising the multi-origin coffee beans hailing from various geographic regions. It is what we call a single-origin coffee which contains beans originating only from a single location or geographic culture such as original Columbian coffee that contains primarily 100% Arabica beans grown in Columbia and similarly the Eight O’Clock The Original Whole Bean Coffee which grows in Latin America and East Africa. On the other hand, some people prefer blends such as Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend containing a mix of Arabica and Robusta coffee beans.
Flavor and tasting notes
According to the individual preferences, you can select a particular blend that has hints of flavors such as nuts, honey, fruits, chocolate, etc. For example, some brands like to be inventive with beans and give them tasteful notes of caramel or jasmine such as illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee containing Arabica beans.
Tips and tricks
Now that we’ve provided you with some useful information on what you need to consider before buying coffee beans, here are some other great tips and tricks to keep in mind.
Always store your coffee in a cool dry place. Preferably in an air-tight container.
When it comes to grinding your coffee beans, make sure you use the right type of a grinder. Good devices are burr grinders, conical burr grinders and hand grinders.
Always make sure the beans are neither too dry, nor too oily. In the first case they usually have a bland, sawdust-like taste. While oily ones can clog the grinder by sticking up.
Excessive heat produced in an electric grinder may cause the loss of flavor, so you can try a mill or any other manual type of grinder to retain the richness and consistency of beans.
Most traditional espresso Italian blends use Robusta mainly because it provides a full-bodied taste and helps to form a crema. Robusta is also used as a diuretic, antipyretic, and antioxidant. In addition, Robusta helps to relieve spasmodic asthma.
Super-automatic espresso machines are quick to brew and the crema is usually produced when you use medium-dark roasted beans. This brownish froth indicates a well-prepared shot of espresso for those coffee lovers who are keen on visual presentation. However, if a very dark roast is used, it tends to get oily quickly which overtime, can damage a machinery as well as a brewing tool.
If you have already used dark roast blend in your super-automatic espresso machine for several times, you should not worry too much. However, we highly recommend you to switch to medium or medium-dark roast blends as they are ideal and favorable for your espresso machine.
Some of the products we have mentioned here have won hearts of many consumers. Blends like Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso have over 4,000 customer reviews on Amazon. However, choosing the best beans for super-automatic espresso machines largely comes down to a personal taste.
For us, the Cafe Don Pablo Signature Blend is the real deal. We love the smooth toned finish and low acidity, as well as its natural flavor character that leaves a pleasant aftertaste with every cup.
If you are looking for a great coffee with an interesting blend, it has to be the Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee Blend. It has notes of almonds, honey and dried fruit. While it’s an Italian brand, their coffee originates from different regions of the world.