In a rush? Our top pick for the best coffee beans for superautomatic espresso machines is Lifeboost Espresso Coffee.
A superautomatic espresso machine does everything for you.
But your coffee still won’t taste good unless you use the right beans.
With so many options available, how does one make the pick?
Don’t worry, that’s why we’re here today.
In this article, I’ll review the best coffee beans for superautomatic espresso machines so you can make an educated choice.
Let’s dive in.
11 Best Coffee Beans for Superautomatic Espresso Machines
- Lifeboost Espresso Coffee (Best Overall)
- Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee (Best For Milk-Based Drinks)
- Illy Intenso Whole Bean Espresso Dark Roast (Premium Pick)
- Death Wish Whole Bean Dark Roast Coffee (The Strongest Option)
- Kicking Horse Whole Bean Coffee (Most Unique Flavor Profile)
- Café Don Pablo Signature Blend With a Medium Roast (Best Medium Roast)
- Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast (Best Kona Coffee)
- Koffee Kult Dark Roasted Coffee Beans (Most Aromatic Option)
- Stumptown’s Hair Bender (Most Versatile)
- Nicoletti Coffee Espresso Roast Beans (Best Light Roast)
- Lion Diamond Head Coffee (Affordable Pick)
Lifeboost Espresso Coffee
Lifeboost is known for making single-origin coffee. In this case, we have the Arabica coffee beans grown in the mountains of Nicaragua.
Underneath the shade of the rainforest, these beans grow slowly, developing a robust flavor profile.
After being picked by hand, the coffee beans are washed with spring water and left to dry in the sun. Finally, they’re roasted to a dark level, perfect for espresso.
So what you get in your cup is a heavy-bodied coffee that’s both slightly sweet and dry. With each sip, you can feel the notes of cacao and chocolate. And being dark-roasted, this coffee is also low in acidity.
The bold and rich flavor profile makes this coffee great on its own. But it’s also suitable for milk-based drinks like lattes and cappuccinos as well.
One thing I especially like about Lifeboost is that their coffee is tested by third parties for pesticides and toxins. This means everything is transparent, and you know exactly what you’re drinking.
What I don’t like is that the coffee is quite expensive. If you are a casual coffee drinker like me, you will probably find the same satisfaction with cheaper coffee.
- The flavor profile works well on its own or when paired with milk
- It’s a single origin, so you can taste unique and subtle flavor notes
- Third-party testing ensures the beans are free of toxins and chemicals
- Subscription plan allows you to get a fresh batch on a schedule
- Rather expensive, so it’s not for a casual coffee drinker
Lavazza Super Crema Whole Bean Coffee
Unique flavor profiles aren’t always characteristic of a good cup of espresso. Your coffee can also taste like, well, coffee, and still be amazing. This whole bean coffee by Lavazza is good proof of that.
This is a medium-roasted coffee, which is not what you typically use for espresso. But interestingly enough, the flavor profile is more similar to darker roasts. Except without the bitterness they usually have.
This blend combines 60% Arabica and 40% Robusta beans from Brazil, India, Columbia, and Indonesia. That results in a very full-bodied, rich shot of espresso, with notes of roasted hazelnut and brown sugar.
What’s characteristic about this blend is the nice layer of crema on top. Thick and velvety, but without bitter notes. This makes Super Crema a perfect choice for plain espresso. But it also tastes good with milk, both dairy and non-dairy.
The 2.2-pound bag should last you for a while, so there’s no need to restock that often. And since it’s nitrogen flushed, you don’t have to worry about your beans going stale prematurely.
With that being said, the bag is simply too big for those who don’t drink espresso regularly.
- Rich crema makes this coffee suitable for latte art
- High in caffeine, making it a great option for morning coffee
- Well-balanced profile that tastes great on its own, without flavoring
- The bag is nitrogen flushed, beans can’t go stale while they’re unpacked
- The 2.2-ounce bag is too big for people who don’t drink espresso that often
Illy Intenso Whole Bean Espresso Dark Roast
As the name suggests, this dark roast is intense! If you’re looking for a strong, robust cup of espresso, then Illy is the way to go.
This brand only uses Arabica beans, which are more flavorful and sweeter compared to Robusta. The blend is a combination of beans from 9 different regions around the world, which results in a very balanced flavor profile.
Intenso is rich and full-bodied, with notes of cocoa and dried fruit. The flavor is great on its own, but you can also pair it with milk or creamer, without overwhelming it.
The brand uses aluminum cans that you can reuse and recycle. The cans are sealed with pressured nitrogen, which prevents the beans from going stale. That way, they can remain fresh for up to 2 years unopened!
This product features 6 cans of coffee, so you’re set for a while. Each can is 8 ounces, so the coffee won’t go stale before you go through the whole thing.
Not going to lie, Illy is an expensive brand. But the price of its products reflects their quality well.
- By blending 9 different Arabica varieties, this coffee has a well-balanced flavor
- Pressurized cans keep the beans fresh for up to 2 years when unopened
- Very intense flavor means this coffee pairs well with milk or creamer
- Packed in cans of 8 ounces, so the beans won’t go stale before you finish them
- Rather expensive compared to other products
Death Wish Whole Bean Dark Roast Coffee
Espresso is already a strong cup of coffee. But for some people, that’s still not enough. If you’re one of them, then you need a very bold and intense coffee, and Death Wish is self-proclaimed to be the world’s strongest coffee.
I’m yet to try enough coffee beans to confirm that title, but I can safely say that this brand makes an insanely strong coffee.
To achieve that, the brand combines Arabica and Robusta beans grown in different parts of the world. Together, they create a smooth yet bold shot of espresso, with subtle notes of chocolate and cherry.
However, this deep flavor profile isn’t up to everyone’s taste. It’s not as full-bodied as a typical espresso and lacks a rich crema.
Aside from tasting strong, this coffee gives you an intense energy kick, thanks to the high caffeine amount.
It’s always good to know the coffee you’re drinking is produced under strict standards, which is the case here. Death Wish coffee is climate pledge friendly, organic, and fair trade certified. That ensures every step of production is done in a sustainable way.
- High caffeine content makes this a perfect morning coffee
- Deep, dark notes of cherry and chocolate make a very bold cup of espresso
- Certified organic, fair trade, and climate pledge friendly, meaning it’s produced under strict standards
- In case you don’t like it, the brand offers a full refund for coffee
- Too strong to be consumed later in the afternoon
- The body lacks the richness of an espresso
Kicking Horse Whole Bean Coffee
This is a brand known for strong coffee, so it’s no surprise it found its way onto our list. This particular blend is dark roasted, so it’s great for making espresso.
The flavor profile of this blend is really unique. By combining beans from Indonesia, South and Central America, the Kicking Horse created a very punchy coffee.
It’s deep and full-bodied with an earthy finish. The most prominent notes are those of chocolate malt, molasses and licorice, while the aroma is smoky and sweet like vanilla.
This is quite a unique flavor profile that tastes great on its own. But since there’s a lot going on, not everyone will enjoy it paired with milk.
This one-of-a-kind flavor makes this coffee suitable for more than just espresso. According to the brand, pretty much any brewing method will work, as it would accentuate unique notes. French press, drip, cold brew… You name it.
The quality of this product is also top-notch. It’s climate pledge friendly, fair trade and organic certified. So every step of the production process is done sustainably and under strict standards.
- The very distinctive flavor profile for a unique espresso experience
- Suitable for other brewing methods aside from espresso
- The beans are dark but not oily, so they won’t leave residual in your machine
- Since they’re produced under strict standards, you know the beans are high-quality
- Coffee tastes weird when paired with milk
Café Don Pablo Signature Blend with a Medium Roast
Don’t like your espresso too robust? You can either add a bit of milk to make it milder, or opt for a medium-roasted coffee, like this one by Café Don Pablo.
This specific blend is made of Arabica bean varieties grown in Colombia, Brazil and Guatemala. This coffee has a medium body and a sweet aftertaste, with prominent cocoa notes. It’s also very low in acidity, so you get a smooth-tasting coffee.
Some might say it tastes a bit bland since it doesn’t have a full body and rich taste. But, if you like your coffee mellow, this shouldn’t be a problem.
To ensure you always get a fresh batch of coffee, this blend is roasted in small batches right before it’s shipped. So by the time it reaches your door, it’s still as good as new.
The only real complaint I have about this coffee is the size of the packaging. You can choose between the 2 or 5-pound pack. If you’re a heavy espresso drinker, then you’ll find these adequate.
But if you only drink a cup of two each day, the packaging is too big. There’s always a chance of coffee beans going stale before you finish the whole thing.
- Roasted in small batches, so you always get a fresh bag
- The beans are sourced sustainably, without the use of pesticides
- Naturally sweet, so it’s great on its own as well as with milk
- Low in acidity, so it’s smooth for your palate
- The bag is too large for casual drinkers
- Can be too mellow for a coffee drinker who likes a rich taste
Blue Horse 100% Kona Dark Roast
Kona coffee is a premium Arabica variety that makes a heavenly good cup of coffee. And those daring to disagree think so only because they haven’t tried real Kona yet.
What I mean is that most brands on the market blend Kona with other varieties. But that’s not the case here. This is 100% Kona coffee, roasted after the second crack.
What’s so special about Kona coffee is where it’s grown. And that’s in the volcanic soil of Hawaii, which has the perfect conditions for growing coffee beans. High elevations, cool temperatures, and nutrient-rich soil – Hawaii has them all.
After growing in the shade, the coffee beans are handpicked, sun-dried, and washed with rainwater. The process is quite a hassle, but it ensures you get a very flavorful coffee.
Of course, all that also means this coffee costs more than your typical beans. But given Kona only grows in a single place on Earth, the price is understandable.
As for the flavor, this Kona coffee is robust but well-rounded. It creates a full-bodied cup of coffee with mild acidity and a buttery aftertaste. With every sip, you notice the complex notes of bittersweet chocolate and caramel followed by a bit of spice.
- It’s a single origin, so you can really feel the distinctive notes of Kona coffee
- The bag features a ziplock, so you can use it to store the beans
- Muted acidity makes this coffee rather gentle on your stomach
- A releasable ziplock bag keeps the beans fresh
- Expensive compared to most picks on this list
Koffee Kult Dark Roasted Coffee Beans
This coffee by Koffee Kult has a very robust flavor profile, but its aroma is nothing less noticeable. After brewing a cup, rest assured your whole house will smell like coffee.
This blend contains Arabica beans from Columbia, Brazil, Guatemala, and Sumatra. That way, the brand managed to make coffee that’s extremely flavorful and aromatic.
Roasted to the dark level, this blend makes a smooth, full-bodied cup of coffee with a long-lasting mouthfeel. You can feel the notes of cocoa and cinnamon both on your palate and nose.
Espresso made with this blend is pretty caffeinated and can keep you energized throughout the day. Avoid drinking it in the afternoon, or you will have trouble falling asleep at night.
To ensure optimal freshness, the beans are roasted in small batches and packaged right before shipping. You can choose between 12-ounce, 2, and 5-pound packaging, depending on your coffee consumption.
According to the manufacturer, these beans are suitable for different methods, from French press to espresso. However, you will want to stay away from longer methods, like drip or cold brew, as your coffee will be bitter.
- Three packaging sizes to choose from, depending on how much coffee you drink
- Very robust flavor and aroma ensure a rich coffee-drinking experience
- The smooth flavor profile pairs well with milk or sweeteners
- Suitable for espresso, French press, and Aeropress methods
- High caffeine content makes it unsuitable for afternoon drinking
- Not suitable for methods with a longer brewing time
Stumptown’s Hair Bender
Stumptown is well-known for creating unique flavor profiles. And this blend called Hair Bender is no different.
It’s a blend of Arabica varieties from Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa. The flavor profile is rather complex, with notes of dark chocolate, raisin, and sweet citrus.
Depending on how sensitive your palate is, you might also pick out other flavors as well. From caramel to apricot, I’ve heard people sensing different notes in this coffee.
That said, some people find it too acidic for an espresso shot. If you prefer full and bitter notes, then this coffee is not for you.
The brand is a part of the Direct Trade program, meaning it buys coffee directly from the farmers. This ensures they pay more for better beans while building a collaborative partnership. Plus, this gives the brand more control over product quality.
I like that this coffee is packed in a recyclable and compostable bag, as it shows the brand cares about the environment. I do wish the material was slightly thicker, as the bag can rip if not handled carefully.
- It’s medium roasted, meaning it’s balanced and low in acidity
- Naturally sweet, so you can enjoy it without milk or sweetener
- The rich flavor profile makes this coffee great for other brewing methods as well
- The packaging is recyclable and compostable
- The thin bag material means it can rip if not handled carefully
- The taste might be too sharp and acidic for a coffee drinker who likes bold and dark espresso
Nicoletti Coffee Espresso Roast Beans
Light-roasted espresso? While it’s not that common, the light roast can work with this brewing method. And this blend by Nicoletti Coffee proves that.
The blend combines 75% Arabica and 25% Robusta beans to create a delicate flavor profile. The coffee you make is smooth and well-balanced, with slight notes of chocolate and nuts.
And even though it’s a light roast, this blend is rather low in acidity, making it less sharp for your palate.
This coffee is roasted in small batches and shipped no more than 24 hours after you order it. That means the bags aren’t sitting in the Amazon warehouse for months.
Since the beans are packed prior to degassing, the bags are taped down. I’m not particularly fond of this way of packing coffee. A simple one-way valve would solve the problem. Plus, you could keep the bag unopened for a long time without the beans going stale.
But given the fact of how affordable this coffee is, I can’t really complain much about the packaging. Just transfer the beans to an airtight container once you get your order.
- Low acidity makes this coffee suitable for those who don’t like sharp coffee
- Made to order, so you always get fresh coffee
- A mild and balanced flavor profile makes this coffee suitable for casual coffee drinkers
- With such an affordable price, this coffee won’t break the bank
- Since the bag is taped, the beans will go stale unless you transfer them to a container
Lion Diamond Head Coffee
Hawaiian coffee is both intense and expensive. But going for a blend instead of single-origin not only saves you money but gives you a more balanced cup of coffee. And that’s exactly what you get with this blend by Lion.
The so-called Diamon Head roast contains about 10% Hawaiian coffee beans. The rest consists of other Arabica varieties. Of course, everything is well combined, and it creates a very thick cup of espresso.
But while thick and strong, the espresso you get with this coffee is very smooth and balanced. Roasted to a medium-dark level, it has the classic flavor of Italian espresso. It has prominent notes of dark chocolate and toasted marshmallows with a zesty aftertaste.
You also get a nice layer of crema on top, for an authentic espresso experience. Furthermore, the flavor profile works great with dairy and non-dairy milk.
I don’t like that this coffee only comes in 1.5-pound packaging, as that’s a lot for casual espresso drinkers. What I do like is that the brand offers subscription plans, so you can get a fresh batch on a regular basis delivered to you.
- Decently priced compared to most picks on this list
- The classic Italian espresso flavor and aroma pair well with milk
- With a subscription plan, you get a fresh batch on a schedule
- Low acidity makes this strong coffee gentle on your stomach
- Only sold in a large 1.5-ounce packaging, so the beans might go stale if you are a casual coffee drinker
How Do I Pick Coffee Beans for a Superautomatic Espresso Machine
Okay, we’ve covered the best options on the market.
But what makes them so great for this specific scenario?
Well, there are a few factors that you should pay attention to.
Get Them Fresh
You can have the most expensive and luxurious bag of beans, and they’ll result in a bland cup of coffee if they’re not fresh.
As you know, coffee beans have their best-before date. While, in theory, it takes them years to go stale, the beans will start losing their freshness within a week of being roasted.
So what does that mean?
Well, you should always look for a bag with a roasting date stamped on the package. Ideally, you want a product that was roasted no more than 7 days ago, but that’s not always possible.
Furthermore, high-quality packaging can prolong the freshness of the beans. If they’re packed into bags with degassing valves or airtight containers, that buys them time as well.
Generally speaking, you’re fine with a product that was roasted 1 month ago at most.
IN A NUTSHELL
You should always buy the coffee bean in small batches. By that, I mean the amount of coffee you’ll drink in a few days at most. That way, you can rest assured you’re drinking the freshest possible coffee.
Roast is Up to Taste
Espresso should be intense and smooth with a creamy mouthfeel. And if you were to ask Italians, they’d say this is achieved by using a dark roast espresso bean.
Dark roast espresso beans are roasted after the second crack, so oils and sugars deep inside the beans come to the surface. And oily coffee beans make the best crema.
This coating is what gives dark roast a deep and rich flavor profile. Depending on the coffee bean variety, you can also sense the notes of caramel, chocolate, brown sugar, and smoke.
Again, depending on the variety used, the dark roast can be rather bitter. But that makes it a great base for specialty espresso drinks such as lattes.
Other types of roasts aren’t uncommon for espresso either. They are rarely used for espresso, but you can still get a great shot if you know how to choose well.
Medium roast gives espresso a rather balanced flavor profile, with little crema and medium acidity. You can experience a bunch of different notes, ranging from cocoa and nuts to dates and even citrusy tones.
Finally, we have the light roast.
Light roast is a hit or miss for espresso, and it really depends on the quality of the beans. But when done right, it should have a bright and sweet flavor profile, with high acidity but without any bitterness.
IN A NUTSHELL
You can’t go wrong by choosing dark roast. Medium and light roasts can also be a good choice, as long as you’re using high-quality beans.
Always Buy Whole Beans
Most superautomatic espresso machines allow you to use pre-ground coffee. And that’s great if you want to switch to another blend every now and then without emptying the bean hopper.
But generally, you should only buy whole beans.
Because they retain freshness much longer than pre-ground coffee.
You see, the smaller the surface, the more it’s exposed to oxygen. And in the case of pre-ground coffee, that means it will go stale in a matter of days.
But you can use beans for quite a while if they’re stored properly. And by grinding them right before brewing, you’re ensuring your coffee tastes fresh.
IN A NUTSHELL
Grinding right before brewing ensures you always get the most flavorful cup of coffee.
To Sum Things Up
Nowadays, you can find amazing coffee beans to use in your superautomatic espresso machine.
But none of them come close to Lifeboost Espresso Coffee.
With this 100% Arabica single-origin coffee, you get unique flavor notes in every cup. Dark roast brings a heavy body and low acidity, with prominent notes of cacao and chocolate.
It’s a perfect coffee for full-bodied plain espresso or super rich and creamy milk-based espresso drinks.
And the best part?
It’s organic, fair-trade, and 3rd party tested for mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and other toxins. That means you get the purest coffee out there!
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