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11 Best Medium Roast Coffee Brands For Your Cup

Short on time? Our top choice is Volcanica Guatemala Huehuetenango Medium Roast!

Finding the best medium roast coffee is a tedious task.

Luckily for you, I compiled my all-time favorite medium roast coffees in this article.

I even included a short buying guide to help you narrow down your choices and make a decision.

Let’s jump straight in!

Best Medium Roast Coffee: Top 11 Picks

Volcanica Guatemala Huehuetenango Medium Roast

Volcanica Guatemala Huehuetenango Medium Roast

This Volcanica Guatemalan is maybe my favorite medium roast ever.

This coffee is a washed process coffee. That means the coffee bean is separated from the cherries before it’s dried and roasted.

Because of that, you get a crisp and clear flavor profile in your cup each and every time you brew.

The notes of honeysuckle, pistachio, spices, and molasses are incredible in this coffee. It’s a rich and full-bodied coffee, especially for a medium roast.

Plus, it’s a single-origin. That means it comes from one specific country and usually one specific farm.

The benefit of single-origin is that you get to taste the specific characteristics of a region. For Guatemala, that usually means rich and chocolatey coffee like this Huehuetenango.

This specific single-origin is also Kosher, and FairTrade certified. That means it was held to a high standard during the roasting and packaging processes.

The only downside to a single-origin like this is that they don’t always do well with cream and sugar.

Pros

  • The washed process keeps the flavors crisp and clear in your cup
  • Notes of honeysuckle, pistachio, spices, and molasses make this a rich and fuller-bodied medium roast 
  • It’s a single-origin coffee, which means you get a better flavor profile that’s specific to Guatemala and the farm this coffee comes from
  • This coffee is Kosher and FairTrade Certified, so you be sure the processing and packaging were held to a high standard

Cons

  • Because it’s a single-origin, it doesn’t do as well with cream and sugar
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Lifeboost Central America Medium Roast Coffee

Lifeboost Central America Medium Roast Coffee

Lifeboost is an up-and-coming roaster that I’ve been very impressed with recently.

Especially with their medium roast coffees like this blend from Central America.

Central American blends are known for being incredibly smooth and balanced. And this blend is no different.

It has a nice body and a smooth finish that’s forgiving no matter how you brew.

On top of that, it’s 100% Arabica beans. Arabica beans are of higher quality and are tastier than Robusta beans, so a blend of purely Arabica beans will taste better.

Lifeboost makes a point to source beans that are low in acidity. They also roast specifically to keep acidity levels low in their coffees.

That keeps their blends mellow and smooth, perfect for brewing however you prefer. 

This coffee is also FairTrade Certified, meaning that everyone from the farmers to you is treated well during the experience.

The only thing to note is that this is a pretty classic blend. It doesn’t have any unique or especially interesting flavors. It just tastes like a classic medium roast coffee.

Pros

  • It’s a Central American blend, so this coffee will be balanced and have a nice body with a smooth finish
  • It’s a 100% Arabica blend, so the beans themselves are of higher quality and taste than an Arabica/Robusta blend
  • Lifeboost uses this blend to keep the acidity low in this coffee, so it’s perfect for brewing whatever way you most prefer 
  • It’s certified FairTrade, so you can be sure the whole process was high-quality

Cons

  • As far as blends go, this coffee isn’t especially unique, there aren’t any standout flavors
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Jamaican Blue Mountain Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee

Jamaican Blue Mountain Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee

I could write a whole article just on Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. But I’ll distill it for you.

Blue Mountain coffee is some of the best in the world. It has unusual sweetness and a distinct lack of bitterness.

The region is known for its high altitude, lots of shade, and steep slopes. Those factors are perfect growing conditions for delicious coffee.

That makes Blue Mountain coffee like this one super sweet. But it keeps a balanced body and a bold aroma.

Basically, it’s a flavor bomb in your cup no matter your brewing process. It also means it’s really easy to brew. Even if you’re a beginner, you’ll still get a great-tasting cup of coffee.

This coffee is roasted weekly, so each time you buy a bag, you will get as fresh a roast as possible.

The only thing to consider is that the steep slopes make it hard to harvest. That adds to the scarcity of this coffee.

Those factors make this coffee expensive. It’s probably best saved for a special occasion.

Pros

  • Jamaican Blue Mountain is some of the best coffee in the world, so you’re getting a taste of some of the best
  • Blue Mountain coffee is known for its lack of bitterness, so this coffee is super sweet, has a balanced body, and bold aroma
  • This is roasted weekly, so you can be sure you’re getting as fresh coffee as possible

Cons

  • Because of the scarcity and quality of Blue Mountain coffee, this is an expensive coffee
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Kicking Horse Three Sisters Medium Roast

Kicking Horse is a bigger roaster known for strong and delicious coffees.

Three Sisters is a staple in Kicking Horse’s lineup.

It’s a smooth and balanced medium roast that gives you a classic flavor that goes well with cream and sugar. Or even on its own.

The notes of dried fruit, toasted coconut, and chocolate malt are spot on.

Three Sisters is a blend of Indonesian, Central American, and South American coffee.

The tasting notes and the blend means that this is a forgiving coffee no matter your recipe or brewing process.

You’re getting a 100% Arabica blend in this bag. Arabica beans are of higher quality and generally tastier than Robusta beans. That means that an all-Arabica blend will taste better than an Arabica/Robusta blend.

The only downside is that Kicking Horse roasts in bigger batches. So, you might not get the freshest roast possible when you buy a bag.

Pros

  • Notes of sweet dried fruit, toasted coconut, and chocolate malt make this an incredibly smooth and balanced medium roast
  • Because of the body and flavors in this coffee, it goes well with cream and sugar, or on its own
  • The blend of Indonesian, Central American, and South American coffees means this is a forgiving coffee no matter how you brew it
  • It’s 100% Arabica, so the beans are of higher quality and taste than an Arabica/Robusta blend

Cons

  • It’s roasted in big batches, so you might not actually get a freshly roasted bag each time
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Blue Bottle Home Blend Whole Bean Moderate Roast

Blue Bottle Home Blend is a classic blend from a classic roaster.

The Home Blend has notes of caramel, lemon zest, and cocoa. I know that might sound like no coffee you’ve had before, but trust me: it’s actually really good.

It’s an interesting blend because of the flavor profiles. But the different profiles actually work together to create a nicely balanced and bold daily drinker.

The balance of this coffee makes it easy to brew and tasty no matter your preferred brewing style. 

From pour-over to espresso, this coffee will perform.

My preferred brewing method with this coffee is actually AeroPress. It makes a classic style cup with perfect acidity.

Plus, it’s USDA Organic certified, which means it was held to a high quality throughout the growing, roast, and packaging processes.

Just note that Blute Bottle generally cares more about quantity than quality, so you might not find consistency from bag to bag.

Pros

  • Notes of caramel, lemon zest, and cocoa make this a rounded and interesting cup of coffee
  • Because it’s a balanced cup, it works well with or without cream and sugar
  • The rounded flavors mean this coffee is forgiving no matter how you’re brewing, from pour-over to espresso
  • It’s certified USDA Organic, so you can be sure this coffee was sourced well and held to a high processing standard

Cons

  • Blue Bottle cares more about quantity than quality, so you might not be getting the freshest possible roasts when you buy a bag
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Volcanica Ethiopia Guji Medium Roast

Volcanica Ethiopia Guji Medium Roast

Volcanica is one of my favorite roasters at the moment. It seems every coffee that I try from them is a winner.

And this Ethiopia Guji is another one.

It has notes of dark chocolate, peach, and nectarine. That means it’s a pretty classic Ethiopian coffee.

It’s a medium-light roast, so it has a little more acidity and brightness than a middle-ground medium roast.

I prefer a touch more brightness in my medium roasts, so this coffee is perfect for me.

Plus, it’s a single-origin. That means you get all the Ethiopian tastes like rounded sweetness and full-bodied brightness.

The washed processing of this coffee makes the flavor profile crisp and clear in your cup every time you brew.

The only thing is that because it’s a lighter medium roast, it doesn’t do as well with cream and sugar. So, if you like adding a little milk to your morning brew, this might not be the coffee for you.

Pros

  • Tasting notes of dark chocolate, peach, and nectarine mean this is a pretty classic Ethiopian coffee
  • It’s a lighter medium roast, so it will be a little brighter than a middle ground medium roast
  • The washed process makes this coffee crisp and clear in your cup no matter your brewing style
  • It’s a single-origin coffee, so that means you will taste the classic Ethiopian flavors

Cons

  • Because it’s a lighter medium roast, it doesn’t do as well with cream and sugar
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Lifeboost Africa Medium Roast Coffee

Lifeboost Africa Medium Roast Coffee

This is Lifeboost’s second medium roast coffee.

It’s an African blend. That gives this blend pleasant brightness and a punchy profile. I really enjoy a punchier coffee like this on warm summer mornings.

The profile actually makes it great for making a cold brew.

The natural brightness doesn’t mean the coffee itself is super acidic. That means this coffee tastes a little like pink lemonade, but it’s still easy on your stomach.

Lifeboost roasts in smaller batches, so you are more likely to get a fresh roast each time you buy.

Lastly, this blend is USDA Organic. That means that throughout the growing, roasting, and packaging processes, this coffee was held to a high standard.

The only downside to note is that it’s a blend. So, you don’t get the super unique and interesting African flavors you would if you bought single-origin.

Pros

  • This is an African blend medium roast, so it will have nice brightness and a punchy profile, perfect for summer morning coffee
  • The medium roast and the African beans mean this coffee has low acidity, making it a stomach-friendly choice for daily drinking
  • It’s USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified, so it was held to a high standard throughout the supply chain
  • Lifeboost roasts in smaller batches, so you’re more likely to get a fresh bag each time you order

Cons

  • Because it’s a blend, you lose some of the unique flavors you would get when buying single-origin African coffees
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KOA Coffee Peaberry Medium Roast 100% Kona Coffee

KOA Coffee Peaberry Medium Roast 100% Kona Coffee

What you need to know about Peaberry coffee is that it’s really, really tasty.

It’s actually a natural mutation in the coffee cherry where the fruit produces only one bean instead of two.

So more of the natural flavors get into the bean itself.

Add to that the fact that Kona coffee from Hawaii is some of the best in the world, and you have an exceptional and rare coffee.

Like seriously rare. Only 3-5% of the coffee produced is peaberry.

The medium roast peaberry Kona keeps the coffee balanced and rounded, making it easy to brew and drink with or without cream and sugar.

Plus, it’s roasted in small batches. That means you’ll get a fresh roast each time you buy a bag.

The only downside is that peaberry coffee is really rare. I know that I just said that’s a good thing, but it’s not great for your wallet.

It’s a rather expensive coffee.

Pros

  • Peaberry coffee beans are bigger and hold more flavor than regular coffee beans, so you’re getting a flavor bomb in each cup
  • Kona coffee is some of the best in the world, so you’re getting a really high-quality coffee with each bag
  • The medium roast keeps this coffee truly balanced and rounded, making it easy to brew and tasty with or without cream and sugar
  • It’s roasted in smaller batches, so you will get a freshly roasted bag each time you buy

Cons

  • Because Peaberry Kona coffees are so rare, they are pretty expensive
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Hawaii Coffee Co Lion Gold Roast

Hawaii Coffee Co Lion Gold Roast

Are you looking for an approachable, easily drinkable medium roast that’s easy on your budget but still delicious?

I highly suggest Lion Gold Roast.

It’s a medium-light roast, so it has a little more brightness and a slightly punchier flavor than a heavier medium roast.

Lion has been around for a long time, like decades and decades, so it’s a respected roaster. And Gold Roast has been one of its flagship roasts for almost Lion’s whole existence.

With this coffee, you’re getting a blend of Hawaiian coffee, which is some of the best in the world.

Add to that the fact that this has a classic diner-style flair, and you have a versatile coffee that goes well with cream and sugar. Or on its own. And it doesn’t matter how you brew it.

Just note that Gold Roast is roasted in bigger batches, so bag to bag, you might find some inconsistency in how fresh it tastes.

Pros

  • As a medium-light roast, this coffee has a little more brightness and a punchier flavor, perfect for cold brew
  • It has a delicate sweetness and a citrus finish, which means it’s a great morning coffee
  • Lion coffee has been around a long time, so you can be sure you’re getting a respected blend of Hawaiian coffee
  • It has a classic, diner-style profile to it, which means it goes well with cream and sugar

Cons

  • It’s roasted in bigger batches, so you might not get the freshest roast from bag to bag
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Volcania Costa Rica Tarrazu Decaf Coffee

Volcania Costa Rica Tarrazu Decaf Coffee

There are two types of decaf coffees out there: ones that taste like chemicals and ones that don’t.

This is one that doesn’t taste like chemicals.

That’s because it’s decaffeinated with the Swiss Water Process. So it only uses water to decaffeinate instead of chemicals.

Not only does this coffee not taste like chemicals, but it also tastes great. It has notes of apples and nuts, which make it a great daily decaf brew no matter how you take your coffee.

Plus, it’s a single-origin Costa Rican, so you get all the benefits of a clean and smooth cup while still being decaf.

The medium roast keeps this coffee mellow and balanced. That keeps it forgiving and tasty for a long time.

The only unfortunate part about the Swiss Water Process is that it’s more expensive and time-consuming than using chemicals.

So, you end up paying for the quality.

Pros

  • It’s a Swiss Water Processed coffee, which means there were no chemicals used while decaffeinating this coffee
  • The medium roast keeps this decaf coffee balanced and mellow, and you won’t get any chemical aftertaste because of the processing
  • It has notes of apples and nuts, which is perfect for a decaf daily drinker no matter how you brew
  • It’s a single-origin decaf, so you get all the benefits of Costa Rican coffee in a decaf cup

Cons

  • The Swiss Water Process is more expensive than other decaffeination processes, so you’re paying a premium for quality
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Stumptown Holler Mountain Medium Roast Organic Coffee

Stumptown Holler Mountain Organic Whole Bean Coffee 

Stumptown started 3rd wave specialty coffee. And they’re still pushing quality coffee.

Holler Mountain is one of their oldest blends. So you can be sure this coffee has withstood the test of time.

It’s a classic.

It has an old-style feel and taste to it. This means it’s balanced, smooth, has mellow acidity, and is a really versatile coffee. It doesn’t matter how you like your coffee, Holler Mountain will taste great.

It has notes of cream and caramel, which keep its profile rounded and clean.

Plus, it’s USDA Organic certified, which means that it was held to a high standard throughout the supply chain.

Stumptown does roast in bigger batches, so you might get slightly older bags when you order Holler Mountain.

Pros

  • Stumptown is a respected national roaster, so you can be sure you’re getting a quality coffee blend in each bag you buy
  • It’s a classic, diner-style medium roast, so it’s balanced, smooth, has mellow acidity, and is versatile no matter how you brew
  • The notes of cream and caramel mean this coffee tastes great on its own or with cream and sugar
  • It’s USDA Organic Certified, so you can be sure it was held to a high standard during roasting and processing

Cons

  • Stumptown roasts in bigger batches, so you might not get a fresh roast from bag to bag
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How To Choose The Right Medium Roast

When buying medium roast, chances are you’re looking for a balanced and middle-ground style of coffee.

But with so many coffees out there, narrowing down your choices can be tough.

In this section, let’s go through how I personally make decisions about my medium roast coffees.

Hopefully, this will help you find the best coffee beans for you.

What should medium roast taste like?

This is a tough one because there are so many types of medium roasts out there.

Technically, anything darker than light roast or lighter than dark roast coffee beans is a medium roast.

So, how can you make a decision?

Easy, pick out what you like about your coffee and go from there.

Do you prefer interesting and unique flavors in your coffee? Then try something on the lighter side of the medium coffee roast profile to retain some acidity.

Do you prefer a mellow body and diner-style cups instead? Then opting for a true medium roast or even medium dark roast beans is a great option.

Medium roast coffee beans can usually be characterized by mellow acidity, rounded bodies, and bold aromas.

But with so many types of roasts out there, you should play around and find the roast level you like most.

BOTTOM LINE
Medium roasts are as varied as brewing methods. Try a few different medium roast levels to find what you like the most.

What country of origin should you look for?

coffee beans

This is all about personal preference. Like, seriously.

Each region of each country has its own characteristics and taste profiles. I mean, even from farm to farm in a specific region can have wildly different profiles.

But there are some generalities to consider. For example, African coffees tend to be brighter and more acidic. Think pink lemonade.

Asian Pacific coffees tend to have earthier and nuttier flavors. Coffees from Latin America tend to be balanced and taste like citrus and chocolate.

That’s all to say you should find a region or country you really like and explore coffee within that region from roaster to roaster.

The other thing to consider is single-origin vs blended coffee.

Blends will tend to be more balanced and brew better in drip machines or French presses.

Single-origin coffees, such as Kona coffee, tend to have more interesting and unique flavors and brew better in pour-overs.

IN A NUTSHELL
If you like blended coffees, try picking out a blend that’s from a specific region like Africa or the Asia Pacific. If you like single-origins, try out a few different countries to find one you really like. And then look for that same country from a different roaster.

How should you brew medium roast coffee?

I hinted at this in the previous section, but different styles of medium roast coffees go better with different brewing methods.

For example, a blended coffee that has a heavier body or bolder aroma will taste better when brewed as a drip coffee or in a French press.

However, a medium roast single-origin coffee from Africa might go better as a pour-over. That’s because African coffees tend to be brighter and more unique.

Just note that there isn’t a hard and fast rule about how you should brew your coffee.

Anyone can brew any kind of coffee in any way and have success.

Don’t let anyone gatekeep your brew!

Whatever brewing method you choose, remember that freshly ground beans are better than pre ground coffee.

So, if you have a grinder or a machine with a built-in grinder, stick with the whole bean coffee, which you can grind to your liking.

BOTTOM LINE
Play around with brewing styles for your medium roasted coffee beans to find out what tastes best for you. Coffee is all about personal taste, after all.

My Final Verdict

After all that, I’m sticking with Volcanica Guatemala Huehuetenango Medium Roast as my top choice.

Why?

Well, the notes of honeysuckle, pistachio, and spices are incredible in the cup. Plus, the washed process keeps those flavors crisp and clear.

And it’s an approachable single-origin coffee that exemplifies Guatemalan coffee.

Basically, it’s a versatile and forgiving coffee that tastes great no matter how you brew it.

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Craig Carey
Craig spent a year as a barista in Denver's specialty coffee world. He spends his days rock climbing, cycling, drinking espresso, and hanging around the Rocky Mountains. He still lives in Colorado.