Black coffee is often misunderstood, even feared by some; however, when done right, it is a world of flavors waiting to be discovered. This guide intends to introduce beginners to some of the best coffees to drink black, allowing you to appreciate the subtle nuances and rich layers of taste that come from the finest coffee beans around the world. Whether you’re a seasoned coffee connoisseur seeking to expand your palate, or a novice on the verge of a grand caffeine adventure, this guide is your starting point to the remarkable world of black coffee.
What Is Black Coffee?
Black coffee, simply put, is coffee served without any additions. It’s a pure form of coffee, free from milk, sugar, or any other flavorings. Being the most direct way to taste the complexities of different coffee beans, drinking coffee black can reveal notes of fruit, flower, nut, spice, and chocolate that are inherent in particular types of beans. It’s a preferred method for coffee connoisseurs and those who truly want to experience the specific flavor profiles of different coffee varieties.
Health Benefits of Black Coffee
Drinking black coffee has several notable health benefits. First and foremost, it is high in powerful antioxidants, which can combat inflammation and boost brain health. It can also enhance physical performance by increasing adrenaline levels, and aid in weight loss by boosting metabolic rate.
Furthermore, studies have suggested that consuming black coffee may lower the risk of certain types of cancer, stroke, and diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Additionally, black coffee can improve mood and help fight depression. It’s also worth noting that black coffee is a low-calorie beverage, especially when compared to its milk and sugar-laden counterparts.
So, the next time you sip your black coffee, remember that it’s doing more than just waking you up – it’s also contributing to your overall health.
Best Coffee Beans To Drink Black By Origin
These are the top 5 coffee beans’ origins that will give you the best black brewed coffee. So let’s take a look at them.
Ethiopian coffee is a great option for those who are new to drinking coffee black. It has a distinct fruity and floral flavor, with a light body and bright acidity. Ethiopian coffee is grown at high altitudes, which gives it a unique flavor profile. Try brewing it with a pour-over or French press to really bring out its unique flavors.
Colombian coffee is one of the most popular types of coffee in the world and for good reason. Colombian coffee is known for its full-bodied flavor with a caramel-like sweetness and a pleasant acidity. This is a great coffee to drink black if you’re looking for a smooth and mellow cup of coffee.
Kenyan coffee is another great option if you’re looking for something with a bold, complex flavor. It is known for its bright acidity and rich flavor profile with notes of black currant and citrus. This coffee is best brewed with a drip coffee maker or a Chemex to really bring out its unique flavors.
Guatemalan coffee is a great choice for those who prefer a medium-bodied coffee with a smooth, chocolate-like flavor. This coffee is grown in volcanic soil, which gives it a unique flavor profile. It has a bright acidity with notes of fruit and chocolate, making it a great coffee to drink black.
Costa Rican Coffee
Costa Rican coffee is known for its balance of flavors, with a mild acidity and sweetness that makes it a great coffee to drink black. It has a medium body with notes of honey and citrus, making it a great coffee to enjoy in the morning. This coffee is best brewed with a drip coffee maker or a French press.
Top 6 Coffee Bean Brands for Your Black Coffee
Now that we’ve covered some of the best coffee beans to drink black, let’s dive into the brands that do an excellent job of sourcing, roasting, and packaging these beans.
Choosing a reputable brand ensures a high-quality cup of coffee every time. Every brand has a unique approach to roasting and flavor development, and understanding these differences can help you select the best coffee for your palate. Whether you favor a fruity Ethiopian blend or a medium-bodied Costa Rican brew, there’s a brand out there perfect for your black coffee adventure.
So, without further ado, let’s explore the top 6 coffee bean brands ideal for black coffee.
Stumptown Coffee Roasters
Stumptown Coffee Roasters, based in Portland, Oregon, has been delivering high-quality coffee since 1999. They offer a special Ethiopian roast called “Ethiopia Mordecofe”, characterized by its bright acidity and fruit-forward flavor profile, which is exceptional for drinking black.
- Contains one (1) 12 Ounce Bag of Stumptown Holler Mountain Organic Ground Coffee
- Holler Mountain: This organic blend has been a hometown favorite since day one. It’s got the complexity to pour a great espresso yet the versatility to serve as your daily cup of drip
- Flavor: Holler Mountain delivers a burst of citrus and berry jam rounded out with notes of creamy caramel. 100% Arabica coffee
- Direct Trade: Our Direct Trade program is built on three principles: pay higher prices tied to quality; work with producers we know and maintain those relationships over many years; strive to build truly collaborative partnerships
- Brewing Methods: Don't have access to a coffee grinder? This 12oz bag of coffee is pre-ground at our roastery on a setting the works for just about any drip brewer
Key Features: Stumptown Coffee Roasters prides itself on its direct trade coffee sourcing, aiming to build strong relationships with coffee farmers and ensure they receive fair compensation. Their coffee undergoes meticulous quality testing, and the company is committed to sustainability throughout its production process.
Pros: Stumptown’s diligent sourcing and testing ensure that you’re getting high-quality, sustainably produced coffee. Their Ethiopia Mordecofe offers a unique, complex flavor profile that’s great for drinking black. The company also offers a coffee subscription service for regular home delivery.
Cons: Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ products tend to be pricier than average, reflecting the quality of the beans and the company’s commitment to fair trade practices. Some customers might find Ethiopia Mordecofe’s fruity flavor profile a bit too unconventional for their tastes.
Juan Valdez Café
Juan Valdez Café is a brand that represents Colombian coffee worldwide. Their “Colina” coffee showcases the best qualities of Colombian coffee, offering a full-bodied experience with a caramel-like sweetness and an enjoyable acidity.
- DESCRIPTION: Enjoy a Organic Gourmet Roast Ground coffee selected with the highest quality standards, with particular characteristics and attributes, which make them unique in flavor and aroma, characteristic of the Colombian brand Juan Valdez.
- ACIDITY: Medium
- BODY: Medium
- FLAVOR NOTES: Moringa Tea and roasted Walnut
- FRAGANCE: This 100% organic coffee was grown and harvested by coffee families that have embraced the principles of organic farming, which gives it a pronounced aroma.
Key Features: Juan Valdez Café stands out for their commitment to authenticity and quality, being one of the most recognized Colombian coffee brands globally. Their beans are handpicked by Colombian coffee growers, ensuring top-notch quality. The Colina blend, in particular, offers a full-bodied experience with a caramel-like sweetness that makes it perfect for drinking black.
Pros: Juan Valdez Café’s dedication to quality means you’re getting a genuine taste of Colombia in every cup. Their commitment to ethical sourcing also supports local Colombian coffee growers. Additionally, the Colina blend’s balance of sweetness and acidity makes it an accessible choice for those new to black coffee.
Cons: While Juan Valdez Café offers high-quality coffee, it may come with a higher price tag compared to less authentic brands. Also, its distinct flavor may not appeal to those who prefer a more traditional, less sweet coffee profile.
This Atlanta-based coffee brand sources its beans from volcanic regions worldwide. Their “Kenya AA Coffee” is known for its bold, complex flavors, high acidity, and notes of black currant and citrus.
- 100% Pure Kenya AA Coffee: With a rich body, pleasant vibrant acidity, fragrant aroma and flavor notes of raspberry, cranberry, fresh-cut redwood, alyssum-like flowers in aroma and cup.
- Flavor Notes: Raspberry, Cranberry, Fresh-cut Redwood, and Alyssum-like Flowers
- Roast Profile: Medium/Light roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- Highest Grade: The "AA" grade marks out the very largest beans that naturally contain the largest amount of aromatic oils that are so integral to the coffee-drinking experience
- Freshly Roasted: We fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.
Key Features: Volcanica Coffee showcases its commitment to sourcing only the finest beans from volcanic regions around the globe. Their “Kenya AA Coffee” is particularly distinctive, offering a bold and complex flavor profile with high acidity and rich notes of black currant and citrus.
Pros: Volcanica Coffee provides a unique taste experience, sourcing beans from regions enriched by volcanic soil, known for producing some of the world’s finest coffee. Their Kenya AA Coffee offers a unique tasting experience with its complex, fruity profiles, making it an excellent choice for black coffee enthusiasts seeking a bold taste adventure.
Cons: The special sourcing can result in a higher price tag for Volcanica Coffee products. Also, the bold and highly acidic flavor of Kenya AA Coffee might be a bit strong for those who prefer milder, smoother coffee.
Café Britt is a Costa Rican coffee brand renowned for its well-balanced coffee. Their “Costa Rica Tarrazú” has a mild acidity, medium body, and delightful notes of honey and citrus, making it an ideal choice for drinking black.
- SINGLE-ORIGIN COFFEE FROM TARRAZÚ – Medium roast highlights the chocolaty flavor and hints of grapefruit of coffee from Tarrazú, one of the world’s best growing regions
- In- Country Roaster - Our coffee is picked, roasted, and packed in Costa Rica - Every gourmet coffee we offer goes directly from the farm to our in-house roaster and then it's delivered fresh to your home.
- Carbon Neutrality - Café Britt has been certified carbon neutral since 2013, and we continue to work to reduce our emissions.
- Delivered Fresh to You- Premium ground coffee packaged in our triple-layer bag to lock in freshness.
- Quality Guaranteed - 100% Arabica Coffee. Certified kosher and gluten free; high-mountain grown, Strictly Hard Bean coffee.
Key Features: Café Britt stands out for its premium, gourmet coffee sourced directly from Costa Rica’s finest regions. Their “Costa Rica Tarrazú,” known for its well-balanced blend, offers a mild acidity and medium body with delightful notes of honey and citrus. This coffee reflects the brand’s commitment to excellence and authenticity in every cup.
Pros: Café Britt provides a high-quality, authentic Costa Rican coffee experience. Their dedication to sustainable and ethical sourcing practices supports local farmers. The balanced profile of the “Costa Rica Tarrazú” makes it a great choice for those who enjoy a milder, flavorful black coffee.
Cons: Café Britt’s focus on premium, gourmet coffee may mean their products come with a higher price tag compared to more common brands. Furthermore, the mild flavor profile may not be strong enough for those who prefer a bolder coffee taste.
Death Wish Coffee Company’s Valhalla Java
Death Wish Coffee Company is known for its strong, bold coffees, and Valhalla Java is no exception. This medium-dark roast is crafted with a unique blend of Arabica and Robusta beans, producing a rich, intense flavor perfect for those who prefer their coffee black.
- DAY STARTER GROUND COFFEE: Get a pound of power & energy every morning with our dark roast coffee ground. This dark coffee is made of robust bold flavors. Wake up your senses with our dark coffee ground that's rich, intense, black and bold coffee.
- QUALITY BREW COFFEE GROUNDS DARK: Transform your basic cup into an intense coffee. A sip of this best coffee will make you say yes to more coffee grinds! Feel alive every day with our Vahalla Java Odinforce blend artisanal coffee ground dark roast!
- STRONG COFFEE GROUND: Enjoy otherwordly caffeine from the best ground coffee you'll ever taste! This ground dark roast coffee is made with premium arabica & robusta beans from volcanic Indonesia & the nutrient-rich soils of Central & South America.
- GODLY COFFEE POWDER: Brew our best coffees made with rich flavor. This coffee ground bold has earthy notes of nuts melted into chocolate. Truly a gourmet coffee that's extra-caffeinated to make you powerful & strong to hit the grounds running!
- DEATH WISH COFFEE PROMISE: We hope you enjoy our ground coffee premium like many happy customers because we'll only be happy if you are! If you don't love it, tell us & we'll refund you. Trying out our fine ground coffee is risk-free! Get yours now!
Key Features: With a reputation for producing the world’s strongest coffee, Death Wish Coffee Company ensures Valhalla Java lives up to that promise. The blend is USDA Certified Organic and Fair Trade, ensuring its production is both sustainable and ethical. Notably, the coffee offers a robust, full-bodied taste with subtle notes of chocolate and nuts.
Pros: Valhalla Java’s intense flavor and high caffeine content make it an ideal choice for those seeking a potent morning pick-me-up. The company’s commitment to ethical sourcing and organic production is a significant plus for eco-conscious consumers. Also, the coffee’s smooth finish and lack of bitterness make it excellent for drinking black.
Cons: Due to its strong flavor and high caffeine content, Valhalla Java might not be suitable for everyone, particularly those who are sensitive to caffeine or prefer milder-tasting coffee. Additionally, while the quality of the coffee is exceptional, the price can be a bit steep compared to other brands.
Bones Coffee Company
Bones Coffee Company offers unique, flavored coffee varieties and single-origin beans. Their “Costa Rica Single-Origin” coffee is a testament to this, boasting a medium-bodied profile with notes of honey and citrus, a perfect match for black coffee drinkers.
Key Features: Bones Coffee Company hand-roasts each batch to bring out the best in every bean. Their Costa Rica Single-Origin coffee is grown at high altitudes on volcanic soil, which gives it a distinct, vibrant flavor. This coffee is especially suited for black coffee drinkers, offering a well-balanced flavor with a mild, smooth finish.
Pros: Bones Coffee Company’s Costa Rica Single-Origin provides a unique, distinct flavor for those who enjoy a tropical, fruity note in their coffee. The company’s commitment to quality and hand-roasting process ensures a fresh, flavorful cup every time.
Cons: The brand’s focus on unique, flavored varieties may not appeal to traditional coffee drinkers. Also, the prices are a bit higher compared to many mainstream coffee brands.
Best Brew Methods for Making Black Coffee at Home
Brewing black coffee at home can result in a rewarding experience with the right techniques. Here are some of the preferred methods:
French Press: Known for its simplicity and efficiency, the French Press is a popular option. It involves steeping coffee grounds in boiling water and then straining them out with the press. This method allows for a full-bodied, rich flavor as it doesn’t filter out the oils from the coffee.
Pour Over: The Pour Over method requires pouring hot water over coffee grounds in a filter and letting it drip into a cup. It offers a clean taste and brings out the subtle flavors and aromas in the coffee, particularly those with complex flavor profiles like the Kenya AA Coffee by Volcanica Coffee.
Aeropress: The Aeropress is a modern brewing method that combines immersion and pressure brewing techniques. It results in a smooth, concentrated coffee that can be diluted to taste. It’s a good choice for making stronger, bolder coffees like the “Colina” coffee from Juan Valdez Café.
Espresso Machine: Espresso machines are ideal for those seeking an intense, full-flavored coffee. An espresso machine forces hot water through finely-ground coffee under high pressure, creating a strong, concentrated shot of coffee. This method works well with full-bodied, rich coffees, such as the Guatemala Antigua Coffee by Volcanica Coffee.
Remember, regardless of the method you use, always start with fresh, high-quality coffee beans for the best result.
How to Make the Best Tasting Black Coffee at Home
To create a fantastic cup of black coffee at home, you’ll need high-quality coffee beans and clean, filtered water. Below is a simple guide to help you perfect your brewing technique.
Choose Your Beans: As we’ve discussed, beans have different flavor profiles based on their origin. Decide whether you want a bold, fruity Ethiopian roast or a smooth, caramel-like Colombian coffee. Invest in freshly roasted beans for the best flavor.
Grind Your Beans: The best time to grind your beans is just before brewing. For black coffee, a medium grind is usually best. The aim is a consistency similar to coarse salt.
Measure: A good rule of thumb is to use 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds for every 6 ounces of water. Adjust this ratio to suit your flavor preference.
Brew: There are many brewing methods, but the pour-over method and the French press often yield the best results for black coffee due to their extraction process.
Savor: Lastly, enjoy your coffee black to appreciate the rich and complex flavors. Remember, the best cup of coffee is the one that tastes best to you! Experiment with different beans and brewing methods until you find your perfect cup.
Note: Always clean your equipment thoroughly after each use to prevent any build-up that may affect the taste of your coffee.
Why is Ethiopian Coffee ideal for those new to black coffee?
Ethiopian coffee is often recommended for black coffee newcomers due to its distinct fruity and floral flavors. It also has a light body and bright acidity, which can make the transition to black coffee less stark compared to bolder, more full-bodied options.
What makes Colombian Coffee smooth and mellow compared to other types?
Colombian Coffee is known for its full-bodied flavor, caramel-like sweetness, and pleasant acidity. This creates a smooth, mellow taste that doesn’t overwhelm the palate, making it a popular choice for black coffee drinkers.
What contributes to the bold and complex flavor of Kenyan Coffee?
Kenyan coffee is characterized by its bright acidity and rich flavor profile which includes notes of black currant and citrus. This bold and complex flavor is attributed to the unique high-altitude conditions in which the coffee is grown in Kenya.
Why does Guatemalan Coffee have a chocolate-like flavor?
Guatemalan coffee’s unique chocolate-like flavor is due to the volcanic soil in which it is grown. This, combined with its bright acidity and fruit notes, results in a smooth, medium-bodied coffee that is excellent for drinking black.
What makes Costa Rican Coffee a great coffee to drink black?
Costa Rican coffee is known for its balance of flavors, with a mild acidity and sweetness. It features a medium body with notes of honey and citrus, making it a pleasant coffee to drink black, particularly in the morning.
Drinking coffee black may seem intimidating at first but with the right type of coffee, it can be delicious. Whether you prefer your coffee bold and strong or smooth and mellow, there is a coffee out there for you. So, why not experiment with different types of coffee and find your new favorite drink? Trust us, your taste buds will thank you.