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11 Best Coffee for Espresso at Home in 2024

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This is our review of the best Espresso coffees in 2024. 

Hi, I’m Tim, and I’m a former barista who regularly makes espresso drinks at home. This has led me to try many different espresso beans. 

And my number one choice of coffee for espresso machines is San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee. Because It has rich, complex flavors and is the perfect roast level for espresso.

san francisco bay whole bean coffee

San Francisco Bay:
Best Overall

  • Roast: Espresso roast
  • Flavor profile: Rich, complex, and full-bodied
  • Available In: 2 lb bag
  • Type: Whole bean
  • Price: $$
  • Origin: Single origin, Central America
  • Organic: N/A

That said, your tastes in espresso may vary significantly from my own. For example, you might prefer different coffee bean species or a lighter roast. 

To cover everyone’s preferences, we compiled and evaluated a list of the top 11 coffees for espresso.

So keep reading to find your favorite espresso coffee.

Top 11 Espresso Coffees for Home Brewing

  1. San Francisco Bay Whole Bean CoffeeBest Overall
  2. Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee BlendRunner Up
  3. Bialetti Caffe Italian RoastedBest Espresso Grounds
  4. Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinated Ground CoffeeBest Decaf
  5. Volcanica Sulawesi, Celebes KalossiBest Organic Coffee
  6. Starbucks Espresso RoastBest Starbucks
  7. Grinders Coffee, Espresso, Roasted Beans 1kgBest in Australia 
  8. Lavazza, Espresso Italiano Classico, Ground Coffee – Best in UK
  9. Lifeboost Coffee Espresso Ground CoffeeBest Single Origin
  10. Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast CoffeeBest Espresso Grounds for Martinis
  11. Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Espresso – Best Supermarket 

11 Best Espresso Coffees in 2023

Here are short reviews of the best coffees for espresso.

1. San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee – Best Overall

san francisco bay whole bean coffee
RoastEspresso roast
Flavor profileRich, complex, and full-bodied
Available In2 lb bag
TypeWhole bean
OriginSingle origin, Central America


  • Unique flavor
  • Low acid
  • Perfect roast level


  • Too strong for some people

The San Francisco Bay Whole Bean Coffee Espresso Roast is our top choice for espresso due to its distinct flavor and well-balanced roast.

The coffee is a medium-dark roast, offering a balanced flavor that is neither too strong nor too bitter. It is smooth and ideal for brewing in an espresso machine.

These beans can be used for various coffee drinks, such as regular coffee, espressos, lattes, cappuccinos, and more.

The San Francisco Bay espresso roast is priced at an average level compared to similar whole-bean coffees– it is not the most affordable option available.

However, they are only available in a 2-pound bag. But whole beans do have a longer shelf life compared to pre-ground coffee. However, that is a lot of coffee to consume before they become stale.

This espresso roast contains 100% Arabica beans from Central America. The pleasant flavor is distinct and different from any other coffee I’ve tasted. 

I find the strength to be perfect, but some buyers find it too strong for their liking.

San Francisco Bay Coffee has been producing high-quality beans since 1979 and has a strong reputation. And when you try its coffee, you quickly learn why. 

If you would rather have an Italian espresso roast, the Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee Blend is worth considering.

2. Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee Blend – Runner Up

lavazza espresso italiano ground coffee blend 2
Flavor profileFull body with creamy & caramel flavors
Available In1.25 lb bag, 8 oz can (4 pack)
TypeWhole bean
OriginMultiple origins– Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, South America


  • Rich aromatic flavors
  • Made in Italy
  • Available in most grocery and online stores


  • Not intense enough for some
  • Too acidic for some drinkers

Lavazza Espresso Italiano Whole Bean Coffee Blend offers a pleasant and smooth flavor profile, making it an ideal choice for your daily espresso.

The medium roast is well-balanced, with floral and fruity tasting notes. It has lower acidity compared to dark roasts and is stronger than light roasts. It is not overly robust or bitter.

This coffee is a multi-origin Arabica blend sourced from Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America.

As such, it has several tasting notes that are expertly blended to provide a balanced flavor that complements any espresso beverage.

If you prefer medium roasts, you should find the Lavazza Espresso Italiano coffee to your liking. You can enjoy it as a standalone shot of espresso or incorporate it into various beverages such as Americano, Latte, Cappuccino, and more.

It is whole-bean coffee, so you will have to grind it yourself to a fine-grind size before you load it into your espresso machine.

Lavazza Espresso Italiano whole beans are a medium roast, and while it has a strong flavor, it may not be intense enough for some espresso drinkers

For those seeking more intensity, get a darker roast instead.

The product is offered in two different sizes: a 1.25 lb bag and an 8 oz 4-pack. Both sizes are available for purchase on Amazon, other online retailers, and local grocery stores.

If you prefer pre-ground espresso instead, read on to learn about the Bialetti Caffe Italian Roasted grounds. 

3. Bialetti Caffe Italian Roasted – Best Espresso Grounds

bialetti caffe italian roasted
RoastMedium roast
Flavor profileFlowers and dried fruit
Available In8.8 oz bag
TypeGround, fine grind
OriginMultiple origins


  • Tasting notes of flowers and dried fruit
  • Slow roasting method


  • Pricey

The Bialetti Caffe Italian Roasted Espresso Grounds is the best pre-ground espresso due to its slow-roasting method and amazing tasting notes.

The espresso beans are ground to the perfect, fine-grind size for brewing in espresso machines and Moka Pots.

This means you won’t need to grind the coffee yourself, saving you time and money (since you don’t need a grinder). 

Additionally, the beans are slow-medium roasted to bring out their unique sweet tasting notes of flowers and dried fruit.

These espresso grounds work well in any type of coffee or espresso beverage. They have a balanced strength, making them a suitable option for most coffee drinkers.

These grounds may cost a pretty penny, but their slow roasting process and consistent fine grind size justify the higher price tag.

The Bialetti Caffe Italian Roasted Espresso Grounds are packaged in an 8.8 oz bag that is airtight, allowing you to use all the grounds before they become stale.

If you prefer decaf espresso instead, try out the Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinated Ground Coffee.

4. Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinated Ground Coffee- Best Decaf

lavazza espresso decaffeinated ground coffee
Flavor profileSweet and fruity
Available In8 oz can, 8.8 oz bag
TypeGround, fine grind


  • Natural CO2 decaffeination process removes 99.9% caffeine
  • Full body and rich flavor


  • Some find it too bitter

Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinated Ground Coffee is a decaf medium roast perfect for brewing espresso and coffee, it caters to individuals who don’t want the stimulating effects of caffeine.

Lavazza uses the CO2 decaffeination process to remove the bean’s caffeine content.

It is a natural method that eliminates caffeine without the need for chemicals. This process retains 99.9% of the flavor and other properties.

So, you can indulge in this espresso’s rich and aromatic flavors, minus the jitters and crash from caffeine.

It is pre-ground to a consistent fine-grind size, making it ready to load into your espresso machine or Moka Pot. 

Lavazza Espresso Decaffeinated Ground Coffee has a taste nearly identical to that of high-quality caffeinated espresso grounds.

The decaf ground espresso is available in an 8 oz can and is competitively priced compared to other options. Despite being slightly more expensive, its quality and flavor justify the purchase.

But if you want an organic coffee for your morning espresso, check out the Volcanica Sulawesi, Celebes Kalossi coffee. 

5. Volcanica Sulawesi, Celebes Kalossi – Best Organic Coffee

volcanica sulawesi celebes kalossi
RoastMedium roast
Flavor profileMaple syrup, cherry, full-bodied
Available In16 oz bag
TypeWhole beans
OriginSingle origin, Sulawesi Island
OrganicOrganically grown


  • Cherry and maple syrup tasting notes 
  • Complex aroma and finish
  • Fair-Trade Certified and Rainforest Alliance Certified 


  • Too much acid for some

The Volcanica Sulawesi, Celebes Kalossi whole bean coffee is the top organic espresso coffee because it is organically grown and carries Rainforest Alliance and Fair-Trade certifications.

This coffee is a medium roast with tasting notes of maple syrup and cherry.

It has a full-bodied flavor and an intense flavor, which is typical of Volcanica roasts. Additionally, it has a mild acidity and a pleasant spicy aroma.

This Volcanica Sulawesi Celebes Kalossi whole-bean coffee is priced higher than other options on this list.

That said, its unique flavor justifies its higher price. Volcanica grows the beans exclusively at high elevations in volcanic regions– specifically on Sulawesi Island’s volcano. 

This gives the coffee a unique flavor that is highly preferred in India and other nearby regions.

In high-altitude volcanic regions, coffee plants can absorb more minerals and nutrients, leading to unique flavors. These whole beans are high-quality– perfect to serve to your guests or to keep for your personal enjoyment.

The whole beans are packaged in a 16-ounce bag.

After opening, you should transfer them to an airtight, opaque container and store them at room temperature to maintain freshness. This storage method is recommended by Volcanica for all its coffee.

Some buyers reported a noticeable acidity in this coffee, despite its low acid content. However, I hypothesize that they may have used expired coffee grounds– I personally did not experience high acid.

Volcanica Sulawesi, Celebes Kalossi whole beans has Rainforest Alliance and Fair-Trade certifications. This means this coffee is sourced, farmed, and processed ethically.

Craving a more familiar taste in your espresso? Dive into the rich and bold flavors of Starbucks Espresso Roast whole beans.

6. Starbucks Espresso Roast- Best Ground Starbucks

starbucks espresso roast
Flavor profileRich molasses and caramel
Available In28 oz bag
TypeWhole bean
OriginMutli-origin, Asia Pacific and Latin America


  • Perfect dark roast level for espressos
  • Ethically sourced
  • Rich tasting notes of molasses and caramel


  • Large bag (28 oz)
  • Some find it too weak

The Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee grounds are well-suited for individuals who want the familiar taste of Starbucks coffee in their espresso-based beverages like cappuccinos, flat whites, americanos, lattes, and more.

This dark roast has a strong flavor profile with subtle hints of molasses and caramel. It is robust, as expected for espresso grounds, and well-suited for most espresso drinkers.

That said, there are some who may not find it strong enough. I don’t agree but will yield that there are stronger roasts out there.

The Starbucks Espresso roast is priced competitively compared to other espresso coffees, although it is slightly more expensive than the average brand.

This Starbucks Espresso roast is whole-bean coffee. So, you will have to grind it yourself to a fine grind size for your espresso machine. 

Or, you can take it to any Starbucks store and they will grind it for you, free of charge. You can also purchase a pre-ground version of this coffee. 

The coffee roast from Starbucks is ethically sourced from countries in the “Coffee Belt,” where farms adhere to responsible and ethical cultivation practices.

Similar to other Starbucks coffees, the Starbucks Espresso Roast coffee is only available in 28 oz bags.

Even as a frequent coffee and espresso drinker, it can be challenging for me to consume such a large quantity before it begins to lose its freshness.

Looking for the best espresso coffee in Australia? The Grinders Coffee, Espresso, Roasted Beans is our top recommendation. 

7. Grinders Coffee, Espresso, Roasted Beans 1kg – Best in Australia 

grinders coffee espresso roasted beans 1kg
RoastMedium-dark roasted
Flavor profileNut, fruits, and chocolate
Available In1 kg bag
TypeWhole bean
OriginMultiple origins


  • Locally roasted in Australia
  • Full body with rich tasting notes


  • Unflavorful to some drinkers

The Grinders Coffee, Espresso, Roasted Beans is the top espresso coffee in Australia because it is roasted domestically and has a delicious taste with the perfect strength.

The coffee has tasting notes of nuts, fruits, and chocolate, and it is smooth yet strong.

It is a medium-dark roast blend of Arabica and Robusto beans, which gives it a strong flavor, although a tad weaker than espresso-roasted beans.

This coffee is ideal for espresso drinkers that want a strong flavor without being too overpowering. As such, it makes fantastic espresso and coffee drinks too.

It is whole-bean coffee, so you will need to grind it yourself. 

The Grinders Coffee whole beans are priced similarly to other coffee in Australia. One advantage is that the beans are roasted locally in Melbourne.

Additionally, this coffee holds a Rainforest Alliance Certification, indicating that the beans are ethically farmed and support the respective growing regions.

One potential drawback is that it is only available in a 1 kg bag, which may be excessive for certain households and could go stale before you use it all.

Some online purchasers have mentioned that this coffee is “too bland,” but I disagree. I think it has a rich and flavorful taste.

Looking for the best espresso coffee in the UK? Check out the Lavazza, Espresso Italiano Classico, Ground Coffee below. 

8. Lavazza, Espresso Italiano Classico, Ground Coffee  – Best in UK

lavazza espresso italiano classico ground coffee
Flavor profileFloral and fruity 
Available In250 g bag 
TypeGround, fine grind
OriginMultiple origins, Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, South America


  • Lighter roast 
  • Pleasant floral and fruity tasting notes


  • Too weak for some espresso drinkers

The Lavazza, Espresso Italiano Classico, Ground Coffee is the best espresso coffee in the UK because it has a wonderful, balanced flavor and is pre-ground for your espresso machine. 

It is a light roast, which offers a unique intensity level to espressos. Some may find it too weak, but most enjoy its unexpected taste and strength. 

It has floral and fruity tasting notes, which aren’t overpowering. They are subtle but aren’t easily concealed by milk, creamer, or sugar. 

This Lavazza coffee is pre-ground to a fine-grind size, which means you don’t have to do any work grinding it yourself. 

It is multiple-origin coffee and is sourced from farms in Southeast Asia, Africa, Central America, and South America. 

This blending helps give the coffee its unique flavor and strength. 

One drawback is that this coffee is weaker than dark and espresso roast coffees. That said, this coffee is made for those who don’t want something too intense. 

The Lavazza, Espresso Italiano Classico, Ground Coffee is available at most online merchants and almost all grocery stores in the UK. 

Looking for the best espresso coffee for your Delonghi machine? Read on to learn about the Lifeboost Coffee Espresso Ground Coffee.

9. Lifeboost Coffee Espresso Ground Coffee – Best Single Origin

lifeboost coffee espresso ground coffee
Flavor profileChocolate, caramel, and fruit
Available In12 oz bag
TypeGround, fine grind
OriginSingle origin – Central America (Nicaragua)
OrganicUSDA Certified Organic


  • Low acidity
  • Zero additives
  • High altitude growing regions adds richness/flavor


  • Expensive
  • Too strong for some

The Lifeboost Coffee Espresso ground coffee is roasted in a unique high-altitude environment, making it the best single origin espresso.

The espresso ground coffee a lower acidity levels than similar ground espressos because the beans grow in a high-altitude environment, allowing them to absorb more nutrients and boost their flavor.

The espresso grounds have a strong and robust flavor that is ideal for espresso enthusiasts. It is bold, smooth, and has low acid.

The flavor remains prominent even if you add milk, creamers, and sweeteners– it is hard to overpower its taste.

The Lifeboost Coffee Espresso ground coffee comes in a 12 oz bag that has a roast date label, allowing you to pick the freshest one.

Furthermore, the espresso grounds are USDA Certified Organic (by NFC) and undergo third-party testing for mycotoxins and pesticides, making it one of the cleanest and most natural options available.

Many individuals find the taste of Lifeboost espresso grounds enjoyable, although it may be too intense for some. For a milder option, consider choosing a medium or medium-dark roast.

Additionally, the price of these espresso grounds is higher compared to other similar options.

However, it is cultivated in the unique setting of the high-altitude mountains in Nicaragua, which contributes to its enhanced nutrient absorption, flavor, and richness.

Looking for the best espresso for martinis instead? The Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast Coffee is my recommendation. 

10. Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast Coffee – Best Espresso Grounds for Espresso Martinis

volcanica espresso dark roast coffee
Flavor profileCaramel
Available In16 oz bag
TypeGround, fine grind


  • Caramel tasting notes with strong intensity
  • Spicy aroma
  • Rainforest Alliance Certified and Fair-Trade Certified


  • High acidity to some

Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast espresso ground coffee is my top choice for use in espresso martinis because of its high quality, taste, and certifications.

Similar to other coffees on this list, the Volcanica is pre-ground– just add it to your espresso machine and go. 

The coffee is a dark roast with tasting notes of caramel and powerful intensity, which goes perfectly in an espresso martini. It also has a mild acidity and a distinct spicy aroma.

The Volcanica Espresso Dark Roast espresso grounds are more expensive compared to other options on this list.

These coffee grounds have a unique and great taste, making the higher price worth every penny.

What sets these grounds apart is their growing region, as Volcanica only cultivates coffee beans at high elevations in volcanic regions.

Coffee plants thrive in this particular environment, absorbing abundant nutrients and unique minerals that contribute to its distinct and delightful taste.

The coffee comes in a 16-ounce bag. On its label, Volcanica recommends transferring it to an airtight, opaque container and storing it at room temperature to maintain its freshness.

Some reviewers find these espresso grounds too high in acid, but it is possible that they are drinking stale grounds due to improper storage or delayed use.

The Volcanica Espresso dark roast, along with all coffee from Volcanica, holds Rainforest Alliance and Fair-Trade certifications, ensuring ethical sourcing, farming, and processing of their coffee.

If Volcanica is not within your budget or not available locally, the Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Espresso is a more affordable option that you can find in most supermarkets.

11. Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Espresso, Dark Roast Whole Bean – Best Supermarket

eight oclock coffee dark italian espresso dark roast whole bean 100 arabica coffee
Flavor profileBold and chocolaty
Available In32 oz bag
TypeWhole bean
OriginMultiple origins


  • Available in almost all supermarkets and grocery stores
  • Well balanced tasting profile
  • Ethically sourced and farmed


  • Large bag (32 oz)
  • Too bitter for some

The Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Espresso, Dark Roast Whole Bean coffee is the best espresso coffee in supermarkets. It is affordable and offers a great tasting experience. 

This Eight O-Clock coffee is ethically farmed and sourced, meaning it doesn’t negatively impact the environment or the local community. 

It is roasted in Maryland to a dark level, which is perfect for espressos. 

This coffee has a bold and chocolaty taste, which pairs well with milk or creamer, and tastes great black too. 

It is whole-bean coffee, so you will have to grind it yourself to a fine grind size for your espresso machine. This makes more work for you but results in a fresher cup of espresso. 

Compared to other whole-bean coffee for espressos, this Eight O’Clock Coffee Dark Italian Espresso, Dark Roast coffee is quite affordable

Besides getting it from your local supermarket, you can buy it from most online retailers too. 

One downside is that it only comes in a 32 oz bag. 

This is a lot of coffee and would be nearly impossible to use before it goes stale unless you have multiple daily espresso and coffee drinkers in your home. 

That said, its large size makes it a great option for cafeterias.

How to Find the Best Espresso Coffee

Here is what you need to consider as you browse coffee to purchase for making espressos. For more details, see our full coffee-buying guide.

What to considerWhy it’s important
RoastDark roast makes a more intense espresso compared to light and medium roasts
Grind SizeEspresso machines require a fine grind size.
The right type for your beverageThe bean species, caffeine levels, and other factors affect people’s coffee preferences
CertificationsOrganic, fairtrade, etc. certifications are important to many
Price/BudgetEspresso coffee can range from low-cost to expensive
Single vs multi-originSingle-origin espresso coffee usually has a more consistent flavor than multi-origin blends
Packaging/roast dateA more recent roast date indicates that the coffee is fresher. 


The roast level of espresso coffees is a crucial factor to consider for espresso machines. Many espresso drinkers, including myself, prefer darker roasts.

Dark roasts typically possess a higher intensity, bolder flavors, and greater strength, which you typically associate with espresso.

That said, weigh your personal preference when choosing the best roasts for your espresso.

RoastFlavorBest for
Light roastMild to mediumCoffee drinks
Medium roastMediumCoffee drinks, cold brew
Dark roastStrongCoffee, cold brew, and espresso drinks
Espresso roastVery strongEspresso drinks

Grind size

The grind size of coffee grounds is crucial when choosing for an espresso machine. It affects the brewing process, including the speed of water and coffee mixing, as well as the extraction rate of flavor from the beans.

To make espresso, it is necessary to use a fine grind size as medium and coarse grounds are not suitable for espresso machines.

Larger grind sizes do not have sufficient surface area to absorb an adequate amount of water for an espresso shot. Additionally, they have the potential to cause clogs in your espresso machine, possibly resulting in damage over time.

Learn more about this in our coffee grind size guide.

Grind SizeBest for
FineEspresso machines and Moka Pots
MediumDrip machines, cold brew, and pour over
Medium-coarseDrip machines, pour over, cold brew, and French press
CoarseFrench press and cold brew


When searching for ground coffee for your espresso machine, it is important to consider certifications such as USDA-certified Organic and Fair Trade.

The Fair Trade mark indicates that ground coffee is sustainably grown and harvested while also providing support to the farmers and local communities involved in its cultivation.

USDA-certified organic coffee does not contain artificial flavors, preservatives, colors, or other additives.

If you are looking for the most natural coffee for your espressos, consider purchasing a brand with these certifications.


When looking for ground coffee for espresso, it is important to consider both the price and quality.

For espresso, I would not recommend Inexpensive espresso grounds. Their taste tends to give a blander taste compared to more expensive ones.

The price of 8-10 oz of espresso coffee typically ranges from $8 to $25, based on factors such as quantity, quality, and whether it is whole-bean or pre-ground.

Whole bean is the cheaper option.

Single-origin vs. Multi-origin

When choosing ground espresso coffee, an important factor is whether it consists of “single-origin” or “multi-origin” beans.

Multi-origin espresso coffee comes from beans sourced from multiple locations. The beans could come from several countries or several regions within a single country.

This can result in unique and complex flavors but can also cause inconsistent flavors in your espresso and a less pleasing taste. Overall, it is usually a more affordable coffee option.

In contrast, single-origin espresso beans are exclusively sourced from beans grown in a specific location, which can include a single country, region, or even a sole farm.

Single-origin beans highlight the distinct flavors from a single growing region, resulting in a more robust and consistent taste, setting it apart from other coffee beans and often resulting in a higher price.

Single-origin and multiple-origin espresso beans offer different tasting experiences. Single-origin coffee provides a more consistent flavor with one to two tasting notes, while multiple-origin coffee may have several different tasting notes.

Packaging date/roasting date

When selecting coffee for your espresso, you need to carefully examine the packaging and/or roast date.

Some brands list a roast date, while others list a packaging date. Usually, these two occur within hours or within a day of each other. 

To ensure optimal taste and freshness, choose a product that has been recently roasted or packaged.

This is particularly important if you choose to buy espresso grounds. They tend to go stale faster than whole beans due to their fine grind and increased surface area, which allows for more air absorption and quicker spoilage.

When purchasing ground espresso from online retailers, it may be difficult to confirm the packaging or roast date. However, you can contact the seller and request a fresh batch rather than one that has been stored for a long time.

Best brands

When searching for pre-ground espresso beans consider options from top brands such as Starbucks, Lifeboost, Lavazza, and Illy.

Starbucks provides a selection of single-origin espresso grounds that come in different flavor profiles. Additionally, they offer both pre-ground and whole bean options.

Other brands, such as Lavazza and Illy, offer a variety of roasts, whole beans, and different grind sizes as well.

Our Verdict

Here are the top 3 choices. All three have great tastes, quality, and the perfect roast level for espressos.

san francisco bay whole bean coffee

San Francisco Bay:
Best Overall

  • Roast: Espresso roast
  • Flavor profile: Rich, complex, and full-bodied
  • Available In: 2 lb bag
  • Type: Whole bean
  • Price: $$
  • Origin: Single origin, Central America
  • Organic: N/A
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Tim Lee is, as you might have guessed the founder of He is a former barista and a professional web publisher. He has now combined his knowledge and expertise in both subjects to create
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