Last Updated on September 24, 2021 by John Moretti
Starbucks not only provides fun places for coffee fans to hang out but also produces some of the most delicious coffee beans on the market. Their beans typically include a 100% Arabica blend from multiple sources. While single-blend is still preferable in the coffee world, Starbucks is good at matching their different bean types to minimize any contrasting or upsetting taste conflicts. In this way, finding the best bean for your coffee situation should be a snap.
Here’s a look at the finest Starbucks coffee beans.
- Best Overall Choice: Starbucks Espresso Roast
- Best Runner Up: Starbucks Komodo Dragon
- Best Budget Option: Starbucks Breakfast Blend
- Best Dark Roast Option: Starbucks Italian Roast
- Best Smoky Beans: Starbucks French Roast
- Best Decaffeinated Blend: Starbucks Decaf Caffè Verona
- Best Cold Brew Bean: Starbucks Siren’s Blend
Starbucks Espresso Roast
While Starbucks has many fascinating bean options that taste fantastic when adequately brewed, this option is the best choice on my list. It is a 100% Arabica bean that comes from multiple regions across the world. Pacific-Asian and Latin American beans blend well into a fascinating brew, one that will give you a variety of different tastes and aftertastes that mix perfectly for many flavors.
Expect a relatively rich coffee, one with a bold and sharp taste, that serves ideally in just about any situation. I particularly loved (I mean LOVED) the caramel sweetness of this coffee. But, don’t worry, bitter coffee fans: the taste isn’t too overpowering. Instead, it has just enough sweetness, paired with a slight kick in the seats, to give you the espresso taste that you want for your drinks.
I suggest this blend for people who love dark-roasted coffee. The dark beans have that slightly burned aftertaste that dark-roast fans love. In addition, the caffeine content is about on par with most dark coffees. So, while it is a bit lower than with some light blends, it should have more than enough caffeine to produce an excellent wake-up drink in the morning. Add steamed milk, and your drink is perfect!
- Very dark taste and rich caffeine content helps make it a great way to wake up
- Deep and dense textures should keep your taste buds interested for a long time
- It works very well with just about any type of creamer, though caramel works best
- It could be overpowering to people who prefer a lighter and less demanding coffee
- It should only be used with espresso drinks, as it possesses the darkness necessary
Starbucks Komodo Dragon
Some of the best Starbucks beans are dark roast, and this option is no different. In fact, I found it to be the second-place choice of all the beans I investigated. It has a very earthy and herbal flavor that makes it a great option for sipping around a campfire or when waking up in the morning after a long and busy weekend. And while dark, it’s not quite as overbearing as man other dark-roasted brews.
Unlike some other Starbucks coffee beans, this blend is more limited in its scope. While not quite single-origin, it focuses on an Asia-Pacific blend of beans that work well for many types of brews. As a result, it contains the kind of earthy feel that you want from an herbal coffee brew. Even better, it has a bit of spice and the “kick” you want when drinking a rich and fulfilling dark roasted coffee.
As for undertones, expect some cedar spice and a taste of several herbs. The exact herb blend will vary based on how you prepare your beans. Some find that it has a density of flavor that can’t be matched by any other blends. I almost agree: if it weren’t for the top bean on my list, this option would be there instead. I strongly recommend it to anybody who wants a dark roast that fits into their lifestyle.
- An excellent option for espressos but also works for cappuccino and even black coffee
- The flavor profile is one of the spiciest we could find, producing fascinating aftertastes
- Mild enough to appeal to people who like medium or even some light coffee blends
- The “kick” of this blend could deter many people from more cups
- It lacks a sweet flavor, which could be frustrating for some coffee fans
Starbucks Breakfast Blend
Starbucks is known for many things, particularly the high cost of many of its beans and blends. You definitely get what you pay for with their beans, but some people may balk at such prices. Thankfully, they have produced a variety of different low-cost alternatives over the years that should minimize how much you have to pay. And Breakfast Blend is their superior budget-friendly coffee blend.
Made with 100% Arabica beans from Latin America, this blend has the kind of flavor you’d expect from this bean type. I think this coffee goes well with standard morning breakfast of eggs, toast, and delicious breakfast meats. It has that kind of homey feel and touches common to many of the best diners across the nation. When drinking a cup, it’s hard not to imagine yourself relaxing in a late-night dinner with friends, waiting to see where the night takes you. However, it has much more flavor than any coffee you’ll get from a greasy spoon.
If there’s anything negative to be said about this bean is that it doesn’t have any exceptional qualities compared to others on this list. However, its name is well-chosen: it’s a great blend to wake you up with breakfast and should serve that purpose very well. If that’s all you want from your coffee, and you want the high-quality that Starbucks brings to its beans, this option is probably the best choice for your needs.
- A very fair price that still provides a surprisingly good cup of coffee
- Bright and tangy taste works perfectly as a way of waking up in the morning
- Medium roast serves as a darker alternative to lighter blends
- It may be a bit bland for those who want a more potent cup of coffee
- The medium roast may have too much acidity for some coffee drinkers
Starbucks Italian Roast
While my top Starbucks coffee bean is a dark roast, it isn’t the best dark roast from this manufacturer. Instead, it is the best Starbucks coffee bean for a variety of taste profiles. This dark option is suited for fans who want the darkest blend of coffee flavors on the market. Like with most Starbucks beans, this is a blended option that uses 100% Arabica beans to create a fascinating array of different taste options.
The taste profile for this blend is pretty intense. It has that sweetness you get with a dark roast (and the lower caffeine count to be expected) but also has a very roasted aftertaste. Don’t worry: you’re not going to feel like you’re drinking burned coffee. However, that roasted flavor that so many dark roasted bean fans enjoy is present here: and then some! I particularly liked it served with chocolate chip cookies. Yum!
That said, it doesn’t quite have the smoky aftertaste you get with the French Roast. Instead, it’s more subtle than that, existing on the fringes of the taste profile. In this way, you shouldn’t feel too overwhelmed if this is your first dark roast coffee. Just as importantly, you can probably serve it to a pretty broad array of other coffee fans without driving them away with your “intense” dark coffee blend. These friends will likely thank you later for getting them into the delicious taste blends of dark coffee.
- The surprisingly subtle roasted taste shouldn’t overpower your taste buds
- It works well as a first-time dark roast coffee for many drinkers
- It retains a sweet taste even if you add creamers or other extras to it
- It might not be suitable for those who want a genuinely smoky flavor option
- Neither fish and fowl, meaning it’s a bit in the middle for overall quality
Starbucks French Roast
Do you love dark roast coffee but find the Italian Roast a bit too light for your taste? Then it would be best if you considered French Roast. This bean remains one of the most popular in Starbucks history due to its intensity. Simply put, you just can’t get a darker Starbucks bean than this option. In addition, the intensely smoky taste will give you the kind of kick in the pants you crave when you buy a dark roasted bean.
Like many dark coffees, this option lacks the kind of acidity you get with lighter blends. As a result, you can focus more on the taste of the bean and less on the fruity aftertaste that may be common with many. Understand, though, that there is often an oily residue on many of these beans, requiring you to clean them off carefully before grinding or brewing. Choose carefully to get the best results here.
I also love the aroma of this coffee. It’s got the kind of smell that just gets you going in the morning. Even better, the taste and smell aren’t bitter in the slightest. As a result, this coffee is both an excellent option for dark roast fans and more adventurous light roast fans. However, it’s hard to say how well some of these coffee drinkers would adapt to the demands of these very intense coffee blends.
- Dark taste is one of the most intense and memorable on my list
- Surprisingly slight bitterness for an otherwise dark coffee
- Works well as a single cup of coffee or an espresso
- It lacks the kinds of undertones that some of the best dark coffees possess
- Typically, it doesn’t work as well for cappuccinos, though that may depend on taste
Starbucks Decaf Caffè Verona
Do you sometimes want a cup of coffee that won’t make you jittery with too much caffeine? Decaffeinated coffee is often an excellent option for those who have had one too many cups for the day but still want the great taste of high-quality java. Thankfully, Starbucks produces a handful of high-quality options, including this variety. It provides the taste of a Caffe Verona with none of the caffeine.
This blend walks the fine line that all decaffeinated coffees must walk. Chiefly, it must eliminate the caffeine in the coffee while not sacrificing the taste. Thankfully, this blend has the rich and slightly bitter taste typical of your standard Caffe Verona. It doesn’t taste like a watered-down or unappealing blend. That’s why it ranks so highly on my list here over others.
As for the taste, it’s one of the lighter options on my list. As a result, those who prefer lighter coffee may find this works better for their needs. You’ll probably need a little bit of creamer or sweetener to balance the fruity aftertaste and acidity. Thankfully, the taste is surprisingly rich, with dark chocolate and caramelized sugar undertones providing a fantastic aftertaste that most will enjoy.
- Blends well with a diverse array of different additives, like creamer
- Surprisingly great taste that won’t give you the coffee shakes
- Lets you drink coffee all day without staying up all night
- It won’t work well as a wake-up option for people who need it
- It feels a bit light compared to other options on my list
Starbucks Siren’s Blend
Are you one of those people who love a cold brew coffee? If not, you might know how it differs from iced coffee. Simply put, cold brew is prepared over an extended period using cold water rather than a quick brew over ice. As a result, you need to choose specialized beans that fit this option well. Thankfully, Starbucks has quite a few options to choose from here, chief among them Siren’s Blend.
This option is the perfect choice for cold brew because of its combination of East African and Latin American coffee beans. These beans are medium roasted to produce a bright taste, a fresh smell, and a very light level of acidity. All of these factors help to enhance the flavor of a cold brew, particularly those types of brews that may lack the kind of kick you get from other kinds of beans.
The overall taste comes with undertones of citrus and chocolate, particularly the latter option. Those who love cocoa-rich coffee will find this blend works perfectly for their needs. And cold brew often thrives on such contrasts, allowing you to get the kind of high-quality cold coffee you deserve. Make sure you research cold coffee brewing methods if you’ve never tried this option before. Doing so will minimize confusion.
- It works perfectly for your cold brew needs and provides an excellent level of flavor
- Medium-roasted texture works well for a cold brew and fits into many taste profiles
- Great transition option for those who are just getting into a cold brew and don’t know what to expect
- Stark dark cocoa taste could be off-putting for many people who want a more bitter brew
- Acidity may be a bit higher than darker blends, producing conflicting taste blends
What to Look For in Starbucks Coffee Beans
If none of these Starbucks beans seem appealing to you, check out the traits below to find ones that do. I used all of these factors to gauge which beans deserved to go on this list. You may need to do a bit more research outside the scope of this article to identify types that suit you. Thankfully, this simple list should help to make that process smoother and cut back on the risk of wasting cash.
Most Starbucks beans come in a reasonably dark roast, with some being incredibly dark. Others are lighter and fall within the medium to medium-dark range. None of the coffees on my list are light-roast, which isn’t surprising. Unfortunately, Starbucks doesn’t make a lot of light blends. And those that they do aren’t as good as the medium or dark options. So make sure you research which is the best choice for you.
Starbucks typically draws beans from Latin America, Africa, and South American sources. They work well with Indonesia and Ethiopia, two countries that produce very nutty and sour coffee tastes. Research the different flavor profiles common to a region before purchasing any of these beans. Doing so will minimize disappointment and point you in the right direction instead.
Coffee beans typically come in two species types: Arabica and Robusta. Few Starbucks coffees use Robusta, as it is usually cheaper and possesses less taste. All of the beans we discussed here were 100% Arabica, meaning your options are somewhat limited with Starbucks. However, some higher-caffeine options may possess Robusta, as this bean type has a denser caffeine level.
Coffee bean flavors are rated on a few different levels. First, you need to check the immediate flavor you get when you drink the coffee. Then, you need to understand the undertones or taste hints you get with each cup. These undertones can include things like a cocoa touch, a little bit of a vanilla aroma, and a peachy kick. The aftertaste is also vital to consider, as it is usually connected to your undertones.
Talk to Your Local Starbucks
Thankfully, most of the beans on this list are among the most popular Starbucks options on the market today. As a result, it should be reasonably easy for you to find them at your local coffee shop. Some stores will even ground them for you.
But isn’t half the fun of buying the beans grinding them yourself? I like to think so anyway. In any case, you can also contact online stores to find any of these beans if, for any reason, your local shop doesn’t have them in stock.