espresso in an white espresso cup with spoon

A Guide to Choosing the Best Coffee for Espresso


Roast Level

Medium to Dark Roasts are the go-to choices for espresso due to their balanced flavor profiles and lower acidity.

Here’s a closer look:

  • Medium Roast: These beans retain more of the bean’s original flavors while beginning to develop a balance of acidity and body. Expect a mix of acidity and caramel-like sweetness.
  • Dark Roast: Ideal for those who love rich, bold flavors with low acidity. Dark roasts typically have notes of chocolate, caramel, and toasted nuts, making them perfect for a classic espresso profile.

Bean Origin

The origin of the coffee bean significantly influences its flavor profile. Here are some popular regions for espresso beans:

  • Ethiopian: Known for their complex, fruity, and floral notes. These beans are often bright and aromatic, adding a unique depth to your espresso.
  • Brazilian: These beans offer nutty, chocolatey flavors and low acidity, contributing to a smooth and sweet espresso.
  • Colombian: Balanced with a mix of fruity and nutty flavors, medium acidity, and a smooth finish, Colombian beans provide a well-rounded espresso experience.
  • Sumatran: Characterized by earthy, spicy, and herbal notes. These beans are full-bodied with low acidity, ideal for those who prefer a robust espresso.


Deciding between single-origin beans and blends can affect your espresso’s complexity and balance:

  • Single-Origin: Beans from a specific region provide distinct and unique flavor profiles. They tend to be more acidic and complex, offering a unique espresso experience.
  • Blends: Combining beans from different regions creates a balanced flavor profile, consistency, and complexity. Blends are ideal for achieving a harmonious espresso with a rich crema.


Freshly roasted coffee is crucial for a great espresso:

  • Freshly Roasted: For optimal flavor, consume coffee within 2-4 weeks of roasting. Always check for roast dates rather than expiration dates.
  • Proper Storage: To maintain freshness, store your beans in a cool, dark place in an airtight container.

Our Top Recommendations

To help you get started, here are a few highly regarded coffees for espresso from Octave Coffee:

  • Medium Roast: Octave "Classical" Roast – Offers balanced flavors with notes of apple, sweetness, and milk chocolate.
  • Dark Roast: Octave "Grunge" Blend – Known for its rich caramel and milk chocolate notes.
  • Ethiopian Single-Origin: Octave "Hip Hop" Roast – Bright and fruity with floral notes, providing a unique espresso experience.
  • Blend: Octave "Folk" Blend – A smooth and balanced blend with caramel, citrus, and berry notes.

By understanding these key characteristics, you can better select coffee beans that match your taste preferences and craft the perfect espresso shot. Whether you’re a seasoned barista or a home enthusiast, the right beans will elevate your espresso experience.

Happy brewing from all of us at Octave Coffee!

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