Best Coffee To Drink Black In 2024: Our Top 15 Picks

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For many coffee enthusiasts, the purest and most authentic way to enjoy coffee is by drinking it black.

This allows the unique flavors and aromas of the coffee beans to shine without any interference from milk or sugar.

But not all coffee blends are created equal when it comes to savoring them in their unadulterated form.

To guide you through the vast world of black coffee, we’ve curated a list of our top 15 picks that stand out for their exceptional taste and quality.

15 Best Coffees For Drinking Black: At A Glance

  1. Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee: Best Overall
  2. Volcanica Kenya AA Coffee: Runner-Up
  3. Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf: Best Decaf
  4. Death Wish Valhalla Java Ground Coffee: Best Ground Coffee
  5. Lifeboost Medium Roast: Best Medium Roast
  6. Fresh Roasted Coffee Panama Boquete: Best For Beginners
  7. Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast: Best For Caffeine Kick
  8. Intelligentsia Coffee Black Cat Espresso: Best For Espresso
  9. Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee: Most Exotic Taste
  10. Coffee Bean Direct Nicaraguan SHG
  11. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  12. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain Blend
  13. Olde Brooklyn Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  14. Pilon Gourmet Whole Bean Restaurant Blend Espresso Coffee
  15. Methodical Coffee Late Night

1. Lifeboost Dark Roast Coffee: Best Overall

Embolden Dark Roast

Lifeboost’s Dark Roast Coffee is a true gem for those who love a great-tasting cup of black coffee.

What makes it stand out? First off, it’s delicious – both in taste and aroma.

This coffee comes from small family farms in Nicaragua, where it’s carefully crafted in small batches.

This artisan approach ensures the richest flavor, and because it’s low-acid, it’s gentle on your stomach too.

The secret to its depth of flavor lies in the longer roasting process.

This creates a full-bodied coffee with rich notes of dark chocolate and a subtle smokiness.

It’s the ideal choice for those moments when only a bold, satisfying cup will do.

Plus, the coffee beans are grown in mountain shade, in a bird-friendly environment, sun-dried, and washed with spring water.

But that’s not all.

Lifeboost goes the extra mile for health and safety – their coffee is rigorously tested for mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and over 400 other toxins.

It’s also fairly traded and single-origin, made from 100% Arabica beans.

This means you can enjoy your cup of Lifeboost Dark Roast knowing it’s both ethical and safe.

While it’s a bit of an investment, many coffee lovers find it’s worth every penny for a premium black coffee experience.

If you’re watching your budget, keep scrolling for more options.

However, if you’re looking for the best black coffee out there, Lifeboost Dark Roast would be our favorite choice.

2. Volcanica Kenya AA Coffee: Runner-Up

Kenya AA Coffee - Kenya Coffee

Volcanica’s Kenya AA Coffee offers a delightful coffee experience that’s rooted in the rich soils of Kenya.

This coffee is celebrated for its full body, vibrant acidity, and an enchanting aroma that blends hints of berries and citrus.

The “AA” in its name highlights the premium quality, indicating large, top-grade beans.

Grown on the lofty plateaus of Kenya, at altitudes ranging from 1,200 to 2,000 meters, these coffee plants thrive in near-perfect weather conditions.

This altitude contributes to the coffee’s notably acidic flavor, a hallmark of its taste profile.

The Kenyan landscape, characterized by its volcanic, red, loamy soil, is ideal for nurturing exceptional coffee.

While it’s roasted to a medium level, the flavor of this coffee leans more towards the lighter, brighter side.

If you prefer a more robust taste, you might find this a bit mild.

However, its slightly higher price point is backed by a 100% satisfaction guarantee, so you can try it risk-free.

For those who love a coffee that feels like a ‘bright cup of sunshine,’ Volcanica’s Kenya AA is a top choice.

It’s regarded as one of the world’s most exquisite coffees and is worth exploring for anyone who enjoys black coffee.

3. Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf: Best Decaf


Decaf coffee often doesn’t get the credit it deserves, but Kicking Horse’s Decaf Dark Roast is here to change that with its rich flavor.

This dark roast, whole bean coffee is decaffeinated through the Swiss Water Process, a method that eschews chemicals in favor of a gentle water-based process to remove caffeine from the green beans.

One sip, and you’ll notice the delightful tasting notes of roasted hazelnuts and chocolate, all coming together in a perfectly balanced body with a lingering finish.

Not only is the taste impressive, but it’s also certified organic, Fairtrade, and kosher, ticking all the boxes for conscious consumption.

These beans are sourced from Central and South America and are roasted at high altitudes in the Rocky Mountains, over 3,000 feet above sea level.

For brewing, it’s versatile – whether you prefer a French press, a drip machine, or a pour-over, Kicking Horse Decaf works beautifully.

It’s a great choice for any time of the day and is particularly well-suited for super-automatic espresso machines, as noted by decaf enthusiasts.

The only downside? It’s on the pricier side compared to other black coffee options on our list.

But for a decaf that doesn’t compromise on flavor, many find it well worth the investment.

4. Death Wish Valhalla Java Ground Coffee: Best Ground Coffee


Death Wish’s Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend is not your average dark roast coffee.

Made with a mix of premium Arabica and Robusta beans, it’s crafted for those who crave boldness and rich flavor in their cup.

This coffee is so potent, it’s jokingly said to be capable of reviving the dead and fueling their journey to Valhalla.

It’s even the chosen brew for legendary guitarist Zakk Wylde, adding a touch of rockstar quality to your morning routine.

The beans for this blend are sourced from the volcanic soils of Indonesia and the nutrient-rich lands of Central and South America, contributing to its unique taste.

The coffee strikes a balance between smooth and bold, and it’s also USDA organic. Notably, Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend is renowned for its extra caffeine kick and its intense, robust flavor.

This medium-roast coffee offers a mellow profile with chocolate undertones and a nutty aroma.

However, it’s worth noting that this ground coffee, being a medium grind, might not be the best choice for espresso lovers.

Also, if you’re sensitive to caffeine or not fond of Robusta beans’ flavor, this blend might not be up your alley.

But for those looking to channel their inner Zakk Wylde and start their day on a high note, the Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend could be your most exciting pick.

It’s a coffee that promises to kickstart your mornings with a bang!

5. Lifeboost Medium Roast: Best Medium Roast

Grata Medium Roast

Lifeboost’s Medium Roast Coffee is a perfect choice for those who enjoy a gentler, milder coffee.

It’s wonderfully balanced and smooth, making it a delightful option for anyone looking for a coffee that’s easy on the palate but rich in flavor.

This medium roast is versatile too – whether you brew it as a pour-over, cold brew, French press, or drip, each cup offers a unique and enjoyable experience.

One of the great things about this coffee is its health-conscious profile.

It’s low in acidity, packed with antioxidants, and completely organic, making it an excellent daily coffee that doesn’t skimp on taste or quality.

Sourced from eco-friendly farms in Nicaragua, the beans are shade-grown, handpicked, and sun-dried.

This careful process contributes to a cup that’s not only gentle on the stomach but also rich with notes of caramel, chocolate, and fruit.

While Lifeboost’s Medium Roast, like their Dark Roast, is on the pricier side, many coffee lovers find it’s well worth the investment.

It’s a coffee that doesn’t just satisfy your taste buds but also aligns with health and environmental values.

So, if you’re willing to spend a bit more for a high-quality cup, Lifeboost’s Medium Roast is a great option.

6. Fresh Roasted Coffee Panama Boquete: Best For Beginners


The Panama Boquete coffee from Fresh Roasted Coffee is a delightful single-origin brew, hailing from the Casa Ruiz Estate.

This family-run estate is nestled near the quaint town of Boquete, bordered by the stunning landscapes of Volcan Buru National Park and La Panama.

Grown at altitudes between 1,400 and 1,700 meters above sea level, these beans develop a lighter, more intricate flavor profile.

This coffee is known for its unique acidity and sweet, well-rounded taste.

Your first sip reveals a brown sugar sweetness, followed by hints of nutty butter pecan and a refreshing citrusy tangerine finish.

It’s an ideal choice for those new to the world of coffee, thanks to its lighter to medium roast which offers a bright and flavorful profile.

This gentler taste is a great introduction to the world of black coffee, easing you into its characteristic bitterness.

Waking up to the aroma of freshly brewed Panama Boquete can transform your kitchen into a cozy, inviting space.

The blend of medium-roasted Arabica and Robusta beans strikes a harmonious balance between light and dark roasts, offering great value for money.

However, if your preference leans towards a bolder, darker roast, you might find Panama Boquete a bit mild for your taste.

But for those seeking a milder, flavorful cup, it’s a perfect choice.

7. Death Wish Coffee Dark Roast: Best For Caffeine Kick


Death Wish Coffee’s Dark Roast is a coffee that packs a punch, perfect for those who love their brew strong and full of energy.

Crafted from a blend of premium Arabica and Robusta beans, this coffee is known for its high caffeine content.

Sourced from the finest coffee beans around the globe, it’s roasted to achieve a deep, rich flavor without any bitterness.

You’ll notice delightful notes of dark chocolate and black cherry as you sip.

This coffee isn’t just strong in flavor; it’s also strong in its commitment to quality and ethics.

It’s both Fair Trade and USDA Organic certified, ensuring that each cup you enjoy is as responsible as it is delicious.

Bold in taste, it’s designed to energize and invigorate.

Available in a 16-ounce bag, it’s ideal for those who can’t start their day without a robust cup of coffee.

If you’re new to dark roasts, you might find the aftertaste a bit smoky, so it’s best to start slowly as you acclimate to its intensity.

Coffee aficionados appreciate that these beans are not overly oily, making them a great fit for super-automatic espresso machines.

The company stands behind its product with a money-back guarantee, which is a nice assurance given the premium price.

Available through their website, this guarantee shows their confidence in the quality of their coffee.

If you’re up for a strong, impactful coffee experience, Death Wish Coffee’s Dark Roast Whole Bean is certainly worth a try.

8. Intelligentsia Coffee Black Cat Espresso: Best For Espresso


Intelligentsia Coffee’s Black Cat Espresso is a celebrated and beloved espresso blend, renowned for its quality and taste.

This standout blend is part of Intelligentsia’s flagship espresso range, featuring a mix of washed and naturally processed coffees from multiple regions.

It’s the star of their Black Cat Project, an initiative dedicated to continuously refining and enhancing the coffee experience for enthusiasts.

The philosophy behind the Black Cat Project is simple yet profound: only the finest coffees can create the most exceptional espressos.

The Classic Espresso from this range is known for its syrupy sweetness, striking a delightful balance and offering a smooth, sweet finish.

Its flavor profile is a remarkable fusion of tropical fruit and dark chocolate notes, creating a taste experience that’s both unique and memorable.

When brewed in an espresso machine, this blend consistently delivers a rich, syrupy sweet espresso, making every shot a small work of art.

It’s a blend that espresso aficionados find irresistible, thanks to its expert roasting and exquisite flavor.

Adding to its appeal is Intelligentsia’s commitment to Direct Trade sourcing.

This ensures that your coffee is not just delicious but also ethically sourced, providing a coffee experience that’s responsible and enjoyable.

9. Volcanica Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee: Most Exotic Taste

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee - USDA Organic

Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee stands out with its USDA organic certification and a flavor that’s both exotic and refreshingly acidic.

Yirgacheffe, a renowned coffee region in southern Ethiopia, is famous for producing coffees with unique floral and fruity notes, thanks to the traditional Arabica varieties grown there.

This particular Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee is known for its medium body and brilliant acidity.

It’s a dry-processed coffee, which adds to its distinctive character, often showcasing rough, fruity, or even wine-like tones.

With this medium roast, expect to enjoy subtle yet tantalizing notes of pineapple, strawberry, guava, and dark chocolate – a true treat for the taste buds.

What sets Volcanica Coffee apart is not just the quality of their beans but also their commitment to sourcing.

They specialize in exotic coffee from volcanic regions across the globe, ensuring they get their beans directly from the farmers.

This commitment to quality and direct sourcing is notable.

Another great aspect of Volcanica is their efficiency.

They have a reputation for roasting and shipping their coffee faster than many competitors, meaning you get fresh, flavorful coffee quickly.

This specific Ethiopian Yirgacheffe bean is as authentic as it gets, sourced from wild, indigenous Ethiopian coffee trees.

For coffee lovers seeking a true taste of Ethiopia, Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee is not just a choice; it’s an experience.

10. Coffee Bean Direct Nicaraguan SHG


Coffee Bean Direct’s Nicaraguan SHG offers a unique coffee experience, thanks to its high-altitude growth in Nicaragua.

The beans are grown at elevations that allow the coffee cherries to mature slowly, leading to a denser bean packed with flavor.

The SHG, which stands for Strictly High Grown, is a crucial factor here.

Unlike many Central American coffees known for their high acidity, the highest-grown Nicaraguan beans develop a milder profile.

This Nicaraguan SHG coffee is celebrated for its gentle body and light acidity, complemented by an outstanding aroma.

When you take a sip, you’ll notice delightful tasting notes of chocolate with subtle fruity undertones – a truly enjoyable blend.

Coffee Bean Direct ensures this quality and freshness are consistent in every batch through their small-batch roasting process.

Available in both whole bean and ground forms, this coffee is also USDA Organic and Fair Trade certified, aligning with ethical and environmental standards.

For those who appreciate a milder coffee that doesn’t compromise on flavor and aroma, Coffee Bean Direct’s Nicaraguan SHG is a perfect choice.

11. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast coffee is a rich, gourmet blend that combines specialty beans from Colombia, Sumatra, and Guatemala.

These beans are ethically sourced through fair trade and are roasted to perfection, reaching the second crack stage.

This specific roasting process imparts a smoky undertone to the beans, enhancing their flavor profile.

Artisanally roasted, this coffee is a familiar favorite in gourmet espresso bars and cafes.

The company takes great pride in sourcing the highest quality 100% Arabica beans from around the globe, with a strong focus on maintaining that quality from source to cup.

Koffee Kult is driven by a dedicated team, passionate about delivering only the best roasted coffee.

Customers often praise the brand for its exceptional customer service, and the peace of mind provided by a money-back guarantee with every purchase is a significant plus.

If you’re new to dark roasts, you might detect a slightly bitter finish with this coffee.

And for those who prefer a very bold, dark roast, this coffee might come across as a bit too light and unexpectedly sweet.

This nuance of sweetness is what sets Koffee Kult’s Dark Roast apart, though it may not cater to all dark roast enthusiasts’ preferences.

12. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mountain Blend


Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ Holler Mountain Blend is another standout choice for black coffee lovers.

This blend, which has quickly become a local favorite, is both versatile and full-bodied.

It’s an organic coffee blend that masterfully combines the rich, chocolatey flavors of Central and South American coffees with the vibrant brightness typical of East African beans.

The result is a complex yet harmonious blend that adapts beautifully to various brewing methods.

One of the most appealing aspects of the Holler Mountain Blend is its creamy smoothness, making it a superb choice for those who enjoy their coffee black.

As you sip, you’ll notice a delightful interplay of flavors – bursts of citrus and sweet berry, intertwined with subtle undercurrents of chocolate, hazelnut, and caramel.

This coffee is not just about great taste; it’s also about responsible sourcing.

It is crafted from beans produced within a strictly controlled, organic-certified supply chain.

This meticulous process ensures that each cup of the Holler Mountain Blend is not only full-bodied but also meets high standards of quality and sustainability.

13. Olde Brooklyn Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee


Olde Brooklyn’s Dark Roast Coffee is a superb choice for those who love a bold taste and enticing aroma in their coffee.

This coffee is roasted in small batches right in New York, ensuring each bag captures the beans’ freshest and most unique flavors.

The brand’s commitment to roasting small batches weekly means that you’re always getting coffee at its peak freshness.

The Dark Roast Whole Bean is specially roasted to bring out the beans’ inherent boldness.

Available in a generous 5-lb pack, this coffee is not just abundant but also rich in taste, with captivating aromas and distinctive flavor notes.

Considering the price for such a large quantity, it’s an excellent deal, especially when you factor in the consistent freshness and prompt delivery.

This particular blend offers a smooth flavor with just a hint of smokiness, and it’s pleasantly free from bitterness or acidity, making it a great choice for black coffee enthusiasts.

The beans come from a unique combination of Colombian, Brazilian, and Guatemalan origins, contributing to a distinctive taste profile.

Olde Brooklyn Coffee takes great pride in delivering an extraordinary coffee experience.

Their deep passion for coffee, coupled with a strong commitment to tradition and quality, shines through in every cup.

Versatile in its use, this coffee is well-suited for a variety of brewing methods, including drip brews, cold brews, French press, and even espresso.

It’s a coffee that promises both quality and versatility, perfect for any coffee lover’s routine.

14. Pilon Gourmet Whole Bean Restaurant Blend Espresso Coffee


Pilon Gourmet’s Restaurant Blend Espresso Coffee has been delighting coffee lovers since 1865 with its rich, dark, and flavorful profile.

Renowned as a Cuban classic, this coffee is celebrated for its smoothness and refined taste.

Packaged in a convenient 16-ounce (1 lb) bag, these whole beans are of premium Arabica quality, ensuring a top-notch brew every time.

Ideal for home brewing, Pilon Gourmet’s coffee is acknowledged for its gourmet quality and rich, satisfying flavor.

It’s the kind of coffee that enhances any morning routine or adds a touch of luxury to a relaxing afternoon.

Each sip brings a smooth taste and an alluring aroma, creating a delightful coffee experience.

The exceptional quality of Pilon Gourmet is unmistakable, making it a cherished choice for anyone seeking a sophisticated coffee experience.

15. Methodical Coffee Late Night


“Late Night” by Methodical Roasters, based in Greenville, SC, is the last excellent choice on our list for those who love their coffee black.

This dark and bold coffee stands out for its deep, rich flavor, which is surprisingly free from the bitterness often found in dark roasts.

Crafted from equal parts of Costa Rica La Pastora and Brazil Dulce Signature beans, it’s a comforting medium roast with notes of nut, milk chocolate, and a hint of spice.

Whether you take your coffee black or prefer it with cream and sugar, “Late Night” is designed to provide a cozy, comforting experience.

For black coffee drinkers, expect to savor flavors like smokey roasted walnuts, clove, and dark chocolate – a truly indulgent combination.

Methodical Coffee was founded in 2015 and has quickly gained recognition for its dedication to quality products, excellent customer service, and an overall outstanding coffee experience.

Their roasting operations, which started in 2016, aim to enrich minds, tastes, and relationships through their coffee.

Available from various retailers, “Late Night” is not just for the night – it’s a versatile blend that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.

It’s a testament to Methodical Coffee’s commitment to creating exceptional coffee experiences for all kinds of coffee lovers.

The Main Benefits of Drinking Coffee Black

Drinking coffee black, while an acquired taste for some, offers a multitude of benefits that make it a choice worth considering.

Firstly, it’s a calorie-free option – without added sugars or creamers, you enjoy the pure, unadulterated essence of the coffee bean, making it an ideal choice for those mindful of their calorie intake.

The absence of additives also means that you get a direct source of coffee’s natural antioxidants, which contribute to overall health and can reduce inflammation.

Furthermore, tasting coffee in its black form allows you to truly appreciate the distinct flavors and aromas unique to each blend and origin, turning your coffee consumption into a more sophisticated, sensory experience.

This can enhance your palate and deepen your appreciation for the subtle nuances in different coffee varieties.

Additionally, for those looking to cut down on dairy or sugar for dietary or health reasons, black coffee is a perfect alternative, offering the same caffeine kick and rich taste without any potential downsides of additives.

In essence, black coffee not only simplifies your coffee routine but also enriches it in terms of health benefits and sensory enjoyment.

What Coffee Is Considered Black?

Black coffee is essentially coffee in its purest form, consisting solely of water and coffee beans without the addition of any milk, cream, sugar, or sweeteners.

It is brewed in various methods, such as drip, French press, or espresso, but the key is its unadulterated state.

The absence of added ingredients means that black coffee offers the full, rich taste of the coffee beans themselves, showcasing the unique flavors and aromas characteristic of its origin and roasting process.

It’s a popular choice for those looking to appreciate the subtleties of different coffee beans or for health-conscious individuals, as it contains minimal calories and no added sugars or fats.

What Type Of Coffee Beans Make The Best Black Coffee?

The best coffee beans for black coffee often depend on individual taste preferences, but generally, Arabica beans are highly favored for their superior flavor and aromatic qualities.

Arabica beans, known for their sweeter, softer taste with tones of sugar, fruit, and berries, have higher acidity compared to Robusta beans, which enhances their complex flavor profiles when enjoyed black.

Single-origin beans are also popular among black coffee enthusiasts as they offer unique, location-specific tastes, allowing drinkers to experience the distinct characteristics influenced by the soil, climate, and cultivation methods of their specific region.

Ultimately, choosing beans for black coffee should be guided by the desire to explore diverse flavors and aromas that can be appreciated without the masking effects of milk or sugar.

Buyer’s Guide: Key Factors for Choosing the Best Black Coffee Brands

When searching for the best black coffee brands, there are several key factors to consider that will ensure you get a satisfying and high-quality experience.

This guide will help you navigate these factors to make an informed choice.

Bean Origin

The origin of the coffee beans plays a crucial role in the flavor profile of your black coffee.

Different regions impart unique characteristics to the beans due to variations in soil, climate, and altitude.

For instance, African beans often have fruity and floral notes, while Latin American beans can have a nutty or chocolaty profile.

Single-origin coffees offer distinct flavors, whereas blends can provide a balanced and consistent taste.

Bean Type

There are two primary types of coffee beans: Arabica and Robusta.

Arabica beans are renowned for their smooth, complex flavors and are generally considered superior for black coffee.

Robusta beans, on the other hand, have a stronger, more bitter taste with higher caffeine content.

Your preference between these will significantly influence your black coffee experience.

Roast Profile

Roasting transforms the beans and influences the flavor, aroma, and color of the coffee.

Light roasts retain more of the bean’s original characteristics and usually have a higher acidity.

Dark roasts offer a fuller body and lower acidity, with a pronounced bitterness that some black coffee drinkers prefer.

Medium roasts strike a balance between these two.


The freshness of coffee beans is essential for a quality cup of black coffee.

Look for brands that provide information on the roasting date.

Coffee is best used within a few weeks of roasting to enjoy its full flavor profile.

Avoid coffee that doesn’t specify the roasting date or has been on the shelf for months.

Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

With growing awareness of ethical consumption, considering how coffee is sourced is important.

Look for brands that practice fair trade and sustainable farming.

Certifications like Fair Trade, Rainforest Alliance, or USDA Organic are good indicators of ethical and sustainable practices.

Flavor Notes

Depending on your taste preferences, you may want to choose a coffee with specific flavor notes.

Some coffees offer fruity, floral, or citrus notes, while others might have hints of chocolate, caramel, or nuts.

Reading the descriptions on coffee packaging can give you an idea of what to expect.

Grind Size

If you’re buying pre-ground coffee, ensure the grind size is appropriate for your brewing method.

For example, espresso requires a fine grind, while French press needs a coarser grind.

If you have a grinder, buying whole beans gives you more control over the grind size and, therefore, the flavor extraction.

Price vs. Quality

While price is a factor, it’s worth investing in a higher-quality coffee for the best black coffee experience.

More expensive brands often offer higher-quality beans and more ethical sourcing practices.

However, there are still many affordable brands that offer good quality coffee.

Guide to Making the Best Black Coffee

Creating the perfect cup of black coffee is an art that combines the right choice of beans, water, equipment, and brewing techniques.

Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you brew the best black coffee.

1. Selecting the Right Coffee Beans

  • Bean Type: Choose high-quality Arabica beans for a smoother, more nuanced flavor, or Robusta for a stronger, more bitter cup.
  • Roast Type: The roast affects the flavor; light roasts are more acidic and retain original flavors, dark roasts are bolder and less acidic.
  • Origin: Beans from different regions have unique flavors; for example, African beans are often fruity, while South American beans tend to be nuttier.

2. Freshness is Key

  • Purchase Fresh Beans: Look for beans that have been roasted within the past two weeks.
  • Storage: Store beans in an airtight container away from light, heat, and moisture.

3. Grinding the Beans

  • Grind Size: The grind size should match your brewing method (e.g., coarse for French press, medium for drip, fine for espresso).
  • Grind Fresh: Grind beans right before brewing for maximum freshness and flavor.

4. Water Quality and Temperature

  • Water Quality: Use filtered or bottled water for a cleaner taste.
  • Temperature: Ideal brewing temperature is between 195°F to 205°F. Water that’s too hot will over-extract, making the coffee bitter.

5. Brewing Methods

  • French Press: Great for a full-bodied cup. Steep coarse grounds in hot water for 4 minutes before pressing.
  • Drip Coffee Maker: A convenient method. Use medium grounds. The water-to-coffee ratio is typically 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee per 6 ounces of water.
  • Pour-Over: Offers more control over brewing. Pour hot water slowly over medium-fine grounds in a circular motion.
  • Aeropress: Ideal for a strong, espresso-like coffee. Use fine grounds and a short brew time.
  • Espresso Machine: For a concentrated shot; uses pressure to push water through fine grounds quickly.

6. Water-to-Coffee Ratio

Generally, a ratio of 1:15 (coffee to water) is recommended, but adjust according to taste.

7. Brewing Time

Adjust brewing time based on the method.

For example, espresso takes about 25-30 seconds, while French press takes about 4 minutes.

8. Experiment and Adjust

  • Taste Test: Adjust the grind size, brewing time, and coffee-to-water ratio based on your taste preferences.
  • Record Keeping: Keep notes on the variables and results to replicate the perfect cup next time.

9. Cleaning and Maintenance

Regularly clean your coffee maker, grinder, and other equipment to ensure consistent quality.

10. Enjoying Your Coffee

  • Drink the coffee soon after brewing to enjoy its full flavor.
  • Avoid reheating coffee as it alters the taste.

Popular Foods Which Pair Well with Black Coffee

Pairing the right food with your black coffee can enhance the overall experience, balancing flavors and creating a delightful taste journey.

Here’s a look at some popular food pairings that go exceptionally well with black coffee:

Pastries and Baked Goods

  • Croissants and Danishes: The buttery, flaky texture of croissants and danishes complements the boldness of black coffee.
  • Scones: Whether fruit-filled or plain, scones with a hint of sweetness pair wonderfully with the deep flavors of black coffee.
  • Biscotti: These Italian biscuits, especially almond or chocolate chip varieties, are ideal for dunking in black coffee.

Breakfast Items

  • Oatmeal: A bowl of warm oatmeal with nuts or fruits can balance the strong taste of black coffee.
  • Eggs and Toast: The classic savory breakfast of eggs and toast pairs nicely with the straightforward flavor of black coffee.

Chocolates and Sweets

  • Dark Chocolate: The bitterness of dark chocolate harmonizes with the robust qualities of black coffee.
  • Fruit Tarts: The acidity and sweetness of fruit tarts can complement the strong, straightforward profile of black coffee.

Savory Snacks

  • Cheese: Surprisingly, certain cheeses, like aged cheddar or gouda, can go well with black coffee, creating a rich and satisfying combination.
  • Nuts: Almonds, walnuts, or pecans are great for munching alongside a cup of black coffee, as their earthy flavor enhances the coffee’s natural notes.


  • Cheesecake: The creamy, mild flavor of cheesecake, particularly with a fruit topping, pairs beautifully with black coffee.
  • Tiramisu: This classic Italian dessert with its layers of coffee-soaked ladyfingers, mascarpone cheese, and cocoa is a natural companion for black coffee.

Heartier Dishes

  • Grilled Meats: For those who enjoy coffee at all meals, the smoky flavor of grilled meats can surprisingly complement a robust cup of black coffee.
  • Rich Stews: A hearty stew, especially in colder weather, can be nicely offset by the boldness of black coffee, providing a warming, comforting meal.

The Verdict: What’s The Best Coffee To Drink Black?

After an extensive review and comparison, we’ve crowned Lifeboost Dark Roast as the best coffee for drinking black.

Its unparalleled balance of bold flavor, low acidity, and health-conscious production (organic, mycotoxin-free, and shade-grown) sets it apart.

It offers a rich, chocolaty, and smooth experience that’s both indulgent and gentle on the stomach, appealing to a wide range of coffee enthusiasts.

As a close runner-up, Volcanica’s Kenya AA stands out for its exotic and vibrant profile.

This coffee impresses with its light, complex flavors, and hints of berries and citrus – a testament to its high-altitude growth and meticulous processing.

While it may not have the same universal appeal as the Lifeboost Dark Roast due to its lighter and more acidic nature, it excels in offering a unique, flavorful cup that’s a joy to explore for black coffee lovers.

Both these choices exemplify what great black coffee can be, each appealing to different preferences and palates, and are well worth trying for anyone who loves their coffee black.


What is pure black coffee called?

Pure black coffee is commonly referred to as “cafe noir.”

This term describes coffee that is brewed using only water and coffee grounds, without the addition of milk, cream, sugar, or any other flavors.

It represents the most basic and traditional form of coffee, typically prepared by infusing hot water with ground coffee beans.

Why do people prefer drinking black coffee?

Some appreciate the pure, unaltered flavor of the coffee, which allows them to experience the nuanced tastes of different beans and roasts.

Others opt for black coffee for health reasons, as it contains minimal calories and no added sugars or fats.

Additionally, many enjoy the ritual and simplicity of a straightforward black cup of coffee.

How to keep my coffee fresher for longer?

To keep your coffee fresher for longer, store it in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.

Avoid exposure to air, light, extreme temperatures, and moisture.

It’s also advisable to buy coffee in small quantities to ensure you’re always using fresh beans.

Is Black coffee healthier?

Black coffee is considered healthier compared to coffee with added sugar or cream.

It’s low in calories and contains no fats or sugars.

Additionally, black coffee is rich in antioxidants and may offer various health benefits, including improved brain function and a lower risk of certain diseases.

What time of the day is best for drinking black coffee?

The best time to drink black coffee depends on your personal schedule and caffeine sensitivity.

Many people prefer it in the morning for an energy boost.

However, it’s advisable to avoid coffee late in the day or evening if you’re sensitive to caffeine, as it might disrupt your sleep.

Should I use pre-ground or whole beans for black coffee?

Whole beans are generally recommended for the freshest, most flavorful black coffee.

Grinding beans just before brewing preserves the coffee’s natural flavors and aromas.

However, pre-ground coffee can be a convenient alternative if you don’t have a grinder.

What should good black coffee taste like?

Good black coffee should have a balance of flavors without overwhelming bitterness.

It may have fruity, nutty, chocolaty, or floral notes, depending on the bean origin and roast.

The taste should be rich and pleasing to the palate, with a pleasant aftertaste.

Which black coffee is sweet?

Some black coffees, especially those with naturally sweet undertones, can taste sweet without additives.

Coffees from regions like Ethiopia or Brazil often have natural sweetness with notes of berries, chocolate, or nuts.

Light to medium roasts can also retain more of the bean’s inherent sweetness.

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Jacob Harris

Jacob is a coffee enthusiast who turned his passion into a career. As the owner and editor of Karma Coffee Cafe, he shares his extensive knowledge and recommendations, captivating fellow coffee lovers.

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