For coffee aficionados and Starbucks fans, finding the perfect bean is like a quest for the Holy Grail.
But fear not, for we’ve brewed up a comprehensive guide to the best Starbucks coffee beans, ensuring your next cup is nothing short of extraordinary.
In this post, we present our carefully curated top 10 picks for the best Starbucks coffee beans.
From the bold and robust to the smooth and subtle, we’ve tasted and tested a variety of beans to bring you an assortment of flavors that cater to every palate.
10 Best Starbucks Coffee Beans: At A Glance
- Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee: Best Overall
- Starbucks Sumatra Ground Coffee: Best Ground Coffee
- Starbucks Decaf Pike Place: Best Decaf
- Starbucks Caffe Verona: Best Medium-Dark Roast
- Starbucks Veranda Blend Blonde Roast: Best Light Roast
- Starbucks Italian Roast Coffee: Best Dark Roast
- Starbucks Espresso Roast: Best For Espresso
- Starbucks Breakfast Blend K-Cup Coffee Pods: Best K-Cups
- Starbucks Brazil Latin American Blend: Most Unique Flavor
- Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee K Cups: Best For Festive Season
1. Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee: Best Overall
Topping our list of the best Starbucks coffee beans is their French Roast Whole Bean Coffee.
This dark roast is celebrated for its deep smokiness and rich flavor.
Sourced from the coffee-rich regions of Latin America, including Mexico, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Puerto Rico, these beans are known for their consistent quality and delightful hints of cocoa and soft spice.
The French Roast is roasted until it reaches an ebony shade, which gives it a potent, smoky taste.
It’s a standout member of Starbucks’ Dark Roast series, known for its full body and bold, robust flavors.
This coffee is particularly well-suited for brewing in drip machines and French presses.
The complexity of the roast means it takes a bit longer for its flavors to fully develop, making it less ideal for quick extraction methods like espresso.
If you’re someone who relishes a satisfying dark coffee and doesn’t mind taking a little extra time to brew it, the French Roast is a fantastic choice.
While you can use quicker methods, they won’t quite do justice to its full flavor potential.
So, if you’re in a rush or prefer a quick coffee-making process, this might not be your go-to option.
However, for those who appreciate a rich and intense coffee experience, we highly recommend the French Roast as one of the best offerings from Starbucks.
- Rich and intense flavor profile
- High-quality beans sourced from Latin America
- Notes of cocoa and soft spice add complexity
- Suitable for drip machines and French presses
- Full-bodied, part of Starbucks’ Dark Roast series
- Not ideal for quick extraction methods like espresso
2. Starbucks Sumatra Ground Coffee: Best Ground Coffee
If you’re looking to skip the grinding step or don’t have a grinder, Starbucks Sumatra Ground Coffee is a great choice.
This dark roast is full-bodied, with an intriguing mix of spicy and herbal notes, complemented by a deep, earthy aroma.
Originating from the Indonesian island of Sumatra, this single-origin coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans.
It stands out with its bold taste, muted acidity, and hints of rich herbs and rustic spice.
Unlike some dark roasts that can be overly bitter and smoky, Sumatra maintains a smooth mouthfeel with lingering flavors of dried herbs and fresh earth.
It’s versatile too, performing well in any standard drip machine, whether at home or in the office.
But it truly shines in pour-over brewing.
The grounds bloom impressively during the initial pour, where letting them sit briefly releases natural oils for a fuller experience.
While we usually recommend whole beans for the freshest coffee, this ground option from Starbucks is one of the best if you’re without a grinder.
However, there are a couple of downsides to consider.
Firstly, Pre-ground coffee isn’t as fresh as grinding beans yourself.
Also, the Sumatra blend’s unique and complex flavors might not be everyone’s cup of coffee, especially if you prefer more traditional tastes.
But if you’re open to exploring different flavor profiles, Starbucks Sumatra is worth trying.
- No need for a coffee grinder
- Full-bodied, dark roast with spicy and herbal notes
- Made from 100% Arabica beans
- Distinctive, bold taste with muted acidity
- Smooth mouthfeel with lingering flavors
- Ideal for both standard drip machines and pour-over brewing
- Impressive bloom during brewing for a fuller experience
- Not as fresh as grinding beans yourself
- The unique flavor profile may not suit all tastes
3. Starbucks Decaf Pike Place: Best Decaf
The Pike Place roast has become a staple at Starbucks.
When you order a regular coffee at any of their locations, you’ll likely receive a cup of this beloved roast.
We’re big fans of Pike Place for its ability to strike the perfect balance in flavor.
Although it’s a darker roast, it has bright notes that lighten the overall feel of the drink.
This balance makes it an excellent choice for a decaf coffee – ideal for those who want a robust cup without the caffeine kick.
This blend is particularly aromatic, enhancing the overall drinking experience.
This might be because Starbucks uses the Pike Place roast to create that inviting coffee aroma in its stores.
If you’re in the market for a decaf option, Starbucks Decaf Pike Place Coffee is a top pick.
It’s a smooth, well-rounded blend of Latin American coffees with subtle touches of cocoa and toasted nuts.
As the decaffeinated version of the popular Pike Place Roast Coffee, it’s worth a try.
However, there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
Despite being a medium roast, some might find its taste a bit too dark.
So, if lighter coffees are more your style, this might not be the best match.
Also, while Starbucks Decaf Pike Place Coffee is flavorful and enjoyable, its flavors are familiar – great for those who appreciate a classic, satisfying coffee, but perhaps not for those seeking something more adventurous.
If you’re after something unique, you might want to explore other options we’ve mentioned.
- Universally loved as Starbucks’ default roast
- Balanced flavor with a combination of dark and bright notes
- Ideal as a decaf option for those avoiding caffeine
- Highly aromatic, enhancing the drinking experience
- Well-rounded blend with subtle cocoa and toasted nut notes
- Represents the decaffeinated version of the popular Pike Place Roast
- Taste may be too dark for those who prefer lighter roasts
- The familiar flavor profile might not appeal to those seeking unique tastes
4. Starbucks Caffe Verona: Best Medium-Dark Roast
The Starbucks Caffè Verona Coffee Beans, one of Starbucks’ earliest and most beloved offerings, holds a special place in the hearts of coffee lovers.
Created in 1975 for a Seattle restaurant, it’s named after the Italian city of Verona, famously the setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet.
This coffee is a go-to for those who love a classic coffee taste.
What sets Caffè Verona apart is its unique “post-blend” method.
The beans are split into two batches; one is roasted lightly, and the other more darkly.
After roasting, these batches are blended together, creating a rich and distinct coffee.
This blend is a full-bodied dark roast with enticing notes of dark cocoa and caramelized sugar, combining Latin American and Asia/Pacific coffees with 20% Italian Roast for extra depth and sweetness.
Often dubbed a “crowd-pleaser” or “dinner party coffee,” Caffè Verona is renowned for its rich, roasty flavor.
Available in various forms like ground coffee and fresh packs, it’s a great choice for brewing at home or in the office.
With its roasty sweet and dark cocoa flavor profile, it appeals to those who favor a bold and intense coffee experience.
However, if you prefer your coffee especially strong and bold, this blend might be a bit mild for you, as the lighter roasted beans balance out the intensity of the darker ones.
- Historical significance as one of Starbucks’ first offerings
- Well-balanced, classic coffee taste
- Unique post-blend roasting method for rich flavor
- Full-bodied dark roast with notes of dark cocoa and caramelized sugar
- A blend of Latin American and Asia/Pacific coffees with Italian Roast for depth
- Versatile for various brewing methods at home or in the office
- Popular as a “crowd-pleaser” coffee, suitable for many tastes
- Might not be strong enough for those who prefer very bold coffee
5. Starbucks Veranda Blend Blonde Roast: Best Light Roast
For those who prefer a lighter touch to their coffee, the Starbucks Veranda Blend is an excellent choice.
This Blonde Roast is known for its lightly roasted, mellow, and soft flavor profile.
Made from a blend of Latin American beans, it offers a light body and medium acidity, making it an easy-going and friendly option for coffee lovers.
The Veranda Blend features delightful notes of toasted malt, milk chocolate, and cocoa.
It’s a subtly flavorful option that pairs wonderfully with milk.
Known as the lightest roast in the Starbucks range, it’s particularly popular among those who favor a smoother cup, less intense than the bolder, darker roasts.
Interestingly, despite being a light roast, the Starbucks Veranda Blend Coffee packs a higher caffeine punch than some of Starbucks’ other varieties.
This can be a great morning pick-me-up if you need an extra boost to start your day.
However, if you’re sensitive to caffeine, this is something to keep in mind.
That being said, if your preference leans towards strong, intensely flavored coffees, the Starbucks Veranda Blend might not hit the mark for you.
In our testing, we found that it’s probably not the best choice for fans of medium or dark roasts, as its flavors might come across as too mellow for those tastes.
- Lightly roasted with a mellow and soft flavor profile
- The blend of Latin American beans offers a light body and medium acidity
- Features pleasant notes of toasted malt, milk chocolate, and cocoa
- Pairs well with milk, making it versatile
- Known as the lightest roast in Starbucks’ range
- Higher caffeine content, ideal for a morning energy boost
- Not suitable for those who prefer strong, bold coffee flavors
- May not appeal to fans of medium or dark roasts
6. Starbucks Italian Roast Coffee: Best Dark Roast
The term “Italian Roast” typically refers to a darker roast that’s often used for espresso.
Starbucks Italian Roast is a perfect example of this.
As a classic dark roast from Starbucks, it’s meticulously crafted to highlight both sweetness and intensity, a testament to the roasters’ skill and precision.
This coffee is a shade darker than Starbucks’ Espresso Roast but doesn’t have the smoky edge that characterizes their French Roast.
You can expect a very dark roast with a rich, full flavor and delightful chocolate notes.
These beans are versatile and work well with various brewing methods.
It’s important to note that “Italian Roast” doesn’t imply the beans come from Italy.
For Starbucks’ Italian Roast, the beans are sourced from the Asia-Pacific region and Latin America.
This blend is a solid choice for those who enjoy a bold coffee to kickstart their day.
However, while it’s certainly a satisfying option, we don’t consider it one of Starbucks’ most exciting offerings.
So, although it’s a good choice, it might not top our list of recommendations.
- Expertly crafted for a balance of sweetness and intensity
- Slightly darker than Espresso Roast, offering a rich flavor profile
- Lacks the smoky edge of a French Roast, making it more versatile
- Features rich flavor with notes of chocolate
- Beans are sourced from Asia-Pacific and Latin America
- Suitable for various brewing methods
- Might be too dark for those who prefer lighter roasts
- May not appeal to those seeking a more adventurous coffee experience
7. Starbucks Espresso Roast: Best For Espresso
The Starbucks Espresso Roast is a go-to choice for those craving a bold and rich espresso.
These beans are specially selected to produce a luxurious espresso shot, perfect for a variety of drinks.
This dark roast blend combines the rich, caramelly sweetness of molasses and caramel, using a mix of Latin American and Asia/Pacific coffees.
It’s the foundation of all Starbucks espresso coffees, striking a lovely balance between strong aroma, gentle acidity, and balanced sweetness.
Despite being part of Starbucks’ dark roast collection, the Espresso Roast Coffee is surprisingly smooth and not overly bitter.
It’s one of Starbucks’ darkest roasts, full-bodied, and perfect for an early morning boost.
This roast pairs exceptionally well with sweet pastries, enhancing your coffee experience.
Versatile in its use, it’s suitable for a range of brewing methods including drip brewer, coffee press, pour-over, and moka pot.
And like most Starbucks beans, it’s made from 100% Arabica beans.
A unique aspect of this blend is its higher oil content, which is crucial in creating the perfect espresso shot, complete with a rich crema.
This makes it an excellent option for homemade espresso enthusiasts as well as anyone who loves bold coffee.
With this blend, expect delightful caramel notes with a hint of spiciness.
The only downside to this blend is its higher oil content, which is different from other Starbucks offerings.
But this oil is what contributes to the exceptional espresso experience, making it a worthy choice for espresso lovers.
- Ideal for a bold and rich espresso experience
- Offers a rich, caramelly sweetness with notes of molasses and caramel
- A blend of Latin American and Asia/Pacific coffees
- Balanced in aroma, acidity, and sweetness
- Surprisingly smooth for a dark roast
- Versatile for various brewing methods
- Perfect pairing with sweet pastries
- Higher oil content may not be preferred by all, requiring more frequent cleaning of coffee machines
- May be too intense for those who prefer lighter, milder coffee flavors
8. Starbucks Breakfast Blend K-Cup Coffee Pods: Best K-Cups
If you’re a fan of Keurig coffee machines, the Starbucks Breakfast Blend K-Cup Coffee Pods are a great choice.
These medium roast pods feature delightful notes of sweet orange and brown sugar, making it Starbucks’ lightest medium roast.
It’s crafted to please a variety of taste buds, and we like to think of it as the ideal coffee you’d find in a classic diner – slightly robust, served in chunky white mugs, amidst the aroma of pancakes and bacon.
This blend offers more than your typical diner coffee experience, but it still retains that easygoing, everyday vibe.
It’s perfect for regular coffee drinkers who aren’t too particular about the intricacies of their brew.
Being a lighter roast, it’s more on the acidic side, which is great for adding a bit of brightness to your morning.
Plus, its acidity means it pairs wonderfully with breakfast foods.
The K-Cup pods are available in various box sizes and are compatible with all Keurig brewers.
Consistent with Starbucks’ standards, the coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and is ethically sourced.
The Breakfast Blend is designed to be an enjoyable part of any morning routine.
However, it might not be the top pick for those looking for standout flavors.
While it does its job as a cheerful morning coffee, its flavors aren’t as distinctive as some other blends, making it less appealing for those who crave a more unique coffee experience.
- Ideal for Keurig coffee machine users
- Medium roast with notes of sweet orange and brown sugar
- Starbucks’ lightest medium roast, appealing to a wide range of palates
- Perfect for everyday, no-fuss coffee drinkers
- More acidic, adding a bright flavor suitable for mornings
- Pairs well with breakfast foods
- Conveniently available in various quantities of K-Cup pods
- Higher acidity might not suit everyone’s taste preferences
- Not specifically designed for coffee aficionados seeking complex flavors
- May be too mild for dark roast enthusiasts
9. Starbucks Brazil Latin American Blend: Most Unique Flavor
If you’re in the mood to try something a bit different, the Starbucks Brazil Latin American Blend could be just what you’re looking for.
This medium roast coffee brings a smooth and layered flavor profile to the table, with delightful hints of sweet maple, vanilla, and toasted nuts.
Crafted from a blend of Brazilian and other Latin American coffees, it’s made exclusively from 100% Arabica beans.
This blend is notably well-rounded and balanced, combining notes of tropical fruit and brown sugar for a taste that’s both complex and accessible.
Coffee enthusiasts might already know that Brazilian beans tend to be more acidic and fruity.
This particular roast takes that a step further, roasting the beans just beyond the traditional level, which results in a wonderfully unique flavor.
It starts with the bright taste of the beans and then introduces a pleasing nuttiness, making it stand out.
Recognized for its high quality, this blend is sourced from top-tier growing regions, capturing the distinct flavors of the area.
The Starbucks Brazil Latin American Blend is a great pick for those who love medium roast coffees that are both flavorful and smooth.
Available on the Starbucks website, it’s a bit of a specialty item and might be harder to find in grocery stores.
This is because it’s part of Starbucks’ special line of country-specific coffees.
If you’re feeling adventurous and enjoy both lighter and darker roasts, this blend is worth considering.
- Unique blend with sweet maple, vanilla, and toasted nut flavors
- Well-balanced with tropical fruit and brown sugar notes
- 100% Arabica coffee from Brazil and Latin America
- Ideal for those who enjoy medium roasts
- Sourced from high-quality growing regions
- Higher acidity might not suit all taste preferences
- Limited availability, mainly sold on Starbucks’ website
- The specific taste might not appeal to fans of traditional coffee roasts
10. Starbucks Holiday Blend Coffee K Cups: Best For Festive Season
Rounding off our list, we have the Starbucks Holiday Blend K-Cup Pods, a festive and seasonal coffee treat perfect for celebrations and gatherings.
This dark blend has been specially roasted to enhance its aroma, resulting in K-cups that not only smell fantastic but also brew a superb cup of coffee.
The blend itself is smooth, balanced, and sweet, boasting notes of herbal and maple.
It’s a medium roast that skillfully combines lively Latin American beans with smooth, earthy ones from Indonesia.
Customers often rave about its smoothness and unique mix of flavors, making it a delightful blend for many.
The Holiday Blend K-Cup Pods are available only for a limited time, adding to their allure as a holiday favorite among coffee enthusiasts.
While they’re especially perfect for the cozy winter season, their syrupy and spicy notes make them a delightful choice at any time of the year.
This blend stands out as something special, thanks to its well-crafted flavor profile.
- Specially roasted for an enhanced, enticing aroma
- Smooth, balanced, and sweet with herbal and maple notes
- Medium roast combining Latin American and Indonesian beans
- Limited-time offering, adding a festive touch to the holiday season
- Unique flavor profile with syrupy and spicy notes
- Seasonal availability means it can’t be enjoyed year-round
- Specific holiday-themed taste might not appeal to all coffee drinkers
- Being a dark blend, it may not suit preferences for lighter roasts
Starbucks Coffee Beans Buyer’s Guide
When you’re on the hunt for the best Starbucks coffee beans, several key factors should guide your decision.
Understanding these elements will help you choose a coffee that not only suits your taste but also enhances your coffee experience.
The roast level of coffee beans significantly influences their flavor profile.
Starbucks offers a range of roasts from light to dark, each with its unique characteristics.
- Light Roast: These beans are light brown, with a milder flavor and no oil on the surface. They are perfect for those who prefer a softer, more acidic coffee.
- Medium Roast: A balance between light and dark, medium roast beans have a richer flavor and are slightly darker in color. They offer a good balance of acidity and body.
- Dark Roast: Dark roast beans are dark brown, sometimes almost black, with a shiny, oily surface. They have a bold, robust flavor and less acidity. Choose this if you enjoy a strong, bitter coffee.
Different Starbucks beans come with distinct flavor notes, ranging from fruity and floral to nutty and spicy.
Consider what flavors you enjoy in a coffee.
For instance, if you like a coffee with a hint of sweetness, look for beans with chocolate or caramel notes.
If you prefer something more complex, look for beans with spicy or earthy tones.
The origin of the coffee bean can impact its taste.
Starbucks sources beans from various regions, including Latin America, Africa, and Asia-Pacific.
Each region imparts different flavors:
- Latin American beans are often smooth and balanced with chocolatey or nutty notes.
- African beans typically have floral and fruity flavors.
- Asia-Pacific beans tend to be bolder and richer, often with earthy or herbal notes.
Your preference for caffeine strength is an important factor.
Light roasts typically have more caffeine than dark roasts, which might be a surprise to some people.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you might prefer a dark roast or a decaf option.
Brewing Method Compatibility
Consider your preferred brewing method, as some beans are better suited to certain methods.
For example, espresso roasts are specifically designed for espresso machines.
If you use a French press, a coarser grind like that of a dark roast might be more suitable.
The fresher the coffee beans, the better the flavor.
Look for beans that have a roast date on the packaging.
Beans are generally best used within a few weeks of roasting.
If ethical considerations are important to you, check whether the beans are responsibly sourced.
Starbucks often provides information on their packaging about where and how their beans are sourced.
Limited Editions and Seasonal Offerings
Starbucks periodically releases limited edition and seasonal beans.
These can offer unique and interesting flavors that differ from their standard range.
Keep an eye out for these if you like to try new and different coffees.
Personal Preferences and Experimentation
Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment with different beans to find your perfect match.
Coffee is a personal experience, and what one person loves, another might not.
Consider starting with a smaller bag to test a new type before committing to a larger purchase.
The Verdict: What Are The Best Starbucks Coffee Beans?
After careful consideration and thorough evaluation, we’ve determined our top picks from Starbucks’ extensive range.
Starbucks French Roast emerged as the best overall Starbucks coffee beans.
Its ebony roast level delivers a powerful, smoky flavor that stands out in the Starbucks Dark Roast series.
Its robustness and fuller body make it perfect for coffee enthusiasts who crave an intense, bold coffee experience.
Starbucks Sumatra Ground Coffee takes the crown for the best ground coffee option.
This dark-roasted coffee, known for its earthy aroma and complex flavor profile, offers a perfect balance of spicy and herbal notes.
Its convenience as a pre-ground coffee without sacrificing the richness of flavor makes it a favorite for those who seek quality with ease.
Lastly, for decaf lovers, Starbucks Decaf Pike Place is the top choice.
It retains the classic Starbucks taste in a decaffeinated form, making it ideal for those who enjoy a rich, well-balanced blend without the caffeine kick.
Its notes of cocoa and toasted nuts provide a satisfying coffee experience, any time of the day.
Which Starbucks coffee flavor is the most popular?
The Starbucks Pike Place Roast is often hailed as the most popular flavor.
It’s a medium roast coffee that offers a well-balanced and smooth flavor, making it a favorite among a wide range of coffee drinkers.
Which is stronger, Sumatra or French roast?
In terms of flavor intensity, the French Roast is stronger.
It has a darker, more robust profile compared to the earthy, full-bodied taste of Sumatra.
The French Roast is part of Starbucks’ Dark Roast series and is known for its bold, smoky character.
Is Starbucks coffee worth it?
Many coffee enthusiasts believe Starbucks coffee is worth it due to its consistent quality, variety of flavors, and ethical sourcing practices.
Starbucks offers a range of options to suit different tastes, making it a popular choice for a broad spectrum of coffee lovers.
What beans are used in Starbucks coffee?
Starbucks primarily uses 100% Arabica beans for its coffee.
Arabica beans are known for their smooth, complex flavor profiles and are generally considered to be of higher quality than Robusta beans.
What is the best way to store Starbucks Coffee beans?
The best way to store Starbucks coffee beans is in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Avoid exposure to air, moisture, heat, and light to preserve the beans’ freshness and flavor.
Why should I get whole Starbucks coffee beans?
Whole beans maintain their freshness and flavor longer than pre-ground coffee.
Grinding beans just before brewing also allows for more control over the grind size, which can significantly impact the taste and quality of the coffee.
Should I grind my Starbucks coffee beans?
Yes, if possible.
Grinding your beans ensures the freshest possible coffee, as ground coffee can lose its flavor quickly.
It also allows you to tailor the grind size to your brewing method for the best possible cup.
Which type of coffee at Starbucks has the most caffeine?
Typically, the Blonde Roasts at Starbucks contain the most caffeine.
Despite being a lighter roast, these beans are dense and retain more caffeine compared to darker roasts.
The Starbucks Blonde Espresso, for example, offers a high caffeine content with a smooth, approachable flavor.