The Best Unroasted Coffee Beans
You can pull a delicious shot and grind the beans to perfection at home, so why not take the next logical step and try your hand at roasting? It's not as complicated as roasters make it sound, especially if you roast small batches for your own coffee drinking pleasure. To make your transition from store-bought roasts to green coffee as smooth as possible, we've scoured the web for the best unroasted beans.
First, take a look at the highlights of the best green coffee beans shortlist, and then we'll take you through each option and discuss its pros and cons in detail.
The Best Green Coffee Beans for Home Roasting in 2021: Everything You Need to Know
Green coffee was all the rage a few years back when the Internet was filled with ads for magical fat-burning beans that could help you lose weight without working out or giving up desserts. While the scientists later refuted those claims, green coffee is still one of the most sought-after health supplements.
The funny thing is, coffee aficionados have been buying unroasted beans for ages to roast them at home and enjoy the cuppa made just right by the custom combination of roasting, grinding, and brewing.
After all, buying raw coffee beans comes with plenty of benefits:
- Outstanding flavor. If you roast no more than four to six ounces of beans every time, you'll always have freshly-roasted java within reach. You will never have to settle for stale, over- or under-roasted beans again.
- Precise control. Getting your cup just right takes a combination of the right bean, roasting, grinding, and brewing. And the more of these steps you control, the closer your coffee will be to that unattainable ideal. Besides, you can experiment with roasts to find the perfect fit for each of your favorite beans or match the darkness of the roast to your mood.
- Long shelf life. Coffee tastes the best within 30 days of roasting, and if you don't go through a 12-ounce bag in a month, you have to settle for subpar java for the rest of the time. Green beans remain usable for 6 to 12 months (and longer!) with proper storage, so you can stock up on the unroasted coffee without sacrificing the taste.
- Affordable price. You can buy most varieties in whole-bean or ground form for the same price, but roasting ratchets up the price like you wouldn't believe. Green coffee is usually at least a couple of times cheaper than roasted beans of the same origin. Even if you account for the electricity your roaster uses, each cuppa will still be cheaper.
- Endless variety. Blends can taste gorgeous too when done right. Once you master roasting, you can pick and choose two or more unroasted Arabica coffee beans to combine in a single cup. No ordinary roaster can achieve the same variety you get when your combinations are almost limitless.
With all the benefits of the unroasted beans in mind, let's go over your options.
For one, you can choose between single-origin and blended coffees. The former are perfect for true connoisseurs looking for bright acidity and nuanced flavor. The latter are cheaper and smoother, more suitable for a daily cuppa. The country of origin matters too, as soil composition, plantation elevation above sea level, the amount of rainfall, and average temperature all affect the beans' flavor. Even different coffee growing regions within one country can produce startlingly different-flavored coffee.
Arabica might seem the obvious choice, but you forget that there are a few dozen varieties that lend slightly different flavor and aroma profiles to the brew. You should learn about Geisha, Typica, Bourbon, Caturra, and Ethiopian Heirloom at the very least.
The processing method is also a factor when it comes to coffee selection, as washed coffee is considered to be the cleanest but also the mildest. Dry processing leaves the coffee cherry to dry around the bean and release its natural sugars resulting in the most vibrant flavor. However, this method has been recently vilified by the claims of mycotoxin contamination of the beans.
Of course, it's best to opt for organic unroasted coffee beans grown without chemicals and synthetic fertilizers that may affect the taste and cause health issues. Fair Trade, Rainforest, and other certifications are also signs of high quality and sustainable business practices.
To help you make sense of the dizzying variety of unroasted coffee beans, we've reviewed dozens of options and ended up with a shortlist of seven products we'd happily stock up on any day of the week.
Our Top 7 Picks for the Best Green Coffee Beans
Primos Coffee Co. Single Origin Unroasted Green Coffee Beans Review
- 100% Nicaragua-grown Caturra beans
- Fully washed and naturally dried
- Best suited for medium (city) roast
- Naturally sweet flavor with light citrus acidity
These beans are shade-grown at high altitudes according to the best practices of Nicaraguan farmers. Fully washed and air dried, the beans retain 11% to 13% of moisture and are later sorted to ensure no more than five defects per 300 grams. Unroasted coffee is stored in airtight bags in a temperature-controlled facility to ensure the latest harvest remains fresh until it is shipped to you.
As the natural mutation of Bourbon Arabica, Caturra beans possess inherent sweetness with notes of cacao and bright, citrusy acidity. The coffee is well-balanced and suitable for most java lovers, who steer clear of excessive acidity or bitterness. While most buyers enjoy this bean as is, others prefer blending it with other varieties for a more distinct flavor profile. Primos Coffee Co. recommends medium or city roast for this single-origin bean, and many reviews commend this choice. However, you might prefer a darker roast to reduce acidity further and bring toasty notes to the flavor palette.
At around $20 per three-pound bag, this coffee is a steal. Considering the quality and the number of positive reviews, it's our top recommendation, so it's worth a try. Remember to store the unroasted beans in an airtight container and roast in small batches for best results.
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Green Unroasted Colombian Supremo Review
- 100% Colombian Supremo Arabica beans
- Suited for light to dark roast
- Balanced flavor with notes of cherry and honey
- Packaged in a 5-pound bag
These unroasted Arabica beans are sourced from high-altitude Colombian farms that produce world-renowned java. The sustainably sourced coffee is free of additives, flavors, and preservatives and is packaged in the US. The 5-pound bags might seem like an overkill for home roasters, but they offer unbeatable value at around $30 per bag. Besides, green beans remain fresh for months if stored away from light and heat in airtight containers.
While some buyers are critical about the beans' size, most are happy with the flavor they produce. The Colombian Arabica is well-known for its balanced and intense palette, and this coffee brings the notes of cherry and honey to the fore. You can opt for a light, medium, or dark roast, and the beans will taste equally delicious with any combination of acidic and toasty nuances.
We did find a couple of negative reviews about the quality of the beans and shipping mishaps. However, we recommend you try this brand because this java tastes delicious, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a better deal.
Heirloom Coffee Papua New Guinea Coffee Beans Review
- 100% Papua New Guinea Arabica
- Harvested from shade-grown, high-altitude trees
- Smooth, full-bodied coffee with bright acidity
- Bags of one, three, and ten pounds available
If you're ready to go out of your way to get exclusive beans, this single-origin bean will be right up your alley. Harvested from wild shade-grown Arabica trees of the tiny, family-owned farms in the Morobe Province, this java is to die for. You'll be impressed by the beans' size that gives Kenya AA a run for its money. Besides, the local trees are a natural mutation of the Jamaica Blue Mountain Variety first brought to Papua New Guinea in the 19th century, so you know it'll taste delicious.
The unroasted beans are perfect for any roast, from light to dark. You can even blend the toasty beans with medium roasted ones to enjoy the unique combination of smokiness and acidity. The buyers commend the beans' batch-to-batch consistency, so you won't have to adjust your roasting parameters once you hit gold.
We also love that this variety comes in bags of three sizes. So you can start with a 1-pound pack to decide if it's to your taste before you graduate to a 3-pound bag. Finally, you can order a 10-pound bag and share it with fellow coffee lovers among your friends and family. The clear bags don't look like much, so be sure to transfer the beans into an airtight container for long-term storage.
Ajuvo World Market Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee Review
- 100% Arabica from the Sidamo province
- Smooth flavor with notes of chocolate and wine
- Organic and Fair Trade certified
- Sold in bags of one, two, and five pounds
Ethiopia is the birthplace of coffee, so a true java lover should never pass on a chance to try a new variety. These beans are Sidamo-grown, organic and Fair Trade certified. You don't even have to worry about mycotoxins, as the beans are wet-processed for your safety. This doesn't detract from the full-bodied flavor that's rich with notes of spice, wine, and chocolate. The sweet aftertaste is just a cherry on top.
Unlike Yirgacheffe, these beans are less uniform in size, so you'll need to experiment with roasting. Besides, they may expand more than usual when heated, so we recommend roasting in tiny batches. Letting the beans rest for a day or two after roasting is also a good idea if you want to enjoy their full potential.
Like the previous contender on our shortlist, this coffee is sold in a variety of package sizes. You can start with a one- or two-pound bag to experiment with roasting and decide if you want to invest in a 5-pound bag. However, even if you splurge on a bulk order, these beans are extremely affordable and make for a perfect cuppa, whether you brew them straight or mix with other varieties.
Morning Hills Coffee Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Green Unroasted Coffee Beans Review
- 100% naturally organic Arabica
- Grown in the Kochere district
- Balanced, smooth, with fruity and floral notes
- Packaged into 1,2, or 5-pound Kraft bags
If the previous option doesn't fit your taste, but you still want to enjoy Ethiopian java, this naturally organic Arabica will do the trick. Grown at high altitudes of around 6,500 feet in the Kochere district, it's the best of what Yirgacheffe has to offer. Thanks to the cherries' slow ripening, the beans gain a balanced, intense flavor with characteristic floral and fruity notes, mild acidity, and tame bitterness.
The company recommends you start with a light roast and remain patient, as it may take a while for the first crack. The beans are rather large and dense, so the roasting may last longer than usual. Once you get used to the peculiarities of the beans, you can graduate to medium and dark roasting for more intense flavor and toasty notes.
This coffee is a bit pricier than other options on our list, which leads to buyer complaints. We believe the high-quality beans are well worth the price, especially because of secure packaging. The Kraft bags (one, two, and five-pound options are available) are less likely to rip in shipping, and they are better at preserving the freshness of the beans.
Teasia Coffee Tanzania Peaberry Green Unroasted Coffee Beans Review
- 100% single-origin Arabica peaberry
- Grown in Mbinga district of Ruvuma region
- Full-bodied, smooth, with citrus and herbal notes
- Available in 5-pound bags only
This exclusive coffee is grown in the Mbinga district of the Tanzanian Ruvuma region. Only one in ten beans harvested gets into your cup in the peaberry form. The tiny beans are more flavorful and intense than regular beans, so you're in for a treat. Expect a smooth, full-bodied flavor with herbal and citrusy notes, a clean finish, and crisp acidity.
If you're used to roasting regular Arabica, peaberry will take some getting used to. The small beans are dense and may require longer roasting. On the other hand, they don't tend to expand as much as regular beans. As always, we recommend starting slow with lighter roast, although the medium and dark roasting should result in a more intense flavor.
While buying in bulk is always cheaper, we'd prefer to have an option to start with a one- or two-pound pack. Unfortunately, Teasia offers green beans exclusively in 5-pound bags, so you'll be stuck with this coffee for a long time whether you like it or not. Amazon reviews can also be deceiving, as the rating is calculated based on all comments for a dozen varieties, not only Tanzania peaberry. However, most feedback for this bean is positive, so there's less chance of disappointment.
Coffee Bean Direct Green Unroasted Whole Bean Coffee Review
- 100% Colombian Supremo Arabica
- Perfect for light to medium roasting
- Rich flavor with sweet undertones and medium body
- Only sold in 5-pound bags
If you love your coffee strong and flavorful, without the barely-noticeable exotic nuances, this single-origin Colombian Supremo Arabica should be at the top of your shopping list. It's well-rounded and balanced with a medium body and sweet undertones. There's nothing better to deliver a morning pick-me-up.
Only the best and largest beans are categorized as Supremo for this variety. Therefore, roasting time may vary from your usual setup. Coffee Bean Direct recommends light to medium roast for this product. Taking it all the way to dark roast may result in excessive bitterness and even burnt taste if you miss the point of no return.
Like the previous option, this one is only sold in 5-pound bags, though sometimes you can get your hands on a 25-pound package. While that's great for saving on your daily coffee fix, getting a smaller bag with your first order would be much more preferable. As it is, we're sure no one will complain about having to work their way through five pounds of Colombian Supremo, as it's one of the most sought-after varieties in the world for a reason.
The Verdict. What Are the Best Unroasted Coffee Beans?
The variety of green coffee beans is nowhere near as broad as that of the roasted coffee. Still, plenty of great options produce reliably delicious cuppa regardless of your roasting experience of preferences. We've selected seven for our shortlist, though it could have been much longer, with unroasted Kona coffee beans and more exotic varieties. Primos Coffee Co. Nicaragua Unroasted Beans are our favorite for many reasons, including its smooth flavor, affordable price, and secure packaging. Give it a try and see for yourself our praise is not misplaced!
What Affects the Flavor of Unroasted Green Coffee Beans?Many factors alter the taste of the bean. The country and region of origin are a good indicator of the flavor you can expect. The taste changes with the annual temperature, humidity level, soil composition, and farming techniques used. The variety of Arabica trees grown is also a factor, along with the processing method, drying conditions, packaging, and storage before shipping. Once you get your hands on the beans, the way you store, roast, grind, and brew them will affect the flavor of your cuppa.
How to Store Green Coffee Beans?Do not leave the beans in the package they come in, even if it's resealable. Instead, find a dark, cool place with low humidity that's not inside your fridge or freezer. It could be a pantry or a kitchen cabinet. Put the beans into a ceramic, metal, or glass container, seal with an airtight lid. Portion out small batches for roasting and keep the rest of the beans in the pantry until the previous roast runs out.
How Long Do Unroasted Coffee Beans Last?When stored properly, green coffee can last up to a year without losing its flavor. Some brands claim a shelf life of two years, which may well be true. If you don't see or smell any changes in the beans, you might get away with using them years after they were harvested.
What’s the Best Green Coffee for Espresso?If you want a clean, strong taste, we recommend going with single-origin beans from Colombia, Nicaragua, or Sumatra, though other options on our list may fit your taste too. Blends might be cheaper, especially if they include Brazilian Arabica, but the mix of different beans dilutes the flavor. Moreover, in most cases, you'd have to roast different beans separately, doubling the time and effort for every cuppa.
Where to Buy Unroasted Coffee Beans?Amazon is the most obvious choice, as you're unlikely to find quality green beans at a local bodega or big box store. You can also check out roasters' websites, like Smokin Beans or Coffee Bean Direct, but they rarely have enough reviews for individual products, and there's no way of telling which reviews are genuine and which are fake. If you like one of the products on our list, follow the link to learn more, check out reviews, and purchase.