10 Best Coffees to Drink Black [2021] | Best Black Coffee

If you’re looking to cut back on your milk (or cream) and sugar consumption, you’re probably wondering about the best coffee to drink black.

It will be an acquired taste no matter what, but there are some ways to ease into drinking your coffee black that will make the whole experience more enjoyable.

Top 10 Best Coffees to Drink Black

Some coffees make a better starting point when you’re in pursuit of the best coffee to drink black. The best coffee to drink black for you may be different from the best one for someone else, but the standout beans do tend to have a few things in common.

My Favorite Coffee to Drink Black

Drinking black coffee doesn't have to be boring. I LOVE Volcanica's Geisha Coffee, roasted in small batches with a wonderful nutty flavor and a low acid profile. If I had to pick just one, it would be this one!

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1. Volcanica Coffee’s Geisha Coffee from Costa Rica (Low Acid)

volcanica geisha coffee costa rica

If you’re worried about the acidity of your coffee, Volcanica’s Costa Rica Geisha may be the best coffee to drink black for you. This medium roast has low acidity and is available in whole bean or ground form. It has notes of chocolate and nuts for a delicious taste for a coffee bean. This one is only produced in small quantities, so it’s not especially easy to get your hands on.

However, Volcanic has created a medium roast, low-acid blend of beans from Brazil, Sumatra, and other low-altitude places. They’ll roast the beans when you place your order, so you know they’ll be fresh. This is a great specialty coffee substitute when Geisha isn’t available.

There’s also a Guatemala Geisha worth checking out.

Geisha Coffee Costa Rica
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2. Koa Coffee Private Reserve Medium Roast Whole Bean Kona Coffee

Koa Coffee Private Reserve Medium Roast Whole Bean Kona Coffee

This specialty Kona coffee is available in 8 oz., 1 lb., and 2 lb. bags. It’s a medium roast from the Mauna Loa volcano region and has a low acid taste, lack of bitterness, a smooth finish, and a strong flavor profile.

Warning: Even though Koa Coffee Private Reserve’s medium roast is a great coffee to drink black, you may not want to start with this one simply because it’s roasted a little darker (dark roast) than other medium roasts.

Further Reading: Best Kona Coffee Brands.

Royal Kona Whole Bean Coffee
$29.68
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07/23/2021 06:19 pm GMT

3. Bulletproof, The Original

Bulletproof, The Original

Bulletproof is some of the cleanest coffee you can buy, as it’s put through some pretty serious testing (for mold) before it’s sold. You’ll still want to check the dates on the packaging for freshness for the best flavor, though.

Bulletproof also has a larger health and wellness product ecosystem. Their Bulletproof coffee is touted for it’s health benefits, in particular. 

The Original is a medium roast coffee that you can buy in whole bean or ground form. It’s made from hand-picked, organic Central American beans. It’s sweet, smooth, full-bodied taste, and has caramel notes (it’s not flavored, though).

The Original Ground Coffee
$14.99
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07/23/2021 06:40 pm GMT

4. Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut K-Cups

Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut K-Cups

Donut House’s Chocolate Glazed Donut is a light 100 percent Arabica roast with natural and artificial flavors. It doesn’t taste as much like chocolate (or a donut) as you may expect from the name, but it definitely smells like a chocolate donut, which might be enough to trick your brain into thinking you’re drinking something a little sweet.

Donut House Collection Chocolate Glazed Donut
$15.00
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07/23/2021 06:18 pm GMT

5. Stumptown Coffee House Blend

Stumptown Coffee House Blend

Stumptown Coffee’s House Blend is a blend of seasonal single-origin coffee beans. The mix isn’t always the same, but it’s always made from beans grown in Latin America and East Africa. Notes are a delightful mix of milk chocolate, florals, nuts, and fruit. They choose the beans from different areas in order to maintain a similar experience from cup to cup while using in-season, fresh beans.

6. Black Rifle Coffee Company Just Black

Black Rifle Coffee Company Just Black

Black Rifle Coffee Company has several to choose from, but newbies to the black coffee world should start with Just Black. It’s a smooth, balanced medium roast featuring beans from Colombia and Brazil. It has vanilla and cocoa notes. You can get it in whole bean, ground coffee, and single-serve forms.

Further Reading: Black Rifle Coffee Review.

Just Black Rifle Coffee Ground
$16.99
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07/23/2021 06:39 pm GMT

7. Koffee Kult’s Medium Roast

koffee kult dark roasted

If you really want a good balance of flavor and caffeine, Koffee Kult’s medium roast may be the perfect choice for you. It doesn’t skimp on the caffeine and still has a smooth finish and excellent flavor. You can get it in whole bean or ground coffee form, in 16 oz., 32 oz., and 80 oz. sizes.

Medium Roast Coffee
$27.99
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07/23/2021 06:38 pm GMT

8. Starbucks Veranda Blend

Starbucks Veranda Blend

Starbucks’ blonde roast, Veranda, is pretty easy to drink black, even if you think most of their other blends are best with cream and sugar (they can be pretty strong). If you have a local Starbucks, try a cup there before committing to a whole bag.

Starbucks Blonde Roast Ground Coffee
$6.18
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07/23/2021 06:37 pm GMT

9. Caribou Coffee

Caribou Coffee

Caribou’s coffees are some of the smoothest you can easily find in grocery stores. If you’re a fan of flavored coffee and find that they help you ease into drinking black coffee, you’ll love the Vanilla Hazelnut, Chocolate Wonder, and Caramel Hideaway options.

Their unflavored coffees are still easy on the palate, though, making them some of the best coffees to drink black. Try the bright, cheerful Daybreak Blend (light roast) or the Lakeshore Blend (light-medium).

Caribou Coffee, Medium Roast Ground Coffee
$11.59
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07/23/2021 06:35 pm GMT

10. Something from a Local Roaster

The best coffee to drink black is usually the freshest. However, not all roasters create exquisite coffee, so having one nearby doesn’t guarantee that it will be your favorite coffee to drink black. If you do live close enough to give it a try, it’s definitely worth going in and sampling a cup or two of what they sell, chatting with the experts on what they roast, and then using their guidance to purchase a bag.

They’ll grind the whole beans for you on the spot if you don’t have your own grinder yet. Any time you can get fresh—and freshly ground—coffee, you stand a better chance of enjoying it black. If they sell coffee from different regions of the world, be sure to ask questions so you understand what the differences are before you drop around $15.00+ on a pound.

How to Find the Best Coffee to Drink Black

While everyone’s taste in coffee is different, there are some guidelines that can narrow the choices down to your best coffee to drink black.

Look at the Roast Date

This one is easy. The closer you are to the roast date, the better your coffee will taste. Going to a local roaster will help since they tend to mark them with roast dates anyway.

When shopping in a grocery store or online, your ability to gauge the freshness by roast date will differ. These often have “best by” dates instead. Packaging could also play a role in how fresh the coffee tastes.

Experiment with Roasts and Types of Coffee

Start with lighter roasts at first, but do try a variety of light, medium, dark bean, and everything-in-between roasts as early as you can so you can narrow down your search for the best coffee to drink black for you. There’s no single coffee that’s “best” to drink black because it comes down to personal preference, but we’ll try to set you off in the right direction soon.

Take note of the country of origin on any beans you like. Coffee beans from different regions around the world can have similar characteristics and knowing your preferences can help you find new coffees you’ll love to drink black.

Start with 100 Percent Arabica Beans

Coffees made from Arabica beans are going to be less bitter overall. A robusta bean has higher caffeine content, but it’s best to save blends—especially blends that rely heavily on robusta beans—for after you’ve learned to love drinking black coffee. Look for packages marked 100 percent Arabica.

Experiment with Brewing Methods

Some coffees shine when they’re brewed in a French press. Others are great in a pour-over. Still, others really stand out when they’re made in a Moka pot, Aeropress, or espresso machine. Experiment with the equipment you have each time you try a new coffee until you find one you absolutely love.

Sometimes it’s not about making the most of the coffee with an ideal brewing method, but what you personally like. Some may prefer a lighter roast-made pour-over style while someone else may like darker (dark roast), almost syrupy coffees made into a cold brew in the summer and straight espresso shots in the winter.

Grind It Yourself

Fresh coffee’s one major tip to making black coffee more palatable, but you can take it a step further. Grind it yourself. It’ll be as fresh as possible that way. More of the nuances of flavor will still be present by the time you drink it. If possible, grind it daily. If not, you can go two to three days out and then keep the extra coffee in an airtight container.

Make Sure the Coffee Maker Is Clean

Cleaning your coffee maker (all the parts the water comes into contact with) can make a big difference in how your coffee tastes. If you’re not cleaning it often, you could have a build-up of minerals or a leftover coffee taste from yesterday’s pot that makes today’s pot of coffee taste stale and less appealing.

Search for your specific coffee maker online to find cleaning instructions if you’re not sure what to do. For the pot itself, handwashing with dish soap, hot water, and a scrub brush (like a bottle brush) tends to work well in most cases.

If you see a special cleaner recommended and it’s not convenient or within your budget, do another search to see if white vinegar can be used in its place. In most cases, it’s fine, but you will want to check, just to make sure.

How to Drink Black Coffee

Want some tips on how to drink black coffee? Unless there’s a reason you need to go cold turkey on the sugar and cream and dive straight into the world of drinking black coffee, go ahead and try these:

  • Salt: Adding just a pinch of salt to your coffee can make it taste sweeter (strange but true). It does that by cutting down on the bitterness and acidity. So a coffee you don’t particularly enjoy due to one of those things could become palatable with the help of a dash of salt.
  • Cutting down on sugar gradually: Measure your sugar and cream and gradually taper off over the course of a week or two. This is probably the least painful way to go, but it does take a long time. If you’re starting a diet or seriously need to cut back on sugar and cream for some reason, you won’t want to go this route.
  • Cacao, cinnamon, vanilla extract, or coconut oil (blended): Think outside the normal box and add other flavors to your coffee to make it more interesting.

Comparing the Best Black Coffees

Feeling overwhelmed? Let’s compare the best coffees to drink black so you can get an idea of where to start:

The Coffee

What to Expect

Bean Origins

Where to Buy

Price

Local Roaster

Fresh beans, variety (depends on roaster), ability to sample and talk to someone who is familiar with their offerings

Varies

Local roaster/coffee shop

Varies

Bulletproof The Original

Sweet, smooth, hints of caramel, available in ground coffee or whole coffee bean form, not too bitter, medium roast

Central America

Some grocery stores, Amazon, the Bulletproof website

About $15.00/12 oz.

Donut House Chocolate Glazed Donut K-Cups

Hints of chocolate and sugar glaze flavors (it contains no sugar, though), mind flavor, not bitter, Arabica coffee

Info not listed

Grocery stores, Target, Staples, Amazon, Walmart, Keurig’s website, Bed Bath & Beyond, Office Depot

Around $15.00 for 24 K-cups. You can also find 96-count boxes for around $50.00.

Stumptown Coffee House Blend

Milk chocolate, flowers, fruits, and nuts; sweet, smooth flavor, balance

Latin America and East Africa

Select cafes, Stumptown Coffee website, Target, Amazon, Walmart

About $15.00/12 oz.

Volcanica Coffee’s Geisha Coffee from Costa Rica

Less caffeine, less acid, full body, beautiful aroma, creamy, gentle flavor, silky, smooth, notes of flowering grass, lavender, earthy cocoa, molasses, and pipe tobacco

Costa Rica

Volcanica Coffee’s website, Amazon

About $70.00/16 oz.

Black Rifle Coffee Company Just Black

Medium roast, hints of vanilla and cocoa, bold, smooth, balanced

Colombia and Brazil

Black Rifle Coffee Company’s website, Amazon

About $13.00/12 oz.

Koffee Kult’s Medium Roast

Medium roast, smooth, balanced,  whole bean or ground, fresh

Brazil and Colombia

Koffee Kult’s website, Amazon, Walmart

$19.99/16 oz. to $72.00/80 oz.

Koa Coffee Private Reserve Medium Roast Whole Bean Kona Coffee

Medium roast, whole coffee bean, 100 percent Kona beans (a contributing factor to the higher price), smooth finish, strong flavor, not bitter, full-bodied

Hawaii, specifically the Mauna Loa volcano area

Koa Coffee’s website

$22.00 to $80.00 (8 oz., 1 lb., and 2 lb. bags available)

Starbucks Veranda Blend

Cocoa and nutty notes, smooth finish, mellow taste

Latin America

Starbucks stores, Target, grocery stores, Walmart, Staples, Bed Bath & Beyond, Amazon, Kohl’s, Sam’s Club

About $13.00/1.25 lb

Caribou Coffee

Flavored options, samplers, something for every taste; notes ranges from berries and spices to vanilla and brown butter

Varies

Caribou Coffee’s website and coffee shops, grocery stores, Target, Amazon, Walmart, Staples, Sam’s Club

About $12.00/lb

Narrowing Down Your Favorite Coffee to Drink Black

Even with a list like this, it may still seem a little overwhelming to try to choose the best coffee to drink black. If you’re really unsure where to start, look for notes you think you would enjoy. Pair those up with a light or medium roast with balance and smoothness.

My Favorite Coffee to Drink Black

Drinking black coffee doesn't have to be boring. I LOVE Volcanica's Geisha Coffee, roasted in small batches with a wonderful nutty flavor and a low acid profile. If I had to pick just one, it would be this one!

Try Geisha Coffee
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

You could also try working your way through the ones you can find locally (at a roaster/café or grocery store) before branching out to the ones that are harder to get.

Don’t be afraid to try them. Use different methods to make them if you can. Brewing methods can make a big difference in how a coffee performs, especially when you want to drink it black.

Further Reading on Drinking Coffee and Coffee Brand Guides

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