In our opinion, the morning doesn't really begin until you have your first swig of coffee — and preferably espresso since when it comes to coffee, we believe the stronger the better.
Although espresso is technically just a style of coffee (and not a different type of coffee bean), what sets espresso apart from your average drip coffee is the specific method in which it is prepared. Brewed by forcing a small amount of nearly boiled water under pressure through finely ground coffee beans, espresso is usually served as a smaller shot since the flavor is more robust and concentrated. For your coffee beans, you'll want to stick to an espresso roast, dark-to-medium roast, or a French roast.
To get your morning started with a proper caffeine buzz, we've compiled a list of the best espresso brands based on hyper-enthusiastic Amazon reviews plus our own tried-and-true cult favorites.
This Super Crema blend from Italian brand Lavazza is an Amazon best seller based on overall quality and taste. Many reviewers describe being completely “hooked” on Lavazza after their first cup.
With rich notes of hazelnuts and brown sugar, this best-selling espresso brand tops our list as my Editor's Choice.
Living up to its name, this Knee Buckling Espresso from Stone Street Coffee Company is made from a selection of five different beans for an incredibly bold and fragrant brew. Reviewers love that this blend packs a ton of flavor without the usual espresso bitterness.
Starbucks Espresso Roast has a rich caramel flavor that provides the perfect base for a morning latte. If you love Starbucks but hate waiting in line, this dark whole-bean coffee blend will make your morning routine that much smoother.
Italian espresso brand Illy has a bit of a cult following here in the States, and for good reason. This finely ground espresso coffee is made from slow-roasted 100% Arabica beans for a rich, super smooth taste.
Boldly touted as the world's strongest coffee, we think the roasters behind this Saratoga Springs-based coffee brand know a thing or two about caffeine. We love that they use only USDA-certified organic and fair-trade beans in every bag.
This smooth, dark-roast ground coffee works beautifully for making both espresso or regular drip coffee. The 20,000-plus positive reviews on Amazon would probably agree.
Reviewers gush about the smoky yet slightly sweet flavor of this dark Italian Roast from Peet's Coffee. Many have noted that they've never experienced a bitter or burnt aftertaste from Peet's, even though this blend is considerably darker than other varieties.
With its balanced sweetness and robust flavor, this Italian Roast tastes particularly delicious when prepared as espresso or through a French press.
This unique blend of beans from Africa, Indonesia, Central America, and South America has a flavor that is described as “kickass dark” by multiple reviewers.
Plus, with a name like Kicking Horse, this espresso blend should give you a proper wake-up call! You can thank us later after you have the most productive day of your life.