8 Choices For The Best Coffee To Drink Black

Whenever you have access to premium quality ingredients, you don’t need to stray too far away from the original recipe.

Coffee is no different. With the right beans, your cup of Joe can be enjoyed without the need for cream and sugar.

So what are the options? Let’s get to it and discuss the best coffee to drink black! Starting with our top pick:

Alternatives at a glance

Most Complex Flavor
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe by Volcanica Coffee

Originating from the Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia, this is Volcanicas #1 best-seller. Versatile enough to brewed as a pour over for a brighter flavor, or even at the other end of the spectrum as a full bodied espresso!

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Most Transparent Brand
Lifeboost Light Roast

Fermented for 26 hours, spring washed and sun-dried these organic coffee beans raise the standard. Get 50% off your first order and free shipping via the link below too!

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Best Served Black
Organic Bali Blue Moon Coffee

Rich and chocolatey. What's not to like?

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Best Light Roast
Guatemala Nueva Montana Honey

A rare honey processed beauty. Bright and sweet this light roast is a fruity dream.

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Most Fruity
Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee

Grown in the Southern Ethiopian region of Oromia, this is a flavor explosion with notes of berry accompanied by a rounded earthy finish.

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Best Washed
Ethiopia Nano Challa

A washed Ethiopian, often compared to the lightness of a tea. With fruity and floral notes and a peach like body.

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Best African
Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Flavorful and full bodied with notes of lemon and peach. Perfect to be sipped black!


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The 8 Best Coffees To Drink Black

1. The Cookie Dough Coffee

When it comes to coffee to drink black this always makes it to the top of my “MUST TRY” lists.

Why? While Brazilian coffee isn’t the most unique when it comes to specialty coffee, this particular brew originates from the Carmo de Minas region and is a cup of exellence coffee.

Make sure to try it using different brew methods and brew times. It’s such a user-friendly type of whole beans to brew!

My favorites are as cold brew and pour over. As cold brewed coffee, it gravitates to the nutty side from 12-16 hours. From 18-24 hours, you will taste more of the chocolatey flavor and some cookie dough sweetness.

All in all this is more than simply a reliable option If you’re looking for the best coffee to drink black.

2. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Coffee

For those who drink black coffee, medium roasts yield a satisfying level of complexity without being overpowering. Yirgacheffe, is no average Joe either. The thickness accentuates some flavors, and its heaviness is more wine like.

Most Complex Flavor
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe by Volcanica Coffee

Originating from the Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia, this is Volcanicas #1 best-seller. Versatile enough to brewed as a pour over for a brighter flavor, or even at the other end of the spectrum as a full bodied espresso!

SEE PRICE NOW Learn More
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In terms of flavor, you just can’t go wrong with finding strawberries in your brew when extracted on the light side. When your extraction is drawn out a little longer than usual, dark chocolate is far from the worst flavor.

This is the beauty of drinking black coffee using good quality beans using best practices. Everyone wins. Only sleep loses. When you support a good brand, coffee improves as an industry too.

3. Guatemala Nueva Montana Honey

This Guatemalan coffee’s secret lies in its processing. Honey processed coffee beans are a rarity (less than 1%) in Guatemala. It is a type of processing that is in between washed and natural, which naturally requires skill.

Best Light Roast
Guatemala Nueva Montana Honey

A rare honey processed beauty. Bright and sweet this light roast is a fruity dream.

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The result? A highlight reel of premium quality coffee beans!

When drinking coffee black, you want a level of complexity and clarity. This quality comes out as a fruity, creamy, caramel finish in a cup!

Want your black coffee to be a refreshing burst of flavor in your mouth? This could be a great choice for you.

4. Organic Bali Blue Moon Coffee

These beans are a product of revamped farming practices in Bali to improve the quality of their coffee. They are 100% organic since chemical fertilizers have been banned on crops.

Best Served Black
Organic Bali Blue Moon Coffee

Rich and chocolatey. What's not to like?

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Medium roasted coffees are the best coffee roasts to play with. They have the flavor potential of light roasts, with the body of dark roast coffees.

This particular selection of beans has pleasant and straightforward chocolatey flavors. Great for those who drink black coffee regularly, or a safe new pick as your next flavor adventure!

5. Lifeboost Light Roast

LifeBoost is a company founded on addressing a problem in the coffee industry: the benchmark in post harvest processing.

Most Transparent Brand
Lifeboost Light Roast

Fermented for 26 hours, spring washed and sun-dried these organic coffee beans raise the standard. Get 50% off your first order and free shipping via the link below too!

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From farming to picking, processing, and eventually roasting, the beans they carry boast maximum antioxidants and free of mycotoxins, which are known known as agents which can damage your health.

Undoubtedly tasty and healthier as black coffee, although this one also works well with cream and sugar as well from time to time.

6. Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee

If we’re talking best black coffees, Ethiopia is one of the most common origins.

Most Fruity
Ethiopian Sidamo Guji Coffee

Grown in the Southern Ethiopian region of Oromia, this is a flavor explosion with notes of berry accompanied by a rounded earthy finish.

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Known for their fruity flavors, I personally love to make cold brews from Ethiopian coffee beans.

This origin is a staple in many specialty coffee shops, and it quite possibly the easiest to distinguish among all coffee origins.

Although, fruity coffees aren’t for everybody. There are some people who dislike such complex flavors in their coffees as black.

But for those who do enjoy a naturally flavor-packed black coffee, this is a safe, consistent pick. It’s also a great jump-off point for those who want to explore something totally different but quality-assured from a dark roast coffee.

7. Ethiopian Nano Challa

Afternoon coffees have a specific role in your daily coffee routines: you either crave another cup to satisfy your taste buds, or you need another serving to stay awake until the end of the day.

Best Washed
Ethiopia Nano Challa

A washed Ethiopian, often compared to the lightness of a tea. With fruity and floral notes and a peach like body.

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This Ethiopian gem from Nano Challa is great-quality pick as your satisfying second serve of the day.

The tea-like quality of light roasts are best-enjoyed as black coffee. Whether cold brew, pour over, french press or espresso, there’s a craving that begs to be satisfied somewhere.

Drinking black coffee is so much fun because you get to appreciate all the work before the brewing. This is an awesome whole bean pick to alternate between with other coffee beans from Ethiopia, home of some of the best coffees in the world.

8. Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Did you know that 80% of taste is smell? If you look closely at the aromatics of these beans, it’s almost like you can create the drink in your mind!

On top of that fact, peaberries are a good kind of mutation. Coffee cherries usually have 2 beans inside. A peaberry is one bean developing in place of 2.

Best African
Tanzanian Peaberry Coffee

Flavorful and full bodied with notes of lemon and peach. Perfect to be sipped black!


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What does this imply? All the wonderful acids and sugars meant for 2 theoretically are developed in one.

The mystery? Following the 2-in-1 expectation of bean-content, you’d expect it to have twice the amount of reactive acids in the tummy.

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to find out that it is less acidic than the regular arabica coffee bean. Imagine a bean with double the flavor, double the sweetness–all while being less acidic.

Tanzanian Peaberry is a rare and special kind of African beans. If it is within your reach, it is quite the coffee experience.

A buyer’s guide to drinking coffee black

Still unsure about which direction to go for your next coffee adventure?

No matter where you are on your coffee journey, remember that it’s all about going after what you enjoy at the end of the day.

When preparing black coffee, choose quality first and let your curiosity decide the rest until you develop your preferences clearly.

Light roasts tend to have complex, delightful flavors, with minimal to zero bitterness. Medium roasts are fuller, and have clean, clear flavors which are a little less sophisticated. 

A dark roast on the other hand is best served with milk. Many large coffee brands will use this roast type because it’s easier to keep drinks consistent.

You will usually need lots of milk and sweetener to balance out the bitterness of dark roasts. Using this for volume sales often balances out consistency when you have many branches and lots of staff.

Freshness and Roast Date

When brewing hot, it’s best to start with beans that are aged 2 weeks from the roast date.

Why? Because after roasting, unless specified by the roaster, the beans continue to cool down. As they cool down, the gasses inside will be volatile.

At the 2 week mark, the coffee beans will have degassed enough to be balanced coffee to drink at your choosing.

In a perfect world, the best roasting machines have built-in cooling systems that are best brewing right after they’re roasted. This of course, applies for whole bean bags, and not ground coffee bags.

On the flip side, be wary of sources that sell huge batches of beans. As you can imagine, these beans will have aged by a lot by the time they fly off the shelves.

Aged beans are only ideal for one brew method: cold brew. This is because the absence of heat lessens the extraction of bitter flavors.

What’s left of the bright and complex flavors coming from the remaining gasses are still extracted by the combination of room temperature and time.

Buy Whole Beans

It’s a well known fact that coffee grounds exponentially lose their flavor.

Ground coffee will have lost up to 70% of their aromatics (and therefore flavor) after 3 mins of exposure.

As a customer, it’s good practice to buy whole beans, and invest in a good burr grinder. The best coffees are ground on-demand!

If you’re the type to horde or buy multiple variants in one go, you can store the beans in their bags, and then inside resealable plastic bags. You can then place these bags inside the freezer, and defrost while sealed overnight before brewing. Simply repeat as your stocks pile up.

Drinking black coffee makes it all the more important to preserve the quality of your coffee.

When you drink black, you place the spotlight on the bean. Just from the taste you can tell the origin, the processing method, and the flavor notes.

Stale degassed coffee grounds will not do you justice even if you put in the work to brew them correctly.

Find the right roast for you

If you enjoy black coffee, do yourself a favor and regularly explore your preferences!

Do you like the tea-like body and brightness of light roasts? The have a sweetness that is closely tied in with a pleasant acidity.

Do you like the full body and clarity of flavors that medium roasts give black coffee?

You might be wondering why dark roast coffee doesn’t get much mention when talking of brewing black coffee.

A dark roast means that most of the green bean has already been charred. It’s similar to eating a steak well-done–possibly like how many places do it, but you don’t enjoy the quality of the actual meat.

Also, dark roasts have the illusion of being more effective pick-me-ups. But what people focus on is the bitterness, and not the actual caffeine content. As mentioned above, since most of the bean is charred, dark roasts have less caffeine!

If you use dark roasted coffee for cold brew, you will need more water to make it drinkable. This also implicitly means less coffee from a recipe standpoint.

So what’s the funnest way to discover your preferred roast profile? Try different regions or origins!

Start with 100% arabica

The only other major commercial species are robusta and liberica, and those aren’t complex in terms flavor at all.

You’ll taste the nuances in flavor and notice the variations dependent on how well they were grown, harvested, and roasted. But other than that, arabica is definitely where the coffee party is at.

Ease into drinking black coffee

It’s challenging to switch from lattes to black coffee if you aren’t naturally the type to drink black. But if you want to do it slowly, there are things you can do to slowly train your palate to appreciate plain brews.

Whether health-related reasons or plain preference, make sure to do things in stages. Perhaps you can start with lessening the sweetener you use every week. Next goes the milk.

If adding is more your thing, perhaps add some coffee-friendly spices like vanilla or cinnamon. Remember that the quality of your whole bean selection will determine happiness when you drink black coffee.

The Final Verdict

Overall, it’s got to be the cookie dough monster! I mean, come on – who doesn’t enjoy cookies?

If you’re leaning more on the floral side, it’s got to be the Yirgacheffe:

Runner Up
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe by Volcanica Coffee

Originating from the Yirgacheffe region in Ethiopia, this is Volcanicas #1 best-seller. Versatile enough to brewed as a pour over for a brighter flavor, or even at the other end of the spectrum as a full bodied espresso!

SEE PRICE NOW Learn More
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Now remember, coffee is a journey and drinking it black is the end of the yardstick.

My coffee journey was the standard journey. It started out as instant-coffee-heavy, need-based. Then it graduated to unsweetened lattes and flat whites. As I became more in tune with ‘real whole bean coffee’ I realized there is much more to brewing than a sugary dark roast.

I started with nutty and chocolatey single origins because these were what I naturally enjoyed. Started trying the fruity coffees little by little, to broaden my understanding of which is the best coffee to drink black.

I suggest you try out a similar way. The important thing is to have fun with your journey. Keep brewing!

Miguel Papa

Miguel Papa

Barista and coffee writer

Miguel Papa is a coffee fanatic with a passion for brewing. During the weekdays, you can find him experimenting with different drinks while he works as a barista. Otherwise, he’s likely writing here for Sip Coffee or enjoying the outdoors.