The 10 Best Green Coffee Beans To Buy Unroasted
Ahh..nothing fills the senses more than freshly roasted coffee beans, the aroma alone can wake you up. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always associated coffee beans with the bean’s brown hue before I roasted my first batch of beans.
Buying the right unroasted coffee beans can be daunting, whether you’re a home roaster or not. Like any coffee, the best green coffee beans are unlikely going to come from the supermarket!
So let’s get started and help you discover your new favorite beans to roast with. Here’s our top pick from Fresh Roasted Coffee Company if you’re in a rush:
alternatives at a glance
The 10 Best Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
Below we run through our favorite unroasted coffee beans. You might notice that all of our choices are from The Fresh Roasted Coffee Company.
This is because they have built and nurtured direct relationships with farmers across the globe. If you’ve ever searched for coffee beans near me, you can stop – they deliver nationwide and under priority, too, if you desire!
Beaches and reggae are not the only things Jamaica is famous for, they’re also known for their coffee beans.
Coming from the Blue Mountain region, this is one of the most sought after single-origin coffee beans in the world. Grown at an altitude of 7500 feet in the mountain range nestled between Port Antonio and Kingston, these unroasted green coffee beans are excellent in quality.
Having been grown in the highest mountain range in the Caribbean, the Blue Mountain beans have had time to develop complex sugars and acids in the bean. As a result, this premium quality unroasted coffee is perfect for light to medium roasts.
With flavor notes of zesty oranges and rich dark chocolates, what’s not to like?
Single origin Colombian coffee beans are often associated with a creamy and nutty taste. In this regard, these green unroasted beans from Fresh Roasted Coffee don’t disappoint!
Grown by a local co-op that promotes organic farming practices, these unroasted green coffee beans are perfect if you enjoy a bold coffee.
With hints of almonds and caramel, this is a perfect medium or dark roast. Working well as an espresso or rich cold brew!
It is also certified fair trade, so you’ll know those coffee growers get fair pay for their coffee beans. If you want your green unroasted coffee beans sourced naturally and ethically, the Sierra Nevada doesn’t disappoint.
With a mild body and a light chocolate flavor, this unroasted coffee is bright and flavorful when roasted medium. No wonder beans from the Huehuetenango region are often considered the best coffee beans in Guatemala.
We recommend a medium to medium-dark roast, if especially if you enjoy a bright brew with hints of cherry. Nonetheless, these unroasted coffee beans are versatile enough to go beyond the first crack and lean towards a smokey, chocolaty profile.
Home coffee never tasted so good! Grab a bag of Fresh Roasted Coffee and experiment with these premium quality single origin beans.
With a lot of African green coffee bean varieties, it’s hard to choose just one. However, if you enjoy a sweet brew with floral undertones, coffee from Kenya is likely to fit your preference. These beans are also the highest grade for aesthetics a Kenyan coffee green bean can achieve at AA!
Fresh Roasted Coffee recommends a medium to medium dark roast profile and we agree. Start at medium if you enjoy a more floral cup of Joe, otherwise go darker for hints of dark chocolate.
Roasting these coffee beans is fun (especially using a home popcorn popper), given the variety of floral flavors combined with chocolatey notes. These unroasted coffee beans from Kenya might intrigue those who experiment with roasting timings and styles at home.
Coffee lovers who prefer a fuller body cup and chocolatey notes will enjoy this Mexican Chiapas single origin. These unroasted green coffee beans are certified organic, leaving any ambiguity around pesticides right at the exit.
Fresh Roasted Coffee sources these green coffee beans from farms near the Guatemalan border. As such, it shares some traits from the coffee grown across the border (double win!). Upon roasting, you will notice nutty and cocoa-like flavors that work well when cut with milk.
These unroasted green coffee beans from Chiapas might be the best single origin for roasting at home if you enjoy espresso-based milky drinks.
This coffeEthiopian Yirgacheffe is generally one of my favorite varieties. Gimme a Chemex and some lightly roasted Yirgacheffe beans, and I’m dreaming!
Although, not everyone is on the light roasted Chemex vibe…I get it. Thankfully, these green beans from Fresh Roasted Coffee allow you to be creative in your roasting. They are rather forgiving when it comes to the roast – so go ahead and experiment (although we’ve found light-medium works wonders).
Being single origin these beans lean in on the fruity and complex flavors you’d expect from the Yirgacheffe region. If you want difficult to get screw up green unroasted beans, these are an excellent choice to experiment with when roasting.
This coffee reminds me of biting into my favorite chocolate bar, especially when roasted medium-dark.
Lightly roasted, these beans can taste like lemons and grapefruit while a dark roast leans toward a nutty and full bodied cup.
If you enjoy roasting coffee for espresso, these are an excellent choice. With a sense grabbing acidity, complemented by velvety and bold flavor, these green unroasted coffee beans can make a complex espresso that pairs well with milk.
This single origin from Fresh Roasted Coffee are also certified as organic and fair trade. This ensures that these unroasted green coffee beans are grown with added no chemicals and yield a fair wage for the farmers on the other side.
While we prefer this medium-dark there’s no reason not to try out different roasting profiles and flavors to experiment with each roast. Give these green unroasted coffee beans a try and see what you can conjure up!
While Sumatra might be the coffee capital of Indonesia, Bali also produces excellent organic coffee beans. Unlike your a-typical Sumatran roast, you won’t find a broad taste of earthiness in these green unroasted beans.
Instead, when roasted medium, these beans taste almost syrup-like lashings of dark chocolate and spice notes. Yum!
The way this coffee is processed is a bit different from your normal washed unroasted coffee bean. Green coffee beans from Indonesia go through a wet-hulling method, Which in short delivers a brew which deprioritizes brightness over body and yields a more savory taste. This method also gives the unroasted coffee beans a unique bluish and greenish hue.
It’s also important to note that the Rainforest Alliance certifies these organic unroasted green coffee beans. Meaning these beans are grown sustainably, and the funds used to support the livelihoods of local communities and farmers.
If you’re looking for unroasted coffee beans that can give you a distinct and strong taste with a fuller body, this might pique your interest. You will feel right at home with this Bali Blue Moon from Fresh Roasted Coffee if you enjoy a lower acidity brew, which is best roasted medium to dark.
Like most of us, I’ve drunk my fair share of Brazilian roasted coffee, and they never fail when it comes to a latte or an espresso. These green unroasted coffee beans from Fresh Roasted Coffee fit the bill in that aspect and deliver exceptional value.
The dry processed unroasted green coffee beans give this single origin a touch of acidity to go well with it’s flavors. Roasting these beans medium-dark will lead to a coffee with a soft body and notes of caramel, walnut, and chocolate.
If you prefer a little bit of smokiness to your coffee, then roast them a little darker. Either way, they are difficult to get wrong when roasting, so if you’re new to buying unroasted beans and happy with value over quality, give these a deeper look.
With it’s straightforward tasting notes of nuts and chocolates, these unroasted coffee beans are a good option for newly budding home roasters.
Outside of the renowned Sumatra Mandheling, brews containing Sumatran coffee beans have a reputation as a base for different coffee blends. However, these unroasted green coffee beans are single origin for an unrivaled roasting experience.
Fresh Roasted Coffee ensures that this unroasted green coffee is fair trade and organically certified, which makes these coffee beans as natural as they come. Again, having undergone wet-hulled processing, this coffee has a bold and fuller body when roasted.
If you’re looking for the earthiness Indonesian Arabica beans are known for, then give these a shot. Home roasters searching for a unique unroasted single origin brew for their next project will undoubtedly enjoy experimenting with these green coffee beans.
The Guide To Buying Unroasted Green Coffee Beans
Coffee doesn’t start off brown and as aromatic as you might assume when opening a pack of roasted beans.
Green coffee beans are fresh and yet to undergo a roasting process. It’s necessary in order to prepare each bean for brewing. If you’re willing to try to roast your own coffee beans at home, trying out different unroasted green coffee beans is a must.
If you want to be a home roaster, you have to consider a broad set of factors that go into buying unroasted green coffee beans. A combination of all these traits provides the qualities that your preferred green unroasted coffee may have.
Decide what’s essential for you based on the following factors:
Most, if not all, unroasted green coffee beans are grown along the bean belt. The coffee plant prefers to grow in tropical countries where there is fertile soil, mild temperatures, and frequent rainfall. With that said, there are many individual factors associated with the origin that can impact the taste of your coffee beans regardless of how they are roasted.
While origin leaves a lot of the variability in terms of the roast to you, you still need to keep in mind how the bean was grown and processed as this impacts quality.
Those levers can affect the whole coffee plant and have a consequence on its fruit and seeds, aka coffee beans. Climate, weather conditions, humidity, and soil can impact how bright or acidic your end brew.
This will also affect the way the coffee cherries will be processed through the chain too. Places with unpredictable weather will prefer to wash their coffee beans, while dry and hot areas often prefer drying beans unwashed.
Region to region will have it’s nuances. An example would be Ethiopia, which has a different climate from Peru. Ethiopian coffee beans tend to be accompanied by fruity and floral notes compared to Peruvian coffee beans, which are often on the chocolatey side.
If a specific region seems appealing, it can narrow your search for your preferred unroasted coffee beans.
One thing to consider is the species and the variety of your unroasted green coffee beans.
While there are more, two main species of coffee are produced worldwide. These are Arabica beans and Robusta beans. Arabica beans tend to have more flavorful profiles, while Robustas are known for their caffeine content and often rubbery flavor. Arabica beans are also favored for specialty coffees because of the complexity of flavors in the coffee.
These species have another classification under them called variety or cultivar. Varieties can differ on how the coffee plant was cultivated or through natural selection. Each array can have a staggering difference with one another.
One of the essential criteria for varieties is the cup quality or the taste of the cherry or coffee bean itself. Other factors like bean size, the yield of the coffee fruit, and even the amount of caffeine are different from one variety to another.
An example would be roasting and brewing Geisha beans compared to SL-28 beans will lead to entirely different flavors due to their difference in variety and genetics.
My favorite green coffee bean might not be the same as yours because of it’s variety. Remembering those qualities can affect your choice, the best coffee variety best fit for roasting coffee beans at home.
Coffee plants grown in different altitudes can differ widely even if they’re from the same origin and variety. The coffee varieties mentioned above can also dictate if the coffee plant can grow at a high or low altitude.
Coffee plants are very fickle when it comes to growing, especially when it comes to altitude. For example, Arabica coffee flourishes at 900 meters above sea level, where abundant rainfall and cooler temperatures assist in ripening the fruit slowly. Whereas Robusta can grow in lower altitudes from sea level up to 800 meters above sea level but ripens much quicker with less complexity.
Lower elevations can lead to higher temperatures on average, which the Robusta can handle well. The higher the altitude, the more time coffee needs to ripen, leading to more sugars and acidity. Beans from Arabica plants tend to yield bright flavors because of those factors.
Before it becomes unroasted coffee beans, it first has to be harvested from coffee cherries.
There are many ways to remove the beans from the coffee cherry, it’s akin to removing the seed from the fruit. Some processes leave some parts of the cherry intact. The conventional methods are; drying/natural, washed/wet, and honey processing.
Natural or drying is the oldest method of processing coffee. The coffee cherry is picked and cleaned meticulously then sun-dried for a set amount of time with the cherry intact. Any bean that has any imperfections is removed immediately. It’s mainly used in regions where rainfall is scarce. Dry processed coffee beans tend to have a full body and a fruity flavor.
Coffee processed through washing tends to have a cleaner mouthfeel and bright taste. The coffee cherry is first sorted to single out any defects than have it’s skin removed through a machine called a depulper. It is fermented with water to remove the mucilage, which is the pulp’s inner sugary layer. It is submerged from about half a day to six days, depending on the farmer’s preference. The beans are then dried for up to a week or two.
Honey processed coffee in many ways is a combination of the dry and washed method. Each bean is sorted, de-pulped, and then dried with a part of the mucilage intact. The green unroasted coffee you can get from this process is sweeter than the other means because of the paste left with the beans.
These processes are used worldwide. There are also variations of the methods stated above, depending on the region as well.
One of the more unique processes is called wet-hulled, which is a variation of the wet process. The coffee undergoes the same washing process, but it is only dried for a few hours up to a day. Further fermentation takes place when the beans are transported to different suppliers.
Usually, the traditional washed method takes about two or three months for processing and shipping. While wet-hulled coffee beans only take about a month. Flavors from this coffee end up being earthy and strong. If you’ve tasted a Sumatran single origin like the one carried by Fresh Roasted Coffee, you might already have a taste for wet-hulled coffee beans. The wet-hulled method is predominantly used for coffee in Indonesia.
India also has a unique process called Monsoon Malabar. The name alone makes you think that the coffee beans undergoing this method will be very strong and full-bodied, which they are!
Each bean is first dry processed and is then stored up until the monsoon season. It is then placed in a well-ventilated warehouse where it is exposed to the moisture-laden monsoon winds for up to 2 to 3 months. The coffee beans expand by absorbing the moisture and turning it into a pale golden color. Coffee beans processed through Monsoon Malabar tend to have earthy quality and spicy tasting notes.
These processes allow each green coffee bean to be full of flavor. Whichever method you’ll choose, your coffee beans will taste the way just as they were intended to.
Finding The Right Green Coffee For You
Finding the best-unroasted coffee beans that suit your preference needs a lot of experimentation. There are a lot of factors that we mentioned that could affect your decision, but the best way is always to try and try again!
To help with that, you can try coffee cupping with different unroasted green coffees at home. Coffee cupping is a way for you to observe the distinct taste and aroma that you can find in your beans. While Q graders popularise it, there’s no reason why a coffee roaster can’t do it at home too. With practice, you could be tasting and roasting coffee professionally as well.
Trying out different roasting profiles for unroasted coffee beans is a good practice. You’ll be amazed at the difference in flavor you can have with a light roast compared to a medium roast.
Trial and error is part of the process, especially when you’re roasting coffee. You will need to try a range of beans to understand what you genuinely enjoy. Taking notes and score brews, then looking at where they originate from, is an excellent way to start. Note down sweetness, acidity, and mouthfeel too. The taste and aroma of the coffee can help you decide which one is a good fit.
To help out in cutting down the competition, you can flesh out common factors and create a list that reduces the number of unroasted green coffee beans you might want to try.
Learning how to cup will prove fruitful as you explore and score different beans to find your sweet spot. Your first choice might change once you try different coffee beans and roasts.
Once you’ve found your match, it is best to assess the quality of the beans itself. There are a lot of factors to check if your unroasted coffee beans are of high quality. The green unroasted coffee beans should be of nearly equal size and shape.
The color of the beans should be even all throughout as well. Any discoloration like a brown tinge on your unroasted coffee beans can show that the supplier may have used over-ripe coffee cherries for it’s beans.
The best unroasted coffee beans in our opinion, are the Jamaican Blue Mountain green beans!
There is a reason why these coffees are sought after, having grown in a region where there is a perfect balance of factors for coffee growth. You can taste a broad variety of flavors, depending on how it’s roasted. It’s premium pricing matches with it’s excellent taste and quality.
If you’re looking for a more budget and eco-friendly choice, the Colombian Sierra Nevada unroasted coffee beans are also a great pick. It strikes the right balance between a rich and bright cup of coffee.
Making a choice in buying the right unroasted coffee beans for you might take some testing and roasting disasters, but hey experimenting is part of the fun! Whichever one you choose, you can be assured that the unroasted green coffee will be an adventure to roast and brew!
The search for the best unroasted coffee beans for you will always be an on-going journey. Always keep and open mind and try out new beans and roasting profiles.
Good luck and stay caffeinated!
Frequently Asked Questions
How to store green coffee beans?
An excellent way to store green unroasted coffee is in opaque and sealed containers and placing them in cool, dark places in your home.
Coffee beans are susceptible to light, moisture, and temperature, so proper storage can ensure the beans last longer.
How long do green coffee beans last?
Green unroasted coffee beans have a longer shelf-life than roasted coffee. Beans can last up to one year without losing flavor as long as you properly store it in your home.
How much caffeine in green coffee beans?
Green unroasted coffee has less caffeine than their roasted counterparts. An average cup of green coffee beans will have 20 mg of caffeine, while roasted coffee beans can average around 60 – 80 mg of caffeine per cup.
Although, it’s irrelevant as you will only create a cup of roasted beans!
Ex-Barista and now coffee writer
A life long coffee drinker, Philip has been looking for new ways to enjoy coffee since he started in the coffee industry in 2017. His favorite coffee is a light roast Rwandan single origin. If he’s not binging on food shows or trying out new coffee recipes, you can catch him here at Sip Coffee!