The Best Specialty Beans For Black Coffee

Specialty coffee can be confusing, and it can be challenging to know which coffee beans to use for various coffee drinks. Specialty coffee beans are highly nuanced, and there is a very wide variety of these beans available right now. If you enjoy drinking black coffee, which type of specialty coffee beans should you use?

The best specialty coffee beans for black coffee are those that have complex or strong flavors, including African Hawaiian and South American coffee beans, which are known for tasting notes of berries and fruits, flavor profiles of high sweetness, and a generally rich taste.

The coffee beans that you use for a coffee drink drastically affect the way the drink tastes. Coffee beans that are great for coffee and milk drinks may not necessarily be the best beans to use for an Americano. Let’s identify the types of specialty coffee beans that you should brew for black coffee.

Which Specialty Beans Are Best For Black Coffee?

If you are the type of weird coffee person that prefers drinking their coffee without any milk or milk substitutes, it can be challenging to find the right specialty coffee beans that suit your flavor preferences.

Adding milk, cream, or milk substitutes to coffee changes the way the drink tastes and feels and can disguise many of the bitter or nasty flavors within the brew.

Anyone who drinks black coffee will know that those bitter and undesirable flavors in brewed coffee become very noticeable when there is no milk in the drink to soften them.

With this in mind, what flavor notes and tasting profiles should you look for if your coffee preference is black coffee? Which beans should you be using for brewing black coffee to get the best-tasting cup of coffee?

Specialty Coffee With Fresh Flavor Notes

Among the best attributes of specialty coffee is that this type of coffee is incredibly varied. There are so many different beans with so many different flavor profiles that there is sure to be something to suit any references.

The best coffee beans I can recommend for a superb black coffee are those that possess fresh and fruity flavor notes. Flavors such as berries, stone fruit, fresh apples, and tropical fruits can make excellent flavors in black coffee.

These flavors are usually ruined by milk and dairy, but coffee with a fresh, fruity, or slightly acidic flavor is delicious when brewed as black coffee, as the brew is not altered by the soft and sweet flavor of milk.

Specialty Coffee With Subtle Flavors

The joy of drinking black coffee is that every tiny and subtle flavor of the roasted coffee beans can be found in every sip. Coffee drinks with milk or creamer mask much of this flavor.

Therefore, if you are looking for a good cup of black coffee, another good specialty coffee to look for is any coffee that claims to produce subtle flavors.

Flavors such as subtle chocolate or caramel, or even flavors such as blackcurrant, pear, and profiles of sweetness, acidity, and lightness are all excellent coffee attributes to look for.

Some coffee beans have very strong flavors, while others have subtle, gentle flavors. These can make the best cups of black coffee.

When looking for these beans, try to find specialty single-origin beans from south American growers, such as those from Brazil or from growers in Hawaii. These beans will usually contain these special subtle flavors.

Specialty Coffee With Strong Flavors

Drinking black coffee, regardless of how you brew it, opens the door to a flavor adventure that no other type of coffee drink can provide.

Anyone who is new to the world of specialty coffee may be surprised to find the wide variety of flavors that can be contained within coffee beans.

Some specialty coffee beans shave very strong flavors, apart from the ‘coffee flavor’ that you may be expecting.

For example, African coffee beans from nations such as Kenya or Ethiopia are well known for producing coffee beans that have very intense flavors of berries, stone fruit, and high acidity.

These strong flavors can be a shock at first, but when you find a coffee with strong flavors that you enjoy, you may never be satisfied by any other coffee.

This type of specialty coffee bean is ideal for coffee drinkers with a taste for exploration and discovery.

Specialty Coffee With Complex Flavors

There are specialty coffee beans that produce very complex flavors. These beans are known for producing multiple flavors simultaneously, and these flavors often only reveal themselves as the temperature of the brewed coffee changes.

Some specialty coffee brews taste very different when they are hot versus when they are cold, and there is a variety of flavors that occur in between.

If you enjoy drinking black coffee, some of the best beans to look for are those that have a very complex flavor, as you can draw different flavors from the beans depending on how you brew them, how finely you grind them, the temperatures that you use for brewing, and the temperature that you drink the brewed coffee.

Drinking high-complexity coffee is ideal for black coffee drinkers who are looking for something new.


There is nothing wrong with drinking coffee and milk drinks, but for those who only enjoy coffee brewed black, it can be difficult to find something truly delicious. For these weird coffee people, it is important to take the time to experiment with various coffee beans from different growers throughout the world. Explore and experiment with as many different specialty beans as you can find, and you are sure to find the beans that suit your flavor preferences. Be sure to try different brewing processes and recipes along the way, too, as this will significantly affect the way your coffee tastes when brewed.

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