Have you ever wondered why coffee from your neighbourhood kopitiam tastes so different from your lattes at your favourite cafe? It’s not just about the brewing methods but the different types of coffee beans used at these spots! Don’t worry if you have kosong knowledge on your kopi. Read on to find out more about the best coffee beans you can find in Singapore!
What are the different types of coffee beans?
Not sure which type of coffee beans are best suited to you? Get to know the different types of coffee beans, from Arabica to Liberica beans, and their unique tasting profiles!
Most coffees are brewed using Arabica beans. These coffee beans have a sweeter flavour, with some notes of chocolate and berries. This means that these coffees are less acidic and less bitter, and will not taste too sour. The best way to use these coffee beans is to brew an espresso or a hot Americano. The Arabica beans will lose some flavour if you add milk to your coffee or have your drink cold.
Certain Arabica beans are stronger in flavour as compared to others, particularly the Kopi Luwak variety, which is also known as “cat poop coffee”. Though the name might make this type of coffee bean sound rather cat-astrophic, it actually tastes absolutely divine! The production of this Indonesian coffee is all thanks to a cat-like animal called a civet. They eat ripe Arabica coffee cherries and excrete the beans which are then cleaned and roasted. Thanks to the civet’s digestive system, Kopi Luwak coffees end up smoother and sweeter, carrying stronger flavour notes of caramel and coffee.
Another popular type of coffee beans are the Robusta ones. Just like its name, these coffee beans have a robust flavour that could be a bit too strong and harsh for some. They also contain more caffeine as compared to the Arabica coffee beans. This means that your Robusta coffees are usually more bitter, but with a nutty aftertaste.
If this sounds familiar, you’re probably wondering about your kopitiam coffee and you’re not wrong. Most coffee shops use some of the best Robusta coffee beans in Singapore for their kopi, which taste exceptionally good with evaporated milk and some sugar – also known as kopi-C. Vietnamese coffee also makes use of Robusta beans for that deep and rich flavour in their brews. These coffee beans result in some of the best Vietnamese coffees especially when it’s always combined with condensed milk.
If you’re looking to try something that’s less common, then Liberica coffee beans are one of the best types you should be looking for. These coffees taste woodsy and somewhat smoky, with floral and fruity aromas that are extremely palatable for all coffee drinkers. It’s pretty hard to get your hands on Liberica coffee beans thanks to a disease that nearly wiped out its entire population. You’ll have to be prepared to splurge on these popular Liberica beans for its rarity and unique flavour profile.
The Excelsa beans are a type of coffee beans that belong to the Liberica family. These coffee beans are just as rare as their Liberica relatives, so you’ll have to savour every drop if you manage to get some. Using Excelsa beans for your coffee will result in a slightly sour and fruity flavour. Some people liken Excelsa coffees to a glass of their favourite whisky. While not everyone would like the same type of whisky, these Excelsa coffees, though unique, may not be everyone’s favourite.
Jamaica Blue Mountain beans
You probably know how expensive these rare Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans are and it’s all due to how hard it is to harvest them. As its name suggests, the Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans grow at high altitudes in the Blue Mountain region of Jamaica. Imagine climbing steep hills and having to pick up these coffee beans. Now think bigger and picture a mountain! It’s no wonder these Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans are so costly but the flavour is well worth the price tag. These coffees are mildly acidic and light in flavour. It’s not too harsh and thanks to this flavour profile, coffee enthusiasts are crazy about giving this luxurious drink a go.
|Types of coffee beans||Arabica||Robusta||Liberica||Excelsa||Jamaica Blue Mountain|
|Flavour profile||Sweeter and less acidic||Strong and more bitter||Slightly sweet and bitter||Slightly acidic, similar to Liberica||Slightly acidic and light, balanced|
|Flavour notes||Chocolate, fruity, berries||Nutty||Woodsy, smoky, floral and fruity notes||Fruity||Creamy, chocolate|
|Recommended brew||Without milk and sugar||With milk and sugar||Without milk and sugar||Without milk and sugar||Without milk and sugar|
How do you store coffee beans?
Just like how you’d keep fresh food in the fridge to maintain its quality, you have to store your coffee beans to retain its freshness and taste too. You’d want to keep the coffee beans away from moisture, heat, air and light. Basically, humidity is not your best friend here.
Invest in some air-tight containers that are opaque. This will keep your coffee bean’s enemies away. You’d have to leave these precious containers of beans away from sunlight, so forget about leaving them on your kitchen counter. Start carving out some space in your kitchen cabinets and have a designated coffee storage area that is nice and dark to preserve their flavour.
Don’t even think about keeping your coffee beans in the refrigerator. These beans are like sponges. They’ll absorb moisture and any odours in the fridge, so let’s not create any unique flavours! You can store your coffee beans in the freezer, but make sure it’s in an airtight container or else you’d risk exposing them to moisture and odours.
Pro Tip: Store your coffee beans in smaller containers if you’re leaving them in the freezer. This way, you won’t compromise on the quality of the beans whenever you remove some for your daily grind.
What is the right grind size for coffee beans?
Whole coffee beans should be ground only when you’re about to use them for brewing. Coffee beans are exposed to air the moment they are ground and this means that some flavour and freshness would be compromised. We recommend buying whole beans instead of pre-ground ones so that you can store them for a longer period of time.
Different brew methods require different grind sizes of beans. Flavour is extracted from the beans when you brew them. When your coffee grounds are more fine, the extraction would be faster because of the larger surface area being exposed. When you’re making cold brews, coarser coffee grounds are used because you’re leaving them to soak in water for a longer time. As compared to espressos, finer coffee grounds are used since you’re extracting the full flavour of the beans with a smaller amount of water. If you need help remembering grind sizes, the Porlex Mini Hand Grinder II (available on Coffee et cetera) will be your best friend. You can easily adjust the knob based on the number of “clicks”. The more clicks there are, the finer your grind will be.
|Brewing method||Ground size||Appearance|
|Cold brew||Extra coarse||
– You can still see the rough shape of the beans
– About the size of rock salt
|French press||Coarse||About the size of coarse sea salt|
|Pour-over||Medium||About the size of beach sand|
(for 2-3 minute brews)
|Medium-fine||Similar to table salt|
|Moka pots, Aeropress (for espressos)||Fine||Similar to sugar, almost like flour|
Best Arabica coffee beans in Singapore
1. Perk Maverick Blend Coffee Beans
If you haven’t tried Arabica coffee beans then the Perk Maverick Blend Coffee Beans (available on Perk Coffee Singapore Official Store) is one you should go for! The citrusy aroma of these coffee beans will hit you as you brew a cuppa. But as you take a sip of this lovely coffee, you’ll begin to identify the different flavour notes from the Maverick Blend. Apart from the chocolate flavour you’ll expect from Arabica coffee beans, you’ll also pick up hints of nuts and lemon. It’s such an interesting drink that you must taste before you can fully understand what we’re trying to describe here. And the best way to experience this, is with a shot of espresso!
2. Jewel Coffee Brazil Coffee Beans
Only want the best coffee beans in Singapore for your morning cuppa? This Jewel Coffee Brazil Coffee Beans (available on Jewel Coffee Official Store) is perfect for you! The coffee beans in this are actually of the Yellow Bourbon varietal, which is believed to be a product of Bourbon and Yellow Typica beans. These two coffee beans are part of the Arabica family and this mixture creates a well-balanced flavour for your coffee. The notes to this sweet and moderately acidic coffee include caramel, chocolate, dried berries and nectarine. With such a great harmony of flavours to this fa-brew-lous coffee, you won’t need to mix this with any milk or sugar. We recommend making an Americano so you’ll get to enjoy a larger cup of this coffee and savour the flavours!
3. L’OR Crema Absolu Profond
If you’re constantly looking out for crema in your daily brew, then the L’OR Crema Absolu Profond (available on JDE World Of Coffee Official Store) would be your best bet. When your espresso has crema, you’ll know that this is one good cup of coffee. Notice that froth on top of your coffee? Yup, that’s crema. This froth is formed when air bubbles combine with your coffee grounds, and it gives your coffee more flavour! The tangy citrus notes of this L’OR coffee will definitely be stronger and you’ll get to taste how deep and rich these Arabica coffee beans are.
4. Mellower Coffee x Parchmen & Co. Callidora Roasted Beans
We understand that black coffee can be tough to swallow at times, but this Mellower Coffee x Parchmen & Co. Callidora Roasted Bean (available on Mellower Coffee Official Store) should make things easier! The Catimor coffee beans used in these are actually relatives of the Arabica group! They tend to give off aromatic notes of nuts and herbs. When you take a sip, you’ll pick up some cherry and berry flavours, but this Mellower coffee beans also has a wine taste too. If you’re a fan of citrusy wines, then these beans would be perfect for you!
Best Robusta coffee beans in Singapore
5. La Saigon Robusta Coffee Beans
Remember what we said earlier about how Robusta beans are commonly used in Vietnamese coffee? Well, these La Saigon Robusta Coffee Beans (available on King’s Victuals Official Store) are a must-try if you’re looking to give this type of coffee beans a go! These Robusta coffee beans originated in the rich volcanic highlands of Vietnam and only the best ones are picked for the preparation process.
After going through some drying, the best coffee beans are flown directly for roasting in Singapore and are freshly grinded. This means that you’ll only get the best quality Robusta beans when you get a bag of these! The La Saigon Robusta Coffee Beans give you a strong and smooth brew, and you’ll even pick up some notes of dark chocolate, almond and orange.
6. KoffieAsia Specialty Robusta Coffee
Coffee beans can be found in many different regions, so it’s best to find those from a region you really like. You’d want to explore the different flavours and the best way to do so is with KoffieAsia Specialty Robusta Coffee (available on KoffieAsia). In this bundle of two, you’ll get to enjoy a Specialty Dampit Robusta and Tirtoyudo Robusta. The Specialty Dampity Robusta has an earthy fragrance to it, while the Tirtoyudo Robusta will have a fruity aroma. The flavours are very different too, with the former having notes of chocolate and brown sugar, while the other has flavours of chocolate and sugarcane. These best coffee beans in Singapore are freshly roasted and ground upon order so you’ll have more than ample time to enjoy the freshness of these Robusta beans!
7. JJ Royal Coffee
You can’t go wrong with Robusta coffee beans from Indonesia. The JJ Royal Coffee (available on JJ Royal Coffee Official Store)are from the Lampung region of Indonesia. With these best coffee beans in Singapore, you’ll get a strong brew and a whiff of the sweet fragrance. This JJ Royal Coffee has a nutty flavour that isn’t too acidic. You may even think that you’ve accidentally made yourself a cup of tea instead, but you’ll be surprised because this brew will definitely get you through your day!
8. L’OR Espresso Onyx
Give coffee blends a go with the L’OR Espresso Onyx (available on JDE World Of Coffee Official Store). With coffee experts who strive to discover the best coffees, you can be sure that these L’OR coffee beans will result in the tastiest coffees ever. The beans used in the Espresso Onyx are actually a blend of the Arabica and Robusta varietal, so if you’re worried about the strong flavours with Robusta beans then this is a good alternative to try.
Best Liberica coffee beans in Singapore
9. Mister Coffee Liberica Coffee Beans
Liberica coffee beans aren’t that common, so it’s good to give the different brewing methods a go when you’re trying to find the best way to get the flavours out. With Mister Coffee Liberica Coffee Beans (available on All Grace Trading), you’ll get to choose the grind size for your Liberica beans. The grind size differs if you’re intending to use your Liberica beans for a cold brew or a French press, so it’s best to get a better understanding beforehand! These Mister Coffee Liberica beans have a herby, smokey and nutty aroma. When you taste it, the coffee will have flavours of dark chocolate and you may even pick up notes of jackfruit. With low acidity, these are the best coffee beans in Singapore to keep you caffeinated all day!
10. Smeow Liberica Coffee Beans
To fully enjoy the flavour of Liberica beans, it’s best to go for one that is a dark roast. Dark roast coffee beans are roasted for a longer period of time and at higher temperatures. These best coffee beans in Singapore end up with a stronger flavour just like the Smeow Liberica Coffee Beans (available on Nature On The Way). The richer flavour of Liberica coffee beans may seem daunting to coffee newbies but it tastes even smoother and more delicious!
11. Calanthe Liberica Dark Roasted Coffee Beans
Miss travelling to Malacca and sipping coffee at a cafe along Jonker Street? This Calanthe Liberica Dark Roasted Coffee Beans (available on artistacoffeeosth.sg) should bring back some nostalgic memories! Calanthe Art Cafe takes the art of coffee seriously. With local coffees from 13 Malaysia states, Calanthe is the go-to brand when you’re looking for the best coffee beans. They even have Liberica coffee plants at the cafe, so you can be certain that this is the best Liberica beans you’ll ever find!
Best Excelsa coffee beans in Singapore
12. Banjoewangi Excelsa Coffee Beans
Excelsa coffee beans tend to have lesser amounts of caffeine, but you won’t have to compromise on that with Banjoewangi Excelsa Coffee Beans (available on tokomadukopitp.sg). These coffee beans have a medium roasting profile, which means that they haven’t been roasted for too long so most of the flavour and caffeine are retained. Since Excelsa beans can be slightly acidic, we recommend brewing them using the cold brew method. Research has shown that cold brews are at least 60% less acidic than hot coffee. As hot water extracts certain acids from coffee beans, you could meet with a very bitter end if you were to go for the hot option.
13. Trung Nguyen Legend Creative Roasted Coffee 4
You don’t want to get roasted for missing out on Excelsa coffee beans. A great way to start on this type of coffee bean is to get a blend. The Trung Nguyen Legend Creative Roasted Coffee 4 (available on Trung Nguyen Legend Cafe) is a coffee blend that is a mixture of coffee beans originating from more than one place. Coffeesblends tend to have a more balanced taste as the different coffee beans complement one another. This Trung Nguyen coffee blend is made up of Arabica, Robusta, Catimor and Excelsa coffee beans. The flavour profile of each type is very different but blending them together will result in such an aromatic cuppa that you will love a latte (a lot, get it?).
Best Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans in Singapore
14. Jaxinn Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
If you’re already splurging on Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee beans, then you should definitely go for the best. The Jaxinn Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee (available on JAX Intl Premium Store) consists of the best coffee beans that have been graded. Only those of the highest quality are picked for roasting and each batch of these beans are tested to ensure its quality. These best coffee beans in Singapore make tasty coffees that’s both creamy and sweet with absolutely no bitter notes.. You’ll have to savour this cuppa to enjoy its chocolatey taste! With such a luscious flavour, you’ll start wondering where has this Jamaica Blue Mountain coffee bean all your life?
15. Cowpresso Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee
Say hello to blue, I mean brew – you get it. The Cowpresso Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee (available on Cowpresso Coffee Roasters Singapore) is one of the best coffee beans in Singapore. These coffee beans come with drip bags so you can brew the perfect pour-over coffee. Alternatively, you can grind the coffee beans to a different size to make an espresso and take your daily grind to a stronger level. These best coffee beans in Singapore give your brew a very smooth and creamy texture, and Cowpresso’s has floral and citrusy notes too. These coffee beans are sourced from the Wallenford Farm. Their coffee beans are known for their perfectly balanced flavour, so you can be sure that it’s more Cowpresso and less depress-o with these beans!
Impress your kopi kakis with the best coffee beans in Singapore
We hope you’ve found the best coffee beans in Singapore to wow your kakis when you la kopi with them! If you need some help with brewing, then these best coffee machines will be great for a fuss-free cuppa. You can also level up a latte with some brew-tiful art when you attend these coffee workshops in Singapore. While you’re at it, don’t forget to whip up some breakfast with some of the best waffle makers and best toasters in Singapore!