For many people across the globe, nothing beats starting the day off with a fresh cup of coffee. The richness that flows in steam alone suffices to awaken the mind, spirit, and body. Though its consumption has been long questioned, scientific evidence for its ability to increase energy and reaction times, heighten fat burning and physical performance, provide essential nutrients, reduce the risk of diabetes, and provide protection against Alzheimer’s disease, among several others, should not be taken lightly . Yes, it is not as sustainable as one would like, nor does it protect one from experiencing the jitters, but these symptoms result from excess intake. When taken moderately, the benefits are beyond our imaginations.
Given the widespread adoption of coffee, our editorial team couldn’t stop but wonder what the best of the best looks like among existing coffee products. After serious research and analysis, we landed on 27 products that not only met our expectations but also seemed to have made a lasting impression on consumers in 2021 alone. The following guide has been compiled to delve into the 27 coffee products while emphasizing the process of these top picks. This entails a ranking system, a scientific narrative, and an in-depth FAQ section for maximum learning. Without any further delay, we present the top 27 coffee products of 2021.
- Amora Coffee
- Bean Box
- Bulletproof Coffee
- Cardiology Coffee
- Coffee Gator
- Community Coffee
- Four Sigmatic Foods Mushroom Instant Coffee
- Java Burn
- Burn + Control Coffee
- Focus Fusion Cocoa
- Lean + Green
- Hawaii Coffee Company
- Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Tumblers
- Laird Superfoods Instafuel
- LifeBoost Coffee
- Life Extension Rainforest Blend Coffee
- Moon Juice Brain Dust
- Onda Origins
- Peet’s Coffee
- Purity Coffee
- Super Coffee
- Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Volcanica Coffee
- Wakers Happy Coffee
- Well Bean
The Steaming Hot Coffee Picks of 2021
Below individuals will find a brief introduction to each of our top picks. This will include a glimpse into the coffee, the makers, and anything that makes the product stand out. As randomly as possible, here they are:
- Starting Price: $14.95
Amora Coffee was established in 2011 and has remained a favorite for ten years and counting. Having started with the goal of bringing roasted coffee to all Americans, this company only took shape after its creators tasted the world of coffee beyond the offerings of fast food and convenience stores. The difference that sets Amora Coffee apart from the rest is its coffee-roasting process itself.
First, ripe coffee berries are harvested and immersed in a fermentation process to remove the sunk berries from the batch. Then, the skins are milled off, and defective beans are plucked out. To guarantee uniform drying, the team leaves it out for the sun. The fun supposedly takes part in nine stages, where beans are blasted under high temperatures to reveal green coffee beans. Finally, debris is removed, and there we have it: Amora. Regarding the beans used, they come from Central and South America, Indonesia, and Africa.
Getting on the topic of coffee selection, Amora has plenty in store. Individuals can choose from their Delicata, Elegante, and Vigorosi coffee blends to their Intenso, Espresso, and French or Caramel Vanilla coffees and everything in between. The rating based on roast profile, intensity in flavors, quality, and strength drew us immediately upon visiting their website. For people who are serious about coffee, Amora also offers subscription plans! In addition, individuals can further explore their referral and rewards programs for maximum benefits. Finally, to give back to the community, Amora provides clean water and sanitation to over 10,000 people in the remote Jabi Tehnan district, Ethiopia.
- Starting Price: $5
Bean Box is the brand to go with if you believe that coffee is more of an experience than just a drink, as the team pledges to power mornings and days with their coffee selections. Having worked in the tech sector, the founders felt that their combined love for coffee allowed them to connect with their peers. Taking baby steps at a time, Bean Box eventually grew to partner with some of the best coffee roasters, including Broadcast Coffee, Fundamental Coffee, Herkimer Coffee, and Kuma Coffee of the 30+ available.
Regarding selections, individuals can choose from light to dark roasts, freshly ground coffee, and decaf. Like Amore, this company also offers subscription plans, where individuals select their choice for preparation (i.e., whole bean or freshly ground), roast preference (i.e., all, light, medium, or dark roasts, espresso, and decaf), and plan (tasting or bag subscriptions). The tasting plan is a monthly shipment, whereas the bag plan has weekly, biweekly, and monthly shipment options.
One thing that is unique to Bean Box is variety. Since the team has partnerships with over 30 companies, they have mustered a database that provides comfort to intensity admirers, those with a sweet tooth, and fruit lovers.
- Starting Price: $14.99
Bulletproof is a company that takes pride in strongly supporting the idea that the proper nutrients can tap into our potential, and thus, can lead to our best selves. With the ketogenic diet in mind, founder Dave Asprey introduced the first-ever Bulletproof coffee encompassing a coffee blend, MCT oil, and grass-fed butter. Having experienced the benefits of energy, the brand quickly grew to offer coffee and MCT oils, proteins, food and beverages, and other supplements. Speaking of coffee, individuals have the option to go with grounds, whole beans, single-serve pods, or cold brew.
Nevertheless, the team affirms to have used 100% Arabica beans obtained from coffee farms based in Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Everything from harvesting to the intricate details of roasting coffee has been achieved in a way that is believed to support sustainability while celebrating consumer wellness. That said, the idea of keto coffee has been around long enough now, but there may be people who have yet to try it out. For beginners, the team at Bulletproof made sure to provide all the necessary guidance so that wellness can be reaped to the fullest.
Finally, for individuals who cannot decide between existing options, a quiz can be filled out to find what would work best without altering their routines. The evident additional support is a facet eccentric to this brand. Then there’s the unavoidable fact that the Bulletproof team not only offers coffees but also formulates its creamers that align with specific diets!
- Starting Price: $22
Cardiology Coffee was founded by Dr. Jack Wolfson, a board-certified cardiologist, and aims to offer tasty, organic coffee that supports heart health. In search of pesticide-free, organic coffee, the expert realized at the time that nothing like it existed. Therefore, he sought coffee beans from Honduras, specifically from women seeking economic independence to support their families. These are the same women who started in 1993 with just a hectare of farm to a total of 37 hectares. The end goal was to deliver coffee free of contaminants and pesticides while also being abundant in antioxidants, and the Honduran women continue to contribute significantly to this endeavor.
Unlike the brands above, Cardiology Coffee has a smaller product line that comprises organic light, medium, and dark roast whole bean coffees. Not surprisingly, Dr. Jack Wolfson also seems to have taken the opportunity to shed light on the effects of grinding coffee, coffee makers, and brewing for taste on the properties of the coffee bean, which we have yet to see from a provider. Matter-of-factly, upon visiting their official website, individuals can access a free guide on how to homebrew for better heart health. Finally, there’s the subscription plan which saves 20% on prices and offers free shipping.
- Starting Price: $14.99
Founded in 2015, Coffee Gator started as a company that developed professional-grade coffee equipment for at-home uses. The team wants people to stop aiming for the average cup of Joe and experience coffee beyond this world. The latter goal eventually led Gator to introduce tools for cold brew, pour-over, and stove-top espresso and their signature, air-roasted light, medium, and dark-roast coffees. Air-roasted coffee is allegedly achieved by roasting the beans on a bed of hot air rather than a hot steel drum . Consequently, a cup of coffee is deemed smoother in taste and less bitter.
Aside from the evenness achieved by air roasting their beans, the team is confident that their batch-by-batch process ensures maximum preservation and reaps in oil contents for desirable flavor. That said, it seems as the roasting processes occur in Houston. However, all we know about the fruits themselves is that they are purchased from “artisan coffee bean farmers [locally].” This might be something to clarify with the team before proceeding. Other than that, their efforts in providing education on making coffee, like other brands this guide, need an appraisal. Who knows, we might all be deprived of its nutrients if not done right!
- Starting Price: $6.99
The Community Coffee Company is a family-owned business that made its first appearance as far back as 1919. This company took shape “out of [the founder’s] appreciation for his community of friends and the customers he served.” Cap Saurage started this journey, and now four generations later, his family followed behind to fulfill his mission. As maintained by the team, this brand wouldn’t be where it is today without their beans, from Brazil, Colombia, Central and South America, and experts who have taste and admiration for coffee.
As a result, Community Coffee offers anywhere from intense espresso, coffee, and coffees worldwide (i.e., Brazil, Mexico, Guatemala, and New Orleans) to nostalgic flavors such as pumpkin spiced coffee, strawberry, and chocolate coffee, and even mardi gras king cake coffee. To think that the latter list doesn’t even touch base on the entirety of the Community Coffee brand reflects its success. Additionally, the team has since established auto-delivery services, where individuals simply must choose their favorite products, select auto-delivery, and decide how often they’d like their supplies shipped!
Lastly, this Community Coffee has been giving back to the community, resulting in four significant ventures. They include Military Match (i.e., supporting our heroes), Community Cash for Schools (i.e., supporting local schools), Toledo & Labateca (i.e., supporting sustainability), and Southwest Airlines (i.e., the official coffee of the airline, where contributions are made based on sales). More information can be gathered through their official website.
Four Sigmatic Foods Mushroom Instant Coffee
- Starting Price: $15
Four Sigmatic is the second brand to bring organic, instant coffee to consumers. In addition to using organically grown Arabica coffee beans from Colombia, this team decided to heighten its quality and health benefits by introducing two mushroom varieties (i.e., Chaga and Lion’s Mane) and an adaptogen called Rhodiola. Four Sigmatic explained that these ingredients could “help you avoid coffee’s dreaded dark side. No jitters or hocus-pocus, just hours of crash-free focus.” Like most brands, subscription plans that save coffee lovers a decent amount of money are also offered; however, there’s more to learn!
Specifically, Four Sigmatic was founded in Finland by founder, Tero who insists that his grandparents used mushrooms as coffee alternatives when there was a lack thereof. Having grown on a family farm himself, he learned everything there is to know from his family and decided to share the wonders with the rest of the world. What is attractive about this brand is its commitment to scientific research and third-party lab testing for utmost purity, safety, and quality. These made an impression seeing that on Amazon alone, Four Sigmatic rallied 4.5 stars across over 9,800 reviews!
- Starting Price: $49
Java Burn is a 100% safe and natural proprietary, patent-pending dietary supplement trusted to boost one’s metabolic function for optimal digestion, energy balance, suppressed appetite, and to a certain degree, weight loss. The maker, John Barban, insists that each serving of Java Burn has the potential to “[torch fat] from your problem areas [and] reduce hunger,” to name a few. To reach these benefits, John explained that the formula combines ingredients that help convert fat storage into free fatty acids, leading to a caloric deficit and continued breakdown of fat.
Now for the formula itself, each serving embodies the coming together of Green Tea Extract (300mg), Chromium (20mcg), L-Theanine (100mg), L-Carnitine (100mg), Green Coffee Bean Extract (200mg), Vitamin D3 (20mcg), Vitamin B6 (1mg), and Vitamin B12 (5mcg). At present, information on the manufacturer and source of coffee beans is scarce, surprising, as there’s quite a fanbase for this beverage mix. Therefore, based on the latter, we encourage everyone to dig further before placing an order.
Burn + Control Coffee
- Company: Javita
- Starting Price: $25
For people who want to have gourmet coffees, Javita is the brand to stick by. As per the claims made, they carry a line devoted to at-home gourmet coffees that have been infused with healthy herbs and other natural ingredients. To be honest, our editorial team was surprised by their offerings to the point where we had to include three of their products. The first is Burn + Control Coffee, which comprises South American ripe coffee beans (100% Arabica and Robusta), coupled with Garcinia Cambogia and Yerba Mate leaf extract. Together this formula is anticipated to promote slimming and appetite-controlling benefits. Thus, people looking for healthy weight management support, fat burning, efficient use of carbohydrates, and improved stamina may find solace in Burn + Control Coffee.
Focus Fusion Cocoa
- Company: Javita
- Starting Price: $14.95
Up next, we have Focus Fusion Cocoa, which is touted for its ability to deliver “brain-supportive herbs with creamy, decadent chocolate.” Talk about an upgrade to hot chocolate, right? On that note, each serving is said to embody a rich source of antioxidants, memory- and focus-supporting nutrients, and learning and concentration like no other. The cognitive boost that may arise is primarily thanks to Ayurvedic herbs like Bacopa monnieri and Gotu kola, both of which have been the center of attention for researchers! Preliminary results suggest that the ingestion of the duo can protect the brain, promote stress relief, and alleviate mental fatigue, among others.
Lean + Green
- Company: Javita
- Starting Price: $25
The third Javita product is not coffee but tea. This was excused for the mere reason that green tea reflects caffeine in its way. Dubbed, Lean + Green, the team at Javita claims to have used Japan grown green tea plant (i.e., in the Shizuoka region) because of its enhanced flavor, increase in nutrients, mild taste, and sweet aroma keeps people coming back for more. In addition, the likes of Garcinia cambogia and Gymnema Sylvestre have been considered for appetite control, fat burning, reduced belly fat and cravings, and improved blood sugar levels. After reviewing all three products, individuals are likely to have noticed their minimalistic nature. While the team does combine extra herbs, they do so in a way that each element is given the spotlight; otherwise, what would be the point if the star is dimmed.
Hawaii Coffee Company
- Starting Price: $9.95
Hawaii Coffee Company is a family of sister coffee companies joining forces to delight consumers with their exquisite selections. As maintained by this team, they are the largest roasters of Kona Coffee and remain a top contender for the island altogether. For those of you who are unaware, LION Coffee (i.e., established in 1864), Aloha Royal Kona Coffee (established in 1968), and the Hawaiian Islands Tea (established in 1995) is the foundational trio for this brand. Based on the description provided, LION focuses on coffee beans grown in America, while Royal Kona Coffee uses Kona coffee beans. Though teas aren’t of interest to us (for this guide), their selection is well-rounded as well.
Individuals can select their coffee based on roast type (i.e., light, medium, medium-dark, antioxidant-enriched, dark, decaf, and limited release coffee), region (i.e., 100% Kona, 10% Kona, Hawaii Ka’u, or others), flavored coffees (i.e., caramel, chocolate, coconut, hazelnut, macadamia nut, vanilla, etc.), gourmet, and single-serve. That said, two things lured us to this brand; first, the company has been around for some time now – representing their experience in the field, and second, up until this point, their collection is ridiculously vast! There is sure to be something for everyone here. Then there’s the mere fact that individuals can effortlessly scoop up deals through their clearance, sale, large bags, bundles, and subscription plans!
Hydro Flask Insulated Coffee Tumblers
- Starting Price: $19.95
So far, we’ve introduced unique coffees that may tend to different preferences, and let us just say that there’s more coming. But as necessary as quality coffee is, it is equally crucial for individuals to enjoy it on the go. Consequently, we decided to include insulated coffee tumblers by Hydro Flask. These have integrated within them a double wall of insulation to ensure that coffee temperature is stable. Whether individuals are hoping to take cold drinks or hot beverages with them, Hydro Flask provides 24 hours of chillness and up to 12 hours of toasty warmth, respectively. Offered in 6-,12-, 16- and 20-ounce options, we believe it’s time to replace disposable go-to cups and certain flasks as well.
Besides temperature, these flasks have been designed to prevent the transfer of flavor, are easy on the grip, and come with a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects. Additionally, this brand provides tools and replacements at small costs. Examples include natural cleaning tablets, wide mouth flex sip lid, and small, medium, and large closeable press-in lids. How can anyone neglect the wide range of color options, which is seldomly witnessed?
Laird Superfoods Instafuel
- Starting Price: $11.95
Instafuel by Laird Superfood encompasses premium coffee (i.e., freeze-dried Arabica coffee) and superfood creamer (coconut milk powder). Hence, upon making a cup of Instafuel, individuals need not worry about adding any sugar and creamers, as this is as instant as it gets! Coconut milk allegedly stems because it is nutritious and lends a rich and creamy texture that other existing bases cannot match. What we thought was interesting was the inclusion of Aquamin™ (i.e., calcium from marine algae) and organic extra virgin coconut oil. Laird Superfoods has reflected upon wellness rather than focusing on the simple benefits of coffee.
For those hoping for heightened flavors, the team has since formulated Chai Instafuel (starting at $14.95), Matcha Instafuel (starting at $12.95), and Unsweetened Instafuel (starting at $11.95). Regarding the company itself, it was supposedly founded by big wave surfer Laird Hamilton, who enriched his coffee by adding plant-based fats. In so doing, he quickly realized that besides taste hitting the mark, it also kept him fully energized for hours. Having shared his recipes with friends and family, it was only in 2015 that he decided to introduce society to Laird Superfoods. To learn more about the team and how they positively contribute to sustainability and the local economy, visit the official website!
- Starting Price: $34.95
Founded by Dr. Charles Livingston, the idea behind LifeBoost Coffee is that every cup of coffee can provide health benefits beyond energy surges. Specifically, his goal was to showcase the impact that organically grown Central American coffee beans can have on one’s health. Unlike most companies that have their coffees ready to go, this brand allegedly roasts coffee in small batches when orders are placed. These are then sealed in compostable pods and shipped directly to one’s door. To ensure that LifeBoost Coffee’s selections are stomach-friendly, the team claims to have gently washed the beans with spring water.
Above all, each batch is said to have undergone rigorous testing. By rigorous, we mean testing for over 400 mycotoxins to guarantee that each cup is as clean and healthy as possible. On the topic of variety, LifeBoost Coffee currently offers light, medium, and dark roasts, decaf, and flavored (i.e., pumpkin spice, white Russian, vanilla almond, white chocolate mocha, gingerbread, whisky barrel, etc.) coffees.
Life Extension Rainforest Blend Coffee
- Starting Price: $9.75
The Rainforest Blend Coffee by Life Extension is unique because of the thought process behind it. To be more precise, the team at Life Extension has decided to focus on a roasting technique that will guarantee maximum preservation of coffee properties. So, by using the “HealthyRoast” process, the team is convinced that their coffee’s antioxidant polyphenols and compounds will not only be preserved but will protect the stomach from irritation. As for the beans used, they have been certified 100% USDA organic Arabica. There have been mixed reviews on taste and aroma, with some people suggesting an absence of freshness. This, of course, is for people who are picky about taste; otherwise, Rainforest appears to be rejoiced.
Life Extension qualified for our guide because it has tapped into various industries over 40 years. In this time, they never failed to reflect healthy living and scientific evidence in their products. As stated by the team, “we promise to help you reach your wellness goals. We’ll be with you every step of the way with formulas that do what we say they do, customer service that listens and experts to guide you along the way.”
Moon Juice Brain Dust
- Starting Price: $38
Brain Dust by Moon Juice is advertised as an adaptogenic blend that supports mental stamina, alertness, and concentration. Adaptogens are generally ingested to help the body effectively respond to stress, but many people aren’t aware of the exact mechanism. It turns out that adaptogens can regulate stability within the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands, which act as the primary constituents of the stress response . This gives rise to a decrease in sensitivity to stressors, allowing one to think clearly, combat fatigue, and ease symptoms linked to specific mental health issues.
In the case of Brain Dust, each serving offers a whopping three gram-proprietary blend of Organic Lion’s Mane Mushroom Extract, Organic Maca Root Extract, Organic Astragalus Root Extract, Rhodiola Root Extract, Organic Ashwagandha Root and Leaf Extract, Ginkgo Leaf Extract, and Organic Stevia Leaf Extract. If you haven’t already noticed, not one trace of caffeine has been included in this formula, as the blend above merely signifies the power of herbs home to Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda.
You might be wondering what the backstory for Moon Juice is, especially with such a curiosity-eliciting brand name. Founder Amanda Chantal Bacon claims to have fought her way to put her autoimmune condition into remission after being told that it was impossible. Interestingly, her efforts in educating herself regarding diet, lifestyle choices, spirit, and traditional wisdom allowed her to experience positive changes in her blood and hormonal panels. With daily practice, she watched her health transform, which pushed her to start Moon Juice, a company that “bridges the world of alchemy and biology for functional benefits.”
- Starting Price: $40
Like Moon Juice, MUD\WTR is a company that touts coffee alternatives. Based on the claims made by the team, each serving embodies the potency of organic ingredients coupled with just 1/7th of caffeine as a cup of coffee. The goal is to get individuals’ focus, energy, and immunity to heightened levels without the typical jitters, crashes, and dependencies. The beauty here is that MUD\WTR’s approach is unique to that of Brain Dust, except for the mushroom blend. Specifically, each serving contains Cacao, Masala Chai, Turmeric, Himalayan Salt, Cinnamon, Chaga, Cordyceps, Reishi, and Lion’s Mane Mushrooms.
Besides MUD\WTR’s supposed ability to replicate the effects of coffee with heightened health benefits, each batch is said to have undergone rigorous testing and certifications. Precisely, each serving embodies 100% USDA-certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, kosher, and vegan-friendly while also being Whole30 Approved. Founder Shane explained that he started MUD\WTR because of the cons associated with coffee. Besides feeling the jitters, he thought that every cup messed up his entire sleep cycle, not to forget how much he wanted to let the habit go but failed in the process. After exploring his options, which were limited from the start, he slowly amassed ingredients that now constitute MUD\WTR.
- Starting Price: $15
Onda Origins is on a mission to help coffee bean growers earn the income they deserve, but with popularity, they became a well-rounded coffee company as well. The quality and sustainability of coffee start with growers, yet they are usually the smallest cuts. Henceforward, Onda Origins decided to roast each coffee to make the growers proud of their efforts, and on each purchase made, the growers make a cut. This business model aims to give transparency to grower earnings and how impactful it is for their life. How? Through an app called Onda Go, which “integrates digital ordering and rewards with [their] transparency data on sourcing and farmer earnings. Instead of just tracking how many purchases until your next free drink, you can see how much you have increased farmer earnings through your purchase.”
The effort reflected in this journey shows how impactful it is to join forces as a community to support those who deserve it the most! The coffees themselves come from different parts of the world, including Indonesia, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Tusitala, and Burundi, ranging from light, medium, and dark roasts to whole beans. Additionally, subscriptions for whole and ground coffees can be accessed through Onda Origins as well.
- Starting Price: $8.99
Established in 1966 by Alfred Peet, his reasoning for Peet’s Coffee has always been explained as follows, “I came to the richest country in the world, so why are they drinking the lousiest coffee?” Having learned about roasting and grinding machinery from his father’s coffee and tea business in Holland and later pursuing a career in coffee and tea imports, Alfred decided it was time to start his shop. At the time, the shop “vowed to only use high-quality beans and a roasting system manually calibrated to achieve an even darker, sweeter roast.” Today, it is a widely recognized brand that symbolizes knowledge, hands-on experience, and quality coffee.
Regarding the Peet’s Coffee collection, individuals can choose from light, medium, and dark roasts to various flavors (i.e., spicy, citrusy, nutty, fruity, etc.) and formats such as coffee beans k-cup pods, espresso capsules, blended coffees, and iced espressos. There are also options for people who would invest in organic coffee or curated subscriptions. How can anyone disregard the series of tools developed for at-home brewing?
- Starting Price: $18
The founders of Purity Coffee, Andrew, and Amber, were supposedly shocked by the mounting evidence surrounding coffee consumption. However, one thing left them uneased: knowing that there are toxins in our very environment. With the primary goal of highlighting the benefits of coffee, the two brought together a team of professionals, scientists, and medical practitioners to help. In the end, Purity Coffee took form as a coffee brand that works in the best interests of consumer wellness.
All their organic coffee beans are said to have undergone rigorous testing for mold, pesticides, Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), and Ochratoxin A, among others. They also ensured that their coffees were specialty grade, so careful inspections and sorting processes were implemented. Finally, the team uses extensive lab testing to have reaped as many of the antioxidants as possible.
Who can forget delivery? In this case, all Purity Coffee beans are stored for 15 months and are only roasted according to the number of orders received. Pretty organized, right? Well, the previously mentioned steps are what permitted Purity Coffee to house whole bean coffee, 5lb bags of coffee (whole bean, dark roast, and decaf), single-serve, decaf, starter bundles, and even gift subscriptions.
- Starting Price: $28.89
Super Coffee was conceptualized by a trio of brothers who were frustrated by the amount of sugar in coffee beverages and energy drinks. Not only was the excess sugar a problem, but the fact that these also all led to jitters, crashes, and introduced the body to artificial ingredients drove them insane. Super Coffee takes all these issues and provides beneficial nutrients to the body while ensuring that each serving elicits a sustainable energy source. Whether it be MCT oil or different protein sources, natural sugars, you name it; Super Coffee is said to house them. It’s no wonder that the company initially making deliveries on a skateboard quickly picked up orders by the truckload!
What does Super Coffee currently offer? An advantage of this brand is that they also provide ready-to-drink Colombian coffees. A bottle a day allegedly suffices to keep energy levels through the roof. Other purchase options include creamers (dairy and plant-based), grounds (dark roast, mocha, vanilla, and hazelnut), pods, and variety packs.
- Starting Price: $12
As hinted in the name, VitaCup embodies the synergy between every brew and additional vitamins and energizing ingredients. Hence, for individuals looking to increase their B vitamins, antioxidants, and vitamin D intakes, VitaCup might have something unique in-store. Experts with generations of experience have been hired to produce unique blends alongside their functional beverages regarding the roasting process. The team takes pride in giving back to the community, as a portion of their proceeds is given to Vitamin Angels. This organization supports children around the world who are struggling to meet their dietary requirements.
Getting back to the product offering, individuals can choose between coffees (pods, grounds, instant coffee sticks, and organic coffee). Specifically, the team has been brewing up coffee based on specific goals suitable for those following the ketogenic diet and who want to boost their focus levels, weight loss endeavors, and healthy hair, skin, and nails, to name a few. The latter is clearly what makes VitaCup unique, as such goal-specific collections are seldom witnessed.
Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides
- Starting Price: $27
Vital Proteins’ Collagen Peptides aren’t exactly coffee-based. This product qualified because we believed that it is superior to conventional creamers. In the latter case, a cup of coffee provides very little nutritional value compared to the addition of collagen peptides. Collagen is naturally found in our bodies but depletes as we age. It is a significant constituent of our skin, muscles, and connective tissues, among others. Adding exogenous collagen has been found to improve skin health, relieve joint pain, prevent bone loss, boost muscle mass, and promote heart, brain, and gut health, to name a few . Each serving provides 20g of collagen coupled with Vitamin C (90mg), Hyaluronic Acid (80mg), and a thorough profile of amino acids. Finally, this supplement has been kosher certified, Whole30 Approved and is both dairy- and gluten-free.
- Starting Price: $8
Volcanica Coffee is a family-owned business where all the members involved play a role in every package delivered. As a specialty coffee roaster, their focus is to introduce exotic coffees using the finest quality ingredients from volcanic regions across the globe. Their choice for locations stems from the fact that soils closer to volcanoes are the richest in minerals. To date, this company has managed to muster over 150 different coffees, including single-origin, estate, peaberry, decaf, and flavored coffees.
So, how might individuals go about choosing their coffees? Options can be selected based on region (Africa, Arabia, Americas, Caribbean, Indonesia, and the Pacific), by certification (Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee, Fair Trade Coffee, Rainforest Coffee, Shade Grown Coffee, and Organically Grown Coffee), and by category (there are several). The team’s ongoing research on coffee beans worldwide and their mission to educate consumers drew us to this brand. Society has been long touting the likes of Arabica and Colombian coffees, and other equally potent ones remained hidden until recent times!
Wakers Happy Coffee
- Starting Price: $59.99
Wakers Happy Coffee is advertised as a nutritionist-approved coffee that delivers not one but 12 all-natural superfoods with each cup. The team behind this innovative take on coffee consumption strongly believes that each serving can trigger the metabolism, burn calories for weight loss, curb cravings for sweet and savory treats, defeat brain fog and visible signs of aging and induce healthier joints. Yet another brand to focus on the nutrition of plants, Wakers Happy Coffee is deemed free from sugar, soy, nuts, dairy, and eggs. It would have been nice to learn something about the company and the roasting processes, but this might be something to take up with the customer service team. We know with certainty that every cup contains Matcha, Turmeric, Maca Root, Cordyceps, Shiitake, Chaga, Ginseng, Cocoa, Cinnamon, Green Coffee, Ginger, and Green Tea.
- Starting Price: $14.99
Founder Melissa Brown decided to start Well Bean to support farmers. When she visited a coffee farm in 2021, she noticed how dedicated and hardworking they were. The turning point for her was when she had her first cup of coffee. Thus, a portion of the proceeds from Well Bean is given to New Song Mission Nicaragua, which supports local people’s physical, mental, and spiritual well-being and contributes to dental clinics, medical outreach, and other community development services.
How about farmers? Well Bean has direct trade relationships with them, meaning that they can make up to 50% more profit than having a broker. Regarding their collections, Well Bean uses Nicaraguan beans obtained directly from the Finca de San Jose in Matagalpa, Nicaragua, along with others from Sumatra, Papua New Guinea, Brazil, and Columbia. Moreover, the makers have since developed light-, medium- and dark roasts, half-blends, and anything in between at affordable prices. Well Bean also offers subscription plans that provide savings of anywhere between 5% and up to 15%.
How We Ranked Our Top Coffee Picks of 2021
Coffee has become a basic need, so choosing the top contenders of 2021 could never be as simple as randomly picking a draw or choosing right off our heads. Our editorial team had to sit down to reflect on several facets that guarantee a satisfying, tasteful, and beneficial cup of coffee. In so doing, our team arrived at a consensus regarding the following:
Company Background & Transparency
As with any product, the company background generally gives consumers a glimpse into their creations’ expectations. This doesn’t mean that the backstory suffices for rating purposes. Instead, consumers can see whether they resonate with the creators’ goals and how those might align with their individual needs. Likewise, the makers’ effort in educating consumers is fundamental when choosing a coffee brand. How else would one gather information on the region of coffee beans, the roasting processes, and lab testing, among others?
Roasting processes can easily elevate or destroy a cup of coffee. Given its health benefits, we want to be sure that a justifiable amount of processing has occurred. The roasting process involves applying heat to beans that create that fragrant coffee we are all so accustomed to. While chemical changes take place, it’s at the peak where perfection is supposedly reached. A company that takes the time to explain their processes, and consequently, the outcomes were more likely to make the cut over a company that simply listed a series of benefits. The final step reflects an entire journey, and we want to have this fundamental knowledge before purchasing a coffee of choice.
Type of Coffee Beans
There are several types of coffee beans out there, of which Arabica and Colombian coffee beans remain most purchased. Nevertheless, having a general idea of the type used naturally gives us insight into the probable acidity level of coffee, regions where they are produced (i.e., soils with minimal to maximum nutrients), caffeine levels, taste profiles, and affordability, to name a few.
Upholding freshness is tricky because coffee beans tend to lose their flavor and freshness when exposed to oxygen. Ultimately, our goal was to find companies that either waited until orders had been placed to commence the roasting processes or invested in packaging technology known to limit exposure to oxygen. For instance, air-tight packaging is perfect for coffees that have been roasted beforehand.
The best coffees stem from beans that have been grown in ideal weather and climate conditions. Top contenders may include Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia, Panama, Brazil, and the United States. Of course, there are plenty of others. We were generally open to familiarizing ourselves with different locations to produce coffee beans of decent to high quality.
When coffees have been flavored or include additional ingredients, we were careful in picking them. The reason for this rests in the mere fact that the star had to be coffee. If certain brands decided to add more to the coffee, it had to be done not to influence its quality. In cases where alternative ingredients were introduced in place of coffee itself, they had to either carry similar properties or elicit comparable results.
While a good old-fashioned cup of coffee typically suffices to tend to our taste buds and soul, it is always a great idea to be open to new flavor combinations and coffee blends. Our search led us to products that embody creativity and seldomly established flavor profiles that, in reality, could work. Aside from that, companies that have more excellent selections are likely to support consumers of different preferences, and our editorial team’s goal has always been to be as inclusive as possible.
Uniqueness is not a factor reflecting the type of coffee produced but more so involves company efforts. Does a brand promote third-party lab testing? Have they been actively giving back to the community? Was a health professional or scientist involved in the ingredients’ selection or roasting processes? Can consumers expect money-back guarantees if a particular solution does not meet set expectations? Anything that gives a company a competitive edge against others while promoting consumer wellness drew us closer to them.
Value for Price
Finally, the value for price to us indicates whether the set price makes sense. For any price point to be sensical, a combination of the factors above needs to hold. Is there any point in investing in a coffee brand that is expensive but fails to provide transparency? This is just a little food for thought, as high prices rarely imply high quality!
The Scientific Angle: Is Drinking Coffee Healthy?
What is a guide without any mention of the scientific evidence? Across all the companies introduced in our guide, at least one comment on health benefits. To what extent do they hold? Below is a summary of some proven claims made regarding coffee consumption:
According to the Mayo Clinic, past and current studies on coffee consumption depict two varying stories. Specifically, it was mentioned that essential factors such as excessive consumption, tobacco use, and other lifestyle choices were rarely accounted for in the past. But more recently, coffee has been associated with decreased mortality and may offer protection against Parkinson’s disease, type 2 diabetes, liver disease, heart attacks, and strokes . This isn’t to say that coffee is entirely reasonable, as anything in excess could drive blood pressure levels and may mildly increase cholesterol levels.
A piece by The New York Times also covered coffee consumption. For those wondering whether coffee is good for them, the answer is supposed yes, but in moderation. Moderation as per this source is anywhere between three to five cups of coffee or 400mg of caffeine. A research fellow at the National Cancer Institute, Erikka Loftfield, was referenced, saying that “the evidence is pretty consistent that coffee is associated with a lower risk of mortality.”
Interestingly, a meta-analysis of 30 studies found that “having about five cups of coffee a day, instead of none, is correlated with a 30 percent decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes.” So, where do these supposed benefits come from? The New York Times paraphrased assistant professor in human nutrition at the University of Catania, Italy, Dr. Giuseppe Grosse, who insists that “the potential benefit from coffee might be from polyphenols, which are plant compounds that have antioxidant properties .”
Furthermore, an AARP piece delved into the pros and cons of coffee. Starting with the pros, they explained that consumption might reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia, reduce the risk of suicide (by boosting mood), lower the risk of oral cancers, and reduce the risk of stroke in older women. Regarding the cons, which have been linked with excess consumption, can range anywhere between increased dependency, mental fuzziness, anxiousness, and disrupted sleep to medication interactions (i.e., thyroid medication, depression drugs, and antibiotics), increases in blood sugar and pressure, and some form of spinal bone loss to say the least .
Based on a data review from three major studies, drinking black, caffeinated coffee was more likely to reduce the risks of heart failure, reports CTV News. Matter-of-factly, this result was supposedly not witnessed among those who consumed black, decaffeinated coffee. Moreover, the news outlet explained that compared with people who do not drink coffee, those who do are likely to experience a reduced risk of heart failure by 5 to 12% for each cup of coffee consumed per day. We must re-emphasize that the result above stems from black coffee and makes no note of adding sugar or creamers .
How does Science Feel About Coffee Alternatives?
Despite the evidence surrounding coffee consumption, some people may simply prefer to avoid coffee altogether. Our search did lead to a couple of coffee alternatives that supposedly do the trick. Are they as complete as one would hope? Let’s see what existing research has to say regarding some of the ingredients:
Matcha Green Tea
Matcha green tea is perceived as conventional green tea on steroids, as it contains more significant amounts of caffeine and antioxidants. HealthLine looked at the scientific evidence surrounding matcha consumption, summarizing that its ingestion can promote healthy liver and heart health and may even promote weight loss. The team listed seven health benefits, where the remaining include its rich source of catechins, increased brain function (i.e., attention, reaction time, memory, etc.), cancer prevention (i.e., thanks to high levels of epigallocatechin-3-gallate), and ease in preparation .
Yerba mate is often consumed as tea using the leaves and stems of the yerba mate plant. According to one source, yerba mate has been linked to more incredible energy, mental focus, reduced fatigue, weight loss, antioxidant activity, and enhanced performance . Another source did note that mate contains caffeine, which, when taken in excess, may lead to sleep deprivation, nervousness, restlessness, nausea, and increased breathing as side effects. There are also several medication interactions to be mindful of, which MedlinePlus has summarized.
Chaga mushroom is one of 14,000 mushroom varieties that has been linked to reduced blood sugar levels, slowed aging processes, and supported immunity. It turns out that it also possesses anti-cancer, anti-diabetic, hypolipidemic, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and antioxidant activities. Chaga mushrooms contain a high concentration of oxalate, which needs to be kept within 100mg per day. Otherwise, the risk of kidney diseases may arise. Another possible concern is the prevention of platelet aggregation, leading to bleeding and the risk of low blood sugar .
Lion’s Mane Mushroom
Lion’s mane mushroom is a shaggy type that allegedly resembles a lion’s mane as they grow. Based on scientific evidence, this mushroom could potentially protect consumers against dementia, ease mild symptoms of depression and anxiety, speed recovery from nervous system injuries, protect against ulcers, reduce the risk of heart disease, aid with diabetes management, may fight cancer, reduce inflammation and oxidative and boost the immune system. Considering everything, individuals need to be careful, as some rare cases of breathing difficulties and skin rashes have been reported by past studies .
Sometimes referred to as Peruvian ginseng, maca root comes from a plant that grows in the Andes Mountains. It has been touted for its rich sources of amino acids, iron, calcium, and other compounds that tend to different areas of health. Studies on its uses have been limited to animal subjects, with some human studies leading to inconclusive results. Nevertheless, this root is sought to improve erectile function, promote healthy menopause, fertility, female sexuality, and increased energy, stamina, and wellness. But of course, on the topic of side effects, they may range from moodiness and cramping to stomach distress and insomnia .
Frequently Asked Questions About Coffee
Q: Is coffee good for you?
A: Yes, based on recent research, coffee can be good if consumers restrict themselves to three to five cups. The benefits of coffee also depend on how it is consumed (i.e., black, creamers, butter, etc.) coupled with one’s lifestyle choices.
Q: What is the difference between dry and wet processing?
A: Dry processing is the oldest trick in the book, where cherries are washed and spread out to dry under the sun for weeks on end or using machinery. This often leads to a particular taste, quality, and aroma of the beans. On the other hand, wet processing entails removing the outer skins by machine and exposing the pulp for bacteria and naturally occurring enzymes to consume. Then, the beans are washed, dried, and milled to remove the remaining layers .
Q: What is Jamaican Blue Mountain?
A: It symbolizes coffee excellence thanks to the island’s Blue Mountain soils. Nevertheless, coffee beans grown at high altitudes are expensive, and anything housed under this label is viewed as a reputable and mystique product .
Q: Will coffee lead to severe dehydration?
A: No, they may exhibit mild diuretic effect, but never to the point of increased risk of dehydration .
Q: Is coffee safe for pregnant women?
A: Pregnant women are typically asked to limit their intake to less than 200mg per day, which is roughly one cup of coffee. Ideally, cutting back as much as possible is recommended to avoid even minor effects on the baby .
Q: What’s the best way to preserve the quality and freshness of coffee?
A: As mentioned earlier in this guide, the best way to preserve the quality and freshness of coffee is by storing it in air-tight packaging or containers. One source insists that opaque containers are superior to clear containers simply because the latter introduces the effects of light, which might compromise taste. Likewise, storing beans in a dark, cool place might be optimal .
Q: How long should a bag of coffee be kept for?
A: An unopened bag of ground coffee may last anywhere between 2 and 4 months, but once opened, it should be consumed within seven days if stored in the same packaging. Once again, it might be beneficial to transfer ground coffee into an air-tight container .
Q: How much caffeine do caffeinated and decaffeinated coffees have?
A: Decaffeinated coffee contains 97% less caffeine than a typical cup of coffee .
Q: How much ground coffee suffices for a cup of coffee?
A: One and a half to two tablespoons of coffee grounds suffice to make one cup of coffee .
Q: What are the best tools for brewing coffee?
A: Individuals interested in investing in tools for brewing coffee may want to consider manual brew systems such as a handheld espresso maker, Aeropress, French press, manual or machine pour-over coffee makers, or vacuum/siphon pots .
Q: What is the difference between light-, medium-, and dark roast coffees?
A: Light roast coffees are characterized by their light brown color, lack of oil, and light body. Since the roasting process is shorter for light roasts, they retain more caffeine than green coffee beans. Medium roasts are brown and have a slightly thicker body than light roasts. Regarding flavor, medium roasts supposedly achieve balance with a medium amount of caffeine. Finally, we have a dark roast, which reflects a dark brown or blackened color, with a rich oily surface and a bold and smoky taste .
Q: How are coffee beans classified?
A: Coffee beans aren’t beans. They grow in shrubs and trees as seeds that eventually flourish into red fruits (i.e., coffee cherries).
Q: How many whole beans need grounding for a perfect cup of coffee?
A: For a six-ounce cup of coffee (slightly under one cup), roughly 10.6 grams of whole coffee beans are required .
Q: What is the difference between coffee beans and peaberry?
A: Coffee beans are roasted and processed, whereas peaberry coffee cherries are those whose seeds fail to grow, and a singular round seed is formed instead. That said, peaberries may have more caffeine and a sweeter taste when compared with other coffee beans .
Q: Why is fair trade coffee celebrated?
A: Fair trade coffee ensures that farmers get their fair share for their beans and an additional premium to invest in improving their living standards .
Q: How many calories are in a cup of coffee?
A: A cup of black coffee contains zero calories. Calories start to add up depending on the additions (i.e., butter, sugar, chocolate syrup, creamer, milk, etc.).
Q: Where does coffee come from?
A: Some of the world’s most famous coffees grow within the Bean Belt, referred to as the area around the equator, specifically between the Tropics of Capricorn and Cancer. These regions include but aren’t limited to Ethiopia, Kenya, Colombia, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Honduras, Indonesia, Panama, Brazil, the Middle East, and the United States .
Q: How long will the effects of coffee last?
A: Coffee begins to affect the body within 30 to 60 minutes, while its effects may be eliminated within three to five hours since activation .
Q: Can coffee increase feelings of exhaustion?
A: Yes, one source referenced an expert who explained that caffeine might aggravate adrenal exhaustion and lower blood sugar levels. This is turn, might heighten feelings of anxiousness while worsening symptoms of fatigue .
Q: What is the difference between filters and instant coffees?
A: Filter coffee is deemed more authentic in taste experience compared to instant coffee. The reason for this rests in the mere fact that coffee ground size can be altered in filter coffees, whereas in instant coffees, they are highly grounded .
Q: What is the best temperature to brew coffee?
A: The best temperature to brew coffee is when the water temperature is between 95 and 98 degrees Celsius. Anything in excess can increase acidity, while anything lower than the listed threshold will refrain from absorbing coffee beans’ essential oils .
Q: What are some great uses of coffee?
A: Coffee can be used to make espressos, cappuccinos, frappes, and other similar beverages. Furthermore, it has become an everyday staple for desserts such as cakes, cupcakes, cookies, chocolate bars, and ice-creams.
Q: How do I choose which coffee to buy?
A: Our ranking system is a great way to decipher good coffee brands from the poor. Individuals can also alter this system to include their preferences. The stricter the system, the easier it becomes to eliminate choices that do not align with one’s needs
Q: Should I buy whole bean or ground coffee?
A: Whole beans are typically preferred for flavor and freshness, whereas ground coffee is convenient. Of course, when ground coffee is stored correctly, they too can elicit a tasteful cup of coffee.
Top 27 Coffee Products of 2021 Final Verdict
Based on what our editorial team was able to muster, it is clear that drinking coffee has its perks when consumed in moderation. Likewise, many existing coffee alternatives appear to tend to different areas of health, which largely stems from shared properties. Of course, too much of anything good can be harmful to one’s health – to the point where unwanted interactions, side effects, and illnesses may arise. Therefore, we strongly encourage everyone to do their due diligence (primarily with current health conditions in mind) before placing an order.
A significant first step would be to either resort to our ranking system or develop one that maintains one’s individual needs. By comparing and contrasting, individuals will soon realize how minute features make the biggest of differences. Actually, among all the guides we’ve developed, this one required a lot of thinking because the processes involved just to get the right color, taste, aroma, and health benefits are extensive. It’s not as simple as walking into a grocery store and picking the first product that catches your attention. The more processed the beans, the less likely crucial antioxidants, and other related properties are preserved. In other words, the supposed benefits will diminish with time.
Another more obvious recommendation would be to speak to a health professional. No one knows one’s health inside and out like a physician, and if anyone is diagnosed with a health condition or requires medications, a discussion on the implications of coffee or coffee alternatives needs to occur! Ultimately, educating oneself is key to optimal wellness, and we hope that our guide on the top coffee picks of 2021 got everyone re-evaluating their own choices and lifestyle habits! Until we update our selections again, everyone should refer to the listed products and see which coffee brand is likely to provide warmth!
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Please understand that any advice or guidelines revealed here are not even remotely a substitute for sound medical advice from a licensed healthcare provider. Make sure to consult with a professional physician before making any purchasing decision if you use medications or have concerns following the review details shared above. Individual results may vary as the statements made regarding these products have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. The efficacy of these products has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.