A fantastic espresso can offer a huge variety of flavors, from sweet and fruity through to nutty and rich. And, for some, the ultimate cup offers a very special note indeed—the distinct presence of chocolate notes, even though there is nothing but coffee in the cup.
Do you sometimes find yourself thinking of coffee and chocolate synonymously? It’s not surprising, as these flavors often go hand-in-hand. People delight in tiramisu, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and mocha or chocolate-topped cappuccino. Plus, both coffee and chocolate cater to our quest for caffeine.
But if you are yet to taste coffee that has a natural chocolate note to it, then you’re in for a treat.
Read on as we explore the coffees that possess this interesting flavor and explain how to get your hands on some chocolatey coffee beans to try at home.
Why Do Some Kinds of Coffee Have Chocolate Notes?
The fact that different types of coffee beans offer such a broad array of flavors is fantastic for the coffee-drinking experience. For some people, it provides the opportunity to find that uniquely special bean and approach to roasting that suits their palate to a tee. Meanwhile, others enjoy sampling a constant rotation of different coffee styles.
So, what defines the best coffee beans with chocolate notes, and do they all have something in common? Well, three factors influence this particular presence of flavor.
The first is the type of bean, the second is where it was grown, and the last is how it is roasted.
Which Types of Coffee Beans Have Chocolate Notes?
If a delicate hint of raw cocoa is what you desire, look for Arabica coffee beans.
Though they contain less caffeine than Robusta coffee beans, Arabica coffee beans offer much more in terms of flavor.
In this bean, you will discover caramel and chocolate notes, plus a smoother, sweeter taste overall.
So if you want a hint of chocolate in your coffee, keep a keen eye out for Arabica in your go-to single-bean and blend selections.
Where Is Coffee With Chocolate Notes Grown?
The soil where the coffee plant is grown can have a surprising impact on the flavors that emerge within the bean. Fascinatingly, it is thought to be high potassium levels in the soil that encourage a chocolate note to emerge in coffee beans.
While there can be no guarantees, some believe that East African coffees tend to be more on the fruity and sour end, while coffees from countries such as Vietnam, Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, and Guatemala offer a more chocolatey taste.
These locations are an excellent place to start, but exploring the descriptions of coffees and speaking to your local roaster can also reveal new beans to try.
How Does Roasting Impact Chocolate Notes?
As coffee is roasted, a process known as the Maillard reaction causes amino acids and reducing sugars to create rich flavors such as caramel, chocolate, and nut within the coffee beans.
The longer the beans are roasted, the more these flavors will emerge.
As you may well have already spotted, roasted coffee beans can be purchased either as a light roast, a medium roast, or a dark roast.
Light roasts tend to be fruitier, medium roasts nuttier, and darker roasts more like burned caramel.
Chocolate notes usually begin to appear once the roast enters the medium to dark range.
However, keep in mind that some find a very dark roast overpowering as it can be more on the bitter side.
Shopping For the Best Coffee Beans With Chocolate Notes
If you’re about to rush out to buy coffee with chocolate notes, you should be aware that it won’t taste like hot chocolate or your favorite candy bar!
The chocolate flavor in coffee is subtle and nuanced, more akin to a raw chocolate rather than a processed one. It finds its home within rich and smooth coffees that should be carefully explored and savored.
If you want a really dominant chocolate hit then an artificially chocolate-flavored coffee or a great cup of mocha might suit you better.
Starbucks Pike Place Roast – a medium roast that sings of cocoa
In terms of which of the best coffee beans with chocolate notes might be available at your local store, some great options include Starbucks’ ever-popular Pike Place Whole Bean, a medium roast that certainly sings of cocoa.
Another tasty medium roast to try is the Classico Whole Bean Coffee from Illy.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a dark roast with a distinct dark chocolate flavor, consider Lavazza Intenso. True, it’s a ground coffee blend, but when it comes to hitting your chocolate-sensing tastebuds, you won’t be disappointed.
Finally, if you’d like a whole-bean option that packs a whole lot of caffeine, consider Double Dead from Raven’s Brew Coffee. That one will truly knock your socks off!
FAQ – Best Coffee Beans With Chocolate Notes
There are some great options which include Starbucks’ ever-popular Pike Place Whole Bean, a medium roast that certainly sings of cocoa. Another tasty medium roast to try is the Classico Whole Bean Coffee from Illy.
Alternatively, if you’d prefer a dark roast with a distinct dark chocolate flavor, consider Lavazza Intenso.
Certainly, the Mocha coffee does just this. You can even make a Mocha on coffee beans with chocolate flavor to make that flavor even more intense.
They’re safe to eat, but obviously you shouldn’t be abusing the fact that this is the case. They’re rich on antioxidants and caffeine but also suger and fat. Don’t overdo it!
Hey there! I’m Austin and I love coffee. In fact, I drink about 5 americanos a day. I started BrewingCoffees because I wanted to share my love of coffee with the world. Before starting BrewingCoffees, I worked as a Barista for 7 years.