The 8 Best Coffees of 2023, According to a Dietitian

Natural Force Clean Coffee is our expert's top pick

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best coffees

Verywell Fit / Crea Taylor

Coffee is a popular part of morning rituals, social gatherings, and afternoon pick-me-ups—but how does it stack up from a health and nutrition perspective? Coffee is a source of caffeine, which acts as a natural stimulant to increase alertness and energy levels. The best coffees are made from high-quality ingredients and come in a form that is easy to make in your kitchen.

Reviewed & Approved

Natural Force Clean Coffee is our top pick because it's free of harmful contaminants and has a smooth flavor. If you're looking for a high-quality ground coffee, we recommend Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mtn. Ground Organic Coffee.

According to Eliza Savage, MS, RD, CDN, "Coffee is a delicious and well-loved beverage that many people use to start their day. While coffee can give you an energy boost, it can also be incredibly dehydrating. Be sure to drink a cup of water or two before your coffee to counteract the dehydrating effects."

Another important factor to consider when enjoying coffee is its nutritional value; if you prefer to drink lattes and sweeter drinks, the milk and sweeteners you add will increase the calories, added sugars, and fats. We researched a variety of coffees, considering certifications, type, nutritional value, and price.

Here, the best coffees according to a dietitian.

Best Overall

Natural Force Clean Coffee

4.8
Natural Force Clean Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Third-party lab tested

  • Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified

  • Low acidic profile - gentle on stomach

  • High altitude and shade grown

Cons
  • May be inconvenient to grind beans

  • More expensive

Natural Force Clean Coffee is our top pick because it's made with high-quality ingredients and is free of harmful contaminants. USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified, their coffee beans are third-party lab tested and independently analyzed for the presence of mold, mycotoxins (ochratoxin A, aflatoxin), acrylamide, heavy metals, other contaminants and gluten. It's also vegan, and paleo- and keto-friendly.

This coffee has a smooth taste and low acidic profile, which makes it ideal for those with sensitive stomachs. Each bag contains 12 ounces of whole beans. The packaging is nitrogen-flushed to remove air and keep the beans fresh. Since they are whole beans, you will need a grinder to grind the beans. Once they are ground, you can add 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee per 8 ounces of water. Reviewers note that while it is expensive, the quality makes it well worth the price.

Price at time of publication: $25

Quantity: 12 oz | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: yes

Best Ground

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mtn. Ground Organic Coffee

Stumptown Coffee Roasters Holler Mtn. Ground Organic Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Organic

  • Direct trade

  • Committed to sustainabiltiy

Cons
  • Some loss of aroma with pre-ground coffee

Stumptown is a small, boutique coffee roaster that practices transparent, direct trade sourcing of their coffee beans. Their coffee varieties highlight the regional seasonality of coffee harvesting, yielding delicately balanced flavor profiles. 

Holler Mountain is a medium roast with notes of creamy caramel and bursts citrus and berries. The flavors listed on their products are the natural flavors of the bean variety and not from added ingredients. Each bag contains 12-ounces of ground beans, making this a more convenient option.

Price at time of publication: $15

Quantity: 12 oz | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: no

Best Whole Bean

Blue Bottle Coffee Home Blend Bright Organic Whole-Bean Coffee

Blue Bottle Coffee Home Blend Bright Organic Whole-Bean Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • All members of sourcing team are certified Q-graders (highly skilled in sensory evaluation of coffee)

  • Organic

Cons
  • More difficult to find in store

  • May be inconvenient to grind beans

If you’re looking for optimal flavor and freshness, purchase whole beans and grind them right before brewing. USDA organic, Blue Bottle Coffee Home Blend Bright Whole-Bean Coffee is sustainably sourced from Uganda and Ethiopia and is lightly roasted, retaining the fruity flavor of the beans. 

This variety has bright, invigorating notes of blueberry, golden raisin, and lemon zest, making it the perfect addition to your morning. Each bag contains 12 ounces of whole roasted beans.

Price at time of publication: $20

Quantity: 12 oz | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: no

Best Instant

Joe Coffee The Daily Specialty Instant Coffee

Joe Coffee Specialty Instant Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Convenient, individual sachets

  • Rainforest Alliance Certified

Cons
  • More expensive

No coffee maker? No problem. Joe Coffee Speciality Instant Coffee Packets offer a quality cup of coffee just by adding water. The coffee beans are roasted, grounded, brewed, and then dehydrated in small batches with natural bean flavors of chocolate, caramel, and marzipan. 

Each box contains six individual sachets of instant coffee that can be used to make either hot or cold coffee. Simply mix one packet with eight to ten ounces of hot or cold water.

Price at time of publication: $20

Quantity: 6 packets of 5 grams each | Organic: no | Rainforest Alliance Certified: yes

Best Cold-Brew

RISE Brewing Co. Original Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

RISE Brewing Co. Original Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Organic and non-GMO

  • Brewed with nitrogen to enhance flavor, texture and freshness

  • No added sugar or dairy

Cons
  • More difficult to find in store

Many canned and bottled coffee drinks contain added calories and sugar from milk and flavorings. Try RISE Brewing Co., Original Black Nitro Cold Brew Coffee for a fresh sip with no sugar and no dairy. Nitro coffee is infused with nitrogen gas and served from a tap, giving it a frothy texture, less acidity, and natural sweetness.

Made with just organic coffee sourced from Peru and purified water, each seven fluid-ounce can contains 0 calories and 0 grams of sugar and contains 180 mg of caffeine. If you prefer some flavor and sugar, the company also offers an assortment of flavors with minimal added ingredients.

Price at time of publication: $35

Quantity: 12 cans of 7 fl oz each | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: no

Best Espresso

Allegro Coffee Organic Espresso Sierra Ground Coffee

Allegro Coffee Organic Espresso Sierra Ground Coffee

Courtesy of Amazon

Pros
  • Organic, non-GMO and Rainforest Alliance Certified

  • Budget friendly for a quality product

Cons
  • Dark-roast flavor may not be suitable for all

Espresso is a brewing method that uses high pressure and high heat to extract a concentrated coffee. USDA Organic and Rainforest Alliance Certified, Allegro Coffee Organic Espresso Sierra Ground Coffee is a medium-dark roast coffee with flavors of dark chocolate and caramel sourced from Indonesia and Latin America. 

Each bag contains 12 ounces of ground espresso beans that can be used in an espresso maker or a drip coffee. You can sip espresso as a shot or enjoy it with foamed milk for a cappuccino or latte. Prefer your coffee cold? Pour a shot of espresso over ice and add your favorite cold milk.

Price at time of publication: $12

Quantity: 12 oz | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: yes

Best Decaf

Kicking Horse Decaf Dark Roast Coffee

Kicking Horse Coffee, Decaf, Swiss Water Process, Dark Roast, Whole Bean

Amazon

Pros
  • Organic and Fairtrade Certified

  • Decaf option may be more suitable for those sensitive to caffeine

  • No chemical solvents used to extract caffeine (Swiss Water Process)

Cons
  • More expensive

  • May be inconvenient to grind beans

When it comes to purchasing decaf coffee, look for brands that use the Swiss Water Process, like Kicking Horse Decaf Coffee. The Swiss Water method uses water and carbon filtration, while other common decaf processes use chemical solvents to extract the caffeine from coffee beans. 

Kicking Horse Coffee is a Canadian company that is organic and Fairtrade Certified. Their decaf blend is sourced from Central and South America and has flavor notes of roasted hazelnut and chocolate. The coffee comes as whole beans and can be used in a variety of brewing methods including, French press, drip machine, pour-over, espresso, and cold brew.

Price at time of publication: $12

Quantity: 10 oz | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: no

Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated?

A typical cup of brewed coffee (8 ounces) will have approximately 96 mg of caffeine or more. The decaffeinated, or decaf, version will still have some caffeine—approximately 2.4 mg per 8 ounces. If you're looking for an in between, instant coffees typically have less caffeine than regular coffee—approximately 62 mg per 8 ounces. On the other hand, an espresso shot (1 ounce) will have the most caffeine—approximately 64 mg of caffeine.

Best K-cup Pods

Fabula Coffee Medium Roast Kcup Pods

Fabula Coffee Medium Roast K-cup

amazon

Pros
  • Fully compostable, paper K-cups

  • Holds more coffee than the standard K-cup (12 g vs. 8-11 g)

  • Organic and non-GMO

Cons
  • More difficult to find in store

Using a coffee machine poses a convenience factor, but the typical pods are made of plastic. This can be harmful to the environment, especially when not recycled properly. Fabula Coffee has created a fully compostable, paper K-cup to help combat this issue. These pods are then also individually packed in environmentally friendly pouches, to ensure a fresh cup of coffee every time.

The company doesn't skimp on quality either, using single origin beans from Peru, that are also organic and non-GMO. The beans are shade-grown at high altitudes, making this a low acid coffee that is easier on the stomach. The K-cups come in light, medium, dark and decaf roasts.

Price at time of publication: $40 for 24 K-cup pods

Quantity: 24 K-cup pods | Organic: yes | Rainforest Alliance Certified: no

How We Selected

When choosing the best coffee, we looked at a variety of products with that are organic, Rain Forest Alliance certified and Fairtrade. In addition, we chose products from brands committed to quality and sustainability. Taste, price, and convenience were also considered when choosing the best coffee.

What to Look for in Coffee

Quality:

Look for brands that practice transparent and ethical sourcing with certifications like Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance Certified. Choose USDA organic or high-quality brands to reduce potential exposure to mold and mycotoxins.

Type:

Choose a product that works with the equipment you have in your kitchen. Coffee varieties like French press, drip, and espresso require specialized equipment to brew. No coffee machine? Try an instant coffee or bottled nitro brew with no added sugars. 

Nutritional Content:

Many bottled and prepared coffee drinks have added calories, sugar, and saturated fats from flavored syrups and high-fat milk products. If you add milk to your coffee and want to enjoy a latte or cappuccino with fewer calories, use skim milk or an unsweetened milk alternative like almond or coconut.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is French press coffee? Is it better for you?

    French press coffee is made by steeping coarse coffee grounds in hot water and then pressing a mesh strainer down to release the coffee. Because this is an unfiltered method, the natural oils found on coffee beans, called diterpenes, are transferred into the coffee. While this can enhance the flavor, high-amounts (five to eight cups) of unfiltered coffee have been shown to raise LDL, “bad,” cholesterol levels. If you choose to consume French press coffee, stick to four cups or less a day. If you have or are predisposed to high cholesterol, choose a filtered coffee option like drip coffee instead. 

  • Is flavored coffee healthy?

    Flavored coffee comes from coffee beans that have flavors added during processing. While some companies use natural flavors to coat their beans, many spray their beans with artificial flavorings and oils. In general, it’s best to enjoy the natural flavor varieties of coffee beans and skip those with chemically processed, added flavors. Depending on the region, type of bean, and level of roasting, coffee beans can yield a diverse range of natural flavors to suit your palate. 

  • Is decaf coffee okay for you to consume?

    Decaf coffee is a good alternative to regular coffee if you are looking to limit your caffeine intake. There are two main types of processes used to decaffeinate coffee: solvent-based (direct solvent and indirect solvent) and non-solvent-based (Swiss Water Process and CO2 Process). Both direct and indirect solvents use chemical solvents, including ethyl acetate or methylene chloride, to remove the caffeine from coffee beans. When purchasing decaf coffee, look for a brand that uses the Swiss Water Process, as it is a carbon filtration process that does not use chemicals and retains a high-quality flavor.

Why Trust Verywell Fit?

As a Registered Dietitian, Anne Carroll uses her clinical expertise to cut through marketing claims and get down to the science. These are all products that she has researched, vetted, and would recommend to her clients in private practice and incorporate into her own diet.

2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Harvard Health Publishing. Pressed coffee is going mainstream—but should you drink it?

  2. Britannica. How is coffee decaffeinated?