In our minds, nobody beats the Italians when it comes to culinary expertise, yep, we said it, not even the french. There is something about the homely family-vibe of Italian cuisine, and it translates to their coffee too.

The term “Italian roast” means a roast based on Italian beans, that generally has a darker and more full body, most notably the espresso, but there are a ton of different options to brew an Italian roast, and if you’re keen on a rich and dark coffee, you should look no further than Italian beans.

We have personally browsed and sampled through a variety of different Italian roasts, and compared them on how well they represented the unique Italian coffee experience, and we even added a pros and cons list to make life easier for you.

The 5 best italian coffee beans

Number 1: illy Classico Whole Bean Coffee

This blend doesn’t pack in too many complex flavors but it stands reliably strong with satisfying and classic coffee flavors. Expect big tasting notes of chocolate and a little bit of smokiness. Plus, unlike many other coffee brands, illy uses 100% high-quality Arabica beans. The biggest drawback to this delicious coffee? It’s as expensive as it tastes.

The world renowned Italian coffee company illy takes our top spot, with their Classico Whole Bean Coffee. This company has a long rich history, with roots going back to early Italian coffee history, and their quality remains practically unequaled.

You won’t find a wide variety of complex flavours with this particular brand, instead you will have a reliable classical coffee taste with every brew. In addition to a heavy chocolaty taste, there is a smoky hint in the aroma of this coffee, and the quality is certainly due to the fact that illy uses 100% high-quality Arabica beans. The only minor drawback to this coffee is that it’s a bit pricey, but come on, can you REALLY put a price on delicious rich Italian coffee? Well, you can, and this one is unfortunately in the high end.

One of the reasons for the fairly high price, as well as the thing that really brought illy to the top for us, is the fact that they handle all their business through Direct Trade. This is similar to the Fair Trade concept, and basically means that these beans come from direct trading with coffee farmers across the globe. So a huge thumbs up to illy for helping to bring about a more fair and sustainable coffee industry. Quite the homely, family oriented Italian move wouldn’t you say?


  • High Quality Arabica Beans
  • Direct Trade coffee beans
  • A rich dark taste


  • Not particularly complex taste
  • Quite pricey