Last Updated on July 8, 2023 by brewthatcoffee
Costco is our go-to for buying products in bulk to get the best price possible. You’ve probably not considered buying your coffee from Costco, but if you want to save and still get excellent coffee, there are a few things to know.
Buying your coffee in bulk means you’ll need to know exactly what type of coffee you require, as getting several pounds of beans at a time can be an expensive commitment. Our taste-tested guide to the best coffee from Costco will help you choose the right one.
The best coffees from Costco are:
1. Mayorga Organics Café Cubano – Best overall
2. Mayorga Beunos Dias – Best light roast
3. Ruta Maya Organic Whole Bean Coffee – Best medium roast
4. San Francisco French Roast Whole Bean Coffee – Best dark roast
5. Kirkland Signature Dark Roast – Best preground
6. And more …
Factors To Consider When Buying Coffee From Costco
Coffee types are varied; what suits one person will be too dark and bitter for another, while certain drinks require different beans.
Filter coffee and cold brews usually need a sweeter, milder roast, while if you live off espressos and macchiatos, you’ll want darker, stronger espresso beans.
Suppose you drink a lot of coffee and don’t want the hassle of grinding your beans. In that case, you may prefer to buy your coffee preground, but remember that ground coffee loses flavor and nuance in taste faster, as quickly as twenty minutes after grinding.
It’s often better to buy the beans instead and grind only what you need at a time to ensure maximum taste and quality. Buying beans in bulk also allows you to control the grind size, which gives you more options in the kinds of drinks you make.
Grind size is important as you must adjust this for the various coffees. For example, if you’re making espresso-based drinks, you’ll need a fine grind for the intense flavor, while making coffee in a percolator requires a coarse grind.
For most of our tests, we bought Costco beans whole and ground them ourselves using a manual coffee grinder with a ceramic burr. This allows us to make only as much as we need and avoids spoilage.
Our 10 Favorite Costco Coffees, By Category
When deciding what beans to buy, consider your preferences in taste and what kind of coffee you prefer to drink most often. Here’s a look at our favorites by category:
Best Overall: Mayorga Organics Café Cubano
If you’re looking to buy only one type of coffee bean, then our overall standout is the Mayorga Organics Café Cubano. This is a rich dark roast, but its deep, syrupy flavor makes this a perfect all-rounder. It’s best for espressos, but a coarse grind will give you full-bodied and robust filter coffee.
The slow-roasting process Mayorga uses ensures a specialty-grade 100% Arabica coffee with a deliciously smooth finish and deep, bold flavor.
Other key points in Mayorga Organics Café Cubano are that it’s a shade-grown Fair Trade organic coffee and it’s 100% Kosher.
Size: 2lb (2 pack)
Available in Whole Beans
Roast: Dark Roast
Origin: Central America
Notes: Dark, bold, sweet
Best Light Roast: Mayorga Beunos Dias
Light roasts are excellent options for your first few coffees of the morning. A good light roast has a bright, crisp flavor profile while full of rich coffee notes and packing a caffeine punch.
A Light roast bean retains a smooth flavor and is roasted until the ‘first crack,’ the beans have little or no oil on their surface.
The more a bean is roasted, the darker it becomes, and the more the bean’s original flavor and caffeine content are roasted out. So for a coffee with a more intense caffeine kick first thing in the morning, you’ll want to choose a light roast.
For these, the Mayorga Beunos Dias Light Roast hits the spot with a bright profile against the sweet coffee richness expected from the Mayorga brand. As with all Mayorga coffees, you can expect 100% Arabica coffee, slow-roasted in the traditional Latin style.
Size: 2lb(2 pack)
Available in Whole Beans
Roast: Light roast
Origin: Central America
Notes: Light, smooth, citrus, passion fruit
Best Medium Roast: Ruta Maya Organic Whole Bean
If you’re looking for the ultimate medium roast that works great for making drip coffee and French Press, look no further than Ruta Maya Organic Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee.
This shade-grown coffee has a rich, sweet, and creamy tone and can be used for percolated French Press and espresso. These beans are the darker side of medium roast and provide a rich cup of velvety coffee without being too dark and overpowering.
As this coffee is available only in a 5lb bag, it’s best for those who consume a lot of coffee, as otherwise, you run the risk of the beans going stale and having less flavor.
This coffee is organic and shade-grown, making it an environmentally superior coffee, which doesn’t add to deforestation and is not sprayed with pesticides. Shade-grown coffee also has the advantage of tasting less bitter.
Available in Whole Beans
Roast: Medium to Dark-Medium
Origin: Chipas, Mexcio
Notes: Chocolate, mild acidity, smokey, bold.
Best Dark Roast: San Francisco French Roast Whole Bean
San Francisco French Roast Whole Bean Coffee provides a quality aromatic dark roast coffee perfect for making slow drip coffee with a smooth smokey French Roast profile and also makes excellent espresso with an intense smokey taste without line=gering bitterness.
If you prefer making your coffee in a French Press, the SF Dark Roast will give you a silky smooth coffee with a good body and a thicker mouthfeel.
This is where these beans excel, and if you’re looking for a bold but creamy French press coffee, this dark roast is perfect.
SF Dark Roast is 100% Kosher and is packaged immediately after roasting to maintain optimal freshness.
Size: 3lb(2 pack)
Available in Whole Beans
Roast: Dark Roast
Origin: Latin America
Notes: Smokey, bold, intense, creamy
Best Preground: Kirkland Signature Dark Roast
If you prefer your coffee preground, Costco has you covered. Our favorite and best value-for-money of their selection is, without doubt, their propriety Kirkland Signature Dark Roast.
This coffee is a fine-ground suitable for Mika pots and espresso machines, though you can also use it for drip.
The Kirkland Signature Dark Roast is a smooth dark roast, low in acidity and on the sweeter side. The coffee is 100% Columbian beans but has a slightly unexpected flavor profile compared to more classic Columbian coffees.
Besides the reasonable price, what works well is that the Kirkland Dark Roast is remarkably versatile, and longer and shorter brewing times will result in brews of varying intensity. Even then, this dark roast keeps its smooth, rich flavor and has little acidic aftertaste.
It’s also available in a decaffeinated version.
Size: 3lb Can
Available in Ground
Roast: Dark Roast
Notes: Fruity, Sweet, Rich
Best Whole Bean: Mayan Blend
The Mayorga Organics range is a good bet when choosing excellent coffee. The Mayan Blend is the top choice for a Medium Roast on the lighter side, perfect for a morning cappuccino.
This craft-roasted coffee is rich and smooth, with a velvety chocolate finish perfect for pour-over coffee makers. The longer brewing process brings out the best of the complex notes in this coffee, resulting in a delicious, satisfying coffee.
Because the Mayorga Organic Mayan Blend is on the lighter side of a Medium Roast, this coffee will give you plenty of caffeine for that pick-me-up moment.
As with all Mayorga coffees, this 100% Arabica three-bean blend is certified organic, shade grown, and sustainably sourced.
Size: 2lb (2 packs)
Available in Whole Bean
Roast: Medium Roast (Light Medium)
Origin: Honduras, Guatemala, Mexico
Notes: Smooth, Chocolate, Sweet, Rich
Best Budget: Kirkland Signature House Blend
The best all-rounder coffee on a budget is the CostCo propriety coffee, Kirkland Signature House Blend.
This is a whole bean Medium Roast coffee that has been custom-roasted for CostCo by Starbucks. Contrary to the description, this is a fairly dark roast with a decent body and flavor.
The House Blend has a light mouthfeel, almost silky, rather than the heavy velvet of some other coffees. For the price, this is a high-quality bean with a little hint of oiliness. Instead, it has a bold, smooth flavor with little acidity.
For a deeper, more intense flavor, try a fine grind rather than a coarse grind to allow the water more time to brew through the coffee.
If you’re a fan of Starbucks coffee, then I highly recommend going with the Kirkland House Blend for your daily coffee.
Size: 2.5lb bag
Available in Whole Bean
Roast: Medium Roast (Dark-Medium)
Origin: Unknown, Arabica beans
Notes: Almond, Chocolate, Citrus, Balanced, Earthy, Sweet
Best Premium: San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend
The San Francisco Bay Organic Rainforest Blend is a premium Medium/Dark Roast coffee blend that offers a smooth, spice, and chocolate flavor profile that will suit lovers of French Roast coffees.
This organically grown blend provides a complex mix of full-bodied flavors, offering smokey warming notes with hints of floral, spice, and bitter chocolate, settling into a balanced, rich drink.
The Organic Rainforest blend is also a good all-rounder, making smooth drip coffee with bright, citrusy notes, and rich espressos. Using the French press reveals creamy, intense flavors.
While this brand is pricier than some, it still offers an excellent Medium Dark Roast at a very good price. There is also a ground option available.
Size: 3lb(2 packs)
Available in Whole Bean and Ground
Roast: Medium/Dark Roast
Origin: Unknown, Arabica Beans
Notes: Clove, Dark Chocolate, Sweet, Berry
Best Decaf: Dark Roast Ruta Maya Decaf
Decaffeinated coffee can sometimes end up with coffee stripped of the flavor and boldness you require. Not so with Ruta Maya Defffeinated Coffee, which uses a method known as the Swiss Water Process to extract the caffeine from the coffee beans.
This process does not rely on heat to remove the caffeine from the beans; green coffee is soaked in a propriety extract. This solution includes all the compounds you find in coffee beans without caffeine.
The soaked beans swell, and the solution is heated to allow the caffeine to move from the beans to the fluid. The decaffeination process does shorten the shelf-life of coffee, so be aware of this when buying in bulk.
The Dark Roast Ruta Maya Decaf comes from beans grown in the Mexican highlands of Chiapas and are organic and shade-grown to improve flavor and avoid deforestation. This coffee has a smooth, velvety-rich taste with very little bitterness, often associated with Dark Roasts.
This bean has a smokey chocolate tone and is so full of flavor for a decaf that you’ll likely never go back to old brands. You won’t mind drinking decaffeinated coffee that tastes as rich and bold as this. It’s especially good for espressos.
Size: 2.2lb (2 pack)
Available in Whole
Roast: Dark Roast
Origin: Chiapas, Mexico
Notes: Smooth, Rich, Chocolate, Mild Acidity
Best Instant: Nescafe Taster’s Choice House Blend
While we love our whole-bean coffee, sometimes you just want that caffeine hit without worrying about the time to prepare and make a coffee, plus all the cleanup after. Instant is especially useful to have on hand for camping trips.
While instant will never fully match up to the complex taste of a properly roasted and ground bean, freshly made, there are still a few decent options.
Costco only has a limited selection of instant coffee, and one of the best they offer is Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant Coffee House Blend. This freeze-dried coffee is made from light-roasted Arabica and Robusta beans and has a smooth flavor.
With Nescafe House Blend, the freeze-drying method of preserving the ground coffee means you get extra flavor compared to other coffee powders. Expect a rich aroma and a well-rounded, smooth taste.
There is little bitterness, and it holds up surprisingly well against filtered coffee from chain stores.
Do not use boiling water to get the best results from an instant coffee. Let the water cool a little before adding it to the coffee, and use filtered water if you can.
Available in Instant
Roast: Light Roast
Notes: Smooth, Mild
How To Choose Ground Coffee
Buying whole beans lets you decide on grind settings and keeps coffee fresher. Once the coffee is ground, it will begin to lose freshness and flavor, so don’t buy too much at once unless you drink a lot of coffee.
However, you can get the best from your ground coffee by considering the following before buying. Following date guidelines should ensure that your coffee is fresh and flavorful. Choosing the right roast and grind will make coffee to suit your preferred tastes.
Whole beans will last much longer than ground, but an unopened pack of ground coffee can last about five months if stored in a cupboard.
Once you open the bag, the oxidation process begins, eventually making coffee stale. Keeping this coffee in a sealed, airtight container can retain some freshness for around 3-4 months.
Ensure your coffee stays dry and cool. The coffee will still be drinkable after this time but may lose some potency and depth of flavor.
With this in mind, it’s always best to check the packaging date when buying your coffee. If you buy more than you need, keep the unopened bags in the freezer, allowing you to use them up to a year past the best-by date.
I use sticky labels to mark the day I opened my container, as this lets me know when the coffee is past its best. If the coffee is heading closer to the three-month mark, I usually brew my coffee a little longer to get a more robust taste.
The kind of roast you choose is important as some roasts work better in espressos, others in milky coffees or drip coffees.
The roast also determines the kind of flavor notes, the acidity, and the caffeine content. Green beans are unroasted and not particularly tasty. The roasting process develops the different aromas and flavor notes; the longer you roast the bean, the more these intensify.
Roasting caramelizes the bean, and you’ll often experience bitter chocolate notes in darker roasts and fruitier, greener notes in light roasts.
Light roasts will be closer to the natural flavors of the coffee bean and can provide a complex balance of various flavors. They will usually be more acidic, higher in caffeine, and have lower levels of bitterness.
Light roasts are a good choice if you enjoy French Press and pour-over coffees, as the longer brewing time gives the bright, floral, and fruity notes time to develop.
A medium roast is a good compromise if you’re looking for an all-rounder coffee with some brightness of a light roast but with more robust, toasted notes. You can use this for drip and filter coffee, Moka Pots, and espressos.
Most of us are used to buying dark roasts as it’s often the default for preground coffee. This is because lower-quality inferior beans are dark roasted to improve the flavor.
Dark roasts are best for espressos and in milky drinks and are great for those who like intense, bold flavors with notes of chocolate, nut, and smoky bitterness. They also have a thicker mouthfeel than lighter roasts.
Choosing the right grind size is important, as it affects what type of coffee the grounds will be best for. The general rule is that coarser grinds are better for French Press and Cold Brew, while fine grounds are used in Moka pots.
If you like making machine drip or espresso machine coffees, choose a medium grind. If you want more control over grind size, switching to whole beans and investing in a ceramic burr grinder is better.
Buy coffee in an airtight, sealed container like a vacuum-packed bag. This ensures that the coffee retains the freshness from when it was ground. If the packaging has been damaged, allowing air to reach the contents, your coffee will have begun to get stale.
Check that your ground coffee is made from 100% Arabica coffee. Arabica is from the Coffee arabica plant, and have a wide taste range, and is sweeter than Robusta coffee.
Robusta comes from the Cofee canephora plant and is often used in instant coffees or as filler in cheaper brands of ground coffee. It has a higher caffeine content and a more bitter, oatmealish taste than Arabica.
However, if you prefer a more acidic, bitter coffee, you may want to buy brands incorporating Robusta.
The origin of your ground coffee will tell you where the beans were grown and harvested. Check for the source if you prefer to support smaller growers using organic, environmentally friendly farming methods.
Many blends do not list origin as they source various beans from different growers.
Costco Coffee FAQs
Costco is a surprisingly good option for sourcing decent coffee beans that won’t break the bank. Their Kirkland range is economical and will supply roast types from a Light Roast Organic Ethiopian bean to Medium and Dark Roasts.
Our favorite Costco coffees were from Mayorga Organics, and the top scorer was the Mayorga Organics Café Cubano, a slow-roasted dark roast bean with sweet chocolate notes and a good all-rounder coffee.