What’s The Best Coffee For First-Time Drinkers?

Ready to drink coffee for the first time and wondering where to start? This article explores the best coffee for first-time drinkers and advises what to look for.

Caucasian woman drinking the best coffee for first-time drinkers
Coffee is an affordable treat

Suppose you've never been a coffee drinker; getting started on the process of learning what coffee you like can seem like a daunting process. Fortunately, there are many options out there to provide a gentle introduction. Coffee can be an affordable treat, and luxurious addition to your daily routine, but only if you enjoy it.

It's best to start with coffees that aren't too challenging and highlight the bean's best features to make sure you enjoy your introduction to the coffee world. Read on to learn more about what to look for!

Coffee or Coffee Beverage?

Before you get started, it's a good idea to decide whether you want to start with simple brewed coffee or if you want to start with a drink that has a little more going on. Lattes, cappuccino, and the various “coffee-and-milk” variations that exist around the world (cafe con leche, cafe au lait, etc.) are a good starting point for learning to enjoy coffee. 

In many countries, children and adults enjoy these drinks-though they usually get less coffee in their drink than adults do. Even espresso-based drinks like lattes are a good starting point because while espresso is strong, the amount of milk in the beverage dilutes the flavor. This lets you build up your taste for coffee over time.

If you want to go the regular brewed coffee route (like automatic drip, french press, pour-over, or even cold brew), consider these other aspects.

Avoid Potential Coffee Pitfalls

Experienced coffee drinkers may prefer challenging, bold brews with complex flavors and deep roasting, but these beans can taste burned, bitter, and unpleasant for newcomers to coffee. If you're just getting started learning about coffee, you'll want to begin with a milder, sweeter brew. The best choices for your first cups of brewed coffee are light or at most medium roasts; light roasts tend to have a higher acidity, but they're also milder in flavor, showcasing more of the bean and less of it the roast.

Red cup coffee on a wooden table
Start with milder, sweeter brew

There are a lot of coffee-growing regions out there, and if you're a newcomer to coffee, it can be daunting to decide where to start. Fortunately, there are good coffees for beginners anywhere you might look, though certain regions make more approachable coffees in general. Latin American and African coffees tend to be easier to appreciate, with rounded flavor profiles and sweeter notes.

I don't recommend Indonesian coffees to start with for a few reasons: they tend to be darker roasts, and the flavor profiles tend to more bitter, earthy notes-which are something to savor but not as easy to appreciate if you're new to coffee. 

The Best Beans for First-Time Coffee Drinkers:

When looking at coffee beans, you have three real choices, Arabica, Robusta, and blends of the two. Of course, there are pros and cons to each, but there is a clear winner for first-time coffee drinkers.

100% Arabica Beans

whole coffee beans laid on a flat surface
Arabica beans

Arabica beans are described as having a smooth sweet taste. The flavor profile has been described as fruity and chocolatey. Meanwhile, many people find that Robusta beans are bitter tasting and sometimes feel grainy. Robusta beans have more caffeine, and once you get accustomed to the taste of coffee, you might want to explore Robusta, but many people tend to stick with Arabica. If you enjoyed this post, you might be interested in reading about the best coffee for a sensitive stomach.

The Best Coffee For First-Time Drinkers: My Top 3 Picks

When it comes to brewed coffee, the best choices for first-time coffee drinkers are blends and single-origin beans that are solidly balanced, lightly roasted, and tend to hail from Latin America and Africa. These are my favorites for coffee newcomers.

1. Top Shelf Grind Liquid Gold

Although it's marketed as an espresso, this Peruvian coffee brews up just fine in an automatic drip or pour-over setup too. Liquid Gold is an organic, light roast coffee that sets a high standard for first-time coffee drinkers. Fairtrade and ethically sourced, the coffee also undergoes extensive quality control to ensure there are no signs of mold or the toxins that come with it.

Best of all: the flavor notes of chocolate, black tea, and honey go down smoothly, and the single-origin coffee plays well with milk and sugar.

Organic Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee, The Best Espresso Beans from Peru - Fair Trade, Single Origin Mycotoxin & Mold Free Fresh Peruvian Purity | Super Healthy Arabica for Peak Performance - Low Acid
  • THE BEST FOR THE BEST – Because you don’t wake up in the morning & say you want to be average, do you? Choose greatness over average. This is elite coffee with a purpose, specialty grade gourmet quality meets unmistakable smoothness for unmatched peak performance
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC CLEAN ESPRESSO BEANS – Our Peruvian light roast is certified organic with the USDA and has to meet a number of strenuous quality requirements before the beans are actually roasted. The high altitudes are perfect for top shelf quality
  • ROASTED FOR HEALTH – Most people aren’t aware that quality coffee can actually act as one of the most potent, natural health aids in the world! Our coffee is super rich in antioxidants and can give you the ultimate lifeboost by keeping you cognitively sharp and physically fit.
  • ETHICAL SOURCING & FAIR TRADE – Ethically executed business is no laughing matter. We believe there should always be an equal exchange with our farming partners. We are committed to investing in the regions we work with by maintain responsible, sustainable sourcing
  • TOP SHELF RISK-FREE GUARANTEE - While our dark roast whole bean coffee comes unbelievably highly rated by thousands, we are here to let you decide. If for any reason you don’t love it, we’ll refund your entire order

2. Jeremiah's Pick Kona Blend

While Hawaiian coffees tend to be on the pricier side, this Kona blend by Jeremiah's Pick Coffee Company is worth its very affordable price. Kona coffees are unrivaled for smooth, rich flavor, which is precisely what you want for a first-time coffee experience. The beans blend Colombian Supremo and Kona coffee, creating a distinctive but not-too-challenging flavor profile with nutty, caramel-sweet flavors.

Jeremiah's Pick Coffee Kona Blend, Light Roast Whole Bean Coffee, 10 Ounce Bag
  • 10 ounce bag
  • Blend of Colombia Supremo beans and beans from Big Island of Hawaii's Kona region
  • Sweet and mellow with medium acidity and full flavor
  • 100% arabica beans: lower in caffeine, more flavorful and aromatic than robusta beans
  • Roasted in San Francisco, CA

3. Chameleon Day Breaker

Made up of a blend of Ethiopian and Colombian beans, this “breakfast” blend balances acidity and sweetness. Day Breaker is suitable for any time of day but shines as the first cup of coffee of the day: with cherry and chocolate flavor notes and clean and bright acidity, it plays well with sugar and milk and is even good all on its own. The coffee beans are also certified organic and ethically and sustainably sourced, making them a strong choice on all fronts.

Chameleon Organic Whole Bean Coffee, Light Roast Day Breaker, 100% Arabica, Milk Chocolate and Cherry , 9 oz bag
  • WHOLE BEAN COFFEE—This 9-ounce bag of Chameleon Organic Day Breaker Coffee is an expertly roasted organic whole bean coffee that is sourced from Ethiopia and Colombia
  • A BETTER TASTE—Chameleon Organic Day Breaker Coffee is a delightfully bright, lightly roasted coffee that boasts notes of ripe cherry and milk chocolate to amp up your morning
  • CERTIFIED ORGANIC—Chameleon uses certified USDA organic 100% arabica beans to craft a better brew for you
  • SUSTAINABLY SOURCED—Our coffee is ethically and sustainably sourced, not only because we believe it tastes better, but because we believe in compassion for coffee farmers and for the planet
  • BREW YOUR OWN—Chameleon Organic Coffee offers our distinct quality difference in a wide type of varieties, like organic whole bean and ground coffee

The Best Cold Coffee

The world of cold coffee can be quite a daunting one to explore. There seems to be no end to the options available. However, if you are a first-time coffee drinker, the best choice for exploring cold coffees drink is:

Cold-Brew

Waiter pouring coffee on a white cup
Cold-brew is more caffeinated than hot coffee

Cold-brew typically tastes smoother than iced coffee. Iced coffee is generally brewed hot and added to cold ingredients. However, cold-brew is brewed in cold conditions for a longer time, typically overnight. Cold-brew is naturally more caffeinated than hot coffee, but it also tastes less bitter and acidic – which is what new coffee drinkers struggle with the most.

Granted, most ice coffees are usually full of sugar, cream, and some flavoring, so the actual taste of coffee tends to be masked. But, if you're looking for cold coffee without any flavored syrups, then new coffee drinkers will probably prefer cold brew. 

Author

  • Aisling is an Irish food and drinks writer and journalist fueled by coffee and herbal tea. She followed up her journalism degree with nutrition studies.