14 Coffee Brands With Unique Flavors

An exceptional cup of coffee can be surprisingly elusive. Between coffee classes, sensory training from Università di Scienze Gastronomiche di Pollenzo, and a never-ending search for a compelling cup, my personal experience has helped me uncover roasters across the country who produce high-quality beans that express a wide range of aromas and flavors going far beyond your basic blend from the grocery store. From light roasts with delicate orange blossom to rich and full-bodied blends full of caramelized dates and Toblerone to natural processed beans with tropical vibes of pineapple and lychee, there is a delicious and vast array of coffee brands with unique flavors to discover in your cup. 

Finding a coffee brand with unique flavors comes down to investigating every part of the process. The origins of the beans, including their elevation and terroir where they grew, the fermentation and processing, and the way they were roasted, each play a key role in expressing exceptional tastes. 

Whether you're a trained barista or an enthusiastic coffee drinker ready to elevate your home brewing experience, you'll need to start with freshly roasted coffee beans that pack a punch. You're looking for something well-balanced but with a distinct leading flavor profile. The coffee fermentation method and roasting style should enhance the flavors that are already there, bringing out that zingy strawberry sour candy, white chocolate pistachio nougat, or blood orange syrup. These coffee brands are passionately pushing the envelope to highlight the bean's unique flavors.

Fulcrum Coffee

Seattle-based coffee roaster Fulcrum has a dizzying array of beans between its three brands. Silver Cup and Urban City are hand-crafted blends, while its larger Fulcrum label specializes in single-origin beans, both natural and washed. This is the line that you want to explore if you're looking for a coffee brand with unique flavor profiles that you've never tasted before.

Myanmar Oat Twin is a single-origin expression of catuai from the Shan State in the hills of Myanmar. At over 4,200 feet in elevation, the forest here is a hidden gem for specialty coffee, putting Myanmar on the map. Hand-picked berries are left to dry on screens in a natural process, infusing some of the fruit compounds into the bean and giving it juicy and complex notes of dried fruit, basil, and dark chocolate. The light roast highlights the delicate savory characteristics of the bean and packs an acidic punch.

The Rwanda Sholi Natural is another one to add to your cart. Made of the bourbon varietal, grown at over 5,200 feet in the Southern Province of the Muhanga District in Rwanda, it's a naturally processed coffee with full fruit flavors of melon, cranberry, and raisin. The rich flavor profile is balanced by the beans' natural acidity from the higher elevation. Fulcrum lightly roasts the beans to preserve the characteristics of the natural ferment, bringing out nuanced flavors of green tea and thirst-quenching fruit punch.

Black & White

Black & White of Raleigh, North Carolina, has small-batch coffees ranging from light to dark roast, natural and washed, and delicate to funky notes. Starting with nurtured farmer relationships and ending with the perfect roast, attention to detail goes into creating its specialty coffee with unique flavors.

A B&W absolute must-drink is Jairo Arcila's anaerobic fermentation of castillo. The 4,900 ft grown coffee trees in Quindio, Colombia, produce big fruit flavor, and the unique fermentation process creates an intriguing and funky profile unlike any other Colombian beans. Punchy tropical notes of lychee, passionfruit, and strawberry kiwi are matched by thick golden honey with a finish of zippy and refreshing notes of sauvignon blanc. To preserve all the delicious funk and flavor, B&W does a light roast, creating a vibrant and energetic brew.

Another bean to try is its single-origin parainema from Honduras. Working with gurus Fredy and Merlin Sabillon, Black & White has created a fun and balanced roast full of ripe red berries, deeply hued red plum flesh, cherry, and a hint of citrus zest. To achieve this, the beans are harvested at peak ripeness, naturally fermented, and solar-dried for 17 to 22 days before a light roast. The blend of fruit and sweetness from the natural ferment is balanced by malted milk chocolate notes.

Onyx Coffee Lab

Onyx has an impressive line of beans, each with a detailed story of the coffee farmer, growing elevation, and roasting process. The coffee brand has searched out some of the highest quality and unique coffee berries in the world, carefully processing them in order to express all primary and secondary flavors no matter what brewing method you choose. 

Not to be missed is its small batch of Colombia Benjamin Tunubala Sidra, a washed coffee. The coffee is approachable while still bringing an edginess to your cup you haven't experienced before. The sidra varietal undergoes a specific fermentation of a single day as the whole fruit followed by two days separated from the pulp. After this washed stage, the beans are dried in raised beds. The entire process creates a very clean flavor that allows more of the delicate aromatics, like honeysuckle and cardamom, to sing through. Undertones of rich and earthy molasses, apple, and baking spice round out the flavor profile.

Another bean to buy from Onyx is El Salvador Santa Rosa. The 100% pacamara is grown at almost 6,000 feet in the Chalatenango Mountains in El Salvador. The particularly high-elevation forest makes exceptionally flavorful cherries with bright acidity and forward aromatics. The beans are washed and dried in raised beds. Strong aromatics of white grape juice and rose petals are matched by ripe fig and tannic black tea. It has a light and ethereal presence.

Canyon Coffee

Started by coffee connoisseur Ally Walsh, Canyon Coffee's foundation is built on certified organic beans roasted in Los Angeles and driven by the coffee culture of Italian and Parisian cities. Its line is small but well worth your time, with exceptional blends sourced from Mexico to Ethiopia. The first to try is from the Gedeb region in Ethiopia. The berries ferment for 24 to 48 hours prior to washing and air drying for up to two weeks to achieve the perfect moisture levels. Gedeb is a real stunner for a pour-over, offering up sweet notes of honeyed peaches and persimmons, aromatic bergamot and black tea, and a hint of lime zest. It's clean, well-balanced, and thoughtful.

Canyons' alentejo beans from Sacacli, Nicaragua, are for the dark roast-loving drinker. The beans are especially suited to espresso, with the flavor profile being much richer and grounded in milk chocolate. Earthy caramel and Brazil nut add complexity to this washed blend, while a hint of orange peel brings a brighter note throughout.

Finally, be sure not to overlook Canyons' seasonal blend, danche chelbesa, from Ethiopia. The cherries are grown at 6,200 to 7,200 feet, giving off a very zippy flavor profile with pronounced acidity. To enhance these characteristics in your cup, Canyon opted for an anaerobic red honey process for the single-origin bean. The result is fruity notes of pluot and blackberry with perfumy orange blossom and zingy lemongrass.

Bows Coffee Roasters

Working with a variety of growers from Mexico to Guatemala, Bows Coffee Roasters is located on the small island of Victoria in British Columbia. A mix of washed and honey processed beans gives way to balanced and intriguing flavors of shortbread, bourbon sour, and kouign amann in its Irma Pacheco espresso beans from Guatemala. The coffee is particularly decadent, with sweet dried cherry reigning through.

Its Funcrusher Plus is what you want if you like dark roasts and richer profiles but don't know what to buy. This blend moves you out of the same old same old you'll find in a grocery store aisle while remaining approachable, with flair. Think chocolate, nougat, caramel ribbons, and sweet and nutty praline. The Sau Vallecillo is a single-origin pacas from El Cielito, Honduras. The beans highlight the innate fruit-forward characteristic with notes of red Dots candy and crushed raspberry.

If you're looking to explore Mexico, Bows has made a washed blend of borbón and typica from Sierra Mixteca, Oaxaca, which has a nuanced profile of milk chocolate, cacao nibs, honeycomb, and something reminiscent of cannoli. Overall, this is one coffee brand with unique flavors that abound.

Broadcast Coffee

A small but mighty Seattle staple, Broadcast is a coffee brand with unique flavors that roasts beans with balanced and compelling bouquets. Beans range from light to medium roasts with an array of primary flavors from spiced plum to jasmine to peach cobbler. Its single-origin, washed blend, Kenya Gaturiri AB, contains two varietals from Nyeri, Kenya. The medium roast gives way to juicy nectarine with cinnamon, clove, and cherry tart. Perfect for pour-over, Chemex, or AeroPress coffee maker, it makes a subtly spiced cup of coffee full of ripe orchard fruit notes.

The Lights on Jackson blend is an intriguing mix of Colombia, castillo, and caturra varietals from Colombia and myin dwin from Myanmar. The mix of beans from various elevations is a blend of washed and naturally processed, broadening the complexity of flavor and giving the blend an incredibly pleasing balance. The medium roast has fragrant stewed and spiced fruit, like dark fleshed plum and ripe apricot, with a hint of baking spices.

Stamp Act Coffee

Another Seattle-based gem, Stamp Act, has a hard-to-beat selection of single-origin beans, each with distinct characteristics. A must-try is its Tinamit Coop, a naturally processed, single-origin coffee from Atitlan, Guatemala. The cherries are sun-dried for 5 to 6 days and finish drying in the shade, preserving some additional flavonoids. The blend of caturra, bourbon, and pache creates a fruit-forward coffee with notes of fresh strawberry, pomegranate, and a subtle chocolate undertone.

Looking for a blend to brew? Try the Martha Liberata Escalante from Cusco, Peru. The washed bourbon and typica are grown at over 6,000 ft, giving a whole nuanced flavor profile of grilled pineapple and ripe mango to the beans with energetic acidity. Overall, it's sweet and bright, offering a fresh take on your morning cup. If you're looking for something a bit more heady, go for the San Coffee Peaberry from Santo Antonio, Brazil. The blend of mundo novo, red catuai, and topazio is naturally processed, producing a punchy flavor while remaining balanced thanks to the combination of fruit. It's fuller-bodied and has a richer profile of toffee, roasted almond, and panettone that is perfect for brewing a rich espresso or AeroPress.

Heart Coffee Roasters

Heart Roasters works with exquisite growers and doesn't put its beans into boxes of light, medium, or dark. It focuses on the beans' innate flavors and lets them speak for themselves. The seasonal blend, Stereo, is equal parts from Honduras and Ethiopia and has curious and delicious notes of cola, bergamot, and clover, while the Ethiopia Danche is a blend of high-elevation wolisho and dega, with playful notes of cotton candy, peach, and lilac.

Another blend of five different varietals grown in Kirinyaga, Kenya is Kenya Kiunyu AA. Washed for a cleaner, more linear expression of the bean, it has surprisingly fruit-forward notes of blackberry, aromatic muscat grape, and juicy blood orange. If you're looking for something more full-bodied but still want a distinct, unmuddled flavor, go for the Phono from Honduras. The 100% pacas cherries are grown between 6,000 to 6,500 feet, giving a big, bold flavor of cacao nib, milk chocolate, enriched marzipan, and mandarin orange.

Dark Horse Coffee Roasters

Dark Horse's funky vibe and passion for quality coffee comes through in its beans, which are a handful of varieties and have tasting notes of delectable things like s'mores and watermelon candy. Start with its naturally fermented pink bourbon beans from Colombia. It brews a cup with bright acidity and packs extra fruity flavor from the natural ferment, giving tropical notes of lychee, ripe strawberry, and watermelon candy.

For a richer vibe, go for the Brazil — Rio Brilhante. The naturally fermented yellow bourbon, mundo novo, and obatã practically taste like dessert in your mug, with notes of s'mores, chocolate brownie, and warmed dates. Are you a real dark roast drinker who wants something as black as night with a heavy mouthfeel? If so, This is Our Dark Roast is the one you'll want. Washed bourbon cherries from Guatemala give voluptuous notes of dark chocolate-covered almonds, oozing dulce de leche, and rich melted hot chocolate.


Roasted in Pennsylvania, Máquina produces unique beans with transparency, working with a select few growers to tell the delicious story of bean to cup. Parts & Labor is a really interesting mix of beans from Brazil, Ethiopia, and Guatemala, creating a unique and balanced cup with a smooth body, bittersweet chocolate, black cherry, and deeply hued golden honey.

Decaffeinated coffee drinkers, please do not buy another pack of pre-ground, vacuumed-sealed coffee because you feel like that's all there is in the world for you. There is so much more! Take the Mexico Porcupine Decaf MWP, made from caturra, typica, and bourbon fruit, as an example. The rich notes of milk chocolate, maple syrup, and caramel will honestly have you fooled that you're drinking decaf at all.

Back in the caffeinated world, you must check out the Guatemala Finca Armenia Lorena. Cherries from two different elevations are washed and air-dried, producing notes of caramel shortbread and candied orange peel. Finally, a must-try from Máquina is its El Salvador Lagunitas. Single-varietal pacamara is delightfully sweet in the cup with notes of toffee, apple pie, and vanilla that tastes like autumn.

High Bank Coffee Roasters

High Bank Coffee Roasters is a Michigan-based coffee brand with unique flavors. High Bank has a tiny yet intriguing selection of coffee, including a black honey fermented sidra varietal that tastes like Provence, France, in July, bursting with lavender and rosemary. When the beans are partially fermented with the fruit pulp, as they are in this process, they come away with big flavor compounds, creating a distinct characteristic while remaining quite clean in the cup.

Ethiopia Neja Fadil is a blend of four varietals from high-elevation coffee farms at 7,200 feet. The cherries are double-soaked and washed, creating a focused profile with sweet characteristics and notes of limoncello, peach, tangerine, and black tea with bright acidity.

Ready for a bean to really burst your bubble? High Banks' Felipe Contreras Koji Processed Gesha coffee is wildly aromatic and unique. The gesha varietal is grown at high elevations in Antiqua, Guatemala, and then undergoes a complex fermentation process where it starts naturally and is then washed before Koji spores are added while it continues fermentation on drying beds. The intensive process brings out the distinct floral aromatics of the gesha varietal, giving way to fragrant jasmine and bergamot, white peach, mango, and ripe kiwi.

Boxcar Coffee Roasters

Boulder-based Boxcar Coffee Roasters has just as many blends as single varieties, giving you a spectrum of flavors to choose from. Its Bareknuckle Blend is a rich and brooding dark roast made from washed berries with notes of burnt sugar, black forest gâteau, and a wisp of smoke. 

If you are looking for something with brighter acidity and more fruit notes, go for its high-elevation, single-varietal landrace from Sidama, Ethiopia. Terroir matters for coffee beans, and this one has created slow-ripening cherries that are extremely high-quality with heightened flavor profiles. To further enhance the sweet notes, the fruit is processed in the honey style, leaving part of the pulp on the bean during the fermentation process. The result is a bright and balanced brew with fruit-forward notes of peach, apricot, crisp apple, aromatic chamomile, and golden honey.

Kenya Kangurumai AA is a unique blend of four varietals from the Muranga region in Kenya. It's a richer, fuller-bodied Kenyan brew than you might be used to, with notes of milk chocolate, blackberry, cherry cola, and a zip of tart citrus. For something more bright and fruity, look to its blend of caturra, geisha, and san bernardo from Santa Maria, Costa Rica. The high-elevation, washed blend gives a big fruit flavor without being overwhelmingly sweet. Think tart apple and lemon custard with a punchy Starburst candy effect from the higher acid.

Sightglass Coffee

Sightglass presents a curated selection of single-origin beans, including a medium roast from Papua New Guinea with notes of strawberry, fresh garden herb, and Medjool date. It's both chocolaty and bright, with citrus peel and summer garden aromatics. The Finca Budaulazha from Mexico is a medium roast coffee that balances the rich flavor profile of dark chocolate ganache and raisin with brighter acidity and hints of baking spice. The unique flavor profile is attributed to the somewhat rare mundo novo varietal and the careful processing.

For something lighter and brighter, Kerchanshe, Uraga from Ethiopia is a top pick. The heirloom fruit is grown at extremely high elevation, giving the finished washed beans a big flavor profile with intense floral aromatics of key lime and orange blossom. With juicy stone fruit notes, it's full of flavor while presenting delicately and refined in your cup. Another amazing blend from Mexico is the Finca Santa Cruz, Jose Arguello, which combines both typica and bourbon in a wash process. It's aromatic of Muscat grape with a light and delicate body, giving sweet melon, June strawberries, lemon curd, and pink grapefruit.

Brio Coffeeworks

Roasted in Burlington, Vermont, Brio blends single varietal beans with robust flavor and compelling notes like its Ethiopia Misty Valley, which is naturally processed to highlight the innate fruit flavors in the berries. The coffee brand has unique flavors throughout its line, with this roast offering full punchy passionfruit and red raspberry. Brio makes an exceedingly delicious light roast, Kenya Kabare Konyu, washed and sun-dried and highlights the terroir, giving way to sweet sugar cookies and freshly cut pineapple. It's juicy and balanced with a complex profile of both tropical fruit and chocolate.

The coffee brand also makes a unique Half-Caff from Guatemala. It's just what it sounds like, half decaf and half caffeinated. An exceptional job of roasting has created a balance of sweetness and acidity with a richer mouthfeel. The profile is all s'mores, roasted hazelnuts, and jammy orange marmalade. Finally, do not miss its Panama Boquete. A washed blend of caturra, catuai, typica, and bourbon varietals that are delicately roasted to create a surprisingly full-bodied cup with notes of Swiss chocolate, vanilla, cherry syrup, and Nutella.