If you’re a programmer, chances are you love coffee. And no wonder: a good cuppa joe can give you an energy boost and help you stay focused and alert even after long hours of coding. But not all coffees are created equal — and some are better-suited for helping you stay sharp than others.
The best coffee for programmers is one that provides a sustained energy boost without causing jitters or crashes. It should also have a smooth, rich flavor that’s not too bitter or overly acidic. Additionally, it should be caffeine-rich, as caffeine is the primary ingredient that provides the energy boost. Finally, it should be easy to prepare, freeing you from the fuss of complicated brewing methods.
Read on below for our top picks.
Best Coffees for Programmers
- Dark, smooth, and full-bodied coffee
- Lion's mane and chaga mushroom extract
- Ground from organic, fair-trade, single-source beans
- Lifts you up and helps keep you mentally sharp and super-focused
Coffee? With mushrooms? We know, know… But hear us out! While it might sound strange to drink coffee with dried mushrooms in it, there’s a good reason why this particular coffee ended up on top of our list.
Four Sigmatic Coffee With Lion’s Mane is designed to be your brain’s best friend — this coffee has organic lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus) and chaga (Inonotus obliquus) mushroom extract to help you stay on top of your programming game all day long.
Lion’s mane has been shown to improve cognition and regenerate brain cells in animal studies, making it an excellent addition to coffee for IT workers who need to stay focused for extended periods. Chaga, on the other hand, has been demonstrated to improve learning and memory, making it another essential ingredient for programmers who need to retain a lot of information.
Not only is Four Sigmatic Coffee With Lion’s Mane packed with brain-boosting ingredients, but it’s also made from organic whole beans from fair-trade, single-origin dark coffee. It’s free from binding agents, adhesives, and other stuff you don’t want in your hot drink, making it a healthier alternative to traditional coffee.
The best part? It tastes like coffee or hot cocoa, but definitely NOT like mushrooms. The coffee is smooth, rich, and has a chocolatey flavor that programmers will love. Plus, it’s easy to prepare, so you can get your coffee fix without wasting time on complicated brewing methods.
- Medium-dark, velvety, rich coffee
- With lion's mane and Vitamins B5, B2, B1, and B12
- Ground and roast from sustainably-sourced beans
- Keeps your body awake and your mind sharp
Our runner-up for the best coffee for programmers is the Bulletproof The High Achiever Ground Coffee. It has some powerful ingredients to help you stay alert and focused throughout the day.
This is an enhanced 100% arabica coffee — which means it’s made from pure, high-quality beans. But what makes this coffee stand out is the addition of brain-boosting lion’s mane, whole coffee fruit, and Vitamins B5, B2, B1, and B12. These ingredients work together to give you a long-lasting energy boost while helping you keep your focus laser-sharp.
When it comes to taste, this medium-dark roast is full-bodied and smooth, with a bold flavor that packs a punch. And it’s made from sustainably-sourced, hand-picked coffee beans from Rainforest Alliance certified-farms, so you can feel good about the ethical and environmental impact of your purchase.
And just like our top pick, the High Achiever coffee has been expertly blended and roasted so it doesn’t taste like mushrooms. Instead, it’s a delicious and energizing coffee that’s perfect for programmers who need a little extra kick to power through their workday.
Preparing the Perfect Cup
Making a great cup of coffee is both a science and an art. From the beans to the temperature of the water to the brewing method, there are many factors that can impact the flavor of your cup. Here are some tips to help you prepare the perfect cup of coffee like a barista.
First and foremost, start with high-quality coffee beans. Look for beans that are roasted and preferably single-origin or blended in small batches. Choose a roast level that suits your taste preferences, whether that’s light, medium, or dark (if in doubt, start with medium-dark). Once you have your beans, store them in an airtight container away from light and heat to preserve their freshness.
Next, consider the brewing method. You can go for a French press, a drip coffee maker, a moka pot, or pour-over filters. Make sure you’re using clean equipment and following the owner’s instructions. Moka pots are the cheapest and least effort-intensive way to make your coffee.
When it comes to water, use filtered water if possible, as tap water can contain minerals and chemicals that can impact the flavor of your coffee. Heat the water to the appropriate temperature for your brewing method. That’s around 200°F (93°C) — just under the boiling point of water — for most methods.
Finally, take your time and pay attention to the brewing process. Don’t rush through the steps or cut corners, as this can leave your coffee bitter. And don’t forget to enjoy the aroma and flavor of your perfectly brewed cup!
Why Trust Our Picks
I first heard about mushroom coffee from Tim Ferris’ podcast. During a few sponsored episodes, he talked about the unique benefits of drinking coffee infused with mushrooms like lion’s mane and chaga. As somebody who spends a lot of time solution-designing and coding (when I’m not writing about it), I became intrigued by the cognitive benefits and decided to order a small pack of Four Sigmatic Coffee With Lion’s Mane to try it out.
After a few days of drinking this coffee, I was mind-blown by the amount of mental clarity I had and the cognitive boost I experienced. As someone who often struggles with brain fog due to long hours of coding and lack of sleep, I was amazed by how alert and focused I felt after drinking this coffee.
It helped me stay on top of my game no matter what — and I could feel a marked improvement in my overall productivity and ability to concentrate. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the coffee tasted, too. Despite the dried mushrooms, it had a rich and smooth flavor that was reminiscent of a classic cup of coffee or even hot cocoa.
So you can count that everything I’ve written about here, I’ve tasted and I continue to buy for myself.