Full Bodied Coffee: A Richer, Thicker, And Delicious Cup Of Coffee!

Full bodied coffee

When I first entered the coffee world, I spent quite a bit of time searching for coffee beans to try. Descriptions like “rich” or “full-bodied coffee” always sounded high-quality but it took some time before I understood what made a coffee full-bodied and what was so great about it.

In a nutshell, a cup of full bodied coffee is more viscous and has a heavy mouthfeel. It’s richer, thicker, and contains more coffee oils than watery coffee.

There are a few factors that contribute to a coffee’s body: the bean type, origin, how it’s roasted, and the brewing method all play a role.

In this post, we’ll talk about

  • what is coffee body
  • some great full body coffee beans to try
  • what makes coffee full-bodied and
  • how to brew full-bodied coffee

Let’s jump right in!

Best Full Bodied Coffee – Top Picks

What Does Body Mean In Coffee?

A coffee’s body refers to its texture or mouthfeel. It has to do with viscosity and how heavy the coffee feels in your mouth.

Thin and watery coffee is light-bodied. Heavy, creamy coffee is full-bodied. And medium-bodied coffee is somewhere in the middle.

Finding the Best Full Bodied Coffee Beans

If you want to find full bodied coffee beans, look for beans that are grown at high altitudes.

Keep in mind that arabica beans are grown at the highest altitude. But the exact altitude depends on the country and region of origin.

We’ve done a bit of research and found that the countries with the highest elevation for coffee growth are:

  • Ethiopia
  • Costa Rica
  • Colombia and
  • Guatemala

With that being said, here are some arabica beans from those countries that’ll help you brew a full-bodied cup of coffee!

Full bodied coffee


Ethiopia has several coffee-growing regions, and the Province of Sidamo is one of the most famous. It’s located in the Ethiopian highlands in the southern part of the country. And its coffee is grown at elevations high enough to qualify it as Strictly High Grown or Strictly Hard Bean.

Because Sidamo coffee is grown so high up, it grows slower, absorbs more nutrients, and grows denser than other coffees. This is why Sidamo coffee results in a full-bodied brew!

Volcanica’s Sidamo Coffee

If you want to try Ethiopia’s full-bodied brew, we recommend Volcanica’s Sidamo Coffee.

It’s made from distinctive coffee varieties that are native to this region of Ethiopia. It’s known for having and fantastic flavor with notes of berry and honey.

Ethiopian Sidamo Coffee add banner image

Costa Rica

With Costa Rican coffee, you’re pretty much guaranteed to get quality beans. And specifically, the Tarrazu region is known for producing some of the best coffee.

Tarrazu is an area south of San Jose and has ideal growing conditions for coffee plants. Its nutrient-dense volcanic soil, high elevation, and fresh climate all contribute to the full-body this coffee offers.

Volcanica’s Costa Rica Original – Tarrazu Estate

If you’re ready to try some of the richest coffee Costa Rica has to offer, look no further than Volcanica’s Costa Rican Original from the Tarrazu Estate.

This coffee bean is medium roasted to bring out its complex sweetness while still maintaining the bean’s natural flavors. A cup of Costa Rica Original will not only be full-bodied but will have rich flavors and notes of citrus and tropical fruit.

Costa Rica Original Tarrazu Coffee add banner image


Colombia is the second-largest coffee producer in the world, and much of its coffee is grown by small farmers on the slopes of the Andes mountains.

Coffee grown high up in the rich soil of the Andes grows slower and denser which is why it creates a full-bodied cup of coffee.

While Colombia is known for producing some high-quality beans, its highest grade is known as Supremo.

This is what we recommend if you’re looking to buy Colombian coffee.

Volcanica’s Colombia – Supremo Coffee

This Colombian Supremo Coffee is a medium roast that’s known for being smooth and pleasantly acidic. It’s a single-origin coffee that’s been grown in nutrient-rich volcanic ash and has notes of chocolate, caramel, and citrus.

If you’re ready to give this one a try check out Volcania Colombian Supremo.

Colombian Supremo Coffee add banner image

Guatemala – Antigua Coffee

Guatemala has several coffee-growing regions, but its Antigua Valley is known for producing some of the finest quality beans in South America.

The Antigua Valley is created by volcanoes in the region and is high above sea level so the beans are considered Strictly High Grown or Strictly Hard Bean.

Volcanica’s Guatemala – Antigua Coffee

Guatemala Antigua Coffee is full-bodied and rich with a full-body, smooth taste, and intense aroma.

This medium roast coffee is single-origin from Finca Medina in the highlands of Guatemala and is known for having a sophisticated flavor with notes of honey, fruit, and brown sugar.

If you want a full-bodied brew, Guatemala’s Antigua Coffee is definitely worth a try!

Guatemala Antigua Coffee add banner image

How To Describe Coffee Body?

Coffee body is categorized as either full-bodied, medium-bodied, or light-bodied.

Compare it to milk for example. You know how whole milk is smooth and creamy while fat-free milk is thin and watery?

Well, coffee body works the same way!

Body is often described as “heavy”, “syrupy”, “watery”, “creamy”, “buttery”, “smooth”, “thin”, etc.

So, you may come across those words as you’re reading coffee descriptions, but any word that conveys the feel of the coffee can be used to describe body.

Full Bodied coffee

What Does Full-Bodied Coffee Mean?

A full-bodied coffee is a coffee that’s thick and a bit viscous. It has a lot of weight to it and feels creamy on the tongue.

In our milk example from above, full-bodied coffee would correspond with the mouthfeel of whole milk.

But if you’d prefer to use an example from the coffee world, espresso has the consistency and texture of full-bodied coffee.

What Is Light Body Coffee?

Light body coffee feels watery and thin on the tongue. It feels like there’s no consistency to it when you drink it.

From our milk example, a light body coffee would correspond to skim milk.

What Makes Coffee Full-Bodied?

A cup of coffee gets its body from the coffee oils. The more oils that are extracted from the beans, the fuller the body will be.

Because of this, the brewing method has a significant effect on the body. But the origin, altitude, and roast type all contribute to the coffee’s body.

Related Posts:

How Origin And Altitude Affects Your Coffee’s Body

It’s more difficult for coffee beans to grow at high altitudes. So, the higher they grow the slower they develop.

This forces the coffee beans to grow denser and develop more complex flavors.

And since denser beans contain more nutrients, they generally brew a cup with a fuller body.

Best Roast For Full-Bodied Coffees

You’ve noticed how oily dark roast beans are? That’s because the longer they roast, the more oils are brought out.

And since they’re oilier, coffees brewed with dark roast beans will have a fuller body than lighter roasts.

So, why didn’t we recommend dark roast coffees instead of high-altitude medium roast coffees?

Darker roasts retain less of the bean’s natural flavors than lighter roasts. And since most coffee beans grown at high altitudes are known for their complex taste profile, we thought it would be a shame to roast all those natural flavors away.

But if you’re not too interested in the bean’s natural flavors, you can definitely go with a dark roast.

Full Bodied coffee

Brewed Coffee and Body

The brew methods you choose will have the biggest impact on the coffee’s body.

All things being equal, an immersion brew will have a fuller body than other methods since all the oils remain in the final cup.

With drip coffee makers or pour-over methods, the paper filter absorbs some of the oils and dissolved coffee solids. So, the best you’ll get is a medium-body coffee.

On the other hand, if you cold brew your coffee or use light roast beans, not much of the oils will be extracted. So you end up with light body coffee.

How To Make Full-Bodied Coffee?

There are a few ways to make full-bodied coffee. The easiest brewing method is the french press. But the most effective is espresso.

French Press Brewing Method

The French Press is an immersion brewer, so all the oils and coffee solubles are extracted into the water.

Unlike brewing methods that use a paper filter, the french press uses a metal filter that only strains out the coffee grinds while allowing the oils to end up in your cup.

Percolator Brewing Method

Stovetop coffee makers like percolators also brew rich coffee with a syrupy body.

Percolators continuously cycle brewed coffee through the coffee grounds. So, over time, most of the oil and coffee solids get extracted.

whiskey barrel coffee gift ad banner

Moka Pot

The Moka Pot is another stove-top coffee maker that makes fuller-bodied coffees.

It works by using steam pressure to force hot water through fine ground coffee. So, a lot of extraction occurs here resulting in a fuller body.


Espresso is the poster child for full-body coffee. The roast, grind, and brewing process are all ideal for getting a heavy, rich coffee.

Espresso roast is dark and oily, so more oils end up in the coffee. The grind is fine, so it’s easier to extract. And an espresso machine uses pressure and steam to force every bit of coffee flavor into your cup.

The result is the heaviest coffee body possible.

full bodied coffee

Why Is My Coffee Watery And Not Full-Bodied?

There are a few things that would make your coffee is watery instead of full-bodied.

  • You may not be using enough coffee,
  • Your grinds may be too big
  • Your water may not be hot enough
  • Your beans aren’t roasted dark enough

Not Using Enough Coffee

Start by checking that you have enough coffee grounds for the amount of water you’re using. The best ratio is 2 tablespoons of coffee for every 6 oz of water.

Grinds Are Too Big

The larger your coffee grinds, the less coffee is extracted. If your coffee is too watery, adjust your grind to a smaller size.

Your Water Is Not Hot Enough

The best temperature for coffee extraction is between 195-205°F (90-96°C).

Double-check that your brewing temperature is within that range. If it’s not, that could be the reason your coffee is watery and under-extracted.

Bean Box Add banner image

Your Beans Are Too Light

Light roasts aren’t as oily as darker roasts, so not as much coffee is extracted during the brewing process.

If your preferred brewing method leaves you with a light-bodied coffee, consider switching to a darker roast.


What Is Full Body Taste?

A full-bodied coffee has a richer and more intense flavor than other coffees.

The more oils and coffee solids your coffee contains, the fuller the body. But because it contains more oils, full-body coffee also has more flavor.

Does Full-Bodied Mean Dark Roast?

Full body does not mean dark roast, but there is a connection between the two.

Since it’s easier to extract coffee oils from dark roasted coffees, they’re known for brewing full-bodied coffee. But full-bodied coffee can be brewed from medium-roasted, high-altitude beans as well.


Full-bodied coffee contains more oils and flavors than your average drip coffee! Because of that it’s creamy and feels heavy on the tongue.

If you want to brew a cup of full-bodied coffee, choose beans that are grown at higher elevations or that are dark roast. And keep in mind that your brewing method also affects the body.

How do you prepare your full-body coffee? Let us know in the comments below!

Cheers Coffee Lovers!

Oliver's signature coffee break lovers