Although there are lots of different coffee brewing methods to be tried, the French press method of making a cup of Joe is still a firm favorite in many households.
In fact, many die-hard coffee aficionados maintain that you can’t get the best flavor from your beans through any other method of brewing.
At A Glance: Best Coffees for French Press
Now, as every home barista knows, the final flavor of your finished brew is dependent on many factors, but the most important of these is your choice of bean and your grind.
And to get the best out of your French press, the grind is of paramount importance. Here at Roasty, we want to help you achieve perfection in your home barista endeavors, so we’ve taken time out to hunt down the very best coffee for use in a French press.
But before we get down to the nitty-gritty of what makes the best coffee for French press, we need to explain why the coffee you choose is so important.
Quick Summary: Best Coffees for French Press
|Lifeboost Coffee||Check On Lifeboost→|
|CAFFE VITA BISTRO BLEND||Check Price →|
|PT’S COFFEE FLATLANDER SIGNATURE BLEND||Check Price →|
|STAY GOLDEN COFFEE CO. PAUBRASIL BLEND||Check Price →|
|PRIMO’S COFFEE CO. FRENCH PRESS SPECIALTY COFFEE||Check on Amazon →|
|BULLETPROOF COFFEE FRENCH KICK||Check on Amazon →|
|TWO VOLCANOES GOURMET GUATEMALA WHOLE BEAN||Check on Amazon →|
|KOFFEE KULT DARK ROAST COFFEE BEANS||Check on Amazon →|
|STONE STREET COFFEE COLD BREW RESERVE COLOMBIAN SUPREMO||Check on Amazon →|
|DEATH WISH ORGANIC USDA CERTIFIED WHOLE BEAN COFFEE||Check on Amazon →|
The Bean and the Grind
Many people who routinely use a French press will automatically reach for a bag of ready-ground coffee.
Now don’t get us wrong here, there are some excellent quality and totally delicious ground coffees out there. But if you want to extract maximum flavor and enjoy the subtle nuances of your favorite coffee, you really want to grind your beans yourself if you’re using the French press brewing method.
The French press needs a medium to coarse grind. That’s because the flavor extraction process needs maximum water surface area to be fully effective. This also facilitates better carbon dioxide release from the coffee grounds during steeping, further enhancing the flavor of the finished brew.
The problem with pre-ground coffee is that, although it’s perfect for use in an espresso machine, the stuff you’ll find in your local grocery store is usually ground much too fine for a French press. French press works much better with a very coarse grind for several reasons:
- Finely ground coffee tends to pass through mesh filters, leaving gritty residue in your cup.
- Coarse ground coffee gives a much clearer, brighter flavor in a French press.
So, the bottom line is:
To get the best flavor from a French press, you’ll need to take the DIY route and grind your coffee beans yourself.
If you don’t already have one, invest in a good-quality electric or manual coffee grinder. Check out our helpful article on stainless steel versus ceramic coffee grinders and get yourself a good one.
Of course, it is possible to grind your coffee beans without having to splurge on a grinder. And once again, your resourceful coffee-loving friends here at Roasty have a detailed guide on exactly how to do that.
Another option is to buy your coffee beans at a really good local coffee shop and ask them to grind the beans for you. Most commercial grinders that are used in barista houses have a small icon with a French press on it that will give you the coarse grind you need.
Of course, grinding your coffee beans yourself at home means that you’re guaranteed a super-fresh cup of Java every morning. Nice.
Theoretically, you can use any bean in a French press. However, most baristas prefer to use a medium or dark-roasted bean. That’s because these roasts retain the most oils, leading to a better tasting and more flavorful brew.
So, without further ado, here’s what we consider to be the best coffee for French press.
Roasty Rankings: Best Coffees for French Press
Enjoy delicious, healthy, single-origin, chemical-free, non-GMO coffee from small farms in the mountains of Nicaragua
First up on our list is Lifeboost Coffee. Carefully cultivating high-quality coffee from bean to cup, Lifeboost ensures beans that are intentionally grown, hand-selected, and hand-roasted, making this joe an excellent choice for any avid French-press enthusiast.
Lifeboost’s organic, single-origin coffee is among the two percent of coffee beans in the world that are shade-grown. That means that, as the beans grow, the harsh rays from the sun won’t interfere with any of the coffee’s flavors, and no pesticides are needed. In short: shade-grown beans equal pure java.
Here’s something else to love about Lifeboost: it’s easy on the stomach! Coffee with high acidity levels have been linked to heartburn and digestive issues, but thanks to the way these beans are grown and processed, Lifeboost’s coffee boasts low acidity. Enjoy cup after up of caffeinated goodness with no pain later.
Caffe Vita Bistro Blend
Caffe Vita Bistro Blend
A classically balanced cup, with the smooth sweetness of milk chocolate and caramel supporting a cashew-nuttiness that keeps us coming back.
Picture this: you’ve pulled out your handy dandy French press on a lazy Sunday morning. You’ve got nowhere to be and all the time in the world to sit and sip a delicious cup of coffee. The only problem is, you’re not sure what type of coffee to use. We’ve got you covered! Allow us to introduce you to the Bistro Blend from Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co.
This medium-roasted blend of South American, East African, and Indonesian coffees produces a smooth and balanced brew any coffee drinker can appreciate. As you wait for the flavors of dark chocolate, nougat, berry, and caramel to steep in your French press, close your eyes and enjoy the sweet aroma of cocoa powder, nougat, and baking spice. So good!
PT’s Coffee Flatlander Signature Blend
PT's Coffee Flatlander Signature Blend
Easy does it. And this coffee proves just that. A bittersweet aroma is balanced by a nutty, sweet finish. Here’s to one less complication.
French presses have a way of bringing java’s flavors to the surface, guaranteeing delicious cups of coffee every single time. That’s why we recommend pairing PT’s Coffee’s Flatlander Signature blend with this brewing method. The beans’ natural oils produce sweet caramel flavors and bright, citrusy notes of tangerines that are perfect for a morning pick-me-up.
These beans are sourced from South America and roasted with care in Topeka, Kansas. You can trust PT’s Coffee to deliver great coffees, as the company was the recipient of the Roast Magazine “Roaster of the Year” award in 2009.
Stay Golden Coffee Co. Paubrasil Blend
Stay Golden Coffee Co. Paubrasil Blend
It’s not often we see such a full body in a coffee roasted this lightly, and with its creamy notes of milk chocolate, it really works.
This coffee’s name was probably a dead giveaway, but the beans for Stay Golden Coffee Co.’s Paubrasil blend are sourced from Cerrado Mineiro, Brazil, and are roasted to light-medium colored perfection in Nashville, Tennessee.
This 100 percent traceable, single-origin java will quickly become one of your favorite coffees to use in a French press coffee maker. Take in the sweet taste and aroma of juicy cherries and creamy milk chocolate in every mug full of delicious coffee.
Primo’s Coffee Co. French Press Specialty Coffee
When it comes to your coffee-making routine, you might be quite stubborn, insisting on using the same coffee brands in the same drip brewer over and over again. But we think there’s value in branching out. Venture into the world of French presses, and give new types of coffee — like Primo’s Coffee Co. specialty coffee — a fair shot.
Nicaraguan shade-grown beans are hand-picked before making their way to Texas, and from there, they are medium-roasted before being distributed to customers. When you brew this mild, low acidity coffee, you’ll taste an overall sweet flavor with hints of citrus. Grab a burr grinder to turn these whole beans into coarse coffee grounds and get them brewing in one of the market’s quality French presses, and your taste buds will thank you later.
Bulletproof Coffee French Kick
The high-altitude Guatemalan and Colombian coffee beans used to create Bulletproof Coffee’s French Kick blend are small-batch roasted in United States roasting houses, and the end result is a dark roast with smooth, sweet, and smoky notes and chocolate overtones. The clean and medium-bodied finish is the icing on the coffee cake.
This Amazon’s bestseller lends itself very well to the French press brewing method, and you’ll love every sip of a brew made with these organically-grown beans.
Two Volcanoes Gourmet Guatemala Whole Bean
A medium roast blend, this whole bean Guatemalan roast by Two Volcanoes is a delicious option for French press brewing.
A single origin gourmet coffee, Two Volcanoes roasts their coffee in small batches, highlighting all of the flavors in the beans. Furthermore, they package the beans immediately after roasting to preserve freshness.
Not only do they roast their beans to perfection, but they also take extra care to carefully sift through all of the beans to remove any mutations or imperfections. It’s also evenly balanced in acidity and caffeine content, making it a great option for a majority of coffee lovers.
Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee Beans
The blend of Colombian, Guatemalan, Brazilian, and Sumatran beans used to create Koffee Kult’s gourmet coffee are non-GMO, 100 percent arabica beans. The dark roast of these beans preserves the coffee’s natural flavors, which include spicy-sweet cinnamon and cocoa.
The finished brew is smooth and bright with a long finish, but the strong aroma will have you drooling over this coffee before you’ve even pushed the plunger to the bottom of the French press.
Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve Colombian Supremo
Did you know you can use French presses to make cold brew coffee? Well, you can! And Stone Street Coffee’s Cold Brew Reserve is just the batch of beans to help you do it. This Colombian Supremo single-origin coffee is made with 100 percent arabica beans. The beans are dark-roasted in and distributed from Brooklyn, and by the time they make it to your house, they’re ready to be coarsely ground and brewed.
A tall glass of cold brew made from this coffee is low in acidity and bitterness, but high in smooth, slightly sweet, well-balanced, and bold flavors. Enjoy the chilled coffee black, or add a splash of your favorite milk, creamer, and flavored syrup.
Death Wish Organic USDA Certified Whole Bean Coffee
Do you need a serious caffeine kick to get up and at ’em in the morning? Look no further than Death Wish.
Death Wish prides itself on being the producer of the World’s Strongest Coffee, and a cup of Death Wish supposedly has double the amount of caffeine that you’ll find in your regular cup of joe. This brand of beans is an Amazon bestseller, so considering Death Wish’s popularity, we think it’s safe to say the company’s doing something right when it comes to caffeinating customers.
Death Wish uses premium arabica and robusta coffee beans that are sourced from USDA organic and fair-trade plantations. The beans are then dark-roasted to produce a surprisingly smooth cherry and chocolate-flavored brew that’s popular around the world.
Peet’s Coffee, Major Dickason’s Blend
Specialty coffee roaster, Peet’s Coffee, is based in the San Francisco Bay area and has been producing coffee since its foundation in 1966. One of the company’s most loved batches of beans, Major Dickason’s blend, combines the very best coffees from premier growing regions to produce a smooth and balanced cup of java.
The brew you can look forward to making in your French press from this dark roast is rich, complex, and smooth with a full body and multi-layers. This is an interesting and sophisticated blend that lends itself perfectly to this brewing method.
How to avoid disasters
So, now you’ve bought your coffee beans, and you have a means of producing a beautiful, coarse grind to use in your French press. What could possibly go wrong?
Everyone suffers an occasional caffeinating catastrophe once in a while, and brewing French press coffee is trickier than you might first think.
Check out this video for a step by step guide to doing French press properly:
So, to spare your blushes, we thought you’d like to know how to avoid these common French press foul-ups. Don’t worry; we’ve all been there.
Using the wrong amount of grounds
One of the attractions of brewing French press coffee is that the process allows you to customize your drink. The amount of grounds you use and the length of steeping time are totally under your control.
However, a common error made by beginners is to get the balance wrong. Use too much coffee and the resulting brew is strong enough to keep you jittering all night. Use too little, and you could steep the brew for an hour or more and still end up with a watery drink that tastes like … well, not like coffee anyway.
Beginners should start off by using a 1:10 coffee to water ratio. That is one gram of coffee for every 10 grams of water. That will produce a mid-strength brew, which will suit most tastes.
If you prefer your coffee strong, increase the grounds to water ratio. If you prefer it on the lighter side, reduce the steeping time or use fewer grounds.
Stewing your brew
Stewing the brew is just about the most common calamity that befalls home baristas when they first begin using a French press. If you leave your coffee in the French press, it will continue to brew in hot water, resulting in an over-extracted, bitter brew that’s just not nice at all.
When the coffee has finished brewing, transfer it to a thermos or carafe. Or better still, drink it while it’s fresh!
Warm your cup before pouring to help with heat retention. Also, be sure to invest in a decent set of coffee cups with good thermal retention properties too.
Poor grind quality
As we’ve already mentioned (and it is worth saying it again), French press coffee needs a medium to coarse grind. Too fine a grind and you won’t be able to press it down properly, or it will run through the filter into your drink.
You can avoid the problems that can result from unsuitable or poor quality ground coffee. Buy whole beans and invest in a decent coffee grinder, or ask your local barista to do the job for you in their commercial machine.
Frequently Asked Questions
Will French press coffee raise your cholesterol?
It sounds like a silly question at first, wondering whether or not a brewing method can alter the healthiness of a brew. But it’s one worth asking, and it’s been asked a lot. So…will French press coffee raise your cholesterol?
Before we solve this mystery, we think it’s important that you know where this assumption came from. As you know, coffee brewed in French presses retains more of its natural, flavor-filled oils than, say, coffee made in an automatic drip machine because there’s no paper filter to absorb them. And while they do produce a better-tasting cup of coffee, these oils — called cafestol and kahweol — can be dangerous if consumed too frequently.
So, if you’re a French press fanatic, be sure to limit your pressed coffee intake. Switch it up by using a drip brewer every once in a while, and you’ll be fine.
Can I make anything else in my French press?
Obviously, French presses can be used to make coffee, but you might be surprised to learn you can use this neat little contraption for a list of other things.
No automatic milk frother or steaming wand? No problem! Use these handy little coffee brewers to froth milk. Are you an avid tea-drinker? Add loose tea leaves and boiling water to the French press, let the leaves steep for five to 10 minutes, then press yourself a perfect spot of tea. You can even use a French press to rinse grains, like rice or quinoa!
Does French press coffee have more caffeine?
You know, Roasty reader, that when you drink as much coffee as you or we do, you’ve got to keep an eye on how much caffeine you consume; there’s nothing worse than the post-coffee, wonder-if-I’ll-ever-sleep-again jitters. Does French pressed coffee alter your brew’s caffeine levels?
The short answer is yes, French press coffee has more caffeine than you might think. A 4-ounce cup of coffee made with this brewing method contains around 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, which is greater than the amount of caffeine present in java made with an automatic coffee machine.
Of course, the brewing method is not the only thing that determines how much caffeine you’ll get from your cup of joe. Things like the type of coffee used, varieties of coffee beans (robusta or arabica), water temperature, grind level, and brew (or extraction) time also affect just how jittery you’ll be after your morning cup, so if you’re seriously looking to cut back on caffeine, you’ll have to take all of these factors into consideration.
Wrapping it up
French press coffee is perhaps the most reliable method of producing a customizable brew that’s true to the flavor of the bean.
Use a coarse grind to allow for maximum flavor extraction and if possible go for a home-ground coffee, rather than pre-ground for freshness and perfect grind texture.