Coffee enthusiasts everywhere appreciate the simplicity of using a French press coffee maker to brew their favorite sophisticated cup in the morning. However, picking the wrong beans for this process can result in a bitter and chewy drink. Read on to learn more about how to find the best coffee for the French press.
In this article, we will be reviewing the following coffee beans for French Press:
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Choosing the Best Coffee Beans for French Press
What is the French Press?
Understanding more about the French press can help you make an informed decision when purchasing coffee beans to use with it. A French press is a compact kitchen appliance used to brew coffee or tea quickly. Originally invented in France, the French press consists of a vessel, piston, filter, and cap.
A stainless steel mesh filter screens out the grounds, enhancing flavor while also resulting in more oils and solids from the coffee beans ending up in the final cup. Some coffee drinkers enjoy the chewy texture, while others prefer minimizing this effect by using coarser grounds.
Do You Need to Buy Specific Coffee for a French Press?
You do not need to buy a specific type of specialized coffee for a French press. Regular beans used in traditional coffee makers can also brew delicious coffee in this simple device.
However, unlike standard machines, a French press does not include a grinder. You can purchase pre-ground coffee or grind whole beans yourself before brewing.
The French press method reduces the bitterness frequently objected to in dark roasts, and traditional users often prefer a medium or darker roast to complement the accentuation of sweet flavors by the brewing process.
Fine Ground vs. Coarse Ground Coffee
Although traditionalists may appreciate darker roasts, a French press can also give bitter varieties an unpleasant final taste if grinds make it past the filter.
Due to the larger gaps present in the French press filter, small grounds easily seep through the mesh strainer and end up in your cup. These traces of coffee grinds create a pronounced bitterness from darker varieties and contribute to a thicker final texture, negating the benefits of using a French press.
The best coarse ground coffee does not seep through the filter, giving the brew a purer taste achieved by slower extraction that all French press lovers appreciate. However, if you plan on using fine grounds, a softer variety of coffee will taste best.
Disadvantages of Pre-Ground Coffee
Traditional French press coffee is made from freshly ground whole coffee beans. Still, some coffee drinkers may opt for pre-ground coffee if they do not own a grinder or possess limited time.
Grinding increases the surface area of the roasted beans, allowing better extraction of associated flavors and aromas when exposed to water. Unfortunately, this same increased surface area also increases environmental exposure to the coffee.
Ground coffee is vulnerable to losing aromas due to degassing, resulting in a stale brew if exposed for an extended period. Moisture can also seep into the grinds and negatively impact the oils that contribute to a rich flavor.
The relative amount of surface area is also the primary reason why a finely ground coffee grows stale quicker than a coarse blend. Fresh whole beans you grind yourself create the best ground coffee for French press, but a rough texture is a better choice if you must buy pre-ground coffee.
How to Make Coffee with a French Press
Before using your French press, ensure that the device is clean and use warm water to heat the glass vessel to avoid cracking from boiling water, then heat the desired amount of water for the brew.
After the water comes to a boil, begin to grind the whole coffee beans and limit exposure to open air. Then add two tablespoons of coffee grounds per one cup of water into the press before filling the vessel with boiling water.
Wait 3-5 minutes for the grounds to steep before slowly lowering the filter piston while maintaining a precise position to prevent coffee from falling into the finished brew.
The resulting liquid in the upper vessel is freshly brewed French pressed coffee ready to drink.
You can view an instructional video here on how to use a French Press.
Advantages of Brewing Coffee in a French Press
A French press offers several advantages over traditional coffee makers, mostly due to the process’ customization. You can adjust the strength of the drink by changing the brewing time, allowing the beans to steep longer for a more pungent taste.
The unique brewing process accurately reveals the coffee’s aroma in its purest form, absent of impurities. Selecting a flavorful coffee that you enjoy is key to successful brewing with a French press.
Additionally, the machine is compact and inexpensive, and allows you to get the best value out of premium coffee brands.
Best Coffee For French Press Reviews
1. Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Espresso Medium Roast Coffee – Our Top Pick
While geared toward espresso machines, the Cliff Hanger Espresso medium roast from Kicking Horse can also create an exceptional cup of coffee using a French press. This coffee is roasted with unique Pentax technology to bring out bright, fruit, and chocolate flavors in a smooth blend.
100% Arabica coffee beans from Africa, Indonesia, and South America also boast organic, fair trade, and Kosher certifications to offer a good coffee for drinkers, farmers, and the environment. Kicking horse roasts their beans in the rocky mountains and specializes in deep, dark, and delicious blends.
The Cliff Hanger Espresso medium roast has potential as the most delicious blend on this list. A sweet aroma of milk chocolate and brown sugar accentuates strong flavor notes, including wild berry syrup with a smooth cocoa finish.
No coffee maker enhances flavors better than a French press, making this espresso blend well suited for this brewing method. Whole beans allow you to grind the coffee at home to maximize freshness and ensure a coarse texture for a smooth final cup.
If you prioritize flavor and want a delicious cup of smooth coffee from your French press, the Cliff Hanger medium roast may pleasantly surprise you.
- Pentax technology maximizes flavours and aromas
- Medium roast with limited risk of bitterness when brewing with a French press
- Whole beans ideal for grinding immediately before pressing
- Certified organic, fair trade, and Kosher
- Espresso blend not specifically created for French press
- Fair trade product not guaranteed free of mycotoxins
- Moderately higher price than other coffee brands
The Special Reserve medium roast ground coffee from Gevalia features a coarse texture with delicate fruit and citrus undertones, ideal for French press brewing.
Sourced exclusively from various single-source countries amidst mineral-enriched soil, this ground coffee boasts 100% Arabica beans from environmentally responsible farms certified by the Rainforest Alliance.
The resealable bag features a tab that allows you to keep this coffee fresh by limiting environmental exposure while using convenient pre-ground beans for French press brewing.
Although this coffee is on the darker side of medium, it is not bitter. While the pre-ground beans’ coarseness is ideal for using a French press, if some grounds do seep through the filter, they likely won’t result in an unpleasant taste.
Low-temperature grinding technology is used for pre-ground beans, limiting the loss of flavor components due to heat. The considerations applied to avoid the adverse effects of grinding make Gevalia Special Reserve the best pre-ground coffee for the French press.
The advanced manufacturing from Gevalia does not come with the higher price tag of some premium coarse ground coffee brands. Using a French press allows consumers to maximize the value of their high-quality coffee at any price.
- Premium brand makes high-quality coffee with rich flavour enhanced with French press
- Pre-ground coarse coffee for convenience when using a French press
- Resealable tab limits environmental exposure, so the coffee does not quickly grow stale
- Single source 100% Arabica beans from environmentally responsible farms
- Pre-ground coffee will eventually become stale when stored long enough
- Environmental exposure can quickly reduce the flavour profile
- The coarse ground variety is still relatively fine compared to freshly ground beans
The Bulletproof French Kick dark roast whole bean coffee is a unique brew held to the highest standards of sustainability and cleanliness. This variety’s dark roast whole beans feature smoky chocolate notes and a smooth flavor in a medium body that is perfectly enhanced by French press brewing.
Whole beans allow you to adjust your grinding to your preference and maximize the freshness of your coffee. Grinding coffee beans yourself is ideal for creating fresh coarse ground coffee for French press brewing.
Guatemalan and Colombian farms partner directly with the company to grow the coffee beans on high altitude estates. While this region is ideal for growing high-quality coffee, tropical soil can contain toxins that contribute to inflammation.
Bulletproof sorts their beans to expertly pick the highest quality variety and subjects them to thorough washing and toxin testing to ensure cleanliness, but mycotoxin removal can also result in a bland smell. The Rainforest Alliance certified process supports the environment and local communities and prioritizes sustainability.
Bulletproof claims that their unique processes and organically grown beans may help minimize the harmful side effects of coffee, such as post-coffee jitters. If you are looking for the healthiest coffee to brew in your French press, Bulletproof French Kick may be it.
- Dark roast with smooth and smoky flavours ideal for French press brewing
- Certified organically grown and thoroughly cleaned to remove toxins
- Absence of toxins limits the negative side effects of coffee
- Whole beans maintain freshness until grinding before brewing in a French press
- Higher price accounts for organic certification and advanced cleaning process
- Increased cleaning and reduced mycotoxins limit the natural aroma
- Bland smell contributes to a weaker taste after French press brewing
The SF Bay French Roast presents a traditional option for a coffee lover seeking the ideal dark roast for their French press. SF Bay coffee created a variety that captures the key features of France’s typical coffee used in the original French press coffee maker.
This popular roast is not for the faint of heart. The bold, intense smoky flavor arises from prolonged roasting until flavorful oils rise to the surface of the bean. These oils create a coffee characterized by notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon, and a smoky finish.
Using a French press for a full-bodied roast like the SF Bay French Roast accentuates the robust flavors and enables drinkers to enjoy the maximum potential of the coffee. The 100% Arabica and certified Kosher whole beans allow you to grind your fresh coffee to your specifications.
SF Bay Coffee is a family-owned company that ensures fair trade and practices sustainability with their partner farms in Central and South America. Beans from these farms achieve French perfection, creating the best coffee for brewing a robust traditional roast with your French press.
- Full-bodied dark roast features robust flavours from intense oils
- Traditional option ideal for French press coffee makers
- 100% Arabica and Kosher certified beans
- Whole beans ideal for grinding before brewing with French press
- Can leave an aftertaste in your mouth due to the increased oil
- Dark roast can have a bitterness if not brewed correctly in French press
- Not Rainforest Alliance certified
Stone Street Coffee created Cold Brew Reserve coarse ground dark roast so that customers could quickly make cold brew coffee at home. A French press coffee maker is ideal for brewing cold, and this coffee variety is an excellent option for those seeking to use their machine to make cold beverages.
This dark roast variety features a bold but smooth flavor perfect for enhancing with a French press. The pre-ground beans present a convenient option for coffee lovers without a grinder at home. Optimal for cold brew extraction, the coarse texture also prevents the coffee from seeping through a French press filter.
The company roasts 100% Colombian Supremo beans in small batches and packages them in a layered resealable pouch to ensure freshness. The cold brew blend features a roast specifically blended for a less acidic coffee without the watery or bitter tastes commonly found in home-brewed cold beverages.
Simply stir the grounds into cold water before leaving to steep in the fridge. After twelve hours, coffee lovers can make a perfect cold brew using this blend in their French press.
- Specially blended for the optimal cold brewing possible with a French press
- 3-layered pouch limits environmental exposure of pre-ground beans
- High-quality 100% Colombian Supremo beans with robust flavour profile
- Less acidic for reduced watery or bitter taste in cold beverages
- Pre-ground bean susceptible to growing stale
- Moderately higher price than other coffee brands
- Dark roast with a slightly burnt flavour
The Best French Press Coffee Beans
Although coffee lovers can find roasts to suit any taste for their French press, the Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Medium Roast is the best available on the market today.
Cliff Hanger offers delicious flavors and a smooth finish enhanced by brewing with a French press. Whole beans maximize freshness by allowing you to grind the ideal texture immediately before brewing, and limited bitterness reduces the likelihood of an unpleasant taste.
This medium roast from Kicking Horse demonstrates that you do not need to buy a specialized coffee blend for your French press coffee maker. If you understand how your French press works and how to maximize your brew’s quality, you can find a roast ideal for any taste buds.