The humble French Press can produce some of the best tasting coffee you’ll have in your entire life… if you know how to use it right.
Choosing the right beans is the first and most important step to a texture-rich and aroma-full cup of coffee. But, with so many brands, blends, and roasts, choosing the right product becomes hard and time-consuming. Not for a coffee dork barista!
When you sit at home in your pajamas all day, brewing coffee, watching 90s Van Damme movie, you become good at it. Below we have answered the question, what is the best coffee for French press? We have done so by reviewing the most easily accessible and quality coffee beans on the market.
This is Bulletproof’s premium gourmet medium roast organic ground coffee. The beans are harvested from passive organic estates in different regions in Central America. The roasting happens in the United States under the strictest FDA conditions. Here is why we recommend it:
- Bulletproof Ghee provides a source of Vitamin K-2 and A.
- Brain Octane Oil provides 10x more caprilyc acids than coconut oil.
- Optimized to minimize toxins.
- Smooth, aroma-rich, and full-bodied taste with every brew.
From bog-standard Robusta to the champagne that is Kona, all beans can be ranked. Finding the best bean for your French Press isn’t a case of buying the most expensive one. The slow brew of the French Press means some beans taste better than others!
The best beans for a French Press are medium to medium-dark roast. These have a rich, bright flavor that’s robust enough to withstand the brewing time, but not too dark that they become overpowering. Light roasts need a grind that’s too fine for a French Press to really extract the oils and flavors – they tend to taste weak and watery when ground coarsely for slow brew methods.
Check out our comparison of the best French press brewers. This way, if your brew doesn’t turn out great, you know the fault is within your methodology.
The grind is equally (or maybe more) important than the beans you choose. For a French Press, you want a medium to coarse grind – the more surface area you have on your grounds, the better the extraction will be.
You also can’t use a paper filter in a French Press, you’ve just got a mesh filter. Even with a double-layered mesh filter French Press, medium-fine grinds will pass through.
If you manage to find a way to brew a medium-fine grind in a French Press that doesn’t taste watery, you’ll still need to pour that coffee through another filter before it hits your cup.
Five Best Coffees for French Press
Coarsely grind these 5 beans and you won’t be disappointed!
Bulletproof Original Ground Coffee
Our best choice is the medium roast ground coffee from Bulletproof. These beans are sweet and smooth with a hint of chocolate – chosen especially for use with your French Press. The beans are Rainforest Alliance certified, but not certified organic. Bulletproof source these beans from high altitude estates in Guatemala and Colombia.
They grind well and aren’t too oily. Once brewed, the coffee has a delicious smokiness with the rich chocolate notes and a medium body. Not too strong but definitely flavorsome!
Bulletproof coffee is washed, dried and tested for toxins. The process reduces the jitters and crashes you’d usually experience after getting your caffeine fix. Some of our team noticed the difference, others didn’t. Regardless, it has the best flavor in the French Press.
Buy in 12oz bags, whole bean (our preferred choice) or pre-ground.
Primos Coffee For French Press
Primos’ French Press Specialty Coffee is a premium strictly high grown bean from Nicaragua, rich with sweet and citrusy notes. The beans are fully-washed and sundried. The coffee has a medium body, low acidity (perfect for the long French Press brewing time) and feels smooth on your palate.
It’s available as a dark and medium roast – we prefer the medium roast, which has a subtler flavor. You might like the dark roast if you like your coffee powerful and strong. You can only buy this coffee pre-ground, which is a little annoying. Still, it’s pre-ground to the perfect coarseness for your French Press.
Each bag contains 12oz.
Two Volcanoes Ground Coffee
A dark roasted, super smooth blend of Guatemalan beans! With fruity and woody notes, this coffee is strong but well-balanced, rich and complex. It’s surprisingly dry, rather than oily. One of our favorite dark roasts, it’s designed for espresso but perfect for a French Press too (try it if you don’t believe us) when ground coarsely.
It works well as a dessert coffee to clean your palate from creamy or sweet foods. You might find it too overpowering first thing in the morning!
These premium beans also come in a high-quality bag with a de-gassing valve.
Verena Street coffee offers you a wide variety of flavored coffees, all perfectly roasted for your French Press brewer in Iowa. Notable flavors include Stocking Stuff (peppermint), Cow Tipper (creamy caramel and vanilla), and Mississippi Grogg (butterscotch and hazelnut).
There’s also unflavored Sumatra, which is an excellent strong dark roast and our best choice for an everyday brew, and Lock & Dam, a great medium roast. All coffee is sourced from Rainforest Alliance certified coffee estates.
By the coffee pre-ground in bags of 12oz or 2lb. Whole beans are available in bags of 2lb.
The Bean Coffee Company
This organic whole bean is not cheap, but it is delicious! Available in bags of 16oz or 80oz, this classic Colombian blend is a good everyday coffee for your French press. The organic ‘El Grano Suave’ is a smooth medium roast with a subtle sweetness and floral notes. It does have a noticeable level of acidity, but overall it’s well balanced and always has us reaching for another cup.
It’s certified organic by USDA and hand-roasted in small batches for freshness – of course, if you’re buying the 80oz bag, you’ll need to rely on other methods of keeping that vast amount fresh.
Major Dickason’s Blend, by Peet’s Coffee, is a dark blend that we love for the French Press. It’s a complex flavor with a smooth, rich and full body. It’s blended from coffee beans picked by Peet’s Coffee located all over the world – it’s robust, earthy and deep with a hint of sweetness.
You can also find some single origin coffees from Peet’s Coffee. The House Blend and French Roast are both dark enough to give a rich, deep flavor with your French Press.
It’s pre-ground coffee, but as long as you grab a fresh bag and store it correctly (there’s an expiration date printed on each) it will be fine to use until the bag is empty.
How to Make Coffee with A French Press Like A Barista
The key is attention to detail. Paying such fine attention is probably going to raise a few eyebrows… and drop a few jaws when they get to taste your delicious coffee!
- Boil your water to 205° It needs to be this temperature when it hits the coffee grinds – use a kettle and thermometer.
- Grind your beans with a conical burr grinder to a coarse consistency. Use a 10 to 1 ration. For 500g of coffee, you need 50g of coarse ground coffee.
- Add the coffee and a very small pinch of salt to enhance the flavor.
- Very slowly pour the 205°F water in a steady stream over the grinds. Stir with a bamboo spoon (a matcha whisk is also a good tool) and let the coffee bloom undisturbed for 30 seconds.
- Attach the lid and let it steep for 4 minutes. As you brew more cups with the same blend, you can adjust this time if needed. Reduce the time if it will sit for a while before consuming. Never exceed 4 minutes.
- Press down the plunger while counting to 30. The slower you are, the better.
- Serve immediately in warmed mugs, to prevent the coffee cooling too fast.
That’s your professional barista French Press recipe, but a real barista doesn’t stop there.
To make a cold brew with your French Press:
- Use a 7 to 1 ratio. For 500g of coffee, you need 70g of coarse ground coffee.
- Immerse the grinds in room temperature water for 12 hours.
- Press the plunger, pour and dilute to taste.
You can also impress your friends by frothing hot milk in your French Press. Add hot milk and start pumping the filter.
Of course, the key to really seeming like a Barista is a little height and flourish while you’re pouring!
Things to Avoid
The biggest thing to avoid is using grinds that are too fine. Sure, you can probably stomach a poorly brewed coffee so long as the beans are a good quality… but can you stomach a mouth full of gritty grinds in your coffee?
After you’ve mastered the art of grinding (a burr grinder is the best you can use), you need to pick good beans. FRESH beans. Never use stale beans or store your beans half-wrapped and pegged in a bag. They need to be sealed. Check out how long coffee beans last if you are unsure.
When adding water, make sure it’s not still bubbling away. You don’t need to be exact as 205°F if you’re just brewing for yourself, but the water that’s poured directly from the kettle at a boiling point will scald your coffee, making it bitter.
Choosing a Good French Press
Now that you know what the best coffee for French press is, you shouldn’t delay your next cup.
You also want to avoid using a poor-quality French Press. Look for double layer mesh, vacuum seals, and borosilicate glass – these are the highest quality materials in the French Press market.
With glass presses, you also run the risk of the glass cracking. Never use a metal spoon. When the glass is heated to high temperatures, just a small tap with a metal spoon can create tiny cracks that will grow each day until it smashes to bits.
Anthony is a professional barista in the city of Chicago. He has written for many online publications on various topics related to coffee.
Do you need special coffee for a French press?
No, you can use any coffee you like so long as it’s ground coarsely. You need coarse coffee grinds for your French press, as finer grinds will quickly over-extract and become bitter.