The Best Coffee For French Press – 2020 Guide

There are various methods of brewing coffee and many coffee lovers swear that French press gives you the best flavor from coffee beans. It’s a highly popular way to brew coffee.

What makes the French press one of the most preferred brewing methods is its simplicity. You only have to grind your coffee, add water, hold on for a couple of minutes, and finally press the plunger.

But there’s a crucial step to this coffee brewing method: you need to use the best coffee for French press.

If you select the wrong coffee beans, the outcome will be a chewy and bitter cup as opposed to the rich, tasty brew you crave.

So, what beans give you the tastiest French press coffee? This guide reviews some of the best coffee for the French press and explains how you can brew the best French press coffee.

Let’s dive in:

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Quick Glance: Our Top 5 Picks For Best Coffee for French Press

Bulletproof French Kick Whole Coffee Beans

Our Top Pick:

Bulletproof Coffee French Kick

  • Hand Harvested

  • Chemical Free

  • Roasted In Small Batches

Koffee Kult Dark Roast 100% Arabica Whole Coffee Beans

Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted

  • Bold and Smooth

  • 100% Arabica Beans

  • Low Acidity

Stone Street Coffee, Cold Brew, Coarse Ground Best Coffee For French press

Stone Street Coffee - Cold Brew

  • Rich Flavor With Chocoate Notes

  • Optimal For Cold Brew In A French Press

  • Roasted In Small Batches

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean, 100% Arabica, French Roast, 2lb Bag

Real Good Coffee Co.  French Roast

  • No Bitterness

  • Dark Chocolate and Raspberry Undertones

  • No Preservatives

Kicking Horse Coffee - Cliff Hanger

  • Certified Organic

  • Fair Trade

  • High Quality

5 Best Coffees for French Press

1. Bulletproof Coffee French Kick

Not many coffee beans are sourced from organic plantations, but Bulletproof Coffee is exceptional. Its beans grow using natural, chemical-free methods. Thus, you don’t have to worry about introducing herbicides and pesticides into your precious body.

The beans undergo roasting in small batches in the U.S. under stringent conditions to minimize the development of toxins during roasting. 

The result is a tasty cup of coffee without the performance-robbing elements.

Only experienced coffee harvesters handpick perfectly ripe beans. 

Without careful hand-harvesting of coffee beans, people may mistakenly pick unripe and damaged beans, which may affect both the taste and the way the drink makes you feel.

The beans are carefully grown at a high altitude on single estates in Guatemala, hand-picked, meticulously processed, and roasted to preserve flavor and the highest integrity.

What’s more, the final roast goes through proprietary laboratory testing to ascertain that the coffee meets the purity standards and Bulletproof quality standards.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Tested for toxinsSome users say the coffee is not fully organic
Hand-harvested to guarantee a premium quality
Sweet, smooth and smoky taste with chocolate notes
Roasted in Small Batches

Verdict

If you are looking for toxic-free coffee with an insanely sweet flavor to power your mornings, you can’t go wrong with the Bulletproof Coffee French Kick.

Our Top Pick
Bulletproof French Kick Whole Bean Coffee, Premium Dark Roast Gourmet Organic Beans, Rainforest Alliance Certified
$14.99 ($1.25 / Ounce)

Bulletproof French Kick Whole Bean Coffee, Premium Dark Roast Gourmet Organic Beans, Rainforest Alliance Certified (12 Ounces)


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2. Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted

Are you a fan of dark roast, which is associated with a smooth flavor, no oil around beans, and balanced acidity? Well, Koffee Kult Coffee is here to fulfill all your dark roast cravings.

Koffee Kult is a distinct blend of 100% Arabica coffee beans from Colombia, Brazil, and Sumatra known to produce dark, smooth, roasted coffee. The beans undergo roasting in Hollywood, Florida.

The coffee has a unique aroma along with the flavor notes of cinnamon and cocoa.

Small batches of coffee are roasted followed by immediate packaging and shipping. 

Shipping occurs within hours of roasting. The reason behind all this is to ensure only fresh coffee meets your mug.

This coffee has a unique aroma when whole, when ground, and when brewing. The smell alone could motivate you to get out of bed and enjoy your first cup.

Are you into espresso? No problem, as this whole bean makes a tasty espresso shot. 

So, go ahead and brew a single espresso shot for a strong adrenaline boost. You could also combine the coffee with frothed milk to make delicious cappuccinos, lattes, and macchiatos. 

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Beans are sourced from Colombia, Sumatra, and Brazil and are known for a smooth, bold flavorThe packaging needs improvment
Beans are fresh and deliver a smooth brew
A strong and sweet aroma
Low acidic coffee that’s friendly to your stomach
Ideal for espresso, cappuccinos, macchiatos, and more

Verdict

Koffee Kult Coffee has all the positive attributes you want in your coffee: great taste, stunning aroma, freshness, versatility, and non-GMO. We highly recommend it.

Koffee Kult Coffee Beans Dark Roasted - Organically Sourced Fair Trade - Whole Bean Coffee - (32oz)
$26.99 ($0.84 / Ounce)
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3. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew

Do you have a sensitive stomach?

You will appreciate the smoothness of a cold-brewed coffee over a hot one.

Many of us love cold brews but have trouble making them at home. That’s where Stone Street Coffee comes into the picture.

Their cold brew blend is designed to make a smooth, less acidic coffee without a watery or bitter taste.

The Stone Street Coffee Company is dedicated to the intimate and ethical sourcing of coffee beans with the best coffee growing regions and farms. 

Their careful sourcing process and small batching ensure you receive superior quality coffee.

The flavor is pure and rich and without the hints of plastic, aluminum, or artificial flavors common in cheap coffees.

If you don’t like the flavor of a dark roast, don’t dismiss Stone Street Coffee just yet. 

Instead, add a little cream or milk (probably combined with some ice or water according to your preference) and give it a shot. It might become your new favorite!

And did we mention it’s one of the freshest coffees out there? It comes packaged in a three-layered natural craft bag for guaranteed freshness.

It’s available in whole bean and ground so if you don’t have time to grind your beans it’s a great high quality ground option.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Available in whole bean or ground stateSlightly pricey compared to similar products
Smooth and delicious cold brew
Rich and bold flavor with chocolate notes
Three-layer packaging for freshness

Verdict

If you’re looking for the best coffee for French press brewing that combines freshness, sweet aroma, and delicious taste, try the Stone Street Coffee today.

Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Reserve, Coarse Ground, 1 LB Bag, Dark Roast, Colombian Single Origin
$14.99 ($0.94 / Ounce)
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4. Real Good Coffee Co. Whole Bean French Roast

It’s rare to find strong coffee that’s not bitter, but that’s now possible with the French Roast Coffee from Real Good Coffee. The drink is an extra bold, dark roast with a somewhat sweet finish.

The French roast coffee beans come from top-grade Arabica beans from South and Central America. The beans undergo fresh roasting in Seattle, Washington before being packaged. You can tell the freshness from the coffee’s fantastic flavor.

And speaking of flavor, the French Roast coffee has rich undertones of dark chocolate and raspberry with a hint of Mediterranean spice anise.

It works with various coffee brewers, including French press, espresso maker, pour-over, drip machines, Moka pot, and Aeropress.

Quality coffee with a kick doesn’t always have to taste bitter. Real Good Coffee Co uses premium whole beans to make a full-bodied roast that’s known to impress even the most hardcore drinkers, and it doesn’t taste bitter like most French roasts.

The dark roast is made from recyclable materials and 100% Arabica beans. It’s also kosher without preservatives, additives, or any artificial ingredients.

To guarantee freshness, the company packs the beans in a zip-lock bag to make it airtight and ensure the coffee stays fresh so your taste buds aren’t disappointed.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Airtight packaging for fresh coffeeCosts a little more (but it’s well worth your money)
No bitterness
Works with many coffee brewers other than French press
No extra chemicals
You’ll fall in love with this coffee’s smell and taste

Verdict

If you are eager to use your French press to make coffee with robust flavor and no bitter aftertaste we recommend the French Roast Coffee from Real Good Coffee Co.

Real Good Coffee Co Whole Bean Coffee, French Roast Extra Dark Coffee Beans, 2 Pound Bag
$24.99 ($0.78 / Ounce)
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5. Kicking Horse Coffee – Cliff Hanger

The blend is created for espresso enthusiasts, but it still works with a host of other brewing methods. The beans are versatile and ideal for any brew that requires a medium roast.

Kicking Horse Coffee selects their beans from three continents: Asia, America, and Africa. The beans from Central America create the acidity that’s perfect for espresso.

The African beans, on the other hand, are responsible for your drink’s fruity tones. They also tone down the coffee’s overall acidity. Lastly, the Indonesian sourced beans give this fantastic blend its full body.

This blend is good for strong coffee, perfect for giving you that extra kick in the morning. Once you introduce this sweet and smoky blend to your taste buds, you will get hooked.

While this coffee will still give you ample crema, its focus is on body and taste. 

The entire range of delicious espresso tastes will please you. The drink has a bright start, followed by fruity and middle tones, and ultimately finished with a caramel taste.

What We LikeWhat We Don’t Like
Pleasant aroma of blackcurrant, brown sugar, and milk chocolateThis coffee might be too sweet for those who like espresso
Certified Organic coffee and Fairtrade
Versatile
No bitterness
High-quality fresh beans

Verdict

Tired of drinking bland coffee? Give this Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger a try, and your perspective about espresso will change completely.

Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee, 35.2 oz
$29.44 ($0.84 / Ounce)
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Why Whole Beans Are the Best Coffee for French Press

While there are several high quality and flavorful ground coffees out there, they may not be ideal for your French press. 

The best coffee for French press is coarse to medium ground beans.

Thus, to extract the maximum flavor from your coffee and enjoy all the subtle nuances, you may want to use whole beans and grind them yourself.

The French press brewing requires medium to coarse grind mostly because the process of extracting flavor needs a bigger water surface area to be effective. 

The use of a medium to coarse grind also encourages a better release of carbon dioxide from the coffee grounds when steeping, which, further, enhances the finished brew’s flavor.

The main issue with using pre-ground coffee is that, while the ideal for the espresso maker, the coffee you get in your local store is typically ground to dust, which is too fine for the French press.

Brewing with a French press works well with coarsely ground coffee for the following reasons:

  • Finely ground coffee usually passes through the filters to leave a residue in the cup. Gritty coffee anyone? Yeah, no thanks.
  • The medium to coarse ground coffee has a clearer and brighter taste when brewed with a French press.

To get the best flavor from your French press, it would be best to grind the beans yourself, and that means you should consider investing in a high quality manual or electric coffee grinder.

The other option is to purchase coffee beans from a reliable local coffee shop and have them grind those beans on your behalf. Most barista houses have a commercial grinder that can generate the coarse grind you are looking for.

Another reason to grind your own coffee beans to the required size means you are assured of a super fresh cup of coffee each morning.

In theory, your French press can brew beans of any roast. But, most baristas usually prefer beans with a medium or dark roast. 

This preference makes sense, as these roasts often retain most of the oils, resulting in a more flavorful and better tasting coffee.

How To Make The Best French Press Coffee

To make an excellent cup of coffee using the French press, pay attention to the following:

Select High Quality Coffee Beans

A common mistake people make is purchasing extremely fine coffee grounds for the press. 

Fine grounds not only clog the filters, but they also let hot water get through them fast, making the coffee too bitter.

To avoid this, use a good coarse grind. As we mentioned above, the best way to achieve this is to go for whole beans and then grind them yourself to a coarse size. 

Coarse grounds allow for slow filtration of water and proper extraction of essential oils from the grounds.

For the tastiest coffee, brew your coffee using medium roast to medium dark roast beans.

Water Quality

The quality of water you use determines the overall taste of your drink. 

Instead of brewing with tap water, invest in a quality water filter.

That way you’ll always know the water is pure and doesn’t contain anything that will impact your brew. You’ll taste the difference in the flavor of your coffee.

Measure the Water and Coffee

The ratio of water to coffee is critical too. In general, you should use 2 tablespoons of your ground coffee for 8 oz of water. If your press is 37 oz, you will need to add 9 tablespoons of ground coffee to the pot (37/8 x 2).

It might look complicated at first, but once you get used to it, you will find making a consistently quality brew super easy. 

You can also use a coffee scale for the best ratio of coffee to water. 

Add more coffee for a stronger brew or more water if your brew is too strong for your tastes.

It will most likely take a couple of brews for you to determine the perfect ratio for your personal taste.

The Best Water Temperature

For an excellent French press extraction, the ideal temperature is 205°F. 

Water at this temperature is hot enough to extract the essential oils from the coffee grounds devoid of any bitterness.

There are two ways to tell if your water has hit 205°F. First, you can use a thermometer to check the water temperature. 

You can also use the ‘boil and sit’ approach, which requires you to bring the water to a boil and allow it to sit for 30 seconds. This duration allows boiled water to drop down to the target 205°F temperature.

Use the Right Procedure

A French press is a cylindrical pot that was invented in the twentieth century in France. It comprises a cap, a piston with a filter, and a vessel. This appliance allows you to make coffee through an infusion. It’s made of glass, stainless steel, or plastic.

So, how do you brew delicious coffee with the press?

Step 1. Preheat the Press

Pour hot water into the press to warm it. Whether you have a stainless steel or glass model, this step helps to keep the coffee maker warm throughout the brewing process.

Temperature is a critical variable when it comes to brewing coffee with a consistent taste. So you wouldn’t want hot water to hit the cold French press and then immediately cool down.

Wait for the water to sit in the brewer for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, grind your coffee beans into medium to coarse size. 

As earlier mentioned, the larger surface area of the grains will allow for maximum extraction of flavor from the beans.

If you’ve got a burr grinder (recommended for its more even grind size), then set it to the higher numbers.

After 30 seconds, empty the French press. You’ll need fresh water for brewing.

Step 2. Add the Coffee Grounds

After grinding your beans, now is the time to add your ground coffee into the French press. It’s essential that you use the correct coffee to water ratio. We recommend that you use 1 cup of water (8 fl oz) for every 2 tablespoons of ground coffee.

Step 3. Pour Water to the Coffee in a Spiral Motion

Now, pour the required hot water to your ground coffee in a spiral motion to ensure the water completely submerges all the grounds. 

If you spot any dry grounds on the surface, aim at them with the stream of water. 

The idea is to ensure all the grounds are wet at nearly the same time so that the hot water starts to extract flavor from the grounds all at once.

The even extraction gives your coffee a balanced and delicious flavor. You may observe the grounds bubbling in the water, a process known as blooming. Blooming prepares your grounds for perfect brewing.

The first stream of water helps to release carbon dioxide from the grounds, allowing the rest of the water poured to wholly penetrate the grounds and extract the flavors evenly. 

Step 4. Stir Gently

The next step is to stir your drink using a chopstick or bamboo paddle. While stirring, do it gently, as a violent stir might agitate your grinds, speeding up the extraction. The outcome might be a bitter flavor.

After stirring, place the lid on your press. You may want to press the plunger a little bit to ensure the mesh filter touches the surface of hot water.

By all means, resist the temptation to press the plunger all the way down.

Step 5. Wait for 4 minutes

Step 6. Press the Plunger All the Way to the Bottom

After four minutes have elapsed, your coffee is ready for drinking! You can now press the plunger all the way to the bottom of the press.

Don’t push it too hard, as that might agitate the ground coffee resulting in an extra bitter taste.

Don’t give in to the urge of pressing the plunger down like you are attempting to squeeze every ounce of flavor from them.

You already ensured maximum extraction by grinding the coffee to a particular size and using temperature and time to gently extract all the flavors. So, brute force won’t make the coffee more delicious.

Besides, a glass French press isn’t too sturdy to withstand too much force. Not to mention, the last thing we want is a shattered French press plus a messy surface and floor to clean.

Step 7. Voila!

Your coffee is ready! Pour it into your travel mug or cup. Even if you don’t want to drink the coffee immediately, don’t leave extra coffee in the press for later consumption, transfer it to a separate container.

Although the plunger does a great job of making it easy to pour the drink out, it doesn’t completely separate the drink from the residue. 

Thus, if you let the coffee sit in your press for way too long, it may get bitter due to over-steeping because the liquid is still in touch with the grounds via the mesh filter.

So, if you’d like to slowly enjoy your cup through a leisurely brunch, for example, you may want to pour it into your best coffee thermos.

What Is The Best Roast For French Press Coffee?

Every brewing method works well for a specific coffee roast and the French press method isn’t an exception. Here is a brief run of the different types of coffee roasts to help you tell which one is ideal for the French press brewing.

Light Roast

Beans with this roast are usually brown with little bitterness. The beans don’t have oil on their surfaces.

Light roast beans have a delicate taste that makes them unsuitable for brewing in the French press. But if you prefer light roast French press beans, then we recommend you don’t add milk because it may overpower the subtle coffee taste.

Medium Roast

Medium roast beans are slightly darker and dry with little oil around the surface. The extended roasting process tends to bring out more aroma and flavor from the beans.

Medium roasts are more balanced compared to light roasts and are among the best roasts to use in a French press.

Medium-Dark Roast

Coffee beans with a medium-dark roast are slightly darker with plenty of oil on their surfaces. The beans have lower acidity but more flavor and body.

The tasting notes usually include chocolate, nutty, and floral flavors. Medium-dark roasts are perfect for your French press. Even if you add milk to the coffee, the flavor won’t be drowned out.

Dark Roast

Beans with this roast are almost black in color with visible oil around the surface. 

Dark roast beans have a strong flavor accompanied by smoky, bitter notes that originate from the longer duration during roasting.

Dark roast beans are typically perfect for espresso but are not great for French press unless you prefer adding milk to your strong coffee, even though you will still taste the stronger flavor.

Can You Use Ground Coffee In French Press?

Well, it depends. The majority of pre-ground coffee has the ground size that typically works fine with a drip coffee maker, but it’s not a perfect choice for a French press, and in some cases, you may end up with old and stale ground coffee.

The tiny grounds end up sticking in your fine mesh filter – and may also slip right through. This does not only make it challenging to press down a plunger, but it also creates excessive sludge in your cup.

So, the solution is to purchase whole beans and grind them to a medium to coarse size, which keeps the grounds from passing through the filter or even clogging it or purchase high quality coarse ground beans that will work well with your French press.

Benefits of Brewing Coffee with the French Press

You can make coffee according to your individual taste

While using the press, you can vary the duration for steeping the coffee grounds, the water temperature, the size and type of grounds, and the pressure used to press the plunger.

Retains a higher amount of natural oils from coffee grounds

Many coffee enthusiasts concur that oils are responsible for the incredible taste and aroma of coffee. Since French presses do not use a filter like in drip machines, the rich earthy flavor of ground grains is not usually filtered out.

The portability of the device

The simplified beaker where you put grinds does not have any electrical connections, making it compact enough to be taken on the go. As long as you can heat water you can use your French press. If you like cold brew you don’t even need to be able to heat water!

Affordability

There is a huge array of French press appliances on the market these days. You can still find affordable machines that work excellently. So, pressers give you the opportunity to brew and enjoy high quality coffee from home without breaking the bank.

Final Word

Brewing the best coffee for the French press is easy once you know what to do. Choose the right coffee beans with the proper ground size, use filtered water at the right temperature and you are good to go. Start by choosing the best coffee from the list above.