In this article, we are looking at the best coffee for french press which we can use and how to use them for getting the best from your french press.
Locating that perfect blend to supply morning caffeine needs can be challenging, particularly for those using a French press coffee maker.
The French press is known for being the coffee machine of choice for those desiring a decadent, delicious pick-me-up in the morning, as it provides more control, allowing the user to create a custom blend for each cup. Because there isn’t a paper filter, you also get all the luscious oils and full flavor from the beans.
After going through dozens of different beans to use for my morning/afternoon/night coffee, I concluded that the SF Bay Coffee, specifically their French roast, is the best overall. It has the robust taste I need in the morning to really kick-start my day!
Pro Tips for the best french press coffee
- If you are amongst the new or old coffee drinkers you will always agree on one thing that one should always grind the coffee fresh than buying pre grounded coffee beans. Fresh coffee beans which are freshly roasted are always the first choice.
- Coarse ground coffee is always better so that the coffee particles don’t seep into your coffee from the mesh filter.
- I personally prefer a manual burr grinder for getting the best coarse ground coffee. Though automatic grinder also works great for getting coarsely ground coffee.
- Always buy your freshly roasted beans from a roaster or online than from super market.
- Buy a good french press and a coffee beans grinder you can afford.
- Always keep your french press clean, if not the french press brewing can have a lot of leftover tastes from old brewed coffee.
Let’s take a look at some coffee beans that work well with the French press and provide some basic guidelines for help in creating your perfect blend. You can also look at our guide on how to make french press coffee at home.
Best Coffee for French Press
While personal taste will, of course, be the deciding factor in determining a favorite blend, this will provide a place to begin the search.
SF Bay Coffee French Roast – Best Overall
Smooth yet bold, the San Francisco Bay coffee makes an excellent French roast. As all French roasts are, it’s a dark roasted beans, but it stands out by blending beans from Central and South America, known for their bright beans that have a crisp finish.
SF Bay coffee roasts the Arabica beans until they have a rich, dark chocolate taste. You may notice a slightly sweet taste to this dark roast, and that’s because they have roasted the beans just enough for the natural sugars to have caramelized. It helps to balance the deep, chocolatey notes, making each cup of coffee not taste ashy, the way some dark roasts can.
Whenever you open a bag of beans and see a deep, rich color with a high sheen, you know the coffee is going to be good.
They’re a relatively small company, family owned, so they take quality issues seriously. They ensure that each bag meets your standards, and if it doesn’t, they’ll make it right.
Kicking Horse Coffee – Most Diverse Coffee
A delicious medium roast, whole bean coffee brand that works well with the French press is Kicking Horse Coffee. This company has a “legendary” back story that’s sure to make you smile along with some fantastic coffee. Kicking Horse Coffee offers blends in whole bean and ground in great flavors.
Kick-Ass is the company’s dark roast, and it has a deep, robust, slightly smoky flavor that wakes you up in the morning and gets you on your way.
For those who would appreciate a more delicate brew, Smart Ass may be more your speed. It has a smoother flavor that contains delicious hints of chocolate. Smart Ass gives off an incredible sweet vanilla aroma that smells almost as good as the coffee taste as it brews.
Kicking Horse Coffee has been around for 25 years and has a well-deserved reputation for producing strong coffee. All beans manufactured by Kicking horse are certified USDA Organic and Fair Trade International.
Copper Moon, Guatemala Antigua– Best for Smooth Coffee
For those who don’t want to be breathing their coffee later, this Copper Moon Guatemala Antigua blend is the perfect balance of smooth and bright. For a lighter coffee, it still packs plenty of flavors: it has smoky notes that mix pleasantly with the soft taste of cocoa. As their motto says, if you’re looking for an out-of-this-world cup of coffee from your French press, then you can’t go wrong with Copper Moon.
Best of all, a portion of their profits to several worthy charities:
- Habitat for Humanity
- Conquer Paralysis Now
- Astronaut Scholarship Fund
- Food Banks
Death Wish Coffee – Best for Strong Coffee
For the genuinely adventurous coffee drinker looking toward their next daredevil fix, may we present Death Wish Coffee? This brand bills itself as “The World’s Strongest Coffee.”
This company was founded back in 2012 and is based in Saratoga Springs, New York, and is perhaps best known for sending its product into space, twice. Death Wish coffee was used as part of an experiment to test the antibacterial properties of coffee in a microgravity environment.
Death Wish Coffee states that it has nearly twice as much caffeine as other coffees, providing an additional energy boost. Their fair trade organic brews offer strong dark and medium roast options. Death Wish’s single-serve options include pour-over and single-serve “Death Cups’ ‘ when using a French press would be impractical.
Primos Coffee Company – Best for Home Roasting
Primos Coffee Company started on a family farm in Nicaragua to cultivate coffee beans that grow and ripen in the shade. With limited exposure to the sun, these beans ripen at a slower rate, giving them a unique flavor. When the beans are ripe, they are picked by hand and taken to the company’s facility in Texas to be roasted to perfection.
Primos sells bags of their whole beans in a medium or dark roast that are made to order, ensuring that the beans you receive are almost as fresh as if you’d roasted them yourself.
Opening a bag of Primos Coffee for the first time will tell you everything you need to know about how that first cup will taste. A simple, delicious coffee!
One rather unique offering at Primos is to purchase their specialty green beans directly, online. This opportunity can be a gamechanger with home-roasted coffee beans for those who have become experienced roasting their own. Once you’ve roasted the beans and ground them to the perfect level, the French press will produce a cup of coffee like none ever tasted before.
Raven’s Brew Coffee – Best Flavor
The beans for this exceptional brand are grown in the dense, forested areas of Ketchikan, Alaska, one of the rainiest places in North America. All of that moisture delivers an exceptional coffee bean flavor.
The inventor of Raven’s Brew started out roasting small batches of green beans in a garage to supply the coffee needs of the locals who spent a good deal of the year battling a harsh cold and wet environment.
The small local coffee company received a boost in name recognition with a profile in the local paper. This exposure bought additional sales and scrutiny from the Department of Health, which forced a move from the garage to a facility with proper plumbing. This move ultimately leads to a refinement in the roasting process of the beans.
Today, Raven’s Brew produces a robust and smooth cup of coffee that is a delight to the senses.
For lovers of light roast coffee, their Breakfast Blend is impressive! This blend has delicate notes of citrus and toffee that will get you out of bed in the morning with a spring in your step. Deadman’s Reach is the brand’s entry into the high octane coffee space and, when brewed with the French press, provides an incredible experience.
Our Gorongosa – Best Cause Outside Coffee
Our Gorongosa is almost as much about a cause as a coffee. 100% of the profits from this venture go toward reforestation efforts in the Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique. To date, their efforts have led to a stark increase in the number of large mammals inside the park, along with planting more than a million trees.
The worldwide impact of these efforts is immense and impacts the entire planet. The profits also go toward providing educational opportunities for girls in a part of the world where this is not common.
The coffee beans used to produce Our Gorongosa brand coffee blends are grown right on the park grounds by local farmers skilled in the trade, and they offer light, medium, and dark roast varieties.
Our Gorongosa’s most popular blend is Speak for the Trees, a dark roast made of 100% Arabica coffee beans; this blend is incredibly smooth and tastes amazing when made with the French press coffee machine.
This blend is available in whole bean and pre-ground preparations and provides a rich, decadent coffee drinking encounter. While supporting the company’s cause may motivate you to give the coffee a try, the product itself will bring you back for more.
Two Volcanoes Coffee – Most Unique Coffee
No listing of the best coffee beans for the French press coffee maker could be complete without listing Two Volcanoes Coffee. Billed as “Guatemala’s Best Coffee,” this brand uses a different approach than many other blends on this list.
Two Volcanoes Coffee uses single-source coffee beans to create a flavor that is 100% Guatemalan. This single-source blend is made from beans sourced in the incredibly fertile soil at the base of two active volcanoes. Growing in this nutrient-rich environment produces a flavor that is unique to the area and tastes incredible.
illyCaffè – Best Standard Coffee
illyCaffè started as a cocoa and coffee business in central Europe’s post-World War I era. The company’s founder, Francesco Illy, created the first automatic coffee maker using compressed air. A later invention paved the way for an entirely new way of delivering coffee in pressurized cans to reduce oxidation and keep the product fresh.
These forward-thinking innovations, along with a fantastic product, helped propel illyCaffè to the top of the Italian coffee space by the end of the Second World War.
While many of the brands on this list are newer and smaller companies, illy’s is a vast corporation with worldwide distribution in 140 countries. Despite its massive worldwide presence, illyCaffè is still a family-run business currently being led by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of its founder.
Illy sources its Arabica coffee beans from some of the best coffee-growing regions worldwide and uses its invaluable years of experience coupled with state-of-the-art technology to create unparalleled flavor and richness of coffee. For the French press coffee maker, the illy Classico Medium Roast sets the standard for everything a perfect cup of coffee should be. This blend has perfectly balanced hints of chocolate, caramel, and jasmine that are amazingly delicious.
Best Coffee For French Press Buying Guide
While everyone will have a differing opinion on what constitutes the perfect coffee bean for a French press coffee machine, there are a few other factors that play into making the perfect French press coffee.
Whole Bean or Pre-Ground Coffee Beans for French Press?
Deciding between buying pre-ground coffee or whole coffee beans depends on a few things. Pre-ground coffee brings the advantage of convenience and time saving. Purchasing ground coffee also eliminates the need to buy a coffee grinder and deal with the inevitable maintenance and upkeep, but it does come at a cost.
Creating a custom blend of coffee starting with whole beans combines art with science, allowing for almost endless, customized flavor combinations. Whole bean coffee provides a rich freshness that simply cannot be duplicated with coffee that was ground weeks (even months?) earlier. The rich aroma and deep flavor of freshly ground coffee beans make the somewhat complicated grinding process worth the investment in time and effort.
The Art of Roasting Coffee Beans
Roasting your coffee beans tailored to your specific taste can provide an incredible sense of accomplishment. The roasting of the beans from a coffee plant appears to begin around the middle of the 15th century in the Middle East or Northern Africa. These early roasts were accomplished over an open flame using shallow pans and long spoons to keep the beans in constant motion.
This method of roasting coffee beans did not change much until the beginning of the industrial revolution and the need to automate faster coffee production. This automation led to the invention of large, rotating cylinders that could process vast amounts of beans in a relatively short amount of time.
Technology has brought many advancements in roasting coffee beans. The most consistent results need a specialized bean roaster or specific popcorn popper models that keep the beans in constant motion. Still, the basic approach is the same and can be easily duplicated in a household kitchen using an oven, stovetop, or even a grill.
The “roast” of the coffee will determine its level of flavor, and mastering this concept will take an investment of both time and patience.
Grinding Beans for a French Press:
Coarse Ground Coffee
A lot more goes into grinding coffee beans than most people realize. The beans must be ground to the correct level of coarseness, and this matter is critical when using a French press coffee maker as the size of the coffee grounds will determine how robust the cup of coffee will be. After all, no one wants a gritty or weak cup of coffee!
A fine ground will produce a lot of flavor in the final product and provide a wonderful aroma while brewing. But if the bean is too finely ground, the coffee can turn out bitter and have an acidic taste. Plus, the grinds may slip past the mesh filter, and you might end up chewing your coffee.
When using a French press, the amount of resistance when the filter is pressed can provide a valuable clue to determining the right size of the grinds. If the beans have been ground too coarsely, this can produce a bland, watery cup of coffee that is far too weak. In short, there should be some resistance when the filter is pressed, but too much resistance means that the grounds are too fine, and the coffee may turn out sour and gritty.
Experimenting with different size grinds is an adventure that will provide lots of information regarding personal taste and set a reference for the development of the palate.
After a thorough review of what makes a good coffee bean and which ones work best for the French press, the SF Bay Coffee French roast offers the most to any caffeine lover. Their flavor, along with their affordable price, make them our top choice.
Coming in a close second are the Primos Coffee company beans. Being able to roast their beans yourself means you can cultivate the exact flavor profile you want!