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Nerdy Science in the Kitchen

Choosing the Best Coffee for French Press – Our Top 10 List



French press coffee

The French press is a popular coffee brewing method used by coffee lovers worldwide. Easy to use, a French press can make your perfect cup of coffee in no time.

One of the biggest challenges of using this brewing device for any coffee lover is choosing the best coffee for a French press. Not all coffees are ideal for this brewing method, so it’s important to choose the right coffee and grind to avoid ending up with a brew that’s too strong or one that tastes like flavored water.

In this article, we cover the best coffees for a French press and everything you need to know about using one to make your ideal brew.

Top 10 Best Coffee Options for French Press

Choosing the best coffee for a French press can be difficult, especially considering how crucial it is to get the best extraction. With so many coffees on the market and new ones popping up every day, you have no shortage of choices.

To help you choose the best coffee for your French press, we compiled a list. Keep reading to discover the top 10 best coffees to try in your French press for the perfect cup of joe.

1. Mystic Monk Coffee Beans: Paradiso Blend

Mystic Monk Coffee: Paradiso Blend Whole Bean (Medium Roast 100% Arabica) - 12 ounce bag

Our first choice for the best coffee for a French press is Mystic Monk Coffee Beans: Paradiso Blend.

This whole bean coffee is ready for your grinder. What makes this coffee brand unique is that it lives up to its name.

Made from 100% Arabica beans, it is roasted by real monks in the Rocky Mountains. This medium roasted blend is meant to be smooth and has a rich hazelnut-like nuttiness with hints of orange zest and dark chocolate.

Mystic Monk says you can enjoy this coffee black but recommends adding a little cream to accentuate the sweet raisiny notes of this blend.

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2. Primos French Press Specialty Coffee

French Press Specialty Coffee, Coarse Ground, Primos Coffee Co (Medium Roast, 12 Oz)

Next, we have Primos French Press Specialty Coffee.

Primos Specialty Coffee produces its beans at its fourth-generation family farm in Nicaragua from premium Arabica beans that are strictly high grown under shade trees, harvested by hand, and naturally dried.

Not super strong or acidic, Primos describes its coffee as mild with subtle flavors, meant to produce a delightful easy-drinking coffee.

It has citrus notes and a consistent flavor as they never blend their coffee. If there were any high-quality coffee made for the French press, it would be this one – in fact, Primos says that it shouldn’t be any other way.

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3. Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala

Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala Single Origin Medium Roast Coarse Ground Coffee (10 oz Bag)

Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala is a single-origin special roast to provide uniform flavor in every cup.

Made from 100% Arabica beans and sourced exclusively from the high mountains of Guatemala, their coffee uses slow-roasted snap cool beans to lock in the coffee’s flavor and aroma.

The flavor of this coffee is velvety and smooth, and the taste isn’t overpowering when you drink it black.

Although this coffee is pre-ground, the grounds are just the right size, making it perfect for French press coffee or cold brew.

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4. Lifeboost Coffee

Lifeboost Coffee Whole Bean Medium Roast Coffee - Low Acid Single Origin USDA Organic Coffee - Non-GMO Whole Beans Coffee Third Party Tested For Mycotoxins & Pesticides - 12 Ounces

Our next option for the best coffee for a French press is Lifeboost Coffee.

When choosing the best coffee for a French press, if it’s important to find an ethically-sound coffee, this is the option for you. This non-GMO whole bean organic coffee is low in acidity and high in flavor.

Life Boost coffee is grown in the high elevation mountains of Central America.

Each coffee bean is hand-selected for the best quality, sun-dried and spring-water washed so you’re left with pure, natural coffee. The company is so confident you’ll love this coffee, if you try it for 30 days and don’t like it, you can get your money back.

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5. Community Coffee Private Reserve Evangeline Blend

Community Coffee Private Reserve Evangeline Blend 36 Ounce, Dark Roast Ground Coffee, 12 Ounce Bag (Pack of 3)

Next, we have Community Coffee Private Reserve Evangeline Blend.

Founded in 1919, Community Coffee has been perfecting its coffee for over four generations, making this a family company.

This coffee has a deep, semi-sweet flavor thanks to the specialty-grade Arabica beans. It is ground to the perfect size for French press use, which gives you one less step to do.

Community Coffee uses responsibly sourced coffee beans and supports community programs for military families, local schools, and more so that you can feel good about making the perfect French press coffee.

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6. Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee Beans Huila Region Medium Roast

Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee Beans Huila Region Medium Roast (Whole Bean, 32oz)

Koffee Kult Colombia Coffee Beans Huila Region Medium Roast is a robust coffee ideal for the French press.

The highlight of this coffee is its aroma which will have you eager for a taste while grounding the beans and while the coffee steeps in your French press.

The aroma can be described as chocolatey, while the coffee taste itself is bold with medium acidity and a hint of sweetness.

Made from 100% Colombian Huila Speciality Grade roasted coffee – found in the high mountains of Huila – each bean is rich, full-bodied, and organically sourced.

The beans are roasted just before packaging to seal in the flavor and ensure that your coffee is as fresh as possible.

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7. illy Ground Coffee Drip Grind

illy Classico Ground Drip Coffee, Medium Roast, Classic Roast with Notes Of Chocolate & Caramel, 100% Arabica Coffee, No Preservatives, 8.8 Ounce (Pack of 1)

illy is a well-established coffee brand, so it’s no surprise that illy Ground Coffee Drip Grind is one of the best coffees for a French press. It harvests its coffee around the world but always roasts its beans at its headquarters in Trieste, Italy.

If you’re new to the world of illy coffee, their classic roast is a great place to start for making coffee in your French press.

This coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans that are skillfully roasted, air-cooled, and packed in nitrogen to preserve the freshness. illy recommends grinding their beans to medium for French press preparation.

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8. Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee, Whole Bean, Medium Roast

Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee, Whole Bean, Medium Roast, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce

Next on the best coffee for a French press is Costa Rica Peaberry Coffee, Whole Bean, Medium Roast.

This coffee is a unique option because it’s 100% pure Costa Rican peaberry, a type of coffee bean with a fruity, citrusy flavor that is mild, sweet, and light.

This single-origin coffee is made with eco-friendly practices in mind as it is shade-grown and rainforest certified.

Freshly roasted right before packing, enjoy this medium roasted whole bean coffee by grinding it to a medium grind and easily steeping it in your French press.

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9. Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee

Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee, Strong & Smooth Blend, Low Acid, 100% Arabica, Gourmet Coffee, Coarse Ground, Dark Roast, Colombian Single Origin, 1 LB

Did you know that the French press is the perfect device to make cold brew coffee? If the cold brew is your coffee of choice in the summer, give Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee a try.

This coarse ground coffee is made with Arabica beans from Colombia, ground down to the optimal size for brewing extraction.

Dark roasting these beans brings out the nutty and chocolatey flavor that cold brew is known for. You’ll love the bold, balanced, low-acid taste of this Stone Street Coffee.

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10. Peet’s Coffee, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee – Major Dickason’s Blend

Peet's Coffee, Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee - Major Dickason's Blend 18 Ounce Bag

Last on our list of the best coffee for a French press is Peet’s Coffee Dark Roast Whole Bean Coffee – Major Dickason’s Blend.

The story behind this coffee involves a loyal customer – a retired army sergeant – who had an idea for a new blend. The customer and the founder, Mr. Peet, worked together until they came up with what’s now known as Major Dickason’s Blend.

This coffee has become the most well-known option at Peets coffee, and it’s the best representation of the brand’s dynamic coffee. Using 100% Arabica beans, this dark roast blend is rich, complex, and full-bodied, but customers say it isn’t too strong for a French press.

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What is a French Press?

Before you can choose the best coffee for a French press, it’s important to understand what a French press is.

A French press is a brewing device for making coffee, but you can also use it for steeping other beverages, such as cold brews or tea.

There are two parts to a French press: a beaker and a mesh filter. The beaker is the main brewing compartment and usually comes with a handle for easy handling and a thick base for thorough heat distribution. The filter is attached to the lid. It functions as a plunger and extracts the coffee from the grinds.

A French press works by using hot water to steep coffee grounds in a beaker. In the beaker is the metal mesh filter. Once the coffee grounds finish steeping, you press the mesh filter to the bottom of the beaker to separate the coffee grounds from the coffee and extract all of the oils and flavor to end up with your ideal cup of coffee.

Coffee brewing in a French press in warm morning light;

French Press vs. Pour Over

Choosing the best coffee for a French press also requires you to understand the difference between a French press method and the pour-over method. Although they both give you a delicious cup of coffee, each method is drastically different.

While French press brewing requires you to submerge the coffee grounds in hot water, the pour-over method is exactly as it sounds. Pour-over, or drip coffee, uses the technique that sees water passing through the beans from above. All you need for this method is hot water, a filter, and a vessel for your coffee to drip into.

One of the main reasons to favor French press brewing over the pour-over method is that a French press coffee maker allows for a more even extraction from the grinds. Although some devices, such as gooseneck kettles, allow for a more uniform extraction using the pour-over method, a French press is better overall for this purpose.

At the same time, it’s easy to over-extract using a French press. This is more likely to happen if you let your coffee steep for too long, or if you end up grinding your beans too fine.

How to Choose the Best Coffee for a French Press

When it comes to choosing the best coffee for a French press, there are two main factors that you should consider: the bean and the grind.

Let’s first discuss the grind. Although it’s easier to buy pre-ground coffee for your French press, you won’t get the best quality coffee. To take advantage of all the oils that provide the flavor in your coffee, you’ll want to freshly grind your beans yourself just before you put them in to steep.

For the grind itself, pre-ground coffee is often too fine for use in a French press. When this happens, your mesh might not catch them all, and you may get a few grounds in your coffee. For best results, you’ll want to get your beans to a medium to coarse grind for maximum water surface area for the best extraction.

The quality of the bean will make all the difference for your French press coffee. With the right bean, your French press will make a full-bodied, sweeter, and overall well-rounded cup of coffee. However, if you don’t want it to be overpowering or even bitter, a dark roast or French roast is not the best coffee bean for this brewing method. To play it safe, aim for medium or light roasts.

The Takeaway: Choosing the Best Coffee for French Press Is Crucial

Hopefully, you have a better understanding of how to use a French press coffee maker and you’re ready to explore your options to find some really good coffee.

Choosing the best coffee for the French press takes time and sometimes a little trial and error. However, once you find the delicious coffee that best suits your taste and learn how to make your ideal brew, you’ll find that the hunt was worth it.

Kitchen Professor author
About the Author: Brock Yates

Because Brock is the tallest member of the team at 6 foot 5 inches, when he’s not thinking about food, he’s eating his favorites: pizza, burgers, tacos and burritos. He's always experimenting with the latest kitchen gadgets and exploring new techniques in the kitchen.

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