Exploring the World of Popular Coffees for French Press
For coffee enthusiasts who appreciate a rich and robust cup of Joe, the French press method is often the go-to choice. But with so many coffee bean options available, it can be overwhelming to determine which ones are best suited for this brewing method. In this article, we will delve into the world of French press coffee and explore the top eight coffee beans that bring out the best flavors when brewed using this beloved technique. Additionally, we will provide a comprehensive guide on how to choose the perfect roast, grind, and origin to create your ultimate French press experience. Whether you're a seasoned coffee connoisseur or a curious beginner, this article has you covered.
Using the French press method is a fantastic way to prepare coffee at home if you're looking for a hassle-free and simple process. The French press is a manual method, so it doesn't require electricity. It consists of a glass container with a plunger-like coffee strainer. To prepare coffee, you add coarsely ground coffee beans to hot water and allow it to brew. Then, with a gentle press of the plunger, you separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee.
One of the reasons why the French press is highly versatile and favored by many is its simplicity. Additionally, French presses come in various sizes, including single-cup capacity types.
For brewing coffee using a French press, it's important to use coarsely ground coffee beans. Coarse grounds prevent over-extraction, which can result in a bitter taste. Unlike finer grounds, coarse grounds won't float up into the coffee after plunging. It's also recommended to use medium to dark roasted coffee beans for the best flavor profile. These beans offer a full-bodied taste with floral and fruity notes when coarsely ground. Lastly, using freshly-ground coffee beans is essential as it enhances the flavor of the coffee.
Now, let's explore eight of the best coffee beans for French press and the reasons why they are recommended:
1. Stone Street Colombian Supremo: Stone Street's Colombian Supremo coffee beans are an ideal choice for French press brewing. They offer sweet notes of cocoa, berries, and caramel to balance out the high acidity level. Despite being a light roast, this blend still delivers bold flavors with subtle bitterness. It's perfect for all-day coffee drinking due to its clean and smooth taste.
2. Intelligentsia Coffee Frequency Blend: This coffee bean variety is a great general-purpose choice that can be enjoyed throughout the day and served to guests. With its chocolatey taste profile and mild hint of molasses, it provides a highly drinkable cup of coffee when prepared using a French press. The frequency blend is a single-origin coffee blend from Brazil, and its flavors may vary slightly depending on the season.
3. Mystik Monk Coffee Beans: Paradiso Blend: If you're interested in unique coffee from exciting brands, Mystik Monk Coffee Beans is worth trying. These beans are prepared and packaged by monks living in Wyoming, and their Paradiso blend is their most popular variety. This medium roast blend offers a smooth, hazelnut taste with subtle hints of orange zest, dark chocolate, and raisins that become more pronounced the longer you brew the grounds in a French press.
4. Caffe Vita Bistro Blend: Caffe Vita's Bistro Blend works exceptionally well with a French press. The medium to dark roasted beans produce a robust, smoky, and full-bodied taste that isn't overpowering. Along with the smoky overtones, this Indonesian, South American, and East African coffee blend offers delicious caramel notes, baking chocolate, and almonds.
5. Onyx Coffee Lab Ethiopia Kercha: Onyx Coffee Lab, an American coffee roaster famous for its small batches of hand-roasted beans, offers the Ethiopia Kercha variety which is perfect for French press brewing. It produces a smooth-tasting coffee with low acidity. After brewing for about four minutes, you can expect to taste unique notes of earl grey, vanilla, blackberry, and blood orange. This light to medium roast coffee bean is suitable for the French press method as it brings out robust flavors.
6. Bulletproof Coffee French Kick: For those who enjoy bold-tasting coffee, Bulletproof's French Kick coffee beans are an excellent choice. They are dark roasted and slightly acidic, offering a strong and rich flavor profile. Despite their robustness, the flavor is balanced with hints of smoke and chocolate. Brewing these beans in a French press results in a strong but clean-tasting cup of coffee.
7. Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend: Peet's Coffee is well-known for its Major Dickason's blend, a dark roasted bean packed with flavor. This premium blend combines hand-selected coffee beans from the Indo-Pacific and the Americas. French press brewing brings out the bold flavors of earthiness, spiciness, and subtle citrus and berry hints. Many fans of Major Dickason's Blend say its taste profile is incomparable to any other coffee.
8. Lifeboost Coffee Medium Roast: Lifeboost coffee medium roast beans are single-origin beans from Nicaragua. They offer a balanced body and low acidity, making them suitable for individuals with sensitive stomachs. When brewed using a French press, these coffee beans produce a smooth-tasting cup with minimal bitterness. The fruity, chocolatey, and slightly smoky undertones of these beans truly shine through.
If you're still unsure about which coffee beans to use for French press brewing, or if you're simply curious to explore other options, here are some additional recommendations for great coffee beans. These lists cover various brewing methods and recipes, allowing you to find the perfect fit for your preferences.
Now that you have the best coffee beans at your disposal, it's important to know how to brew them perfectly using a French press. We've enlisted the help of Tupper, who follows a simplified version of the James Hoffmann French press method. Tupper is a renowned UK-based coffee expert. Here's his recommended process:
1. Measure a 1:16 ratio of beans to water. Tupper suggests starting with this ratio but encourages experimentation to find the balance that suits your taste. For example, you can adjust the ratio to 1:15 for a stronger coffee or 1:17 for a milder brew.
2. Bring water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, start preparing the rest of the process.
3. Coarsely grind your coffee beans. Aim for a grind size similar to coarse kosher salt. Avoid grinding them too fine, as finer grinds may pass through the metal filter and result in a gritty cup of coffee.
4. Rinse your French press with hot water. This helps to maintain the appropriate brewing temperature.
5. Add the coffee grounds to the French press.
6. Create a bloom with hot water. Pour hot water onto the coffee grounds in a slow circular motion until they are just wet. This step allows carbon dioxide to escape and enhances the flavors.
7. Steep the coffee bloom for about 30 seconds, then break the bloom by swirling the French press.
8. Pour the remaining hot water into the French press and put the lid on with the plunger up. Allow the coffee to steep for 3-4 minutes.
9. Gently stir the crust at the top to help more grinds settle to the bottom.
10. After a total steeping time of about 9 minutes, slowly plunge the French press, or simply press the plunger until the filter touches the surface of the liquid.
11. Serve the coffee and enjoy. If desired, add a bit of milk to the bottom of your cup before pouring in the coffee to achieve a perfectly stirred mixture.
Keep in mind that if you're not satisfied with the taste of your coffee, you can make adjustments to improve the next brew. Under-extracted coffee can be resolved by steeping it for longer, while bitter coffee may be due to fine grounds, hot water scorching the beans, or an extended steeping time. Experiment with these factors to achieve your preferred cup of coffee.
With these instructions, you're now ready to enjoy the perfect cup of French press coffee using the best coffee beans. Cheers to a delightful coffee experience!
The 9 Best Coarse Coffee Grounds for French Press
Below is a carefully curated list of the top coffee brands currently available on the market for French press brewing. I have provided detailed information on the pros, cons, specifications, and ratings for each of these delicious coffee products. My aim is to help you make an informed decision for your coffee journey.
1. Stone Cold Jo
👉Bean type: Arabica, single-origin
👉Flavor: hints of toffee caramel, chocolate, grape
👉Roast level: Dark
Stone Cold Jo is made from single-origin Arabica beans and offers a caramelly, chocolatey, and fruity flavor. Despite being a dark roast, it has low acidity, making it suitable for those with a sensitive stomach.
This coffee stands out for its bold flavor and is made from 100% Arabica beans, which contribute to its premium taste.
What makes Stone Cold Jo even more appealing is that it is both organic and kosher, meeting specific dietary and quality standards. It is USDA-certified organic coffee, grown on farms that adhere to strict regulations set by the United States Department of Agriculture.
This means that the coffee is free from chemical contamination. The taste of the coffee is silky and chocolatey, and it can be enjoyed hot or cold. Stone Cold Jo is passionate about coffee and is a member of the professional Roaster's Guild and the Specialty Coffee Association. They pride themselves on sourcing only the top 2% of all Certified Organic Arabica raw coffee globally.
If you're looking for a coffee with notes of toffee, caramel, chocolate, and grape, Stone Cold Jo is the perfect choice. While it is often promoted for cold brew, many reviews attest that it is just as delicious when brewed in a French press.
However, due to its dark roast, it may be a bit bitter for some individuals. This coffee is specially crafted for avid coffee drinkers.
I would rate Stone Cold Jo 4 out of 5, as it is personally one of my favorites and an excellent choice for a pre-ground coffee for a French press.
❌Higher price range
❌May be too bitter for some.
2. Stone Street
Best for cold brew
👉Bean type: Arabica, single-origin
👉Flavor: deep, dark chocolate notes
👉Roast level: Dark
Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee is a dark roast made from Arabica beans that deliver robust, chocolatey notes.
Stone Street Coffee has been in business for over a decade and takes pride in providing coffee connoisseurs with the most delicious handcrafted coffee. They offer a wide range of coffee varieties, each with a full flavor profile and distinct characteristics.
According to Stone Street Coffee, every recipe calls for specialty-grade coffee beans that are freshly roasted in small batches to maintain the highest quality. As a result, you can expect a well-balanced flavor that is both smooth and bold, which is typical of a dark roast.
Here is a review from Amazon that captures the satisfaction experienced by Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee consumers:
Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee is known for its lower acidity compared to other brands, making it a great choice for those with sensitive stomachs.
The 100% Colombian Supremo beans used in this coffee, combined with the dark roast level, make it ideal for French press brewing and cold brewing. Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee has a bold, rich, and roasty flavor profile with deep, dark chocolate notes that any coffee lover will appreciate.
In terms of packaging, Stone Street knows the importance of preservation. The coarse-ground coffee is sealed in a pouch with a one-way degassing valve. This feature ensures that the coffee remains fresh, maintaining its aroma and flavor for longer.
Though Stone Street Cold Brew Coffee may be more expensive compared to other brands, the quality and taste justify the price. Therefore, I rate it 4 out of 5.
❌Can have a slightly bitter aftertaste
3. Koffee Kult Dark Roast Ground Coffee
👉Bean type: Arabica, single-origin
👉Flavor: bold, smooth, cinnamon
👉Roast level: Dark
Koffee Kult's dark roast ground coffee offers a bold taste with a smooth finish. It has a delightful flavor profile that includes bold and smooth notes along with a hint of cinnamon. This blend is made from pure Arabica beans and is roasted to perfection.
The Koffee Kult brand sources their beans from various regions, including Guatemala, Sumatra, and Brazil. They roast their coffee beans in small batches and take pride in their artisan approach, aiming to deliver the highest quality beans to their customers.
Artisan coffees are produced when growers go above and beyond to ensure exceptional quality, while roasters are willing to pay a premium price to support that quality.
To enhance your coffee experience, Koffee Kult only uses the best organically sourced, smooth, and rich beans. They produce rainforest-friendly beans, resulting in a coffee with a distinctly unique flavor profile.
Despite the strong flavor, Koffee Kult's dark roast is still smooth on the palate, making it suitable for non-professional coffee drinkers. The bold flavor is perfect for brewing in a French press.
It's worth noting that while this coffee is advertised as having a cinnamon taste, some consumers may find it difficult to detect that flavor in the coffee. However, the easy-to-open packaging and zip-lock seal help to preserve the coffee's freshness.
Based on my evaluation, I rate Koffee Kult Dark Roast Coffee 3 out of 5.
❌May have a slight acidity
4. Volcanica Peaberry
👉Bean type: Arabica
👉Flavor: Honey, Lemon, and Almond
👉Roast level: Medium
The Volcanica Peaberry coffee has a medium roast with honey, lemon, and almond flavors.
This coffee is sourced from the Aquiares Estate, located near the Pacific coast in the Tres Rios region of Costa Rica. It stands out as a single-estate peaberry coffee that is shade-grown and rainforest certified at an elevation of approximately 5,200 feet.
The flavor of Volcanica Peaberry coffee is mild, with a balance and intensity of flavors such as honey, lemon, and almond. These beans are considered rare and are particularly enjoyed by espresso enthusiasts.
Although the coffee has a slight acidity that adds to its flavor profile, it is balanced and not overwhelming. Moreover, Volcanica Coffee roasts their beans per order to ensure maximum freshness.
Based on my assessment, I give Volcanica Peaberry coffee a rating of 3 out of 5. It may not be the ideal choice for those who prefer dark roasts and bold flavors.
❌Has a slight acidity (not entirely negative)
❌May be slightly bitter for a medium roast
5. Fresh Roasted Costa Rican Tarrazu
👉Bean type: Arabica, Single-origin
👉Flavor: smooth, milk chocolate, and sweet honey
👉Roast level: Medium
The Fresh Roasted Coffee’s Costa Rican Tarrazu is a medium roast coffee with a perfect balance of rich and smooth texture. It has flavor notes of milk chocolate and sweet honey.
The coffee is sourced from the Tarrazu region in Costa Rica, which is renowned for producing some of the finest coffee. It offers a light and clean flavor profile along with a captivating fragrance.
One thing to note is that even though it is marketed as a medium roast, it may be slightly bitter. This can be a slight drawback for individuals who prefer medium roasts for their smoother taste.
Another consideration is that the beans are sensitive to sunlight exposure, as they can develop an odor. Therefore, it is important to store this coffee in a cupboard or shaded area of your kitchen to maintain its freshness.
❌Flavor may be weaker than expected
❌Can be relatively bitter for a medium roast
6. Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee
Best for sensitive stomachs
👉Bean type: Arabica, single-origin
👉Flavor: smooth, sweet and mild
👉Roast level: Medium
Lifeboost medium roast ground coffee is made from single-origin Arabica beans and offers a cup with low acidity and a smooth, sweet flavor profile.
Standard coffee can be highly acidic, causing stomach discomfort and tooth sensitivity for some individuals. Coffee brewing releases acids from the beans, resulting in an acidic beverage with a pH of 4.85 to 5.10.
For individuals with a sensitive stomach, Lifeboost medium roast coffee is an excellent choice as it is specifically formulated to be low in acidity.
Lifeboost sources their coffee beans from the mountains of Nicaragua and prides itself on using only the finest 100% pure Arabica beans that have not been blended with any other varieties.
These beans are naturally sun-dried and washed in spring water, resulting in a pure and natural coffee with no added chemicals. They are certified organic and undergo third-party testing for mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides, and toxins.
What sets Lifeboost Coffee apart is the use of a one-way valve to preserve freshness, allowing degassing and minimizing oxidative degradation.
However, it's worth noting that this coffee may not be as bold in flavor when combined with cream and sugar. Additionally, its premium quality corresponds to a higher price range.
Based on my assessment, I rate Lifeboost Medium Roast Coffee 3 out of 5.
✅Rich in antioxidants
❌May not pair well with cream and sugar
❌Not as bold as some prefer
7. Fabula French Roast Coffee
Best in aroma
👉Bean type: Arabica, blend
👉Flavor: Smooth, sugary, caramelly, smoky, chocolatey flavor
👉Roast level: Dark
The Fabula French Roast Coffee delivers flavors of caramelized sugars and bittersweet chocolate.
Similar to other organic coffee options, Fabula French Roast Coffee offers a low-acid alternative for individuals with sensitive systems, mold allergies, acid reflux, or those who are highly selective about the quality of their coffee.
In addition to being gentle on the stomach, this coffee is also organically grown, non-GMO, and free from chemicals and guaranteed mold-free.
Fabula French Roast Coffee is known for its freshness as it is roasted to order. It stands out from other premium coffees due to its commitment to organic and natural practices.
However, the relatively high price may deter some coffee lovers. On the other hand, more affordable alternatives with comparable flavor profiles are readily available in the market.
I would rate Fabula French Roast Coffee 3 out of 5.
❌Relatively high price
❌May have a slightly bitter aftertaste
8. Primos Coffee Co. French Press Specialty Coffee
👉Bean type: Arabica, Single-roast
👉Flavor: medium-body, sweet and citrusy
👉Roast level: Medium
Primos Coffee Co. French Press Specialty Coffee is a medium-roast coffee with a subtle but pleasant flavor profile. It offers a medium body with smooth, sweet, and citrusy notes. These Arabica coffee beans are roasted to ensure low acidity and consistent flavor.
Primos Coffee Co. sources its beans from Nicaragua, and their commitment to single-origin beans and avoiding blending ensures a well-balanced flavor profile. Roasted in Texas, Primos maintains consistency by never blending their product.
By sourcing from the same family-owned lots, Primos supports direct trade, which benefits both coffee farmers and consumers alike by ensuring easy access to high-quality beans.
These beans are coarsely ground, making them suitable for French press brewing, which requires a longer brewing time.
The premium Arabica coffee beans used in Primos Coffee Co. French Press Specialty Coffee are naturally dried under the hot sun, allowing them to be roasted in small batches, resulting in a medium-bodied coffee with a carefully developed flavor profile.
The mild taste appeals to coffee enthusiasts who prefer a smooth cup of coffee without an overpowering punch. However, some users may find the flavor profile to be weaker, which could be seen as a drawback.
Based on my evaluation, I rate Primos Coffee Co. French Press Specialty Coffee 3 out of 5.
❌May lack flavor compared to bold varieties
9. Gevalia Special Reserve - Guatemala
👉Bean type: Arabica, single-origin
👉Flavor: medium-bodied, earthy, smoky, with a hint of cocoa
👉Roast level: Medium
Gevalia Special Reserve - Guatemala is a medium-roast coffee made from Arabica beans. It offers a flavor profile that includes earthy and smoky notes with a hint of cocoa. This blend is perfect for individuals who appreciate a medium-bodied cup of coffee.
To preserve the smoothness of the Guatemalan beans, Gevalia roasts them to a medium level. The coffee is coarsely ground to ensure compatibility with longer brewing methods, such as French press. However, it can also be used for cold brew, which typically requires brewing times of 24-36 hours.
For those who prefer a bolder and sweeter taste, adjusting the coffee-to-water ratio may be necessary. Doubling the amount of coffee used can result in a more pronounced flavor.
In addition to the pleasant aroma, Guatemalan coffee is known for its citrus and floral fragrance. However, Gevalia Special Reserve leans more towards an earthy profile rather than a fruity one.
Based on my judgment, I rate Gevalia Special Reserve - Guatemala 3 out of 5. It might be too strong for individuals who prefer a medium roast with a milder taste.
❌Can be too strong for a medium roast
Guide: How to Purchase the Best Coarse Grounds for Your French Press
When selecting the ideal coarse grounds for your coffee press, it's important to take into account the type of beans used and the specific roasting method applied.
As coffee enthusiasts, many of us have gained an impressive level of knowledge regarding the coffee we consume and the various techniques for preparing it.
The French press has gained popularity among coffee lovers due to its ability to customize the brewing process. This is, without a doubt, one of the major advantages of using a French press coffee maker.
With a French press, you have complete control over the taste of your coffee. You can adjust the size and type of grounds used, the water temperature, and the steeping time according to your preferences.
Here are some key factors to consider when choosing coffee grounds for your French press:
Coffee Bean Variety
When purchasing coarse grinds, it's important to consider the type of coffee bean being used, as well as whether it's a single-origin or blended variety.
There are four main types of coffee beans:
- Arabica - known for its smooth, complex flavor and minimal bitterness
- Robusta - characterized by a strong aroma, higher bitterness, and a higher caffeine content compared to Arabica beans
- Liberica - offers a bold flavor profile with spicy floral notes, nutty undertones, and a touch of woodiness and smokiness
- Excelsa - has a light aroma, a tart and fruity flavor, and a lower caffeine content compared to the other varieties
The two most commonly produced and sold coffee bean types are Coffea Arabica and Coffea Canephora, also known as Coffea Robusta.
Arabica beans are widely regarded as the highest-quality option. They are renowned for their smooth and complex flavor profile, as well as their lack of bitterness. For these reasons, Arabica beans are often considered the best choice for French press brewing.
Coffee can be made from a single-origin bean or a blend of different types of beans. This means that the coffee you purchase is either made from a single type of bean or a combination of beans.
Single-origin coffee tends to have a bolder and more robust flavor, showcasing the unique characteristics of the specific bean used. On the other hand, blends combine different beans to create a balanced flavor profile.
Coffee enthusiasts often favor single-origin coffee due to its pure and unadulterated taste. However, blends have gained a negative reputation because some larger coffee roasters mix higher-quality beans with lower-quality ones to cut costs.
If you're seeking a truly unique flavor experience, opt for a single-origin coffee. However, if consistency is more important to you, go for a blend.
The roasting process significantly affects the aroma and flavor of your coffee. Various factors, such as the body, acidity, and flavor intensity, can be influenced by the duration of the roasting process.
Choosing the appropriate coffee roast level for your French press can enhance your overall coffee experience. Here is a list of different roast levels for your favorite beans 👇
- Gold - roasted at a lower temperature, resulting in a rich, less acidic, and high-caffeine cup of coffee
- Blonde - roasted until just after the first crack, producing a high-acidity brew with citrusy notes
- Light - offers a tangy and floral taste, sweetness, and less bitterness compared to medium or dark roasts
- Medium - a smooth and sweet cup with chocolatey undertones and a slightly bitter aftertaste
- Dark - bold and rich in flavor, with chocolatey, toasty, and slightly bitter notes
Medium to dark roasts are highly recommended for brewing with a French press. If you prefer adding milk and sugar to your coffee, a darker roast will complement the French press method well—adding a splash of milk enhances the deep, chocolatey, and earthy flavors.
Reasons to Use Coarse Grounds in a French Press
The French press brews coffee through an immersion method, allowing the beans to steep for an extended period compared to other brewing techniques. As a result, a coarser grind is generally preferred to slow down extraction and prevent over-extraction.
Over-extraction can result in coffee that tastes overly bitter because the compounds responsible for sweetness and acidity fail to shine through.
Clearly, the grind size you choose directly impacts the flavor of your coffee.
Let's explore the different grind sizes below 👇
The rate at which water extracts flavor compounds from the coffee grounds significantly affects the taste of your brew. Additionally, the brewing time influences the flavor profile.
This is because coarser and larger coffee grounds have a smaller surface area compared to finely ground coffee. As a result, coarse ground coffee for a French press allows for better water flow and slower flavor extraction.
If your coffee tastes weak and excessively acidic, it's possible that the grind is too coarse. In such cases, try using a finer grind.
On the other hand, if your coffee tastes overly bitter, the grind may be too fine. Switching to a coarser grind can help bring out the flavors in your brew.
The History of the French Press
Unsurprisingly, the original French press was invented by a Frenchman, although some coffee legends attribute its creation to an Italian inventor.
The concept of the French press emerged out of necessity when the Frenchman discovered he had forgotten to add coffee to boiling water. In order to submerge the coffee effectively, he purchased a metal screen and used a stick to press down on the coffee, thus initiating the first plunge into the water.
Throughout the following century and a half, the French press has undergone significant advancements, including stainless steel finishes and double mesh metal filters to minimize sediment in the final cup. Today, it stands as one of the most iconic home-brewing devices, renowned for consistently producing a full-bodied and flavorful cup of coffee.
Which Coffee Origins are Most Suited for French Press?
At Equator, we source coffee from various countries around the world and can definitively state that no single country produces the best beans for French press brewing. The choice of the best coffee bean for French press primarily depends on your flavor preferences.
That being said, we generally recommend coffees from Central and South America, as well as Indonesia, for French press brewing. Why? The French press method gives rise to a more robust, rich, and full-bodied cup of coffee, and coffees from these origin countries tend to have flavor profiles characterized by chocolate and nutty notes that complement this brewing technique.
How to Discover Your Favorite French Press Roast
As a general rule, medium to dark roasts are recommended for French press brewing. Darker roasts are particularly well-suited if you enjoy adding milk and sugar to your coffee, as they perfectly complement the French press method, resulting in a beverage with deep, chocolatey, and earthy flavors.
Are There Flavor Notes That Complement Immersion Brewing?
Absolutely! Given that a French press brews full-bodied coffee, we suggest looking out for rich and nutty flavor notes such as dark chocolate, hazelnut, and almonds.
Our Top Three Coffees for French Press
- Equator Blend: This signature blend features coffees sourced from renowned growing regions including Sumatra, Kenya, Colombia, and Brazil. With a medium-dark roast, it offers a complex flavor profile with notes of cedar, apricot, marzipan, milk chocolate, and nutmeg.
Mocha Java Fair Trade Organic: This medium roast coffee delivers a rich and full-bodied experience with flavors of dark chocolate, almonds, and berry-like fruits.
French Roast Fair Trade Organic: As our darkest roast, this coffee boasts a rich and smoky profile, complemented by a touch of sweetness and fruity chocolate undertones. Expect flavors of bittersweet chocolate, dried plum, and walnuts.
French Press Beans 101
The French press is a deceptively simple brewing device. It involves pouring, steeping, and pressing. However, the key to a great cup lies in the details. When it comes to the French press, finding the best coffee beans is a combination of trial and error and following general barista knowledge. To begin, consider your personal flavor preference. If you enjoy light roasted and fruity coffees, beans from Kenya or Ethiopia would be a good choice. On the other hand, if you prefer bold flavors, opt for darker roasted Brazilian coffee. The rules mentioned below are rough guides that can give you an idea, though remember that every country has beans that defy stereotypes.
Best Coffee for French Press 2020
1: Driftaway Coffee Subscription
If you have a busy schedule or don't live close to a specialty coffee roaster, subscribing to a coffee service like Driftaway makes sense. They offer a sampler package that allows you to try different coffees before settling on your favorite roast profile. All their coffees are single origin, and they provide information about the farmers behind the beans. Sign up for their subscription here.
2: Blue Bottle Coffee 'Three Africas Blend' Organic
Blue Bottle Coffee is known for its commitment to quality. Their 'Three Africas Blend' is a combination of African coffees that offers interesting flavor notes along with balanced chocolate. This blend includes some Ethiopian beans processed naturally. It's a dark roast that can be enjoyed with milk and serves as a great introduction to the complexity of African coffee. Learn more about this blend and read reviews here.
3: Intelligentsia Coffee Frequency Blend Direct Trade
The Intelligentsia Coffee Frequency Blend is crafted with the French press in mind. It's a medium roasted blend with Brazilian beans that contribute to its smooth body and milk chocolate notes. The other part of the blend consists of washed coffee from various seasons, bringing spark and top notes to the cup. The roaster mentions flavors like lemongrass, pineapple, and breakfast tea, making this blend quite enticing. Intelligentsia is renowned for its commitment to direct trade and buying coffee directly from farmers. Discover more about this blend and read reviews here.
4: Koffee Kult Colombian Huila
Koffee Kult Colombian Huila is a favorite among French press enthusiasts. These medium roasted Colombian beans offer a delightful combination of sweet chocolate, caramel, and subtle stone fruit flavors. Koffee Kult receives excellent reviews on Amazon, ensuring you'll receive fresh beans. The coffee hails from Huila, known as one of Colombia's best coffee-growing regions. Discover more about this coffee and read reviews here.
5: Onyx Coffee Lab Ethiopia Kercha, Light Roast
The Onyx Coffee Lab is highly regarded in the US coffee scene. This light roasted Ethiopian single origin coffee offers a floral and fruity experience. With notes of jasmine, bergamot, blackberry, and blood orange, it delivers a truly remarkable cup. To fully appreciate its nuances, it's recommended to use soft, bottled water. Discover more about this coffee and read reviews here.
Go for Whole Beans Instead of Ground
Coffee, like other food, tastes best when it's fresh. After coffee beans are picked as cherries, they go through significant stages. While you can't control all the stages, you can make choices regarding the roast date and grinding. Opt for beans roasted within the last three months, ideally within the previous six weeks. This ensures that the flavors in your cup are crisp and vibrant. Additionally, grind your own beans at home to ensure that the volatile flavor compounds are preserved. Pre-ground coffee is never as good as freshly ground beans. If you haven't already, check out my recommendations for cool hand grinders Tips for French Press Brewing
A Note on the Grind
Traditionally, a coarse grind has been recommended for the French press due to its mesh filter. However, a medium grind can bring out the maximum flavor from the beans. When using a medium grind, be careful when pressing the piston and let the slurry settle before pouring. If you prefer a coarse grind, consider experimenting with longer steeping times. Additionally, keep in mind that immersion brewing, like with the French press, benefits from a higher coffee-to-water ratio compared to drip brewing.
Will French Press Coffee Raise My Cholesterol?
Yes, French press coffee can raise LDL, the "bad" cholesterol, due to the metal filter allowing more coffee oils to remain in the cup compared to a paper filter. However, unless you have pre-existing high cholesterol, this should not be a major concern as the effect is minor.
Can I Use a Paper Filter in a French Press?
Yes, you can use a paper filter in a French press. If you prefer an immersion brew without the oily mouthfeel associated with metal filtered coffee, using a paper filter in your French press is a great option. Alternatively, you can consider using a brewing device like the Clever Dripper, designed to achieve similar results.
In conclusion, finding the right coffee beans for your French press is essential to achieving a rich and flavorful brew. Whether you prefer the bold and robust flavors of the 8 best coffee beans for French press or want to explore other great options, there is a world of choices to discover. By following our French press brew guide and considering the origin of the coffee, you can unlock a truly delightful coffee experience. Don't forget to experiment with different roast levels and grind sizes to find your favorite French press roast. So go ahead, indulge in the smooth and velvety texture of French press coffee with the best beans possible and elevate your morning routine to new heights.
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