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Brewing coffee in a French Press couldn’t be any simpler. You know how the blurry morning-eyed ritual goes: you grind your coffee beans and add to your French Press, flick the switch on your kettle and pour hot water over your grounds, then wait a few minutes and press down on the plunger as if your life depends on it.
Nothing could be simpler, right?
Sure, that’s the basics of brewing coffee in a French Press, but you’re missing one key component which is often overlooked – choosing the best coffee beans for the French Press.
Obviously, you can use any coffee in a French Press, but some are definitely better than others when it comes to using this full immersion brewing method. Simply put, if you buy the wrong coffee, you’re going to end up with a bitter-tasting cup of sludge rather than the smooth, creamy, and tasty brew you were longing for.
Don’t fancy a cup of sludge? I hear ya! Well, today is your lucky day as I have handpicked some of my personal favorite coffee beans that the French Press loves. Rest assured that any of the below coffee beans are going to reignite your love for the French Press.
Are You Setting Yourself up to Fail From the Get-go?
As simple as brewing coffee in the French Press sounds, it’s incredible how many people often get the basics wrong, either by not being taught the correct way to use a French Press or by bad habits that have slowly crept in.
The key to nailing a great-tasting cup of French Press coffee is the use the correct grind size, but it’s amazing how this is often overlooked.
The French Press uses a stainless steel mesh filter screen to keep the grounds in the Press and not in your cup. This filter can and does let coffee grind through either by pressing down the plunger too fast or by using the incorrect grind size, which in turn results in a “chewy” mud-like texture.
The good news is that you can almost completely eliminate those pesky grounds from passing through the filter by using coarse-ground coffee rather than the more popular medium grind that’s sold in supermarkets.
In addition to reducing the number of sludge-like coffee particles that slip through the mesh filter, a coarse grind tends to make French press coffee a bit sweeter and less bitter. It’s a win-win!
This does mean that you will need to grind your whole coffee beans at home, and you most likely won’t be able to find a tub of coarse-ground coffee on any supermarket shelf, but you should be grinding your coffee anyway!
When shopping for the best coffee, most coffee lovers prefer a medium roast or a dark roast. Even if Dark roast coffee isn’t on your usual choice, I strongly recommend that you give it a try in the French Press.
You will discover that the immersion brewing method reduces the bitterness that some people object to with dark roasts. Plus, I personally think that a smoky, dark brew suits the character of the press pot.
Some other steps to ensure you’re getting the most out of your French Press include:
- Always try to grind your coffee rather than relying on the store-bought pre-ground. I know we all have busy schedules, and sometimes we simply don’t have the time, but by spending a few extra minutes each morning will make a massive difference to your final cup of Joe – if push comes to shove, you could always grind your coffee the night before and keep it in an airtight container.
- Always use a good coffee grinder (burr type, not blade) and the best French Press you can afford.
- Where ever possible, always try to buy fresh coffee beans directly from a coffee roaster rather than a store shelf.
- Keeping your French Press clean will ensure that your final brew tastes great; old coffee stuck inside of your mesh filter will guarantee a bitter cup of coffee.
If you remember to choose the correct coffee grind size (coarse), keep your Press clean, and use the right coffee, I can guarantee that you’ll have ticked all of the boxes for an excellent cup of French Press coffee.
Best Coffee For The French Press (Medium & Dark Roasts)
So without further ado, below is my list of the best beans to use in your French Press, in no particular order.
Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, Volcanica Coffee
Ethiopia is regarded as the birthplace of coffee, and even to this day, coffee from this region is revered as some of the finest available. Ethiopian beans typically produce a fruity coffee, and hints of blueberry are often fundamental characteristics of some of their best offerings.
This bag of Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee works well in the French Press and once brewed, you will immediately notice the floral and fruit tones from the Arabica beans grown in the area for generations.
Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend B00545GNMU
Another of my favorite coffee beans for the French Press is the Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend. Peet’s are known for their flavorful dark roasts – it’s what they do best.
Specialty coffee roaster Peet’s Coffee is based in San Francisco Bay. The company has been producing coffee since its foundation in California in 1966. The Major Dickason’s blend is aptly named after an early supporter of the original coffee shop and works well in the Moka Pot, Pour Over, but it truly excels when used in the French Press.
Each bag of Peet’s is freshly roasted and shipped out on the same day, ensuring that the whole beans are fresh as possible when they reach your cup.
Stone Street Colombian Supremo B01HFK955I
This single-origin Arabica coffee from one of the world’s most respected growing regions is the perfect partner for the French Press.
Even though Stone Street actually recommends this particular bag for cold brew coffee brewing but I have found that they also work well in the French Press.
Stone Street’s high-quality dark roast Colombian Supremo beans yield a well-balanced, smooth, sweet, and bold flavor that will leave you wanting to come back for more!
Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC Bali Blue Moon Organic Whole Beans
Another pick is the Organic Bali Blue Moon by Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. This single-origin coffee is genuinely organic, grown in the Kintamani Highlands, Bali, Indonesia.
These Bali coffee trees are planted alongside tangerines and oranges, and it seems that the beans infuse with little extra sweetness and a touch more acidity than most Indonesian varieties.
Onyx Coffee Lab “Geometry Blend” Whole Bean Coffee
Onyx Coffee Lab is proving to be one of the “hottest” coffee roasters in the United States, and in 2017 they won both the national brewers’ cup tournament, as well as the roasting championship.
This handcrafted small-batch medium-roasted coffee is a blend of washed coffee from Ethiopian and honey-processed coffee direct from Colombia.
The combination of these superior coffees and hands-on processes creates a unique harmony of flavors that are complex and pair exceptionally well with the French Press style of brewing.
Two Volcanoes Rare Single-Origin Guatemala Whole Bean Coffee
Two Volcanoes boast a gourmet coffee experience at home on par with a high-end coffee shop minus the high price tag.
These organically cultivated Arabica and Robusta beans are processed and packed in Guatemala, ensuring freshness and flavor preservation.
A beautiful oily whole bean that partners well with full immersion coffee brewing.
Have you Thought About Using a Coffee Subscription Service?
One of the best ways to ensure you are getting the freshest coffee beans possible for your French Press is to subscribe to a subscription service. There’s no need to search online or at your local store for fresh beans; once you run out, you will receive a new batch at your door weekly, monthly, or whenever you need them.
Not only is this a great way to have a regular supply of fresh coffee beans, but you’ll also get to experiment and try a variety of different bean styles – some of which you might have never tried otherwise.
My personal favorite coffee subscription service is Bean Box.
With the Bean Box coffee delivery, you are sent different types of coffee from independent Seattle roasters directly to your door. Their online subscription service isn’t the most flexible, but if you love and crave coffee coming out of Seattle, this is going to be the best coffee subscription.