Best Coffee For French Press (Actually It’s All About The Grind!)
Got yourself a new French Press but not sure what type of coffee to use, this article is for you. Choosing the best coffee for French Press is the easy part, what’s more essential to brewing a great tasting coffee is the grind. Even the best coffee beans will only take you so far with a French Press, you could have the best-tasting beans in the world, but if your grind size is wrong, you’ll be drinking a cup of “coffee sludge” (more on the perfect grind size below).
There are many types of coffee beans in the marketplace, and some are better suited for the French Press. However, the most important thing to remember when choosing French Press coffee is to buy whole coffee beans, never buy pre-ground. This is actually true for all brewing methods but even more so with French Press coffee. Typically the pre-ground coffee you buy from the supermarket is ground too fine and is intended for using in an automatic drip coffee maker like these. French Press coffee requires a much coarser grind of coffee than what you can typically buy from a supermarket shelf. Read this article fresh ground coffee vs. pre-ground to learn why buying whole coffee beans is the only way.
Any coffee bean can be used in a French Press, but a medium or dark roast is going to be the better option. This is down to personal preference, but with dark or medium roasted coffee beans you’ll have much more of the flavorful oils still locked inside of the bean, which will lead to a great tasting French Press coffee. Again this is subjective on the drinker, so I strongly suggest that you play around with various roasts until your find best coffee brand for your French Press.
The Grind’s More Important Than The Actual Coffee!
The coffee grind is an essential component when it comes to making good coffee (the most important thing some say). For French press coffee, you want to grind your coffee beans to a coarse, even ground, just like the photo above.
A common mistake when making a French Press is using a grind that is too fine, buying pre-ground coffee is almost always too fine. The wrong grind size is going to create a significantly more "muddy" cup of coffee because the coffee can pass through the mesh screen filter.
Pro Tip: You can easily tell if your coffee grounds are too fine or even too coarse when you press the filter down. For example, if your coffee grinds are too fine you’ll find that you have a hard time pushing the plunger down. If your grinds are too coarse, you’ll be able to press the plunger down with no resistance. The trick is to find the “sweet spot,” again look at the above picture for the perfect French Press grind
The best option for getting the best coffee grind for the French Press is to invest in a good Burr grinder like one of these. You don’t have to spend a fortune, and you can get a decent grinder for the French Press for under $100.
French Press Coffee-To-Water Ratio
The coffee-to-water ratio is also another key factor to take into consideration for the best French Press coffee. The art to a great tasting pot of coffee is in the coffee-to-water ratio, and because you’re steeping the coffee, time is critical as well. As a general rule of thumb, the best French Press coffee typically uses a 1:10 coffee-to-water ratio (1 gram of coffee for 10 grams of water). Just like the different coffee roasts, personal preference also plays a role in this, but I find that the 1:10 ratio works great (plus it's easy to remember and calculate).
I strongly recommend that if you are just starting out with the French Press to take a minute to read through this step-by-step guide on How To Make French Press Coffee.
Best French Press Coffee Beans (Our Picks!)
Remember that even best coffee beans for french press will get you only so far to a great tasting cup, grind size, and coffee-to-water ratios are far more important. So what is the best coffee for French Press? That’s simple to answer: It's completely up to you! With that said below are some of our favorites to get your started.
Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend Whole Beans
One of the best coffees for French Press that can be found on most supermarket shelves is Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's Blend. Because it is so readily available, you shouldn’t have any problems finding it. Peet’s Coffee also made it onto our list of the best coffee beans of 2016. The Major Dickason's Blend is an intensely bold and smokey blend. However, the finish doesn’t last long despite the bitter cup.
Notes: Bold, Intense, and Smoky.
Rising-Sun Roasted Whole Beans, Brazil Peaberry
Another best coffee for French Press that makes our list is the single origin Brazil Peaberry coming out of Rising Sun coffee roasters. This rare and expensive coffee is only a small bean – the Peaberry.
You’ll find that Brazilian coffees tend to be dark in nature, so they often compliment the brew style of the French Press extremely well. For the French Press, the medium roast should help to balance out the bolder Brazilian notes. A dark roast used in the French Press can often be too strong in flavor for the average coffee drinker.
Notes: Candy-like Sweetness, Nutty, and Rich
Bali Blue Moon Organic, Whole Bean Coffee
Another pick for the best coffee beans for French Press is the Organic Bali Blue Moon by Fresh Roasted Coffee LLC. This single origin coffee is truly 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 verities.
Notes: Earthy and Fragrant Aroma with Hints of Dark Cherry, Chocolate, and Vanilla.
The above selection of whole coffee beans are perfect for French Press coffee and should give you a solid foundation before you start to sample other verities and finally settle on YOUR best coffee for french press. Remember grind size plays a vital role in French Press brewing get that wrong, and you’ll be left with an undrinkable cup of sludge!