Today, we’re going to be talking about arguably the most popular hand-brew brewing method out there: the French press. This little device has been around for more than a century, completely unchanged, and yet it remains one of the most popular ones to this day.
But of course, just a French press alone doesn’t guarantee good coffee. You need to get good coffee, one that goes well with this brewing method in particular. There are tons out there, but we’ve selected the best 10 for you to try.
First, we’ll run down our top three choices, and then we’ll give you the complete list of the best coffee for French press, featuring a small review for each one of the selected coffees.
- Top Choices
- The 10 Best Coffee For French Press
- What to consider when buying coffee for the French press
- How to Make Coffee Using a French Press
- French Press vs Other Brewing Methods
#1 AmazonFresh Vanilla Flavored Coffee – Surprisingly, Amazon’s brand delivers a really smooth coffee that is great for the French press. No other brewing method is able to get as much flavor from coffee as the French press, and when it comes to this type of flavored coffee, that is its best strength.
#2 Rude Awakening – An incredibly tasty coffee that we’ve chosen because it is the perfect one for waking up in the morning. It has twice or more caffeine content than regular coffee does, giving you that extra kick in the morning to start your day right.
#3 Stone Cold – Cold brew and French press? A match made in heaven. The French press is perfect for brewing a few cups of cold brew in it. Leave it in the fridge overnight and you have a fantastic cold brew. This Stone Cold blend is subtle, a quality that is highlighted when brewed in a French press. A must-try.
The 10 Best Coffee For French Press
Are you a fan of strong coffee? Do you prefer a dark roast, with a very strong, pronounced flavor? This French roast is just what you’re looking for.
Dark roasts are undoubtedly falling out of favor as of late, but a good dark roast will always be popular. That’s the case with this Allegro Organic blend, which is able to deliver a complex flavor with all the making of a dark roast while keeping bitterness in check.
- Sweet, smoky, smooth
- FairTrade certified
Gevalia has been delivering high-quality coffee for a long time. The Special Reserve is particularly good with a French press, as it has a high content of coffee oils, making it perfect for this brewing method.
Guatemalan medium roast: a perfect coffee for all occasions. Guatemalan coffee is known for its exotic, sweet flavor. The medium roast puts it in the perfect place between strong and light, which is why we believe it is a coffee for all occasions.
This coffee is also coarse ground, the best type of grind size for brewing in the French press.
- Slow-roasted and snap cooled to lock in flavor
- Single origin
“Surprisingly, Amazon’s brand delivers a really smooth coffee that is great for the French press. No other brewing method is able to get as much flavor from coffee like the French press, and when it comes to this type of flavored coffee, that is its best strength.”
AmazonFresh is already a well-known choice for coffee-lovers because of its wide catalog of coffees. This vanilla-flavored coffee, though, is just an outstanding choice for the French press. Because the French press doesn’t use paper filters, all of the flavorings stays in the cup.
As a result, you have a super aromatic, sweet cup of coffee that you can’t get with any other brewing method.
- Vanilla flavored
- Sweet and creamy
- Blend from Central and South America
Café du Monde has been around for hundreds of years, in one way or another. It is the French coffee by excellence – they popularized an old French coffee recipe in which chicory root is roasted, ground, and mixed with coffee. This gives the coffee a deep, roasty sweet flavor.
And what better way to enjoy French coffee than using a French press? This coffee is also notably strong, and drinkers of this brand treasure its strength above all else. The French press lets you brew an extra-strong coffee by steeping it longer than usual.
- With chicory root
- French coffee
- Dark roast
“Cold brew and French press? A match made in heaven. The French press is perfect for brewing a few cups of cold brew in it. Leave it in the fridge overnight and you have a fantastic cold brew. This Stone Cold blend is subtle, a quality that is highlighted when brewed in a French press. A must-try.”
Cold-brew in a French press is something everyone has to try at least once. The brewing method lends itself to making cold brew incredibly easily and conveniently.
The guys at stone-cold are experts at creating exceptional cold brew blends. This blend has an exotic, yet very strong flavor which we are sure you will appreciate and enjoy. If you’re new to cold brew – strap in!
- Colombian coffee
- Nutty and chocolate tasting notes
- Resealable bag
Coming at us with some of the highest quality coffee you’ve ever tasted, primos offers us this blend which is not just a single origin, but a single estate. That means that all the beans here come from one single farm.
That means a very consistent, smooth, vibrant flavor and aroma. Single estate coffee is just about as premium as it gets because it means that the beans are so flawless that they don’t need to be blended with others to create a balanced flavor: they’re already perfectly balanced.
So, do yourself a favor, and try some of this magnificent coffee at least once.
- Sweet with citrus notes
- Single estate
- Medium roast
“An incredibly tasty coffee that we’ve chosen because it is the perfect one for waking up in the morning. It has twice or more caffeine content than regular coffee does, giving you that extra kick in the morning to start your day right.”
Sometimes you just need an extra cup of coffee. Or you can just have an extra caffeinated cup of coffee: that’s a better solution. Rude Awakening manages to create a blend that has more than twice the caffeine of most other coffees.
Highly caffeinated coffee tends to be more bitter because caffeine itself is actually very bitter, but this blend somehow turns out quite mild and mellow, which is why it’s our first choice of high-caffeine coffee.
- High caffeine content
- Low bitterness
The second French roast on this list. There’s definitely something magical about how dark, French roasts go together with the French press to create a deep, enjoyable flavor to the last drop.
Starbucks is a little different from Allegro’s, though. This blend is much sweeter and has a certain roast or smoky flavor that just makes you feel like you’re drinking a very different type of coffee, even though they’re practically the same.
Starbucks is known for good coffee, and this certainly falls within those expectations. It’s a really good French roast that feels unique, savory, and delicious.
- Darkest Starbucks roast
- Smoky, sweet
Cold brew’s popularity among French press users has skyrocketed in the last few years. With the advent of the so-called cold brew coffee makers, many French press owners have realized they can save a lot of money by making cold brew in their trusty ol’ French press.
The blend we have here is an absolute home run. It is specialty coffee, meaning that it is of the highest possible quality you can get. Only a very small percentage of coffee is grown in such favorable conditions as this.
And you can really tell. It is extremely flavorful and you can find that you can actually, clearly tell apart all the flavors that are advertised in the bag – unlike with some other brands.
- Climate Pledge friendly
- Hints of toffee, caramel, chocolate
- Kosher and USDA Organic
French press coffee is usually associated with strong coffee. And it’s true: French press coffee can be very strong because it is steeped for a long time and it uses no paper filters, so the flavor is much more concentrated, unfiltered.
For those that love strong coffee, this is a blessing. And to double down, there is nothing better than getting a strong, dark coffee to boost this strong flavor that French press coffee has.
This AmazonFresh blend is a very dark roast using particularly strong beans so that the end result is a coffee blacker than death itself.
- Bold, strong flavor
- Full-bodied, rich
- Dark roast
What to consider when buying coffee for the French press
Maybe you’re still not sure which coffee is best for you after reading the list. Or even worse, you’re even more confused now because they all seem like great choices! It happens, don’t worry. That’s what this buying guide is for.
There are three main aspects you should consider whenever buying coffee, depending on which one you value most and what suits your lifestyle
- Grind size
First and foremost, you need to take the grind size into account. You may have noticed that, of our list, not all of the coffees are “French press grind size”, which is coarse. The French press is actually a very versatile brewing method, and you can use many different grinds.
If you like the classic, black coffee style, then coarse is the way to go. But if you like a more concentrated coffee, you can also experiment with a medium grind.
There are also ways of using fine grind size so as to make an espresso-style coffee using a French press, although it’s a little tricky.
- Roast type
Here, you’ve got to ask yourself: “Do I like my coffee strong, mild, or something in between?”
If you like strong coffee, then you better go for a dark roast. They yield a very strong, bold brew. For milder coffee, then a light or “blonde” roast is a better option, as they are very low in bitterness.
And if neither option is your favorite, then go for a medium roast. It’s the best of both worlds.
Packaging matters a lot depending on how much coffee you consume. If you drink a lot of coffee, then be sure to buy either canned coffee or a resealable bag, so that your coffee stays fresh for longer.
If you consume the bag in a week or less, don’t worry too much about getting a good bag. Just be sure to close it properly so too much air doesn’t go into it, and you’ll be fine.
- 14 grams of ground coffee
- 240ml of water (8 ounces, give or take)
- Rinse your French press thoroughly with hot water.
- Pat dry it.
- Pour coffee in.
- Pour a little bit of water.
- Wait 10 seconds for the coffee to bloom.
- Pour the rest of the water.
- Put the lid on and press the plunger down.
- After two to three minutes, depending on how strong you want it, it’s done.
- Press the plunger down as you pour the coffee.
Check our step-by-step guide to make coffee with a French press for more information about the exact method!
How does the French press fare against other brewing methods?
Well, one thing that’s true is that the French press remains completely untouched, as a design. It has worked exactly the same for more than a hundred years. That speaks not just to tradition, but to how effective it is to the point that nobody’s thought or, what’s more likely, nobody’s been even capable of enhancing it.
As a home brewing method, it doesn’t get much better. It requires very little expertise, very few steps, and it doesn’t need anything other than coffee (like paper filters). It is very inexpensive, easy to clean.
More importantly, it is very small, which makes it an easy addition to most kitchens: you don’t need a whole lot of space to have a French press. It fits just about anywhere.
The French press works mainly by steeping. In that respect, it is completely unique, as most other brewing methods work by other principles. The only other brewing method that works like this is cold brew.
One thing that’s always noted about the French press is that thanks to the lack of cloth or paper filters, more of the coffee oils make their way into your cup. These oils are what are responsible for flavor and aroma, so it’s a good thing.
- Can coffee made with French press raise your cholesterol?
It is debated. One particular oil in coffee, cafestol, seems to raise levels of bad cholesterol after ingestion. The same edge that the French press has over other brewing methods, the lack of paper filters, seems to cut both ways.
Because more of these oils are present in your cup, you end up ingesting more cafestol than normal. So, while it isn’t 100% confirmed yet, it is highly likely that French press coffee has an effect, albeit small, on your cholesterol.
- Can you make something else in a French press?
Yes! The French press is actually incredibly versatile. You’ll find that you can make all sorts of beverages – espresso, cold brew, and so on. Thanks to the plunger, the French press can also double as a milk frother, so a French press is really all you need to make all sorts of coffee beverages at home.
- Does coffee made with French press have more caffeine?
Not necessarily. It depends on the amount of coffee you’re using, really. People do tend to use more coffee when making coffee using a French press because they prefer this to steep their coffee longer to make it stronger or “blacker” in appearance.
But keep in mind that French press coffee isn’t supposed to look black like espresso. So, if you want stronger coffee, it’s probably better to wait one or two additional minutes instead of using more coffee.
Now you know how to make French press coffee and you have a great list featuring some of the best coffees out there to try. Get to brewing and enjoy!
Marcelo is a filmmaker and certified barista. He spends his free time cooking up new and exciting recipes – and drinking too much coffee in the process.