Is there a better way to start your day than with a delicious cup of coffee from a French Press? We tested several coffee beans and found these to be our top picks of the best coffee for French presses.
We also picked a favorite: Wicked Joe Breakfast Blend. When assessing our favorite, we looked at several different variables. We love to know where our brew comes from, so we looked at the origin of the beans. Other considerations included the type of roast and tasting notes.
Wicked Joe Breakfast Blend made first place thanks to its smooth yet complex taste. On top of the delicious product, this company also prioritizes supporting farmers and the environment.
The Wicked Joe Breakfast Blend contains Arabica beans with a light-medium roast, making it a perfect balance for most days. Tasting notes in this coffee include:
The bright and milky notes balance beautifully.
The beans originate from small farms throughout Bali, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, and Sumatra. The beans roast in Maine. You can buy this coffee as whole beans or pre-ground. For the French press, you will likely want to be able to grind your beans.
The flavors of this coffee aren’t necessarily out of the box. This coffee is ideal for those who want a somewhat elevated cup that they can drink every day. The bright flavors make this option the ideal breakfast drink.
We love Mast Coffee’s Columbia Encoterra Project for its ability to combine floral, sweet, and earthy flavors in a delectable way. Floral notes mingle nicely with raspberry, citrus fruit, sugar, and chocolate.
In many ways, this coffee reflects classic Columbian coffee. For example, it has the bold chocolaty flavors many associate with Columbian coffee. However, it also has lighter floral notes. Roasted in Sacramento, California, this bean is a fantastic choice for a coffee enthusiast.
Lifeboost Medium Roast is the ideal medium roast coffee. This Arabica bean originates in the mountains of Nicaragua. It’s also organic, non-GMO, and low-acid. Thanks to the lack of acid, this coffee is a fantastic choice for those with sensitive stomachs.
Enjoy tasting notes of nuts, cream, and milk chocolate from this coffee. This option produces one of the smoothest cups on this list. As a result, you may be able to skip adding cream.
These Coffee Bros beans come from Costa Rica and roast in New York. The great thing about this company is you can trace each bag to a specific small producer. A family farm run by a father and son produces this variety of coffee.
This coffee comes from Arabica beans, which means you are sure to experience complex flavors. Some key tasting notes include cocoa, toffee, and lemon. The medium roast allows you to enjoy the brighter flavors of the coffee and more robust chocolate flavors simultaneously.
Primos Coffee Company produces several varieties of Arabica coffee. You can get whole bean or French press-friendly ground coffee and choose your roast level.
We love the medium roast whole bean coffee. However, the French press ground coffee is also delicious as each sip is smooth and enjoyable.
This coffee originates in Nicaragua and roasts in Europe. Enjoy the smooth citrus notes of this coffee. Choose this bean if you want something to wake you up that you also enjoy sipping.
It’s no wonder that Jim’s Organic Coffee Wonder Brew is on this list. The medium-heavy roast yields deep flavors. Tasting notes include syrup and chocolate. Beans for this coffee originate in Indonesia and get roasted in Austria, resulting in a smooth sip.
Beyond the delicious flavors, we value this coffee because it’s organic and thoughtfully put together. Even the packaging is carefully done to ensure freshness.
Jim’s Organic Coffee has operated for over 25 years and has a focus on sustainability that sets them apart.
The Volcania Costa Rica Peaberry comes from the Tres Rios region of Costa Rica. It’s a medium roast that yields tasting notes of:
The brightness of the flavors balances nicely with a slight sweetness and depth.
This coffee comes in whole bean and ground versions. While many people prefer grinding their beans, this variety’s pre-ground option is delicious, especially for a French press.
Stone Street Colombian Supremo is a light roast from Colombia. The flavor of the beans is more on the acidic side. Tasting notes include chocolate and caramel. This option is a tasty coffee for those who like some sweetness and fruitiness in their cup of coffee.
We love this coffee because of the flavor balance, as it’s both smooth and intense. Few cups provide this delicious sippable flavor and wake-up jolt. You can purchase this variety as whole beans or pre-ground.
There are several variables to consider when determining how to make the best cup of coffee with a French press. Here’s what to look for.
Part of the process of making coffee beans includes roasting the beans. During this step, the raw beans get cooked at a high temperature for varying lengths of time. There are three basic types of roasts.
- A light roast coffee cooks the least – at about ten minutes. The flavor of this bean is usually more acidic, with lighter flavors such as floral notes. This variety also has the most caffeine.
- Medium roast coffee tends to be more balanced compared to other varieties. It roasts for about 15 minutes. This type often has the best of light and dark roasts since it has more intensity than a light roast, but more aromatics than a dark roast.
- Dark roast coffee is cooked for around 20 minutes, meaning it roasts the longest of these coffees. The flavor of a dark roast is the strongest. But, it usually has the smallest amount of caffeine.
When using a French press, dark roast beans typically give the best cup because they contain more oils, making the extraction process easier. You can get a decent cup with a good medium roast, but it may not be quite as rich or flavorful as a dark roast.
If you only have light roast beans on hand, you can still use a French press to brew a solid cup of coffee. You can expect a lighter cup with subtle flavor, which may be beneficial for those who don’t like strong brews.
Most coffee has its origins in the Ethiopian Plateau. However, when we talk about origins these days, we usually discuss where the beans grow. The location and growing factors affect the flavor and other characteristics of the beans.
- Brazilian beans usually have a light and sweet flavor.
- Colombian beans, some of the most popular beans out there, are slightly bitter and intense.
- Costa Rican coffee is sweet, fruity, and robust.
- Ethiopian beans have strong floral and fruity notes.
- Coffee from Java is on the bitter side.
- Kenyan coffee is fruity and citrus-forward.
- Mexican coffee is usually gentle and acidic.
- Beans from Sulawesi have a strong flavor and citrus notes.
- Coffee from Tanzania is very bright with a bold smell.
For French press coffee, it means choosing a flavor profile that you appreciate because you’ll pick up the subtle notes better. Additionally, nutty and chocolatey flavor profiles tend to fare better in a French press.
There are over a hundred coffee species from which you could theoretically derive coffee. But there are two main varieties you’re likely to encounter on your coffee adventures.
Arabica Coffee, also known as Coffea Arabica, grows primarily throughout Central America, South America, Asia, and East Africa. However, it likely originates in Ethiopia. This variety usually has a strong flavor and low caffeine. There are several varieties of Arabica coffee.
Robusta Coffee, also known as Coffea Canephora, originated in Zaire. It grows throughout Africa, India, and Indonesia. The flavor of this variety is usually more bitter than Arabica. It also often has twice as much caffeine as Arabica and grows at a lower altitude.
Arabica beans are the higher-quality option and typically yield a richer, more flavorful cup of coffee. Unless you live for a bitter cup of coffee with harsh flavor notes, you should avoid using robusta beans in a French press. To learn more about the differences between Arabica and Robusta beans check out our article Arabica vs Robusta: A Guide to Types of Coffee Beans.
When you buy coffee, it can either be in whole bean form or ground. The size of the grind may vary. Usually, a coarser grind yields a softer flavor, and a finer grind makes a more intense flavor. The flavor difference is due to the amount of the bean’s exposure to the water.
While you may enjoy a finer grind for some coffee-making methods, coarser grinds are best for a French press. That size grind is ideal because it won’t seep through the press mesh.
French Press Recipe
If you’re new to the French press, the contraption can be intimidating. But, getting the perfect cup of French press coffee is easier than you think.
Besides the French press, all you need is about:
- 30 grams of coffee (about 6 tablespoons)
- 350 grams of water (12 fluid ounces)
- A way of boiling water, a stirrer
- A way of measuring the coffee and water
For best results, you can use a scale. Here’s how to make the best French press coffee:
- Boil water in a kettle or pot.
- Preheat your French press by filling it with warm water, letting it sit for a minute, and pouring out the water when you’re ready to add your coffee.
- If needed, grind the coffee while the press preheats. Make sure you go for a coarse grind to prevent over-extraction during the process.
- Add coffee to a pre-heated French press.
- Fill the press with hot water, leaving about an inch or two of room at the top. Remember to leave a minute of rest between boiling water and adding it to the press for the optimum temperature.
- Stir the coffee in hot water.
- Steep the coffee for about five minutes.
- Using a spoon, scoop up any floating grounds from the top. This step gives you a cleaner cup.
- Press the French press plunger slowly, keeping the grounds under the plunger.
- Serve and enjoy.
- If you have leftover coffee, pour it from the press into another heat-proof container. Leaving it in the press can lead to over-steeping.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still struggling to determine the best coffee for French presses? Here are some frequently asked questions that may help you out.
Why is my french press coffee bitter?
Bitter coffee can come from a French press for a few reasons, including a fine grind, long brew time, and overly warm water. Hot water makes the beans break down more, leading to a bitter flavor. Finer grinds and long brew times also extract a more concentrated flavor.
If you want less bitter coffee, try grinding your coffee more coarsely, brewing for a shorter period, or brewing with cooler water. You may also simply need to try a different variety of beans or a lighter roast. We find the addition of a bit of salt can make coffee smoother. Sometimes, you need to use less coffee in the press.
Why is my french press coffee sour?
There are a few issues that can bring out the sour flavors of coffee beans. Acidity is a normal flavor in coffee, but it’s best when the acid balances with other flavors. Coffee can be sour because it didn’t brew long enough. A lack of brewing may not allow all the flavors to open up. Fix this issue by brewing your coffee longer.
Another problem that causes sourness is beans that lack roasting. Underdeveloped beans can be fixed with additional roasting.
Sourness may happen as a result of stale coffee beans. Over time, coffee beans can lose some deeper flavors and become sourer. If beans are stale and sour, it may be time to replace them. However, there are a few other ways to remedy the situation. To get less sour beans, try grinding the beans finer or try adding more water to the brew.
What is the best water temperature for the French press?
The best temperature for water in a French press is around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this temperature, bring water to a boil and then let the water sit for about a minute. The water temperature in a French press is vital because water that’s too cold may prevent full flavor development, and overly hot water can yield bitter flavors.
The perfect French press coffee for you will depend on your taste and needs. There are many great options for the best coffee for French presses.
But, our top recommendation is Wicked Joe Breakfast Blend because we love the bright tasting notes and chocolate undertones. Overall, it has the best flavor, functionality, and caffeine content.