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11 Best Coffees For French Press (2024 Guide)

Charl Joost
Last Updated: February 8th, 2024

The best coffee for French Presses is a little subjective, but not as much as you may think! This old-fashioned brewing method favors certain types of coffee and for good reason.

The French Press forever seems frozen in time. With its whimsical design and immersive approach to the brewing process, you’ll be able to experience a new side to your coffee you didn’t think possible. French Press coffee tends to be fuller-bodied and richer than its pour-over cousin but doesn’t quite hit the intensity of espresso, either.

We’ve curated a list of the best coffee for French Presses to get you started on your homebrewing journey. We’ll dive deep into the hows and whys of this brewing method, then give you the best coffee samples from today’s roasters.

How the French Press Brewing Method Works

how the french press brewing works

Pulling out all the delectable flavor chemicals of your coffee is achieved in several ways. The French Press uses a method called immersion (or steeping) to craft a unique brand of velvety, full-bodied coffee.

Creating French Press coffee involves using a very coarse grind that looks like little wood chips. While you can adjust this grind minutely, don’t make it too fine or you’ll have excess bits floating in your cup!

After you steep these grounds in several inches of hot water, let the French Press sit for around five minutes. The final touch involves pushing down the filter to trap the grounds and separate them from your brew.

How Do I Make the Perfect French Press?

If you’re worried about making a bland or funny-tasting cup of French Press coffee, we have a few reliable tips.

Watch Your Water Temperature

Water that’s too hot runs the risk of burning your beans and making your coffee taste funny. On the other hand, water that’s too mild will lose out on flavor entirely.

The best water temperature for French Press is two hundred degrees Fahrenheit. You can measure this with specialized kettles that tell you the temperature or a regular thermometer.

Don’t Oversteep or Understeep

Oversteeping your coffee may result in an almost medicinal aftertaste, while understeeping will have your drink tasting extremely bland.

The French Press needs four or five minutes to brew. We recommend blooming your coffee before steeping it: this involves pouring a little hot water onto your grounds, waiting for thirty seconds, then pouring in the rest of your water.

This process releases excess C02 (a type of gas) and improves your coffee’s extraction by wetting the grounds.

Only Use a Coarse Grind (But Feel Free to Adjust a Little!)

The coarse grind does the dual work of thickening up the mouthfeel and preventing extra bits from slipping past the filter. That said, you can adjust a little.

Making your coarse grind a little finer may bring out extra flavor. Then again, it may make your mouthfeel less silky and creamy. We highly suggest experimenting with this part: customizing your coffee is part of the fun, after all!

Adjust Your Expectations, Too

French Press coffee is quite unique from the pour-over, coffee pot, Moka pot, and espresso machine. If you go in expecting it to replicate other brewing methods, you’ll set yourself up for disappointment.

French Press coffee is beloved for having a full-bodied mouthfeel. Its flavors tend to lean away from floral and acidic in favor of mellow and earthy.

If you have a hand grinder, its coarse grind is much quicker to complete than a fine grind. It only needs a few minutes to brew, too, and you can multitask while you wait!

All of these factors lend to the French Press’s reputation as an easygoing and beginner-friendly brewing method.

Still unsure how to brew the best cup of French Press coffee? Check out this video from coffee guru James Hoffman on how to make the best French Press coffee.

Choose the Right Type of Coffee

This last part goes without saying since all brewing methods have certain coffee types that complement them best. Without further ado!

The Best Coffee For French Press

The best coffee for French Presses should be of a medium or dark roast to create a stronger flavor. Light roasts generally aren’t compatible with the coarse grind, losing out on their subtle flavors and resulting in a blander cup of coffee.

1. French Press Speciality Coffee Coarse Ground Primos Coffee Co

We’ll start off with a bag explicitly designed for the French Press brewing method. Primos Coffee Co knocked it out of the park with a smooth and sweet coffee that’ll relax your heart and soul.

This coffee is 100% arabica and comes in a balanced medium roast to reduce acidity while still pushing out a varied set of flavors. Expect dominant notes of semi-sweet chocolate and citrus, both delectable when sipped black or with a sprinkle of sugar. We don’t recommend mixing in milk, since citrus-based notes don’t mingle well and may taste a little funky.

If you don’t have a grinder (or your current one isn’t working), you can order this coffee pre-ground.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Gravitate toward balanced coffee that isn’t too sugary or bitter
  • Only want arabica beans
  • Want their coffee pre-ground

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Like putting milk or cream in their coffee
  • Need decaf or half-caf options
  • Want kosher coffee

2. Mountain Water Process Decaf Coffee, Dark Roast, Coarse Ground for French Press

If you’re eager to try a classic French Press brew, but can’t do caffeine, Primos Coffee Co. has another delicious bag for you to try. Their Decaf Dark Roast coffee is decaffeinated using the mountain water process, an all-natural method similar to the famous Swiss Water method.

These beans are roasted dark to bring out the silkiest and smoothest coffee possible. Expect a medium to heavy body and hints of sweet citrus on the palate, perfect for drinking black. This coffee isn’t so acidic it’ll taste funny with milk, so dollop away!

The low acidity is also great for drinkers who have sensitive stomachs.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer or exclusively drink decaf
  • Love dark roasts
  • Want a classic French Press-style coffee
  • Drinker with sensitive stomachs

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want half-caf or caffeinated coffee
  • Prefer medium to medium-dark roasts
  • Lean toward bitter or more chocolatey flavors

3. Ruby Coffee Roasters El Salvador Natamaya

Ruby Coffee Roasters is a business that prides itself on transparency, offering a detailed snapshot of the work that goes into each bag of beans. The behind-the-scenes details on their El Salvador Natamaya bag are just as compelling as the beans themselves.

This coffee hails from a small, family-owned farm that focuses on experimental approaches to coffee, such as growing rare varieties or using unique fermentation methods.

This bag is a showcase of what stepping outside the box can do, offering up an impressive range of flavors such as baking spices, sweet apples, and a smooth chocolate finish.

Try this coffee while you can: since these bags are intentionally from experimental, small lots, they won’t be available forever! If you don’t have a grinder, you can choose between different grind levels such as immersion or cold brew.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want very complex flavor notes
  • Are curious about more experimental, small-lot coffee
  • Seek out more transparent coffee roasters

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer simpler coffee flavors
  • Want dark roast coffee

4. Coffee++ ARARA Super Specially Whole Bean Coffee Medium Roast Cup of Excellence Grade 89+

Coffee++ ARARA comes in swinging with a specialty bag that’ll knock your socks off. While the Super Speciality Whole Bean Coffee can be used for any brewing method, we find it especially suitable for the French Press.

This bag achieved eighty-nine points on the specialty coffee grading scale. Since coffee needs at least eighty points to be considered a specialty, this is no small feat!

These beans are 100% arabica and medium roasted, two solid points in our French Press brewing book. What finalizes this bag as a must-try is its stunningly complex flavor notes: expect a sweet array of caramel, white chocolate, and hints of yellow fruit.

This coffee is low on acidity, so mix it up with milk or add a dollop of cream. Since it’s already sweeter, you can skip the sugar.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want a particularly complex coffee with several flavors
  • Prefer sweeter and fruit-forward flavors
  • Lean toward specialty beans
  • Drinkers with sensitive stomachs

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want to try blends or Robusta coffee
  • Need decaf or half-caf options
  • Want Kosher options

5. Community Coffee French Vanilla Flavored 72 Ounces Medium Roast Ground Coffee

Vanilla is one of the most heartwarming baking spices around. If you just want to relive the same classic coffee experience again and again, the Community Coffee French Vanilla bag will prove quite satisfying.

With 100% arabica beans and a medium roast, these coffee beans are already well-suited to the French Press. The vanilla flavor is sweet enough to stand out, but not so sweet you couldn’t add a little more sugar or cream.

What makes this bag stand out from the rest? Community Coffee earned its name thanks to its regular contributions to, what else: the community!

This roaster created a program called Cash For School, a program that incentivizes regular customers to donate to local schools. They also donate to Military Match programs when you purchase four bags or more.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Love the classic flavor of vanilla
  • Gravitate toward balanced medium roasts
  • Prefer 100% arabica beans
  • Want to contribute to charitable programs

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer light or dark roasts
  • Want to try blends or 100% Robusta
  • Don’t want flavored coffee
  • Need decaf or half-caf options

6. Chamberlain Coffee The Original Family Blend – Medium Roast Organic Coffee

Chamberlain Coffee has such a strong portfolio, we had a hard time choosing just one. Instead, we’re going to take a look at three of their coffee offerings. The first example is their Original Family Blend, a coffee balanced both in flavor and roast level.

This aptly named bag will no doubt please the whole family. These beans have the medium roast the French Press favors, right alongside a flurry of semi-sweet and tart flavor notes that’ll go well with just about any recipe. Expect to enjoy ripe cherry and a hint of dark chocolate in your cup.

These beans are also certified organic by the USDA, a win for health-conscious drinkers.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Enjoy fruit-forward flavor notes
  • Gravitate toward medium roast levels
  • Want organic coffee

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want decaf or half-caf options
  • Prefer dark roasts
  • Need kosher options

7. Chamberlain Coffee Careless Cat Blend – Half Caffeinated Medium Roast Organic Coffee Whole Bean, 12oz

With a charming name and an even more adorable bag design, Chamberlain Coffee wants you to feel cozy right off the bat. We love this half-caffeinated bag for its unpretentious and easygoing approach.

The Careless Cat Blend’s beans lean toward a light-medium roast, enabling the coffee to push out subtle flavor notes without losing that roasty finish.

Expect a semi-sweet blend of raisin, chocolate, and butterscotch, perfect with a dollop of cream or milk. The French Press’s tendency toward creamy mouthfeels will top off an already impressive set of flavors.

Like the rest of their coffee portfolio, these beans are certified organic by the USDA.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Want half-caf options
  • Love complex and sweeter flavor notes
  • Prefer organic coffee beans

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Need decaf options
  • Want kosher coffee

8. Chamberlain Coffee Sleepy Sloth Blend – Decaf Organic Coffee with 0 Caffeine and 100% Flavor

If half-caf coffee is still too strong, Chamberlain Coffee has a fantastic decaf bag for your next kitchen experiment. These beans tick off pretty much every box needed to make a strong cup of French Press coffee.

The Sleepy Sloth Blend lives up to its name with absolutely no caffeine and a powerful punch of flavor. These beans are roasted dark, perfect for the French Press and anyone who loves adding milk to their mug.

The flavor notes here are a blend of fruit-forward notes and a chocolatey finish, topped off with a low acidity that’ll go easy on your stomach.

Just like the Careless Cat Blend and Family Blend, these beans are certified organic.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Frequently or exclusively drink decaf
  • Enjoy strong dark roasts
  • Prefer organic coffee

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer half-caf or caffeinated options
  • Want light-medium or medium roasts

9. Kicking Horse Coffee Decaf Swiss Water Process Dark Roast

Who says you can’t have the best of all worlds in your bag of coffee? Kicking Horse Coffee comes in strong with a decaf bag that boasts several health-focused features.

To start things off, this coffee bag is naturally decaffeinated with the Swiss Water method, which means no chemicals mucking up your coffee. These beans are certified organic by the USDA and are certified kosher, to boot. While not every bag of coffee has to suit a large audience, we’re impressed by the crowd-pleasing qualities on display.

These dark roasted beans boast creamy dark chocolate flavors with hints of roasted hazelnut, a bold spin on a classic set of flavors. Since the roast is so dark, the naturally lowered acidity makes this bag great for those with sensitive stomachs.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Frequently or exclusively drink decaf
  • Love dark-roast coffee
  • Seek out organic beans
  • Want kosher options
  • Need low-acidity coffee

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer light or medium roasts
  • Want more fruit-forward or floral flavor notes

10. Savorista Kenyan Safari Half Caf

Savorista is a coffee roaster for dedicated decaf and half-caf drinkers. Their Kenyan Safari Half Caf is well-suited to the French Press and people who only need a small boost in their morning.

This single-origin bag hails from a country well-known for its rich, volcanic soil. This natural bounty is immediately apparent in these beans’ layered flavor notes of molasses and a red wine-like finish, the kind of coffee that needs to be tasted to be believed.

Even if you enjoy your coffee with milk and sugar, consider sipping this coffee black to experience its subtlety.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Mostly or exclusively drink half-caf coffee
  • Want single-origin coffee
  • Enjoy complex flavor notes

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer light or dark roasts
  • Want decaf coffee
  • Need kosher options

11. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Medium Roast Organic Whole Bean Coffee

This household name was bound to make our list eventually. How can you go wrong with an organic medium roast with such complex flavor notes?

Stumptown’s Medium Roast Organic Whole Bean Coffee uses particularly subtle arabica beans, hailing from a roaster that recently achieved B Corp Certification. This rare accolade celebrates a coffee business for achieving high standards in business transparency and environmental sustainability, so you know you’re in for a treat.

Your French Press coffee will have traditional notes of hazelnut and caramel, then lean toward a berry medley on the finish. This interplay of nutty, sweet, and fruity suits this coffee in both black and cafe au lait form.

We Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Enjoy very complex flavor notes
  • Only want 100% arabica beans
  • Want to purchase from sustainable roasters

We Don’t Recommend This Coffee For Drinkers Who:

  • Prefer light roast or dark roast coffee
  • Want to try blends or robusta beans
  • Need decaf or half-caf options
  • Want kosher options

About The Author

Charl Joost

Charl is a trainer, public speaker, and professional writer. While he has been coached to niche down, he has many passions. These include golf, gardening, technology, and a decent cup of coffee or two. Charl loves to learn about new products and tries everything he writes about.

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