The best coffee for the French press can be hard to find but look no further.
Brewing coffee with a French press is the easiest way to get a rich, strong, bold cup of java. And there aren’t any shortcuts. You’ll need a great coffee to brew something as good as you want.
The most crucial aspect of having an excellent cup of coffee with this popular brewing device is to buy the best coffee for the French press.
Our Hand-picked Selection: Best Coffees for French Press
Below you’ll find alternatives for those who like to explore exotic flavors and more conservative coffee lovers. As you may know, freshly ground coffee is the best option, but if you don’t have a grinder yet, I started the list with a fine selection of ground coffee.
In contrast, if you already have a grinder, fast-forward to the second part, where you’ll find a great coffee beans selection for the French press.
Remember that we selected some of the best coffees in the market, not only the best coffee brands for the French press. Many of the suggestions you’ll find below can make for great coffee with a coffeemaker, the Aeropress, or a manual dripper.
Best Ground Coffee for French Press
- Lifeboost coffee
- Primos Coffee
- Intelligentsia, House Blend
- ¡Tierra! Organic Planet Ground Coffee, Medium Roast
- Illy Classico – Medium Grind Medium Roast
- Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Coarsely Ground Coffee
Convenient and practical, ground coffee is incredible while it’s fresh. Bear in mind that most of the ground coffee I recommend comes in medium grind size. So, if you don’t use a couple of tricks to brewing with your French press, you might get a sludgy cup of coffee.
If you don’t want to read my guide yet, the most important thing to remember is to let the coffee sit for a while and avoid pressing the plunger down to the bottom. Serving carefully after will get you a bold and clean cup of coffee, even using a medium grind size.
💡 Top Tip: for those who prefer coffee with milk/creamer, try preparing a caffè misto with your French press!
The taste and aroma of Lifeboost coffee are excellent; thousands of customer reviews praise their medium and dark roast.
Depending on your preference, you’ll find different options that can suit your taste. Additionally, they have limited editions for fascinating single origins.
Overall, it’s a great coffee with rigorous quality standards:
- Low Acid: easy on the stomach, it has a pleasant and smooth aftertaste.
- High-Elevation Shade Grown: coffee trees that grow in high places tend to develop denser, richer coffee beans with low bitterness. The shade of the trees helps protect the coffee plants from the sun, saves water, and reduces the risk of plagues and diseases that may harm the coffee trees.
- Single Origin: most brands pack blends with little control or traceability. Sourcing single-origin coffee beans, Lifeboost can offer a higher quality coffee, albeit pricier.
- Non-GMO: I wouldn’t play with my food’s DNA, and drinking a non-GMO gives me peace of mind.
- Fairly Traded: farmers who sell their coffee to Lifeboost work hard to keep their businesses sustainable and get paid fairly.
- Hand-Washed and Hand-Selected: expert artisans select and process these delicious coffee beans.
I prefer to get Primos Coffee at a medium grind size. It’s the way I brew my French press coffee, and it’s tastier. Many choose Primos as the best coarse ground coffee for French press, and you can try it too.
These coffee beans come from the same family estate in Nicaragua, grown, selected, and roasted carefully. It’s among my best coffees because it’s smooth and tasty, and I feel great after drinking it. As many customers assert, it is not too acidic, with sweet aromatic notes.
Several verified customer reviews point to its pleasant taste and that they feel great after drinking it. Not acidic, without discomfort after having a good mug of Primos coffee.
Intelligentsia is a pioneer of premium coffee micro-roasters. Now it’s an influential player that offers delicious singles origins and blends at more than a dozen coffee shops, Amazon, and their online store.
Before experimenting with more exotic coffees, this Intelligentsia House Blend is an excellent option for the French Press. You can appreciate milk chocolate and apple notes with some mild citrus acidity.
Their medium grind size is great for French press brewing, in my opinion, mainly because it has a natural sweetness and a smooth taste. Intelligentsia recommends using a dripper for this blend, but I consider it a versatile blend that suits both drip coffee and French press coffee.
The ¡Tierra! the blend is organic, with mild and fruity notes. Thanks to its medium roast, it’s not too bitter and has a rich body.
Illy advanced quality standards in coffee, decades before micro-roasters. Although I am keen to try new rosters, this Illy Classico tastes great and smells better.
Again, I go against the roaster recommendations to brew these coffee grounds with a dripper. I have to tell you that’s worth the try with the French press.
You read that well, it says cold brew on the label, but it works perfectly for the French press. My advice with this blend is to let it sit for a couple of minutes longer than my other recommendations. It has a coarse ground that suits the French press, but it can deliver a weak cup of coffee without enough time.
It isn’t my favorite, but it can be a good blend for people who prefer more traditional flavors in their coffee. Like Lifeboost, it has low acidity, and many customers value its taste and freshness.
Best coffee beans for French Press
- Lifeboost Coffee
- Koa Coffee Private Reserve
- Onyx coffee – Monarch blend
- Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Hair Bender, Whole Bean Coffee
- Counter Culture Big Trouble Blend
- Illy – Guatemala Single Origin
- Valhalla Java
Freshly ground coffee is exquisite, and if you have a grinder at home, you’ll enjoy trying these fantastic coffees. We picked these brands to select the best whole bean coffee for the French press because they have strict quality standards.
You might be surprised by some of these coffees, but they’re delicious! Still, I noted the specifics so that you can select your favorite coffees considering your preferred tasting notes, aroma, and body.
As I said before, Lifeboost coffee is one of our favorites because its taste and aroma are superior to regular coffee brands, with low acidity and bitterness, so it’s easy on your stomach.
If you have a grinder at home, it’s a great alternative, and they have a nice variety of single origins and blends.
Kona coffee is one of the most expensive coffee beans. But don’t panic. Koa Coffee has reasonable alternatives to try.
The Koa Coffee Private Reserve is our favorite for French press because it has a smooth taste, very low bitterness, low acidity, and aromatic.
Many customers claim it’s great for drip coffee and Aeropress, but I’ll let you be the judge.
When I asked my Sensory Skills trainer for a recommendation, he didn’t doubt suggest Onyx. After trying any of their blends or single origins, you’ll know why!
This Monarch blend has a classic aromatic profile; flavorful and clean.
Stumptown is another roaster you have to try. They are huge in comparison to how they started, but they keep their micro-roaster mindset.
Hair Bender is a great blend to brew with the French press because it’s aromatic and flavorful while having a familiar aroma.
This blend from Counter Culture is impressive if you get tired of chocolate-ish and fruity notes. It has caramel and nutty notes, a profile I like to have with French press, Aeropress, and my V60.
Counter Culture is an excellent roaster with solid work to assure quality and a sensible approach to coffee education.
It’s very aromatic, and Illy’s quality is worth the try.
A classic dark roast, Valhalla Java is a blend of fine Arabica and Robusta. Unlike most of my favorites, the Valhalla Java blend with a robust taste and is full-bodied. It indeed delivers a huge caffeine punch.
If you’re more into a cup of coffee with character and a nice dark color, this Valhalla Java might be great for you.
What is the Best Roast Level for French Press?
The best roast depends more on your preference than the brewing device.
You might prefer dark roasts if you enjoy a full-bodied coffee with a thick mouthfeel and an intense aroma with more bitterness than acidity. In contrast, you will prefer a medium roast if you like zesty and fruity coffee.
Exotic single-origin coffee beans might display floral notes, something that’s impossible to find in dark roasts and more common in light roasts. That said, the French press goes better with medium and dark roasts because it tends to extract most of the aromas and flavors out of the coffee grounds. It’s particularly true if you use a medium grind size, as I recommended above.
What is the best grind size for French Press Coffee?
Getting the best coffee grinder for the French press is the easiest way to get a cup of joe that suits your taste. There are many different grind sizes for coffee, and each displays different flavors and aromas.
For French press coffee, most people recommend using a coarse grind size. But, you must experiment to find one that suits the brew you’re looking for.
If you like your coffee sweet or fruity, consider using coarser grounds, but if you want more character and body, go for medium grind size.
Depending on your favorite style, you’ll need to use a good brewing technique. I described in this guide a great way to brew with the French press.
One of the main reasons that people prefer using a coarse grind is to avoid sludgy coffee. However, you can avoid a messy French press brew using some tricks while getting a rich and bold cup of coffee.
What’s the best temperature for brewing French press coffee?
I used to believe that the temperature for French press coffee should be between 195-205 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s common to find that as a good quality standard for premium coffeemakers, so I assumed it also applied to the French press. But, I learned that you could use boiling water and get a delicious cup of coffee.
It’s true with the French press. Using the James Hoffmann brewing technique, I spend nearly 8 to 10 minutes. If you don’t use boiling water, you might end with a warm, almost cold cup of coffee.
I’m not too fond of that. And I guess that you don’t like cold French press coffee either.
Temperature is critical because it takes natural oils and flavors out of the coffee grounds. So, try brewing with water as hot as it gets. Bear in mind that if you use a dark roast, you might want to use water below the boiling point.
I learned that you could adjust your water temperature by letting it rest for a minute before brewing. It’s a trick that works for anyone without a thermometer, and you can try it if your coffee gets overly bitter.
It’s common to have excessive bitterness when the roast is too dark or the grind is too fine. So, try with water below the boiling point in these cases.
Verdict: Best coffee for French press
If you’re looking for a health-oriented, low acidity, and tasty coffee, Lifeboost is a great option, both as coffee grounds and whole coffee beans. On the other hand, if you’re exploring new tastes and aromas in premium coffee, you can try Koa coffee.