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Best Coffee Beans for Your French Press

French Press Coffee Beans

Of all the ways to prepare coffee, the French press may just be my absolute favorite. Have you ever wondered what it is that makes French press java so special? 

Well for starters, this method of coffee brewing doesn’t use a paper filter. Meaning the natural oils from the ground coffee beans stay in the pot. You may even get a few coffee grounds in your cup! Combined with the oils, this makes for a more flavorful cup of joe than a traditional drip coffee brewer. If you’re into this style of preparing your morning mug, then you know that your choice of beans matters. 

In this article, we’ll review 20 of the best coffee beans you can grind to use for your French press.

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The spirit of Kicking Horse Coffee invites you to indulge yourself as soon as you wake up. This pre-ground dark roast is both sweet and smoky. You could even call it—audacious. Yup. It’s that bold, that’s why we had to name it our Best Choice.

Responsibly grown by farmers in Indonesia and South America, this is coffee you can feel good about while you sip. Pour it in your favorite mug with the satisfaction that it was sustainably grown and harvested. The 100% Arabica beans are organic, kosher, and certified fairtrade.

The aroma is of condensed sugar cane with notes of cocoa powder. Vanilla and dark chocolate. And what about the flavor you ask? Think rich chocolate malt. Molasses and licorice. Leaving your palate with a lingering earthy finish.

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With a skull and crossbones design and a name like Death Wish, you can tell this coffee isn’t playing around. Fans of caffeine rave about our Premium Pick of Death Wish coffee. That’s because it boasts double the normal amount of caffeine of most ground coffees.

Already ground, this coffee is ready to pop into your French press. Soon you’ll be sipping this bold, dark roast. Enjoying the subtle flavor notes of cherry and chocolate without acidity or a bitter aftertaste. Yum. 

It’s also a batch you can feel good about drinking. Organic, so it’s good for your body. Fairtrade, so it’s good for the environment. You can even try it risk-free. Meaning if you don’t totally love it, they’ll refund your order with no questions asked.

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Start your morning with a cup of organic coffee from Honduras. Don Pablo coffee is proud to be part of the Sharing Certified Program. They slow-roast all their beans in small batches to bring out the optimal flavor. 

When you buy Don Pablo, you can rest assured knowing you’ll be getting the freshest coffee beans they can possibly provide. Why is that? Because they roast to order instead of on a production schedule. Optimum freshness and quality all for a reasonable price? That’s the way to get named Best Value in our books!

For a French press, add 1-2 tablespoons of ground coffee per 1 cup of water. Don Pablo coffee is full-bodied with a clean finish and low acidity. On the first sip, your mouth will fill with the taste of smooth milk chocolate. As you continue to savor that fresh cup, you’ll pick up on notes of honey and caramel.

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Can I tell you a secret? I’m kind of a sucker for anything with the word “donut” in it. So even though I’m more a dark roast fan over a light roast, I can’t get enough of New England Coffee’s Donut Shop Blend. Which is really saying something. Cause it’s their lightest roast yet!

The 100% Arabica beans have a smooth, mellow taste. The coffee comes already ground, saving precious time between you and that first cup of the day. It’s such a great price, you may as well go ahead and stock up on two 11-ounce bags at a time. 

How would I describe the donut shop flavor? Think bold and clean. Subtle nutty and vanilla tastes make for a very flavorful blend. I don’t know about you, but I could go for a cup right now!

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When you think of Lavazza, you may only think of espresso drinks. However, you can use espresso beans in your French press for an extra bold cup of coffee. With the Lavazza Super Crema, you’ll get a rich, full taste minus the bitterness.  

Notes of honey, almond, and dried fruits dance through this mild and creamy medium espresso roast. Drinking a cup of this is sure to perk you right up—any time of day!

For this unique aromatic blend, Lavazza uses a variety of Arabica and Robusta beans. Available only in whole bean, meaning every pot you brew will be from the freshest possible grind.

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The only Kult I’d willingly join. One that boasts a roast as dark as Koffee Kult. Grind up your 100% Arabica beans at home for the freshest cup of French press. 

Koffee Kult isn’t some big distributor. They are family owned and operated. They artisan roast their own coffee that they source from Colombia, Guatemala, and Sumatra.

Sip and smile. These coffee beans are both smooth and bright with bold flavor. The flavor notes include cocoa and cinnamon.

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Everyone knows Starbucks, right? This coffee company started in Seattle took America by storm. Their blended coffee drinks are way popular, but I’ve always enjoyed their brewed coffees like Pike Place Roast. This medium roast works great for your French press coffee.

From the first sip, you’ll enjoy an unbelievably smooth mouthfeel. Rich, satisfying, and well-balanced. With subtle tastes of cocoa and toasted nuts, these coffee beans will have you feeling wired and inspired.

Available in bulk options, so you can stock up for a low price! Never run out of coffee at home by ordering a six-pack of 12-ounce bags. Or, give a few out as presents to the rest of your caffeine-loving friends. Fresh coffee beans are always a welcome gift.

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It sounds right to use a French roast for French press coffee, doesn’t it? Peet’s Coffee makes an excellent one if you aren’t yet familiar. For this dark roast, the coffee beans go through a longer, hotter roasting process. 

The result of that longer roast? Ultra-decadent flavor notes of wood smoke and burnt caramel. This smoky, full-bodied blend will delight your senses and wake you up no matter the time of day.

Peet’s Coffee believes in using responsibly grown and sourced beans, so you can feel good about your morning cup. They keep quality in mind and strive to bring you the freshest coffee beans available.

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Is this coffee good? No. It’s real good. Elevate your mornings with this light roast breakfast blend from Real Good Coffee. Your mornings are about to get even brighter when you purchase this 2-pound bag of whole beans.

These premium quality Arabica beans come from Central and South America. They are responsibly grown, sourced, and packaged. Once they hit the USA, they’re freshly-roasted in Seattle.

The aroma is smooth and bright. Sip and swoon over the flavor notes of milk chocolate and cream mixed with a brisk citrus taste. Do a coarse grind for your French press and let this light roast ease you into your day.

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If you’ve ever read up on or tried the Keto diet, you’ve likely also heard about “bulletproof” coffee. To make bulletproof coffee you need three ingredients. Coffee, butter, and MCT oil. Even if you aren’t following keto, you’ll still enjoy Bulletproof The Mentalist coffee

It’s already ground and ready to use in your French press. Bulletproof uses organic sustainable beans that are Rainforest Alliance-certified. Hand-picked at peak ripeness, these beans are screened and tested before roasting. All to guarantee they aren’t high in toxins that could rob you of the mental agility you initially turned to coffee for. 

And as for the taste? Your tastebuds may write you a thank you note after drinking this coffee. Rich, full-bodied coffee with dark cocoa and vanilla aromatics. Cherry sweetness fills your mouth with playful notes of caramel and almond.

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As the name suggests, this coffee will have you ready to go. Drink a cup in the morning before work if you want to show some peak performance! In all seriousness, the Peak Performance High Altitude Organic Coffee is a healthy, antioxidant-rich choice.

What does high altitude have to do with anything? Coffee beans grown at high altitudes tend to be denser. The higher the elevation, the higher the quality!

This medium roast was grown pesticide-free in the Guatemalan Highlands. Each cup lends your mouth a smooth taste minus the acidity and bitterness of cheaper coffees. Enjoy boundless energy without the jitters.

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This small-batch roasted organic coffee is sure to please your tastebuds. With the Mayorga Roastmaster’s Blend, you’ll be holding your favorite mug in both hands. Taking deep breaths of the aromatic coffee into your nostrils before sighing out “ahhhh.”

High quality 100% Arabica beans, sold in whole bean so you can grind fresh for your French press. Shade-grown coffee beans, like these, require little to no fertilizer, pesticides, or herbicides.

The flavor notes include delicious hints of maple, a touch of almond, and even undertones of toffee. The medium roast balances acidity with the body while adding some brightness.

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Hand-roasted in small batches and packaged at the peak of the roasting cycle, you can taste the quality and care in these coffee beans. Brew a cup of French press with The Bean Company’s Vanilla Nut and prepare to feel pampered

This coffee is available ground for your convenience. Or in whole bean form if you prefer to grind your coffee fresh for every pot. It’s recommended to store the coffee in an airtight container that’s away from direct sunlight, heat, and moisture. 

The medium roast is smooth with a fuller-bodied appearance than light roasts. As you can imagine, it’s aromatic and tastes of sweet vanilla with a hint of nuttiness.

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This specialty coffee producer, based in Colorado, believes in doing things the right way. That means starting with ethically sourced, sustainably grown coffee beans. Allegro Coffee beans grow at high altitudes, which means they yield deeper, more compelling flavors. 

When you brew this French roast in your French press, you can rest assured knowing you’re sipping on organic, fair trade certified java. And bonus! It’s available already ground, so all you have to do is scoop and add hot water.

Inhale the smoky aroma of this dark roast and prepare yourself for the flavors to come. Smoothness hits your palate first. Followed by a little sweet and a decent bit of smoky.

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I’ve had a lot of Eight O’Clock Coffee in my day. Likely you have too, as they’ve been around for over 150 years. It’s just such a good taste at a wicked affordable price. 

Their Original blend is a medium roast made from 100% Arabica beans. Grind your whole coffee beans fresh for a steaming hot pot of French press. 

Eight O’Clock Coffee roasts their own coffee beans in Maryland. Master roasters choose the highest quality beans to bring you the most satisfying cup of joe. The Original flavor is sweet, fruity, and well-balanced.

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Another French roast that deserves a spot on our list. SF Bay Coffee will knock your socks off. Family owned and American made. They’re built on tradition and integrity—urging you to call them if you don’t love your purchase. 

Is it just us or do sustainably-grown coffee beans always taste better? They source their beans from Central and South America before roasting them to perfection. This dark roast is left to roast longer, allowing the flavor oils to rise to the surface of the beans.

From the first sip, you’ll swoon at this full-bodied dark roast. The 100% Arabica beans taste of rich dark chocolate and smoky toasted cinnamon.

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If Odin drank coffee, he’d probably choose Valhalla Java Whole Bean. In fact, Death Wish Coffee Company calls this the Odinforce Blend. A masterful artisan roast from specially selected beans. 

Bold and smooth. The coffee, yes, but also you when you drink it. Knowing that it’s both organic and Fair Trade Certified. 

Enjoy maximum flavor with this high-octane java. The flavor is nuanced with nuttiness and, of course, chocolate tones. It’s a very sophisticated medium-roast.

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Get ready to taste paradise. Kauai Whole Bean Coffee invites you to kick back and savor a cup of their luscious medium roast. Grown on their 3,100 acres, you can taste the beauty of Hawaii in this Koloa Estate blend.

From the growing stage to the roasting to the packaging, Kauai strives to be as sustainable and environmentally-sound as possible. This is a whole bean coffee you can feel good about grinding up for your French press in the morning.

It has a bright aroma with light floral notes. You can drink it in the morning or in the evening, that’s what I like best about a medium roast.

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Bones Coffee Company believes your coffee should be more than just a morning drink—it should be an experience. Their Highland Grog medium roast is just that. An experience you don’t want to miss. No kilt required (but highly encouraged).

They make sure their 100% Arabica beans are ethically sourced. Then they artisan-roast and package them here in the good ol’ USA. One of the best things about coffee? It fits just about every diet. Enjoy that cup totally guilt-free.

But it won’t taste guilt-free. Because what until you hear what flavor Highland Grog is. Spiced rum. Wait, there’s more! Notes of butterscotch and caramel will dance upon your tongue. This coffee is like a cocktail and dessert—combined.

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Much like Bones Coffee Company, Stumptown claims coffee is more than a delicious caffeinated beverage. It’s a pleasure. Especially their medium roast, Hair Bender. From the first waft of freshly-roasted beans that hits your nostrils to the first sip of this smooth blend—you’ll be in heaven. 

Based out of Portland in Oregon, Stumptown believes in using sustainable practices for all its coffee sourcing, roasting, and packaging. In 2018, they achieved B Corp status. That means they meet the highest standards for verified social/environmental performance, public transparency, and even legal accountability. 

Now onto the best part, let’s talk flavor. Hair Bender marries the taste of sweet cherries with the decadence of rich fudge. Grind some fresh, whole beans for your French press and achieve nirvana.

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That was a whole lot of beans, maybe even a hill of ‘em. Now we’ll provide some helpful tips for next time you’re browsing for your next favorite brew.

How to Make Great French Press Coffee

  1. Start with the freshest whole beans you can find
  2. Grind it right before you make French press
  3. Pre-warm your French press with hot water while you boil more
  4. Dump out the pre-warmed water and add the ground coffee
  5. Use the proper coffee to water ratio (2 Tablespoons per 6 ounces water)
  6. Add the water. Don’t use boiling water, let it sit until it is about 195-205 degrees
  7. Do not over steep, 4 to 6 minutes is plenty
  8.  Use steady even pressure to push the plunger down
  9. Enjoy! 
  10. Clean well between uses

Pro Tip: Don’t leave coffee in the French press to brew and become bitter. Pour any leftover coffee into a cup to drink later (maybe as an iced coffee!).

Coffee Grind Levels for French Press

For the best grind, use a burr grinder, not a blade grinder. Set it to the coarsest setting. If you can, avoid pre-ground coffee for your French press. Freshly-ground whole bean will taste far better. 

How Do I Know My Coffee is Fresh?

Shop locally if possible. Check the roasted date. Go for beans that have been roasted at least in the last three months. Six weeks is great. Within the last 30 days is phenomenal. And again, invest in a burr grinder and choose whole bean over ground whenever you can. 

Coffee Roast Levels Explained

Light roast is, surprise, light brown in color with a light body. They are roasted the shortest amount of time, usually only until the first crack. (Coffee beans crack when they reach 300-350 degrees Fahrenheit.) They have little oil on their surfaces and aren’t very bitter. Surprisingly (to me anyway) a light roast has the most caffeine of all the roasts. The longer the beans are roasted, the more caffeine isn’t retained.

Medium roast is medium brown in color with more body than the light roast. They also have little oil on their surfaces since they’re only roasted to between 410-428 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s after the first crack, but before the second.  

Medium-dark roast beans have a rich, dark color and start to show some oils on their surfaces. They’re roasted to the beginning or middle of the second crack (437-450 degrees F). They are heavier-bodied and some may have a bit of spicy flavor to them. 

Dark roast are the darkest brown in color, almost black, like chocolate. They boast a sheen of oil on their surfaces. They have diminished caffeine content and tend to taste smoky, bitter, maybe even burnt. And no surprise as they’re roasted to internal temps of 465-480 degrees. 

French Press Mistakes to Avoid

Rushing the process. All the steps of making French press coffee exist for a reason. Don’t use a fine espresso grind or you won’t be able to push your plunger down and the flavor won’t be as rich. Use the right temperature for the water and the correct amount of coffee. Time your steeping, don’t overdo it.

FAQ

Q: What is the best roast for French press coffee?

A: Medium to medium-dark is the most popular choice for the French press. But experiment with different roasts to find your perfect cup. Personally, I prefer French roasts.

Q: What grind is best for French Press?

A: A coarse even grind. Because you are steeping in water, you need the greater surface area on the beans for max flavor extraction.

Q: How long does a bag of coffee stay “good” for?

A: Experts say to try to use up a bag of open coffee in two weeks.

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