I’ve been using a French press for over a decade, so I’m always looking for the best coffee for french press. In fact, using French press method was the first coffee making method I ever learned! I didn’t know how to use a regular drip coffee machine until about 5 years ago.
Because of my experience with this brewing coffee method, I have tried French pressing many different types of coffee.
Some were great, some were mediocre and some were disgusting. But through the combination of perfecting my French press brewing technique and learning how to find the best coffee for the French press coffee maker, I haven’t made a bad cup of French press coffee in a long time.
To understand why, I spoke to the co-founder of Seattle-based Onda Origins Coffee to learn how to choose the best French press coffee and make the perfect cup. Even though I consider myself more of a French press coffee expert, I still learned new techniques from talking to him.
Whether you’re a French press beginner or an advanced brewer, get ready to learn about buying it with this informative coffee buying guide.
When brewing coffee using a French press, one must consider various factors to extract the optimal flavor.
- Firstly, the coffee bean grind size plays a pivotal role; the French press – requires – coarse ground beans to prevent over-extraction and bitterness.
- Next, the roast types suitable for French press come into the picture; a medium to dark roast often delivers a rich and full-bodied flavor in the brew.
- Additionally, the origin of beans for flavor profile matters. For instance, Ethiopian beans – provide – fruity undertones, offering a unique taste experience.
- The freshness of the coffee beans can’t be overlooked; the French press – benefits from – freshly roasted beans to ensure a vibrant and aromatic cup.
- Water temperature during brewing is another crucial aspect; French press brewing – demands – optimal water temperature of around 195°F to 205°F for proper extraction.
- Lastly, the brewing time, which determines the strength, should be noted; longer brewing times – result in – stronger flavors.
By combining these factors, one can achieve the best coffee experience with a French press.
Best coffee for French press
If you’re just looking for the best French press coffee to buy, here are three options from Onda Origins, one of my favorite small batch coffee roasters:
- Cocarive – This is a lighter medium roast from an agricultural cooperative in Brazil. It’s nutty and super drinkable, a bit like an everyday breakfast coffee because it doesn’t have intense flavor profiles like other roasts.
- Ivonne Herrera – This is a medium roast using single-origin beans grown by a women’s farm in Guatemala. It has notes of milk chocolate and a bit of fruitiness, similar to a Christmas candy with some fruit liqueur in it.
- Neo Noir – This is the darkest of these three medium roasts and features beans from Ivonne Herrera and a few other farms. It’s smoky and rich, but not overly roasted, so it’s still relatively sweet with a strong nutty flavor of best coffee bean for french press.
If you’re curious about Onda Origins and want to know why I love them, they’re a Seattle coffee roaster that I first discovered at a Christmas market in Seattle. They work directly with young farmers and pay them directly using traceable blockchain technology to ensure they earn a living wage.
To put it in perspective, Onda has helped Ivonne Herrera double her income since they started working together. For every bag you buy, Onda tells you on the receipt exactly how much of your purchase went back to the farmer.
So when Onda Origins approached me about collaborating, I was excited because I had already included them in my article about the best coffee roasters in Seattle and always had their coffee beans on hand.
I interviewed co-founder Scott Tupper to learn how to choose the best coffee for a French press. If you want to learn why some French press beans taste better than others and how to find the perfect bag, read on!
Choosing the best coffee beans for the French press
Yes, beans. Of course, you can also use dark roast coffee, medium roast coffee bean or using ground coffee for cold brew preparation. However, it’s best to start with whole bean coffee and grind them directly before making coffee. That’s because, according to Tupper, oxygen is the death of coffee.
Just as an apple when exposed to oxygen also affects organic coffee beans when they are ground. While coffee beans don’t literally turn brown like an apple, once they’re exposed to oxygen the process begins to go stale.
This is because the oxidation process removes electrons from other molecules. The molecules with fewer electrons become unstable and begin to react with other molecules around them.
When this happens you lose aromas and taste. Therefore, when buying coffee, choose whole beans instead of pre-ground beans.
Buy home-grown whole beans that have been recently roasted
You want to buy beans that have been roasted within the last week because oxidation begins after roasting.
You should consider the sort of beans utilized while purchasing roasted coffee beans. In general, you want to look for Arabica beans that can be traced back to farms, rather than large coffee cooperatives that obscure where they source the beans from.
|Aspect||Robusta Beans||Arabica Beans|
|Pollination||Pollinated by animals and nature||Self-pollinating|
|Cost||Cheaper||Relatively more expensive|
|Usage by Coffee Companies||Used by companies like Starbucks due to cost||Preferred for better quality coffee|
|Coffee Quality||Can produce good coffee||Generally produces better quality coffee|
|Suitability for French Press||No specific recommendation||Depends on the drinker’s preferences|
|French Press Coffee Recommendations||Best flavors depend on the drinker’s preferences|
The key to finding the best French coffee is therefore understanding what type of coffee different brewing methods produce (can be hot or French Press Cold Brew) and knowing what you like.
Know the difference between French Press and other brewing methods
French Press differs from other brewing methods in two ways:
- The type of filter used and the brewing time of coarse ground coffee.
- The unique combination of these two variables ensures that French press coffee is fuller and highlights the sweet flavor profiles of the coarse coffee beans.
Why this? First, let’s look at what role filters play.
When it comes to filters, typical drip coffee makers, Chemex and Aeropress use paper filters. Components of the coffee bind to the paper filter and are removed from your cup, resulting in a cleaner, crisper taste.
A French press coffee maker uses a metal filter instead.
Metal allows the compounds to enter your cup so you can enjoy the nuances of your coffee. Tupper explained that coffee has a higher level of chemical complexity than wine, so metal filters allow you to taste notes that paper filters can dull.
The other variable that makes the French press unique is the brewing time. Tupper explained that the French press is an immersion brewing technique, meaning you pour about 200℉ warm water over the coffee in an enclosed space and let nothing flow out for about 9 minutes. This longer steeping time extracts the sugar from the coffee, bringing out the sweetness of the beans and coffee using becoming better.
Tupper explains that this is because when making espresso, you use higher heat and pressure to shorten the extraction time.
Because the beans don’t steep for as long, the espresso produces a more intense cup of coffee that highlights the tart and floral notes of the coffee beans rather than the sweet notes that come through when using a French press.
Determine which style of coffee you prefer
Due to the unique brewing characteristics mentioned above, French presses produce a full-bodied, well-rounded, and often sweeter cup of coffee. If you prefer this coffee type, you will probably love the French press.
The other factor to consider when choosing the best for French press coffee is whether you add anything like cream or sugar to your coffee. For example, I use a splash of whole milk in my coffee every morning, so French press is a good brewing technique for my preferences.
Why? In general, coffees with a chocolaty or earthy flavor profile taste better with milk than strongly sour or fruity flavors. As I’ll explain in more detail below, coffees with stronger nutty and chocolate notes work best with the French press.
Ask the barista
Tupper encourages you to rely on your barista because they taste coffee every day. Additionally, they can usually help you find the best French press coffee based on your specific tastes.
For example, Tupper said that when guests visit Onda Origins Cafe & Roastery in South Seattle’s Hillman City neighborhood, the first thing they ask is what type of brewing technique they use at home. So if they say “French Press,” it will lead them to coffees that have sweeter and nuttier notes.
It is this kind of expertise that will help you find the best coffee beans for the French press without much effort. So if you’re based in Seattle, stop by the cafe and talk to a barista to find the perfect bag of coffee to make with your French press
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Properly Clean and Maintain My French Press?
To properly clean and maintain your French press, start by disassembling it and rinsing out any residual coffee grounds. Then wash all parts with warm, soapy water and let them air dry. Regular maintenance will keep your French press in great shape!
Can I Use coarsely Ground Coffee in a French Press?
Yes, you can use coarsely ground coffee or Pre-Ground coffee in a French press. However, for the best flavor, it’s recommended to grind fresh great coffee beans right before brewing.
This will ensure a more aromatic and flavorful cup of coffee.
What Is the Ideal Water Temperature for Brewing Coffee in a French Press?
To brew coffee in a French press, the ideal water temperature is around 200°F. This ensures proper extraction and a flavorful cup of coffee. Use freshly ground beans for the best results.
How Long Should I Let the Coffee Steep in a French Press Before Plunging?
To make the best coffee in a French press, you should let it steep for about four minutes before plunging. This allows the flavors to fully develop and gives you a rich and flavorful cup of coffee.
Can I Use Flavored Coffee Beans in a French Press?
Yes, you can use flavored coffee beans in a French press. However, keep in mind that the flavors may be more subtle compared to other brewing techniques. Experiment to find your preferred balance.
So, there you have it! When it comes to finding the best coffee for your French press, it all comes down to personal preference – coffee lovers.
Whether you prefer the smooth and complex flavors of Arabica or the bold and strong taste of Robusta, choosing the right coffee beans is crucial. Additionally, consider factors of coffee beans such as single-origin or blend, light or dark roast, and best beans for organic cold coffee or conventional.
Ultimately, the coffee that truly delights your taste buds and makes your morning coffee ritual enjoyable is the one that is ideal for your French press.