The Best Coffees for French Press Brewing [2021 Guide]

With the best coffees for french press brewing, you can enjoy smooth tasting coffee at home every day.

The French Press, also known as a coffee plunger, cafetiere or coffee press pot has been around for over 100 years. It is a simple brewing method and one of the most popular ways to make great coffee at home. But in order to achieve the best tasting brew, you need to know what coffee is best for french press coffee makers.

If you are looking for the best coffee for french press, you have come to the right place. In addition to reviewing some of the best coffee beans for french press brewing, we explain what is the best roast for french press and the best coffee grind for french press too.

So whether you are looking for the best whole bean coffee for french press, the best ground coffee for french press or simply the best cheap coffee for french press, I am confident you will find some great new french press coffee beans to try in this list.

white wall with beans in cup with text best beans for french press coffee

Best Coffees for French Press 2020 Comparison

If you are short on time and just want to see the best french press coffee brands, below is a comparison of all the best french press coffee grounds we review below.

Take a look and then read on for our reviews of the best coffee to use in a french press.

ImageCoffeeRoastOptionsPrice
Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger CoffeeMediumWhole BeansCheck
Stone Street Organic Fair Trade PeruMediumWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Volcanica coffee ethiopian yirgacheffe coffee beans smallVolcanica Ethiopian YirgacheffeMediumWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Primos Coffee Co French Press Specialty CoffeeMediumGround coffee beansCheck
SF Bay Coffee Fog ChaserMedium DarkWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Koffee Kult Sumatra MandhelingMedium DarkWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Bulletproof mentalist coffeeBulletproof The MentalistMedium DarkWhole and ground coffeeCheck
fresh roasted coffee ethiopian yirgacheffe smlFresh Roasted Coffee Ethiopian YirgacheffeMediumWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Valhalla Java CoffeeDarkWhole and ground coffeeCheck
Peet's Coffee Major Dickason's BlendDarkGround coffee beansCheck
Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast BlendLightWhole beansCheck

Best Roast for French Press Coffee

So what type of coffee for french press is best? Each coffee brewing method benefits from a particular coffee roast and the French Press brewing method is no different.

Here is a brief run down on the types of roasts considered the best coffee roast for French Press.

Light Roast

Light roast coffee beans tend to be light brown in colour with little bitterness or oil on the surface of the bean. 

They have a delicate flavor which doesn’t make them a great choice for brewing in the French Press. If you love light roast french press beans we suggest you skip the milk as it will overpower the subtle coffee flavor.

Medium Roast

Slightly darker in colour, medium roast coffee beans are dry with little oil on the surface. The longer roasting process brings out more flavor and aroma. 

They tend to be more balanced than light roasts and are one of the best roast for french press brewing. Many kona coffee brands offer medium roast beans and are the perfect gift idea for the french press coffee lover in your life.

Best coffees for french press - roast types

Medium Dark Roast

Medium dark coffee beans are slightly darker with more oil on the surface. Acidity levels are lower and the beans have more body and flavor. 

Tasting notes will typically include floral, chocolate and nutty flavors. They are the best beans for french press if you add milk to your coffee as the flavor still carries through the milk and below we share some of the top french press beans for you to try.

Dark Roast

On dark roast coffee beans there will be noticeable oil on the surface, usually almost black in colour. These beans have a robust flavor with smoky, bitter notes that come from the longer roasting time. 

Dark roast beans are a traditional favorite for espresso but are not ideal for French Press brewing unless you love strong coffee and add milk, in which case the stronger flavor will still carry through. 

Also note there is a common coffee bean roast called a French Roast. These are actually dark roasted coffee beans, not French Press coffee beans. French roast coffee beans are not recommended for the best tasting french press coffee.

Don’t confuse French Roast coffee beans with the best type of coffee beans for french press brewing.  

Best Coffee for French Press Coffee Brewing

Outlined below are some of the best french press coffee beans available now.

Ranging from light to dark roast, they are some of the tastiest options for making coffee in a french press.

Kicking Horse Cliff Hanger Coffee Review

Our Top Pick For Best Coffee For French Press

The Cliff Hanger medium roast organic beans are from a company with a strong following and one of the best coffee brands for French Press brewing.

The Cliff Hanger finish is silky smooth with a berry aroma and chocolatey finish. They are not only great for your french press, they are suitable other brewing methods including espresso too.

The Arabica beans are 100% Certified Organic, Fairtrade and Kosher. The Cliff Hanger comes as whole beans in a 2.2lb bag and is available in a 10 oz pack too.

We think it is not only the best Kicking Horse coffee for French Press, it is one of the very best medium roast coffee for French Press brewing on our list.

Stone Street Fair Trade Organic Peru Review

Best Organic Coffee For French Press

These medium roast coffee beans from small-batch roasters Stone Street in NYC are a delicious single origin bean sourced from Peru.

With a sweet and nutty finish, these french press beans are 100% Arabica organic beans. The Organic Peru Medium roast is available whole or pre-ground in one or two pound bags.

Stone Street Organic coffee is a great choice for lovers of black coffee as they are on the medium-light range and are one of the best coffee for a French Press coffee maker on our list.

Ethiopian Yirgacheffe French Press Coffee By Volcanica

Volcanica Coffee French Press

Sourced predominately from wild coffee trees from a region renowned for fruity and floral toned coffee, this french press coffee is a medium roast, with lavender and chocolate aromas and a sweet structure.

Volcanica Coffee are premium roasters and make some of the best french press beans plus a huge range of other great coffees.

If you are looking for premium coffee beans, the Ethiopian Yirgacheffe by Volcanica are simply one of the best coffee grounds for french press and a delightful choice for your daily french coffee brew. 

Primos Coffee Co French Press Coffee Beans Review

Best Pre Ground Coffee For French Press

If you are looking for ground coffee, Primos Coffee Co is one of the most popular choices for pre-ground french press coffee beans. Their medium roast coarsely ground coffee is made from premium Arabica beans from Nicaragua.

Primos offer direct trade coffee, which means the beans come direct from the farm to you. The beans are shade grown, harvested by hand and well milled – and as a result they are naturally low in acidity.

The beans have a super smooth and subtle flavor with notes of citrus and they are perfect for your french press brews.

If you love mild coffee, the Primos french press specialty coffee is a great choice and is one of the best coarse ground coffee for french press on our list.

SF Bay Coffee Fog Chaser Coffee For French Press Review

Best Cheap Coffee For French Press

SF Bay Fog Chaser is a blend of Central and South American coffee beans made from 100% Arabica beans. Unlike some other roasters on our list, SF Bay Coffee Roasters offer much of their range in whole beans, ground and single serve pods.

The Fog Chaser medium-dark roast is full bodied with notes of toffee, mandarin and milk chocolate and is a great choice for french press brewing.

This french press coffee comes in a 2lb pack and is great value for money compared to other premium brands on our list. For this reason it is one of the best french press medium roast coffees on our list. 

Koffee Kult Sumatra Mandheling Coffee Review

Koffee Kult is a very popular coffee brand for French Press beans. The Sumatra Mandheling is a single origin, specialty grade, medium-dark bean from Indonesia, Asia.

The flavors have been well preserved with hints of chocolate and cedar. It has a medium to full bodied syrupy flavor you will love. They come in 12 oz or 32 oz bags as either whole beans or pre-ground coffee.

These gourmet beans are also fair trade and 100% Arabica. Koffee Kult use small batch roasters and they roast right before packaging. The Sumatra is a smooth, single origin premium coffee worth trying in your french press.

The Mentalist by Bulletproof Coffee Review

The Mentalist bulletproof coffee beans

Sourced from Rainforest Alliance-certified organic farms in Central America, this medium-dark roast is full bodied with cocoa aromatics, cherrylike sweetness and notes of almond and caramel.

Bulletproof Coffee comes in both whole bean and ground coffee options and discounts are available for subscriptions. All beans have been tested for toxins and are certified clean coffee thanks to their sustainable washing and drying techniques.

If you are a follower of the Bulletproof Diet, this is a great coffee bean for french press brewing.

Fresh Roasted Ethiopia Yirgacheffe Coffee Beans Review

Fresh Roasted Ethiopian Yirgacheffe french press coffee beans

A popular single origin medium roast from Fresh Roasted Coffee, this Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is a cheaper alternative to the premium Volcanica African beans.

Sweeter than most other types of coffee, this is a well balanced brew with a medium body and high acidity. It has notes of lemon and honey and a sweet aftertaste.

Ethiopian beans are renowned for producing flavorful coffee. If you are looking for single origin african coffee beans to try, this is a great example and one of the best coffee to use for french press brewing.

The beans are sustainably sourced and kosher certified and are available as whole beans in 2 lb and 5 lb bags.

Valhalla Java By Death Wish Coffee Company Review

Best Dark Roast Coffee For French Press

Death Wish Coffee are renowned for producing some of the strongest coffee around and the Valhalla Java dark roast french press coffee is no different.

If you enjoy a strong cup of coffee with milk, then a dark roast works well for french press coffee makers. But be warned, this coffee is only for lovers of robust and very strong french press coffee!

It has a bold nutty flavor with a higher caffeine level than most others on our list. It is also surprisingly smooth for such a dark roast.

The beans are a blend of Arabica and Robusta beans sourced from different regions around the world

The coffee is on the premium price end and is also Fair Trade and USDA Certified Organic. The company is confident you will love it and even offer a 100% refund guarantee.

Major Dickason’s Blend By Peet’s Coffee Review

One of the most popular coffee bean brands on Amazon, this french press dark roast blend is a full bodied, complex coffee with a loyal fan base.

Peet’s Coffee is also more affordable than most other options on our list, which makes them perfect for everyday drinking and one of the best pre ground coffee for french press on our list. 

The Major Dickason blend comes ground in 10, 18 and 20 oz bags.

Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast Blend Light Roast Review

Best Light Roast Coffee Beans For French Press

If you are looking for a french press light roast these Real Good Coffee Co Breakfast blend beans are a great choice.

Premium quality arabica beans from Central and South America, they are roasted in Seattle and have a smooth flavor and notes of chocolate.

Best for black coffee drinkers, these beans have a light citrus taste and a clean finish and are one of the best light roast coffee for french press brewing options.

Where To Buy Coffee For French Press Brewing

If you are lucky enough to live close by to a coffee roaster or cafe, they are great places to buy freshly roasted coffee beans. 

For maximum convenience you can also buy coffee beans online. Amazon has a huge range of fresh coffee beans to choose from and many are delivered direct through the coffee roaster. 

This is a better option than buying coffee beans at the supermarket, where you are unlikely to find the best french press coffees.

Finally, another great option many people don’t know about is using a coffee subscription service. We outline how it works below.

Use A Coffee Subscription Service

To achieve maximum freshness, another great option to buy the best whole bean coffee for french press is to sign up for a coffee subscription box.  Each month fresh coffee beans are delivered direct to your door!

Not only is this a great way to have a regular supply of fresh beans, you also get to experiment with a variety of bean styles to find your favorite.

Atlas Coffee Club Subscription

Two subscription box options we recommend are:

Atlas Coffee Club

Atlas Coffee Club is a unique travel-themed coffee of the month club that explores the world’s best coffee.

With more than 50+ countries producing unique and exquisite coffee offerings, a subscription to Atlas Coffee Club delivers the ultimate journey in delicious flavor discovery and culture from far off countries.  

Click here to try the Club 

Trade Coffee

Complete the quick and fun online survey for a fully customized subscription box from Trade Coffee.

You can provide online feedback for each order and discover amazing new coffee brands every month! 

Click here to find your perfect match.

How to Make Good French Press Coffee

Ultimately, while there are many quality coffee beans that will make great coffee in a French Press, the quality of the brew will vary depending on:

  • The freshness of the coffee beans
  • The roast of the bean
  • The quality of the grind
  • The coffee to water ratio

1. It’s All About Fresh Beans

Why are fresh beans important? Well there is a whole lot of flavor wrapped up in each of those little coffee beans!

Once it is roasted and ground, everything changes, quickly. The coffee grounds oxidise, their aroma changes and the oils that give the coffee much of its flavor dry out and disappear.

Don’t get me wrong – pre-ground beans are convenient and often a necessary purchase. But the reality is it is really hard to achieve a full bodied flavor, particularly in your French Press.

To achieve maximum freshness our top recommendations are to:

  • Purchase freshly roasted whole bean coffee (ideally roasted within the last 30 days).
  • Buy small quantities often to ensure the freshest beans.
  • Grind only when needed to ensure maximum freshness.

If you need to buy pre-ground beans, our best tip is to buy coffee beans in small quantities.  Read more about coffee freshness here.

close up of french press coffee beans in cup

2. Which Coffee Is Best For French Press Brewing?

If you are wondering what kind of coffee is best for french press brewing, we suggest you start with medium and medium-dark roasts. They have more oil on the surface of the bean and a more robust flavor without being bitter. 

They are some of the best french press roast options and will taste great regardless of whether you enjoy black coffee or add milk to your brew.

Our best tip to discover good coffee for french press brewing is to experiment with different styles of coffee roast to make your perfect French Press brew. 

Try single origin coffee brands from different regions, experiment with different medium roasts, even try a dark roast to compare the taste. 

Also do taste comparisons between a number of different roasts at the same time to easily compare and find the best type of coffee for french press brewing. 

3. The Best Grind for French Press

French Press brewing requires a much coarser grind than most other coffee makers.

Coarse ground coffee is needed as the coffee grounds are steeped in water, so more surface area means more flavor extraction.

Ideally the grind size should be between .75mm to 1mm and it will feel like rough sand in your hands.

A good way to test whether you have ground the beans to the right coarseness is the pressure you feel when pushing down on the plunger.

Too fine and you will struggle to get the plunger down to the bottom. Too coarse and you will fly straight to the bottom with little resistance.

flat lay of french press coffee maker and cups

4. The Ideal Coffee to Water Ratio

What is the ideal coffee water ratio for French Press? The “golden ratio” is 2 tablespoons of ground coffee for every 6 oz of water.

For example, if your French Press is 34 oz, you would add 11 tablespoons of ground coffee to your pot (34/6 x 2).

It seems complicated but once you get the hang of it, it is much easier to make a consistently great brew. A coffee scale can also help achieve the right coffee to water ratio – see our coffee scale reviews here.

Best Coffee Grinder for French Press

If you decide to buy the best coffee beans for a french press we recommend you also buy a good coffee grinder.  It is a well established fact one of the secrets to a good quality brew is freshly ground beans.

The way to achieve this when making coffee at home is by purchasing a good quality burr coffee grinder.

Not all coffee grinders are able to produce coarse coffee grounds. See the top two grinders we recommend below or click here to read our detailed review of French Press Coffee Grinders.

Mid-Price Range

Baratza Encore

Click to check the price

Premium Range

Rancilio Rocky

Click to read the reviews

They aren’t cheap, but they will produce high quality grounds for years. 

It is possible to achieve great coffee from any machine, including a cheap espresso machine, if you use freshly ground beans from a quality burr grinder.

How to Use a French Press Coffee Maker

Finally, there is always a learning curve to make French Press coffee the right way. But once you understand the best way to make French Press coffee, you can make it at home or even when camping.

Learn how to make french press coffee here, or watch the video below for a visual lesson. If you are confused by any of the coffee jargon, head over to our Coffee Glossary.

In summary, here are a few tips for how to make the best coffee in a french press:

  • Use freshly ground beans.
  • Pre-warm the French Press to keep the water warm for longer.
  • Don’t use just boiled water. Let the water rest for a few minutes before pouring into the French Press. 195-205F is the perfect temperature range.
  • Get the coffee to water ratio right.
  • Don’t steep the coffee for too long. Whilst there is much debate, it is generally agreed the optimum steeping time is 4-6 minutes. 
  • Don’t leave any leftover coffee in your French Press. It will continue to brew and become bitter. Empty any remaining coffee into a cup for later. Iced coffee anyone?

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of coffee do you use in a french press?

Whilst the roast is often a personal choice, a medium or medium-dark roast makes a great cup of coffee in a french press.

What kind of coffee grind is best for french press?

A coarse grind is best for french press brewing. This will help maximise the flavor extraction plus reduce the amount of grit or fines in your cup.

Why use a french press?

Drinkers of french press coffee love the full bodied taste, heavy mouth feel and complex flavor profile of this style of coffee. You can find out more about french press brewing here.

We hope you have found some good coffee beans for french press brewing to try in our list.

Read our full French Press Coffee guide here or find out more about the best coffee brewing methods here.

More coffee bean reviews:

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Disclaimer: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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About Rachel

Creator and writer for Creators of Coffee, Rachel is an everyday coffee lover who also loves to research and share practical tips on everything to do with coffee. Favorite way to make coffee: With an Espresso Machine

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