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French press lovers aren’t looking for plain, old drip coffee. They want something especially suited to their favorite brewing method.
But the best French press coffee is not one-size-fits-all. Some of us like our coffee sweet. Others like it complex, slightly bitter, rich, fruity, or earthy. Whether you are a dark roast fan, a devoted single-origin drinker, or just someone that wants a heavy dose of caffeine — you’ll find the best coffees for French press lovers of all shapes and sizes in this list.
Quick Take: Best Coffees for French Press
Best French press coffee beans
|Ethiopian Coffee, Yirgacheffe Region, USDA Organic, Whole Bean, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce||Check price|
Best French press ground coffee
|French Press Specialty Coffee, Coarse Ground, Primos Coffee Co (Medium Roast, 12 Oz)||Check price|
Best coffee for French press espresso
|Kicking Horse Coffee, Cliff Hanger Espresso, Medium Roast, Whole Bean, 2.2 Pound - Certified Organic, Fairtrade, 35.2 Ounce||Check price|
Best strong French press coffee
|DEATH WISH COFFEE Whole Bean Coffee Dark Roast - Extra Kick of Caffeine - USA Organic Coffee Beans Bundle/Bulk - Fair Trade Arabica & Robusta Coffee - Real Dark Roast Coffee Beans (16 oz)||Check price|
Best French press decaf coffee
|Ethiopian Decaf Coffee, Yirgacheffe, Whole Bean, Swiss Water Processed, Fresh Roasted, 16-ounce||Check price|
What Kind of Coffee Is Best for French Press?
There are so many coffees out there, that we really need to set down some criteria if we’re going to find the best ones. Three of the most important factors for good French press coffee are roast level, grind size, and freshness.
The roast level (or roast type) will greatly impact the flavor of your brew. The best roast for French press isn’t going to be the same for everyone, so you are going to have to rely on your personal preferences.
- Light roasts tend to have sweeter, more acidic, and more complex flavors and a lighter body. A light roast’s flavor will be heavily impacted by the origin and type of coffee bean. Basically, you are tasting the bean instead of tasting the roast.
- Medium roasts are smooth and balanced. They have heavier bodies and a stronger overall flavor than light roasts, but they still maintain much of the bean’s unique flavor profile.
- Dark roasts have a lower acidity and bolder flavors than light or medium roasts. They often taste smoky or roasty. Dark roasts often have a more bitter flavor, although you can find several dark roasts designed specifically to balance or eliminate the bitterness. Most dark roasts are heavier-bodied than light or medium roasts.
Buying beans that taste good matters, but it’s actually more important to get the right coffee grind size.
If you use coffee that is too finely ground in your French press, you’ll over-extract the beans, leading to overly bitter coffee. If you use grounds that are too coarse, you’ll under-extract the beans, and your coffee will taste sour.
In the case of a French press, there’s also one more reason to avoid using too fine a grind. French press coffee should be coarsely ground, with a texture similar to coarse salt. Finer grinds can slip right through your French press’s filter, leaving a gritty mess behind in your cup of coffee.
Most pre-ground coffee is made either for drip coffee (medium grind) or espresso (fine grind), so you can’t just pick up any bag of coffee grounds and use them in your French press.
If you are going to buy pre-ground coffee for your French press, make sure it is labeled as either a French press grind or a coarse grind. Coffee that is ground for cold brew may also work, although cold brew grinds are sometimes too coarse for a French press. As I’ll discuss in the next section, though, you probably shouldn’t be buying pre-ground coffee if you care about freshness.
Coffee grounds go bad very quickly. They remain safe to use for quite a while, but they lose much of their flavor within days or even hours after they are ground. Whole bean coffee lasts longer, but you still only have a matter of weeks after they are roasted.
Grocery store coffee is rarely fresh. Most of the brands in grocery stores don’t ship fresh. Even if they do, those beans have often been sitting on the grocery store shelf or in a warehouse for far too long. Instead of taking the risk, you are better off buying coffee online from a reputable brand or going to a local coffee roaster.
Since pre-ground coffee goes bad faster, you should also learn how to grind coffee beans. Buying one of the best French press coffee grinders and grinding your own coffee beans is one of the easiest, most effective ways to improve the quality of your coffee. Getting a good coffee grinder can be even more important than upgrading your coffee maker, especially if you have been buying pre-ground coffee or using a blade grinder.
Best French Press coffees
There’s not a single coffee in this list that isn’t amazing, but let’s start off with the best of the best.
Best French press coffee beans: Volcanica Coffee Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- 100% Pure Ethiopian Coffee Beans - Yirgacheffe, Medium-bodied and brilliantly acidy with rough, fruity or winy tones. Thick body and an earthy aroma coupled with lemon, blueberry and blackberry notes.
- USDA Organic, Medium/Light Roast whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- Fresh roasted then immediately packed and sealed to assure freshness.
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.
There are only a handful of coffee brands that I can recommend with zero hesitation. Volcanica is at the top of that list for numerous reasons.
First, they source incredibly high-quality beans from nearly all of the world’s best coffee countries. Second, they ship all of their beans fresh roasted to ensure that you never have to deal with stale coffee. Third, they offer a wide range of USDA organic, Rainforest Alliance Certified, and Fair Trade beans.
If you want the best coffee beans for your French press, Volcanica’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is as good as it gets. There’s already a lot to love about Ethiopian coffee beans, especially coffee from the Yirgacheffe region’s small, family-owned farms. This region is known for producing coffees with vibrant floral and fruity notes.
Volcanica’s single-origin Ethiopian simply takes what the world’s oldest coffee-producing nation is already doing right and kicks it into high gear. They start with organic beans from indigenous, wild-grown Ethiopian coffee trees. Then, they medium-roast those beans to bring out a medium body, bright acidity, and flavor that is both sweet and sophisticated, with notes of blueberry, lemon, and blackberry.
This one is a must-try for French press coffee fans.
Best French press ground coffee: Primos Coffee Co. specialty coffee
- Please note, our coffee is mild with subtle flavors for a delightful, easy-drinking coffee
- A mild coffee with medium body, low acidity, smooth, sweet with citrus notes, consistent as coffee is never blended
- Medium roasted for subtle, pleasant flavor and coarsely ground for the slow brewing method of french press
- Premium Arabica coffee selected from the best micro-lots at our fourth generation family farm
- Strictly high grown under shade trees, harvested by hand, European prepared and naturally dried
- Produced sustainably with the highest standards for our fellow Nicaraguans and natural resources
If you’re going to buy pre-ground coffee, you may as well buy the good stuff. Primos is a family-owned coffee farm that brings the best Nicaraguan coffee traditions to every bag of coffee.
They use beans that are strictly high-grown, shade-grown, and hand-harvested. Their small-batch roasting process ensures the consistent quality of their beans. Their medium-roast has a mild flavor, low acidity, and a medium body. Its flavor is sweet and smooth with gentle notes of citrus.
Primos sells their coffee coarsely ground, so it’s ready to be used in your French press. The only real downside of this coffee is the mild flavor. If you’re looking for an intense brew, you should look elsewhere. But if you want something smooth and subtle, that’s where Primos shines.
Best coffee for French press espresso: Kicking Horse Coffee Cliff Hanger Espresso
- One Bag of Cliff Hanger Espresso Whole Bean Blend
- Roast: Medium
- Certifications: Certified Organic, Fairtrade, Kosher Coffee
French press coffee has its own unique place in the world of coffee. That being said, sometimes you want something a little different from the norm. French press espresso was created as a way of offering a more espresso-like beverage to coffee lovers who don’t want to splurge and buy an espresso machine.
When choosing coffee beans for French press espresso, you can generally just go with your favorite espresso beans. If you want a specific recommendation, though, I’d start with Kicking Horse’s Cliff Hanger Espresso blend.
Cliff Hanger is silky and complex with notes of wild berry syrup, and an ultra-smooth cocoa finish. The blend’s aroma is filled with notes of blackcurrant, brown sugar, and milk chocolate.
To achieve this effect, Kicking Horse uses a mixture of 100% Arabica beans from Africa, Indonesia, and Central and South America. All the beans they source are Fair Trade Certified and USDA Organic.
Best strong French press coffee: Death Wish Coffee
- EXTRA KICK OF CAFFEINE: Our whole roasted coffee beans will utterly transform your basic cup of joe into a delicious, bold, and intense beverage that will revolutionize your morning. Super fuel for life in the fast lane, our dark coffee beans will ignite your senses and supply you with an abundance of energy your body needs to perform at its peak condition all day long.
- PREMIUM QUALITY BREW: This ain't your normal cup of coffee - our whole bean roasted coffee is hands down the best this world has to offer. With just one sip of our dark roast whole bean coffee, you'll be saying goodbye to store-bought coffee forever. Enjoy the perfect blend of high quality energy and artisanal flavor with each and every sip of our roasted coffee beans.
- EMBRACE THE BOLD: Immerse yourself in a smooth, subtle cherry and chocolate flavor profile that is never bitter. We've thoughtfully and carefully selected premium Arabica and Robusta whole coffee beans from around the world to deliver you a coffee beans dark roast beverage with a bold taste you’ll find irresistible and instantly fall in love with.
- FAIR TRADE AND ORGANIC: Every single 80 oz. Death Wish Coffee whole bean bag is filled to the top with organic whole coffee beans that will create coffee so good that it will blow your mind. Fair Trade and USDA certified organic, our coffee whole beans give you a natural caffeine boost that you can be feel good to support.
- TRY IT RISK-FREE: The Death Wish Promise is that our organic whole bean coffee comes highly rated by thousands of satisfied customers who simply can't get enough but we'll let you be the judge. If you don't fall in love with our coffee, we'll refund your order- no questions asked. We're confident ours will be the best coffee you'll ever try.
French press coffee is already richer and more flavorful, but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it an extra caffeine boost. There are several high-caffeine coffees to choose from, but none have the bold, delicious flavor of Death Wish.
Death Wish uses a mixture of specially selected Arabica and Robusta coffee beans to create a brew with over five times as much caffeine as a normal cup of coffee. They use a small-batch roasting process to ensure the consistency and freshness of their dark roast. Death Wish has an intense flavor with notes of cherries and chocolate.
Best French press decaf coffee: Volcanica Coffee decaf Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- Ethiopian Yirgacheffe Decaf Coffee is unusual in that the bulk of the crop is gathered from wild coffee trees giving this coffee a truly exotic flavor with pleasant acidity.
- Dry-processed coffee with a medium-body and brilliantly acidy with rough, fruity or winy tones. It includes a thick body and an earthy aroma coupled with cinnamon and strawberry undertones.
- Ethiopian Decaffeinated by the Swiss Water Process: 100% chemical free process that delivers coffee that is 99.9% caffeine-free while protecting the unique origin characteristics this Sumatran Mandheling coffee.
- Medium roasted whole beans allowing the true flavor characteristic to come through for a remarkable taste.
- 100% Customer Satisfaction Guaranteed.
Yes, this is the same Volcanica Ethiopia as I raved about above, but this time it’s decaf.
Most decaf coffee is terrible. I’m not going to try to hide that, but I can tell you how to find great decaf. It starts, of course, with all the usual markers of good coffee beans: freshness, origin, etc.
The decaffeination process, though, is just as important as the beans. Typical decaf is made using harsh chemicals to strip away the caffeine. Those chemicals also strip away much of the coffee’s flavor, which is why decaf coffee is often bland or bitter.
Volcanica’s decaf is so good because they use the Swiss water decaf process, a chemical-free method that leaves the flavor of the coffee intact while removing 99.9% of the caffeine. It’s also much better for the environment than other decaffeination methods.
Two Volcanoes Coffee gourmet Guatemalan
- GREAT TASTING GUATEMALAN ORGANIC RARE, SINGLE ORIGIN GOURMET COFFEE - This single origin specialty brings out the best possible aroma and flavor every morning. No blending in from other regions, countries or types of coffee, gives this rare but delicious tasting coffee, a flavor compared to no other. This specific single estate coffee is grown at the base of Two Volcanoes in Guatemala. Great for House or high end restaurants. Better tasting than french roast coffee.
- THE BEST FLAVOR AND UNIQUE AROMA THANKS TO IT'S FRESHLY MEDIUM ROAST - Medium roasted fair trade, arabica coffee beans retain a great deal of their natural earthy flavors in comparison to a dark roast, bringing out the best possible flavor & aroma. This coffee is grown organically at the base of two volcanoes, where rich minerals enhance the flavor and smell of each and every bean, even before it's roasted. Medium roast exhibits the perfect balance in flavor, aroma and acidity.
- ROASTED IN SMALL BATCHES TO GUARANTEE AN EVEN, MEDIUM ROAST - Small batch roasting is more expensive because of labor costs, but ensures that each bean of coffe is of superior quality and roasted evenly to desired specifications. This process draws out the best possible flavor in each batch. Small batch roasting permits a higher quality standard in coffee throughout the complete process: from picking out the correct size of each coffee bean, to slowly roasting each small batch to perfection.
- PRESERVE THE BEST TASTE, AS LONG AS POSSIBLE - We know consuming your premium coffee bags as soon as roasted is the best way to go, but sometimes, coffee is stored in warehouses, shelves or even in your home's pantry kitchen. For this reason, each bag of Two Volcanoes Coffee is not only packaged as soon as roasting permits it, but also comes with a degassing valve built into it, to ensure only natural gas goes out, but not in, preventing it from staling. Makes great cappuccino.
Guatemala owes its rich, coffee-growing soil to the country’s many volcanoes. It’s fitting then that the makers of some of the best Guatemalan coffee beans, would choose to name their brand after the two volcanoes of San Marcos.
Two Volcanoes grows their coffee on an estate in the San Marcos region, and they small-batch roast to ensure that all of their beans have a consistent quality and freshness. Their medium-roast has a low acidity, a mild sweetness, and a full, silky body that is perfect for French roast coffee. The nutty, floral notes are also a nice touch.
Koffee Kult dark roast coffee
Koffee Kult provides the rich flavors and heavy body you’d expect from a dark roast without the bitterness that plagues many of the alternative brands. Their dark roast is approachable enough for the average coffee lover. And the bold, smooth flavor with notes of cinnamon is intense enough even for the biggest dark-roast fan.
Koffee Kult’s biggest trick is that they use only 100% Arabica beans from some of the best coffee sources, including Colombian, Sumatran, and Brazilian coffee beans. They ship their beans at the peak of freshness, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your coffee.
One of my favorite things about Koffee Kult is how versatile their coffee is. It’s one of the best black coffees, but the strong flavors and thick body also allow the coffee to shine in coffee drinks that include milk or creamer.
Koffee Kult Sumatran coffee
If you aren’t quite ready for Koffee Kult’s dark roast, their single-origin Sumatran coffee is a great way to try out this premium coffee brand. Sumatran coffee beans are the secret ingredient in Starbucks espresso, and they produce full-bodied brews with earthy, spicy flavors and aromas that make a delicious French press coffee.
Koffee Kult medium-roasts their Sumatran coffee, which produces a rich, smooth brew that has notes of baker’s chocolate and a clean finish.
Peet’s Coffee Major Dickason’s Blend
Peet’s coffee produces some of the best single-origin coffees, and I highly recommend you try them all. The pinnacle of their brand, though, is the Major Dickson’s Blend.
This dark-roast blend is rich and complex, with smoky and chocolatey flavors. The strong flavors and full body make it an ideal coffee for French press lovers.
Fresh Roasted Coffee Ethiopian Yirgacheffe
- ETHIOPIAN YIRGACHEFFE KOCHERE COFFEE Is A Well Balanced, Mild African Coffee With Notes Of Lemon And Honey. A Brilliant Choice For Any Coffee Lover.
- SINGLE-ORIGIN FROM KOCHERE, ETHIOPIA. Medium Roast. Heirloom Varietal. Wash Processed & Sun Dried.
- ALL FRESH ROASTED COFFEE IS Kosher Certified, Sustainably Sourced and Proudly Roasted, Blended, and Packaged in USA.
- ALL OUR COFFEES ARE ROASTED in Our Environmentally Friendly Loring Roaster to Reduce Our Carbon Footprint.
- AVAILABLE IN WHOLE BEAN AS 12 OZ, 2 LB, and 5 LB Bags.
I like it when a coffee company makes their values clear, and Fresh Roasted Coffee puts their biggest feature right in their name. Their roasting and packaging processes focus on getting you the freshest coffee possible.
This isn’t the first Ethiopian Yirgacheffe on the list, but I’m including it because Fresh Roasted offers their Yirgacheffe at an incredible price for the quality of the beans. I still recommend Volcanica if you want to experience the best of Ethiopian coffee, but Fresh Roasted offers an excellent alternative for more price-conscious coffee lovers.
Coffee Bros Costa Rican coffee
Costa Rican coffee culture includes a dedication to premium beans that most countries just can’t compete with. Their government went as far as outlawing low-quality coffee beans! That’s why you only find 100% Arabica in Costa Rican coffees.
Coffee Bros offers single-origin coffees from a few countries, but their Costa Rican micro-lot coffee is particularly great for French Press. You’ll find notes of lemon, toffee, and cocoa in this sweet brew that has a crisp, clean body.
Coffee Bros Specialty Blend coffee
Along with their single-origin coffees, Coffee Bros has a few blends that are well worth trying. For French press, their Signature Blend is my top recommendation. They use a mixture of Brazilian, Colombian, and Ethiopian beans to create this medium roast. The rich, nutty flavor includes notes of strawberries, hazelnut, and brown sugar.
Stone Street Coffee Company Colombian cold brew
- CRAFTED FOR COLD BREWING – Our cold brew coffee blend uses fresh gourmet arabica coffee beans from Colombia. You can coarse grind them right before brewing for the freshest flavor. Perfect for using in your at-home cold brew coffee maker or system, French press, pitcher, or mason jar.
- DARK ROAST COLOMBIAN SUPREMO – Our beans are classified as ‘supremo’ which are the largest and highest quality beans from Colombia. When these beans are dark roasted, it brings out the nutty/chocolate notes and makes the most delicious tasting cold brew coffee.
- STRONG & SMOOTH BLEND – Our coffee is specially formulated to make a bold, balanced, low-acid, slightly sweet cold brew or iced coffee. You can easily adjust the strength to make it extra strong (more coffee or longer brewing time) or even lighter (more water).
- 1 LB RESEALABLE BAG (16 Ounce) – Our 3-layer natural kraft bag is foil-lined and has a one-way valve for optimal coffee freshness. The wide top opening makes for easy scooping and the seal keeps your one pound of coffee fresh. Our premium packaging makes the perfect gift for the special coffee lover in your life.
- FRESHLY ROASTED IN BROOKLYN, NYC – Stone Street Coffee Company is specialty small-batch roaster, we’ve been making artisanal coffee since 2009.
Stone Street’s Colombian single-origin is actually intended as a coffee for cold brew. All of the characteristics that make it perfect for cold brew also make it an excellent choice for French press coffee.
This coffee is made from 100% Colombian Supremo beans that are dark-roasted. It is smooth and balanced with a low acidity, slight sweetness, and a bold flavor.
Real Good Coffee Company French roast
French press, meet French roast. This extra dark roast is not for everyone, but if you are looking for something richer and more flavorful than your standard dark roast, you may be a French roast fan.
Real Good Coffee Company’s French roast is made from a mixture of Central and South American coffee beans. It has an especially rich flavor with notes of raspberry, dark chocolate, and anise.
Valhalla Java Odinforce Blend
The creators of Death Wish coffee definitely aren’t one-hit wonders. They also created Valhalla Java’s Odinforce Blend — another dark roast made from select Arabica and Robusta beans sourced from Indonesia and Central and South America.
This USDA Certified Organic blend delivers a richly intense flavor and a deep aroma that rivals Death Wish’s original blend. I’d still suggest trying Death Wish first, but you should definitely add Valhalla Java to the rotation if you are already a Death Wish lover.
Strong AF Coffee Rude Awakening
- 【 ORGANIC COFFEE ARTISANALLY ROASTED 】The GPB 2x-3x Standard Caffeine Black Coffee is Made From Whole Organic Coffee Beans Perfectly Dark Roasted For Maximum Espresso Flavor & Aroma
- 【 WHOLE BEAN, STRONG VIETNAMESE COFFEE 】The Whole Bean Coffee Dark Roast Ensures Maximum High Caffeine Coffee Strength and is Sourced from Small Vietnamese Farms that Practice Organic Farming Methods
- 【 AWAKE ALL DAY 】The Strong Coffee Bean are Collected from Careful Organic Farming, Whole Organic Beans, and Dark Expert Roasting Gives Rise to a Cup of Coffee of exceptional strength Keeping You Active Through-out the Day
- 【 RUDE BUT NOT CRUDE 】 - Produces Extraordinarily Strong Coffee but not Harsh in Flavor. The Espresso Coffee Boasts a Gourmet Flavor Profile and is Ideal for Drinking as Espresso, Over Ice, or in Nearly any Beverage that Requires High-Quality Coffee
- 【 GIFT IDEA | GOURMET COFFEE 】 - Ideal as a Gift for That Special Coffee Lover in Your Life. Give Them a Blast of Freshness Through Coffee Whole Bean for Day to Day use.
Rude Awakening is a different take on French press coffee beans. As with most Vietnamese coffee brands, they use 100% Robusta beans. These beans offer a heavier hit of caffeine, a more intense flavor, and a dose of bitterness that might turn off Arabica drinkers.
They dark-roast their organic coffee beans to further enhance the flavor, leading to a brew that can only be described by the name: Strong AF.
San Francisco Bay Coffee Fog Chaser
Fog Chaser is a medium-dark roast that is smooth, balanced, and flavorful. This delicious blend is made a mix of Central and South American coffee beans that are meticulously checked and double-checked for quality. If dark roasts are too much for your palate, this is a good stepping stone that still delivers the roastier flavors without going full dark.
Intelligentsia Frequency Blend coffee
- Contains one (1) 12 Ounce Bag of Intelligentsia Frequency Blend Whole Bean Coffee
- Frequency Blend: Versatile and balanced, our Frequency Blend is an easy-to-enjoy coffee with a smooth body. Hints of golden raisin and raw sugar accompany the flavor of molasses
- Direct Trade: Our commitment to direct trade allows us to cut out unnecessary importers and exporters, and enables us to truly partner with our growers to bring you the sweetest coffees in the world
- How to Brew: We recommend starting with 6oz water for every 9.5g of coffee (about 2 tbsp), which provides excellent extraction and maximizes flavor. For our blends we suggest a pour over or a automatic drip brewer, using grind size 5 or 6
- Seasonality: The components of our blends change throughout the year to incorporate new arrivals. We ensure freshness and optimize quality while the profiles remain consistent
I’m going to have to admit a little bias here: The intelligentsia roastery is not too far from my old apartment in Chicago. Living there got me hooked on the brand, but don’t worry — they still had to earn their spot on this list.
Their Frequency Blend has a chocolatey, molasses-rich flavor that really stands out for French press coffee. Although it’s good by itself, I especially recommend you try this one with a bit of milk as that really brings out the full flavor.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I use regular ground coffee in a French press?
No. Most ground coffee that you buy in stores is either medium-ground or fine-ground, and the French press needs a coarse grind. If you try to use regular coffee grounds, you’ll end up with over-extracted, bitter coffee and probably some extra grounds that snuck through the filter into your brew.
Is French press coffee bad for you?
It’s fine for most coffee lovers, but you should be careful if you have high cholesterol. French press coffee contains a larger amount of two chemicals called cafestol and kahweol. These chemicals are naturally occurring in all coffee, but paper filters remove them much better than French press filters do.
Cafestol and Kahweol both increase LDL cholesterol (the bad stuff) and triglycerides. That being said, you’d have to drink a few cups of French press a day for these chemicals to have a significant impact. Moderation likely renders this a non-issue, but it might still be worth switching to a different coffee brewing method if you are a heavy coffee drinker with high cholesterol.
French press coffee is a bold, rich, and delicious experience that every coffee lover should try. To get the most out of your French press, though, you need to find the best French press coffee beans.
Whether you like your coffee strong, complex, bold, or sweet, there is something for every French press lover in this list. I’ve tried to call out a few especially great options, but just go with whichever coffee sounds like it will fit your taste. Or just pick at random until you’ve enjoyed all the French press coffees around the world.