Do You Wonder What Coffee To Use For French Press? 3 Tips

what coffee to use for french press

What coffee to use for French Press? A French Press is perfect for brewing a tasty cup of bold, rich, and aromatic coffee. If you want to get the most out of your French Press, you’ll want to choose the best types of coffee beans, roast level, grind size, and flavors. 

A medium to dark roast is perfect for a bold and earthy French Press brew. A coarse grind works better in a French Press since finer grounds can cause over-extraction that produces a bitter taste or gritty texture. You may want to use a blend of Robusta and Arabica beans to get the best results.  

If you want to know more about brewing coffee with a French Press, then you’ll love our guide for the best kind of coffee to use for a French Press.

The Best Kind of Coffee to Use for a French Press 

So what kind of coffee to use for French Press? Medium or dark roasts are best to achieve a rich and robust French Press brew.

A French Press’ immersion method can extract deep and earthy flavors with chocolatey tones. It’s also the perfect dark base if you enjoy a splash of milk and sugar in your coffee. 

Best Types of Coffee Beans and Grinds for a French Press

To bring out the full body and flavor from French Press coffee, you’ll want to select the right kind of beans and proper size grind.

Aim for a medium to darker roast that contains a high level of Arabica beans. Pure Arabica blends or single origin Arabica beans can develop beautiful aromas and flavors.

What Coffee Grind Size is Best for French Press Coffee?

While you can opt for pre-ground coffee, it’s best to grind the beans yourself. Most pre-ground coffee is too fine for a French Press. Extraction can happen too quickly, resulting in a bitter brew.

Coffee sediment can also get trapped in the mesh screens and create a lot of sediment at the bottom of the coffee beaker.  

It’s a good idea to grind fresh beans for a French Press, as with most types of coffee, since this will give you optimum freshness and flavor.

Consider using a good burr grinder to get a coarse, even grind that looks and feels like rough sea salt or kosher salt. Getting the grind and roast level right will result in the best brew. 

What Kinds of Coffee Flavors Are Best for French Press Coffee?

Many French Press experts enjoy using dark roasted coffee beans that can lend slow oil extraction, unique flavors, and a sturdy, earthy character.

If you’re trying to find coffee flavors that bring out the best in French Press coffee, look for labels or keywords that say smooth, smoky, full-bodied, chocolatey, woody, earthy, nutty, spicy, French roast, or caramel.

Beans with nutty or chocolatey flavor profiles are prefect in a French Press since they have deep undertones that add character and layers to a deep, intense French Press brew unlike light or medium roasted beans.

Choosing the Best Beans for a French Press

The best beans all depend on what kind of flavors, aroma, and coffee character that you enjoy.

A dark roast profile with a heavy body can bring out the roasty richness.

A super dark roast like a Sumatra, Volcanica Dark Roast, Starbucks Dark Roast, or Devil Mountain Coffee have deep, velvety tones with chocolatey smoothness.

This is achieved by roasting the beans to at least 440 degrees to eliminate the subtler flavors from the country of origin and replace it with darker, smoky flavors.

How to Figure Out What Type of Coffee You Like Best 

If you don’t know what kind of coffee that you like best, it’s a good idea to do a few test runs to find out what flavors you prefer.

Most American roasts are traditionally medium roasts that create a smoother flavor. 

Whether you’re testing a medium or a dark roast, take a sip from your cup and roll it around in your mouth for a few seconds. This will give your tongue enough time to sort out all the flavors and narrow down what you like best.

Once you’ve figured out if you prefer light, medium, or dark roast flavor profiles, then you can start to determine if you enjoy nutty, caramel, smoky, or oily flavors.

For reference, a French Press method combined with the proper type of beans will produce an intense, aromatic, and oil-packed brew.

Can You Use a Medium Grind for a French Press?

Yes, it’s possible to use a medium grind for a French press if it leans toward medium coarse instead of on the fine side.

A good French Press has a fine screen that can catch and hold a medium sized grind as the saturated coffee expands in the hot water.

According to James Hoffman, who wrote The World Atlas of Coffee, you can use medium grind coffee if you stir it well and brew it for 5-7 minutes to get the right level of extraction for a good cup of French Press coffee.


Can You Use Regular Coffee for a French Press?

Many people have at least several packets of pre-ground coffee sitting in the cupboard or in the freezer. While pre-ground grind size is perfect for drip coffee makers, pre-ground coffee doesn’t do great in a French Press.

First off, it’s old and stale which means that most of its flavors and aromas are already lost before you open the package.

Second, the small-size grind clogs up the mesh filter or slips through to produce floating bits of grind and lots of sediment at the bottom of each cup. You can learn all the details behind using normal grind coffees in your French Press here.

Which Starbucks Roast Works Best for a French Press? 

While Starbucks has a lot of great options to brew in your French Press, coffee lovers have offered their expert opinion on must-try favorites from the popular coffee brand.

These include Starbucks French Roast, Italian Roast, Caffe Verona, and Sumatra. With intense and smoky dark roast from France and Italy, Caffe Verona will give you hints of dark cocoa balanced with roasty sweetness.

And Sumatra will bring you all the herbal, earthy, robust aromas of the tropical jungle paradise.

Can You Use Espresso Roast in a French Press? 

Although you can’t recreate a traditional fast, high-pressurized espresso with a French Press’ slow immersion method, it’s possible to brew espresso-strength coffee in a French Press.

Just make sure that you pick an espresso roast if you’re aiming to achieve a characteristic bitter, dark espresso flavor.

Don’t forget that an espresso roast is ground super fine for use in an espresso machine, so it can clog the French Press filter and extract oils and aromas too quickly.

If you want to mimic espresso’s smooth, high-caffeinated flavor, consider using a secondary paper filter to remove the compounds and oils that give French Press coffee its bold taste.  

Can I Use Folgers Coffee in a French Press?

Yes, it’s possible to use Folgers coffee or another type of instant coffee in your French Press. Most Folgers coffee blends Robusta and Arabica beans that combine Robusta’s simple, strong, bitterer flavors with Arabica’s complex and deeper flavors. Aim for a coarser grind to give you top results.  

Can You Use Drip Coffee for a French Press?

Yes, feel free to use regular coffee that’s intended for a drip coffee machine in a French Press. Keep in mind that using regular coffee grind in a French Press will likely make a gritty and muddy cup of coffee since most pre-ground coffee doesn’t respond well to a French Press’s steeping method.

Can I Use Maxwell House Coffee in a French Press?

Yes, it’s possible. Try to use a bold and coarse blend to avoid weak or sludgy coffee. Don’t expect a glorious cup though. Maybe that just my opinion, but sometimes options might be scarce. So go for it if you have to.

What Kind Of Coffee Should You Use In A French Press?

It’s important to choose the right roast and grind size when brewing a cup of French Press coffee.  

A chunky coarse grind in a medium to dark roast can help you achieve the perfect cup of dark, bold, and earthy coffee that’s sure to please.

Is French Press Coffee Bad For You?

Unfiltered coffee can have some negative side effects. Read about it here: Is French Press Coffee Bad For You?

Christopher Mize

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *