Best Coffee Beans for French Press - 2017 Reviews and Top Picks

There are few things that are more convenient than the French press; besides being very easy to use it makes a great cup of coffee, especially when you use the best coffee beans for French press.

When you use a French press, it is vitally important to make sure that you use the coarsest possible grinds. Whether you use a manual or automatic grinder, having coarse grounds means that you will get the best coffee out of your French press. Furthermore, it keeps the coffee from scalding and providing an incredibly bitter taste.

So, what about the coffee beans? Well the reality is you can’t have great French press coffee without great beans. Fortunately, we have reviews on the five best coffee beans to use in a French press. Check out the table below for our top picks.

The French Press

As with all things French, the French press’s elegance belies its brilliant design. The reason why this is a preferred method of brewing coffee comes down to how efficient the process is. There are many things that people do which compromise their French press coffee and this is much to their detriment.

The first is selecting the wrong type of coffee bean. Coffee beans must be somewhat hardy and able to withstand the 195 to 200-degree temperature of the water being poured in. Also, use a burr grinder to grind your beans and make sure it is the coarsest setting. This way you get the best possible grind for your French press.

The other consideration with the French press is the water temperature. One of the best tricks is to boil the water and then wait about ten minutes for it to cool, and it should be around 195 degrees Fahrenheit, which is the optimal temperature to pour in the French press.

Once you pour in the water over the grounds, make sure to vigorously stir vertically and then pump the French press. Let it steep for about four minutes and voila – coffee is served.

Once you experience French press coffee done right, the drip coffee maker won’t do it for you anymore. That is why it is important for you to consider the reviews of these different grinders, and the grounds are the key to success in the French press.

#1 Rising Sun Roasted Whole Coffee Beans

The Brazil peaberry is one of the most complex and rewarding coffee beans for any type of coffee machine, let alone the French press. There are many people who find the Brazil peaberry to be such an enjoyable coffee bean that they refuse to use creamer or sweetener in the coffee. That is a formidable coffee bean. The reason why is because the Brazil peaberry is a complex bean containing many different flavors including a wonderful natural sweetness that has a delectable aroma guaranteed to knock the cobwebs out and get you started on your day.

Now, why Rising Sun’s coffee the best version of the Brazil peaberry? It is quite simple – they take their time and select the right beans. The Brazil peaberry is about 5% of all available coffee beans, and as such is prized for its exquisite flavor. Rising Sun handpicks their coffee beans and has a very serious idea of what good coffee should taste like. Now, add this formidable coffee bean to the French press, and you may possibly have the best cup of coffee ever.

Don’t believe me? Ask anyone who delights in Rising Sun’s coffee. They will tell you quickly that there is no way they can ever go back to regular coffee beans ever again. These are the same customers who will also tell you that adding creamer and sweetener is borderline sacrilege because the Brazil peaberry is deserving to stand alone in a cup of coffee.

Now, unfortunately, even with the best coffee beans there are still things you must look out for. There have been occasions in which Rising Sun did not put the freshest beans in the bag. This will definitely mean a lousy taste and all the boasting about Rising Sun will be lost on that particular consumer. Also, for some coffee drinkers the flavor is not as strong as they would like. Perhaps these coffee drinkers don’t have sophisticated palettes, but either way this complaint has been made enough to take it seriously.

Ultimately, Rising Sun is a fantastic coffee that is perfect for your French press. If you do get a bag that isn’t fresh, be sure to contact their customer service as they will surely swap bags for you.

Pros

  • Possibly one of the only coffee beans that is worsened with creamer and sweetener
  • Amazingly complex and sweet flavor that delights and surprises
  • Coffee drinkers that are sophisticated and novices alike find Rising Sun to be the only coffee worth drinking

Cons

  • There have been problems with freshness when it comes to the beans being delivered
  • If you prefer a very strong coffee, this will not be the coffee for you

#2 Colombia Jo

What seems like a better coffee marriage than French press and Colombian coffee? It is incredibly hard to think of a different pair that can provide such incredible enjoyment and fullness of flavor in a single cup of coffee. However, not just any coffee bean will do for the French press, and that is why people who love the French press and love Colombian coffee go with Colombia Jo.

Colombia Jo is remarkable for its smooth texture and great flavor. The coffee strikes the right balance of sweet chocolate notes and the bold, rich flavor that Colombian coffee is known for. The French press is perfect for bringing out all these subtle notes and you will not be disappointed by the flavor of this coffee – especially if you love French press coffee.

Another great feature of Colombia Jo is that many people report there is no after taste. This is a wonderful thing because a major drawback of drinking coffee is that lingering after taste that hangs on your breath and just ruins the greatness of the initial cup.

Now, unfortunately, Colombia Jo is not without its warts. The biggest issue for many is the price point. There are many great coffees you can get for a cheaper price and the reality is unless you are really pledging allegiance to this particular brand. The other problem is there are some serious shipping and labeling issues going on here. Too many people report receiving ground coffee when they ordered whole bean, or vice versa.

Ultimately, Colombia Jo is an excellent coffee if you are willing to pay the price for it. Paired with the French press, it is a fantastic combination that is sure to provide the right pick me up each and every morning.

Pros

  • No after taste in this particular brand
  • Smooth texture and great flavor, this coffee is quite balanced and does a great job trying to please all palettes
  • Non-GMO coffee fans will enjoy that feature of this particular brand

Cons

  • A bit pricey for some
  • Mislabeled bags can be really annoying, they should do better here

#3 Lavanta Ethiopian Yirgacheffe

France may be the birthplace of elegant food and beverage, but long before France elevated coffee Ethiopia invented coffee. From the birthplace of coffee comes a coffee bean that contains intense flavor that is unlike any other cup of coffee you will ever drink – then add the beauty of French press coffee, and you have a cup of joe that is unlike anything that can be found in any restaurant or coffee shop.

The beauty of Lavanta’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is how packed with flavor it is. Your palette will be delighted with the floral notes dancing on your tongue along with the citrus infusion. The best part – these flavors occur naturally. Because Ethiopia provides such an unusual environment for coffee to grow, you get amazing flavors. For many coffee drinkers, once you have Ethiopian Yirgacheffe, there is no other coffee.

The flavor is described by many as lacking the strength of French and Italian roasts, there is a slight nuttiness to it but while the coffee itself is mild there is a lack of bitterness unlike other coffees. Furthermore, there is a flavor profile here unlike most other coffees, and that in and of itself is why people keep coming back to it.

The drawbacks of Lavanta’s Ethiopian Yirgacheffe are that the coffee seems too understated and even a bit muted. If you have a palette that is accustomed to strong coffee, this is not the coffee for you. Steer clear if you have a preference for bold coffee, not even the French press will make it strong. People who are coffee-philes will love this particular bean, but if you are more casual, Ethiopian Yirgacheffe is lost on you.

For people who seek to have an interesting experience that has lots of unique flavor, this is the perfect coffee for your French press.

Pros

  • Unique coffee that has fantastic floral notes and citrus infusions
  • Mild cup of coffee that will not leave you with a bitter taste
  • Only grows in certain areas of Ethiopia, truly unique

Cons

  • The flavor is not bold, so if you have a preference for boldness, this is not for you
  • Flavor can be too subtle for the novice coffee drinker

#4 Wallenford Blue Mountain Coffee

The Blue Mountains of Jamaica produce some of the most amazing tasting coffee in the world. They are beyond underrated and for those who discover Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee will find that there are few other varieties that fill the bill quite like Blue Mountain coffee.

Now, why is this coffee underrated – the reason is its very pricy. Unless you are a major coffee lover, you probably are unwilling to pay these prices. The greater public is more into the Colombian and other more famous coffees because they are prolific.

So why are people willing to pay so much for Blue Mountain coffee? It has a unique, subtle flavor that works beautifully in a French press. Blue Mountain coffee lacks bitterness and while it does not have the complexities of Ethiopian coffee it has many similar properties. In fact, it is considered one of the smoothest coffees in the world.

Here’s what happens when people have Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (they call it JBM for short) – they become awfully possessive. Now, granted, some will share and thus the cult of JBM will spread, but once you have Blue Mountain coffee nothing else suffices.

Now, onto the problems with Blue Mountain coffee – the cost is the biggest one. This particular item costs $63. If you love coffee in the French press, that is still a steep price to pay. The other issues with Wallenford’s Blue Mountain blend are inconsistency. This is unacceptable when you are paying such a steep price for coffee.

Ultimately, Wallenford provides a fantastic coffee experience – if you are willing to pay for it.

Pros

  • Smooth flavor that lacks bitterness
  • This is a premium coffee that tastes like a premium coffee
  • This coffee is so good it makes the experience completely different and profound

Cons

  • The price is quite expensive
  • There are more than enough reports of inconsistency from bag to bag for it to be worth it

#5 Tanzanian Peaberry

When coffee snobs extoll the virtues of a certain bean, you know that you are on the right track towards getting a great cup of coffee. Tanzanian peaberry is exactly that type of coffee bean, and you can rest assured that when you have a cup of properly prepared Tanzanian peaberry that it could be one of those truly life-altering experiences.

And that, in a nutshell, it also the problem with Tanzanian peaberry. It is prone to fits of hyperbole that make you expect much and the build-up can lead to disappointment. That does not have to be the case though, if you manage expectations then it is entirely possible to have a great cup of coffee.

Because this is a delicate coffee bean, you have to really work on learning how to make this coffee properly. Tanzanian peaberry is a diva – it can put on a great show, but only if you fulfill all of its conditions. For the person who just wants to make a good cup of French press coffee, that can be too much to deal with. For someone who is willing to put in the time, there are few things that can be more rewarding.

Ultimately, that’s where the issues with Tanzanian peaberry fall. You can have the smoothest cup of coffee with no bitterness, or you can spend way too much time having to tinker and feeling as you didn’t quite get it right.

So, if you decide to take the plunge with Tanzanian peaberry, do you research and find out exactly how to make the best French press coffee with it. Sure, it is too much work sometimes to do this much research for a cup of coffee, but, rest assured, when you get it right, it is worth it.

Pros

  • Unbelievably smooth taste that has no room for bitterness
  • A coffee that is so good that coffee snobs extoll its virtues profusely
  • Taming the eccentricities of this coffee bean means you are a master barista

Cons

  • Requires a good amount of research and work just to get the right cup of coffee
  • Some instances of a lack of freshness in the bag, customer service will help however

Why French Press Instead of Drip Machines?

The French press is preferred over the drip machine because it has a purer coffee taste. When you have the drip machine, there are a lot of different factors in play. First, there is the filter, and depending on the type of filter you may be in a situation where if it is paper or reusable that the flavor of the beans is diminished.

In the case of all of these coffee beans, the French press truly extracts the flavor from them and allows you to really taste the coffee itself. This leads to a more satisfying cup of coffee and when you are spending serious money on your coffee beans, you deserve to have the best experience with those beans.

Also, the French press does not rely on stored water. With most drip machines, you just get the water out of the tap or keep it poured in the back of the machine. The French press has you boil the water first which removes any impurities. When you use a French press, your coffee has a much purer taste and is far more enjoyable.

Conclusion

French press coffee is dependent on getting the right coffee beans that please both your palette and can work well with the device. Fortunately, the coffee beans listed above all have different and impressive qualities. For the coffee enthusiast, these beans are a great present and if you are the enthusiast, then it’s time to treat yourself!

Jill Scott
 

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