Which coffee should you use in a French press?

Randolf Fredric

Hey there coffee lovers! So, you just got yourself a fancy French press and now you’re wondering what kind of coffee to put in it? Well, no need to fret, we’ve got you covered. Whether you prefer a bold and robust brew to kickstart your mornings or a smooth and mellow cup to enjoy during your cozy afternoons, we’ll guide you through the best types of coffee to use in your French press. Get ready to elevate your coffee game and savor every sip of this amazing brewing method. Let’s dive in!

What Kind of Coffee Goes in a French Press?

A french press, also known as a press pot or plunger pot, is a classic and popular way of brewing coffee. It is loved by coffee enthusiasts for its ability to extract bold flavors and aromas. But what kind of coffee should you use for a french press? In this article, we will explore the different aspects of choosing the right coffee for your french press. From understanding what it is and why it matters to how to brew a perfect cup, we’ve got you covered. Let’s dive in!

What is a French Press?

A french press is a simple and elegant brewing device used to make coffee. It consists of a glass or stainless steel cylindrical container with a plunger and a fine-mesh filter. To brew coffee in a french press, you mix coffee grounds with hot water, let it steep for a few minutes, and then press the plunger down to separate the grounds from the liquid. The result is a rich and robust cup of coffee.

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Why Choosing the Right Coffee Matters

The coffee you use in your french press can greatly impact the flavor and quality of the final brew. Different types of coffee beans and roast levels produce distinct flavors, so choosing the right coffee is essential to achieve the desired taste. Additionally, the grind size of the coffee grounds also plays a crucial role in the brewing process. Using the wrong grind size can lead to under-extraction or over-extraction, resulting in a weak or bitter cup of coffee.

Types of Coffee for French Press

1. Arabica Coffee Beans

The most common type of coffee used in a french press is arabica. Arabica beans are known for their superior quality and delightful flavor profiles. They have a smoother and less acidic taste compared to other varieties, making them a perfect choice for a french press. Arabica beans are grown at higher altitudes, which contributes to their nuanced flavors and aroma.

2. Single-Origin Coffee

Single-origin coffee refers to coffee beans sourced from a specific geographic location, such as a single farm or region. These coffees offer unique flavor profiles that showcase the characteristics of their origin. Using single-origin coffee in a french press allows you to appreciate the distinct flavors and explore the nuances of different coffee-growing regions.

3. Dark Roast Coffee

Dark roast coffee beans are roasted for a longer duration, resulting in a rich, full-bodied flavor with hints of chocolate and caramel. The intense flavors of dark roast coffee are well-suited for a french press. The longer steeping time allows the coffee to develop its flavors fully and creates a bold and satisfying cup.

4. Medium Coarse Grind Size

When it comes to grind size, using a medium-coarse grind is recommended for a french press. The coarse particles allow for better extraction during the steeping process and prevent the coffee from becoming too bitter. Avoid using finely ground coffee, as it may pass through the filter and create a gritty texture in your cup.

How to Brew the Perfect French Press Coffee

1. Measure the Coffee and Water

Start by measuring your coffee and water to achieve the desired coffee-to-water ratio. A general guideline is to use a ratio of 1:15, meaning 1 part coffee to 15 parts water. Adjust the ratio based on your preferred strength. For example, if you want a stronger brew, you can increase the amount of coffee or reduce the amount of water.

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2. Preheat the French Press

Preheating the french press helps maintain the temperature stability during brewing. Simply pour hot water into the french press, swirl it around, and then discard the water.

3. Add Coffee and Water

Add the measured coffee grounds to the preheated french press. Slowly pour hot water over the coffee, ensuring all the grounds are saturated. Give it a gentle stir to ensure even extraction.

4. Steep and Press

Place the lid on the french press, but do not press down the plunger just yet. Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes. This allows the flavors to develop fully. After steeping, gently press the plunger down to separate the coffee grounds from the liquid.

5. Pour and Enjoy

Pour the brewed coffee into your cup and savor the flavors and aromas. French press coffee is best enjoyed immediately after brewing, as it can become bitter if left sitting for too long. Serve it black or add milk and sweeteners according to your preference.

Difference between French Press and Other Brewing Methods

French Press vs. Drip Coffee Maker

One key difference between french press and drip coffee makers is the filtration method. French press uses a fine-mesh filter, which allows more oils and sediments to pass through, resulting in a richer and fuller-bodied cup. Drip coffee makers, on the other hand, use paper filters that absorb some of the oils and produce a cleaner and lighter cup.

French Press vs. Espresso Machine

The main difference between a french press and an espresso machine lies in the brewing process and the resulting coffee strength. French press uses immersion brewing, where the coffee grounds steep in water for a longer time, producing a full-bodied coffee. Espresso, on the other hand, is brewed under high pressure for a short duration, resulting in a concentrated and intense shot of coffee.

Tips for Brewing Great French Press Coffee

1. Use Freshly Roasted Coffee

Freshly roasted coffee beans have a more vibrant flavor and aroma. Look for beans with a roast date within a few weeks of your purchase. Avoid using stale or old coffee for the best results.

2. Grind the Coffee Just Before Brewing

To preserve the flavors of the coffee, grind the beans just before you are ready to brew. This helps maintain the freshness and prevents the coffee from losing its aroma.

3. Experiment with Brewing Variables

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different brewing variables, such as coffee-to-water ratio, steeping time, and grind size. Adjusting these variables allows you to customize the taste according to your preference.

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4. Clean the French Press Thoroughly

After each use, make sure to clean your french press thoroughly. Coffee residue can build up over time and affect the flavor of future brews. Disassemble the french press and rinse all parts with warm water, then allow them to dry completely before reassembling.

Advantages and Disadvantages of French Press Coffee


1. Rich and bold flavors
2. Simple and easy to use
3. Affordable brewing method
4. No need for electricity
5. Portable and travel-friendly


1. Sediments in the cup
2. Requires manual effort for pressing
3. Shorter brewing window
4. Not suitable for large quantities


Choosing the right coffee for your french press is essential for achieving a delicious and satisfying brew. Arabica beans, single-origin coffee, and dark roast varieties are great options to explore. Remember to use a medium-coarse grind and follow the proper brewing technique for the best results. French press coffee offers a unique and flavorful experience, allowing you to savor the rich aromas and bold flavors of your chosen coffee. So, grab your french press and start brewing your perfect cup of coffee!

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: Can I use pre-ground coffee in a French press?

Yes, you can use pre-ground coffee in a French press. However, it is generally recommended to use coarse-ground coffee for the best results. Pre-ground coffee that is too fine can result in a muddy and over-extracted brew. If you prefer using pre-ground coffee, look for a grind labeled specifically for French press or coarse grind.

Q: How much coffee should I use in a French press?

The general guideline for brewing coffee in a French press is to use a ratio of 1:15 — 1 part coffee (by weight) to 15 parts water (by volume). This means if you are using 1 cup (8 fluid ounces) of water, you would use approximately 1 ounce (28 grams) of coffee. However, you can adjust the ratio according to your taste preference. Some people prefer a stronger brew and may use a higher ratio of coffee to water.

Q: Can I make espresso in a French press?

Technically, you cannot make true espresso in a French press as espresso requires a specific brewing method using high pressure. However, you can make a strong and concentrated coffee in a French press that can resemble the flavor profile of espresso. To achieve a stronger brew, use a higher ratio of coffee to water and let it steep for a longer period of time.

Q: Can I use flavored or flavored coffee beans in a French press?

Yes, you can use flavored or flavored coffee beans in a French press. The brewing method of a French press allows for the extraction of the flavors from the beans, including any added flavors. However, keep in mind that the flavors might become more subtle or mixed with the natural flavors of the coffee during brewing. If you enjoy flavored coffee, using a French press can be a great way to experience those flavors.

Q: Can I use decaf coffee in a French press?

Certainly! You can use decaf coffee in a French press just like you would use regular coffee. The brewing process remains the same, and you can enjoy a decaffeinated version of your favorite brew. Keep in mind that the taste and flavor profile of decaf coffee may be slightly different from regular coffee, but that will not affect the brewing process in a French press.

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Randolf Fredric

Randolf Fredric

A young brewmaster of words, crafting captivating tales over coffee's rhythmic symphony, stirring minds with each blog post.


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