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Best Coffee For French Press: 10 Medium to Dark Roasts


Searching for the best coffee for French press? We’ve sifted through the top brands to pick ten of the tastiest medium to dark-roast coffee beans on today’s market. 

The best coffee for French press is a medium to dark roast, coarsely ground. This type of roast and grind provides a rich and bold taste that coffee drinkers enjoy. The slow-brew process of the French press allows the coffee essence to seep out slowly and evenly, preventing bitterness in the brew.

Brew time, water temperature, and your coffee-to-water ratio are all important for achieving the best French press coffee. However, first, you must start with high-quality coffee beans. 

Our top pick in this category is Kicking Horse Coffee’s Kick Ass Dark Roast with its chocolate malt, molasses, licorice, and sweet vanilla flavor notes. Whether you’re searching for organic, single-origin, low-acid, flavored, or high-caffeine coffees, we’ve sifted through the best coffee for French press and found ten tasty choices to tantalize your tastebuds.

Take a look at our top picks for French press coffee and decide which bag of beans is best for you!

Our 10 top picks for the best coffee for French press at a glance

  1. Best overall: Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark Roast
  2. Best value: Lavazza Espresso Italiano Coffee Blend
  3. Best gourmet coffee blend: Stumptown Coffee Roasters Founder’s Blend
  4. Best organic: Stone Cold Jo Dark Roast Organic Coffee
  5. Best Starbucks coffee for French press: Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee
  6. Best single origin: Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala Medium Roast
  7. Best high-caffeine: Death Wish Coffee Medium Roast, Whole Bean Coffee
  8. Best low-acid: Lucy Jo’s Coffee Organic Mellow Belly Low-Acid Blend
  9. Best flavored coffee: Bones Coffee Company Shark Bite Buttered Rum Flavored Coffee
  10. Best decaf: San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast

Ten of the Best Coffees for French Press on today’s market:

Here are 10 of the best coffees for French press available. We ranked these whole beans and pre-ground coffees according to taste, purity, and popularity:

Best overall

1 Kicking Horse Coffee Kick Ass Dark Roast


Kicking Horse Coffee’s Kick Ass dark roast is our overall top pick for French press coffee. This Arabica coffee is a blend of Indonesian and South American beans for a smoky, sweet coffee taste with hints of chocolate, molasses, vanilla, and more.

The whole beans allow you to grind coffee fresh for each batch you brew. Kicking Horse Coffee is dedicated to sustainable practices, and this delicious coffee is USDA Organic for a clean flavor you will love.



Best value

2 Lavazza Espresso Italiano Coffee Blend


This Lavazza Espresso Italiano Coffee Blend is designed for brewing espresso. However, this medium-roasted Arabica blend also lends itself well to French press coffee. Its flavor profile leans away from the deep chocolate tones and incorporates many summery fruity and floral notes, instead.

Although the taste is light and smooth on the palate, you still get a rich, full-bodied mouthfeel with this tasty Lavazza coffee. If you are looking for a delicate coffee full of flavor, Lavazza Espresso Italiano is an excellent choice.



Best gourmet coffee blend

3 Stumptown Coffee Roasters Founder's Blend Medium Roast Organic Whole Bean Coffee


Stumptown Coffee Roasters Founder’s Blend coffee is a chocolate-forward coffee with notes of vanilla. This 100% Arabica coffee bean blend is organically grown in Central and South America. Stumptown Roasters’ Direct Trade program ensures high-quality care through the cultivation, picking, and processing of coffee beans.

The medium roast and delicious cocoa flavor notes make this coffee blend an excellent choice for your next French press brew.



Best organic

4 Stone Cold Jo Dark Roast Organic Coffee


If you are looking for a top-tier coffee for your French press, you can’t beat this Stone Cold Jo Dark Roast Coffee. Jo Coffee chooses from the top 2% of specialty-grade organic Arabica raw coffee beans worldwide to bring you the best beans and blends. The coffee beans are then roasted in Jo’s micro-roastery for a hand-crafted dark roast.

Stone Cold Jo is a perfect pick for low-acidity, rich flavors, and a silky-smooth mouthfeel. Enjoy the delicious naturally occurring flavors of toffee, caramel, chocolate, and grape for your morning brew or afternoon pick-me-up.



Best Starbucks coffee for French press

5 Starbucks Pike Place Medium Roast Whole Bean Coffee


You can get the Starbucks flavors you love for a fraction of the price when you brew Pike Place coffee in your French press at home. These beans are ethically sourced from Latin America and roasted to medium intensity for a smooth, well-rounded brew. This medium-roast coffee tastes especially delicious when you use a slow-brew method.

Enjoy the rich flavors of cocoa and nutty praline in each cup of freshly brewed Starbucks Pike Place coffee.



Best single origin

6 Gevalia Special Reserve Guatemala Medium Roast


Gevalia Special Reserve Coffee has gourmet smoky chocolate flavors. This single-origin high-altitude coffee comes from the mountains of Guatemala. The beans are then slow-roasted and snap-cooled to lock in their rich flavor. This delightful coffee is ground coarsely and ready to brew in your French press.

Pour a hot cup of this freshly brewed coffee and add a splash of heavy cream or a vegan milk substitute to balance the acidic chocolate flavors.



Best high-caffeine

7 Death Wish Coffee Medium Roast


Death Wish proudly wears the badge of “the world’s strongest coffee.” This blend of Arabica and robusta beans includes twice the amount of caffeine as the average cup of coffee. So, don’t be surprised if one cup of coffee gives you enough energy to last the rest of the day.

The coffee beans grow at higher altitudes, and the careful roasting process gives them more flavor and less acid. You can taste delicious notes of caramel, chocolate, and stone fruit in each cup of French press coffee.

Death Wish Coffee is not for the faint of heart. However, if you need to boost your energy (and attitude), this Medium Roast Death Wish Coffee may be just what the doctor ordered.



Best low-acid

8 Lucy Jo's Coffee Organic Mellow Belly Low-Acid Blend


Love the taste of coffee, but don’t love the stomach ache after? Lucy Jo’s Organic Mellow Belly Low-acid blend may be your new favorite coffee. The beans are harvested in Indonesia and Brazil and then roasted until they are medium-dark in color.

The beans’ origins combined with Lucy Jo’s small-batch roasting process bring you sweet and smooth, earthy flavor tones with a low-acid content. Your mouth and belly can enjoy this delicious Mellow Belly coffee.



Best flavored coffee

9 Bones Coffee Company Shark Bite Buttered Rum Flavored Coffee


Bones Coffee Company Shark Bite Buttered Rum Coffee lets you take a break from your ordinary routine to try something extraordinary. This coffee starts with ethically sourced 100% Arabica beans which are roasted to a medium level in small batches.

The beans are infused with delicious Spiced Buttered Rum flavors to make your palate water for more. This medium-roast dessert coffee is perfect for a mid-afternoon treat.



Best flavored coffee

10 San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast


Even if you are cutting back on caffeine, you can still enjoy the rich flavor of a dark roast coffee with San Francisco Bay Decaf French Roast. This coffee is grown in Central and South America for delicious smoky flavors of chocolate and flowers. Then the coffee beans go through a Swiss Water Process (SWP) to remove 99.9% of caffeine.

San Francisco Bay Decaf ensures you get the rich coffee taste of a regular cup without the caffeine (or the chemicals of regular decaf processing). With this full-bodied decaf French roast, you won’t have to worry about getting the coffee jitters.



Tips for making the best coffee for French press

To make French press coffee at home, you just need hot water, a French press, and quality coffee. However, your French press coffee can easily become bitter if it’s over-extracted or sour if it’s under-extracted. 

Here are a few helpful tips to bring out the best flavors of your brew. 

Use filtered water

Chlorine in your water can taint the natural flavors of your coffee, so using filtered water is best. Not only does filtered water retain healthy minerals and compounds, but it also gives your coffee the cleanest-tasting flavor.

Warm up the French press carafe before use

To keep your coffee hot for longer, warm up the French press carafe before you brew with hot water. Let the hot water sit for a few minutes while you brew water for your coffee. Then, empty the water and brew your coffee in a warm carafe.

Heat water to approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit (93 Celsius)

Using boiling water in your French press can give your coffee a burnt or bitter taste and may even crack your carafe. For the best flavor, the water you use to brew coffee should be around 200 degrees Fahrenheit. If you don’t have a thermometer, you can boil water and let it rest for about a minute to achieve the appropriate temperature for brewing French press coffee.

Bloom the coffee grounds

Before you fill your French press with water, first cover the coffee grounds with hot water and allow them to bloom for 30 seconds to one minute. Add the rest of the water and stir with a wooden spoon to break up any lumps of coffee for an even extraction. 

Steep your French press coffee for about four to five minutes

If you are brewing coffee in an average-size French press, it usually takes about four or five minutes to release all the flavors. Brewing for a shorter time may cause your coffee to taste weak, watery, or sour. However, if you let it brew past five minutes, your coffee may be too bitter to drink. 

Setting a timer can help you know when to stop the brewing process and press down the plunger. 

Don’t leave any extra coffee in the carafe

Coffee can continue steeping inside the French press even after you push down the plunger. So, once you serve the first round of coffee, pour any leftover brew into a warming carafe to keep your coffee hot and preserve its delicious flavor for longer.

Wash your French press thoroughly after use

After you finish using your French press, try to clean it immediately (or after you enjoy your coffee!). Old coffee grounds and oils can cause future coffee batches to taste sour or stale, so clean your French press thoroughly and dry it after each use.

Check out our step-by-step guide How to Use a French Press for more tips and step-by-step instructions!

Buyer’s Guide: What is the best coffee for French Press brewing?

The roast 

A medium or dark roast complements the French press brewing method well. These roasts give you a rich coffee taste with a full-bodied mouthfeel. Chocolaty, smoky French roasts, and espresso roasts are common favorites for French press. However, you can also vary your options with a floral or fruity medium roast.

The grind size 

Since a French press uses a slow brewing method, a coarse grind (75 mm to 1 mm in size) will release flavors at the appropriate rate to prevent bitter flavors. Fine coffee grounds (such as espresso grinds) can over-extract and easily slip through the French press’s filter and fill your brew with unpleasant grounds. 

Choosing a whole-bean coffee and grinding it fresh in a burr grinder can give you the most potent flavors. You also can keep your coffee bean options open as most pre-ground coffees are too fine to use in a French press. 

However, if you don’t have a grinder at home (yet), choose a coarse pre-ground coffee. (Many cold brew coffees also work well for French press.)

Single-origin coffee VS. Blends

Coffee beans have “flavor notes” naturally present in the beans. The bean origins and processing style can influence the final taste of your coffee. For example, coffee beans sourced from Guatemala, El Salvador, Brazil, India, and Vietnam tend to have deep chocolate flavors. However, washed or naturally processed coffees from Ethiopia, Burundi, and Rwanda often have sweet floral and fruity notes.

Coffee blends can give you a wider variety of coffee flavor combinations. However, some coffee purists enjoy the fresh, unadulterated tastes of single-origin coffees.

Our verdict

Our best coffee for French press is Kicking Horse Coffee’s Kick Ass Dark Roast. This blend combines deep exotic flavors from Indonesia and South America to tease your palate. The whole beans are also organically grown and ethically sourced. A splash of heavy cream transforms this rich, full-bodied coffee into a delicious treat at any time of day. 

Now that you’ve seen our best coffee for French press, it’s time to pick your favorite. Check the bean roast, grind size, and flavor profile to see if the coffee is a good fit for your brew method and tastebuds. Whether you prefer an old faithful from Starbucks or want to try new and exciting flavors from around the globe, the choice is yours. 

Happy brewing!


When you compare French press coffee and espresso ounce to ounce, espresso contains a higher concentration of caffeine (approximately 75mg per single shot). However, if you fill an 8-ounce mug up with French press coffee, you will probably drink upwards of 100mg of caffeine.
If you prefer a strong full-bodied brew, the French press does a much better job than your classic drip machine. A drip machine often doesn’t heat the water hot enough to extract all the flavors. Also, with a French press, you have more control over the bloom cycle and brew time of your coffee.

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Alexandra Elise

Alexandra Elise

Alexandra Elise’s love for coffee began when she worked her first job as a barista in Texas. After getting an English degree, she toured Europe where she fell in love with espresso and her husband. She combines her passion for coffee with detailed research to share the best tips, products, and recipes with fellow coffee lovers. In her spare time, she hones her coffee craft and visits the newest coffee shops with her family.
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