Last Updated on September 22, 2023 by Barry Gray
The French Press, or as some call it, the Press Pot, can make some of the best coffee out there with little effort.
You can get that ‘just at the cafe’ taste because the design and structure of the press pot allow a succinct brewing method that guarantees a great coffee.
I am all for quick and easy, so I’ve enjoyed my press pot for years. It was one of the first coffee gadgets I had ever bought, and honestly, if you enjoy great coffee but don’t want hundreds of gadgets, I’d stick with that or the Moka pot.
Some great coffees to use in the French Press are really any coffee, but there are some extra tips I can give you here. It’s important to note that any of the below-mentioned coffees are not sponsoring this article. Whichever coffee you choose, use a medium to rough ground consistency, much like sea salt.
I always feel getting to grips with the best coffee for a particular brew is important. It makes a massive difference to the end result, but I will make life easier for you, and it will only take a matter of minutes.
So, here are just a few quick suggestions to give you an indication of what to look out for with coffee for a French Press.
- Peet’s Coffee Medium Roast:
Peet’s Coffee does a great medium roast series, and the coffee works well with various brew methods, including the French Press.
You can choose from different origin areas for different tasting coffee, for example, the Americas, Africa, Arabia, and Indo-Pacific.
Are You More Of Nut Or Fruit?
I also like Peet’s Coffee because you can choose the types of flavor you are after. For example, if nutty is your thing, they have a selection of great coffees with that warm, nutty base.
The same goes for fruity or citrus. Peet’s coffees are easy to meander around, and you will come up with something that piques your interest. I like this method of selecting coffee because it cuts to the chase, and I don’t have to waste money on a flavor I dislike.
- Cafe Bustelo Espresso Roast:
Bustelo also simplistically approaches coffee; their coffees are labeled by region and type. So, if Brazilian is your thing, you can get right to it. If you prefer beans, then you can buy those.
They also have some excellent recipes you can use, along with your press pot, if you are looking for new ideas. I’ve used a few of them, and the results were fantastic.
The Press Pot Is Pretty Forgiving
Depending on which coffee you buy, you can get an excellent arabica and robusta bean blend, which melds into a flavorsome dark roast. You don’t have to go with dark roast, though; this is the beauty of the French Press: it is forgiving and allows you to experiment.
That is why it’s one of my favorite ways of brewing coffee. Sure, you need the correct grind size, but with the way the French Press works does mean you can experiment with flavors.
I’ve tried coffee from all over the world, from Brazil to India, Ethiopia, and a multitude of other places, and they all taste different.
However, your French Press doesn’t care about that. All it wants is for you to throw that coffee on there and let it do its magic.
- Kicking Horse Coffee – Kick Ass:
Kick Ass Coffee is a pretty cool name; their experience is trendy and vibey. They have been going for over 25 years, and as the story goes, they started as roasters in a small garage in Canada.
They have grown since then but have retained that specialty coffee feel. The blends vary; you can pick up ‘kick ass’ medium or dark blends if that is your thing. The other kick Ass fact about them is that they are entirely organic and committed to fair trade coffee, so if you want to learn more about that, read here.
As I said, loads of Coffees do well in a press pot. I am pointing out some solid coffee brands you could start with if you are serious about this. With this brand, you can become more robust or more mellow. It is really up to you. They have a handy guide to start your coffee journey if you are new.
- Death Wish Coffee:
I love Death Wish’s variety, from pumpkin spice to chocolate hazelnut and plain old good coffee.
They have you covered.
They enjoy the robusta bean, and as I know there are mixed feelings about robusta beans, I love that they are going for it no holds barred.
A Robusta Fan
Sure, it is cheaper to grow and maintain, but only some people like the mellow, softer taste of arabica or even the blend of both.
Robusta certainly has a place on the coffee map to heaven, and this bean yields some robust, flavorful coffee if treated with respect.
If you want a nice strong cup of coffee, rudimentary yet entirely drinkable, give Death Wish a go. There are some great recipes on their site, and they are also fair-trade coffee roasters.
- Intelligentsia Coffee El Gallo:
Intelligentsia’s coffee origins are from around the world: Costa Rica, Ethiopia, El Salvador, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, and Honduras.
Let’s cut to the chase: With a large selection of coffees, they will have a blend you will fall in love with. With some guidance, you will find your next best coffee. French Press is an excellent brewing choice for these types of coffees.
Imagine The Perfect French Press
There is no perfect French Press; the best one for you is the most affordable one that looks like it will stay intact after two uses!
You can get better presses and spend a little more. They are smoother and function slightly better. It is really up to you. There are some fancier ones around these days, so if you love French presses, spending a little more would be the right choice for you.
Basic Structure Of A French Press
- Carafe: This is the main container that holds the coffee and water.
- Plunger: This is a rod with a filter attached to the bottom. The filter is made of stainless steel or nylon mesh.
- Lid: This keeps the Coffee hot and prevents the grounds from getting into the Coffee.
The carafe is the most significant part of the French Press. It has a spout for pouring the coffee and a handle for holding it.
The plunger fits snugly inside the carafe. It has a knob on top that you can turn to raise or lower the plunger. The filter is attached to the bottom of the plunger; this keeps the coffee grounds from getting into the coffee.
The lid fits over the top of the carafe. It has a small hole in the center that allows air to escape; This helps to prevent the coffee from getting too bitter.
A few things to note that are important about the French Press:
The carafe is constructed of glass or steel. I like glass because I can see the coffee brewing and if the crust is forming.
Stainless Steel Or Plastic – It’s Up To You
The stainless steel carafes are popular because they are durable and hold warm temperatures longer. The mesh filters can be plastic or stainless steel; stainless steel is more durable and, I think, more effective.
But again, it all depends on how often you plan on using your French Press. If it’s rarely, there’s no need to splash out on something elaborate as a basic model will suffice.
Let’s Make The Best French Press Coffee – Ever
So, as you have a better idea of the kind of coffee you need for your French Press, how about I give you a quick guide on how to make it?
A French Press is exceptionally easy to use, and you have just a few short steps to work through.
- Boil about 8 oz of water. You will use this water for your coffee and preheat the carafe and mug beforehand.
- If you want to grind your beans, do so, but ensure they are not too fine. The Press does better with a mid-grind, a bit like sea salt. If the grounds are too fine, they will over-extract and fall through the fine mesh filter.
- Pour hot water over your grounds slowly, called ‘the bloom’ stage of the coffee. Move your kettle so that the water falls evenly over all the granules. Then, continue to fill the carafe.
- Allow it to sit for one minute; the crust will form during this minute. The crust is when your granules sit on the surface of the coffee. You want a nice firm crust.
- Next, grab a spoon and stir your coffee by gently breaking the crust and pushing the grounds around the carafe to the bottom.
- Once the beans hit the bottom, stir again, lifting them to the top. Do this for about a minute, stopping 10 seconds between each stir. The stir process ensures your coffee is extracted evenly.
- Finally, allow the coffee to settle again and push down the nob to move the filter downward. Stay at the bottom but about halfway above the grounds. Keeping it away from the coffee grounds will ensure less sediment in your cup.
For me, the absolute key is having patience both before stirring and then allowing the coffee time to interact with the water before plunging. This is the best way to extract all those flavors from the coffee.
Enjoy Your Press Pot Coffee, And Remember To Try New Coffees
That is how you make the perfect French Press coffee. Again, the coffee you use is up to you. Coffee is quite personal, but I’ve chosen some brands that are good enough to have become well-known.
Why not search around for some new and exciting coffees? Check out our article here to learn more about how coffee is made and how robusta and arabica beans are different.