Finding the right coffee to satiate your cravings can be a chore. Fortunately, I have created a comprehensive list reviewing some of the best French roast coffee options on the market.
Grab a cup of coffee and read through this list to figure out which coffee you should get next!
If you’re in a pinch for time, no worries, this summary covers top picks for the best French Roast Coffee!
- Deepest Flavor – Peet’s French Roast
- Everyday Favorite – Starbucks French Roast
- Premium Beans – Volcanica Whole Bean French Roast
- Espresso Excellence – Olde Brooklyn Coffee French Roast
- Environmentally Sustainable – Stumptown Coffee Roasters Organic French Roast
- Gentle – Puroast Low-Acid French Roast
- Organic Opulence – The Organic Coffee Co. Decaf French Roast
- Quick and Easy – Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant French Roast
What is French Roast Coffee?
Confusingly enough, French roast coffee does not actually come from France! Instead, this name refers to a roasting method that was developed in France. (The French truly are culinary connoisseurs)
In a French roast, the coffee bean has been cracked twice. This means that the bean is roasted until it makes a popping sound and releases its oils onto its surface. This process opens up the bean and brings about a series of changes in the physical and taste characteristics of the final product.
The French roast qualifies as a dark roast – this means that the flavors are well developed and usually very strong. Moreover, French roasts generally have lower acidity and caffeine content than their greener counterparts.
The 8 Best French Roast Coffees
Now, armed with a fundamental understanding of what a French roast is, we can proceed to list down some of the best options on the market.
1. Peet’s French Roast Coffee
If you happen to be looking for extremely high-quality ground coffee, this one may be the right option for you.
Peet’s French Roast Coffee focuses particularly on freshness and quality over other metrics. This is demonstrated all throughout the product.
As for the flavor profile itself, this is where the roast and the beans become relevant. The beans themselves are Arabica which Peet states is sourced from the best farms. However, only your taste buds can judge the validity of this statement.
Secondly, Peet roasts their beans for longer and at hotter temperatures than many of its competitors. This has the effect of deepening the flavor even more than a standard French roast. Thus, if you are looking for a bold and strong flavor, Peet does indeed offer that. Some users describe the aftertaste as slightly burnt caramel. This may be a positive or a negative, depending on your taste.
The coffee itself is delivered in an extremely finely ground form. This helps you extract every bit of flavor and caffeine while brewing; thus, it is definitely a plus.
2. Starbucks French Roast Coffee
The most recognizable entrant on our list is Starbucks French Roast Coffee.
However, given the fact that this is the most well-known coffee company in the world, they must be doing something right. And indeed, as this offering proves, they are.
One of the stand out features of this product is its price. Premium coffee usually ends up costing an arm and a leg for a cup of Joe. In this instance, Starbucks manages to avoid this problem by delivering a product with strong fundamentals, although nothing exceptional.
The beans are 100% Arabica and roasted in the standard French manner. This gives them low acidity as well as a deep flavor when drinking.
One thing to note regarding the flavor, however, is the aftertaste. Some consumers have reported this to be slightly bitter – thus, this may be a deal-breaker if you do not like bitter coffee.
In terms of freshness, Starbucks meets basic requirements and vacuum seals the bag so that premature oxidation or taste degradation does not occur. The bag itself contains 1.25 pounds of coffee.
So as long as you drink at a reasonable pace, the coffee should be finished before it starts going bad.
3. Volcanica Whole Bean French Roast Coffee
Volcanica’s Whole Bean French Roast Coffee is all about the highest quality beans possible. Moreover, these coffee beans are not just any high-quality coffee beans. Instead, they have the unique distinction of being grown only in volcanic soils.
Volcanic Earth is rich in minerals that are traditionally lacking in other types of soil. This is due to the geological activity that brings comparatively rare elements to the surface. Crops grown in these areas are prized due to their unmatched flavor. Thus, when Volcanica brings coffee grown in volcanic soil, you know it is going to be something special.
Moreover, Volcanica claims that all of its beans are grown on farms above 3000 feet in elevation, which allegedly gives an additional boost to the flavor, thanks to suitable climatic and moisture conditions.
The roast itself is a standard French roast that gives body to the flavor of the bean without doing anything that would distract from the quality of the product.
One thing to consider, however, is the fact that Volcanica’s offering comes as whole beans, not in a ground down version. This is good news for the purists who want to enjoy the bean in its original glory, but it may add extra steps to the preparation process.
Another thing that might matter to many consumers is the ethical standards followed by Volcanica. This particular brand does seem to have a strong focus on ethical and environmentally friendly behavior. This is proved by the fact that they claim their coffee beans are a hundred percent organic.
Volcanica does have fair trade certification. In addition, they have another certification called ‘Rainforest-Alliance,’ which helps ensure that the company’s actions are not damaging rainforests and natural habitats.
All this quality and eco-friendliness comes at a cost, though. And this cost will be borne by your wallet.
Volcanica’s coffee is certainly not a budget offering that can fit anyone’s requirements. However, if you want to splurge a little or simply treat yourself to some premium coffee, this might be a suitable option.
4. Olde Brooklyn Coffee French Roast Coffee
Brooklyn’s French Roast offering is uniquely tailored to one specific type of drink; espressos. This product does all it can to be the premier choice for espresso lovers by claiming a whole host of unique qualities.
The beans are no ordinary variety either. These have extra fat content when compared to standard coffee beans. This is a crucial feature as the fats and oils in the coffee bean contain the most flavor. Moreover, you don’t have to take Brooklyn’s word for it.
Simply looking at the beans will reveal a distinct sheen that is different from most other offerings on the market.
Brooklyn prides itself on the freshness of its coffee. To ensure this, batches are roasted weekly.
Moreover, the flavor itself is deep, thanks to a thorough French roast. To keep them fresh, the beans are packaged in airtight and vacuum-sealed bags so as to prevent oxidation or degradation over time.
One thing to note, however, is the relatively large packages this coffee is sold as.
Expect to end up making a bulk purchase because the bags are five pounds each. This might not be suitable for everyone’s budget. However, if you are someone who only drinks espressos, then it might be difficult to find a more suitable option than this.
For those who are not avid espresso drinkers, the coffee may initially come off as a little bitter, turning away some palates. However, if you’re used to or don’t mind slightly bitter coffee, it should be fine.
5. Stumptown Coffee Roasters Organic French Roast Coffee
This product is for those consumers who value their health and the environment over all else. Stumptown’s Organic French Roast has a distinct focus on sustainability and all-natural farming practices.
The beans themselves are certified organic. This means that no chemical fertilizers or pesticides were used during their production and growth. This is good news for your body as it will prevent you from consuming otherwise potentially harmful chemicals that could do serious damage over time.
Moreover, this form of farming is better for the planet too. Pesticides usually kill all sorts of animals other than pests and also poison rivers. When you consume a product that does not use them, you help reduce demand for such things in the market.
It is a similar story with chemical fertilizers. Their production is one of the causes of climate change, and by consuming fewer such products, you are doing the environment a favor it desperately needs.
Just because this product is sustainable does not mean it doesn’t taste good. Stumptown’s offering has been described as having a subtle spicy and chocolatey flavor.
Moreover, the company ensures transparency by providing the dates on which the beans were roasted right on the bag. A best-by date is also provided.
The packaging itself is unique and allegedly better at keeping the coffee fresh until opened. Although, this is something that we will leave up to you to judge when you drink this product.
A surprising complaint that has been relatively common is that sometimes the bags arrive past their best by date.
If true, this does make us question the quality of the product. However, we will give the company the benefit of the doubt as this is not always the case, so the expired coffee might have been an honest mistake.
6. Puroast Low-Acid French Roast Coffee
As the name suggests, Puroast’s Low-Acid French Roast is geared towards the consumer looking for a high-quality coffee option that is comparatively low in acid content.
Puroast reduces the acid content in their beans by allegedly 70% compared to other brands. This is accomplished by a combination of the variety of coffee used as well as the roasting procedure.
Speaking of the roast, Puroast also claims that its unique roasting method increases the number of antioxidants present in the coffee. If this is true, then this is definitely good news.
The coffee’s flavor itself can be described as chocolaty and comparatively light. Moreover, it does not have a bitter aftertaste like some varieties do.
However, Puraost lacks the earthy and spicy scents that some other varieties can contain. Whether or not this is a dealbreaker will depend on the person.
If you drink your coffee with milk and are looking for a casual pick-me-up in the morning, you might not even notice the difference.
If, on the other hand, you are a hardcore coffee connoisseur, then Puraost’s offering may feel neutered and narrow when compared to other more expansive and varied flavors.
Finally, it is also worth noting that the smallest quantity available is 40-ounces. In case this brand takes your fancy and becomes your staple go-to, then that is no issue. However, for first-time buyers or those simply looking to try out something new, this will not be suitable.
7. The Organic Coffee Co. Decaf French Roast Coffee
The Organic’s Decaf French Roast offering is tailored specifically for people looking to do away with caffeine in their diets.
This decaffeinated coffee lets you enjoy your favorite drink without having to risk a sleepless night.
A frequent (and fair) concern when having decaffeinated beverages, however, is that they can feel watery and flavorless when compared to normal coffee.
The Organic was well aware of this when designing their product and hence chose beans that retain a relatively strong flavor even after decaffeination.
Another thing that is in the name of this product is the word ‘organic.’ This is crucial as this coffee has CCOF organic certification. This essentially ensures that, both during production and processing, no inorganic materials become part of the final product.
Finally, and somewhat surprisingly, this one does not break the bank, unlike most other organic products. Compared to some other entrants on this list, Organic’s offering is actually relatively economical and hence is likely to fit most consumers’ budgets.
One thing to note is that although this flavor is significantly close to regular coffee, it is still not the exact same thing.
For a french roast, users still report that the flavor is not as strong as they would expect from a standard cup. This seems to be an unavoidable problem as some flavor is inevitably lost during the decaffeination process.
8. Nescafe Taster’s Choice Instant French Roast Coffee
Some coffee purists may (rightly) criticize the inclusion of instant coffee in a list of the best French roast coffee. However, the undeniable reality is that time and money are both finite resources. And instant coffee is economical in both those regards.
Nescafe’s offering is not your average run-of-the-mill instant coffee either. This is one of the most premium instant coffees you will find on the market and can give many freshly pressed varieties a run for their money in terms of taste.
The distinguishing factor here is the quality of beans.
Nescafe realizes that a common criticism of instant coffee is that it lacks flavor. To compensate for this fact, they went ahead and instituted a rigorous selection process for coffee beans, ensuring a higher standard than many of their competitors.
To create this coffee, the beans are selected and then brewed in a specific way. This process leaves behind all the flavors and the caffeine as water-soluble crystals that can later be turned into coffee easily. All you have to do is put some into hot water and stir. A few seconds later, your pick-me-up will be ready. It suddenly started making sense why instant coffee is so popular, no?
This theme of convenience is embodied throughout the product. The packaging, for example, is in the form of a plastic jar. This allows resealing and reduces the risk of water damage or spillage of the coffee. Thus your coffee can remain fresh and protected for longer periods of time.
Considering that the jars come in convenient 7-ounce quantities, it becomes even clearer that the goal here is convenience. If you really wanted, you could probably carry your jar around with you to work or wherever else you go – something that is simply not possible with traditional coffee bags.
However, just like every other product on this list, Nescafe’s offering is not perfect.
One of the biggest drawbacks is the roast itself which is medium and not exactly as dark as other French roasts. The philosophy behind this is clear. This is an accessible brand of coffee that anyone can pick up and drink.
For enthusiasts, though, this poses a problem as the flavor is simply not as bold or deep as a standard French roast. Although this may be a dealbreaker for some consumers, others may be willing to put up with it because of the ease and convenience this product offers in comparison to the whole or ground coffee.
As this list has made clear, it is difficult to pin down a single variety of French roast coffee that is the absolute best at everything.
However, in the modern-day (and thanks to Amazon), there are dozens of options at your fingertips, each specializing in a different type of consumer to cater to.
Now all that is left is to pick the right coffee for you and drink away. I wish you good luck on your caffeine-filled journey, connoisseur!