Many coffee lovers swear by just using a simple French Press Coffee Maker. Those who swear by this coffee brewing method believe that to extract the true taste of coffee beans and to get a great, the best way is to use a French Press plunger. The main reasoning behind this is because a French Press doesn’t use any sort of paper filters.
The problem with paper filters is that it filters out the coffee oil during the brewing process. Since majority of coffee’s aroma and flavors come from the coffee, by filtering them out, it’ll taste “incomplete” to some. By using a plunger, this problem is removed completely.
Another reason why many coffee lovers prefer French Press is due to the steeping process; it makes a better, more well-rounded cup of coffee. Similar to a steeped tea vs bagged tea, the results between French Press vs drip coffee grinder are very different and almost non-comparable.
Also, while drip coffee generally starts off being too hot and ends up being too cool, a proper stainless steel French Press coffee maker allows the coffee to maintain at the correct (194°F/90°C) temperature for longer.
*The temperature is important because a drop in temperature will only allow partial flavor extraction, which basically means your coffee won’t taste as good.
I think you can tell I’m biased, but you can probably tell that I like French Press the most…Anyway, lets take a look at what the best coffee for French Press is!
Never Buy Supermarket Coffee
Let’s start by saying… don’t use pre-ground, branded coffee from supermarkets. Using these coffee beans for French Press is like buying a sports car and putting orange juice in it. You just don’t do it!
The main reason is because pre-ground coffee just doesn’t have any flavors in it; all the oil and carbon dioxide trapped in it will have evaporated long ago!
Since the main advantage of brewing with French Press is to extract the true essence from the beans, there’s no point if all the taste and aroma are long gone. The best thing to do is to buy whole coffee beans and grind them yourself. That way, you’ll be able to capture more of the coffee’s flavor, because the time between ground and brew the shortest.
Click here to learn more about coffee grinder.
But wait, there’s more!
The 2nd reason why supermarket coffee is because it’s often too fine. A good French Press require very coarse grinds. That’s because if it’s too fine, you’ll have a difficult time pressing down the plunger. It’ll also seep through and make your coffee muddy (and disgusting).
Pre-ground coffee in supermarket are designed for the mass market, who prefers espresso based drinks. If you going for French Press, just STAY AWAY FROM IT!
What Kind Of Roast?
This will be up to your own personal preference. A lot of coffee lovers will recommend using a medium or dark roast with a French press but that shouldn’t stop you from trying something a little lighter.
The taste between French Press coffee and drip coffee is very different, even if they use the same coffee beans/roast. Just because you enjoy a light roast from your drip coffee maker, it doesn’t mean that you’ll like the French Press result of the same bean. French Press typically has heavier and denser flavor – if that’s what you prefer, go for it!
All in all, if you’re not sure what you like, try a lighter roast first.
Go To Your Local Roaster
Alright, now that you know supermarket coffee is bad, and that roast is more of a personal preference thing, where’s the correct place to get legendary coffee beans that I’ve been kinda hyping up all this time?
Well, the answer is (if you haven’t guessed from the sub-heading already…) your local coffee shop or roaster. Just mention that you’re looking for beans that work well with French Press, and if you’re lucky, they’ll let you try different ones out!
Ideally, you want to get whole coffee beans from them, because the flavors stay inside longer, but if you really don’t want to grind them yourself, then coffee grounds work too. You should probably invest in a good coffee storage solution though…trust me, the taste and aroma will last a LOT longer…
One more thing, it might be tempting to buy lot of coffee beans at once, but don’t do it. Remember how I’ve been talking about the oil and flavor spiel throughout the ENTIRE article?
Well, even in whole coffee bean form, the oils will still evaporate, it just happens a lot slower than if it’s grounded. Ideally, you want to finish all your coffee beans within a week or two. The more frequent trips is worth it. Trust me, I really know what I’m talking about here…the difference in taste, especially for French Press, is like earth and heaven, no joke.
Grind Your Own
So like I’ve said earlier already, to brew a perfect cup of French Press, to best way is to grind your own beans. If you start brewing within the minute of grinding your coffee up, you’ll be able to experience your coffee’s true (and complete) flavors.
Now if you’re convinced, and want to get your own coffee grinder…then make sure you get a burr coffee grinder and NOT a blade one. That’s because blade grinders produces uneven grinds (some fine, some coarse), and it generates more heat, which affects the overall taste.
A good coffee grinder are typically quite expensive, so if you’re not ready to throw out a few 100 $$$, then you might want to consider getting a non-blade cheap coffee grinder or a manual coffee grinder instead.
Don’t Enjoy Coffee – Love It!
Making the move to a French press is one of the best ways to get a flavorful cup of coffee, the experience will amaze your senses!
However, French Press is only good if you brew using fresh and coarse coffee beans. Anything else and it’ll be crap. If you’re not willing to go all the way, it might just be better sticking to normal drip coffee or espresso-based coffee.