Coffee Bean Suggestions From Coffee Pros
What’s different about making french press coffee compared to regular coffee pots? Does it work with any coffee, or are there specific coffees that taste better in a french press?
We receive these two questions regularly in our cafes, so we thought we’d spill the beans in a quick blog so newcomers to french press coffee can maximize their enjoyment (and pick the beans that are best suited for this brewing method).
How’s French Press Coffee Different Anyway?
French presses use a metal mesh to filter your brewed coffee from the coffee grounds (we suggest the stainless steel Frieling Press for its all-metal, durable design). There’s no paper involved like with most brewers, which means all the natural coffee oils and some microscopic grounds make it to your mug.
These two things impact your coffee in two major ways:
- They boost the mouthfeel. The coffee actually feels heavier and fuller on your tongue from the extra oils and micro-grounds.
- Darker, deeper flavors are enhanced. Chocolate, earthy, and spice notes tend to become richer, while lighter floral and citrus notes get calmed down.
Here’s why: the oils and micro-grounds are literally heavier than the brewed coffee liquid, and when they coat your tongue, you can’t perceive the brighter acids as much. It’s not that the coffee is less acidic—you just can’t taste it as much, which is why those darker flavors become richer.
What Beans Do We Suggest For Making French Press Coffee?
We believe any high-quality coffee can taste great in a french press, but some tend to be extra-delicious when made via this method. To help discover what the pattern is for finding these exceptionally tasty coffees, we asked three team members to share their recommendations for french press coffee.
Martin Trejo, our Director of Coffee, tends to choose coffees “with tasting notes of chocolate, caramel, roasted nuts, ect. since we are highlighting those flavors in this brew method.”
Jacob Thomas, a long-time barista with us, frequently defaults to “heavier body medium roasts. The oils from the brew method compliment the heavier profiles of chocolate, vanilla, and similar flavors found in our Latin American coffees nicely.”
Sunni Ellis, our Trainer and Outreach Coordinator, says she “would recommend coffee with smooth and sugary notes, as brighter floral and citrusy can get lost under the oils.”
Amazingly, all three agreed on these as the best coffees to use with a french press:
- Rio Azul, Guatemala — The red apple and brown sugar flavors make this one taste almost like grandma’s apple pie.
- Comsa, Honduras — An extraordinarily smooth bean with notes of berry, chocolate, and cream.
- Fondo Paez, Colombia — Rich caramel and chocolate notes with a gentle lemony zing.
Of course, everyone’s taste buds are different, so let us know if you’re loving another one of our coffees in your french press.
What other questions do you have about french press coffee? Go ahead and ask your local barista or shoot us a question online. Whatever it takes to make your coffee at home as delicious as coffee in the cafe—we’ll do it!