5 Best Pre-Ground Coffee for French Press (Flavor & Cheap)

Selecting the right grounds for your French press is an important part of brewing a rich, flavorful cup of coffee.

There are many types of coffee grounds on the market, so to help you narrow down your choices. 

We’ll run through the 5 best pre ground coffee for French press users and see which one comes out on top.

Our Top Recommended

Cold Brew Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee - 2 lb. Bag - Dark Roast - Colombia Arabica Single Origin

Before we start our product reviews, let’s go over the different characteristics to look for in coffee grounds used for a French press.

What's the best grind size for French Press?

Coarse Grind

Coarse Grind

Whole coffee beans are wonderfully aromatic just sitting on the counter, but grinding them up will really bring out their full flavor.

This allows the flavor to be more easily extracted when the grounds come in contact with hot water during the brewing process.

It will take a shorter amount of time for water to soak through smaller coffee grounds and extract acids and oils from the bean – all the good things that contribute to the flavor of your coffee. Conversely, extraction will take longer for larger grounds.

Coffee grounds come in all sorts of grind sizes, ranging from extra fine to extra coarse. It’s important to use a coarse grind when brewing coffee with a French press (1).

As an immersion brewing method, using a French press differs from other methods such as drip or pour over brewing because you won’t be adding more water into the carafe.

It’s a slower process that involves soaking the grounds for around four minutes to ensure that the optimal amount of flavor is extracted.

A coarse grind will maximize the surface area available for the hot water to penetrate. As the water steeps, the beans will slowly release carbon dioxide gasses for a tastier brew.

Keep in mind the design of the French press itself. These devices feature a filter made of metal mesh to catch coarser grounds so that they don’t escape into your coffee cup.

Using a grind that is too fine means that the coffee grounds will simply pass through the mesh and into your cup, while some medium grinds may clog the filter and create difficulties when you plunge the press due to too much resistance.

What's the best roast type for French Press?

light vs dark

The type of roast you choose for your French press will largely depend on personal preference.

The duration and temperature at which the beans are roasted will impact the flavor of your coffee, so decide if you prefer stronger or milder tasting brews.

In general, medium-dark and dark roasts are most suitable for French press brewing due to their higher oil content. 

The different coffee bean roasts are listed below in the order of increasing roast temperature and time.

  • Light: Light-roasted coffee beans will be light brown in color and will produce noticeably acidic coffee with a grainy, light-bodied taste. The beans are dry, with no oil on the surface.
  • Medium: Like light-roasted coffee beans, medium-roasted beans are also dry and without any oil. However, the flavor produced is non-grainy with more body, so the coffee overall tastes smoother and more balanced. The beans are medium-brown in color and also have a balanced acidity.
  • Medium-dark: These beans are darker in color and heavier in body than the previous roasts and will have noticeable oil on the surface. Medium-dark roast is characterized by a slight flavor of spice, and the coffee produced tastes smooth and balanced with less acidity. 
  • Dark: This roast produces the darkest colored beans that can almost look black. The beans are shiny on the surface due to the amount of oil present, and the acidity levels are low. Coffee made with dark-roasted beans will taste full-bodied and robust, accompanied by smoky, bitter, or burnt flavors.

What's the best packaging for coffee grounds?

How your coffee grounds are packaged will impact how long they stay fresh. It’s best to select airtight packaging because of the delicate, perishable nature of the grounds. It’s important not to store your coffee grounds in a paper bag with no seal.

The flavor can be weakened by exposure to light, heat, and moisture, not to mention the grounds can also absorb external odors that can change the taste of your carefully selected coffee! 

Instead, consider some of the following packaging options to best preserve the taste and longevity of your grounds. 

  • Doypack: This type of packaging features a flat top and oval bottom. Its design allows the bag to stand up on its own, and it’s also small enough for convenient storage. Another good feature is the zipper that is typically included at the top, allowing the bag to be easily resealed for freshness.
  • Quad seal bag: The name of this type of packaging refers to the fact that all sides of the bag are sealed. This sturdy design allows quad seal bags to hold heavier weights of coffee. The bag maintains its shape well and is able to stand on its own. It may also feature an integrated zipper for resealing the bag.
  • Flat-bottom bag: This brick-shaped packaging is popular in the US. While it resembles a quad seal bag in some ways, some differences include the flat-bottomed design, as the name suggests, and the fold-over top. Its modular shape allows the bag to stand upright unassisted, and some bags may include an integrated zipper. 
  • Canister: Usually made of steel or plastic, canisters are completely opaque and airtight, making them excellent at shielding the grounds from light, oxygen, and moisture. However, the tradeoff is that the vacuum-sealing process involves degassing the coffee beans so that they do not expand or explode in the can. This results in an initial loss of flavor before the grounds are packaged in the tin.

Other options include side-fold bags, which are more traditional packaging designs that do not feature a zipper.

Instead, they are usually closed by rolling or folding the tops and “sealed” with a sticker or tin tie.

Because this seal is not airtight, if you decide to purchase coffee grounds packaged in this type of bag, we recommend buying smaller batches.

Many resealable bags now also come with a one-way degassing valve placed on the front of the pouch.

This valve allows built-up carbon dioxide gases inside the package to be released while keeping oxygen and contaminants from entering, thus helping to preserve freshness and flavor.

The best pre ground coffee for French Press - 2018 reviews

1. Community Coffee Premium Ground Coffee - Dark Roast

Community Coffee Signature Blend Dark Roast Premium Ground 32 Oz Bag (2 Pack), Full Body Rich Bold Taste, 100% Select Arabica Coffee Beans

This dark-roasted coffee blend is made using 100% select Arabica beans. Its coarser grind size makes it perfect for using in a French press.

These grounds produce a full-bodied and smooth coffee with no bitter undertone, though coffee drinkers that prefer a stronger-tasting brew may find the flavor to be a little too subtle.

It gets points for featuring a one-way valve on the front of the bag for safe degassing.

However, because the grounds are packaged in a side-fold bag that is closed with tin ties, the coffee may lose freshness quickly, so you should transfer the grounds to another container that is airtight or plan to use it up soon.

2. Stone Street Coffee Cold Brew Coarsely Ground Coffee – Dark Roast (Our Top Recommended)

Cold Brew Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee - 2 lb. Bag - Dark Roast - Colombia Arabica Single Origin

While labeled as a product made for cold brew, it can also be used for French press brewing.

These dark-roasted coarse coffee grounds are made from 100% Arabica, single-origin Colombian Supremo beans.

It is available in a 1-pound option as well as a 5-pound bulk size, so if you’re the type of coffee drinker that likes to stock up, this is a great option for doing so.

Its taste profile features bold, slightly sweet notes and low acidity for a smooth and balanced coffee.

Housed in a resealable doypack, the packaging also includes a one-way valve for degassing while maintaining freshness.

However, the coarse grinds may be inconsistently ground in some instances, with some varying in size from fine to medium.

3. illy Ground Coffee Drip Grind – Medium Roast

Made with 100% Arabica beans and roasted in Italy, these medium-roasted grounds produce a rich, balanced coffee with caramel and chocolate notes.

The innovative packaging offsets the compromises in flavor that are usually made when vacuum-sealing coffee in a tin.

By conducting the packaging process in a pressurized, air-free setting, the grounds are protected from staling.

Nitrogen is also packed into the can to flush out oxygen, which helps preserve the coffee’s natural aroma.

However, though this product is advertised as a medium grind, it’s actually too finely ground to be comfortably used with a French press.

You will likely get a gritty, muddy cup of coffee, so it’s best to use a paper filter as you pour the brewed coffee out of the carafe.

Remember to also reduce the brewing time, as flavor extraction will occur faster with smaller-sized grounds.

4. Ceremony Coffee Roasters

Ceremony Coffee Roasters - Thesis House Blend - Specialty Whole Bean or Ground Coffee- 2lb Bag (French Press - Coarse Grind)

Using Arabica beans sourced from Brazil and Peru, this medium-light roast is crafted in Annapolis, Maryland.

Its coarse grind is designed for French press brewing, though the type of roast will produce a lighter coffee with some acidity present.

For lovers of sweet pastries, this blend features a rich flavor profile of caramel and baking spices such as nutmeg and vanilla for a comforting, smooth-tasting brew that the manufacturer describes as “chocolate chip cookie aromatics.”

While it gets points for incorporating creative flavor notes, the downside is the packaging.

Because it uses a side-fold style with tin tie closures, the bag does not have an airtight seal and will lose freshness unless consumed quickly or transferred to another container.

5. Dallmayr Gourmet Coffee Prodomo

Dallmayr Gourmet Coffee, Prodomo (Ground), 17.6-Ounce Vacuum Packs - Pack of 3

Produced in Germany, these medium coarse grounds use 100% Arabica beans from Ethiopia.

The medium roast produces a smooth, rich-flavored coffee with low acidity and bitterness.

It is vacuum-sealed in brick-shaped packaging to help preserve the freshness of the grounds during transportation and storage.

Once you are ready to start using the grounds, you will not be able to reseal the package after opening it, as it is not designed to be a container when the grounds are in use.

Instead, you’ll need to move the coffee grounds to another holder – preferably an airtight one – to keep them fresh.

The grounds may also be a little too fine to easily use with a French press, though it’s certainly not impossible.

Conclusion

We’ve put the 5 best pre ground coffee for French press brewing to the test, and through our comparison, we recommend Stone Street Coffee Coarsely Ground Coffee as our top choice.

Of course, one of the most important factors in picking the best coffee is down to your personal flavor preferences.

However, for making a traditional French press coffee that is rich and bold, the Stone Street Coffee Coarsely Ground Coffee offers an overall coarse grind and dark roast that is ideal for immersion brewing.

My name is Kathy Gallo, Editor of Daily Cupo, a Coffee buff. The guide you find here is designed exactly for you, and it is our hope that you find it not only interesting but also actionable.

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