The French Press is undoubtedly the simplest brewing machine available in the market. You only need to submerge the coffee grounds in water for a few minutes. Then push the plunger down, and voila! Your cup of joe is ready to drink.
However, this simplicity of French Press is not enough to brew you the delicious java you were expecting. What drives the taste and aroma of your coffee is the quality of the beans you are using.
Cutting a long story short – Identifying the best coffee beans for French Press is a prerequisite to brew your desired cup of joe. This may require a few bad experiences in the beginning, but once you get to know the key features of a quality coffee, brewing with French Press is nothing less than a cakewalk.
Nonetheless, your thirst to find the best coffee can be quenched if you follow the given guide before going to the coffee shop:
How to choose the Best Coffee for French Press?
1. Type of Coffee – Your French Press is compatible with all roast coffees available. However, most coffee fanatics prefer medium or dark-roasted beans for brewing. Also, since the French Press works on immersion brew method, the extraction is best when coarse grounds of coffee are used. You can find the coarse grounds in the market as well but grinding them in a burr grinder just before brewing leaves the actual taste.
2. Freshness – The roasted coffee beans start losing their freshness approximately after 2 weeks of roasting. One reason for this is outgassing in coffee after roasting. Due to outgassing, carbon dioxide and other volatile gasses emit from the roasted beans, which make the coffee stale, especially when combined with oxygen. But, the coffee tastes best after a rest of 2 to 3 days after roasting. Therefore, we suggest you buy coffee from an online store that roasts coffee freshly, so you get the coffee at your doorstep when it is at its best. In a supermarket, you can check for the expiry date of your coffee before buying; to ensure freshness.
3. Bitterness – Bitterness is the primary and desirable aspect of coffee, especially when it comes to espresso lovers. It is caused mainly by a mixture of caffeine and quinone in the coffee. However, over-extraction or extra-fine grounds can make the coffee too bitter. The bitterness is also increased as the roasting level of beans is upgraded. Nevertheless, for French Press, all types of roasted beans are suitable. So, the bitterness level you prefer depends upon your personal choice. One common reason for over-extraction in French Press is leaving the coffee in a carafe after pressing the plunger. To prevent this, make sure you pour out the java right after pressing the plunger.
4. Aroma – An important indicator of coffee quality is how it smells. Freshly roasted beans produce a floral or nutty aroma which ultimately excels your coffee drinking experience. On the contrary, old or low-quality beans will have no definitive aroma. To enhance your experience with French Press, try looking for this quality indicator before deciding which coffee to buy.
5. Acidity – The coffee for French Press should be acidic to such an extent that it leaves winey or fruity sensations in your mouth. A sharp or highly acidic coffee is not recommended as it will leave a tart-like taste at the back of your tongue. Similarly, a low acidic coffee will result in a dull cup of joe. In a nutshell- the coffee should be subtly acidic, so it does not overpower the other tastes and aromas of java.
6. Sweetness – Your coffee should not taste like sugar while drinking. Instead, along with tasting bitter, a good quality coffee should have a fruity or chocolaty aftertaste. To decide whether your coffee’s sweetness is up to the mark or not: take a sip of it and swirl it around the mouth. By doing so, you can estimate the concentration of sugar in it.
7. Storage – Protecting the coffee from the air as much as you can is the key to a good cup of java. Search for a coffee that is stored in a one-way off-gassing container. This discards carbon dioxide and prevents the access of oxygen to coffee. By using such packaging, you can secure the aroma and taste of your coffee for up to 2 weeks or even more. Also, avoid keeping your java container in a warm space. As air, sunlight, or any other light and heat are the decaying aspects for your fresh coffee beans.
8. Body – The body is the heaviness of coffee felt when it swooshes around the mouth. Following different brewing methods, you can have light, medium, or full-bodied coffee. In a French Press, a full-bodied java is brewed, as the plunger allows all the oil and fiber to pass through it.
Deciding which coffee goes hand to hand with your French Press can be a comparably easy task if you keep a check on these eight factors. As the flavor of your coffee is a complex combination of bitterness, acidity, sweetness, mouthfeel, aroma, and other notes. From taking the first sip to the aftertaste, your coffee should be a balanced mixture of all factors, with none overpowering the other. However, once you have found the perfect match, brewing coffee with this simple device is a matter of a few minutes. Know more about French Press here.