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Ask a Foodie: What Kind of Coffee Goes in a French Press?

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Q. I have a French coffee press and am wondering if I need to put a different kind of coffee in it. Would I use a French roast coffee?

A French press brews coffee quickly and simply.

A. If you are using a French press, you should use a coarser grind of coffee than you do for a drip coffeemaker. But, you can use any type or roast of coffee in the press.

The advantage of a French press is that it is easily portable, simple to use and, by giving all of the grounds a period of direct contact with the water, extracts more flavor.

The different types of roasted coffee that you see called “French roast” or “Italian roast” refer to the internal temperature reached by coffee beans as they are roasted. With a  French roast, the green coffee beans have been roasted to a higher temperature than an American roast, yielding a darker, more roasted flavor. An Italian roast is heated to a higher internal temperature still, and is darker and more intense in roasted flavor than the French roast.

The darker the roast, the more the flavor of the roasting process itself will be tasted in the bean. Some people love this flavor; others prefer the lighter roasts in which more coffee bean flavor comes through.


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