We love the rich, bold flavor of coffee made in a French press, a method which accentuates a bean’s natural sweetness and tends to bring out the chocolate and caramel notes. If you like a strong cup without bitterness, it’s hard to beat this method. However, to make delicious French press coffee, you need to have coarse ground coffee. But what if you don’t have a grinder?
We’ve put together this comprehensive guide for people who want to make French press or cold brew at home but don’t have a grinder. With so many coarse ground coffees to choose from, how do you know which you should buy? In this set of reviews, we bring you all the information you need to make purchasing some coarse ground coffee a piece of cake.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
|Best Overall||Bizzy Organic Coarse Ground Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Best Value||Stack Street Coarse Ground Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Premium Choice||Inspired Coffee Co. Coarse Ground Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
|Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee||CHECK PRICE|
The 10 Best Coarse Ground Coffee – Reviews 2020
1. Bizzy Organic Coarse Ground Coffee – Best Overall
Bizzy Organic Coarse Ground Coffee is one of the best coarse ground coffees we’ve ever tasted and deservingly takes the number one spot on our list. Made from a mix of beans sourced from Guatemala, Peru, and Nicaragua, Bizzy designed this blend specifically with cold brew in mind, but it works well with any immersion-style method. We immediately fell in love with the smooth mouthfeel, intense sweetness, and overall decadence this coffee brings to the table. Despite the fact that cold brew is in the name, we actually prefer this coffee prepared hot in a French press, but only slightly.
The instructions on the bag recommend you make this coffee as a concentrate, and we’ve found them to be pretty spot-on. Following the recommended brewing parameters resulted in a smooth, sweet, downright delicious cup of coffee. If you make your coffee in a drip machine or pour-over, this coffee won’t work well for you. With a cold brew or French press, however, it’s tough to beat.
2. Stack Street Coarse Ground Coffee – Best Value
Stack Street coarse ground coffee is the best coarse ground coffee for the money we’ve found by a considerable margin. This coffee is made with 100% Arabica beans sourced from Colombia and is a dark roast – about a full city roast. We picked out some caramel notes as well as some subtle nutty flavors, which went well together.
It is clear that this is indeed a coarse ground coffee, but some grind inconsistency ultimately keeps it from being our favorite. Some fine particles are definitely present, which makes the cup less clear than it otherwise could be and can lead to a bitter taste if you let the cup sit for a few minutes. We tried these beans with both French press and cold brew and vastly prefer the former. The grind size just isn’t quite coarse enough to make tasty cold brew. Overall, the low price and frankly great quality make this coffee our best value option.
3. Inspired Coffee Co. Coarse Ground Coffee – Premium Choice
Pumpkin spice flavor has become increasingly popular, and after trying this coffee, we see why. Inspired Coffee Co. has crafted a high-quality pumpkin-flavored coffee from a single origin bean, which is an impressive feat we haven’t seen anywhere else. Like our number two offering, this coffee is made from 100% Arabica beans and is a dark roast.
We quite like the subtle pumpkin flavor and find that it complements the beans’ natural sweetness well. However, some might find the flavor a little too subtle, especially if you’re expecting a big pumpkin taste at the front. This is a small batch, limited release offering, and the price reflects that. Unlike the first two coffees, we prefer the cold brew here. The cold brew we made brought out the pumpkin flavors a little more, whereas they were a little too subtle in the French press.
4. Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee
Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve is an excellent everyday bean for making cold brew and French press alike. Made from quality, 100% Colombian beans, this dark roast packs all the bold punch you could ask for. You’re buying coffee straight from the roaster here, so you’re guaranteed to get the freshest possible coffee.
We like that you can buy larger size bags to save a little bit on shipping and avoid the hassle of reordering often. Especially if you make large batches of cold brew, having a lot of coffee on hand is very convenient. This coffee isn’t the cheapest around, and for the price, we’d prefer fewer fines in our cup. Still, it’s a good value, especially if you take advantage of the larger bag options.
5. Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
Cold Brew Lab’s organic coarse ground coffee is made from 100% Colombian arabica coffee. We still consider this coffee a dark roast, but it is really a blend of a medium roast and a dark roast. The result is a unique flavor with more brightness and acidity than the other coffees on our list so far. If you prefer fruitier notes to chocolatey ones, this coffee is a good choice.
You can get either a 1 or 2-pound bag, and the grind size is large, even for a coarse ground coffee. This makes it great for cold brew but the French press is under-extracted and a little lacking in flavor. We found quite a bit of fines in the bottom of our cup, but not so many as to render it undrinkable. More problematic is the freshness. Some bags arrive sealed and fresh, while others are disappointingly flat.
6. Primos Coffee Co Coarsely Ground Specialty Coffee
Primos Coffee Co gets its beans from Nicaragua, making their coffee slightly different from most of our picks so far. We are big fans of the fact that you can get this coarse ground coffee in both medium and dark roasts. The medium roast is a delightful blend of citrus and light sweetness that we can’t get enough of. The dark roast is more robust, but still relatively mild and not as flavorful as we hoped.
This coffee is ground very coarsely. Even on a list of coarse ground coffee reviews, this grind size stands out as being large. We like the cold brew we made with it, but it is simply too coarse to produce a flavorful cup for anything else, even French press.
7. STONE COLD JO Coarse Ground Organic Coffee
Stone Cold JO is another entry that is very firmly in the dark roast category. Their coffee is 100% organic Arabica beans, but there is no information about where the beans are from. Blends are okay with us, but we still like to know where our coffee comes from. Nevertheless, we were able to make some good French press with this coffee, although compared to some of the other offerings, it was a little underwhelming. It doesn’t taste bad, but there is little nuance to the flavor. We did like the smooth quality to the cup, and the grind size was very consistent. Not a bad choice overall, but there are better coffees available at the same price.
8. Gevalia Special Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee
Gevalia’s special reserve offers a single origin, 100% Arabica coffee at a very competitive price. The French press we made had hints of chocolate in it but was also very strong and borderline bitter. Despite being described as coarse ground, this coffee is really more of a medium or medium-coarse grind, which leads to the over-extraction we noticed in our cup. It’s more suited for a percolator or drip coffee machine.
At this price point, it’s hard to complain, but we were disappointed. The aroma was pleasingly earthy, and we did taste just the tiniest hint of chocolate, but this coffee just isn’t ground coarsely enough to make a good cup of French press, let alone cold brew.
9. Tim Hortons Coarse Grind Original Blend
Tim Horton’s original blend is what we would call passable coffee. It’s not that it tastes terrible or has anything in particular wrong with it, but there are much better coffees available for the same price or less. You are paying more for the Tim Horton’s brand than you are for a quality, unique coffee. Also, buying from a large manufacturer has drawbacks when it comes to freshness. Depending on the shipment schedule, you could wind up with fairly old coffee.
That being said, there are two aspects of this coffee that make it stand out from the others on our list. First, it is the lightest roast we reviewed. It is difficult to track down coarse ground, light roast coffee, so if that is your preference, Tim Horton’s has you covered. Second, the grind size is remarkably consistent, which is a feather in its cap. Still, there aren’t any exciting tasting notes to mention, and the coffee we made would best be described as simply decent.
10. Wandering Bear Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
Rounding out our list, we have a dark roast from Wandering Bear. This coffee smells great right out of the bag and has a nice roasty flavor profile in the mug. It is labeled as “extra strong,” but we wouldn’t describe it as strong at all. We also didn’t catch any of the expected chocolatey notes, although the French press cup we made was not bad.
We like that this is available directly from the roaster and made from 100% Arabica beans. Unfortunately, for a relatively flat cup of coffee, the price is quite high. The cold brew, in particular, was lacking compared to some of the outstanding coffees higher up on our list. Ultimately, we don’t feel like the coffee lives up to its premium price.
Alright, now that you’ve seen our rundown of favorites, let’s talk about what goes into making your final choice. There are a few considerations you need to make when choosing what coarse ground coffee is right for you. We’re going to break down what goes into making your decision, starting at the most general and working our way to the most specific.
Everyone knows that stale coffee should be avoided, but how can you tell if you’re getting fresh coffee? The best way to ensure that your coffee is fresh is to buy directly from the roaster. Buying from the roaster bypasses the middleman and gets your coffee to you as soon as possible. Some roasters will include a “roasted on” date on the packaging to indicate when your coffee was roasted. For the freshest experience, try to use your coffee within two to three weeks of the roasting date. Coffee starts to lose flavor after that point but remains more than drinkable for up to a month if it’s stored in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
Where coffee is grown has the largest impact on the flavor you experience in your cup. The type and quality of the soil, elevation, humidity, and even average rainfall contribute to the final product. If you’ve never paid attention to where your coffee is from, now is a great time to start. As you gain experience trying different origins, you’ll be able to tell an African coffee from a South American coffee after just one sip. What regions someone prefers comes down to personal taste. You’ll learn what your taste is as you try coffee from more origins.
Roast level can be a hard feature to communicate clearly. There is no accepted standard, and what one roaster calls medium another might call dark. In the most general sense, light roasts are often fruity, floral, and light with a large amount of acidity and brightness. Dark roasts tend to be the opposite, sweet and bold with a lot of body and low acidity. Contrary to what many people think, dark roasts have less caffeine than light roasts.
When choosing a roast, it is important to think about how you’ll brew your coffee. We like to use light roasts in pour-overs or AeroPress and prefer dark roasts for French press and cold brew. What method you use and what roast level you choose also interacts with the last important feature: grind size.
Since these reviews are for coarse ground coffees, we won’t spend too much time talking about how to choose grind size. If you’re interested in coarse ground coffee, chances are you prefer immersion style brewing like French press or cold brew. Other methods work well with a coarser grind too, like the Kalita Wave dripper.
It’s impossible to draw a hard line between different grind sizes, but generally speaking, the scale runs from extra fine for espresso and Turkish coffee to extra coarse for cold brew. For French press, you want a relatively coarse grind, but not quite as large as you would use for cold brew.
So, what is our final say? We really can’t overstate how much we enjoyed Bizzy’s Organic Cold Brew Blend. It’s a sweet, smooth, chocolatey blend made specifically to shine when prepared cold brew style. If that doesn’t strike your fancy, you also can’t go wrong with Stack Street’s Colombian Supremo. It’s almost as tasty as the Bizzy blend but is more affordable. You’re trading a lower price for a more inconsistent grind, but you won’t be disappointed either way.
We hope you find the reviews of our 10 favorite coarse ground coffees helpful. Between the variety of origins, roasts, and grind sizes, there are enough options to satisfy even the most discerning palates. Trying new coffee is exciting, and with each new variety, you have you get one step closer to honing in on your favorite. It sounds like you have a lot of coffee tasting to do, so we won’t keep you from it. Happy tasting!
Table of Contents
- A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites
- The 10 Best Coarse Ground Coffee – Reviews 2020
- 1. Bizzy Organic Coarse Ground Coffee – Best Overall
- 2. Stack Street Coarse Ground Coffee – Best Value
- 3. Inspired Coffee Co. Coarse Ground Coffee – Premium Choice
- 4. Stone Street Cold Brew Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee
- 5. Cold Brew Lab Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
- 6. Primos Coffee Co Coarsely Ground Specialty Coffee
- 7. STONE COLD JO Coarse Ground Organic Coffee
- 8. Gevalia Special Reserve Coarse Ground Coffee
- 9. Tim Hortons Coarse Grind Original Blend
- 10. Wandering Bear Organic Coarse Ground Coffee
- Buyer’s Guide