There are many categories of French coffee: french roast methods, french roast flavors, french press, and french drip coffees. The most confusing part? Each have very little to do with each other.
French Coffee As A Flavor
Last week we talked about the process of flavoring coffee, so you’re already familiar with the process of how French vanilla coffee flavors are formulated. This is drastically different than the flavor of French roasted coffee beans, which typically have a charred, smokey, less acidic taste compared to lighter roasts.
Typically called “French roast coffee,” popular single serve k-cups, instant coffee blends, and syrups attempt to replicate the bold flavor profile of dark roasted beans.
French Coffee As A Method
Because the taste of French coffee roasts is so strong, it often overpowers any of the nuances from coffee bean itself. This means that exceptional quality beans are not usually used to create French roast blends. The subtleties of creation are instead focused on the quality of the roast.
Another notable characteristic of French roast coffee is the double crack. Because of the high internal temperature of the bean (240F) when roasting, a second crack appears because of the release of steam and to release the oils.
During the intensity of the roasting, the caffeine molecules in French coffee roasts are reduced. This means that these blends often have less caffeine than other roasts.
French Coffee As A Technique
The French coffee press is a device made up of a glass pot with a fine mesh plunger designed to steep coffee beans. It’s a manual extraction technique that allows the user to control every aspect of the brewing process.
From coffee grounds fineness, to water temperature, to steeping time, every variable can be personalized to individual taste.
However, with individual personalization comes an increased time investment. Though you’ll have to monitor the amount of ingredients and time spent steeping, the payoff is an aromatic and full-bodied brew that’s not achievable with automatic systems.
The Conclusion on French Coffee
When you hear French coffee, it’s often a blanket term used to describe one of the three procedures listed above. Understanding whether you’re talking about roast, method, or technique will help you determine what kind of coffee you’re looking to experience.