5 of the Best French Roast Coffee Beans Anywhere

How roasted do you like your coffee?  If you happen to like your coffee as dark as possible, then the conversation may come around to What are the Best French Roast Coffee Beans Anywhere?

That is a question that often comes up when two coffee enthusiasts meet to talk while having a cup of our favorite dark French Roast.

Do You Want the BEST French Roast Coffee Beans?


coffee face

“coffee face” by goodmami, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

French roast is pretty much the darkest beans can get while not losing their particular flavor and not becoming burnt.

In this article we will review some aspects about what defines the best French roast coffee beans.

The Science of Roasting

There are many levels of coffee bean roast.  And, there are many different opinions as to what people prefer.

Some people like their coffee with a lighter roast and others like it darker.

There are several shades or levels of  light coffee bean roast.  However, darker roasting has spurred a much larger variety of techniques and therefore names for roasting.

What Makes The Best Dark Roast Coffee?

Different regions of the world have made their dark roasting techniques famous.  Some of the dark roast techniques that have become famous are:

4/366 project (bitter coffee face)

“4/366 project” by Sisterazzi, via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

What is different between French roast and the rest is that French roast is one of the darkest and strongest roasts before the beans start to lose their character.  Because of this, the roasting process needs to be carried out properly and carefully in order to avoid completely charring the beans.

There are many guidelines to be followed when trying to achieve an adequate roast level.

Because the beans are exposed to an extremely high temperature of up to 250°C (482°F), these guidelines should be followed closely because the margin for error is slim.  Although, a typical heating point for French roast is closer to 240°C (464°F).

After all, when taking a sip of an over-roasted cup of coffee you can get bitter coffee face .  We wouldn’t want that to happen during an important date or business meeting!

Maybe you remember what happened to this dude when he got Bitter Beer Face (a very similar face to bitter coffee face)!

Characteristics of the Best French Roast Coffee Beans

We are used to seeing a small crack in the middle of coffee beans.  Most light roasts are not roasted beyond this first crack where the beans pop up and their size increases.

However, when beans heat enough a second crack happens which is practically the definition of a dark coffee roast.  This is how you get the best dark roast coffee beans.

Peet's Cupping_003

“Peet’s Cupping_003” by UC Davis College of Engineering, via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

This second crack causes the discharge of beans’ internal oils, making it more light and greasy (in a good way).

In this second crack the small amount of sugar each coffee bean has inside caramelizes, making it as bittersweet as life itself.

Different French roast beans don’t necessarily all have the same color.  Where the coffee bean comes from and the conditions of the roast can provide different color results.

Nevertheless, it is certainly true that a French roast color is going to be darker in color than most light and medium roasts.

Another important characteristic about dark roast beans is that even though it is commonly believed that the stronger the coffee is, the higher the amount of caffeine.  This is actually false.

The roasting process of a coffee bean causes the actual bean to become less dense.  What this means is that a scoop of light roasted beans will typically have less caffeine than a scoop of dark roasted beans.

However, this is misleading because the caffeine amount is the same by mass.  It’s just that the darker roast beans end up with more air inside them causing them to become larger in diameter.  But, the caffeine amount per gram stays consistent.

Our 5 Best French Roast Coffee Beans

During our research, we found several candidates that could be featured as the Best French Roast Coffee Beans.  However, these 5 stood out above the rest.

We’ll let you know below why we picked these 5.  Each of them have unique qualities that cause them to be featured by us.

1. San Francisco Bay

The San Francisco Bay company has been featured on The Coffee Bean Menu website before.  And, with very positive reviews.

They are one of the highest quality coffee beans we’ve found while researching all of the various coffee beans for our site.

This time they provide two very impressive products in the French Roast category.

1A) San Francisco Bay French Roast Fresh Whole Bean

San Francisco Bay French Roast Fresh Whole Bean

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With a rich aroma and impressive robust taste, San Francisco Bay French Roast Fresh Whole Bean remains as a classic within the French roast coffee bean brands.

Hand-picked Arabic beans that will hit your nose with a strong yet delicious aroma as soon as you open the bag makes you remember how good life can be.

It is an excellent option that allows you to enjoy a most pleasant room-impregnating scent during the grind.

Just sit, relax and let this amazing coffee caress your taste buds as the liquid warms your inside and prepares you for your morning or evening routine.

Coffee experts have detected caramel and chocolate notes.  And, the body is full, or one might say, heavy.

The acidity can be described as medium.

Most like the acidity, and note that it doesn’t provide any bitterness.  But, if your stomach has acid problems, this might not be the bean for you.

These beans are also perfect for an espresso with a little bit of cream!

1B) San Francisco Bay OneCup, French Roast, K-Cup

San Francisco Bay OneCup, French Roast, K-Cup (our Best French Roast Coffee Beans product)

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The smoky, intense, aromatic and delightful taste of its mild French Roast is what makes San Francisco Bay OneCup, French Roast, 80 Single Serve Coffee so special.

While researching the best French Roast coffee bean products, we came across this gem.  It isn’t beans.  However, this product has been reviewed an amazing 26,000+ times on Amazon.

And, with this superior review number, they still rank with an even more amazing 4.6 out of 5.0 review rating.

I can’t say this enough, if this many people take the time to actually write a review, and those reviews still warrant a rating as high as 4.6,  San Francisco Bay is doing something right.

This product is the K-cup version of their French Roast product.  It is compatible with any of your traditional Keurig coffee brewers.  Although, you may have to perform one of the special “workarounds” if you have a Keurig 2.0 brewer.

These K-cups are an excellent choice if you want to save time while preparing your caffeine drink during your daily routine.

100% Arabica coffee beans from South America result in a dark and roasted coffee that will give you all the energy you need for your activities thanks to its “wake up” power.

Carefully inspected and selected bean by bean, grown in the land of the best coffee plantations, this product promises you nothing but great quality and a strong yet smooth French roasted flavor. Looking for K-Cups?  K, look for San Francisco Bay!

2. Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee

Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee

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Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt Whole Bean Coffee beans are a very good option for coffee drinkers who enjoy a robust and strong cup of dark coffee.

A special combination of Brazilian and Colombian beans make of these beans into an exotic and artisanal excellent choice.

The production of Koffee Kult Thunder Bolt beans is completely free of chemical contaminants.

A natural and organically developed product that assures you are only consuming a delicious cup of coffee and nothing else.

Last but not least, the package used by this brand is an excellent resealable bag that keeps the beans fresh once they are placed inside it immediately after the roasting process.

Just open, grind and prepare both yourself and your cup to have an exotic experience!

3. Eight O’Clock French Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Eight O'Clock French Roast Whole Bean Coffee

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Eight O’ Clock has been delivering products of an unmatched quality for more than 150 years, which tells that they know how to make coffee drinkers happy.

The 100% Arabica coffee that distinguishes them is not absent in this product.

Eight O’ Clock French Roast Whole Bean Coffee exhibits a strong, robust and smoky flavor which delights even the most demanding palates.

An easy-to-open bag which preserves all of its freshness for next brews. You just have to put the bag in a dry place out of the sun light.

The cost when compared to other French Roast brands is quite a bargain.

These beans provide a strong flavor that is neither burnt nor bitter.  The beans brew a rich full bodied cup of Joe.

And, the aroma when you open the bag is a key feature that is enjoyed by most of the drinkers.

These beans provide a great cup for a morning brew!

4. Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee

Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee

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The opinions on Starbucks coffee is probably about as divided as the country.  Typically you live or die by Starbucks, or you would never set foot in that place.

Many that find Starbucks to just be “blah”, might find this Starbucks French Roast Whole Bean Coffee to be a departure from your typical Starbucks product.

The feedback for this coffee bean finds these beans well received.  Drinkers find the flavor to be robust, bold, rich with smokey tones.

Even though the roast is very strong (as one would expect), bitterness is one of the traits you find in a cup using these beans.

The body was describes as full, yet mellow, even though the packaging says it has light body.  These beans create a cup with low acidity.

Conclusions for 5 of the Best French Roast Coffee Beans Anywhere

If you like your coffee very strong and enjoy the bittersweet symphony, a dark caffeine drink can play to your taste buds you must try the French roast.

It is well known in the western side of the country (of course, cowboys love it!) and there is nothing more appreciated and respected by a coffee lover than a coffee cup with properly roasted beans.

Do You Want the BEST French Roast Coffee Beans?


Not burnt, not raw.

Just perfect!

Above we have researched and found some of the Best French Roast Coffee Beans, that meet our high standards. All of the products we feature are of a very high quality and will provide you a strong, tasty and wonderful cup of dark coffee!

  2 Responses to “5 of the Best French Roast Coffee Beans Anywhere”

  1. I had never heard of San Francisco Bay coffee beans. I decided to give them a try and WOW!!

    These are my new favorite beans…


  2. Earl,

    Thank you for your feedback. We agree with you about the SF Bay beans. I’m glad you also like them.


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