The French Press is one of the most popular and well-loved coffee makers for those who like to make their own coffee at home. French Press coffee is satisfying and rich and doesn’t usually come with the bitterness that you might expect from other popular coffee brewing methods like automatic drip coffee machines. Another great advantage of this brewing style that makes it such a popular choice is that it’s not very expensive at all, with simple French presses available to buy for a nominal amount in many homeware stores or online. However, despite this, many people still think that making a good cup of coffee using a French Press isn’t easy. Keep reading to find out more about how to make a great coffee using a French Press, including getting the perfect coffee to water ratio when brewing.
How Does a French Press Work?
Sometimes called a plunger, the French Press method is quite simple. Coffee grounds are steeped in hot water in the carafe. Once the coffee has finished steeping, a mesh, metal filter is then pressed to the bottom of the carafe to separate the coffee grounds from the brewed coffee ready for you to pour. Since the French Press method uses a metal mesh filter, this allows all the natural flavors and oils from the coffee beans to pass through into your cup, getting the maximum extraction from the grounds. This process of steeping the coffee in hot water for a certain period of time is known as immersion brewing. The main aim of this type of brewing is to allow the coffee and water to mix together easily, which allows for a more uniform extraction in comparison with drip brew methods and others.
What is the Ideal French Press Coffee to Water Ratio?
The coffee to water ratio French press is important to know since the amount of coffee and water that you use is going to have a big impact on your final result. This is the same for any brewing method, as no matter how you like to brew your coffee, getting the right ratio of coffee to water will make sure that it tastes great.
How much coffee for French Press? If you add too much coffee, your coffee is going to be very strong. On the other hand, if you don’t add enough coffee or add too much water, your coffee will be much weaker than expected. The best French Press ratio of coffee to water is 1:15. Add 65g of coffee per 1l of water that you use. Of course, you can always try different French press ratio options depending on how you like your coffee. You will also need to consider how much coffee grounds for French Press to add based on the size of your French Press and the number of cups you want to brew.
How Long Should You Leave the Coffee to Steep?
Along with getting a perfect French press ratio by working out how much coffee to water French press you need depending on how you like your coffee, the amount of time that you leave the coffee to steep in the hot water will also have an effect on the final taste of the beverage. The steep time is hugely important since it impacts the final cup of coffee overall. The steep time is basically the amount of time that you leave the coffee infusing in the hot water before you push the plunger to filter out the coffee grounds. If you leave it too long, the coffee is going to be over-extracted, which will cause it to lose its delicious characteristics and taste bitter. On the other hand, if you push the filter down too soon, your coffee will be weak and watery. The ideal period to wait before you push the plunger down is four minutes, after letting the coffee grounds bloom in the water for thirty seconds. This should stay the same no matter what French Press coffee to water ratio you choose.
Best Grind Size for French Press
You know the best 8 cup French press ratio and the French press coffee ratio tablespoons, but how should you grind your coffee beans to brew coffee using this method? No matter what brewing method you are using, it’s always best to get a coffee grinder for your kitchen so that you can grind your beans fresh as and when you need to use them. This will make sure that your coffee is as fresh as possible since ground coffee will quickly go stale if not used immediately. When brewing coffee with a French Press, you should ideally use a coarse grind size that looks similar to kosher salt. Avoid using a fine grind, as this will infuse too quickly in the French Press and be over-extracted. Along with this, finer grinds will easily pass through the mesh filter, leaving you with sediment in your cup.
What Water Temperature Should You Use?
You know the French press ratio ounces and have the coffee grounds to water ratio for French Press figured out based on how strong you want your coffee to be – but how hot should your water be for the best results? Since you heat the water first and then pour it into your French press with the coffee grounds, it’s important to make sure that it is the right temperature to extract the flavor from the coffee. When it comes to brewing coffee using most methods, hotter water will always extract the flavors better, unless, of course, you’re making cold brew. Around 200 degrees F is largely considered to be the best water temperature to aim for when you are brewing French Press coffee. Any hotter and it might be too hot, which will ‘burn’ the coffee leaving it over-extracted and tasting bitter. If you don’t have a thermometer to check the temperature of your water before you pour it into the French press, boil your water in the kettle or on the stove and let it cool for thirty seconds before you brew.
Making Coffee in a French Press – Step By Step
Now that you know the best coffee press ratio, water temperature, and steep time, it’s time to get started with making your own coffee in a French Press at home. All you need is a French press, a kettle, your favorite coffee beans, and a coffee grinder. If you don’t have a coffee grinder then you can get pre-ground coffee. However, make sure that you have a coarse grind, and it is a wise idea to invest in airtight coffee storage to keep your grounds fresher for longer. If you leave them in an open bag, they will go stale very quickly. You’ll also need a scale to weigh the coffee, and a timer to let you know when it has steeped for long enough.
1. Prepare Everything
Start by pouring hot water into your French press to preheat it. While you’re letting it warm up, grind or measure five tablespoons of coarsely ground coffee. Empty the hot water from the French press
2 – Add Coffee
Add your coffee grounds to your French Press and shake gently to level them.
3 – Add Water
Start adding water to the coffee grounds in your French Press. Don’t put all the water in just yet – add water in a circular motion and make sure that all the grounds are wet, until the French Press is filled halfway. Pause for thirty seconds to allow the coffee to bloom.
4 – Stir
Once the coffee has bloomed, use a spoon to gently stir the grounds.
5 – Add More Water
Then, pour the rest of the water into the French Press and add the lid, with the plunger just resting on the grounds. You should add 1.75 cups of water in total. Set a timer for four minutes.
6 – Plunge
Once your timer lets you know that four minutes has passed, push the plunger down into the coffee in the French Press slowly. You can now pour your coffee straight away and enjoy it.
How to Avoid Bitter French Press Coffee
While you can probably see that a French Press is actually one of the simplest ways to brew coffee, there are some common mistakes that people make which can leave the coffee tasting unpleasant and bitter. One common mistake to avoid is letting your coffee sit in the French Press after you have finished brewing. This is because even after you’ve pushed the plunger down to filter the grounds, the coffee will continue brewing. Because of this, it’s best to only brew as much coffee as you are going to drink right now. You can also pour any leftover coffee into a different carafe or a thermos, which will avoid the coffee becoming over extracted and keep it warm for later.
A French Press is one of the easiest and simplest ways to make good coffee. Once you know the right ratio and other variables to use, you can use an inexpensive French Press to enjoy amazing coffee at home.