Are you one of those people who cannot function without your cup of coffee in the morning? Making the perfect cup of French press coffee is not always the simplest thing. Take the plunge and start learning today (don’t mind the coffee pun)! Factors such as the coffee to water ratio, brew time, hot water, grinder, and extraction all play an essential role in the process. This guide is going to teach you how to make an ideal cup of coffee from the comfort of your kitchen.
Coffee brewing is a technique that requires several steps and skills. Whether you are a professional barista or someone who loves their coffee, learning how to make a French press coffee is a combination of art and science. True coffee fanatics can tell the difference between a high-quality and bad cup of coffee. It is time to learn how to make French press coffee.
Let us get straight into this step-by-step French press coffee ratio guide. Read below to determine your preferred grind for your brew.
The French Press
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The French press has been around for over 100 years. There are so many variations; however, the overall design concept was patented by Attilo Calimani in 1929. Calimani was from Italy, not France, ironically. The French press is based around the combination of a plunger and carafe; it is often a fairly affordable object. Additionally, it is easy to use and is a great way to make your morning cup of ground coffee. If you like the taste of dark roasted ground coffee, you need to buy a French press.
One important factor to note when it comes to a French press is that the coffee to water ratio, timer, and grinds are all essential. It is not as simple as mixing the coffee grounds with boiling water.
How Much Coffee Do You Put in a French Press?
The amount of coffee you put in a French press does depend on the size and amount of coffee you are making. For example, you get a 4-cup French press coffee maker and an 8-cup French press coffee maker. The 4-cup press is known to make two small mugs of coffee, whereas the 8-cup can make four cups. Essentially, you would need double the amount of coffee for an 8-cup French press rather than a 4-cup press.
How Many Tablespoons of Coffee Do You Put in a French Press?
The first step is to determine what coffee to water ratio you are using. On average, a good ratio to use is three tbsp to the press per cup of water. For a 4-cup press, you would add five tbsp of coarse grounds. Thus, for an 8-cup press, you would need to add 10 tbsp of coarse grind.
If you were to look at it in terms of the ratio, you are using five tbsp, which is 27 grams of coffee, per 400 grams of water. If you want to use the 8-cup press, this would be 10 tbsp, which is 54 grams of coffee per 800 grams of water. Give it a taste to determine whether this ratio suits you or not; at the end of the day, there is no set right or wrong way to do this. It does depend on what taste you like. You can adjust the ratio depending on whether you want a stronger or weaker coffee brew.
How Do You Make French Press Coffee?
There are certain steps and instructions to follow to make a French press coffee. The brewing process does vary depending on what type of coffee you are making. The steps are as follows:
- Step 1 – Boil the water.
- Step 2 – Grind the coffee beans (Freshly ground is the best)
- Step 3 – Add the hot water to the coffee
- Step 4 – Gently stir and let the coffee bloom for 30 seconds
- Step 5 – Add the rest of the water and let the coffee steep for precisely four minutes.
- Step 6 – Filter the coffee with your plunger.
- Step 7 – Pour and enjoy immediately!
The first step is to bring the water you are going to put in the French press to a boil. The amount of water depends on the size of the French press and how many cups of coffee you are making. For example, a 17-oz French press requires approximately 350 grams or 12 ounces of water. Step 1 is a straightforward task. Make sure that you preheat your French press with hot water. Step 1 may not seem that important, but it lays the foundation for the rest of the process.
Grind the coffee beans while your water is heating up for step 2. A French press coffee brew usually requires an even and coarse grind. What about the coffee to water ratio? We recommend a 1:15 ratio if you are just starting. This means approximately 23 grams of coffee per 350 grams of water. Pour your coffee grounds into the carafe of the press. Make sure that the grounds are even and leveled. You are going to learn immediately that the size of the grounds is very important to the process. Step 2 can be done while you are waiting for the water to boil in step 1.
You may now start pouring the hot water onto the ground coffee. Additionally, you should first pour twice the amount of water into the coffee. Hence, if you are using 30 grams of coffee, you are going to pour 60 grams of water. Getting this ratio correct is essential. Add the water in a circular motion. The water should be around 200-degrees Fahrenheit. Boil the water and let it sit for 30 seconds to get it to the right temperature.
Step 4 consists of giving the coffee grounds and water a gentle stir. We recommend using a chopstick or bamboo paddle when you stir the grind. You may then leave the coffee to bloom for 30 seconds. A bloom is important because it allows for better extraction once you add the rest of the water. The bloom process releases gases like carbon dioxide, which is what you want.
It is now time to add the rest of the water into the French press and place the lid over the coffee grounds. Do not forget about the coffee to water ratio! This is a 1:15 coffee to water ratio; however, there are people who prefer a 1:12 coffee to water ratio. Do not plunge the coffee just yet. Let the coffee steep for 4 minutes before you start to plunge the coffee. Make sure that you set a timer for 4 minutes. Nothing more, nothing less! Precision is key. This coffee brewing step is one of the most critical steps. The extraction of the grind into the water is crucial.
This is the moment of truth. It is time to filter the coffee brew. It is fairly simple to tell whether you did the process correctly or not. Press the coffee filter down, but do not apply any extra force or pressure. Your grind is too fine if it is difficult to press. If the plunger immediately goes straight to the bottom of the press, then your grind is too coarse. Some people have to learn this the hard way. The ideal pressure should be around 15 to 20 pounds.
You should pour and enjoy the coffee immediately once you have completed pressing it. If you let the coffee sit further, it is going to continue to brew, and the extraction process is going to carry on.
Step 1, step 2, step 3, and step 4 may seem basic and unimportant, but you have to pay careful attention during these steps.
How Do You Make Two Cups of Coffee in a French Press?
It seems logical that to create two cups of coffee, you would simply double the quantities of one cup. This is not always the case. A good French press recipe that you can add to your book for two cups of coffee is as follows:
- Six tbsp or 31 grams of coffee, preferably coarsely ground.
- Two and a quarter cups or 465 grams of water. This water must be just off the boil.
- Follow to regular steps of making a French press coffee. It is crucial that you still follow step 1 to step 7 accurately. The 30 seconds, bloom time, and four minutes timer still apply.
How Do You Make the Perfect French Press?
It is crucial to understand how to combine ground coffee and hot water to create the best possible coffee brew. Many people have a different opinion of what the perfect cup of coffee is. It does essentially come down to your preferences at the end of the day. A few factors that should stay constant are things like the brewing for four minutes, a coarse grind in step 2, the ratio of pouring water in step 3, and the way you plunge. Even though the ratio is critical, many people like a different ratio to the next.
Tips to Achieve the Perfect French Press Coffee Brew
If you follow the necessary steps, you are going to get a delicious brew of press coffee. However, how do you achieve perfection? Getting every single step right is not easy. For example, brewing the grind and water for exactly four minutes can be stressful; however, there are other factors to note. The tips we recommend are:
- Buy high-quality or top tier whole bean coffee. Grind it immediately before use.
- Do not leave the coffee with the grounds for any extra minutes. This is going to result in over-extraction. Decant your coffee immediately. Stir, pour, and drink!
- Use a grinder that is going to give you even results. Change the burrs on your grinder if they are old or invest in a burr grinder.
- Do not use water that is at boiling point. This increases the bitterness of the coffee. The ideal temperature of the hot water for coffee is 200-degrees. Once the water has boiled, let it sit for one minute. You can use a thermometer to measure the water temperature for your brew, but it is not necessary.
- We highly recommend that you clean your French press thoroughly if you want to enjoy your next cup of coffee. Old coffee left in the filter is going to affect the taste of your coffee. This is often an unpleasant bitterness, which you would not like. Do not let your filter sit with an old grind in it.
- Find a coffee to water ratio that works for you. Everyone prefers their grind or brew differently. Some people use a ratio of 1:17, while others go as low as 1:11 with their coffee to water ratio.
What Do You Need?
Brewing the perfect cup of French press coffee also boils down to (see what we did there) having the right tools. The proper timer and right techniques are also crucial, but you cannot apply any of this without some good brewing supplies. Purchasing good quality equipment is one of our top tips. You need the following tools:
- French press
- Measuring cup and scale
- Coffee beans and water
- Thermometer (optional)
No shocker here. Of course, you are going to need a French press. There are plenty of variations, and they are often very affordable. You need a press with a carafe, plunger, filter, and lid. The size depends on what you would like.
A coffee grinder is vital to the process. You want a grinder that is going to give you coarse coffee grounds in a short period of time. Brewing the perfect coffee is largely dependent on the grind. It impacts the taste. There are different types of grinders (electric and manual). Most people like the manual grinder as this is going to give you complete control over the consistency of the grind, which is something you want. We highly recommend a manual burr grinder for your French press coffee. This is going to give you a more accurate coarse grind, which is what you want.
Measuring cup and Scale
The ratio and amount of things you use are crucial. The correct French press coffee ratio is the key factor to this entire procedure. You need a measuring cup to measure the amount of water you are going to pour. A scale is required to calculate the ratio of coffee grounds. You cannot always rely on a tbsp as the density and type of grind of the coffee is always different. Accuracy is vital; a measuring cup and scale are going to give you precision.
Timing is everything! If you want a good coffee brew, you have to stick to the timing guidelines. From the bloom to the brewing time, the minutes are essential, right down to the last second. You want to use a timer to ensure correct brewing time, and that over or under extraction does not occur. The four minutes brewing time is not something you want to get wrong.
Coffee Beans and Water
The first thing to do is ensure that you have good quality coffee grounds and water. Purified water and whole bean coffee are things you want, as they affect the taste of your brew. It does make a significant difference. Even coarse coffee grounds from a high-quality roast are going to produce a better brew.
Some may consider this excessive; however, real coffee fanatics would understand why this is done. The correct water temperature is very important for a French press. If you use a thermometer while brewing your coffee, you can ensure you are heating the grounds to the correct temperature.
The Ultimate Buyers Guide
How to Choose Between the Top-Rated Products
Claiming that one brand or type of coffee is better than another can be quite tricky because many people prefer their coffee in different ways. There are so many various factors to consider when it comes to choosing the best coffee product for yourself. How do you like your coffee? Do you prefer a dark or medium roast? The coffee grind you use does affect the outcome of the coffee brew. You can either end up with a rich and delicious brew or a mug of overwhelming bitterness. The taste is also impacted by the French press’s response to the beans. What tips are there if there are so many qualities to consider?
When it comes to a French press, the best options to choose from are a dark and medium roast. These options work perfectly as the French press reduces the bitterness of the roast of coffee beans. A darker brew also suits the character of the French press method. While the type of coffee you buy is crucial, it is also vital to invest in a high-quality French press coffee maker.
What Features to Look for in Different Scenarios?
Features that you must take note of are the plunger, carafe, lid, and the type of coffee. Here are elements to take note of with regards to French press coffee:
- Avoid pre-ground coffee. This is not as fresh. You should always look for whole bean coffee and grind it right before you brew your coffee. A coarse grind is the best for a press coffee.
- Darker roasted coffee beans work better with a French press.
- Make sure that the side of the filter in the plunger is metal. The metal does not degrade, whereas a plastic one is going to break down over the years.
- Take note of what material the carafe is made out of. You can often choose between a plastic, tempered glass, or stainless steel carafe.
- Look at the size. You need a press that is going to make the right amount of coffee for you and your household.
Where Can You Buy These Coffee Products?
It is not difficult to find these coffee products. There is a wide range of brands that offer these coffee items. A few of the best coffee brands that you can trust are:
- Death Wish Coffee Co. – They offer a really good dark roast whole bean coffee.
- Peet’s Coffee – If you want a delicious medium roast, this is ideal for you.
- La Colombe – This is a good choice if you are looking for a regular coffee.
If you need or want to buy a new or your first French press, grinder, or plunger, the following brands are good to look at:
- SterlingPro – This was the first brand to start using double screens in their French press designs. They are well established and produce coffee machines and French-presses of different designs and sizes.
- Gorshe – Gorshe is another established company that is modern and unique.
- Bodum – This company makes some of the best French press coffee machines. They have a wide range of designs that you are bound to like.
- Frieling – If you are looking for an up-and-coming French press company, Frieling is one you want to keep your eye on. They produce stainless steel French press makers and offer five different sizes.
The perfect French press coffee requires a lot more thought and precision than one would think. From the brew time to type of grind, French press coffee ratio, plunger, extraction, and method used, there are various things to consider. Implementing these tips is beneficial because so many people rely on coffee to get themselves out of bed in the morning or as a quick fix throughout the day. Become your master barista so that you can have your coffee how, when, and where you want it. The perfect brew does exist; you just have to learn the tips and tricks of the trade. Do not be afraid to experiment with your coffee! It is something you are going to learn the more you do. Do not only enjoy the cup of ground coffee but enjoy the journey of getting to the final product.
You are most likely not going to find your perfect brewing combination the first time; however, experimenting is going to get you where you want to be. If you want to play around with different roasts, grounds, and ratios, then do so. Your first press coffee may not have the exact ratio that you would like, but it most certainly is not going to be the last time you pour yourself a French press coffee brew.