Why Does My French Press Coffee Taste Weak
Two reasons could account for this, one is that you didnt leave the coffee to brew long enough so you didnt allow enough extraction of the flavors. Or you didnt put enough coffee in so that there wasnt enough coffee present to extract flavors from.
This is why weighing is good because you can do an exact troubleshoot by knowing how much coffee you used and how long you brewed for. You want 4-5 minutes of brew time which is where people get impatient so Id start there and make sure its sitting a good long time before you pour it.
How Much Coffee Do You Put In A French Press
Ratio of Water & Coffee for French Press
The instructions below make 32 ounces, a common size of French press that makes about four servings. But what if you want to make more or less? Here’s a general guide to proportions by volume. Note that coffee beans are measured before grinding.
- 1 serving 1 cup water 2 tablespoons coffee beans
- 2 servings 2 cups water 1/4 cup coffee beans
- 4 servings 4 cups water 1/2 cup coffee beans
- 8 servings 8 cups water 1 cup coffee beans
Coffee Science: How To Make The Best French Press Coffee At Home
A French press is often treated like Jason Segal’s character in Forgetting Sarah Marshall. He’s actually the one you want, but people tend to flock blindly to the flashy, temperamental types like coffee-siphon-somethings or Russell Brands. The French press is definitely a potential coffee happily-ever-after, but as with all things coffee, it ain’t rocket science… but it is science! Let’s delve a little deeper into how the French press works, and how you can make the best cup of coffee using this tool.
The French press, also called the cafetiere or coffee press, is a cylinder-shaped beaker with a plunger. The piston of the plunger is made of mesh, allowing liquid to flow through it but not the larger coffee grounds.
With some coffee-brewing methods, the amount of brewed coffee you’re trying to make and the grind size of your beans will affect how quickly the water will flow through the coffeeand how long your total brew time will be. This is true for drip brewing, pourover, and even espresso.
As you may recall from our discussion of the pourover method, I like to talk about coffee brewing as having three general phases: wetting, dissolution, and diffusion.
“In our low-and-slow French press, you’re not adding more water in as you go, so the energy driving diffusion is decreased, resulting in slower, more gradual brewing.”
Don’t Miss: Is Snapple Caffeine Free
French Press Water Temperature
On average, the perfect water temperature for a French press is just below boiling or about 195°F. Using a thermometer is a simple way to ensure accuracy.
Consider electric kettles with temperature controls that prompt automatic shutdown when the desired temperature is reached.
Using your preferred method, heat the water and let stand for approximately one minute before making the coffee.
Heat up extra hot water. Pour excess water into your mug and French press to help with temperature stability. Essentially, youre heating up the equipment before you use it. This is a good use of time while waiting for the remaining water in the kettle to come off boiling temp.
Are French Presses Dishwasher Safe
I actually wrote a complete article on this, and the gist of it is that almost all french presses are dishwasher safe, even the metal ones. But, youre actually better off cleaning them by hand so they dont break and because its really easy and quick once you get the hang of it.
Not to mention it avoids any residual chemical smell or rust spots appearing and its much less likely to break if youre doing it by hand.
Also Check: Is There Caffeine In Snapple
How To Measure Coffee For French Press
I lovecoffee. I adore coffee made with a French press. I was so lucky a few monthsback that I found a French press for sale at a rummage sale for anextraordinary price! The man selling the machine said he never was able to makea decent tasting cup of coffee using the machine and he simply got tired ofexperimenting and wasting coffee beans.
I couldsympathize with him, coffee beans are not exactly cheap, they sure are notcheap enough to be wasting them and throwing them in the trash. I thanked himfor the French press and then I happily headed home anticipating the best cupof coffee in the world.
It took mesome time, a lot of experimentation, a lot of wasted coffee and frustration,but I finally mastered the French press, and decided that I was going to sharewhat I had learned with others and save someone else money, time andfrustration.
Navigate The Post
Using The Wrong Quantity Of Coffee
The art of the French press is in the coffee-to-water ratio, and because youre extracting, the time is important as well. A general rule of thumb for French press coffee is in the range of 1:10 coffee-to-water ratio: that is to say, 1 gram of coffee for 10 grams of water. This ratio can vary some say a little more, some say a little less but I find that 1:10 works great, and is also a very simple ratio to remember and calculate.
Now granted, not everyone wants to measure out their coffee every time they brew a batch. Thats fine, but it is worth your time to figure out approximately how much coffee and water you need. For example, when Im traveling I dont carry a scale with me , but I know my travel grinder grinds about 40 grams of coffee, and I know about where I need to fill the French press to in order to get around 400 grams of water. Its not the most precise or consistent method, but it works when youre sans scale.
You May Like: Standard Coffee Table Height
Before We Begin: Choose The Right French Press
Youre going to have a hard time making great coffee if you use a cheap, crappy press pot to brew. Its tempting to go for the cheapest option, but will it really be worth it when you have to replace it in 6-9 months?
The standard press pot size is between 4 and 8 cups. Just remember, a cup is much smaller than a typical mug of coffee. Many companies count a standard cup as a meager 4 oz.
In general, you have small, large, metal and electric options:
- Small french press if its just you and maybe a friend or loved one using it on a regular basis. Typical sizes include 3 and 4 cup presses.
- Large french press These 8 to 12 cup behemoths are meant to pacify a crowd of coffee seekers and can produce several cups of coffee in a single batch!
- Metal french press Are more durable, and seem to retain heat better than glass. Choose if you live in a cold area.
- Electric french press For the lazy. These units heat the water, brew the coffee, and keep it warm after its ready!
Youve probably heard about the ever so popular Bodum Chambord an iconic looking thing which is made in three different sizes: 3, 8, and 12 cups. They generally have glass beakers with a stainless steel base and handle. The two smaller options even come with an unbreakable beaker option!
However, Perfect Daily Grind recommends trying out French Presses made out of other materials .
You may also want to subscribe to some of these amazing coffee-brewing channels.
From $699 The Best Coffee Deal Anywhere
Step by Step
Heat your water to 205 degrees by bringing it to a boil and letting it sit for 30 seconds.
Fill your French press about one-quarter full with hot water and press the plunger all the way down. Swirl the hot water around inside the French press for about 10 seconds, then pull the plunger up and remove the lid. Discard the rinse water.
If using pre-ground coffee skip to Step 4. Otherwise, weigh out your whole bean coffee and grind it on a coarse setting. See our for reference.
Pour your ground coffee into the French Press and gently shake it back and forth to settle the grounds.
Pour about half of your hot water evenly over the grounds. This step is called the bloom. Hot water forces the ground coffee to release trapped gases, leading to expansion of the coffee and wonderful aromas for you to enjoy. During the bloom, a thick crust of coffee grounds will also form.
Start your timer once youve finished pouring.
Once your timer hits 30 seconds, stir the coffee gently for 5 seconds to break up the crust and mix the grounds evenly with the water.
Pour the remaining half of your hot water over the coffee. Place the lid on your French press with the plunger pulled all the way up. Let the coffee steep until your timer reads 4:00.
You May Like: Starbucks 2x Caffeine K Cups Review
Common Beginner French Press Coffee Questions Answered
I know what its like to look at a french press coffee maker with confusion. As the first coffee brewer I ever bought, I was honestly intimidated by it. It seemed complicated and scary – though it wasnt really.
But I was afraid to ask the local baristas questions. They werent exactly the friendliest folks, especially towards total beginners like me.
Im sure you know what Im talking about.
So my goal is to answer your french press questions, no matter how silly or trivial, because I want you to be able to brew incredible coffee every single day.
Lets start with some of the most common questions beginners ask about french press brewing.
French Press Cold Brew Vs Iced Coffee
The alternative to the above method would be to make a cold brew with the French Press, and chill it even more before serving if required.
This is an even easier brewing method with a French Press, perfect for new users of the French Press, requiring a couple of steps less:
And thats it. Nothing more is necessary, unless you want your iced coffee truly cold. A couple of ice cubes will make it reach the right temperature then.
Otherwise, the cold brew is done, ready to drink as soon as the plunger is fully down. Technically, it isnt exactly categorized as an iced coffee, as it is a term used for hot brewed coffee that has been chilled after the brew.
But from a drinkers point of view both a classic iced coffee and a cold brew, with or without a French Press, are cold coffee, ready to drink.
Also Check: Does Thrive Have Caffeine In It
Grind Size Affects Brew Strength
For starters you should know that french press pots require a larger grind.
If you are used to buying pre-ground coffee from normal big brands then look on the packaging for labeling that says coarse grind. Some people prefer using a finer grind than this but for starters just go with coarse.
Coarse ground coffee can also easily be made yourself at home with just about any standard coffee bean grinder. Sure there are better grinders but as long as you have one try to be happy with it until you decide you want to upgrade to the best one you can afford.
As for the amount of coffee you place in the french press this is always ripe for debate.
For beginners using the french press the best and most common standard advise is to keep it super simple, get used to the process and then start experimenting changing individual variables at a time until you get the best cup of coffee for your own palate.
Youll probably find that if you use the two tablespoons per 6 ounce rule then you will want to adjust either the steep time down if your grind is a little finer than ideal or you will want to use a little less coffee per cup of water.
If you grind size is on the larger side then you may need to use a larger coffee-to-water ratio to get a good brew or just steep the grind for a bit longer than four minutes.
How To Brew: French Press
French Press Tips
Water makes up 98.5% of a cup of coffee. If the tap water tastes good to drink, it’s good to make coffee with. Use it cold and freshly poured from the tap. If the tap water isn’t great, then use natural spring water for best results.
Grind fresh beans just before use. The French Press method calls for a coarse grind. The grind size should be between .75 mm and 1 mm. If the grind is too coarse it will make the coffee taste weak. If the grind is too fine, it will make the coffee taste bitter or too strong. For the most consistent outcome, we recommend a burr grinder.
We recommend a coffee to water ratio of 50 grams of ground coffee per 1 litre of water. In English, that’s two tablespoons for every cup of water. More if you’re bold, less if you’re not.
Coffee absorbs odours and deteriorates when it contacts air. Keep coffee tightly rolled in its Kicking Horse Coffee bag until ready to grind more beans. Store coffee in a dry, cool location, but not in the fridge or freezer.
About the French Press method
How To Use The Calculator
Which Coffee Beans Should I Use In A French Press
One of the joys of full immersion brewing is you really get to see the extraction process in action. The downside to this direct method is that it quickly turns coffee beans with bright, fresh and fruity accents sour, while bold varieties with cocoa and chocolate notes end up bitter. So, what do you choose?
The answer is an omni roast. These universal medium roasts are suitable for any brewing method. Dont for a moment think that means they lack character.
While an omni roast is ideal, if you follow my brewing instructions, theres no reason espresso beans shouldnt shine in a French press. For the best French press coffee, choose a roast thats not too dark and look for a taste profile thats more milk than dark chocolate.
One of our readers has gone a step further and describes how to use a French press for producing espresso-like coffee with dark roasts.
Mia swears by finely ground espresso beans. She uses a coffee-to-water ratio of eight grams of grounds to 1.35 fluid ounces, heated to around 200°F. Steep time is ten seconds. Next, gently press the plunger, before adding some oomph at the end. Serve the press-pot espresso immediately.
Id love to know if others also get great results following this recipe.
Don’t Miss: Does Diet Root Beer Have Caffeine
Whats The Right French Press Ratio
There is no one-size-fits-all ratio. There is a huge spectrum of tastes and preferences, variations in coffee beans, differences in roasts, etc. that can make each batch of coffee entirely different. So start with a ratio, and then adjust from there based on how it tastes.
RULE OF THUMB Use a 1:15 ratio of coffee to water. For every one gram of coffee you need 15 grams of water, which is about 3 tablespoons of coffee for 1 cup of water. Start here, as this will be on the weaker side, so you can always add a little more coffee if you find it to weak.
Below, youll find a French Press ratio calculator + chart.
How to use the calculator: First, click the red number under how much coffee do you want to brew in fluid ounces? and enter your number. Refer to our table above if you need to:
Next, click the red number under how strong do you want your coffee? It has a range for strength, from 1 to 7.
- 1 = Strong
- 7 = weak
An example If I have a 3 cup coffee maker, and I want to make a strong brew, Ill enter 10oz. for the amount of coffee I want to brew, 1 for the strength, and the calculator will give me a ratio of 1:10. The calculator will tell me exactly how much coffee and water to add, in customary and metric units. Cool!
|51 oz / 1500ml|