French Press is an ideal choice for nice-tasting coffee, and it’s one of my favorite ways to make coffee, period. Brewing great coffee comes down to measurement, though, so you need to know the right coffee-to-water ratio for good french press coffee.
French Press Coffee Ratio: How much coffee to use
If you look around on the internet, you can find everyone giving you varied advice on the best french press ratio of coffee to water. However, the most commonly cited ratio is between 1:14 or 1:16, or 1 gram of coffee to 14-16 grams of water.
Thanks to the metric system, you know that 14 grams of water is the same as 14 ml, so that reduces complications.
A standard 8 ounce cup of coffee is 236 ml, so you’d use between 14.75 to 16.8 grams of coffee grounds for every 8 ounces of coffee you brew.
17 grams of coffee is about 3 tablespoons, but since we’re comparing volume and weight, the measurement will always be a little bit off.
If you want to get really scientific, then invest in a small coffee scale to measure out exact amounts every time. But bear in mind that you’ll only get consistent taste if you use the same coffee beans ground to the same consistency every time.
To brew more than one cup at a time(if your french press is big enough) simply add that much more coffee.
The 1:14-16 ratio brews a medium, pleasant tasting coffee. You can always experiment by decreasing or increasing the ratio to adjust strength to your personal preference.
Here’s a quick table for your reference:
14-16 grams(3 tablespoons)
16 oz (2 cups)
28-32 grams(6 tablespoons)
24 oz (3 cups)
42-48 grams(9 tablespoons)
32 oz (4 cups)
56-64 grams(12 tablespoons)
How to brew great french press coffee
What you need:
To make 8 ounces of coffee (1 serving), you need to prepare:
- 16 grams of ground coffee(approximately 3 tablespoons)
- 1 cup of water
- A burr grinder
- A scale
- A French Press
- A stovetop kettle or an electric kettle
- A long spoon
The brewing process:
Once the ingredients and the tools are ready, it’s time to start brewing.
1. Add the Proper ratio Of Coffee Beans
Add your measured out coffee beans to your grinder
2. Grind The Coffee Beans
Grind the coffee beans using the coarsest setting in a burr grinder. In case you do not have a burr grinder, then you can sharp pulses in a blade grinder instead, with pauses after couple seconds to overturn the grinder and shake it constantly while grasping the lid on.
At the end of the process, the coffee grounds should be coarse and rough, but in uniformly-sized and shouldn’t have too much fine grit. In other words, the coffee grounds of ideal size and shape can be described as “breadcrumbs.”.
Place the grounds into the french press.
3. Boil The Water, Then Let It Cool In 1 Minute
Bring your water to a boil in a stovetop or electric kettle, and let it cool for about 30 seconds before brewing the coffee. This will help the water fall to the ideal water temperature of 195°F. If you want to make sure that the water now is in correct temperature, check again with a thermometer. Alternatively, if you have an electric kettle which has custom temperature settings, simply set it to heat up to exactly 195 degrees F.
4. Pour The Water Into The Machine
Pour the water into the french press, very gradually and in round motions to coat all the coffee grounds equally.
5. Mix The Content
Use a spoon to stir the water/coffee mixture a few times and place the lid on the french press with the plunger still up. Set your timer for 4 minutes for a smooth brew.
6. Plunge The Machine
Once 4 minutes are up, plunge! Don’t go too fast to agitate the beans, though – just a smooth, steady plunge all the way down and you’ll see some foam and crema come up as you complete the plunge.
Things to keep in mind during brewing
Although the instructions above are sufficient, you should keep a few things in mind whilst brewing, since we’re all training to become home baristas.
1. Pre-heat The French Press
Although we did not mention this in the beginning, a quick hack to make the french press stay warm and as a result, prevent your coffee from cooling to much is by pouring some hot water on and around the french press(and emptying it) to heat it up.
This way, when you pour hot water in with the coffee, the cooler walls of the french press will not suck out too much heat from the hot water.
2. Make Use Of A Carafe
If you are too busy to drink the coffee once after it is made, do not let it stay in the brewer as it will become bitter. The solution here is to brew, and then pour it into a thermal carafe to keep it warm for long.
3. Measuring The Coffee
There are two ways to measure coffee, by weight and by volume. Best practice is that weighing is better than using volume. You can get away with measuring by volume because french press is a more forgiving coffee, but we still recommend using weight.
However, we can also understand if you’re groggy in the morning and you just need your coffee, and you’re too tired to break out the scale. In that case, scoop away!
Measuring By Weighing
There aren’t any fixed rules about the brewing ratio for French Press because machine can produce great tasting coffee in spite of different measurement, but like we said above, the ideal ratio is 1:14 or 1:16. Adjust this ratio to your taste.
Measuring By Volume
When it comes to using volume, the recommended starting point is 1.5 tablespoons of coffee for each 4 fluid ounces of water. This will give you the 16-odd grams you’re looking for to every 8 ounces of coffee.
Pouring Coffee And Water Into French Press
Pour the ground coffee first. About the water being heated, let it boil, then wait about 30 seconds for it to lower to around 195-200° F that is an ideal water temperature. During the waiting them, set the timer and then pour the water over the coffee grounds.
As your add water into the machine, you may find a bloom at the top which make the coffee clumped or not in contact with the water. To minimize this, slowly pour water in a controlled manner.
Stir or Not?
Yeah, while the water is slowing poured, you cannot completely avoid coffee grounds which are clumped at the top and not in contact with water. Make a gentle stirring solve the problem.
After that, vertically put the plunger on top of the coffee pot, do not press it down immediately. This will reduce heat loss.
Pressing Down Slowly
French Press often brews coffee in the range of 2.5 and 6 minutes, of which the most commonly cited time is at the point of 4 minutes.
Personally, I prefer 3.5 minutes which allows complete extraction and rich but not too heavy coffee to me. And you yourself can also decrease this number to for your personal preference.
When it’s time to press down the plunger, do this gently- slowly and evenly. Let some but not too much resistance. If you do not make any resistance, then remember to grind a little finer at first. And if get used to making very strong pressing down, then you should use a coarser grind at first.
This point simply means pouring and enjoying your coffee. Coffee brewed by French Press comes with some sediment. I really do not like it and I often leave ½ to 1 inch of coffee in the press pot to avoid it. Also, I leave the last drops each mug as this prevents any unwanted sediment from getting in.
Why does my french press coffee taste bad?
During the time using French Press, you must have made some mistakes, which results less-than-wanted coffee. So here, to make sure that you can still have perfect coffee, we would like to present some of the common mistakes and equivalent solutions.
The reason behind this problem might be too coarse ground, so grind it a little finer in next times. In addition to this, remember to let the coffee steep within 3 to 4 minutes.
This issue is normally caused by too fine ground, so use coarser ones next times. In case the coffee appears dark roasted, next time, use fresher coffee and decrease the brewing temperature to 195 F.
Too Strong Coffee
Apply the 3-minute-steep. Do not leave the brewed coffee in the glass beaker after brewing. Transfer it to a thermal container. Also, remember that if you get used to drinking drip coffee, French Press coffee will taste stronger at first.
This problem is commonly related to the filter. When the filter is not well-fit against the glass, it makes chance for the coffee sediment to go into the upper chamber. That maybe the case that the filter is damaged, so purchase a new one and replace.
French Press coffee is great, but it always leaves more sediment in comparison with traditional brewers do. That is because it has a tighter filter. So to deal with this issue, cut up the paper filter.
Too Long Waiting For The Water To Boil
Heat water is necessary for a nice French Press coffee, so it’s so annoyed if it takes too long to have the water boiled. So to shorten waiting time, do not you’re your kettle completely. If the issue doesn’t improve much, think of investing in an electric kettle. It is the best choice you can make.
Unstable grind means some of your coffee is coarse ground while some is fine ground. This is a common problem among the machine of $20 blade grinders. So to solve this issue, try with a better grind for a blade grinder. And a burr grinder is the best option.
French Press deserves our investment, but make it more perfect by following the suggestions above. A lot of users do and gained amazing result. So are you ready to give a trial?
Last update on 2020-01-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API