Considered the most aesthetic coffee maker ever, the French Press coffee maker is a go-to brewing method for hardcore coffee lovers. So it’s only natural that you need to stay updated on the best tips for French press users out there.
Use these tips to get the most out of each brew you make with your home French press coffee machine.
Tip #1. Use the Right Ratio
It’s a must-to-notice detail in every brewing session if you want your coffee to come out just right.
The most recommended ratio of coffee-to-water is 1:16. If you don’t have a digital scale, you can start by adding a 6-ounce cup of water for every two tablespoons of coffee ground. Then let it boil for around 30 seconds.
Tip #2. Keep It Clean (Tips For French Press Users)
If you don’t want old residues and coffee oils to ruin your morning brew, always make sure to clean your French press before every brew. Removing the mesh filter and rinsing it in warm water also helps you.
If you’re worried about using water or regular soap, I suggest investing in coffee-specific cleaning detergent. Keeping your equipment clean ensures you have a fresh brew.
Tip #3. Don’t Be Afraid to Experiment
Your brewing style can affect the result, so don’t shy away from experimenting with different brew times to find which one suits you the most.
The ideal “four-minute brewing time” is just a general margin. But, of course, you can always increase or decrease the time to find your preferred personal taste.
Tip #4. Use A Scale To Measure Coffee And Water
Digital scale is your best friend if you want to keep the coffee-to-ratio just right. Keeping consistent with your ratios is the best way to ensure a better cup of coffee.
Tip #5. Get A Decent Grinder
Grind sizes affect the extraction of your coffee bean, and ultimately, the taste of the coffee itself. Therefore, the best way to maintain a consistent grind size is to understand how grind sizes affect the extraction process and then grind accordingly.
And, of course, for a consistent batch of ground coffee, you need a good grinder. Any burr grinder from the market should do the trick since burr grinders provide the most even grind for any type of coffee beans.
Check out our how to prevent grounds in coffee article.
Tip #6. Use A Medium-Coarse To Coarse Grind
If you make a finer grind, many coffee grind molecules find their way into the cup, sneaking past the filter and making your coffee bitter. For the best results from a French press brew, use a medium-coarse grind or a coarser grind.
Note that you can use finer grinds too, but you need to cut your brewing time short for that to work. That way, your coffee tastes less bitter, even with a fine grind.
Tip #7. Use Quality Water (Tips For Frernch Press Users)
This tip is universally applicable to any coffee brewing method, but we decided to remind you anyway.
If you don’t want your brewed coffee tasting like cheap chemicals, you should use filtered water or bottled waters that use fewer chemicals for preservation.
Tap water introduces many different chemicals in the cup that just make your coffee taste even worse.
Tip #8. Use The Right Amount Of Coffee
Using the right amount of coffee is also necessary. Always make a calculated guess about how much coffee you need. Consider if you are brewing for a group of people instead of just a cup for yourself.
When you use more coffee than you need, your coffee either becomes too strong or too bitter for your taste. Plus, it’s a waste of good coffee. No coffee lover should ever waste good coffee.
Tip #9. Preheat Your Carafe
Preheating the carafe of the French press can go a long way. When you preheat the pot, you ensure that there is no fluctuation in heat during brewing, and the heat-resistant borosilicate glass contains the temperature for a longer time.
This also applies to the cup you are using to serve. If you preheat the coffee mug you use for serving, it takes less heat away from the coffee, keeping it warm for longer.
Tip #10. Use Hot Water (But Not Too Hot)
Ideal water temperature is crucial to keep the flavor consistent. Always keep a kitchen thermometer handy if you don’t have an electric gooseneck kettle.
The ideal temperature for the French press is within the 195-200F range.
Tip #11. Let The Coffee Bloom Into Perfection
Use a small amount of hot water to pre-wet, or bloom your coffee. Pour the water over the grounds, and let it sit for around 30 seconds for blooming to take place.
Blooming ensures that your coffee grounds are evenly wet, and blooming causes the coffee grounds to release carbon dioxide, increasing the coffee’s overall flavor.
When blooming, remember the stir a little before steeping and pouring the rest of the water.
Having fun to read tips for french press users? check out how to do coffee cupping at home.
Tip #12. Ensure That All Coffee Grounds Are Below The Filter
When you’re about to brew, make sure that all your coffee grounds are right below the coffee filter and not on the other side of it.
Before pouring, make sure your filter’s thoroughly washed. When pouring, pour at the center in a circular motion instead of pouring up the sides.
Tip #13. Don’t Leave Your Coffee In There
After you’re done pressing, remember to pour the coffee out immediately. Leaving the coffee in the French press is a common mistake people make, among many others.
If you leave your coffee in the French press, it continues to extract. It results in Over-extracted, bitter coffee. So, to ensure that your coffee has stopped extraction, it’s better to pour it all out in a different mug.
Tip #14. Improvise, Adapt, Brew
When you’ve brewed a few cups using your French press, you’ll slowly start to get the hang of all the small details. Use those small details to adjust your brewing time, grind size, stirring time, etc.
You can also mix up different details and observe if you prefer a particular combination.
Tip #15. For Immersion Brewing Devices, Use A Higher Ratio
When using the immersion brew method, the passive immersion system means the energy levels are decreased. How do you get around it so you can have your preferred coffee? Amp up the brew ratio.
Every coffee brewed in the immersion brew method simply tastes better when you use a higher dose of coffee-to-water ratio. No more ditching the aesthetics of the full-immersion method in fear of a weak coffee.
Tip #16. Sift Out Your Coffee Grounds
This tip is for those who have a LOT of time on their hands and have no plans for the rest of the day.
When you sift your grinds, you can get rid of very coarse grounds. Now you may think it’s a bad idea since the French press is all about coarse grinds, but hear me out.
There’s a difference between strategically portioned coarse grinds and small boulders in your cup.
Tip #17. Stir The Grounds Right After Pouring
If you stir the coffee grounds before setting the top lid, it ensures that your ground beans are positioned right under the plunger.
Stirring the grounds to help you with a better extraction and an easier plunge.
Tip #18. Stir At Different Points Of Your Brewing Time
There are specific points within your brewing time when stirring the coffee that can significantly impact the final taste. These are:
- One at the beginning of the brew, for saturating and degassing your grounds
- One in the middle to saturate the larger floating particles
- One right before particles get redistributed with the plunger
Tip #19. Skim The Top (Tips For French Press Users)
When you skim the grounds that are floating at the top, you confirm that all your grounds will be extracted.
Skimming the top before plunging gets rid of the grounds that might sneak past your filter just to ruin your cup.
Tip #20. Break The Ice, Twice (I Mean Crust)
If you break the crust before brewing, it helps you keep the sediment down. The ideal time to do it is within the first 30 seconds.
When you fill the pot and let it sit for 30 seconds, that is when you break the crust a second time.
Had fun reading tips for french press users? Check our piece on alternatives to french press.
French press brewing can get complicated at several points if you are a newcomer in the coffee world.
We hope our carefully organized list full of personal experiences can help you out in one way or the other and get you the perfect French press coffee.
Most popular French press models can brew almost 2 large cups of coffee at a time.
Take apart the mesh, the spring, and the cross plate of the coffee maker according to the provided instructions, rinse the parts with warm water and put them back together.
Medium-dark or dark roasts of coffee beans give you the best cup of French press coffee, so I suggest going with that.
You can use any burr grinder to grind your beans for the French press. Burr grinders offer you even grinds, so they are a better choice. You’re looking for coarse ground coffee to use in the French press.
French press coffee should steep for up to four minutes.
Maintain a coffee-to-water ratio of 1:16.