Many of the coffee lover population admire French Press coffee, not just because of the taste and feel, but the entire morning ritual of brewing a fresh cup of coffee with the French press method.
But sometimes, the ritual doesn’t go just as right, and the coffee doesn’t come out strong enough. And that is unacceptable.
Multiple reasons can mess up your daily cup of coffee. Here, we’re gonna take a look at 11 fixes that you can apply to ensure your French Press coffee packs a good punch. Let’s take a quick glance at the secrets of stronger coffee before breaking them down in detail:
- Use the right amount of coffee
- Soak the coffee first
- Use high-quality water
- Use a digital scale to measure the coffee and water amount
- Buy a good grinder
- Preheat the pot before brewing
- Increase your brew time
- Increase the water temperature
- Use a medium-coarse to coarse grind
- Choose the right roast level
- Transfer coffee to a thermal carafe
- Clean your coffee press
The ideal coffee ratio for a French press coffee is 70 grams of water for every liter of water. Therefore, a tablespoon of French press ground has 11 grams of coffee.
But even the slightest amount of coffee you don’t use adds up over time, making the final coffee weaker.
When you find the ideal ratio for yourself, repeating the same process multiple times is how you need to make sure your French press is a perfect cup of delicious coffee every morning.
The best way to repeat the same ratio is using tools that can provide more accuracy, like a scoop that you can level.
Instead of filling up the French press right after your water is hot, wet the grinds first and let them stand for around 30 seconds. This serves multiple purposes.
- Watering the grinds before pouring them into the maker causes the coffee to bloom.
- The water causes degassing, ensuring your coffee isn’t bitter when it’s ready by expelling excess carbon dioxide.
After the grounds become damp from being soaked, pour the rest of the water. Stir 1 Minute to make the grounds rise to the top and not be fully immersed in the water. If it does, remember to stir when you are a minute into the entire brewing process.
That way, the grinds are led back in the water.
Worried of grounds? Learn how to prevent grounds in coffee article.
You can’t just pour tap water to make your coffee. It messes with the taste of your coffee. But how?
Many minerals and chemicals are present in the water that mixes with the brew when you heat it all up together. The best way is to use bottled water for your coffee to be on the safe side. But, there’s a cheaper option if bottled water is not your thing.
There are some carafes and pitchers that you can use to filter out the tap water you want to use for your coffee cup. They aren’t the best in the business, but they get the job done right.
Better part? These filters are small enough that you can fit them in a fridge (In case you are trying a cold brew), and they’re wallet-friendly too!
The best way to dose the correct amount of coffee and water is using a digital scale. Now, if you’re feeling like a total nerd reading this, I absolutely understand. But trust me on this, it works wonders.
The density of coffee beans varies based on their types. Example: African coffees tend to be far denser than coffees produced in South America. Due to the variation of the bean density, measuring the weight is more accurate than measuring the volume.
Best way to repeat the correct coffee-water ratio, as we mentioned earlier? Weigh your coffee each time after grinding.
Don’t wanna use a scale cause it seems like a bit too much? That’s fine! Just use the same dosing tool every time you make your coffee.
Consistency is key. Instead of eyeballing it every morning, craft your own recipe to suit your caffeine needs.
I hate to be obvious, but yes, a good grinder is necessary. A good grinder works as a bodyguard who’s defending your coffee from fine grind ninjas whose objective is to sneak past the filter and ruin your coffee.
For a consistent grind size, consider investing in a burr grinder. When you understand how grind size affects the extraction of the coffee, you can determine the grind you need for your morning coffee.
A minor yet really useful tip. Always warm the French press pot with boiled water before the brewing process. That way, the temperature stays consistent.
You should also warm the cup you want to serve your coffee in. This way, the coldness of the cup doesn’t take away from the coffee.
The duration of time you brew your coffee plays a huge part in the final taste and strength. You need to brew for a longer period before plunging because of the coarse-grind nature of French press coffee.
The steep time for French Press coffee is around four minutes to extract the flavors and give the cup considerable strength.
You can see coffee grounds form at the top of the French press machine, known as “crusts.” To brew for longer, give the crusts a few stir after 4 minutes, and allow them to travel to the bottom of the press. This way, you can continue to brew for around 10 minutes.
I know it’s an endurance test to wait this long for your coffee but look at it this way, even if you shorten brewing time down to 4 minutes, when you try to drink it, it’s too hot to drink, and you have to wait anyway. The finished product is stale coffee if you try hurrying even more by brewing for 1-2 minutes.
Why not use the extra wait time to brew a stronger coffee and make it worth the wait?
When using a lighter roast, you need the water of your coffee hotter than usual if you want to extract all the flavors. Doing the opposite gets you under-extracted and stale coffee, which tastes sour, weak, and watery.
Ideal coffee-brewing temperatures are 94 – 98°C (200 – 208°F). You may not have a programmable kettle, but there’s a workaround for that too.
After the water has reached boiling point, take the pot away from the heat source and let it sit for around 90 seconds, ensuring the water has settled down at the perfect temperature.
As we mentioned earlier, French press coffee takes a long time to brew compared to many other brews, especially espresso. Espresso can take only 30 seconds to finish brewing.
To compensate for the longer brewing time, you should use a coarser grind when brewing French press coffee.
Since we want our French press to be really, REALLY strong, you want to pick dark roasted beans for maximum effect.
Another factor that factors in coffee strength is the type of coffee bean. Though there are only 2 major types of beans (Arabica and Robusta), Robusta is the clear winner when it comes down to the question of “Which of the bean types delivers the coffee kick the hardest?”
The best way to get your hands on pre-ground coffee that is darkly roasted is to buy them from a store. This is because a darker coffee shortens down the brewing time.
Always make sure to check the packaging of the pre-ground coffee to know the exact roast level of the coffee you just got for yourself. That way, you can determine the exact brewing time.
Also, make sure the packets say they have Robusta grinds in there. You already know why.
And, of course, another obvious and basic technique that can save your morning coffee from becoming a stale, bitter disaster.
Always keep your French press coffee maker clean to make sure that residues from old brewing or grinding are not present in the machine. That way, old coffee doesn’t get mixed with a fresh batch you are brewing.
This preserves the taste of a fresh batch. Finally, for the sake of your morning sanity, you, along with other coffee drinkers, should learn how to clean a French press.
You may or may not like the French press, but some will defend their morning French press routine with torches and pitchforks. But, not every coffee you make can be great.
Err is human, and it’s okay if your morning coffee doesn’t sound perfect. But everyone makes some common mistakes, resulting in poor coffee
- Not grinding the beans properly
- Using the wrong quantity of coffee
- Leaving the coffee in the presser after pressing
- Using boiling hot water
- Using poor quality water
Grind is crucial when it comes to making good coffee. You want your coffee beans to have a coarse, even ground for French press.
Here’s a smart tip: If you want to determine if your grounds are too fine or coarse, it is by determining how hard it is to press the filter down. You can easily push the filter down when the grounds are coarse, which isn’t possible with a finer grind.
2 primary things to take note of in the case of French press coffee is
- Coffee-to-water ratio
- Extraction time
Not everybody wants to measure out their coffee every time they brew a batch or calculate the time to extract. And that’s totally fine.
But, it is worth every second to figure out approximately how much coffee and water you need by using a scale and maintaining the golden ratio.
When you leave your coffee in the French press for too long after brewing, you cause the coffee to over-extract, resulting in a bitter coffee. Remember, pushing down the plunger doesn’t stop the brewing process.
To make sure you don’t have extra coffee left in the brewer, the best way to deal with it is to brew the exact amount of coffee you will drink. Even if you can’t be precise, you need to be as close as possible.
If you still get leftover coffee but don’t wish to waste it, you can move it to a thermos or carafe so the coffee doesn’t get over-extracted and stays warm for later consumption.
This is something you shouldn’t definitely do. Boiling water causes the coffee grind to overheat and over-extract. Also, the temperature takes away the taste.
You may want to save time by using water straight from the tap. Spoiler alert: it’s a really bad idea.
As we mentioned earlier, tap water ruins the overall quality of the coffee by introducing unknown minerals into the coffee grind. This case gets even worse when using boiling water, another previously mentioned common mistake.
Had fun reading this article? Check our aeropress vs french press article.
If you are new to French press coffee, it’s an art that you perfect over time with trial and error methods. Since you are reading the conclusion of it all, I take it that you have the patience to go through an entire French press brewing process.
It’s time to reward yourself with a fine French press coffee for all your efforts and put the drip coffee maker up on the shelf.
French press is a coffee brewing method using a french press machine. The final product is known as French press coffee.
You need to put in 3 tablespoons of coffee for every 1 cup of water.
A burr grinder comprises two large burs, and the coffee beans get ground between the two burrs.
For every cup of water, you would need 2 tablespoons (14 grams) of coffee beans.
Place your coffee in a thermos or a carafe after brewing is completed. And this applies to all sorts of brews.