Using a french press may not look like anything, but it’s one of the best ways to make a bold, strong cup of coffee.
You don’t need the fanciest machine to make good coffee. The right tips and equipment will do the trick and deliver the best french press coffee you’ll ever have!
Tip #1: Invest in Good Equipment
First and foremost, good coffee is a product of high-quality equipment. We don’t mean crazy expensive machines, but they must be reliable and, if possible, from trusted brands.
Get a Good Quality French Press Coffee Maker
If you’re on the hunt for a french press, take the chance to buy a good quality unit. Consider it as an investment for long-term use and better coffee.
There are numerous french presses out in the market, but the cheaper ones break easily and will only last a few months.
Get a Good Grinder
There’s nothing wrong with store-bought coffee grounds. Most of the time, they prove to be the good stuff.
But if you’ve been unsatisfied with the freshness of your coffee, it may be time to grind your beans right before brewing coffee. Doing this will guarantee a fresher taste.
Tip #2: Use Fresh Coffee Beans
It’s impossible to produce a delicious cup if your coffee beans are trash. Too harsh? But it’s the truth.
The brewing process of french press coffee is straightforward. The coffee’s taste is primarily dependent on the beans and nothing else.
We suggest buying packs with more recent roast dates or, as mentioned, grind the beans yourself for a fresh taste. To find your personal favorite beans, check out this guide on the best coffee for french press.
Tip #3: Pre-Heat Your French Press
Coffee lovers know this, but most of you probably skip this part. Pour hot water before putting in the ground coffee, then throw it away.
While it doesn’t seem to do much, pre-heating your french press maintains the hot water temperature.
It keeps your coffee warm for a more extended period, contributing to a better taste.
Tip #4: Pay Attention to Volume Measurement
When you measure coffee and water correctly, you will achieve the proper brewing ratio and, in turn, produce a better-tasting cup of coffee. It won’t be too watery or acidic.
Follow the Golden Ratio
The coffee to water ratio will still depend on how you like your coffee. But the golden rule is 1:12. For every gram of ground coffee, you need 12 grams of water.
Try experimenting with the different brewing variables to achieve the exact taste suited to your coffee preference. Maybe you need more water or more beans.
Use a Scale
Coffee grounds have different densities. It isn’t easy to eyeball the measurements without numbers. If possible, use a coffee, food, or baking scale to ensure precision.
Tip #5: Water Factors Are Important
Water seems insignificant. Water is water, right? Wrong. The water type you use impacts the overall quality.
Use Better Water
The water quality is as important as the coffee beans. You’ll notice that filtered water or expensive brands will produce a better taste.
It’s also why you’ll rarely see coffee shops use tap water to make their coffee.
But we understand that it’s not always practical to use expensive water, especially if you drink coffee every day.
You can perhaps try using a water filter or boiling your water instead of buying plastic bottles daily.
Maintain The Right Water Temperature
The correct temperature will improve the brewing. As a general rule, it should be 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Suppose you have a thermometer, great.
But if not, it’s essentially boiled water but 1-2 minutes later.
Don’t pour hot boiling water in the french press right away, as it may break the glass of the press pot.
But if you let the water cool down too much, it won’t extract the coffee’s oils, and the coffee brewing outcome will be affected.
Balance is key!
Don’t Pour Water All At Once
Before going all in, pour small amounts of water at the beginning to let the coffee bloom. In simpler terms, you need to pre-wet the coarse grind beans first and not drown them all at once.
Tip #6: Grind Size Matters
Does size matter? When it comes to coffee grounds, yes.
French press coffee requires a coarser grind. Medium-coarse is also good. The filter won’t catch the finer grind ones, and you’ll end up having a bad, textured cup.
Imagine drinking coffee with the remnants of the beans; yuck. Fine grind is best for espresso, not french press.
It’s also why people prefer grinding their beans to control the coarse-grinds size and perfect the brewing method.
Tip #7: The Brew Time Is Crucial
While it’s not a strict rule, the best brew time is steeping the coffee for four minutes. Set a timer to avoid over-extraction and “burning” the beans.
If you prefer a less acidic and less bitter cup, steep it for under four minutes (~3 minutes).
Tip #8: Don’t Leave Your Brewed Coffee in the French Press
After you brew coffee, you pour the first coffee press batch into your coffee mug. Chances are you leave the rest there and forget about it.
Following the logic of tip #7, it will lead to over-extraction. Transfer the coffee to another pot or carafe to maintain the quality.
You can also make more coffee after transferring. It’s a win-win situation!
Some people use a specialized paper filter to smoothen the texture further. You can also use the paper filter used in drip coffee, though this step is not required.
Tip #9: Make Cold Brew Coffee With a French Press
One of the things that we love about the french press is its versatility. It has many uses, and you can try different brew methods.
If you’re not a fan of hot brew drinks, you can make cold brew by using cold water for coffee brewing, letting it steep for at least 24 hours, and putting the french press in the fridge.
Here’s an additional trivia, you can also froth milk using the coffee press. We’ve tried it, and it works well!
Tip #10: Clean Your French Press Well
Ground coffee debris can get stuck in the filter, affecting your next brew quality. Always observe proper hygiene and clean it well to maintain the unit’s longevity.
We also mentioned that you could use it for milk frothing.
If you do this, ensure that you clean it thoroughly afterward, or else your next batch of coffee will have remnants of milk.
We don’t want that.
A french press is a great starting point to jump-start your brewing skills. Hopefully these tips from MyCoffeeBase will make you the perfect french press coffee at home!
Remember, the best coffee doesn’t demand the most expensive brew equipment, just the proper technique.