The French Press is a convenient coffee maker, present in almost every household across the country (albeit, hidden in a cupboard). This comes as no surprise, considering how straightforward this brewing method is, compared to alternatives such as Pour-Over and Chemex.
If you’ve tried to make french press coffee before, you’ll know how important it is to get the water to coffee ratio correct. If it’s out of balance, it can throw off the extraction and result in either a weak or overpowering, acidic coffee.
In this blog, we’ll walk you through the best starting ratio for your water to coffee ratio, as well as the steps you can take to discover the ratio best suited to your individual tastes.
The Rough Method of Brewing French Press Coffee
Boil water: Start by boiling the amount of water you need. It's recommended to use water that's between 195°F to 205°F (90°C to 96°C).
Grind the coffee beans: While the water is boiling, grind your coffee beans. The grind should be coarse, similar to sea salt. Use approximately 1 to 2 tablespoons of coffee per 175ml of water.
Preheat the French Press: Pour some hot water into the French Press to preheat it, then pour it out.
Add coffee: Add the ground coffee to the French Press.
Add water: Pour the hot water over the coffee in the French Press. Stir the mixture to make sure all the coffee is wet.
Steep: Place the plunger on top of the French Press but do not press it down yet. Let the coffee steep for about 4 minutes.
Press: After 4 minutes, slowly press down on the plunger, using gentle pressure. Make sure you go all the way down to the bottom of the French Press to push all the coffee grounds to the bottom.
Pour: Pour the coffee into your mug, and enjoy!
Note: French Press coffee can be very strong, so you may want to add some hot water to dilute it to your liking. Also, be careful when pouring the coffee as the French Press can be hot to touch.
The Perfect Water To Coffee Ratio
The general water to coffee ratio for French Press coffee is 1:15, which means you should use 1 part coffee to 15 parts water. This ratio can be adjusted based on your personal preference and the strength of the coffee you prefer.
For example, if you're using a 12-ounce French Press, you'll want to use approximately 3/4 cup of coffee, which is around 7 tablespoons, and 12 ounces of water. However, keep in mind that the amount of coffee and water you use also depends on the size of your French Press, so adjust accordingly.
If you find that your coffee is too weak, try increasing the amount of coffee you use, or if it's too strong, decrease the amount of coffee or increase the amount of water. It's all about finding the right balance that suits your taste buds.
How Long Should French Press Coffee Steep?
The recommended steeping time for French press coffee is 4-5 minutes. This allows enough time for the coffee to fully extract and develop its flavors, while also preventing over-extraction that can result in a bitter taste.
However, the steeping time can also be adjusted based on personal preference and the type of coffee being used. Some people prefer a longer steeping time of 6-8 minutes for a stronger flavor, while others prefer a shorter steeping time of 2-3 minutes for a milder taste. It's best to experiment with different steeping times to find the perfect balance for your taste buds.