Learn the best ratio for French press coffee for regular, weak, or strong and full-bodied cups to keep out all the guesswork and get your kind of coffee!
Is it any wonder that French press users in the USA have gone up from 2% to 4% within just one year?
The French press is indeed the easiest way to brew a cup full of decadent and exotic flavors from coffee plantations in Latin America, Africa, or Indonesia.
But the secret to a great brew is the best ratio for the French press, or in other words, how much coffee to be added to what amount of water for the perfect cup.
Let’s plunge into the details!
What is A French Press?
A French press is a device for brewing coffee. It consists of a glass beaker, a metal plunger, and a fine mesh attached to the plunger.
Also known as a cafetiere, press pot, or coffee plunger, the French press coffee maker is a manual way to brew your coffee.
The French press has a long and interesting history, making it one of the most beloved and popular coffee makers in every coffee-guzzling nation.
Unlike other coffee brewing methods where hot water is poured over coffee, in the French press method, the coffee sits in hot water for a particular time before being poured.
Why Should You Use A French Press?
If you want a cup of coffee that’s rich, dark, and full-bodied, you should use a French press like this one.
- A French press keeps the oils of the ground coffee without filtering them out, resulting in an indulgent cup of coffee full of the taste and flavor it’s meant to have.
- To use a French press coffee is that you can control the water and ground coffee ratio, keeping things as strong or as light as you like.
- The water temperature is stable when you’re using a French press coffee brewer – another advantage. In drip coffee machines, the water gets heated fast and then drops down its temperature, affecting the taste and flavor of the coffee.
- French presses are cheaper than a good-quality coffee machine, making it a more affordable solution to having your daily favorite beverage.
- After use, you can stow away your French press in any corner as it doesn’t use much space.
- The low-maintenance factor also make a French press an easier option to brew coffee as you just need to rinse it after use.
Pros and Cons Of A French Press
We’ve covered the pros of a French press in the last section.
Now let’s look at the cons.
Since the beaker of the French press is made of glass, it’s breakable. However, you can get a French press made of stainless steel but it doesn’t have the same elegance as a glass one.
Compared to using coffee pods, making coffee in the French press is a bit tricky as it demands more precise coffee and water measurements.
- Retains the coffee oils for a better flavor.
- Better control over coffee and water ratio.
- The water temperature remains stable.
- Easy to store.
- Cheaper than high-end coffee machines.
- Low maintenance.
- Glass beakers are fragile.
- Requires precise measurements.
Coffee To Water Ratio For French Press
The best ratio for French press coffee to water is 1:15 (1 gram of coffee per 15 grams of water).
So, for an 8-ounce mug, you need 16 grams or 3 tablespoons of coffee for 8 ounces (237 ml) of water.
And if your mug is 16 ounces, use 32 grams (about 6 + 1/3 tablespoons) of coffee grounds for 16 ounces (473 ml) of water.
You can make your French press coffee stronger with a 1:12 ratio. Use 20 grams or 4 tablespoons of coffee in 8 ounces of water for a strong 8-ounce cup.
Or 8 tablespoons or 40 grams of coffee in 16 ounces of water for a 16-ounce mug.
If a strong or regular strength is not your thing, go for a lighter strength with a 1:17 ratio. In this case, use 14 grams or 2½ tablespoons of coffee in 8 ounces of water for an 8-ounce mug and 28 grams or 5½ tablespoons of coffee for a 16-ounce mug.
Refer here for easy calculations.
Here’s a handy table to get the ratio for French press coffee right.
|French Press Brew||Weak (1:17)||Regular (1:15)||Strong (1:12)|
|8 oz (1 cup)||14 grams (2.5🥄)||16 grams (3🥄)||20 grams (4🥄)|
|16 oz (2 cup)||28 grams (5.5🥄)||32 grams (6.3🥄)||40 grams (8🥄)|
|32 oz (4 cup)||56 grams (11🥄)||64 grams (12.75🥄)||80 grams (16🥄)|
Things You Need To Make Coffee With A French Press
To make coffee with a French press, here’s what you’ll need:
01. Whole Coffee Beans
The first step is to take whole coffee beans that you will grind yourself. Although you can get pre-ground coffee beans, they won’t have the freshness as freshly ground coffee.
Also, you can’t control the size of ground coffee if you buy a pouch. When the coffee beans have been ground too fine, they make their way through the mesh of the French press and end up in your mug, spoiling the experience for you. Coarse grind coffee is right for brewing French press coffee.
02. Coffee Grinder
You need a burr grinder to grind your coffee beans to get the perfect French press coffee.As the burr grinder doesn’t use regular blades like a blender, you have consistently sized, coarse ground coffee.
The abrasive parts that grind the coffee can be adjusted to increase or decrease the distance between them to give you different sizes of coffee grind. There are both electric and manual burr grinders available so choose one that suits your budget.
03. French Press
Needless to say, to make French press coffee, you do need a French press!Choose a glass beaker French press to enjoy watching your coffee as it brews.
Personally, I have found that a stainless steel French press coffee maker keeps your coffee warmer for a longer time.Looks versus functionality – choose whichever one gives you the motivation to wake up in the morning and head over to the kitchen!
04. Digital Weighing Scale
I can’t overemphasize the importance of weighing out the ground coffee and hot water. All your brewing efforts will come to zilch if you don’t measure the main ingredients properly.
A good digital weighing scale is vital to satisfy the coffee connoisseur in you.Refer to the section above on the coffee to water ratio to measure out ground coffee and water.If you don’t have a digital kitchen scale, you can buy one online or use measuring cups.
05. Kettle for Boiling Water
You’ll need boiled, hot water to pre-heat your French press. And of course, you’ll need it for brewing your coffee.You can opt for an electric kettle if you want to save time or go for a plain, old-fashioned stove-top one for making hot water.
06. Wooden or Bamboo Stirrer
If you have wooden chopsticks at home, they will work as well as a wooden spoon or a bamboo stirrer.
👍Pro Tip: Avoid using a metal spoon as it might accidentally crack or break the French press coffee beaker.
07. Digital Timer
Timing is another key to having a perfect cup of coffee from your French press. A minute or two here and there, your coffee will be insipid or too bitter or not hot enough.Just use the timer on your mobile phone to brew the perfect cup if you don’t have a digital timer.
You’ll want to carve out at least 6 minutes for this all happen: 2 minutes boiling water and grinding coffee, another 4 spent blooming the grounds in a French Press.
08. Coffee Mugs
Of course, you’ll need mugs to pour the coffee in. Choose your favorite mug to perk up your mornings with freshly brewed coffee.
How To Make Coffee With A French Press: Step-by-Step Guide
01. Heat water
Using your kettle, boil water to a temperature between 195 and 205 °F.Don’t use still-boiling water as that would lead to over-extraction and make the coffee bitter.Wait for a minute after the water has boiled.
02. Grind coffee
Use the coffee grinder to ground the whole coffee beans to resemble sea salt grains, not kosher salt.Running the grinder for 8 to 10 seconds should give you the right grind.Follow the coffee to ratio table above to measure the right amount of coffee to grind.
03. Heat the French press
Use hot water to heat the French press including the plunger.Throw away any extra water.
04. Add the ground coffee and water
Into the French press add the coffee and fill up halfway with hot water.Give a gentle stir with a wooden spoon or chopstick or bamboo stirrer and wait for 30 seconds for the coffee to bloom. This will release the carbon dioxide from the coffee and give you a better flavor.After 30 seconds, fill up the French press with the rest of the water.
05. Steep the coffee
Close the lid of the French press and don’t push the plunger down.Put your timer on for four minutes and allow the coffee to steep for this duration.
06. Plunge and pour
After the timer goes off, gently press down the plunger. Make sure you push it down slowly so as not to disturb the coffee and have the grounds end up in your cup.
Make sure to push the plunger right till it reaches just above the coffee grounds level.Pour the coffee immediately to avoid the coffee from tasting bitter.
Don’t leave any coffee in the French press as it would get over-extracted and lose its taste and flavor.
Tips to Avoid Bitterness In Your French Press Coffee
- Decanting the coffee immediately after brewing will give you a full-bodied flavor without any bitterness.
- Don’t burn the coffee by pouring boiling water over it. Scorched coffee tastes bitter. Wait for a minute after boiling the water to bring its temperature down a bit.
- Clean your French press coffee maker every time after use. Coffee residue stuck in the French press will give your coffee a bitter taste.
Ratio For French Press Cold Brew
You could be wondering if you can make cold brew in a French press. Absolutely you can!
Just remember the correct ratio for French press cold brew.
By weight, it’s 1:6 coffee grounds to water ratio. That means, 140 grams of coffee to 840 grams of water. In cups, this translates to 2 cups of coffee grounds and 3½ cups of water.
Don’t forget to pick dark roast coffee beans to make French press cold brew to get the full body and richness. You could try Peet’s Coffee or Starbucks French roast ground coffee to get the right flavor in your glass of cold brew.
A medium coarse grind coffee gives the best results for French press cold brew.
You may also like: How to Make a Cold Brew Coffee in a French Press? Step-By-Step
Espresso Ratio for French Press Coffee
The French press coffee ratio for espresso will be quite different as espresso by nature is strong and bitter.
Therefore, for the best espresso, use a 1:2 French press coffee ratio. For example, take 15 grams of medium-fine grind coffee beans for 30 ml or a cup of water.
Level up with a 1:1 coffee to water ratio for a double espresso. So, for a cup or 30 ml of water, take 30 grams of ground coffee.
It’s all about precision.
Making French press coffee is easy and gives you great, strong coffee only if you measure the coffee beans precisely for grinding, boiling water to its ideal temperature, letting the coffee steep for four minutes exactly, and serving it immediately after plunging.
What Is The Ratio Of Coffee To French Press?
The right French press coffee to water ratio for regular coffee will differ from person to person.While some say it’s 1:12, others recommend a 1:15 ratio of coffee grounds to water.
How Much Water Do You Use For 2 Cups In A French Press?
For 2 cups in a French press, use 16 ounces of water. However, if you’re using a standard large coffee mug, for 2 cups of coffee, use 32 ounces of water.
How Much Water Do You Use For One Cup Of Coffee In A French Press?
For one cup of coffee in a French press, use 8 ounces of water. But if your coffee mug is larger, use 16 ounces of water for each cup.
What Size Of French Press Is Right For Me?
A 32-ounce French press should be right as it will give you 4 cups of 8-ounce coffee. This size is also ideal for those who prefer large mugs as you can get 2 large servings from a 32-ounce French press.
What Is Coffee Bloom?
Coffee bloom is the stage when you first pour hot water over the coffee and let it sit for 30 seconds to release the carbon dioxide for a better flavor.
What Is Coffee Over Extraction?
Coffee over-extraction is when ground coffee is allowed to sit in hot water for too long, resulting in a bitter taste.Final ThoughtsIt’s all about precision.Making French press coffee is easy and gives you great, strong coffee only if you measure the coffee beans precisely for grinding, boiling water to its ideal temperature, letting the coffee steep for four minutes exactly, and serving it immediately after plunging.