The Best Ratio for French Press Made Easy!

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Close your eyes and imagine the perfect French press coffee. The rich aroma of freshly ground beans mingles with the buttery scent of pastries baking in the oven.

That’s the magic I used to create every morning at the Boat Basin Cafe. As a chef, I’m obsessed with drawing out the deepest, most complex flavors, and the French press does that with coffee better than any other method.

Today, I’m going to share my secrets with you.

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The Best Ratio for French Press Made Easy pin
French Press Coffee Calculator

French Press Coffee Calculator

Why French Press? A Chef’s Perspective

What is A French Press

The French press is the culinary equivalent of a pressure cooker for coffee.

The extended contact time between the grounds and the water yields a brew with the viscosity of a demi-glace, packed with bold flavors you just can’t achieve with a drip machine.

If a pour-over is a delicate consommé, French press coffee is a hearty, slow-simmered stock – robust, full-bodied, and deeply satisfying.

The Golden Ratio Chart

Pouring coffee into cup
Why Should You Use A French Press

Finding your perfect French press ratio is part art, part science.

These ratios provide a foolproof starting point:

StrengthCoffee:Water RatioCoffee per 8ozCoffee per 16ozCoffee per 32oz
Beginner’s Balance1:1714g (0.5oz)28g (1oz)56g (2oz)
French Press Classic1:1516g (0.6oz)32g (1.1oz)64g (2.3oz)
Cafe Bold1:1220g (0.7oz)40g (1.4oz)80g (2.8oz)

💁🏻‍♂️Pro Tip: Start with the French Press Classic for the most balanced flavor, then adjust to taste.

The science behind these ratios? It’s all about extraction.

Too little coffee and over-extraction can lead to bitterness.

Too much and under-extraction can result in weak, sour notes.

The key is finding the Goldilocks zone, where the water has just enough time to pull out the coffee’s delicious flavors and oils.

The Perfect Grind

Coarsely ground coffee beans.
The perfect French press grind should have distinct particles, but no powder.

For French press, aim for a coarse grind, like breadcrumbs or coarse sea salt.

💁🏻‍♂️Chef’s Tip: Think of French press grounds like the ideal size for a hearty beef stew – coarse enough to impart flavor without muddying the broth. Too fine, like flour, and your coffee will be over-extracted and gritty.

You may also like: How Many Scoops of Coffee for a 34 oz French Press?

French Press Frustrations? Common Mistakes Solved

ProblemCauseHow to IdentifySolution
Bitter Coffee– Water too hot (over 205°F)
– Over-extraction (brewing too long)
– Stale, low-quality beans
– Harsh, astringent taste
– Feels dry on the tongue
– Lacks sweetness and depth
– Let water cool slightly off boil
– Limit brew time to 4 minutes
– Use fresh, high-quality beans
– Try a coarser grind
Weak Coffee– Grind too coarse
– Under-extraction (not brewing long enough)
– Coffee to water ratio too low
– Water not hot enough (under 195°F)
– Tastes flat, watery
– Lacks body and richness
– Sour, acidic notes dominate
– Use a slightly finer grind
– Increase brew time by 30 seconds
– Increase coffee to water ratio
– Ensure water is 195-205°F
Gritty Coffee– Grind too fine
– Plunging too aggressively
– Old, poor quality filter
– Silty mouthfeel
– Grounds in the cup
– Bitter, over-extracted flavor
– Use a coarser grind
– Plunge gently and steadily
– Replace old filters
Tepid Coffee– Water not hot enough before brewing
– Brewing for too long
– Not preheating the French press
– Lukewarm temperature
– Tastes dull, flat
– Oils not fully extracted
– Ensure water is 195-205°F
– Limit brew time to 4 minutes
– Rinse French press with hot water before brewing

Brewing the Perfect Cup: A Step-by-Step Video Guide

Your French Press Questions Answered

What’s the best water temperature for French press?

For optimal extraction, aim for 195-205°F. Boiling water (212°F) can scorch the grounds and lead to a bitter brew. I let my water cool for about a minute off boil – enough time to grind the beans and prep the press.

How much coffee do I use for a large French press?

While ratios stay consistent, you’ll need to scale up the actual amount of coffee and water used. For a 32oz French press at a 1:15 ratio, use 64g (2.3oz) of coffee and fill the carafe with hot water. Consult the chart above for precise measurements.

Why is my French press coffee gritty?

Gritty coffee is usually due to two things: grinding the beans too fine, or plunging with too much force, which stirs up the sediment. Stick to a coarse grind and plunge with slow, steady pressure.

What’s the best coffee for French press?

I’m partial to medium-dark and dark roasts for French press. The immersion brewing method really highlights those deep, complex flavors. Read on for my top bean picks!

Brewing Better Cold Brew: Ratio & Tips

Want to make cold brew in your French press? You absolutely can! The trick is remembering that cold brew needs a higher coffee to water ratio, as you’re extracting with time instead of temperature.

Brew TypeCoffee:Water RatioExample
Cold Brew Concentrate1:6140g coffee to 840g water. Steep in the fridge for 12-15 hours. Always dilute the concentrate 1:1 with water or milk before enjoying for the perfect strength!

French Press Favorites: Top Bean Picks from a Chef

Lifeboost Embolden: For lovers of classic dark roasts

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  • Flavor Profile: Velvety body with notes of dark chocolate and toasted hazelnut. Low acidity, clean finish.
  • Why It’s Perfect: This is THE bean for a traditional, full-bodied French press. The dark roast really shines with immersion brewing. “I thought I knew dark roasts, but this one redefined bold for me!” – Sarah K.

Purity Coffee Dark Roast: Reinventing the Dark Roast

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Purity coffee ease whole bean 12 oz
  • Flavor Profile: Deeply complex, balancing molasses-like sweetness, earthy undertones, and a hint of spice. Full-bodied yet smooth.
  • Why It’s Perfect: If you think dark roast means burnt and bitter, Purity will change your mind. Incredibly rich and nuanced when French pressed. “My search for the ideal French press roast ends here. Exquisite!” – Mark T.

Kicking Horse Kick Ass: Not for the Faint of Heart

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  • Flavor Profile: An audacious blend of smoke, bracing sweetness, and spice. Tastes like a bonfire in a cup, in the best way.
  • Why It’s Perfect: If you want a French press coffee that wakes you up and then some, look no further. This is as bold as it gets.

No matter which beans you choose, always grind fresh, use proper ratios, and enjoy your French press coffee immediately for the best flavor.

The beauty of this brewing method is its simplicity – so don’t overthink it. Trust your taste buds, and have fun experimenting!

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