A French press is a marvelous invention. Instead of wasting electricity while your percolator finally gets around to warming the water and dripping through fine coffee grounds, a French press makes the process simple: dump in some coarse ground coffee with hot water, dunk a plunger, and voila!, coffee in four minutes.
However, the process is a little more involved than that. Namingly, how much coffee should I put for a French press coffee ratio?
First Thing’s First: The Grind
If there’s one thing that especially affects a good-tasting French press coffee ratio, it’s the grind. Essentially, French press-made coffee benefits from how coarse or fine the grains are in combination with the length of time that the coffee is steeped (then separated), the amount of coffee, and the temperature of the water that draws out the flavors and aromatic qualities of coffee.
If the coffee is unground and simply steeped in hot water, you’re going to get a weak coffee that only a prisoner might want to drink. On the opposite side of the spectrum, if your coffee is ground super-fine (think espresso and Turkish coffee), the French press coffee ratio will be off, the coffee will be too rich and the fine grains will not be strained. Instead, they’ll float in suspension, leaving a grainy texture on your tongue and teeth. It will also be a HIGHLY caffeinated beverage, so unless that’s intent, don’t over grind.
What you’re looking for instead is a coarse grind. There’s no generally-accepted diameter of a proper French press coffee ratio grind, but think of birdseed as an ideal to shoot for. If you’re looking for a more accurate measure, try adding about one ounce (28 grams) of ground coffee to 450 ml of hot water. That makes an ideal cup of tasty coffee. However, if you’re looking for a boost for the day, an ounce and a half makes an eye-opening pot of coffee that’s sure to give you the pep for the day.
The process after you’ve ground the coffee is simple: simply mix the water into your French press with the ground coffee, give it a stir to blend the coffee evenly, and then wait for four minutes. After the time has elapsed, push the plunger down gently to separate the coffee from the water. Pour yourself a cup! You’re done.
However, be forewarned that the coffee left in the French press will still brew, so separating the coffee to another container can stop the process. Of course, some people like the extra jolt that leaving the coffee in the water can bring, so it’s up to you. If the coffee is left for a while, some of the coffee in solution will fall to the bottom, so be prepared for an espresso-like cup for the last sips.
Okay, we’ve talked about the process, but we neglected to mention which device you can use to grind your coffee. To grind your coffee, there are a number of products that can aid the grinding process (doing it without a grinder is clunky at best):
Grinders like this one may be what you’re looking for if you like to have a portable device for finding that perfect French press coffee ratio, especially for camping trips and vacations. By setting the grind to “coarse,” you can have the coffee ground in minutes. Of course, it takes a little elbow grease, but who doesn’t need a little exercise in the morning.
For those that don’t like to expend much energy and are on a budget, a hands-free grinder may be the solution to your problems. For this particular device, there’s five settings. The best grind on this grinder for a French press coffee ratio would be “Percolator”.
If you’re serious about your coffee, this KitchenAid grinder gives you the ultimate connoisseur’s choice for grinding your coffee. Not only does this machine have fifteen settings for your preferred grind, but it also is equipped with stainless steel cutting burrs. The significance of the burrs is that they reduce the amount of heat created by cheaper grinders and thus transferred to your ground coffee, offsetting the typically-burnt taste that heating the essential oils can do in inferior grinders. And there’s no amount of balancing out the French press coffee ratio for burnt coffee!
Hopefully this article has been helpful for you to understand how to grind your coffee and what tools are at your disposal. Best of luck and bottoms-up!