Any professional barrister will tell you that factors like grind size, coffee bean freshness, grind freshness, extraction time, gram throw, water quality, and other factors determine the quality of the coffee you prepare. Still, all these depend on the type of coffee drink you want to make; French press, long black, cappuccino, breve, espresso, latte, or any other coffee beverage.
The size of the grind significantly matters for the French press. A coarse, even grind is perfect for French press coffee. With this grind, a ratio of 1:12 coffee to water will produce an excellent brew. The size of the grind also affects the texture, flavor, and richness of your coffee.
Apart from the grind size, there is more that you need to learn to achieve that richness or flavor you want for your coffee. You also need to understand the proportions you need for each cup and perhaps the type of roast you should use, among other things covered in this article.
What Size Grind Do You Use for a French Press?
An excellent French press coffee requires a uniform coarse grind. The size and texture should be close or similar to salt granules, sea rock, or even chunks.
So, how does the grind size influence the quality of the French press? You aim to produce a quality drink with the right flavor and refreshing benefits of coffee.
Why the grind size matters
The coffee grind size determines the flavor and texture of the coffee drink. The extraction and grind size will stand in the gap between brilliant brew and bland or tasteless drink if you wish to make great coffee.
A too fine-grind coffee will produce a mirky and bitter brew. A French press coffee requires excellent extraction to avoid making bitter and dry-tasting coffee or bland and weak drink to taste.
The extraction process means the path the water follows through the coffee ground and how it picks up caffeine and flavor from the coffee.
The grind size influences how fast the water flows through the grind and its time to extract, eventually affecting the outcome. The grind size also determines the levels of extraction under-extraction of over-extraction.
Though it could result from the wrong filter or water temperature, a too coarse coffee grind is the main reason.
In addition, under-extraction means that water passes through the coffee but does not collect enough of its goodness.
As a result, the water route is less resistant, and the resultant drink is weak with a bland flavor and has acidic, sour, and salty traces.
With over-extraction, the water struggles to pass through the too fine grind, which is compact. Due to the straining and longer extraction time, the water picks up too much of the coffee’s qualities. The outcome is a bitter and dry-tasting drink.
Therefore, you need to use the correct grind size to avoid under-extraction or over-extraction.
How Much Ground Coffee Do You Use per Cup in a French Press?
Approximately three tablespoons of coffee in one cup of water will make an excellent French press coffee.
Generally, the ratio of coffee to water can range between 1:12 and 1:15, meaning 1 gram of coffee will go with 15 grams/ 15ml of water.
Once you have the proper measurements of ingredients, it would be easier to make your coffee than you can imagine. These are the steps to help you achieve the best of your French press:
- Add the coffee into the coffee pot.
- Add hot but not boiling water to just above the coffee grind and swirl it gently.
- Put back the plunger into the pot carefully just above the water and the coffee; do not plunger, then leave it for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add the rest of the water.
- Exert steady pressure by pressing the plunger further down slowly.
- Decant your coffee immediately so it does not over-extract.
- Clean the pot with mild detergent and water after each use before repeating the cycle.
Is French Press Coffee More Potent?
A few factors make the French press stronger than regular coffee. First, a French press coffee is typically more potent than regular coffee because the filtering fine mesh screen permits the fine particles in the coffee grind to pass through and into the final carafe.
The French press also allows coffee oils into your cup, adding flavor and aroma to your brew. It also has more body, making it feel more robust in your mouth than other standard coffee drinks.
How to make your French press stronger?
Apart from the fact that the French press is more robust than regular coffee, you can increase the strength to meet your desire.
- First, you can slightly increase the volume of the coffee grind.
- Increase the steeping time to five minutes instead of four to make it stronger and more caffeinated.
- Make sure your coffee grind size is uniformly coarse.
If your preference is a weaker French press coffee, reduce the steeping time to three minutes to reduce extraction.
Can Regular Ground Coffee Be Used in a French Press?
Regular ground coffee will not give you the authentic French press coffee you desire. To make a quality French press coffee with the best aroma and caffeine content, you need to use an evenly coarse coffee grind.
If you use a too fine coffee grind, you will struggle with sediments in your brew that might even be too bitter for your taste. Sometimes you may not be able to get the plunge down if you use this regular fine coffee grind.
In addition, a French press is best if you use a fresh coffee grind. Most of the regular ground coffee in the stores has been on the shelves for longer than two weeks and may not give the French press aroma even when the grind size is right.
What Is the Best Roast to Use in a French Press?
The medium-dark roast is the best choice when you want to enjoy a refreshing cup of the French press. The medium roast coffee beans allow you to taste every bit of the floral notes and rich chocolate up to the last sip.
These coffee beans develop some significant color while roasting, and although their surface is oilier, they contain less acidic levels than the medium roasted beans.
As a result, they enclose more flavor and a bolder body than the others. If you prefer a lighter or more potent brew, you have other roast options.
The Medium roast
Medium roasted coffee beans have an oily surface and a soft darker brown color. Generally, they are well-rounded, and their flavor profile is well balanced.
The moderate roasting method preserves the original taste of the coffee bean and emphasizes the sweet caramel hint. It is ideal for the French press if you prefer your brew milder.
The dark roast
The dark roast coffee beans are the choice for coffee drinkers who love their brew extra strong. The dark roasted beans have a distinct dark brown color no one can miss.
In addition, their acidity level is significantly low.
Notably, they pack richer, deeper, and darker flavors with a significant hint of caramel, nuts, and chocolate.
The dark roast is not ideal for someone looking for authentic French press but for those who like the more robust taste.
The coffee roast you make will depend on your favorite strength, but the medium-dark roast is ideally the best of all.
Can You Use Folgers in a French Press?
It will be acceptable to use Folgers in your French press. The only challenge is that the brew will not be as good as using the proper French press coffee.
You will have a lot of residues in your cup, which may not allow you to enjoy the brew.
You can check the following steps if you want to make a French press coffee using Folgers:
- Disassemble and clean the plunger using hot water. Filling the glass pot and coffee cups with boiling water before using them will keep the coffee hot for a while longer.
- Get rid of the hot water and put eight tablespoons of Folgers, French roast coffee grounds into the press.
- Add hot but not boiling water into the glass but not fill to the brim. Use a plastic spoon to stir the coffee and the water.
- Reinsert the plunger to the top of the pot and close the lid to stop the pour spout. Wait for the coffee to brew for four minutes before plunging.
- Slowly lower the plunger up to the bottom of the pot, then turn the lid to open the spout for pouring.
You may decide to add a flavor to your brew. Flavored syrups like vanilla, cocoa, hazelnut, or caramel could be the ideal option for that. Another popular coffee topping is sweetened cream, which you can buy from the store or make your own.
In a nutshell, the size of the ground, coarse or fine, will affect the texture and the flavor of your coffee.