Can You Add Sugar To French Press? (Fact Not Fiction)


French press coffee is a stylish way to enjoy coffee, with the plunger pot being the most iconic coffee maker in the world. However, enjoying the French press experience calls for having the correct ratio of coffee to water, and this method needs a coarse grind.

You can add sugar while steeping your french press coffee; many people like to sweeten their coffees this way. You can mix your coffee grinds with sugar before adding hot water. It shouldn’t affect extraction in any way.

While not everybody appreciates French press coffee, some people find it a bit of a chore. However, once you get the fundamentals right, you can expect a superb-tasting brew. Let’s discuss the dos and don’ts of making French press coffee.

Things To Avoid When Brewing French Press Coffee

You can add sugar, salt, and even spices to your coffee grinds in your French press coffee pot to enhance the flavor of the beans. It won’t affect the quality of your brew.

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Is An Expensive Coffee Grinder Worth It

You will have a delicious and aromatic brew if you have the right coffee grind and coffee-to-water ratio. However, things can go disastrously wrong if you make the following three mistakes:

1. Incorrect Bean Grind

Grind is critical for making good coffee, and the French press calls for an even, coarse grind. Always ensure that your beans are fresh.

You will know whether your grounds are too coarse or too fine when you press down the filter. If the grinds are too coarse, there will be no resistance. If they are too fine, you will have a difficult time pressing it down.

2. Wrong Coffee Quantity

Generally speaking, an excellent coffee-to-water ratio is a range of 1:12, and this ratio is critical when brewing French press coffee. It’s worth your time figuring out approximately how much coffee and water you need.

3. Leaving Coffee Grinds In The French Press

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Leaving coffee grounds in the French press after brewing can result in bitter, over-extracted coffee. This is because even though you have pressed it down, it will keep brewing.

It’s best to make the exact coffee amount you’re going to drink. Suppose you know that you want more than one cup but don’t have time to brew a new batch. Pour the leftover coffee immediately into a carafe or thermos to keep it warm once you have finished the first cup.

How Long Should French Press Bloom?

A French press coffee should bloom for 15 to 20 seconds. The process begins when you pour a small amount of hot water over your coarse coffee grounds.

You will notice straightaway a bloom-forming as foam on top of the water in the pot. Leave it bloom for 15 to 20 seconds, then stir with your spoon to ensure all the grins in the bloom have contact with the water.

Your usual French press brew time involves three to four minutes of steeping.

As you can see, the basics of blooming involve adding hot water to coffee grounds so that they are damp for a couple of minutes before you begin the main extraction process.

Then, the roasting procedure causes the bloom. After the roasting process, gases are released bit by bit.

Coffee that has been roasted within a ten-day window should retain carbon dioxide along with other volatile compounds.

However, when you grind your beans, the trapped gases discharge faster, and when the hot water touches the grounds, they expel carbon dioxide, creating the “bloom.”

The effects of the gas coming out can be easily observed as the coffee grounds swell when in contact with the hot water.

Do You Stir French Press Coffee?

After adding hot water, you must stir your French Press to ensure that all the grounds are completely soaked. Not stirring could cause clumps of dry coffee grounds that are not fully extracted and result in weak coffee.

It’s not a good idea to stir French press coffee at the end as it will lead to all the settled grounds at the bottom coming through your filter and leaving more sediment in your cup.

However, what you can do at the end of brew time is break the crust. Coffee grounds can form together to make an “island” on the top of your water that resembles a crust.

“Breaking the crust” involves putting the back of your spoon through the crust, and this stops further extraction.

You can stir a French press after the bloom; you can stir the grounds when adding water for the bloom. You can go for a second stir after pouring the rest of the water, but this is entirely up to you.

You can get away with not stirring your French press if you use a gooseneck kettle to gently and evenly pour all over the grounds. A gooseneck kettle is a great way to ensure even extraction without needing to stir.

It’s essential to understand that you don’t need to stir a French Press every minute or stir continuously throughout the entire brew.

Why Does My French Press Coffee Have Grounds In It?

A little sediment in your French press coffee isn’t always a bad thing, but it’s not fun to drink.

The reasons there are grounds in the French press may be down to a few factors, such as not following the best grinding practices, using too fine a grind, and not allowing the sediment to set.

Let’s look at five ways to reduce leftover coffee grounds in your French press:

1. Follow Grinding Protocols

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Perhaps the most significant cause of too much coffee sediment is a lack of grind uniformity. If you grind with cheap tools like an inconsistent blade grinder, you will end up with grounds of all kinds of sizes. The smallest grounds tend to slide through the filter; consider the following grinding practices:

  • Hold the grinder completely still while grinding
  • Keep the grinder vertical as you grind
  • Clean and replace the burrs when needed
  • Skim The Surface At The End Of Brewing

When there are about 15 to 25 seconds left of the brew, take two spoons, holding the scoop end next to each other, and gradually skim the brew’s surface.

Skimming the surface removes many of the micro-grounds that float on the surface.

3. Use A Coarser Grind Setting

You might not know that you’re grinding your coffee beans too finely for a French press. Consider using a coarser setting and check that it reduces the sediment.

Important to note, you may need to increase brewing time to produce the same extraction level. Go by your taste buds, but generally, 10 to 15 seconds longer would be sufficient for 1 to 2 coarser settings.

4. Use A Fine Strainer

If the steps outlined above are not panning out, try using a second strainer. You can find a fine mesh strainer online or at any local kitchen supply store.

Go slow when pouring your French press into your cup through the strainer. The fine mesh will trap a good portion of the grounds, and it is multifunctional.

5. Let The Sediment Settle

Even though micro-grounds float, they are denser than brewed coffee. Given enough time, these fragments will settle at the bottom of your press or mug.

If you agitate the grounds by stirring, they’ll float upwards again, so consider using physics to your advantage.

Move slowly with your press, don’t stir vigorously and continuously or dance around your kitchen as you hold your press. When the time comes to plunge the filter down, do it slowly to keep the sediment at the bottom.

Refrain from swirling your coffee in the cup. If you pour milk or cream, let the grounds have a minute to settle at again.

Is It Okay To Use Milk Instead Of Water In The French Press?

You can use milk instead of water to brew coffee in the French press. However, it’s not advisable. Brewing with milk will produce a weaker cup of coffee, and other issues can arise, such as your milk curdling or your coffee maker becoming clogged.

If you wish to try brewing with milk, the safest way is to slowly warm the milk before pouring it into your French press.

Brewing with milk is worth trying at least once, but you may prefer to add milk after brewing. If you decide to go ahead, consider the following tips:

1. Heat The Milk

You can heat milk in the microwave for about 20 to 40 seconds to prevent curdling, or heat it in a pot on low, stirring frequently.

2. Brew The Coffee

When the milk is heated to the desired temperature, begin pouring it into your French press. Coffee usually steeps in a French press for about four minutes. However, when brewing with milk, it’s best to brew for less time and increase the amount of coffee.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, you can add sugar while steeping your French press coffee, and you can even brew your coffee with milk instead of water.

The French press is very versatile, and there is no end to what you can do with it, as long as you stick to some French press fundamentals.

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