The French press is the easiest coffee brewer to use at home. Furthermore, it’s inexpensive compared to most brewing methods. All you need to get is the correct coffee to water ratio, correct grind size, as well as correct brew time.
Usually, French presses are sold in different sizes and so, you’ll need to measure your coffee grounds depending on the size of your French press and your cup. Here’s a detailed guide on how to make coffee using a French press.
How Much Coffee Grounds Per Cup?
The best coffee grounds to water ratio in a French press comes down to the size of your French press and cups. French press cups aren’t similar to the standard US cups. A standard US cup measures 8 fluid ounces, while a French cup measures 4 fluid ounces.
4 cup French press makes 16 ounces of fluid = 2 standard US cups
8 cup French press makes 32 ounces of fluid = 4 standard US cups
12 cup French press makes 48 ounces fluid = 6 standard US cups
Generally, the best brew ratio in a French press is two tablespoons of coffee grounds per 8-ounce cup of water. You can use more or fewer coffee grounds depending on your preferences. Therefore, use four tablespoons of coffee grounds per two 8-ounce cups of water. From this ratio, you can measure the number of coffee grounds you’ll need depending on the size of your French Press and your cup of coffee.
However, keep in mind that measuring your coffee grounds may not give you the best results. Therefore, consider measuring your coffee grounds and water using a kitchen digital scale since it gives you accurate results. When using a tablespoon to measure your coffee grounds, the probability is that your coffee will never taste the same twice since the grounds amount may vary every time.
Coffee Grounds for Different French Press Sizes
As mentioned earlier, French presses vary depending on their sizes. Whatever the size of your French press, the general ratio for coffee ground is two tablespoons of coffee grounds for 8 ounces of water or an 8-ounce cup of coffee. Here are other coffee grounds to water ratios to use depending on your French Press size.
For one standard US cup – use 2 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 8 ounces of water
For 2 standard US cups – use 4 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 16 ounces of water (makes 4 cups French press)
For 3 standard US cups – use 6 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 24 ounces of water
For 4 standard US cups – use 8 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 32 ounces of water (makes 8 cups French press)
For 5 standard US cups – use 10 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 40 ounces of water
For 6 standard US cups – use 12 tablespoons of coffee grounds + 48 ounces of water (makes 12 cups French press)
How to Brew Coffee Using a French Press
To brew coffee using a French press, you’ll need to master the basics which include the correct coffee to water ratio, correct grind size, and correct brewing time. Here’s how to brew coffee using a French Press.
What you’ll need
- Whole coffee beans
- Burr coffee grinder
- Digital scale
- 4 – cup French press
- 16 ounces boiling water
- Long spoon
- Coffee mug
French press brew time – 4 minutes
French press water temperature – between 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit – just off the boil
French press grind size – coarse grind
- Grind your coffee beans using a burr grinder. You’ll need coarse ground coffee beans for your French press. A burr grinder provides even grind sizes. The texture should be similar to that of sea salt.
- Preheat your French press using the hot water including the plunger, then pour the hot water.
- Measure four tablespoons of coffee grounds and add to the French press. Give the press a gentle shake to level the grounds.
- Starting the timer, fill the pot halfway with hot water and ensure the grounds are evenly saturated.
- Wait for 25 seconds, then gently stir the coffee grounds with a long spoon or a chopstick.
- After stirring, pour the remaining water to the top, leaving room for the plunge. Gently add the lid to rest the plunger on the grounds.
- Wait until your timer reads 4 minutes, then slowly push the plunger down to force the coffee grounds to the bottom.
- Pour the coffee immediately into your cup to prevent over-extraction. If the coffee is more than you need, pour it into a thermos flask. Under no circumstances should you leave your coffee in the French press since it will over-extract and taste bitter.
- Enjoy your coffee.
The amount of coffee grounds you need for your French press depends on the size of your brewer and the number of cups you intend to brew. The general guideline is two tablespoons of coffee grounds for 8 ounces of water for one standard US cup, which contains 8 ounces of fluid. If you intend on brewing two cups, double the amount of coffee grounds and the amount of water. Additionally, ensure you use the right coffee grind size, and the right water temperature when brewing your coffee. You can adjust your ratios depending on your preferences.