Making french press coffee can be a challenge - especially for those who have never done it. Chances are, if it's your first time, you're cup with taste light and contain some (probably a lot) of coffee grounds in it. As frustrating as it may be - don't give up! Making french press coffee is a learning process that will yield amazing, full-bodied coffee that really brings out the notes of your coffee beans if done properly.
With so many different coffee roasters out there these days, choosing the best coffee for french press creating can be difficult. Do I need light, medium or dark roast? Do I need single origin or mixed? How fresh does it need to be? Arabica or robusta? HELP!
STAY AWAY FROM PRE-GROUND COFFEE
Please, please, please stay away from anything that's been pre-ground or comes in a tub (Foldgers). Not only will your cup taste horrible, pre-ground coffee is usually ground way too fine for french press. Finely ground coffee is good for certain things, like espresso, not french press.
When in the store looking for coffee, look for the following:
Invest in a quality coffee grinder
Now, when it comes to french press, you don't need to break the bank on a grinder. Most grinders these days, even those under the $100 price point, will work just fine. If you really want to go nuts, check out this grinder - good for all types of coffee brewing, not just french press.
Unlike espresso, where you'll need an incredibly fine grind, french press requires coarsely ground coffee. Coarsely ground coffee is essential as this will directly effect the extraction process. This type of ground coffee ensures carbon dioxide to be released from your coffee beans as warm water douses them - this enhances the flavor of your beans.
Finely ground coffee is similar to sand in that it's much, much harder for water to penetrate your grounds and release those gases necessary to make a full-bodies cup of coffee.
Useful Tip - A great and easy way to tell if your grind is on point or not is by how difficult (or not difficult) it is to press down on your french press.
These grinders will get the job done:
On to the beans!
You'll be wanting a medium or dark roast for making the best french press coffee possible however this is just a guideline. Making french press has everything to do with the technique, how your beans are ground and the type of beans you choose (whole bean vs. pre-ground) - not so much which beans.
No roast is better than the other. No origin will taste better. No type of bean is better than the next - it's completely up to you!
Just stay away from the following:
If you're a big coffee drinker and have other drinkers in the house, consider signing up for a freshly roasted coffee subscription service or Amazon Fresh - beans delivered directly to your doorstep as often as you'd like!
These Will Work Too:
Ideally, you're looking for a 1:10 coffee to water ratio. 1 gram of coffee for every 10 grams of water. If you're just starting out with french press, I'd recommend measuring out your coffee grounds for a while until you get a feel for your french press. This is just a guideline and can absolutely be adjusted to your taste preferences.
Want strong coffee? Fine your grind and up the dosage.
Want lighter coffee? Coarsen your grind a bit and decrease the dosage.
This is probably the most common mistake when making french press.
After your coffee is done brewing, it's best to transfer to either your cup or thermos/carafe. The reason for this is your french press is hot and full of steaming water. Leaving the coffee in your french press will result in over-extracted coffee since it will continue to brew if left alone.
If you really want the best french press coffee, invest in a quality grinder like this one.
French press coffee requires a medium coarse grind. Too fine and you'll have a hell of a time pressing down, too coarse and your coffee will be weak. This is something you'll have to play around with on your grinder to get the grind settings just the way you want but once you have - the coffee will be phenomenal!
Creating the best french press coffee possible will depend on the following:
Invest anywhere between $40 to $1k in a quality coffee grinder to make sure your grind is as precise as possible. Remember, you're going for coarse, not fine. Your beans are just as important. Start paying attention to roast dates in the supermarket. If the brand you're looking for doesn't even have a roast date on their bag - put it back on the shelf. Instead, get something that was roasted within the last month. The fresher the better!